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Transylvania University shares its story with a number of audiences through the work of the Office of Communications. The team of professionals promotes Transylvania, its people, programs, and achievements through media relations, print publications, digital media, video, photography, and advertising.

  • Michele Sparks

    Michele Sparks
    Vice President for Marketing and Communications
    (859) 233-8236

    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.

  • Adam Brown

    Adam Brown
    Lead Designer
    (859) 233-8244

    Adam joined the Transylvania Communications staff as lead designer in 2014. He provides leadership for the creative process in the Department for all marketing materials using multiple mediums and delivery technologies. Prior to working at Transy, Adam served as the Assistant Director of Admission for Communication at his alma mater—Centre College—where he received top recognition for his work from the American Advertising Awards and the Premier Print Awards.

  • John Friedlein

    John Friedlein
    Communications Specialist & Social Media Manager/Writer
    (859) 281-3615

    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

    Barbara Grinnell
    Graphic Designer
    (859) 281-3618

    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

    Robin Hicks
    Part-time Marketing/PR Writer and Consultant
    (502) 645-3500

    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

    Julie Martinez
    Assistant Director of Marketing
    (859) 281-3617

    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.

  • Mariana Shochat

    Mariana Shochat
    Web Development Manager
    (859) 281-3688

    As a small college's web developer, Mariana wears many hats: designer, coder, navigation architect, database administrator, and project manager. When she comes across a rare chunk of spare time, Mariana likes to read and get her hands dirty with gardening. Japanese graphics, classic guitar music, clever humor, and Rainier cherries inspire her. Mariana was born in Ukraine, former USSR, where she earned her bachelor's degree. She has lived in the United States since 1995 and joined Transylvania's staff in 2003.

  • Tyler Young

    Tyler Young
    Communications Specialist: Marketing and Writing
    (859) 233-8120
    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 and as adviser for the Rambler, Transylvania's weekly student newspaper. 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.

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