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Work experience

20172018

Media Relations and Communications Specialist

College of Agriculture, Tennessee State University

I promote the good works, people and things at the College of Agriculture. Oversee, produce and manage social media accounts, print publications, and the College's website, which is currently going under a major remodel. Chair of the Website Committee and member of the University Public Relations Committee.  Work closely with University Media Relations to tell our story to the nation and world about our student successes, faculty research, and creation of cutting-edge laboratories and learning facilities. 

20142017

Senior Technical Advisor

Ibex Corporation, Client: Apple

Provided technical assistance for Apple customers who owned iPads, iPhones and Apple computers.

20132014

The Daily Herald

Stephens Media

Co-produce a daily newspaper. Edit stories, write headlines and cutlines, process art, create and design layout. Publish web content and post to social media.

20132013

Writer

Commonwealth Journal

Report, wrote and edited stories related to health, family, and education. 

20032009

Senior Writer, Marketing & Communications

University of California, Riverside

UCR Extension is the continuing education division of University of California, Riverside, Enrolls approximately 30,000 students in approximately 1,800 university-approved courses.

  • Promoted UCR Extension.
  • Created, designed, wrote, edited, produced, and circulated news releases, feature articles, public service announcements, brochures, fliers, newsletters, catalogs, and promotional copy for print and digital media. Executed public relations plans.
  • Coordinated, organized, and hosted public events.
  • Collaborated with marketing staff, the dean, department directors, and program coordinators.

Key accomplishments                                   

  • Created, managed, and produced UCR Extension's first digital newsletter, @UCRExtension, which enhanced the institution's reputation, increased enrollment, and reduced advertising costs.
  • Researched and wrote award-winning nominations for Dean John F. Azzaretto, who won a Spirit of Excellence award for community leadership, and the Certificate of Forensic Nursing Program, which won Best Credit Program in the West Region from UCEA.
  • Turned lemons into a national upbeat news feature when a cat got trapped for four days behind a wall at Extension. Working with Extension's top administrators, local officials, and local media, Extension was able to report that the distressed cat ultimately found safe haven with an employee. The story circulated nationwide. See http://insideucr.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/display.cgi?id=772.
20012002

Public Information Officer

The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians

The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians is the tribal government that represents and rules over the tribe.

  • Served as the liaison between the tribal government and media, United States government, and local cities in Coachella Valley.
  • Edited and produced the tribe's newsletter, The Cabazon Circle.
  • Created and managed content for the tribe's Web site.
  • Assisted U.S. government officials and entertainers at public events and private tours.

Key accomplishments

  • Co-created the re-design of the tribal government's Web site.
  • Lobbied senators and representatives in Washington D.C., including Rep. Patrick Kennedy, about the preservation of the Salton Sea and other issues pertinent to the tribe.
20002001

Counselor

Betty Ford Center
20002000

County Reporter

The Desert Sun

Covered Riverside County with emphasis on issues that affected Coachella Valley. Gained deep access covering the arrest and arraignment of actor of Robert Downey Jr., who was charged and ultimately convicted of possession of crack cocaine

19972000

Crime Reporter

The Daily Bulletin

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, owned by the Los Angeles News Group, distributes 78, 873 editions to 18 cities in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

  • Covered crime in 18 cities and the counties of San Bernardino and Los Angeles.
  • Covered local government in Chino and Chino Hills.
  • Wrote features and in-depth investigative stories.

Key accomplishments

  • Broke the story about Jackie Robles being under the influence of methamphetamine. The young Upland mother was passed out when her 2-year-old and 18-month-old daughters were struck and killed by a Metrolink train. The Society of Professional Journalists honored my series of stories for best continuous coverage.
  • Transformed a standard obituary into an award-winning investigative feature about a Berkeley honors student and heroin addict who fatally overdosed despite attempts by his father - a drug recognition expert - to save him.
  • Reported and wrote an investigative series about the recovery of a San Bernardino County coroner who was accidentally shot in the forearm by her ex-husband, a police officer. The story detailed the resulting police investigation and the coronor's physical, emotional, and professional struggles.
19941996

Contributing Editor

Interactive Publishing Alert

Interactive Publishing Alert was a monthly online newsletter tracking developments in interactive publishing and electronic media. Subscribers included The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Miami Herald.

Analyzed and critiqued Web sites based on content, architecture, navigability, readability, graphic design, and gimmickry. Covered major media outlets who were establishing a presence online, including ZDNet, Hearst, and AOL.

Key accomplishments

  • Earned co-author title for a book written by Publisher Rosalind Resnick, which included my reviews.

Other Professional Experience

  • Crime reporter for The Miami Herald.
  • Editorial advisor for the student newspaper at Florida International University.
  • Editorial assistant and writer for TWA Ambassador, Trans World Airlines in-flight magazine.
  • Yoga teacher at F.U.N. Yoga Studio, Palm Valley Country Club, and Indian Ridge Country Club.
  • Proofreader for Yoga Vidya, the newsletter for the Southern California Iyengar yoga community.

Education

Jun 1980Jul 1980

Northwestern University

One of 90 students accepted to the journalism program of the National High School Institute.

Jun 2007

Iyengar Yoga

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute

Spent one month in India taking yoga classes from Geeta and Prashant Iyengar, the son and daughter of yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar. Observed Mr. Iyengar's personal yoga practice. Practiced yoga four hours a day, six days a week.

19911992

Florida International University

Studied Shakespeare's histories, comedies and tragedies.

Certifications

Dec 2007Present

Certified Introductory Iyengar Yoga Teacher

Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States

Skills

Management/Leadership
Teaching
Creative
Social Media

Active member on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.

Vocus and Cision (Media Relations Tracking software)
Photography
Photoshop
InDesign
Quark
Microsoft Office
Layout & Design (online and print)
Reporting and Research
Editing
Writing

My Work


The Buzz

"Joan is energetic and passionate about communications. She has a background in journalism and a facility for storytelling through new media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter. She created an excellent electronic newsletter for UC Riverside's Extension program. She is also a creative writer and contributed many good ideas to university publications." 

Kris Lovekin

Director of Media Relations

University of California, Riverside

"Joan is a seasoned, Web-savvy media professional who can handle a variety of stories ranging from light features to hard news on deadline. She is a dedicated writer, and team leader, with a proven track record who approaches communications and marketing projects with creativity, sensitivity and a strong work ethic. Well-wired in new media tools, I have turned to Joan to help guide me through the latest in web communications for personal and professional use." 

Monica Valencia

Press Deputy

Office of Los Angeles City

Councilmember Ed P. Reyes

"Joan was a top-notch crime reporter, fearless, inventive and competitive. She led the paper's coverage of a Metrolink accident in which two small children were hit and killed by a train as their mother, a drug addict, slept in their nearby apartment -- a major story -- and also excelled at enterprise reporting, digging into the human side of the coroner's office in one memorable piece, and in another (award-winning) story, telling the tale of a drug-recognition expert who discovered his own son had overdosed on heroin."

Frank Pine

Director of Audience Development at Digital First Media

Objective

Seeking a managerial position in media creating and implementing new media tools to support communications and marketing goals for public agencies, non-profits, universities, and businesses. Proven track record in leadership, management, strategic planning, marketing, media relations, crisis communications, Web development, digital communications, social media, and consulting services.

Summary

  • Award-winning editor, writer, blogger, and media relations professional with more than 15 years experience producing, editing, writing, and designing publications.
  • Creating content online since 1994. One of the first to cover interactive publishing and online media as contributing editor for Interactive Publishing Alert.
  • Created the first digital newsletter for the continuing education division of the University of California, Riverside.
  • Advised and guided Curtis Publishing on the successful establishment of an online presence of six sports publications, including Dolphin Digest and Football News.
  • Produced the weekly community newspaper, The River Cities Gazette, and managed a staff of more than 10 reporters, photographers, and graphic artists. Created a paid-internship program for journalism students from Florida International University.
  • Excellent communication, research, and organization skills honed as a journalist writing for The Miami Herald, The Desert Sun, The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, TWA Ambassador, and other publications. Specialized in crime reporting.
  • A collaborative leader and team member. Creative, expressive, persuasive, and inspiring. Thrives in a fast-paced environment juggling many jobs and multiple deadlines. Great sense of humor.
  • Certified Introductory Iyengar Yoga Teacher instructing students since 2002.