Staff Directory

Administration

Ian Repp

  • Director, University Marketing and Communications

About Ian

  • Ian enjoys being outdoors, going for long jogs, and spending time with his wife, J.R., and their two boys, Cale and Crosby.
Crystal Verran

Crystal Verran

  • Director of Operations

Links of Interest

About Crystal

  • She is the first person to contact when you are interested in working with UMC on a project.
  • She loves to brainstorm new ideas for publications with clients and enjoys the variety of projects that come through UMC.
  • Crystal is a great source when questions arise regarding University Identity Standards.
  • A self-described “design nerd,” she finds herself picking up publications from a variety of different places (to read and critique).
Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan

  • Director of News and Media Relations

Her Beats

  • Administration/Executive Team/Board of Trustees
  • Policy and Funding Issues
  • Research Centers and Institutes
  • International Programs & Services
  • Graduate School

About Jenn

  • Her specialties include working with local, regional, national and special-interest news media.
  • She is skilled at finding and developing University news and research stories and interesting the news media in covering them.
  • She maintains the University Experts Guide.
  • She is a former newspaper reporter and magazine writer.
  • She enjoys reading detective stories and science fiction novels.
Allison Mills

Allison Mills

  • Director of Research News

Her Beats

  • Sciences, Engineering and Technology
  • School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science

About Allison

  • She focuses on writing new stories about Michigan Tech research -- everything from robotic prostheses to mesocosms to the physics of raindrops.
  • A University of Montana graduate, she earned a master's degree in environmental science and natural resource journalism, which built on her bachelor's in geoscience from Northland College.
  • She also teaches dance through the Student Development Complex's community programs.
  • She's a radio geek.
Shannon Rinkinen
"So have your wits about you and dig in."
—Ethel Kennedy

Shannon Rinkinen

  • Brand Manager

About Shannon

  • Writes, edits, and shares Michigan Tech's stories across print, digital, and social
  • Works across UMC and campus to infuse on-brand tone and style in external marketing pieces
  • Shuttles kids to and from dance and hockey most evenings and weekends (and loves every second of it!)
Stefanie Sidortsova

Stefanie Sidortsova

  • Director of Communications and Public Relations

About Stefanie

  • Stefanie leads UMC's communications strategy and serves as a special assistant for state relations endeavors.
  • Her professional background includes experience in law, government relations, higher education administration, and creative writing.
  • She earned her law degree at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, her master's in creative writing from the University of Cambridge, and her bachelor’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  • She enjoys spending time her family and moonlights as fiction writer and editor.
Joel Vertin
"Just Go with It!"

Joel C. Vertin

  • Director of Digital Services

Areas of Expertise

  • Content Management Theory
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Digital Analytics
  • Web Accessibility

About Joel

  • Leading a web marketing revolution at Michigan Tech
  • Serves on the HighEdWeb Association Membership Committee
  • Is a Michigan Tech alumnus from Laurium
Dawn Pichette

Dawn M. Pichette

  • Administrative Aide
Mechelle Normand

Mechelle Normand

 Marketing and Creative

Ian Repp

  • Director, University Marketing and Communications

About Ian

  • Ian enjoys being outdoors, going for long jogs, and spending time with his wife, J.R., and their two boys, Cale and Crosby.
Crystal Verran

Crystal Verran

  • Director of Operations

Links of Interest

About Crystal

  • She is the first person to contact when you are interested in working with UMC on a project.
  • She loves to brainstorm new ideas for publications with clients and enjoys the variety of projects that come through UMC.
  • Crystal is a great source when questions arise regarding University Identity Standards.
  • A self-described “design nerd,” she finds herself picking up publications from a variety of different places (to read and critique).
Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan

  • Director of News and Media Relations

Her Beats

  • Administration/Executive Team/Board of Trustees
  • Policy and Funding Issues
  • Research Centers and Institutes
  • International Programs & Services
  • Graduate School

About Jenn

  • Her specialties include working with local, regional, national and special-interest news media.
  • She is skilled at finding and developing University news and research stories and interesting the news media in covering them.
  • She maintains the University Experts Guide.
  • She is a former newspaper reporter and magazine writer.
  • She enjoys reading detective stories and science fiction novels.
Shannon Rinkinen
"So have your wits about you and dig in."
—Ethel Kennedy

Shannon Rinkinen

  • Brand Manager

About Shannon

  • Writes, edits, and shares Michigan Tech's stories across print, digital, and social
  • Works across UMC and campus to infuse on-brand tone and style in external marketing pieces
  • Shuttles kids to and from dance and hockey most evenings and weekends (and loves every second of it!)
Bill Tembreull

Bill Tembreull

  • Senior Design Specialist

About Bill

  • He has worked in design and publications at Michigan Tech for 35 years.
  • His work has earned numerous national awards.
  • He oversees the design of most University publications, including brochures, posters, magazines, newsletters, and more.
  • Prepares bids for pricing publications.
Vassilissa Semouchkina

Vassilissa Semouchkina

  • Graphic Designer
Jon Halquist

Jon Halquist

  • Graphic Design Specialist
Cyndi Perkins

Cyndi Perkins

  • Feature Writer

About Cyndi

  • The former Daily Mining Gazette journalist and editor hails from Houghton and has written for a variety of international, national and regional publications.
  • She co-creates, writes and edits content for the University’s myriad forms of new media, including websites, blogs and other outreach across departments, for new and existing members of the Michigan Tech community.
  • She is a sailor who enjoys Yoga, social media, gardening, and anything near the water. The debut novelist looks forward to writing more books.
Stefanie Sidortsova

Stefanie Sidortsova

  • Director of Communications and Public Relations

About Stefanie

  • Stefanie leads UMC's communications strategy and serves as a special assistant for state relations endeavors.
  • Her professional background includes experience in law, government relations, higher education administration, and creative writing.
  • She earned her law degree at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, her master's in creative writing from the University of Cambridge, and her bachelor’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  • She enjoys spending time her family and moonlights as fiction writer and editor.
Kelley Christensen

Kelley Christensen

  • Science and Technology Publications Writer

About Kelley

  • She writes university research stories and articles for university publications.
  • She studied news-editorial journalism and American literature at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds a master's in technical communication from Montana Tech. She is pursuing her doctorate in environmental policy at Michigan Tech. 
  • Her career includes writing for small-town newspapers in Montana and working as a public information officer, an events coordinator, and science editor for an IEEE publication, Earthzine.
  • She enjoys hiking and cross-country skiing with her family, reading voraciously, crocheting, and exploring the Keweenaw.

 Brand Management

Ian Repp

  • Director, University Marketing and Communications

About Ian

  • Ian enjoys being outdoors, going for long jogs, and spending time with his wife, J.R., and their two boys, Cale and Crosby.
Shannon Rinkinen
"So have your wits about you and dig in."
—Ethel Kennedy

Shannon Rinkinen

  • Brand Manager

About Shannon

  • Writes, edits, and shares Michigan Tech's stories across print, digital, and social
  • Works across UMC and campus to infuse on-brand tone and style in external marketing pieces
  • Shuttles kids to and from dance and hockey most evenings and weekends (and loves every second of it!)
Crystal Verran

Crystal Verran

  • Director of Operations

Links of Interest

About Crystal

  • She is the first person to contact when you are interested in working with UMC on a project.
  • She loves to brainstorm new ideas for publications with clients and enjoys the variety of projects that come through UMC.
  • Crystal is a great source when questions arise regarding University Identity Standards.
  • A self-described “design nerd,” she finds herself picking up publications from a variety of different places (to read and critique).

Digital Services

Joel Vertin
"Just Go with It!"

Joel C. Vertin

  • Director of Digital Services

Areas of Expertise

  • Content Management Theory
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Digital Analytics
  • Web Accessibility

About Joel

  • Leading a web marketing revolution at Michigan Tech
  • Serves on the HighEdWeb Association Membership Committee
  • Is a Michigan Tech alumnus from Laurium
Gail Sweeting
"Simple design, intense content."
—Edward R. Tufte

Gail Sweeting

  • Digital Content Manager

About Gail

  • She helps departments prepare their website copy for migration to the University’s content management system.
  • She trains department web liaisons to maintain their websites in CMS and guides them in establishing a schedule for updating their sites.
  • She is an original member of the UMC web team.
Alexander Hughes

Alexander Hughes

  • Digital Services Technical Manager

About Alexander

  • He is a Michigan Tech Alumnus from Hancock.
  • He is the programming and technical lead for the University’s content management system (CMS).
  • He is an avid golfer, enjoys curling, watches many many movies, and would like to visit Scotland someday.
Becky Barnard

Becky Barnard

  • Digital Services Specialist II

About Becky

  • She assists in project management and web marketing and social media strategy.
  • She represents several areas within the administration side of the university regarding content management system (CMS) services, including the Graduate School, Career Services, and the Great Lakes Research Center.
  • She enjoys hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and biking around the Keweenaw, and lounging with a book on her couch.
Megan Ross

Megan Ross

  • Digital Services Coordinator

Areas of Expertise

  • CMS, Events Calendar, and Blog Training
  • System Documentation
  • Customer Service

About Megan

  • She is a Michigan Tech alum from Houghton.
  • She creates documentation and provides training for the content management system (CMS), blog system, and events calendar.
  • She manages help requests and oversees the student team.
  • She enjoys reading, camping, and spending time with her family.
Heather Dunne

Heather Dunne

  • Digital Services Specialist I

About Heather

  • Represents the College of Sciences and Arts (CSA) regarding content management system (CMS) services.
  • She assists with webpage development, maintaining news blogs and event calendars, and CMS training for CSA departmental liaisons.
  • She enjoys quilting, knitting, gaming, hiking, movies, reading, and spending time with her pets.

Social Media

Shannon Rinkinen
"So have your wits about you and dig in."
—Ethel Kennedy

Shannon Rinkinen

  • Brand Manager

About Shannon

  • Writes, edits, and shares Michigan Tech's stories across print, digital, and social
  • Works across UMC and campus to infuse on-brand tone and style in external marketing pieces
  • Shuttles kids to and from dance and hockey most evenings and weekends (and loves every second of it!)
Cyndi Perkins

Cyndi Perkins

  • Feature Writer

About Cyndi

  • The former Daily Mining Gazette journalist and editor hails from Houghton and has written for a variety of international, national and regional publications.
  • She co-creates, writes and edits content for the University’s myriad forms of new media, including websites, blogs and other outreach across departments, for new and existing members of the Michigan Tech community.
  • She is a sailor who enjoys Yoga, social media, gardening, and anything near the water. The debut novelist looks forward to writing more books.
Becky Barnard

Becky Barnard

  • Digital Services Specialist II

About Becky

  • She assists in project management and web marketing and social media strategy.
  • She represents several areas within the administration side of the university regarding content management system (CMS) services, including the Graduate School, Career Services, and the Great Lakes Research Center.
  • She enjoys hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and biking around the Keweenaw, and lounging with a book on her couch.
Ben Jaszczak

Ben Jaszczak

  • Multimedia Specialist

Photography and Video

Sarah Bird

Sarah Bird

  • Photographer
Ben Jaszczak

Ben Jaszczak

  • Multimedia Specialist

News and Media Relations

Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan

  • Director of News and Media Relations

Her Beats

  • Administration/Executive Team/Board of Trustees
  • Policy and Funding Issues
  • Research Centers and Institutes
  • International Programs & Services
  • Graduate School

About Jenn

  • Her specialties include working with local, regional, national and special-interest news media.
  • She is skilled at finding and developing University news and research stories and interesting the news media in covering them.
  • She maintains the University Experts Guide.
  • She is a former newspaper reporter and magazine writer.
  • She enjoys reading detective stories and science fiction novels.
Mark Wilcox

Mark Wilcox

  • News Writer

His Beats

  • VPA, Humanities, Cognitive & Learning Sciences, Social Sciences
  • CDI/Diversity
  • K-12/Youth Programs
  • Student Activities/Student Affairs/Financial Aid/Advancement
  • ROTC
Allison Mills

Allison Mills

  • Director of Research News

Her Beats

  • Sciences, Engineering and Technology
  • School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science

About Allison

  • She focuses on writing new stories about Michigan Tech research -- everything from robotic prostheses to mesocosms to the physics of raindrops.
  • A University of Montana graduate, she earned a master's degree in environmental science and natural resource journalism, which built on her bachelor's in geoscience from Northland College.
  • She also teaches dance through the Student Development Complex's community programs.
  • She's a radio geek.
Stefanie Sidortsova

Stefanie Sidortsova

  • Director of Communications and Public Relations

About Stefanie

  • Stefanie leads UMC's communications strategy and serves as a special assistant for state relations endeavors.
  • Her professional background includes experience in law, government relations, higher education administration, and creative writing.
  • She earned her law degree at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, her master's in creative writing from the University of Cambridge, and her bachelor’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  • She enjoys spending time her family and moonlights as fiction writer and editor.
Kelley Christensen

Kelley Christensen

  • Science and Technology Publications Writer

About Kelley

  • She writes university research stories and articles for university publications.
  • She studied news-editorial journalism and American literature at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds a master's in technical communication from Montana Tech. She is pursuing her doctorate in environmental policy at Michigan Tech. 
  • Her career includes writing for small-town newspapers in Montana and working as a public information officer, an events coordinator, and science editor for an IEEE publication, Earthzine.
  • She enjoys hiking and cross-country skiing with her family, reading voraciously, crocheting, and exploring the Keweenaw.
Cyndi Perkins

Cyndi Perkins

  • Feature Writer

About Cyndi

  • The former Daily Mining Gazette journalist and editor hails from Houghton and has written for a variety of international, national and regional publications.
  • She co-creates, writes and edits content for the University’s myriad forms of new media, including websites, blogs and other outreach across departments, for new and existing members of the Michigan Tech community.
  • She is a sailor who enjoys Yoga, social media, gardening, and anything near the water. The debut novelist looks forward to writing more books.

Print Services

Rodney Thompson

Rodney Thompson

  • Manager of Print and Mail Services
Arlene Collins

Arlene Collins

  • Print Production Specialist

About Arlene

  • She has worked for University Marketing and Communications for over 25 years.
  • She prepares publications for the printer and coordinates specialized variable data mailings in conjunction with Mail Services.
Mark Kastamo

Mark Kastamo

  • Print Specialist
Mark Kiilunen

Mark Kiilunen

  • Print Production Specialist I

Mail Services

Rodney Thompson

Rodney Thompson

  • Manager of Print and Mail Services
John LeMay

John LeMay

  • Mail Services Specialist
Jesse Garrow

Jesse Garrow

  • Mail Services Specialist
Sandra Houle

Sandra Houle

  • Mail Services Specialist