Alumni Board

The SJMC Alumni Board is made up of 10 to 12 members who serve in 3-year terms. Members are drawn from the SJMC alumni community and represent both the journalism and strategic communication industries.

The board meets monthly to coordinate a number of programs designed to keep alumni connected to the school, including the Alumni Mentoring Program, the Alumni Award for Excellence, and the Above the Fold Award.

2016-17 Board Members


Heather Arntson

Heather Arntson

MA 2009, President

Heather Arntson is a Marketing Communications Manager at Post Consumer Brands, the newly formed company from Post Cereal and Malt-O-Meal. In this role, she provides communication expertise for Great Grains, Post Raisin Bran, Post Shredded Wheat, Grape Nuts and shopper marketing support for Walmart. Prior to this role, she spent time at General Mills, Carmichael Lynch, Fallon & Colle+McVoy working in digital, media, research and strategy. She's worked on a wide range of clients and projects from Kix Cereal, Subaru, Tractor Supply Company, Harley-Davidson, Korbel Champagne, and NBC Universal. As an undergraduate she was a member of the National Student Advertising Competition. 

Contact Heather at for more information about:

  • working at an advertising agency
  • transitioning from agency to corporate work
  • working full-time while going to school
  • working in media, research, planning, social and digital marketing
  • Cereal
Tim Nelson

Tim Nelson

BA 2009, president-elect

Tim Nelson is a senior account executive for PadillaCRT, ranked nationally as one of the top 15 independent marketing and PR firms in the country. He has a strong focus in public and media relations as well as in digital strategy for the business-to-business, health and technology sectors. Tim’s broad range of current and former clients includes Code42, LeafLine Labs and Proto Labs.

Prior to joining PadillaCRT, Tim was a co-founder at a boutique Minneapolis agency, serving as both video producer + director and account lead for a number of Minnesota businesses. While enrolled in the School of Journalism, Tim was an active contributor for the Star Tribune, as well as for “University Report,” where his coverage of the 2009 Red River Floods was nominated for a regional Emmy Award.

Contact Tim at for more information about:

  • public and media relations
  • working in an advertising agency
  • social media
  • digital strategy
  • broadcast + digital journalism
Carolyn Ahlstrom

Carolyn Ahlstrom

BA 2006, secretary

Carolyn Ahlstrom is insight director at Colle+McVoy, where she provides strategic leadership on Associated Bank, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Elanco Animal Health and Partners In Food Solutions. Prior to Colle+McVoy, she worked at local agencies Martin Williams, Carmichael Lynch, Fallon and Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Boulder, Colo. She has worked on a wide range of award-winning brands like Volkswagen, Domino's, Harley-Davidson, Rubbermaid, Boston Market and Calphalon. While enrolled in SJMC, Ahlstrom was an avid member of the National Student Advertising Competition.

Contact Carolyn at for more information about:

  • working at an advertising agency
  • strategy and account planning
  • qualitative and quantitative research
  • integrated marketing
  • Gopher football



Victoria Hoshal

Victoria Hoshal

BA 1982

Victoria Hoshal began her career in development and in 1997 became founder, CEO and creative director of Legacy Catalogue, a national brand of home furnishings and accessories. She later became a direct marketing account executive at the Star Tribune in 2007 and, since 2009, as been director of business development at dtrio marketing group. At this award-winning direct and multi-channel agency, she is responsible for securing new business opportunities and clients.

Contact Victoria at for more information about:

  • working in marketing
  • direct marketing
  • pitching new business
David Mackereth

David Mackereth

BA 2006

In 4th grade, David was awarded a trip to the MN Young Authors Conference. He wrote a book about outer space cows who tried to take over planet Earth only to be thwarted by a boy who could shoot peas out of his nose. That book was an autobiography. David has been a writer and a hero ever since. Currently, he is a Senior Copywriter at BBDO working on Hormel Black Label Bacon, Skippy Peanut Butter and SPAM. He has also done stints at Campbell Mithun and Fallon working on H&R Block, Burger King, The Hartford, United Way and Purina. To this day, he still maintains a 4th grader's level of imagination.

Contact David at for more information about:

  • working in an advertising agency
  • working with clients
  • advertising creative
  • portfolios
  • surfing the internet
John Maher

John Maher

BA 1984

John Maher is in his eighth season as Vice President of Brand, Content and Communications for the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild. In this role, Maher leads the management of brand, creative and content production efforts, as well as supervising staff responsible for corporate communications, game presentation, events, publications, Minnesota Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Creative Services and media production. Maher also oversees the team’s Broadcast Department. Maher joined the organization in July of 2000 as Director of Production Services and was first tasked with building the creative and technical capabilities needed to launch all elements of the Wild’s Inaugural Season game and event presentation at Xcel Energy Center. He was named Senior Director of Creative Services in 2002 and Senior Director of Marketing in 2005. In 2004, he coordinated MSE’s launch of the Minnesota Swarm in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and was named NLL Marketing Executive of the Year in 2005. John is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Saint Paul Police Foundation.

Contact John at for more information about:

  • working in the pro sports industry
  • the evolving media channel landscape and rise of social media
  • the blurring lines between marketing/communications/PR
Jennifer Sorenson

Jennifer Sorenson

BA 2001

Jennifer Sorenson is the President of The Art Institutes International Minnesota, a private creative arts college, where she oversees all operations including development of and execution on the vision and strategic direction of the college, student success initiatives, graduate outcomes, faculty and staff development, and effective internal and external relationships. Her background includes operations, recruiting, and creating, implementing and facilitating an executive development program.

Contact Jennifer at for more information about:

  • networking
  • developing mutually beneficial partnerships
  • leadership development
  • working full-time during graduate school
Tanya Wright

Tanya Wright

BA 1995

Tanya started her career working on events at the Ronald McDonald House and on the public relations team at Nordic Track. She’s worked in a wide-range of marketing areas including launch and management of the new brand “Be The Match”, co- creation of the 5k Walk+Run event concept and re-launch and expansion of the Be The Match On Campus collegiate program. Most recently, Tanya was a marketing manager at Be The Match, a global non-profit dedicated to helping patients receive a life-saving bone marrow transplant. 

Contact Tanya at for more information about:

  • non-profit healthcare marketing and communication
  • brand launch, growth and management
  • sales team collaboration and marketing support
  • cause product marketing

Ex-officio members

  • John Blair, Assistant to the Director, SJMC
  • Sue Couling, SJMC Events Manager
  • Erica Giorgi, Alumni Relations, CLA
  • Larissa Mavros, SJMC Communications Manager
  • Christine Mollen, Undergraduate Student Personnel Coordinator, SJMC
  • Rebecca Rassier, Student Services Coordinator, SJMC
  • Albert R. Tims, Director, SJMC