University Relations Staff

The Office of University Relations serves as the central communications office for the university. In this role, the office serves as the primary link to the press and media on all communications fronts and coordinates university-wide promotional efforts. The office coordinates all campus-wide press releases, produces online W&M News features and videos for William & Mary's website. The office works to promote and celebrate the work of faculty, staff and students and to promote the overall vision, mission and message of William & Mary.

University Relations staff work on a beat system, with each individual working primarily with assigned departments and program areas. These beats (outlined below) are meant to identify a contact person, or liaison, within University Relations for the various units, departments and offices on campus. This person may not cover or write all stories on their beat but does serve as the initial contact within the office for the departments listed below. While we believe it is important to establish relationships between University Relations staff and each academic and administrative department, a variety of circumstances beyond our control (such as media queries and breaking news) may require us to work across beats. In addition, there are some beats, such as campus events (Commencement, Charter Day, etc.), that we all share. You should feel free to contact any member of the staff with your news, story idea or request for publicity. If you don't know whom to contact, send an email to [[bwwhit]].

William & Mary faculty are available to talk with the media on a number of current events topics and issues. To find a faculty expert please email staff at University Relations at [[wmexperts]] or visit our experts directory.

Brian Whitson
Associate Vice President, Communications and University Relations

Brian Whitson757-221-7876
Oversees the day-to-day operations of University Relations and all William & Mary News web content. College spokesperson and lead on administrative announcements, breaking news and press queries.

BEAT: Breaking News, Media Requests, Emergency Management and Response, College Administration, William & Mary Board of Visitors, Virginia Government and Politics, General Higher Education Issues, University Policies and Procedures, University Development, Office of Admission

Suzanne Seurattan
Director of News and Media

Lead on pitching and marketing faculty, students and programs to local, national, international and new media. Also serves as backup spokesperson and contact for press queries.

BEAT: National Media Outreach, Government, Economics, Public Policy, Economic Development and Business Innovation, School of Law, Institute of Bill of Rights Law, The Center for Public Policy Research, Schroeder Center for Health Policy, Historic Campus, Swem Library and William & Mary Police Department

Joseph M. McClain
Director of Research Communications

Editor of Ideation magazine. Serves as lead on research-related stories, especially those involving the natural sciences.

BEAT: Faculty/Student Research, Environmental Science/Keck Lab, Applied Science, Computer Science, Center for Conservation Biology, Center for Archeological Research, Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Geology, Jefferson Lab -- Applied Research Center (ARC), Neuroscience, Linguistics

David Williard
Director of Multimedia News

Coordinates development and production of multimedia news content for University Relations, including special video packages such as faculty features and the Book of the Month. Also manages video coverage of campus-wide events, programs and research featuring faculty, staff and students.

BEAT: Video News Features

Erin Zagursky
University News Manager

Serves as primary writer for major events and general assignment. Also coordinates University Relations social network sites and has lead on web posting of news stories and photos.

BEAT: Civic Engagement, School of Education, Psychology, the Center for Student Diversity, Africana Studies, Student Activities, Music, Theatre, Speech & Dance, Military Science, Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Diversity Committee, Information Technology

Jim Ducibella
Communications Specialist

Serves as a writer for the William & Mary News website, including general assignment and beat coverage.

BEAT: Campus Life, Scholar Athletes, Reves Center, International Relations, Kinesiology, the Charles Center, English, History, American Studies, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Cortney Langley
Communications Specialist

Serves as a writer for the William & Mary News website, including general assignment and beat coverage.

BEAT: Art & Art History, Muscarelle Museum of Art, Philosophy, Modern Languages and Literatures, and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies. Also serves as the University Relations liaison with the business school's communications office.

Justin K. Thomas
Media Placement Specialist

Justin K. Thomas757-221-2011
Works with the Director of News & Media pitching faculty, students and programs to the news media with a focus on national print and broadcast placements. Also serves as a writer for the William & Mary News website.

BEAT: Sociology, Film Studies, Religious Studies, Classical Studies, Literary and Cultural Studies, Medieval & Renaissance Studies

Alisa Whitehead
Public Relations and Marketing Specialist

Coordinates daily distribution of clips, office support, media tracking and management of University Relations archives.

BEAT: Dean's List, Crime Log, Media Tracking, Daily Clips