Our highly skilled staff brings experience from the worlds of magazine and book publishing, print and broadcast media, graphic design, interactive web design, politics, and higher education marketing and development.
Get to know us. We're here to help. Gives us a call or email us at the contact information below.
Michael Beseda, Vice President for College Communications & Vice Provost for Enrollment
Michael Beseda has been responsible for the enrollment function at Saint Mary's College since 1998 and for college communications since January 2003. He earned his bachelor's degree at Saint Mary's College as well as a master's degree from San Francisco State University. He began his career at Saint Mary's as an admissions officer and has also served as director of admissions and assistant vice president for research, planning and technology. Contact Michael at email@example.com or (925) 631-4277.
Elizabeth Smith, Assistant Vice President for College Communications
Elizabeth has more than a 15 years of experience in digital communication, donor relations and integrated marketing and communication. She came to Saint Mary’s from UC Davis, where she served as the campus’ first director of marketing communications. Accomplishments at UC Davis include implementing a university-wide integrated marketing plan, providing communications support for the institution’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign and kicking off the development of a university-wide social media strategy. Elizabeth holds a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from the Medill School at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Auburn University, where she also served as Editor-in-Chief of The Auburn Plainsman, the student-published newspaper of the University. Contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 631-4826.
Teresa coordinates internal communications for Saint Mary’s, edits the SMC Bulletin, and writes for Saint Mary’s magazine, marketing projects, the College website and social media. An experienced journalist, she was assistant foreign editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. In academia, she has been a publications coordinator at the University of Notre Dame and communications director for California School of Professional Psychology. She has worked in book publishing for Harper & Row and other publishers and taught writing and editing in the Bay Area, El Salvador and India. Teresa earned a B.A. in Journalism from St. Bonaventure University in New York and an M.A. in English from the University of Michigan. She loves to travel, has lived in England, El Salvador and Morocco, and is an avid hiker and dancer – mostly ballroom and West Coast Swing. Contact Teresa at email@example.com or (925) 671-4307.
As the Director of Community and Government Relations for Saint Mary’s, Tim is responsible for monitoring all federal and state legislation as it pertains to higher education. Additionally Tim handles concerns with the Town of Moraga and surrounding communities.Tim was part of the team that brought the 2010 United States Senate debate to Saint Mary’s College. Read more about Tim at the SMC Community and Government Relations webpage. Contact Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 631-4830.
Geni Federas, Administrative Coordinator
Geni Federas joined the College in October 2007 as the administrative coordinator for College Communications. In that role she juggles office functions and project tracking for 10 staff managers. When you’re ready to start a project with our office, Geni’s voice is likely the first one you’ll hear. Geni refers to her work at Saint Mary’s as her third career, preceded by a 23-year stint at Pacific Bell starting from mailroom to product management and event planning, and 9 years as a business owner with Sylvan Learning Centers. She loves being part of the Saint Mary’s College community and working with the many colleagues she has come to know here. Geni is the parent of two great kids through the Contra Cost County Foster Adoption program, a Girl Scout volunteer member and manages, in her spare time, to cook, garden, sew, go camping and travel whenever she can.
Karen Kemp, Senior Designer
Karen, who joined the College in 2005, is the art director for Saint Mary’s Magazine, and is a designer of all things print, including a tour de force — Saint Mary’s Presidential Debate Application materials. Before coming to Saint Mary’s, Karen designed for a wide variety of clients, including New York University, UC Berkeley, the City of Oakland, the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency and the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Her great love of community gardens, public paths and libraries led her to art direct and illustrate “A Map of Berkeley’s Pathways,” a project that drew local and national attention to Berkeley’s historic paths. Karen has sewn all her daughters’ Halloween costumes, once dug up a parking lot to create a garden, and eats her vegetables every morning in the form of a green smoothie. Contact Karen at email@example.com or (925) 631-4144.
Sara LaFassett, Interactive Media Specialist
Sara joined Saint Mary’s in May 2011. As an Interactive Media Specialist, she deals will all forms of digital media and helps out with SMC’s website. Be forewarned, she will talk your ear off about social media strategy and strives to be an email marketing maven. She is also the de facto tech trainer in the office and has taught over 100 faculty, staff and students how to use the College’s new content management system, Salli. Sara got involved in the tech world when she was 15 years old as a Quality Assurance Analyst. She spent 2 years in high school testing insurance rating software (yawn) before moving to San Francisco to major in Sociology at the University of San Francisco. She graduated from USF summa cum laude with minors in Media Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. When not trying to wrangle CMS’s and weed through tweets, Sara enjoys cooking and tries to spend as much time sewing as she does ripping out stitches. Contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 631-4846.
Mike joined Saint Mary’s College in November 2008 and oversees the College’s overall media relations program. A former TV journalist, one of his missions is to shine a brighter media spotlight on the College. And it's working, faculty media appearances increased more than 50% in 2010-11, so faculty media training does work! Prior to joining SMC, he had a distinguished career as a public television producer; won some awards, picked up an Emmy, a bunch of nominations and did a stint at Harvard for a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism. Read more about Mike on the College's Media Relations page. Contact Mike at email@example.com or (925)-631-4222.
Gerry Serrano, Senior Designer
Gerry joined Saint Mary’s in 2007. He grew up in the Mission in San Francisco and still misses the burritos. He went to San Jose State for design and illustration and worked in various magazines around the Bay Area, launching Dreamcast (ohhh Sega!) and GMR magazines. He works on various print and web projects for the college. He lives in Oakland and drinks green sludge that Karen makes everyday even though he does't know whats in it. He enjoys music, concerts and good spicy food of all stripes. Loves design, good hikes and will run a marathon…one of these days. Contact Gerry at firstname.lastname@example.org (925 631-8581.
Jo joined Saint Mary's in January 2011. Among her duties — editing the Saint Mary's magazine and managing content for our various communications streams. For more than a decade she has worked in higher education as a communications and marketing leader, writing and editing print and digital publications, and, best of all, telling stories. Before that, she won awards for broadcast and print journalism, reporting on science, medicine and the arts. She served a stint as a classical music announcer, produced concert programs and did national reporting on classical and new music performance. Jo, who declared at age six that she would become a writer, has written two books for major publishers, about sci/tech and a nuclear weapons lab. She has traveled extensively, supporting her habit by writing travel articles for major dailies. Jo loves to draw, paint and make jewelry. Contact Jo at email@example.com or (925) 631-4896.