August 24, 1998

Contact: Liz Latt

(615) 322-NEWS

News, public affairs pros tapped for VU Media Relations


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Three appointments and a promotion will bring an array of new talents to Vanderbilt University's communications efforts, vice chancellor for media relations Michael Schoenfeld announced today.

The staff changes include the following:

* Thomas Goldsmith, city editor of The Tennessean, has been named senior editor and editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Register;

* Sybril M. Bennett, assignment editor at NewsChannel 5/WTVF and a doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt, has been named senior public affairs officer and special assistant to the vice chancellor;

* Jill Bratina, senior account executive at Ketchum Public Relations in Washington, DC, has been named public affairs officer in the Vanderbilt News Service;

* Beth Fox, editorial assistant in the Media Relations Division, has been promoted to public affairs officer in the Vanderbilt News Service.

"These appointments add to the already considerable expertise at Vanderbilt, giving us one of the most talented public affairs teams in higher education," said Schoenfeld. "We'll be able to do an even better, more creative job of telling Vanderbilt's story on campus, in the community and to the rest of the world."

"I am looking forward to working with each of these individuals. Their talents complement those of the existing staff and will strengthen our media relations efforts," said Elizabeth Latt, director of the Vanderbilt News Service.

Thomas Goldsmith, currently the city editor at The Tennessean, has been appointed senior editor and editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Register, the weekly newspaper of the Vanderbilt community with a circulation of more than 15,000. He will also oversee the editorial content of the Register Online website and Register Express, a weekly e-mail newsletter. A 15-year veteran of the Tennessean, Goldsmith has directed the Nashville daily paper's local coverage since 1995. He's also served as a news reporter, a music/entertainment reporter, and as a regional, state and specialties team editor. As a freelance writer, Goldsmith has contributed to a variety of magazines and books, including the forthcoming "Encyclopedia of Country Music" to be published by Oxford University Press.

Sybril Bennett will be responsible for radio and television programming, speechwriting, media fellowships and other special programs, and will also serve as a liaison to University and external constituents. A veteran television journalist and producer, she most recently worked as an assignment editor at WTVF-5. She previously has held positions in television news at WISN in Milwaukee and WBBM in Chicago. In addition, Bennett is a doctoral candidate in the department of educational leadership at Peabody College with a focus on the collegiate experiences of underrepresented students. Her current projects are being funded with grants from Vanderbilt and through a collaborative effort between the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the Ford Foundation. A graduate of Marquette University, she earned a Master of Education degree in college student personnel from Loyola University of Chicago. Along with her news experience, Bennett has held teaching appointments at Tennessee State University and Volunteer State Community College.

Jill Bratina will coordinate media relations, media training, and other communications activities. At Ketchum Public Relations, one of the leading national PR firms, she managed a number of high-profile media and public affairs campaigns for corporate and nonprofit clients. Bratina was previously an associate at Maseng Communications and a press assistant at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She is a cum laude graduate of American University.

Beth Fox joined the Media Relations staff in 1998 as an editorial assistant. Since July, she has served as acting editor of the Register. In her new position, she will be responsible for covering the College of Arts and Science and other University departments. Fox previously worked as Southeast media relations representative for Business Wire. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia.


Vanderbilt University is a private research university of approximately 5,900 undergraduates and 4,300 graduate and professional students. Founded in 1873, the University comprises 10 schools, a public policy institute, a distinguished medical center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education and human development, engineering and music, and a full range of graduate and professional degrees.

For more news about Vanderbilt, visit the News and Public Affairs home page on the Internet at

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Document updated August 31, 1998.