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Department Profile: Meet the Communications and Marketing Team

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry Communications and Marketing Team strives to promote the School's research and education excellence through a variety of communications vehicles. Through news releases, print and digital communications, social media, advertising and community events, the department aims to enhance the reputation of the School locally, nationally and globally.

The Communications and Marketing Team is a dedicated group of talented individuals. Each member of the team contributes their expertise to communicate with the School in a number of different ways.

Jennifer Parraga, Director of Communications and Marketing, is focused on strategically mapping out the communications and marketing strategy for the school.

When she arrived in her position 2.5 years ago she was pleased to see the interest in communications and the direction it was heading. “The departments and programs have really welcomed the new communications and marketing team with open arms. We have changed things a fair bit, and it is gratifying to see the response and interest in the work that we have done,” said Parraga.

Parraga works closely with Emily Leighton, Jessica McGaw and Kristin Tate, Communications Coordinators; Crystal MacKay, Senior Media Relations Officer; Narmata Naguleswaran, Web Development Clerk; Laura Newton, Events Coordinator; and Paige Mastalerz, Communications Assistant. Each team member carries out a specific role to implement communication tactics throughout the School.

Aside from working closely together to create and share digital communications; stories and profiles of faculty, staff, alumni and students; social media; and printed pieces with the school, Emily Leighton, Jessica McGaw and Kristin Tate, Communications Coordinators, each bring their own individual talents to the team.

Leighton is a talented writer, and her story-telling ability shares the School’s messages and profiles in a creative and engaging way. Her work with the YouME Blog at the School helps to increase student engagement and keep students in the loop.

McGaw is responsible for many of the graphic design pieces throughout the School. She works to satisfy the important link between written communication and visually appealing communication pieces. Her designs provide the unity and consistency that a large brand like Schulich Medicine & Dentistry requires.

Tate is an expert with digital media. She uses social media and digital vehicles to actively engage with a variety of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry audiences. The School’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are a daily source of information for faculty, alumni, staff, students and the general community. These digital communications provide yet another outlet for the team to promote the School’s visibility and initiatives.

Crystal Mackay recently moved from Communications Coordinator into the role of Senior Media Relations Officer. In her role, she coordinates all of the interactions with external media outlets, including print publications, radio and television news.

“Continuing to position ourselves in the local, national and international media as leaders on the cutting-edge of medical education and research is one of the best ways to continue to raise and promote the School’s profile on a wide-scale,” Mackay explains.

Mackay is also a talented photographer and videographer. She is often called upon to take editorial photos for the School’s various internal and external publications. She has also shot and edited many promotional and internal videos, including the Dean’s Video Newsletters and the Profiles of Excellence series.

Narmata Naguleswaran, Web Development Clerk, works alongside Tate to carry out the web re-development project for the School. She works to design new webpage layouts, populate webpages with content, provide ongoing web assistance to users and test the new sites for quality and compatibility. The web re-development project is a huge undertaking that is providing more consistent and user friendly websites for all departments throughout the School.

Laura Newton, Events Coordinator, plans and executes many of the School’s events. From the Faculty & Staff BBQ to The Homecoming Dean’s Gala, she manages to coordinate all the logistics of the School’s events in order to create a memorable experience for all those attending. These events help to unite the internal and external audiences of the School.

And finally, Paige Mastalerz, Communications Assistant, works to keep the team organized, processes swag orders and assists with distributing various printed communications materials.

Providing communications and marketing to thousands of people on a daily basis is not a small undertaking by any means. The team is devoted to raising the profile of the School and works tirelessly to provide faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community at large with engaging stories, events and digital media.

“We have made great strides as a School in our work in communications and marketing. There’s still much more that we are excited to work on and share, but I believe we are well on our way to achieving our own goals and helping the School to achieve its vision,” said Parraga.