2017-18 Member Profiles
Learn more about Communicators Forum members.
January Profile: Stephanie Platteter
What is your current job title and when did you start your current position? Executive Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management, College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CCAPS), June 2001
Where can we find you online? linkedin.com/in/stephanieplatteter
What brought you to your current job? I was working for a start-up company during the dot.com bubble burst and got laid off. I had applied to my current position in anticipation of the layoff. Honestly, I didn't set out to work for the U, but I'm glad it worked out that way!
What is your favorite aspect of your job? The opportunities I have had to create a strong team and progress the level and sophistication of marketing within CCAPS. We are continually pushing the envelope and trying new things.
What excites you about working at the U/your unit? I am honored to work for a mission-driven institution like the U. I am further honored to apply my skills to the College of Continuing and Professional Studies where we help change the lives of students who access programs and courses that fit their goals and their busy lives.
What is your favorite accomplishment at the U, so far? I am happy to say that we have accomplished so much that it is hard to pick just one! But I will say that I am very proud of the professionalism, expertise, and ingenuity of the two teams that I lead: CCAPS Marketing and the CCAPS Information Center. A lot has changed in our world in the last 15 years, but we have built and evolved our expertise, so that we can take advantage of trends.
What advice do you have for communicators at the University of Minnesota? Stand your ground! At the University, the voice of the professional communicator or marketer is often overshadowed by subject matter expertise. However, to tell a good story or truly reach your audience both communications and subject matter expertise are crucial.
What's your hometown and the first place you lived after leaving your hometown? Edina, Minnesota is my hometown. The first place I lived away from there was as a freshman at Iowa State University. After I transferred to the U, graduated, and began working; I lived in many different places around the Twin Cities. I've been back in Edina for the last 15 years, though. I guess you can say I'm a hometown girl!
Favorite book/author and do you prefer paper or e-book? I am an avid reader and have been using an e-reader for several years. However, I'm starting to miss actual books. One of my favorite series is the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. It has great characters and an even better setting/location!
Favorite source of inspiration? Instagram!
Favorite brand? Nordstrom
Favorite food and drink? Definitely coffee--dark roast only please!!
Favorite TV show and movie? Right now I am loving The Crown and Stranger Things!
If I could do it all over again, I would: Travel more including taking time between college and work to explore.
I'm happiest when: This sounds cliche but when I am with good friends and/or family. We go on an annual New Years weekend with close friends, and I always feel relaxed and entertained at the same time!
December Profile: Olivia Lepore
What is your current job title and when did you start your current position? Regional Campaign Coordinator, University of Minnesota Foundation, August 2017
When did you originally start working at the U? December 2012.
Where can we find you online? www.linkedin.com/in/olivialepore
Your hometown and the first place you lived after leaving your hometown? Menasha, Wisconsin; Minneapolis, Minnesota.
What is your favorite aspect of your job? My team! The Regional Development team at UMF is comprised of talented, driven, and fun development professionals.
What advice do you have for communicators at the University of Minnesota? Networking is key when it comes to news, events, and training opportunities. Connecting with people within your unit, with collegiate partners, and externally will help you to succeed as a communicator at the U.
Where is your favorite place on campus? Folwell Hall, exterior. I think it's the most beautiful building on campus.
What is your dream job (besides the one you have!)? Movie trailer creator, pop culture columnist or Broadway performer.
Motto or personal mantra: Slow down.
Favorite book/author and do you prefer paper or e-book? Book: All the Light We Cannot See; Author: Erik Larson; Paper or e-book: paper forever!
Favorite TV show and movie? TV shows: Lost, Friends, Game of Thrones; Movie: It's a Wonderful Life
Favorite musician or band? Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
I'm happiest when: I'm seeing a live musical.
November Profile: Deane Morrison
What is your current job title? Writer/Editor for University Relations
When did you start working at the U? 1981
What is your dream job (besides the one you have!)? Fiction writer
What was your worst or most unusual job? First job was catching and selling crayfish to a bait dealer. Two cents each.
What is your favorite aspect of your job? The best part is getting to know and write about all the wonderful people here, and their work. It's very satisfying to take a complex piece of research and find a metaphor to express what's going on, or otherwise cut through the jargon to reveal the wonder beneath. Turning words into wonder; that's always the idea.
What is your favorite accomplishment at the U, so far? That would be the time when I was in the News Service and was talking to David Lykken, a prominent psychologist who worked on the twin studies, and he told me they had evidence that a person's level of happiness had a genetic component. He was blasé about it, but I got on the phone to a New York Times reporter, and in two weeks the story came out and he was all over the media. A very gratifying result.
What is your best/more amusing U-related memory? Visiting Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, especially Cedar Bog Lake. It's legendary to limnologists, and as an undergrad student in a limnology course I never dreamed one day I'd move to Minnesota and see it.
Where is your favorite place on campus? The bookstore in Coffman. The browsing there is terrific.
Favorite word? Jawohl. It's the only one where I can stick the "l."
Favorite food and drink? White or yellow cake with chocolate frosting/a fine, cold glass of Riesling.
Favorite TV show and movie? TV: The Office (British), Saxondale, Silicon Valley, Bojack Horseman, and Flight of the Conchords. Movie: A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove.
Favorite musician or band? Any good, Irish trad band.
Favorite place on Earth? The Adirondacks.
What do you do for fun? Swim and dive, when I can. And feed my NYT crossword addiction.
People may be surprised to know: I've never texted.
Pet peeves: Misuse of the English language. Unconscious sexism.
Before I die, I would like to: Publish a good piece of fiction.
If I could do it all over again, I would: Do all the same things, only sooner.
September Profile: Katy Olson
What is your current job title and when did you start your current position? Social Media Manager & Digital Marketer in the Office of Institutional Advancement in the College of Liberal Arts
When did you start working at the U? I’ve worked during three different stints at the U starting 16 years ago. I’ve been with CLA for almost two years.
Where can we find you online? www.linkedin.com/in/katyolson
What is your favorite aspect of your job? I like it that I have a nice blend of working with media, content strategy, but also get to do the analytics stuff I geek out over. Advertising has a special spot in my heart because it melds content, design, social science and math.
What advice do you have for communicators at the University of Minnesota? It makes me sad sometimes that “marketing” can be a dirty word around here. There are so many fundamentals of segmentation, content strategy and conversion strategies that work well regardless of your goals or where you work. We just get to use marketing for ideas here mostly, not so much on things. I use principles I learned while doing my MBA and working in industry all the time but I generally don’t discuss my business background.
What do you consider to be a best kept secret about the U? I get to work around and see people I’ve known for many years; including former colleagues, academic mentors, and people whose minds I just flat out admire. The U is like a small town to me and I love that about it. It’s home to me.
What do you do for fun? I cook, garden, walk my dog and I do Olympic and powerlifting.
Motto or personal mantra: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
I’m happiest when: I’ve gotten a good night’s sleep and have a great workout.
People may be surprised to know: That I’m an expert in American Vernacular Dance.