Brian Lamb School of Communication Advisory Board

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Digital Brand Architects (DBA)

BA, 2002, Communication, Purdue University

Kendra is recognized as a force in the digital space, thanks in part to a career largely steeped in harnessing the power of emerging technology to drive innovative marketing and social media tactics.

Prior to co-founding DBA, she led Ralph Lauren in launching its first dedicated global social media department, navigating brand management, marketing, advertising and public relations to spearhead a cohesive approach to the online space from the US to Japan.  This success highlights an ongoing career trajectory that includes the successful completion of a MBA and recognition for her work as the youngest Vice President ever at Fleishman-Hillard New York (where she was responsible for overseeing the digital consumer team and developing social media strategies for high profile global brands in fashion, consumer packaged goods, and technology).

From helping to create one of the first Cingular and MySpace mobile music studios to leading her agency in launching the first social concierge program for a major fashion brand during New York Fashion Week, Kendra’s passion for bringing the best in branding to the digital space has been recognized by numerous industry leaders. In 2013, she was awarded by Purdue University College of Liberal Arts with the prestigious Emerging Voice Award. She was previously featured as one of the twenty-eight most influential African American women in Essence Magazine and Mobile Marketer's "Mobile Women to Watch.”


Brad Dancer

Executive Vice President, Programing and Research National Geographic Channel

BA, 1995, Communication, Purdue University

MBA, 2007, University of Maryland

 As Executive Vice President of Programming and Research; he oversees the programming of National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo Wild (WILD) and Nat Geo Mundo long and short-form content across linear and nonlinear platforms, as well as day-to-day scheduling and long-term schedule planning for all three networks.  Brad manages all film and TV acquisitions for the three networks in the US.  He manages all consumer research across programming, program development, marketing, communications, digital media and finance.

Additionally, Brad spearheads digital distribution, including TV Everywhere, mobile distribution, Electronic Sell Through (EST), free On Demand and the network’s VOD offerings, one of the most widely distributed in cable television. Under his leadership, NGC and WILD content has grown across multiple platforms such as, Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and others. Brad was one of the first 10 employees at the National Geographic Channel and has launched their services on every new platform as well as starting all of NGC's ancillary revenue streams such as music, licensing, publishing and other partnerships.


Celeste H. Davis, ESQ.

Regional Manager, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Midwest Region, Chicago, IL and Kansas City, Mo. 

BA, 1983, Communication, Purdue University

JD, 1986, Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law

2001, Certificate of Completion, Federal Executive Institute

2014, Certificate of Completion, Harvard University, Kennedy School

As Regional Manager, Celeste serves as the chief civil rights enforcement official for HHS in ten Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska).  OCR enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, and Breach Notification Rule, and also enforces Federal civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination in the delivery of health and human services because of race, color, national origin, disability, age, and under certain circumstances, sex and religion.

Prior to joining OCR in 2007, Celeste was a practicing attorney in the labor and employment arena, including a position as the Supervisory Attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Mediation Program.  Ms. Davis developed and implemented the ADR/Mediation Program at EEOC’s Chicago Office.  Under her leadership, EEOC’s Mediation Program resolved more than 700 EEOC charges in an average of 105 days. Ms. Davis also personally mediated 43 cases with a 75% resolution rate of employment discrimination disputes. Ms. Davis also served as a Senior Trial Attorney in EEOC’s Chicago District Office.  Overall, Ms. Davis achieved approximately a 90% resolution/settlement rate during her tenure with EEOC.  In 2001, Ms. Davis was selected as Deputy Director for Policy, for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in Washington, D.C. 

Celeste is licensed to practice law in the States of Illinois and Ohio, and is also a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Most recently, she completed an executive leadership course at Harvard University, Mastering Negotiation: Building Agreements Across Boundaries.


Jay Fehnel

COO, HealthEngine

BS, 1984, Purdue University

MBA, 1992, Northwestern University - Kellog School og Management

Jay Fehnel is Chief Operating Officer of HealthEngine, where he leads product management and corporate operations.

Previously, Jay was principal of Johan Advisors, a consulting firm serving digital media companies.  There, he led the due-diligence process for his client’s $42 million private equity round and led integration activities for a $30 million acquisition. In 2012 and 2013, Jay served as VP of Business Development and Integrated Marketing for Redbox, the leading provider of movie rentals, leading marketing planning & implementation for a $2 billion business.

Prior to Redbox, Jay held management roles for Tribune Media Services (TMS) for many years, helping lead the company to 14x growth in profits. From 2006 through 2011, Jay was COO and GM of TMS Entertainment Products group, a $90 million international business.  TMS (now known as Gracenote) provided TV and movie information databases to 4,000 technology and media companies.

Jay served six years on the Board of Directors of YellowBrix, Inc. and also held roles at The Walt Disney Company, NBC TV Stations group and Katz Communications.


Josh Miles

Principal and Founder, Miles Design

BA, 1999, Purdue University

Josh Miles is a caffeine and Twitter addict, and principal of Indianapolis-based national branding agency, MilesHerndon. His role consists of leading brand strategy, business development, and firm-wide marketing.

Josh speaks from coast to coast on branding, digital marketing, and social media, and is a past TedX presenter. Miles was honored as ‘40 Under 40’ by both Indianapolis Business Journal and Delta Sigma Phi, and a 20 Under 40 by ENR Midwest. Josh is the author of the Content Marketing Institute book, Bold Brand, and is hard at work on launching a new podcast.

In addition to his role on the Lamb School advisory board, Josh also serves on the board of directors for OasNet, an international church planting and resourcing organization. Josh is involved in several other start-up tech companies based in Indianapolis.


Emily Nikoo

Executive Vice Pesident, Blonder Tongue Laboratories

BSEE, 1987, Purdue University

MS, University of Houston

Emily M. Nikoo serves as Executive Vice President of Blonder Tongue Laboratories, Inc. and oversees the development of the company's product strategy in addition to leading the manufacturing operations and directing the company's sales initiatives. Emily spearheads the Business Technical Group (BTG) that brainstorms and develops solutions for the Business/Commercial Services sector. She is also involved with the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, Women In Cable Telecommunications, and has been published in Cablefax's Most Powerful Women in Cable Magazine since 2010. Emily holds a BSEE from Purdue University and MEE from the University of Houston, and got her start designing space shuttle and space station communication systems.

In addition to the Business Tech Group, Emily spends time giving talks and training presentations for the industry and tech community. She began doing an SCTE Live Learning Webinar on "Understanding Cable Technology: Digital Video" and participated in the CableFax Digital Summit panel on "Upselling Digital: Leveraging Network Upgrades to Supercharge Commercial Services".  Emily is a Purdue University Alumni where she gave a Tech Talk for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Society to discuss her journey from Purdue BSEE, to the Manned Space Program in Houston TX, to Cable Television Industry executive. She focused on the technology involved, and potential opportunities for upcoming graduates. She also led an Access Alum informal networking event for participants of undergraduate and graduate mentoring programs in the Women in Engineering Program.  Finally, she has continued to add "Alphabet Soup" segments to simplify the technical jargon in our industry, the latest being "MPEG Digital Video Transport over IP".


Curtis Rose

Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Hewlett Packard Co.

BSEE 1981, Electrical and Computer Engineering

BA 1982, Purdue University

JD 1988, George Washington School of Law

Curtis Rose is a Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in HP’s Office of General Counsel, where he leads HP’s Intellectual Property Section as HP’s Chief IP Counsel. 

Curt received his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC, which he attended in the evenings while working full time in IBM’s Patent Training Center.  Curt received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal and Public Communications from Purdue University. 

Curt is a member of the Board of Directors for the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation, the HP Political Action Committee, and the Greenbelt Land Trust. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Brian Lamb School of Communications at Purdue University.  


Michael Schiferl

Executive Vice President, Director of Media Relations, Weber Shandwick Worldwide

BA, 1989, Purdue University

Michael Schiferl is executive vice president in the corporate practice of Weber Shandwick, the world’s premiere communications company.  His primary focus is on shaping media relations strategies for an expansive and diverse group of agency partners including well-known companies and groups such as PepsiCo, Yum! Brands, Abbott, Chobani, Mars, Merck and the Federal Reserve.

Michael has been cited in leading industry trades such as PR Week and Ad Age, as well as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and People Magazine regarding media relations strategy.  Earlier in his career, he was deputy general manager at global PR agency Daniel J. Edelman, and worked for leading health trade organizations including Chicago-based American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Indianapolis-based American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).   During his years at the Academy, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, Michael worked at CNN’s Food & Health Unit in Atlanta and produced a daily, award-winning food and nutrition segment for CBS Radio for four years. 

Michael serves on the external Advisory Board to Discovery Park, an interdisciplinary research hub located at Purdue University, his alma mater.  He annually moderates the New York Festivals World’s Best Advertising panels and serves as a final judge and room moderator for the prestigious Effie Awards, which recognize effectiveness of integrated advertising and communication campaigns.  


John Wiemann

Former Vice Chancellor at the University of California at Santa Barbara

PhD, 1975, Purdue University

Served as Vice Chancellor at the University of California at Santa Barbara where he led the Office of Institutional Advancement in providing service and leadership to all parts of that campus, with the unique mission of coordinating broad and multi-faceted efforts to advance the institution.  He lead UCSB’s first capital campaign—the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara – which surpassed the $500 million milestone and led to the creation of 55 new endowed chairs (to 79 total) and 139 new graduate fellowships.

In addition to his leadership of Institutional Advancement, John had a distinguished academic career.  He has been honored as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Fellow and a Fulbright-Hays Senior Research Scholar.  He also received a number of other recognitions and awards for his research and teaching on interpersonal and intercultural communication, including the Woolbert Award for Seminal Research in Communication, presented by the National Communication Association.


Brian Lamb

Executive Chairman, C-SPAN

Ex Officio Board Member


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