Meet the Team!

Valarie Clark, Creative Services Manager (far right)

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 students, Harrison and Corrine.

Lori Nidoh, Director of Marketing Communications (fourth from left)

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 four-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!

JoAnn Pane, Secretary (fifth from right)

JoAnn Pane, our Marketing Communications secretary, takes great pride in calling herself a “pain” to work with. While amusing, this self-appraisal could not be more off target.

JoAnn is an inherent fixer and the duct tape – in a flattering way ­– of the department. Is the printer jammed? Call JoAnn. Need batteries, an envelope or any of a hundred different office supplies? Ask JoAnn. Need something completed pronto? You get the idea.

Since her arrival in the department in August 2009, JoAnn has become an integral part of our efforts, whether she’s tasked with gathering information on media options and pricing or serving as the department’s first point of contact for the public. The helpful voice on the phone or the friendly face right off the elevator, that’s her.

JoAnn has an innate ability to relate to people that likely comes from her own eclectic background. She’s been a debutante, yet she has her forklift license. Her hobbies include gardening, baking, arts and crafts, and even hunting. They broke the mold when JoAnn was born.

Away from the office, JoAnn – with her husband, Marc – plays a tough-love parent to a son, Christopher, daughter, Laea, and stepson, Carmen. And, of course, a loveable German shepherd named Daigo Red.  

Jason Thorne, Senior Graphic Designer (far left)

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 (third from right)

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.



Melissa DeSoto ’14, Publications Intern (not pictured)

Before our office hits “print” on a project, we proofread with a keen eye, checking that all T’s have been crossed and I’s dotted. This is where Creative Services intern and proofreader Melissa DeSoto earns her keep, thanks to her great attention to detail. Her second set of eyes is a valued asset, ensuring we maintain the highest of standards.  

While the theology major from Port Tobacco, Md., enjoys immersing herself in a good book, soaking in a moment of solitude every now and then, Melissa hasn’t overlooked one important aspect of college: connecting with others.

In fall 2012, Melissa became a resident assistant in Condron Hall, an assignment she calls a “positive challenge,” where she assists her peers in making Scranton home. In addition, she’s an orientation assistant and a Eucharistic minister.

On a personal note, Melissa is an unapologetic fanatic of musician Josh Groban.

Kacey Jerman ’14, Social Media Intern (fourth from right)

Who’s the person behind that on-campus tweet or Facebook photo album, keeping you well informed of all things Scrantastic? It’s none other than the Marketing Communications Department’s social media intern, Kacey Jerman.

The marketing major from small-town Glen Rock, N.J., facilitates the promotion and statistical analysis of the University’s official social media platforms. As part of her job, she can be found on campus – smartphone in hand – posting messages to our active fan base. 

Drawn to the University because of its welcoming atmosphere, Kacey and her beaming smile and easygoing nature fit right in. That’s not to say the former high school volleyball captain doesn’t have a competitive side. In fact, she predicts a championship is in the near future for her intramural volleyball team. If she does win, don’t be surprised if she “Facebooks” it!