Meet Our Team
Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations
Melanie Moran is associate vice chancellor for university relations at Vanderbilt University. In this role, she leads strategic communications that advance the university’s priorities and promote engagement among its core, internal audiences: faculty, staff, students and alumni, donors and parents. Moran came to Vanderbilt in 2003 in from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, where she was responsible for managing media relations, events, speech writing, graphic arts and the website. While with the state, Moran also served as assistant to Gov. Don Sundquist for communications. She serves on the boards of the Nashville Civic Design Center and Friends of Sevier Park. Moran holds a master’s degree in public administration from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Penn State.
Communications Relationship Manager
Jalen Blue is the communications relationship manager for equity, diversity and inclusion. In this role, he develops communications strategies that advance understanding and awareness of the university’s initiatives in equity, diversity and inclusion and also the accomplishments and priorities of Vanderbilt students, faculty, staff and alumni. Before joining the university relations team, Jalen attended Vanderbilt’s Peabody College where he completed a Master of Public Policy degree and worked as a graduate assistant for the Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence office at Vanderbilt. Prior to Vanderbilt, Jalen earned a B.S. in public administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he served as a student trustee on the university system board of trustees.
Director, Leadership Communications
Kate Derrick is the director of leadership communications at Vanderbilt University. She is responsible for developing and executing communications strategies to support the vision and priorities of Vanderbilt’s leadership. Kate joined the University Relations team in 2018 after serving as digital media director in the Office of Governor Bill Haslam. In that role, she led digital and social media strategy for the governor. During her time in Haslam’s office and while previously serving as communications director for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Kate led communications related to Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 educational attainment initiative, including marketing for Tennessee Reconnect, the state’s program to provide tuition-free community college to adults. Kate came to Tennessee in 2010 after working as a communications strategist and project manager for tech startups and social entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Wellesley College and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.
Bonnie Arant Ertelt
Bonnie Arant Ertelt serves as the associate editor for Vanderbilt Magazine and the class notes editor for Vanderbilt Magazine, Peabody Reflector and Vanderbilt Business. Since coming to Vanderbilt in 1995, Ertelt has edited alumni print publications for the Blair School of Music(Blair Quarter Note and Crescendo), Peabody College (Peabody Reflector), Vanderbilt Divinity School (Spire), and the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries (Acorn Chronicle and Between the Lines). She is a 1981 Peabody alumna and a visual artist who has exhibited nationally.
Director, Internal Communications
Kara Furlong serves as director of internal communications efforts and provides promotional and strategy support for Vanderbilt’s colleges, schools, programs, divisions and departments, with an emphasis on informing faculty and staff about university initiatives, employee achievements, and campus events and services and positively influencing the Vanderbilt employee experience. She edits the myVU website, e-newsletter and biannual print publication, which has been recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Tennessee College Public Relations Association. A member of the Vanderbilt community since 2001, she holds a bachelor’s degree in English and communications from Lipscomb University.
Strategic Projects Manager
Nicholas Moore is a skilled communicator and project manager dedicated to optimizing the civic values of higher education through strategic initiatives and compelling stories. He coordinates the Chancellor’s Lecture Series, manages various communications campaigns and develops comprehensive plans and tactics to bolster Vanderbilt’s international reputation. Nick began his time at Vanderbilt in 2015 by studying higher education administration at Peabody College (M.Ed. '17); he stepped into his current role shortly after graduating. He also studied journalism and creative writing at the University of Miami (B.S.C. ’13). He currently lives in Chicago as his wife attends graduate school at DePaul University.
As executive editor of Vanderbilt Magazine, Seth Robertson is responsible for developing story ideas and assigning, writing and editing those stories, as well as editing the sports section and managing the digital content of the magazine. He is also editor of Vanderbilt Now, a monthly email newsletter for alumni, and a contributing editor and writer for other school-based publications, including Vanderbilt Law magazine. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, he worked in corporate communications for a leading entertainment distributor and as a literary agent in the book publishing industry. Seth holds a bachelor’s in English and Spanish from the University of Virginia.
Phillip B. Tucker
Managing Editor and Production Manager
Phillip Tucker is managing editor of university publications and production manager for University Relations, with primary duties relating to Vanderbilt Magazine.His publications responsibilities include copyediting, production management, photography assignments and writing, as well as distribution, mailing, purchasing, and budgeting and financial issues. Since joining Vanderbilt in 1997, he also has edited alumni publications for Peabody College, the Owen Graduate School of Management, and the School of Engineering. A 1990 graduate of Harding University with a B.A. in print journalism and public relations, Phillip and his projects have won numerous awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Director of Donor and Alumni Communications Strategy
Ryan Underwood is the Director of Donor and Alumni Communications Strategy at Vanderbilt University and Editor of Vanderbilt Magazine. Prior to that role, he served as Director of Content Strategy for Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, where he oversaw global communications and social media for the school. Before joining Vanderbilt, Underwood worked as Politics Editor for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. He was staff writer for Fast Company magazine in Boston and New York, where he covered branding, technology and executive leadership. He is also a former contributing writer for Inc. magazine, covering the intersection of innovation and global entrepreneurship. A native of Nashville, Underwood holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and completed graduate work in international relations at Boston University.
Communications Relationship Manager
Alexandra Valnoski is the communications relationship manager for administration and internal communications. Alex serves as the deputy editor for myVU, the University's internal communications vehicle for faculty and staff and also supports communications initiatives across the Divison of Administration. Alex previously worked as a communications specialist for Vanderbilt's College of Arts and Science. She has experience in media relations, crisis communications and public relations. She holds a bachelors degree from James Madison University in communications.
Academic Affairs Marketing Manager
Anna Whinnery joined Vanderbilt in 2011, and the Division of Communications in 2013. Anna provides marketing and communications strategy and consulting to schools and departments across campus, including Vanderbilt's top-ranked school of education, Peabody College. Anna has expertise in graduate recruitment, advertising, content strategy, social media marketing and website design. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Anna served as both a graphic designer and a marketing coordinator for the Wisconsin School of Business. Anna is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
National Communications Coordinator, Video Producer
Amy Wolf is a storyteller, working with video and other mediums to passionately share the Vanderbilt experience tied to research, academics, undergraduate life and studies, and alumni. Through her projects with Vanderbilt Video, Wolf has earned a regional Emmy award and fourteen Emmy nominations. Wolf also works to identify and promote experts and story ideas to national media and is primary liaison for Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid.
Amy was a feisty television news producer for 13 years in top 30 markets before coming to Vanderbilt. She is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio, with concentrations in communications, journalism and political science. She is also a proud wife and mother to three awesome children who are the inspiration to many of her creative projects.