Oct. 10, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Leann Parker has been promoted to director of athletics communications, Dan Wallenberg, associate athletics director for communications, announced Wednesday. In addition, Brett Rybak and Alex Morando have been promoted to assistant directors and Julie Brown and Ben Vondal joined the staff as communications assistants.
Parker is in her 14th year in the Ohio State athletics communications office. After a year in the office as a graduate assistant in 1999-00 while working toward her master’s degree, she moved into an assistant athletics communications director position the following year and was promoted to associate director in 2005. Parker, a native of Metuchen, N.J., earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from James Madison University in 1997 and her master’s degree in sport management from Ohio State in 2000. Prior to coming to Ohio State she was a full-time intern in the James Madison University sports media relations office and served as an assistant ticket director for the Frederick Keys in the Single A Baseball Carolina League. During college she interned with the JMU sports media relations office, at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) in Major League Soccer. At Ohio State she is the primary contact for men’s hockey, men’s lacrosse and women’s tennis and manages the daily operations of the athletics communications office.
Morando, a native of Medina, Ohio, worked two years in the athletics communications office as a student assistant from 2008-10 as the secondary contact for men’s tennis after spending a year with BTN as an intern during the network’s inaugural year in 2007. After graduating from Ohio State with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in the spring of 2010, Morando earned a communications assistant position at Ohio State in July as the primary contact for field hockey, men’s gymnastics and softball. Following his two-year internship, he was hired as an assistant director of Ohio State athletics communications. While serving as the primary contact for field hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving and softball, Morando also manages, edits and produces video content for the athletic department’s website, OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
After joining the Ohio State athletics communications staff as an intern in 2009, spending three years in that role, Rybak was promoted to assistant director of athletics communications. He came to Ohio State from Florida International University, after also previously working at Otterbein College, and works primarily with baseball, women’s soccer, women’s gymnastics and is co-editor of the football gameday program. While at FIU, he worked as the contact for women’s basketball and women’s soccer and was the secondary contact for the baseball team. Rybak is a 2008 graduate of Otterbein College where he lettered two years for the baseball team and worked for four years as a sports information student assistant. He completed his student internship in the athletics communications office at Ohio State during his senior year at Otterbein.
Brown, from South Glens Falls, N.Y., graduated from West Virginia in May 2012 with a master’s degree in sport management and from Marist College in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She spent the past two years as a new media/sports information graduate assistant in the sports Communications office at WVU, where she was the primary media contact for women’s rowing while assisting with women’s basketball and website video in addition to other responsibilities. At Ohio State, Brown works with men’s gymnastics, pistol and rowing in addition to handling website video responsibilities.
Vondal graduated from Minnesota State University in 2010 with a degree in sports management. While at Minnesota State, Vondal worked two years as a student intern for the athletics communications department. Originally from Chatfield, Minn., Vondal spent a year at St. Cloud State University serving as a graduate assistant for athletic media relations, where he was the main contact for women’s soccer, women’ hockey, and softball. At Ohio State he serves as the contact for women’s hockey, men’s and women’s track and field/cross country and rifle.
The athletics communications staff also includes Dan Wallenberg, associate athletics director for communications, associate director Jerry Emig, assistant directors Alissa Clendenen, Danielle Warner, Adam Widman and Kendra Willard and office associate Jennifer Kirchner.