StratCom Staff

Digital Strategy and Development

Kalee's portrait
Kalee Ackerman Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications 217-244-5467

As the Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications, Kalee Ackerman collaborates with various campus departments to develop and execute effective marketing strategies. With over a decade of experience in higher education, she has held roles in undergraduate affairs, admissions, and advancement, providing her with a comprehensive understanding of the student experience journey. Beyond the office, Kalee dedicates her time shuttling her kids to and from sporting events. During rare moments of leisure, she indulges in the satisfaction of tackling a DIY home project.

Kelly Birky's portrait
Kelly Birky Senior Associate Director 217-265-8000

Kelly assists colleges and units across campus in developing their marketing and recruitment strategies. She is passionate about driving impactful campaigns and fostering meaningful connections. Kelly is a proud two-time alumna of the University of Illinois and has special interests in online education, market research, and marketing analytics. When she's not immersed in data and strategy, you'll find her spending quality time with her family or diving into a good book.

Taylor Dent Social and Digital Strategist 217-333-4421

Taylor Dent is the social and digital strategist, assisting with the organic and paid digital campaigns for the university-level social media accounts. She enjoys telling colorful stories using multimedia. Outside of managing her small photography company, Taylor is an avid reader and loves snuggling her baby boy.

Sydney Flowers Front End Web Developer 217-333-6022

Sydney is an adept web developer who is passionate about building visually stunning and user-friendly websites that prioritize accessibility and inclusivity. Her expertise in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, combined with her keen eye for design, allows her to create exceptional web experiences that balance aesthetics and intuitive functionality. When she's not coding, Sydney can often be found teaching her dog, Bebop, new tricks, pranking her husband or making a latte. Whether she's working on a complex web project or spending time with her friends and family, Sydney approaches everything she does with dedication, creativity and a deep sense of compassion.

Michelle Frazier's portrait
Michelle Frazier Senior Designer 217-332-5677

Michelle Frazier is a strategic design specialist who loves to collaborate with units across campus to develop the university brand. She does research, brand development and execution, and helps units across campus adhere to the university brand standards while still retaining their unique identity. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family – usually at a sporting event, cooking and spending time in nature.

Noelle Laghmam's portrait
Noelle Laghmam Marketing and Communications Specialist

As a marketing and communication specialist, Noelle Laghmam helps strategize and execute marketing campaigns for academic programs. Before coming to the University of Illinois, she had a long career as a newspaper reporter. Outside of work, Noelle enjoys finding her way around new and far off places and getting lost in a good book.

Bryan Lin's portrait
Bryan Lin Strategic Design Specialist 217-332-5734

Bryan Lin is a graphic designer who loves to tell stories that capture the attention of his audience through design. He works with the Strategic Communications and Marketing team to elevate the university branding and make sure it’s reflected across campus. Outside of the university, he spends his time playing video games, playing soccer or photographing his experience traveling the world.

David LoSardo portrait
David LoSardo Digital Marketing Specialist 217-244-3488

David LoSardo is an omnichannel advertising professional experienced in media planning, data analysis and research. He strives to achieve university goals and amplify the Illinois brand through efficient campaign execution and creative marketing strategies. Outside of work, he enjoys staying active (recently got into rock climbing), watching horror/sci-fi movies and TV shows and watching sporting events (die-hard college football fan in particular).

Cassidy Marcum Design Specialist 217-244-8531

Cassidy Marcum is a graphic designer and artist who loves to create visually stunning work both in and outside of work. She collaborates on a range of design projects for the Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing. She recently graduated from Illinois and is excited to support the university’s brand in this new position. When she’s not designing or crafting, you can find Cassidy collecting vinyl, testing new recipes, playing board games and pursuing antique malls.

todd mette portrait
Todd Mette Front End Developer 217-244-8901

Todd Mette has always had a passion for web technology and started building websites as a hobby in high school. Working as a developer, he helps keep many websites updated and consistent with the latest standards. He also enjoys collaborating with other professionals at the university to learn more about keeping websites accessible, fast and secure.

Grace Lamb's portrait
Grace O'Malley Lamb Digital Marketing and Media Manager 217-493-8081

Grace Lamb is a digital marketing and media manager who works to develop, execute and optimize digital marketing campaigns and strategies across campus that are aligned with the university brand standards. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and catching up on Bravo TV.

lea peck portrait
Lea Peck Associate Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy 217-300-1720

Lea Peck is the strategic mind behind the @uofillinois social media handles. Whether deciphering algorithms or crafting clever captions, Lea transforms #ILLINOIS stories into captivating narratives that resonate with both the curious and the committed. Outside of work, she enjoys reading (and napping) with her two kittens, exploring new cities in search of the best gluten free pastry and embracing new hobbies on a whim.

Andy Savage Social Media Videographer 217-244-7507

Andy Savage works with the social media team creating short-form video content for the university-level social media accounts. He enjoys capturing campus events and meeting new people. Outside of work, Andy enjoys traveling and exploring the outdoors with his wife Megan and their two dogs Zion and Roo.

August Schiess Director of Digital Strategy and Development 217-300-4181

August Schiess leads the social media, digital marketing, web and design teams for the university. She enjoys working with colleagues to develop and execute digital content to effectively and strategically tell the Illinois story—and helping others do the same. When she’s not checking her phone for notifications, she’s reading, running or finding her next piece of chocolate.

Matt Sharkey's portrait
Matt Sharkey Front End Developer 218-300-8032

Matt Sharkey has been designing and building on the web for over 20 years. As a consultant, he worked closely with educators and non-profits to create sites that engaged audiences and empowered content creators. In his current role as front end developer, he works with units and other developers across campus to make sure that their sites are adaptive, accessible and on-brand.

Michael Vincent Senior Designer 217-300-9938

Michael Vincent is a graphic designer who loves to collaborate on the visual aspect of a wide range of projects. He leads design for StratCom, creating work across teams. Projects include designs for the Chancellor and Provost, the News Bureau and the university-wide social media team. He spends his free time watching bad movies, drawing and listening to way too many podcasts.