Front page feature story about 64-year-old graduate

tn-tn-dpt-me-0529-brandman-grad-2-jpg-20160528Reporter Alex Chan, who writes for the LA Times and Daily Pilot, visited the 2016 Southern California Commencement ceremony for Brandman University for this story and feature photos about a 64-year-old graduate who has had quite the journey:


CBS-LA feature on commencement speaker

It was a pleasure to work with reporter Laurie Perez on this feature for CBS News in Los Angeles. Laurie visited the Brandman University Southern California commencement ceremony because of a graduate from the Santa Maria campus. Monica Careyette went from rock bottom to college graduate, and shared her deeply personal story as the student speaker, with the compassionate judge who changed her life by her side. The single mom overcame addiction to thrive and turn her life around.

This 64-year-old is about to graduate from college

From prison to purpose: Joe Blackburn proves it’s never too late in life.Joe-croopped-400x331

Statistically speaking, Joe Blackburn probably shouldn’t be here talking to me on this spring afternoon in Santa Clarita, Calif. But, as he’s proven through an unwavering commitment to finishing a bachelor’s degree at Brandman University, he is determined not to be just another statistic.

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From rock bottom to college grad: Monica’s story

Monica Careyette rose from the depths of addiction and got her life back on track thanks to a compassionate judge. It has not been easy for the single mother who works full time, but in May she’ll be realizing the dream of a bachelor’s degree in sociology from nonprofit Brandman University. This is her story.

A special video for Valentine’s Day

We set up a camera in the lobby at the Brandman University central administration building in Irvine and asked students, faculty and staff “what do you love about Brandman” for this special video in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

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Help wanted: education career events draw hundreds

Brandman University partnered with county education offices and school districts from across the state to host education-focused career events like the one in San Diego that is featured in my story this week (video above). The Brandman campuses in Antelope Valley, Irvine, Modesto, Ontario, Roseville, Santa Maria, Visalia, Walnut Creek and Yuba City held career fairs on Saturday where hundreds of Brandman students, alumni and job seekers from the community turned out. The Palm Desert campus hosted a similar career expo on Thursday evening, and the Fairfield campus is hosting its event this Saturday.

New Year’s Resolutions Campaign for 2016

I partnered with Nielsen Media Research to conduct a Harris Poll (on behalf of Brandman University) regarding New Year resolutions for 2016. The survey results were shared with news media across the country via an online newsroom. News stories about the poll conducted for Brandman University ran on more than 200 television stations in the U.S., numerous radio stations and was even mentioned in newspapers such as the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, and the Sacramento Bee & Modesto Bee newspapers. I made live TV appearances on “Good Morning San Diego”, “Good Day Sacramento,” “Good Morning Arizona”, and was interviewed on radio talk shows including KOMO in Seattle, WCBS in New York City and KNX radio in Los Angeles.


Why aren’t more working adults pursuing a college degree? New survey reveals insight into barriers

Brandman University surveyAs employers demand better-educated staff, the job world is changing for both traditional and nontraditional students while barriers grow larger for those not pursuing a degree. In a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Brandman University, 63 percent of employed adults who don’t have a bachelor’s degree, and are not pursing one, cite tuition and textbook costs as the biggest barriers, followed by 37 percent who say they don’t have time to pursue a degree, while 27 percent believe they are “too old” to work towards a bachelor’s degree.

Why currently employed adult workers are not pursuing a bachelor’s degree [Read more…]

How did you get that national news coverage?

IMG_5817Here’s how I landed a story that ran on 107 different T.V. stations across the U.S. and made CBS This Morning: a media relations case study.

One might think that in today’s hyper-connected world, getting media attention is easier than ever before. It’s actually quite the opposite. The news cycle is bustling with world affairs, politics, crime and a seemingly never-ending onslaught of drastic weather events in the U.S. Moreover, PR people far outnumber journalists today, more so than at any time in the past. And, let’s be honest, many of these PR people are not adept at with the news media.  [Read more…]

National buzz about Brandman University

MyPath, Brandman’s new competency-based bachelor’s program where students earn a bachelor’s degree entirely on an iPad, made a lot of headlines this week. A story with CBS News reporter Chris Martinez, featuring an interview with Chancellor Gary Brahm and student Colin Grieg, landed on CBS This Morning and was aired on over 100 local CBS affiliates across the United States. In all, the story was seen by more than 10 million people. Below you’ll find clips from some of the markets where Brandman University operates in California, and Seattle.

70-year-old graduates college, a lifelong dream

Labor of Love

I spent the morning on Labor Day this year with my friends at Good Day Sacramento for two live in-studio segments about the teacher shortage in California, and an exciting new program launching at Brandman University. Check out the clips below.




The cool, modern way to attend college

First-of-its-kind, online program is providing affordable access to higher education that is specifically designed to prepare students to meet the challenges of today’s business environment. 

For many adults looking to further their careers, fall is the time when they explore their back-to-school options. They recognize the complex challenges of juggling family, a job that may not be fulfilling or offer upward mobility, and tight finances. Those who want to get back to college and earn a bachelor’s degree now have the most modern way to attend at their fingertips with a just-released app called MyPath, an innovative platform from nonprofit Brandman University. More than two years in the making, the first-of-its-kind online program represents an entirely new path to a bachelor’s degree, allowing students to earn an accredited degree at a fraction of the cost.

Key features of MyPath include:
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Hundreds Flock to Sacramento Valley Career Event

The Folsom Community Center was bustling with activity on Friday as more than 600 hopeful job seekers came to meet with some 65 companies looking to hire at the Tri-County Job Fair. They could connect directly with recruiters, tap into resources for the unemployed and even get a free professional photo for that perfect LinkedIn profile. Staff from the Brandman University campus in Roseville helped organize the event and I was there with the Brandman news crew was for this video story.

Live on Good Day: Tips for Job Seekers

It was a pleasure to be back on Good Day Sacramento discussing the Tri-County Job Fair and providing tips for viewers.

Behaviorism: a new hope for autism

The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the U.S. has grown to nearly epidemic proportions over the past decade. Parents of children with autism, who are also educators, share personal & professional experiences with autism spectrum disorder in this video news story. Expert faculty also discuss applied behavior analysis as a viable treatment for parents and teachers.

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California needs more teachers

The Brandman University School of Education is prepared to help California as the state braces for a shortage of teachers. The biggest demand is for substitute teachers. Dr. Christine Zeppos, Dean, discusses the issues facing California and how Brandman is poised to make an impact.

Video Blog: Early childhood education in national spotlight

Decades of research have proven that quality, age-appropriate early childhood education (ECE) programs, especially during the first five years of life, have tremendous positive ripple effects in the lives of Americans. Yet, the country ranks as low as 28th in the world when it comes to access to ECE programs (commonly called preschool), according to the U.S. Department of Education. It’s an issue that the Obama administration is addressing with a new initiative, and the President called it “one of the best investments we can make as a nation.”

For this video story, I interviewed Brandman University faculty and other experts to discuss the importance of this renewed focus on ECE and why it matters.

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What is brand journalism?

brand journalism People today are inundated with advertising. So much so that they (both consciously and subconsciously) filter messaging conveyed by ads. Estimates of just how many advertising messages the average American sees everyday ranges wildly, as Forbes contributor Jason DeMers observes “Increasingly, marketers are finding that offering more – more copy, more complexity, more information – isn’t working like it once did. With estimates that the average American sees anywhere from 250 to several thousand ads or marketing messages every day, there’s simply no way to keep pace if your strategy is to be ‘bigger and louder’. Instead, brands need to think strategically about how to stand out amidst the clutter.”

The public relations industry developed in large part to accomplish that for brands through news coverage and other exposure. With today’s modern audience being more fragmented than ever before, using brand journalism is a strategic way to stand out. If done well, it will engage your key audiences and provide ideal strategic content for social media.

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California Needs More Teachers

JOB ALERT: I’m hiring! GREAT opportunity to join an awesome organization.

now hiringThere are three fantastic opportunities for communication professionals to join my team at Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System in Irvine, California. Brandman is a private, non-profit institution where I was recently appointed Vice Chancellor of Communications and Chief Communications Officer. Brandman serves some 12,000 working adult and military students across the country with 26 campus locations in California and Washington, and nationally through the online campus. In addition to competitive salaries, the benefits at Brandman are phenomenal, including a generous paid holiday schedule, retirement planning & medical benefits – but perhaps most important is the tuition waiver for employees: you could earn a graduate degree while working full time at almost no cost! WOW!

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How to do a live interview on a morning TV show

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a guest on a morning TV news show? Experts are often asked to come on-air to share advice with viewers, and doing live interviews is a great way for your organization to get exposure, or to promote a public event. Live interviews are the most challenging for novice spokespeople because there is no editing – it is live television. Last year I was on Good Day Sacramento several times and my friend Gus shot this behind-the-scenes video during one interview:

As you can see, there is a lot happening in the studio. To give a good live interview, you must prepare ahead of time, practice what you’re going to say and focus on the anchor during the interview so the things happening around you are not a distraction. Some tips on giving live interviews include:

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CBS Los Angeles – feature about inspiring student

To view original story visit:

Bryan Fazio’s Story

When I first heard about Brandman University student Bryan Fazio, I couldn’t believe it. Then, I met him and had the honor of helping him tell his story. He is a 25-year-old Navy veteran. You need to watch this piece I produced about him – it is amazing! Co-produced with Gustav Deutsch and videography direction by Eric Smith.

Bryan, you are a true inspiration!

Video Tribute to Class of 2013

My latest video producing – I used footage from the various commencement ceremonies we filmed this year and set it to a modern remixed version of ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ for this short piece to share via social media channels.

My latest video blog: Brandman Commencement in Sacramento

Feature at Brandman University commencement in Sacramento

Using Social Media in Your Job Search

I had the pleasure of working with KMIR (NBC 6) reporter Jessica Fores on this story about using social media for job seekers.

New Year’s Resolutions to go back to school? Here’s some advice

Happy New Year! I have launched a new blog on Brandman Hub and was thrilled to be live in-studio on Good Day Sacramento to talk about it.


Brandman’s Online MBA Program Makes Honor Roll and Online Graduate Education Faculty Ranked Top Ten

Brandman University’s online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program was one of fourteen named to the Honor Roll in the first-ever edition of Top Online Education Program rankings by U.S.News & World Report. Brandman University is the only institution in California to receive this distinction. In addition, Brandman’s School of Education earned the number ten spot among Faculty Credentials and Training for online graduate programs in Education.

Online bachelor’s degree programs as well as graduate online degree programs in business, engineering, nursing, education, and computer information technology were ranked. These rankings were created in response to today’s high demand for education provided in a flexible manner. With many distractions to detract from one’s schooling, online education has become increasingly popular due to its flexibility.

“U.S.News & World Report’s decision to include online programs in their rankings finally allows students the opportunity for an objective way to measure the quality of a program. These results represent the diligent efforts by the School of Business and Professional Studies and the School of Education and all of our Advising and One Stop staff who are dedicated to giving online students the same level of support as we provide to our on-campus students,” said Gary Brahm, Chancellor, Brandman University.

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