Our Team

  • Megan Hayes

    Megan Hayes '97

    Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Communications Officer

    141D Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-7983

    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

    828-262-8517

    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.

  • Dave Blanks

    Dave Blanks '05

    Production Assistant and Audio Engineer

    134E Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-2346

    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

    Digital Communications Specialist

    134H Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-8519

    Heather Brandon has a background in campus communications, outreach and engagement, including website development and content management, social media development and content management, email marketing and newsletters, graphic design, digital signage development and management, event planning and coordination, team building and writing. She also has 20+ years of experience in customer service and 10+ years as a freelance writer for local magazine, All About Women. She serves as a member of the web team, facilitates internal and external digital communications, provides support and training for digital signage, acts as the liaison to Appalachian’s college communications directors and advises on social media. She is currently pursuing an MA in Educational Media-Instructional Technology (Online Learning) at Appalachian.

  • Megan Bruffy

    Megan Bruffy

    Writer/Strategic Communications

    134J Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-2345

    Megan Bruffy has a background in communications, speechwriting, project management, branding, graphic design and web design for universities, hotels, and private golf clubs. At Appalachian, she writes news releases, profiles, and university newsletters, and contributes to the Social Media Team.

  • Linda Coutant

    Linda Coutant '01 '17

    Senior Writer/Editor/Public Information Officer

    138B Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-2342

    Linda Coutant, Ed.D., has a background as a reporter, writer, television producer and editor. She is a member of the emergency communications team, and is certified in search engine optimization and crisis communications. Current duties focus on content development and project management, including maintaining a Faculty Speakers Bureau database, writing and editing feature stories for the university website, writing and editing news releases and supervising writing interns. More on LinkedIn

  • Wes Craig

    Wes Craig

    Web Design/Development and Client Services Support Technician

    143M Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-2412

    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

    828-262-7681

    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

    828-262-7386

    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

    828-262-2344

    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

    828-262-8518

    Anna Gaugert has a background in marketing, management and administrative support in higher education settings. She is responsible for developing and implementing the university's marketing program and advises on advertising, social media and brand management.

  • Chris Grulke

    Chris Grulke '18

    Director of Communications Analytics

    143G Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-3147

    Chris Grulke has a background in economics and admissions in higher education settings. He advises on digital advertising, project management, data-driven marketing strategy, and is certified in Google Analytics and Adwords. Chris holds an Advanced Social Media Strategy certification from Syracuse University and heads up AppState's Social Media Team.

  • Roslyn Howard

    Roslyn Howard '83

    Lead Designer for Graphic Identity/Brand Standards Manager

    143D Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-2836

    Roslyn Howard has a background in organizational graphic design, graphic identity and CRM development. Her recent projects include designing the Campaign for Appalachian graphic identity and large format designs, including for the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, and design and implementation of the digital viewbook. She also manages the university's online communication toolbox and online marketing center.

  • Ann Kiefert

    Ann Kiefert

    Content Strategy Analyst

    138A Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-7814

    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

    828-262-4086

    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

    828-262-7112

    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

    828-262-6156

    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.

  • Chase Reynolds

    Chase Reynolds '17

    University Photographer Assistant

    143U Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-8507

    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.

  • Heather Stewart

    Heather Stewart

    Public Records Request Associate and Special Projects Support

    143N Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-7178

    Heather Stewart has a background in small business management, project management and administrative support in healthcare and education. She manages the university’s public records requests, special projects and provides research for the marketing and writing teams. She also advises on social media.

  • Jessica Stump

    Jessica Stump

    Copy Editor

    138D Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-8925

    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.

  • Troy Tuttle

    Troy Tuttle '07

    Creative Director

    134B Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-4094

    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.

  • Elisabeth Wall

    Elisabeth Wall

    Content Specialist and Editor

    143J Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-2719

    After 10 years with Condé Nast, including her role as executive editor for GQ, Elisabeth Wall served as principal and creative director of a marketing communications firm. She is managing editor for Appalachian Magazine and has edited for a number of trade and educational publications, including North Carolina A&T State University and University of North Carolina Wilmington. Elisabeth supervises UComm's writing team, is a contributing writer and collaborates on messaging for Appalachian’s chancellor.

  • Alex Waterworth

    Alex Waterworth

    Web Design and Development Specialist

    143E Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-4043

    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

    828-262-4950

    Ashley Whittington has a proven track record in sales and customer service. She supports the Office of 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.

  • Derek Wycoff

    Derek Wycoff '09

    Web Designer/Developer

    143K Anne Belk Hall

    828-262-7963

    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