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Office of Communications

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Michele Sparks 
Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Michele joined the communications department at Transylvania University in August 2014. She came to Transylvania after nine years at the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business & Economics where she was the director of communications for the College. In addition to her work at UK, she has also worked as the communications director at Asbury Theological Seminary where she revamped the Seminary's branding efforts for their three main campuses. In her spare time, Michele teaches Jazzercise classes at a fitness studio in Nicholasville, Ky. And when she's not teaching class you can find her cheering her son onto victory at his high school basketball games.

Lee Boone
Web Developer/Designer


John Friedlein 
Communications Specialist & Social Media Manager/Writer

John is the social media manager and a writer for Transylvania—and you’ll often see him snapping pictures around campus. He joined the communications staff after working as a newspaper reporter for 13 years. While at the Elizabethtown News-Enterprise, he wrote a front-page feature column with an eye for the unusual. A big fan of Japanese culture, he sells origami flowers at a Louisville gallery. John earned a B.A. from the University of Louisville.

Barbara Grinnell 
Graphic Designer 

Barbara has been Transylvania's graphic designer since she joined the staff in 1998. She designs all the print pieces produced by the publications department and helps other departments with signs, banners, ads, logos, e-cards, electronic displays, etc. She is a member of the small but proud Transylvania Mac community, and a reader and gardener in her non-work hours. Born in Miami, she also lived for many years in Philadelphia, where she earned a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and Berkeley, Calif., before moving to Lexington.

Robin Hicks 
Part-time Marketing/PR Writer and Consultant

Following an early life in classical music, Robin branched out to earn a Master of Letters from Oxford University and a B.A. with honors in English from the University of Louisville. She has enjoyed a liberal artsy professional life, that is to say rich and varied: working as a professional violinist, in publishing, documentary production, marketing and development. She has worked in Mexico City, London, New York and Louisville. The part-time position in the communications office is her happy entrée into her new community of Lexington, Ky.

Julie Martinez 
Assistant Director of Marketing

Julie joined the communications staff in 2014 as assistant director of communications and marketing. She oversees all projects and is the person to contact if you need communications services. She most recently worked at the University of Kentucky producing documentaries and other multimedia projects for the College of Engineering. Prior to her time at UK she worked for a marketing firm and owned a small media production company focused on non-profit communication. She is originally from Kentucky, but spent nearly a decade in Los Angeles before returning to Lexington. Outside of work she enjoys traveling with her family, hosting international students, documentary filmmaking and home winemaking.

Tyler Young 
Communications Specialist: Marketing and Writing
Tyler has played a couple different roles at Transylvania since 2010, when he came to the communications office after two years as a newspaper reporter. He currently serves as communications specialist in marketing. When he's not at Transylvania, you can most likely find Tyler watching Reds baseball, visiting local craft breweries or being a struggling musician as a bass player for bands around Lexington. And if you're awake early enough, you just might see him making donuts and espresso drinks at North Lime Coffee and Donuts on Sixth Street. He graduated from Asbury University with a double major in journalism and Spanish.

Office of Communications

300 N. Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508
Old Morrison, 3rd Floor