College of Communication > About > Alumni > Alumni Profiles By Program > Communication Studies Alumni

Communication Studies Alumni

Here are a few of our recent alumni and information on what they have been working on since graduating from the Communication Studies major. Their experiences after college go to show the wide range of work to which study in communication studies can lead.

Cien Keilty-Lucas

Cien graduated from DePaul in 2007 with a BA in Communication and Culture† and a passion for serving others. In 2009 he earned a MS from Tulane's school of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with a concentration in International Development and Disaster Response. Soon after, he left for Ethiopia as a short-term volunteer only to immerse himself in an enriching career in East Africa. Over the course of the last five years Cien has worked with multiple international NGO's to empower rural farming communities through building schools, as well managing community-based health and education programming. He has recently returned to the U.S. to take the position as the director of operations for the Uganda focused humanitarian NGO Building Tomorrow.

Leeann Hepler

Leeann received her BA in Communication Studies and Women's and Gender Studies (in DePaul's College of Liberal Arts and Social Science) in 2014. Her time at DePaul provided her with the framework and skill set to advocate for women and girls. DePaul's location in a large urban environment gave Leeann the opportunity to become deeply involved in multiple yoga and feminists communities and organizations. In her final year at DePaul, she started teaching for Smarty Pants Yoga, a girl-power, reading, and yoga program. She currently works as the Development Manager for the company. Leeann credits DePaul for her ability to critically think and problem-solve in a leadership position, along with the skills to develop and maintain community partnerships. She is also incredibly grateful for the support of many outstanding professors at DePaul who inspired her to think critically about the world around her.

Diane Nititham

Diane graduated with a BA in Communication and Culture† in 2002. She also earned her MA in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education from DePaul and holds a PhD in Sociology from University College Dublin. Diane credits her communication degree with solidifying her concern for social welfare and fostering a desire to achieve social justice through teaching. She is an assistant professor at National Louis University and also teaches courses as an adjunct in the College of Communication at DePaul, which she says is "like coming home." Her research areas include the intersections of diaspora, race/ethnicity, migration; transnational social practices; and feminist critiques of home and belonging. Her co-edited volume, Heritage, Diaspora and the Consumption of Culture: Movements in Irish Landscapes (Ashgate 2014) examines the cultural, material, and symbolic enactments of Irish migration relationships from the medieval period through to the contemporary post-Celtic Tiger era. She is currently working on a book entitled "Making Home in Diasporic Communities: Power, Gender and Belonging amongst Filipina Migrants" (Ashgate forthcoming).

Joe Ruskusky

Joe is a customer development specialist at Gordon Food Service where he is responsible for $6 million dollars worth of business. Since graduating in 2011 he has won three Winners Circles, two Gold Clubs and was recently named 2014 Gordon Food Service Person of the Year. Joe prides himself on growing his business as well as growing relationships with his customers, whether that is negotiating with vendors to broker a contract or consulting on new restaurant openings. Joe credits his degree from DePaul with helping him develop his career at Gordon and being able to show value to every customer he works with.

Julia Sparkman

A proud Double Demon, Julia received her BA in Communication Studies in 2011 and her MA in Multicultural and Organizational Communication in 2013. Julia credits DePaul for her capacity to thrive in dynamic, unconventional environments and in positions that require both emotional intelligence and critical thinking. Her ability to analyze and execute competing projects simultaneously was ignited by DePaul's intimate class sizes and accelerated quarter-system. During graduate school, Julia received her 200 HR Yoga Alliance certification and began teaching for CorePower Yoga. The theory and practical experience she gained in school provided the necessary skills to join CorePower's leadership team and to receive multiple promotions and relocation to San Diego, California. Julia recently joined the acclaimed team at Underground Elephant as the Client Success Manager. Outside the office, Julia relentlessly pursues her passion for health, service, and travel.

Michelle Tasevski

Michelle is currently the Corporate Trainer at Addison Group, a national search firm with 17 offices nationwide and over 500 employees. Her role focuses on creating new professional development programs that address the dynamic and ever-changing needs of the employment industry. She is also an adjunct instructor in the College of Communication, teaching ORGC 201: Business and Professional Communication. Prior to joining Addison Group, Michelle was at a global consulting firm in a hybrid sales and training role. She graduated with her BA in Communication and Culture† in 2008 and then went back to school while working full-time to earn her MA in Multicultural and Organizational Communication, graduating in 2012. Her experiences at DePaul have helped to create a solid network of connections within Chicago and a framework for thinking critically from a communications perspective.


†The Communication Studies program was previously known as the Communication and Culture program.