Our Team

  • Megan Hayes

    Megan Hayes '97

    Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Communications Officer

    141D Anne Belk Hall


    Megan Hayes has a background in cultural tourism and event marketing, PR and management. She manages the University Communications team, the university’s content management strategy and social media presence. She is certified in crisis communications and media crisis interview and response training. She is managing editor of the university magazine and host of the SoundAffect podcast.

  • Emily Bausch

    Emily Bausch

    Critical Crisis Communications Specialist

    138D Anne Belk Hall


    Emily Bausch has a background in public safety, rescue operations, and local and state government administration. She is a member of the University’s Emergency Management Task Force, serves on the Crisis Communications Team, and acts as a public information officer and Joint Information Center Director in the university’s Emergency Operations Center. She also edits and drafts critical communications, press releases, and advance communication plans, and serves as content manager for Appalachian State University’s Police Department, Traffic, and Environmental Health, Safety & Emergency Management.

  • Matt Belt

    Matt Belt

    Web Designer/Developer

    137 Anne Belk Hall


    Matt Belt has a background in graphic design, web design, and technology support. He builds and maintains official university websites, provides web training and support to campus stakeholders, and works as part of a team to manage the university’s strategic web presence.

  • Dave Blanks

    Dave Blanks '05

    Production Assistant and Audio Engineer

    134E Anne Belk Hall


    Dave Blanks has a background in radio production and emergency operations. He manages the podcast studio, and provides voice talent and audio engineering for podcast and video production. He also supports emergency communications and advises on social media.

  • Heather Brandon ‘02

    Heather Brandon '02 '20

    Digital Communications Specialist

    134H Anne Belk Hall


    Heather Brandon has a background in campus communications, outreach and engagement, including website development and content management, social media content management, email marketing and newsletters, graphic design, digital signage development and management, event planning and coordination, team building, and writing. She serves as a member of the web team, facilitates digital communications, provides support and training for digital signage, acts as the liaison to Appalachian’s college communications directors and the Academy at Middle Fork, and contributes to the Social Media Team.

  • J. Todd Coates '96

    J. Todd Coates '96




    J. Todd Coates is a retired Army veteran with a broad background in communications that includes experience in marketing, media relations, social media, public affairs, multimedia, crisis communications and employee relations. At App State, he writes for news releases, profiles, university newsletters, events and social media.

  • Wes Craig

    Wes Craig

    Web Design/Development and Client Services Support Technician

    143M Anne Belk Hall


    Wes Craig has a background in technical support and customer service. He manages the university event calendar, provides technical support for the university's online communication toolbox and online marketing center, supports the communications liaison team, and develops single-use web pages.

  • Jim Fleri

    Jim Fleri

    Graphics Specialist

    143L Anne Belk Hall


    Jim Fleri has a background in advertising, merchandising, graphic and web design. He creates custom graphics for print and web production, including presentations, brochures, fact sheets and branded merchandise. His recent projects include developing icons for university use in web, mobile and print applications.

  • Garrett Ford

    Garrett Ford '03

    Motion Media Specialist

    134A Anne Belk Hall


    Garrett Ford has a background in television, audio and video production. He produces video content for major university initiatives, including the university’s institutional ads, recruitment ads for the graduate school, distance education and individual colleges, and campaigns for student development. He also supports emergency communications and advises on social media.

  • Marie Freeman

    Marie Freeman '85

    University Photographer

    143H Anne Belk Hall


    Marie Freeman has a background in news media photography, including for the Associated Press, and professional studio photography. She documents major university events and initiatives, liaises with photographers in the news media, manages the photography in the university’s online communications toolbox, and advises on social media.

  • Anna Gaugert '10

    Anna Gaugert '10

    University Marketing Director

    138C Anne Belk Hall


    Anna Gaugert has a background in cultural tourism and event marketing, management and communications in higher education settings. She is responsible for developing and implementing the university's marketing program and works closely with UComm's web, media production, writing and social media teams.

  • Anna Gaugert '10

    Gwen Gibson '02

    Customer Service

    143N Anne Belk Hall


    Gwen Gibson has a background in marketing, advertising and public relations. Gwen assists the university with customer service, addressing students, parents, staff and faculty needs and ensuring they have a positive experience. Also assists in public records requests for University Communications.

  • Erika Hudspeth

    Erika Hudspeth ’92

    Web Designer and Content Strategy Specialist

    135C Anne Belk Hall


    With experience in website development, project management, support and training, Erika brings to our web team the diverse skill set essential to maintaining centralized web services for Appalachian. She works with the communications liaisons and stakeholders on campus to align their web presence with the university’s vision and strategic goals.

  • Ann Kiefert

    Ann Kiefert

    Content Strategy Analyst

    138A Anne Belk Hall


    With experience in higher education marketing and healthcare IT, Ann brings to the team a passion for user experience research, data analytics, and content strategy. In her previous roles, she served as a product owner for a software development team, an IT business engagement partner, and assistant director of marketing for App State. She manages the data analytics program, leads the content strategy, and guides the departments' adoption of agile methodologies.

  • Sarah McBryde

    Sarah McBryde '97 '09

    Lead Designer, Recruitment and Strategic Communications/Marketing and Design Specialist

    143F Anne Belk Hall


    Sarah McBryde has a background in graphic design for print media and media buying. She advises on social media and is responsible for developing the graphic identity and collateral materials for student, faculty and staff recruitment, as well as general university promotional materials, including the university magazine.

  • Pete Montaldi

    Pete Montaldi '89

    Interaction Design and Information Architect

    133 Anne Belk Hall


    Pete Montaldi has a background in website development and design, information architecture and marketing technology. He is a member of the emergency communications team, manages top tier university web pages, and advises on information architecture and website navigation. Recent projects include implementation of the university homepage and related web pages.

  • Stephanie Naoum

    Stephanie Naoum

    Office & Systems Manager

    141C Anne Belk Hall


    Stephanie Naoum has a background as a deputy clerk of court and administrative and university advancement support. She manages department operations and budgets, oversees circulation of the university magazine, is a member of the critical/crisis communications team and supports marketing, public relations and the news writing team, advises on social media, and is assistant to the Associate Vice Chancellor.

  • Anna Oakes

    Anna Oakes ’06

    Media Relations Specialist

    135B Anne Belk Hall


    Anna Oakes spent 14 years as an editor and reporter for news publications and magazines and has experience in project management, social media, content management systems, and staff training and development. She coordinates media relations for the university, including managing media requests for information and interviews and the university’s speakers bureau. She also supports the writing, critical and crisis communications, and social media teams.

  • Chase Reynolds

    Chase Reynolds '17

    University Photographer Assistant

    143U Anne Belk Hall


    Chase Reynolds has a background in commercial photography. He assists the university photographer in documenting university events and building the university's photographic library, and advises on social media.

  • Jessica Stump

    Jessica Stump

    Copy Editor

    138D Anne Belk Hall


    Jessica Stump has a background in editing, proofreading, creative writing, technical/professional writing, as well as English literature and language studies. She edits various internal and external communications materials, including news releases, stories for the university magazine, web features, honors and awards, newsletters, transcripts, events and grants. She is knowledgeable of the Associated Press Stylebook, The Chicago Manual of Style and the MLA Style Manual.

  • Matt Tate

    Matt Tate '01 '20

    Senior Marketing Specialist

    135D Anne Belk Hall


    Matt Tate has a background as a reporter, writer and editor for publications across North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina. Driven by data and strategic planning, he works with the marketing, web and social media teams to craft and present a unified Appalachian brand experience.

  • Troy Tuttle

    Troy Tuttle '07

    Creative Director

    134B Anne Belk Hall


    Troy Tuttle has a background in photography and customer experience. He provides creative direction for the university, serves as creative director for the university magazine, provides executive direction for the university podcast studio productions, leads the media production and graphics teams, provides support for emergency communications and advises on social media.

  • Alex Waterworth

    Alex Waterworth

    Web Design and Development Specialist

    143E Anne Belk Hall


    Alex Waterworth has a background in graphic design and web design. He is responsible for interaction design, is a member of the emergency communications team, and advises on social media. His recent projects include redesigning the university homepage and related pages, and design and implementation of the digital magazine.

  • Ashley Whittington

    Ashley Whittington

    Administrative Support

    143 Anne Belk Hall


    Ashley Whittington has a proven track record in sales and customer service. She supports the University Communications in a variety of ways including travel, office and equipment orders and tracking, filing, developing documents, answering phones and greeting visitors. She also serves on the social media team.

  • Lindsey Wilson

    Lindsey Wilson

    Web Designer/Developer

    135E Anne Belk Hall


    Lindsey Wilson has a background in web design, technical editing, library and information services, and academic research support. She builds and maintains official university websites, provides web training and support to campus stakeholders, and works as part of a team to manage the university’s strategic web presence.

  • Derek Wycoff

    Derek Wycoff '09

    Web Designer/Developer

    143K Anne Belk Hall


    Derek Wycoff has a background in graphic design and web design. His current projects include campus map design, email blast design and work on program area web pages. He also advises on social media.

  • Communications Liaisons

    Communications Liaisons