Meet the Team!
Valarie Clark, Creative Services Manager
Ever heard of Kindersley, Saskatchewan? Us either. But that is where Valarie Clark, our Creative Services manager, grew up, preparing for a career in publications while shoveling through snow drifts and playing hockey with moose. Or so the legend goes.
In the years since, Valarie worked extensively as a freelance writer, designer and public relations consultant – both north of the border and in northeastern Pennsylvania – gaining a breadth of experience. During this time, she also earned her U.S. citizenship. Welcome to the good ol’ U.S. of A., eh!
Today, Valarie is to the Marketing Communications Department what a foreman is to a construction site – responsible for shepherding projects from inception to completion. She oversees the planning and design work for hundreds of University publications and web projects each year.
Having worked at the University for more than a decade, Valarie doesn’t just promote the institution’s mission, she embraces it wholeheartedly. She has served on a variety of committees overseeing such topics as employee wellness and web initiatives. One undertaking especially dear to Valarie’s heart is the University’s disAbility Conference, serving on its planning committee for several years.
Valarie is the proud mother of two University graduates, Harrison and Corrine.
Lori Nidoh, Director of Marketing Communications
Lori Nidoh is the Marketing Communications Department’s big picture person. As the department’s director, Lori is responsible for identifying potential marketing opportunities and working with the department’s creative team to capitalize on current trends.
Lori’s ties to the University run deep. She earned her bachelor’s degree and MBA, here and her mother, Margaret, worked in the University’s Treasurer’s Office for more than two decades.
After a successful career in marketing and corporate development at The Paper Magic Group, Inc., and a stint running her own small business, Lori was lured back to her alma mater because of its focus on the person, not the profit.
With expertise in a variety of areas ranging from marketing, financial analysis and new media to project management, Lori has spearheaded numerous undertakings in her six-plus years at Scranton, including expanding our undergraduate recruitment marketing campaign and guiding the development of our mobile website and mobile application.
Off the clock, Lori enjoys hiking, bike riding, and traveling out West with her husband, Gregory, daughter Jaclyn, and son, Adam. Scranton will always be home, but Lori wouldn’t mind a second residence in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, or some other tranquil small town in God’s Country. The beauty of the outdoors is quite appealing, though the pesky bugs she could do without!
Laura Richards, University Editor
When it comes to finding “the voice,” Laura Richards could give Blake Shelton or Christina Aguilera a run for their money. Whether she’s writing a feature article for The Scranton Journal, or a news release for Royal News, her job is all about discovering not only her own voice, but that of the people behind the stories she writes.
It was a bit of a long (and somewhat winding) road that brought Laura to a career in journalism. After working as a corporate legal assistant in a law firm, she segued into a career at a hedge fund. During daily train rides from New Haven to New York, Laura started listening to NPR podcasts. Hearing other people’s stories got her interested in being a voice for others.
That set her on a path toward a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University, where she studied under such esteemed writers as David Blum, who coined the phrase the “Brat Pack.” After living and working in Chicago for a few years, Laura and her husband, Jeff, moved back to New York, where Laura landed a job as speechwriter for the Dean at NYU’s School of Law. And after hours? It was off to Broadway, of course. If you ask, Laura will admit to having seen Les Misérables at least 10 times.
Now that she’s back in her native northeastern Pennsylvania with Jeff and their daughter, Grace, Laura’s enjoying getting reacquainted with her old haunts while getting to know the people – and the voices – at The University of Scranton.
Jason Thorne, Senior Graphic Designer
While Jackson Pollack’s work came alive on a canvas, Jason Thorne’s masterpieces begin in the latest Adobe Creative Suite. Thanks to his impeccable tastes for design, style and creativity, Jason is the Marketing Communications Department’s go-to guy for anything creative. From posters and programs to billboards and chair fabrics, if it needs a fresh look, his opinion carries plenty of weight around here.
Jason’s discerning eye and expertise in visual presentation is at the core of our work as a department, enhancing our content through clean, stimulating design, while maintaining the style and sensibilities of our University and its mission.
The quintessential MAC guy, Jason’s enthusiasm for Apple products is on par with the late Steve Jobs – seriously. It’s a travesty Jason wasn’t hired for the MAC/PC commercials popular just a few years ago!
Raised on the mean streets of Clarks Summit – this is ironic because Clarks Summit is Scranton’s Mayberry – Jason is a local product through and through, having also graduated from nearby Marywood University.
One look at his serene office, complete with intricate trinkets and one-of-a-kind knickknacks, you know Jason’s artistry isn’t limited to the computer screen.
Away from the office, Jason is an attentive owner to his two feisty young cats.
Matt Wren, Web Designer/Developer
Matt Wren assumes two crucial roles for our Marketing Communications Department.
First, he is our one-man Geek Squad responsible for designing and coding the department’s webpages. Secondly, and most importantly, Matt is the department’s new guy, susceptible to good-natured ribbing from the office veterans.
What Matt has going for him is he’s a Scranton alumnus and already knows the objectives behind the University’s mission. A one-time biology major, he traded in the lab coat to study media and information technology and hasn’t looked back. His ability to be a quick study has already served him well in the tech field.
Before returning to his alma mater, Matt worked as digital director at Entercom Communication in Wilkes-Barre, overseeing the websites and social media platforms for four of the region’s leading radio stations.
Matt’s interests expand beyond the keyboard and include mountain biking, camping and music. He regularly performs as a trumpeter with the University’s Performance Music ensembles and various local groups.
A perfect blend of tech enthusiast and yesteryear romantic, Matt enjoys the convenience of digital music, but loves the authenticity of music from the 1940s. One minute he’ll tweet about web code advice, and the next discuss the beauty of a mansion on Scranton’s Moir Court.