Education and Training

University of South Carolina

Ph.D. in Mass Communications / August 2021 – present
Part-time graduate student researching visual communication

Master of Arts in Mass Communications / August 2018 – May 2021
Completed thesis, Brand New: How Visual Context Shapes Initial Response to Logos and Corporate Visual Identity Systems, in Spring of 2021. Selected as the 2020 Outstanding Master’s Student in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications / August 1993 – May 1997
Major in Advertising and Public Relations. With honors from South Carolina Honors College.

Leadership Columbia

Graduate, Class of 2010
Participated in the Columbia Chamber of Commerce leadership development and community service program.

Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI)

Certification awarded August 2000
Completed 10-course program covering insurance-related topics. Achieved designation “with Distinction” indicating honors.

Design Experience

University of South Carolina

Sr. Associate Director of Visual Branding / February 2022 – present
Associate Director of Visual Branding / August 2017 – February 2022
Associate Director of Creative Services / March 2013 – August 2017
Sets the visual standards for our university-wide marketing and communications efforts. Mentors and advises designers, videographers, photographers and clients. Coordinates rollout of university-wide advertising campaign. Responsible for university brand standards, training campus partners and vendors. Collaborated with partners from all over the University of South Carolina system including executive leadership, development, special events and academic units to meet their strategic needs. Manages designer, staff photographer and videographers. Partners with outside vendors as necessary.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina

Manager of Creative Services / May 2006 – March 2013
Art Director / December 2005 – May 2006
Served as creative director. Managed a large creative team including designers, media buyers, photographers and videographers supporting BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and its 50+ subsidiaries. Worked with clients to determine business needs and collaborated with our team to build creative solutions for marketing, event promotion and internal communications.

Colonial Supplemental Insurance

Art Director / August 2003 – December 2005
Developed print and interactive marketing materials, training guides and publications. Designed and produced print and outdoor brand advertising.

Gasque Marketing and Advertising

Art Director / November 2000 – August 2003
Created print, interactive, video and outdoor solutions for regional and national clients.

Continental American Insurance Group (now AFLAC)

Art Director / May 1997 – November 2000
Planned and designed corporate communications and benefits enrollment materials. Developed print and interactive training guides for voluntary insurance products.

Teaching Experience

University of South Carolina

Adjunct Instructor / School of Visual Art and Design / August 2012 – December 2022
Teaches a senior-level graphic design seminar class focused on portfolio development. Class size varies from 10-20 students. Mentors students and prepares them for the next phase of their career.

Adjunct Instructor / School of Journalism / January 2006 – May 2011
Taught an Journalism 364, a lecture class that served as an introduction to visual communication concepts. Class size varied between 45 and 125 students.


Designasaur / October 2018
Solo show at the Curtis R. Harley Gallery at USC Upstate in Spartanburg, SC featuring selected shirts and artwork from my 52 Shirts project.

Academic Writing


Book Review: Four Shades of Gray: The Amazon Kindle Platform. New Media & Society, 2023.

Conference Papers

AEJMC Detroit 2022
Logo Love? An exploration of American consumers’ critical attitudes towards logos. Presented in August 2022 as part of a paper session at the AEJMC national conference in Detroit, Michigan.

Measuring How Presentational Context and Professional Authorship Affects Credibility Perceptions of News Images. Brian McDermott, Tara Mortensen and Robert Wertz. Presented in August 2022 as part of a paper session at the AEJMC national conference in Detroit, Michigan.

AEJMC Southeast Colloquium 2020
Forgotten Technology, Lasting Impact: The Linotype’s Influence on South Carolina’s Newspapers from 1890-1925. Presented on March 21, 2020 at AEJMC’s Southeast Colloquium, originally scheduled for Memphis, but rescheduled as a virtual conference because of COVID-19.

AEJMC Toronto 2019
Crowdsmashing: A content analysis of Brand New’s branding reviews and reader response. Presented as part of a paper session on August 8, 2019 at the AEJMC conference in Toronto.

Board Service

Mt. Horeb Lutheran Church (Chapin, SC) Congregational Council

Council Member / January 2016 – December 2017
Vice Chair / January 2018 – December 2018
Member of the congregational council. Elected chairperson of council for 2018.

South Carolina Lutheran Retreat Centers

Board Member / November 2004 – June 2010
Board Member / June 2012 – June 2018
Has served as board secretary and chairperson of marketing committee for regional conference and retreat centers.

AIGA South Carolina

Vice President / September 2004 – May 2006
President / May 2006 – May 2008
Special Projects Chair / May 2008 – January 2009
Volunteer / August 2012 – August 2015
Co-President / August 2015 – May 2018
Founding board member for the statewide chapter of the American Institute for Graphic Arts. Planned and promoted continuing education and social programming for South Carolina designers.