Press Release

January 24, 2012

Contact: Harvey Levenson
805-756- 6151;

Cal Poly Creates Journalism Advisory Board

SAN LUIS OBISPO -- Harvey Levenson, interim chair of Cal Poly’s Journalism Department, has initiated a new advisory board to provide students with a link to the profession outside the classroom.

Headed by Tracy Campbell, vice president of public advocacy for the California Hospital Association, the advisory board includes alumni and industry professionals representing the department’s concentrations in broadcasting, multimedia, news-editorial and public relations.

Cal Poly is one of the nation's top-rated universities because of its unique Learn by Doing philosophy, faculty leadership, and strong industry relationships, according to Campbell, a Cal Poly journalism graduate. "As the field of journalism undergoes dynamic changes as a result of technological advances and business pressures, the experienced professionals who serve on the advisory board will help the department remain current and prepare students to enter the profession," she said.

The advisory board initially started as a focus group last year; however, members saw the need for more consistent collaboration to make sure their initiatives were implemented. The next advisory board meeting will be held in spring 2012.

Levenson pointed out the need for the advisory board, “With rapid changes occurring in the journalism profession vis-ŕ-vis technology and demands for information quickly and through multiple channels, it is imperative for academic journalism departments to remain current in preparing the profession’s future leadership. Nothing better than an advisory board composed of experienced and sophisticated professionals keeps an academic unit attuned to the needs of the field. These people are out there on a day-to-day basis experiencing the demands of the profession firsthand, whereas professors address the longer term and broader issues of preparing future journalists. It is the longer-term perspective combined with the day-to-day occurrences of the field that make for a solid education in journalism. The Cal Poly Journalism Advisory Board contributes this latter perspective and is the reason for its reconstitution and restructuring.”

Within the year the board hopes to form committees to address alumni engagement, endowments and fundraising, industry speakers, internships and job placement, laboratory development, program assessment, public relations and publicity, and student mentoring.

For more information, contact Levenson, interim head of the Journalism Department, at 805-756-6151 or, or Campbell at 916-552-7594 or

Advisory Board members are:

Michela O’Connor Abrams
Dwell Magazine
Mill Valley, CA

Rebecca J. Alarcio
Director, Public Affairs & Publications
Allan Hancock College
Santa Maria, CA  

Claudia Buck
Assistant Business Editor
Sacramento Bee 

Tracy Campbell, APR
Vice President, Public Advocacy
California Hospital Association
Sacramento, CA  

Paul Cousineau
Director, Innovation & Quality Control
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
The Wall Street Journal
Princeton, NJ  

Sandra Duerr
Executive Editor
The Tribune

San Luis Obispo, CA

Michelle Franzen
Correspondent – NBC News
New York, New York  


Stephen Gale
Communication and Public Affairs
Palos Verdes Estates, CA

Woody Goulart
Senior Managing Editor
Summit Marketing
Vienna, VA  

Mary Gresch
Principal Consultant
Mary Gresch and Associates
Moscow, ID

Blair Helsing
Media and Technology Specialist
San Francisco, CA  

Susan M. Houghton
Director of Public and Government Affairs
Safeway, Inc. – Northern California Division
Pleasanton, CA  

John Hubbell
Staff Editor
International Herald Tribune
Hong Kong

Thomas Jory
Director of Elections and Tabulations
The Associated Press
Brooklyn, NY 

David Kerley
ABC News
McLean, VA 

Peter King
Communications Director
University of California, Office of the President 

John Leach
Chief Operating Officer, Get Out SLO
Managing Partner, Digital Strategies

Phoenix, AZ  

Robert Logan, Ph.D.
Former Assist. Prof., JOUR, Cal Poly
Senior Staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine
Bethesda, MD 

Mark Looker
Ag Communications Consultant
Looker Communications Consulting
Modesto, CA  

Neal Losey
KCBX Radio
San Luis Obispo, CA

Bill Mattos
California Poultry Federation
Modesto, CA

Dorothy Newell
NBC Dateline
New York, NY

Carolyn Nielsen
Assistant Professor
Department of Journalism
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA

Conan Nolan
Political Reporter
Burbank, CA 

Ellen Pensky
BumbleBee Marketing
Pleasanton, CA

Kevin Riggs
Senior Vice President
Randall Communications
Sacramento, CA

Frances Squire
Executive Director  & Director of Marketing
West Hills Community College District Foundation
Coalinga, CA

Greg Tantum
Washington Post Radio
Silver Springs, MD

Steffan Tubbs
Host, Newsradio 850 KOA (Denver)
Englewood, CA

Timothy Williams
Chief Executive Officer/Founder
Digital West Networks, Inc.
San Luis Obispo, CA