Alumni Profiles

Joshua Fabel

Profile written in 2018.

What are you up to currently?

I am currently living in Philadelphia and working full-time as a Technical Communication Specialist for the Information Technology Services Department at Temple University. In addition to working at Temple, I also recently just enrolled there to pursue a M.Ed. in Higher Education with a concentration in Access & Success. While I’m not at work or school, I continue to enjoy my hobby of photography around the city and working on graphic design projects. I believe that I had the opportunity to move to Philadelphia at such an amazing time this past year. There’s plenty of growth occurring here in all sectors, and that is allowing me to have endless possibilities to continue learning as a young professional in the field of communication.

In what ways did your experience in the CMJ department lead to where you are now?

I would have to say the hands-on projects that were designed each semester in the CMJ department. Courses such as CMJ 367: Public Relations and CMJ 420: Health Communication prepared me for completing projects for clients and forming a partnership between your team and them. In my occupation as a Technical Communication Specialist, I am constantly communicating creative projects back and forth between different departments and university partners. So already having the experience allowed me to enter my current job with ease.

Do you have a particular class or professor you remember having a lasting influence on you?

As far as a class goes, CMJ 370: Visual Communication had a positive influence on me and really gave me the foundation for understanding how visual elements can deeply affect how we see and understand messaging. Part of my current job is to design brochures and social media graphics, so learning the fundamentals of visual communication, such as color psychology and typography, enables me to design work that will help deliver the appropriate message to an audience.

For a professor, Dr. Bridie McGreavy allowed me to see my full potential in conducting research in CMJ 402: Communication Research Methods. The course allowed me to conduct my own research project on how sense of belonging affects student success in higher education. Bridie inspired me and sparked my interest in continuing my research at the graduate level, which ultimately led to my decision to apply to my current graduate program in Higher Education. I was surprised at how much I learned, and the work I produced. Bridie’s teaching style throughout the course had a positive influence by opening up room for exploration of my topic, and she suggested different research methods I still utilize everyday in my graduate program.

What advice do you have for current and prospective CMJ students?

There’s always room for growth and learning. The beauty about communication is that it is so broad. There’s so many directions it can be taken in, and it has many topics that are still waiting to be looked into. With that being said, don’t be afraid to see a route and continue exploring it every step of the way. You’ll begin to pave a way for others through your findings.

What is something you will always remember from your time in the CMJ department?

Something I’ll always remember is the feeling of being at home. I enjoyed the fact that I found numerous friends through my CMJ classes and had professors that made me excited to continue learning through their support and mentorship. Communication is an important element in relationships, and I am glad that I had formed so many during my time at UMaine.

Sarah Smiley ’12

Profile written in 2014.

In the very first few weeks after the release of Sarah Smiley’s ’12G third book, she was already winning attention and praise from literary critics.  Smiley, a recent UMaine Communication and Journalism Department alum, was born in San Diego to a military family, but grew up in Virginia Beach. She spent much of her childhood on Navy bases.  Smiley married a Navy pilot later in life, and used her decades of experience with military family life as a basis for her musings and memoirs.

Smiley holds her B.S. in Education from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated with her master’s in Mass Communication from the University of Maine in 2012.  She was an active member in the department, and held a Teaching Assistantship which allowed her to instruct an undergraduate journalism course for four semesters.  Today, Sarah Smiley, her husband Dustin Smiley and their three boys call Bangor, Maine home.

Smiley has made a living from writing primarily about her own personal experiences since 2002.  Smiley’s first literary turn came as a columnist in Florida.  When she and her family were stationed in Jacksonville, Smiley began writing a column entitled “On the Homefront,” for the local military base’s publication.  Soon after, when the Smiley’s relocated to Pensacola, Smiley pitched her column to the Pensacola News Journal and within a year, her first weekly column began appearing.  Within a month, Sarah Smiley self-syndicated the column to various newspapers and her voice now reaches more than 11 different publications and 2 million readers each week.

Her columns and three books are all funny, poignant, and personal, offering anecdotes about managing three rambunctious sons, about the role of the military in today’s society and in her own life, and about her marriage to a Navy man.  Many have credited her candor about military life as “trailblazing,” because it is often considered taboo for military wives to speak openly about the difficulty of managing day-to-day family life.

Dinner with the Smiley’s is a personal memoir about coping specifically with deployment.  The book is a story about a scheme devised by Smiley and her sons.  When Dustin Smiley departed for his year-long deployment, the rest of the Smiley clan invited 52 different guests to take turns filling Dustin’s chair at the table.

Why did she choose to do 52 weeks of dinners?  As Smiley explains on her website, “dinnertime is often the loneliest time for people living alone.  If houses and apartments were like dollhouses with one side totally exposed, we’d see plenty of people eating alone to the glow of a television.”

And that was precisely what Smiley wanted to avoid while her husband served overseas.  So she and her sons set to work inviting a host of people, ranging from pastors to professional athletes to comedians to politicians.

Mary Ellms, ’13G, was a classmate of Smiley’s in the communication master’s program at UMaine.  She was also an attendee to one of the 52 dinners at the Smiley house, and she says it is truly an inspirational tale of hometown heroes.

Ellms says, “Dinner with the Smiley’s is an important tale of community and support” and adds, “I feel so proud of the people of Bangor who came alongside this family and said, ‘You’re one of us. We will take care of you.’”

Sarah Smiley thinks there is an important message in sharing a meal together, as well.  She writes, “in a time when popular culture leads us to believe that the family dinner table is dead, Dinner with the Smileys shows people that time spent with family, friends, and neighbors is still very much part of the American lifestyle.”

Dinner with the Smiley’s is available on and wherever print books are sold.  You can find more information about the Smiley’s and Sarah’s previously published works at

Lindsay Lodis ’12

Profile written in 2014.

Lindsay Lodis is a graduate of the Department of Communication and Journalism at UMaine, and a former CMJ Department Teaching Assistant. Lindsay’s background is in Recreation & Tourism, and she started her graduate career at UMaine studying Forest Resources. While at UMaine, Lindsay met Dr. Laura Lindenfeld, and the two decided to collaborate. This led Lindsay to enroll in a second Master’s program with the Communication Department. At UMaine, Lindsay worked on the Knowledge-to-Action team, which was formed to align university research with community needs and improve collaboration between researchers and stakeholders on key sustainability challenges. Lindsay completed interdisciplinary work with natural resources and communication studies.

Lindsay completed her M.A. in 2011. Working on the K-A team was a solid fit for Lindsay’s natural resource and communication interests. While at UMaine, Lindsay studied public access for recreation activity in the Northern Forest, as well as the “town and gown” phenomena in Orono, Maine.

After her graduation, Lindsay moved with her husband to Honolulu and took a position as a Membership Assistant at the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, HI.

“My husband had an internship to finish in Hawaii before earning his own UMaine degree,” Lindsay says. “We enjoyed lots of visitors, including Communication Professor Dr. Nathan Stormer! It was one of the highlights of the 13 months we lived there,” she says. After spending time there, Lindsay and her husband headed back to the mainland.

“As a Colorado native, I was happy we could focus our next move to the West. Boise, ID is where I currently reside and it’s a marvelously sunny, friendly, happenin’ place,” Lindsay shares.

Today, she works as a Proposal Development Coordinator at POWER Engineers.

“I’m constantly juggling priorities. A request for proposal can show up on your desk and you’re expected to churn it out the next day. It’s critical to have strong writing and editing skills. I’m also communicating with a variety of professionals everyday including project managers and clients. Without my experiences at UMaine, there’s no way I would have the communication skills this job demands, ” Lindsay says.

In addition to working for POWER Engineers, Lindsay also worked as an adjunct professor at the College of Western Idaho.

“Teaching for UMaine was one of the best things that ever happened to my professional career,” says Lindsay. “I learned organization, how to be creative with lesson plans, and how to keep people engaged. I was surprised at how much more comfortable I felt with these classes than when I first started to teach at UMaine. For any TA’s reading this, let it be known that you’ll hit a stride, no doubt! I’m happy to have that ace up my sleeve, as adjunct Communication teachers are usually in demand.”

Macey Hall ’11

Profile written in 2014.

Macey Hall is a 25-year-old graduate of the University of Maine. Originally from Fryeburg, Maine, Macey transferred to the university after spending her freshman year at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

Macey says that one of the first things she did when she got to Orono was to join the university’s campus newspaper, The Maine Campus. She also decided to join the Communication and Journalism Department to pursue a degree in journalism.

“I started out writing general news, and then moved to the style section,” Macey says. “The first piece I did for the style section was interview O.A.R. when they came to perform the fall concert. I’ve always loved fashion, so during my junior and senior years at UMaine, I wrote a fashion column for the paper.”

Macey says she thrived in her CMJ classes.

“I had an amazing experience in the CMJ department at UMaine. Every class I had was awesome and I learned so much—and all the professors were incredible. During my junior year I took classes with Margaret Nagle, Greg McManus, and Michael Socolow that all really stood out to me. They were such great teachers and I learned so much from them.”

Macey says that Prof. Socolow had a particularly great impact on her career.

“All my classes with Professor Socolow were my favorite—he was incredibly encouraging and always really believed in my writing, and also me personally.  He became like a mentor during my time at UMaine and was always so helpful and my biggest cheerleader. I interned at the Bangor Daily News and whenever I had a good article published, Professor Socolow would mention it to the whole class and read an excerpt from it, and recommend that the class checks it out—I remember being so embarrassed and turning bright red every time, but also really touched that he thought I was a good writer.”

During the fall of Macey’s senior year, she enrolled in the CMJ Internship program to complete her journalism degree. She interned with the style section of the Bangor Daily News.

“It was a great learning experience, and taught me the ins and outs of working at a daily paper,” Macey says.

Also during her senior year, Macey  and her fellow CMJ Department friend and colleague Shaina Dennis started the UMaine chapter of Her Campus, the number one website geared specifically for college woman.

“Building that from the ground up with Shaina was an incredible experience—we did everything from writing a business proposal, to hiring a staff, to editing and building all the articles,” Macey says.

She was also president of UMaine’s Communication honor society, Lambda Pi Eta, during her junior and senior years.

In May 2011, Macey graduated from the university and moved to New York City to intern in the features department of Seventeen Magazine.

“I read Seventeen religiously when I was younger, and wanted to pinch myself at the thought of working with some of the editors whose articles I had read when I was 17,” she says.  “On the first day of my senior year capstone class with Professor Socolow, we had to go around the room and say what our dream job was, and I said I wanted to work at a women’s lifestyle magazine like Glamour or Seventeen, and thought it would maybe possibly happen somewhere very far down the line—not within a year.”

After a summer of interning, Seventeen hired Macey, and she stayed on with the magazine first to work on their special prom issues, and then as an editorial assistant.

“Those were both print roles, and while working for the magazine was cool, what really interested me was the website,” she says. “After a year of print, I became an assistant web editor, where I oversaw the health, prom, college, and relationships verticals.”

From there, Macey went on from Seventeen to serve in her most current role, as the social media manager at the People’s Choice Awards. Today Macey runs the social platforms that the People’s Choice Awards are on, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. She also assists with the celebrity and entertainment news site,

You can follow Macey on Twitter and Instagram at @maceyhall, or email me at to keep up with the latest.

Brian Naylor ’78

Profile written in 2013.

Today, Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the highly-respected NPR News’ Washington Desk. He covers all things related to politics, federal agencies, and homeland security.  Before joining NPR in the early 1980’s, Naylor worked at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and before that at a radio station in Maine.

Naylor earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine in 1978 and an honorary degree from the university in 2004.

Just this year, in October of 2013, he returned to the university as the 2013 Alan Miller Fund visiting journalist, part of the  Alan Miller Fund for Excellence in Communication and Journalism program. Naylor participated in a public panel discussion on campus that addressed issues facing American journalism. Students and faculty had the opportunity to learn not only from Naylor but from Jim Morris, the news director of WABI-TV (Channel 5) in Bangor and another UMaine alumnus, and Stephen Fay, the managing editor of the award-winning Ellsworth American.

According to his biography on the NPR News site, Naylor has spent more than 30 years  at NPR, where he has contributed as a National Desk correspondent, a White House correspondent, a congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent and a newscaster on the award-winning NPR news show, All Things Considered.

In the mid-1990s, Naylor’s coverage of the U.S. Congress contributed to NPR’s 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism award for political reporting.

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