CBCL Conference 2024 Coomunciation and Digital Media Executive in Residence Jackie Hoffman

From left: Jodi Radosh, Ph.D.; Sherrin Smith, Jackie Hoffman, Kyle Rudart, and Dane Sabarese 

Hoffman named executive-in-residence for university’s communication and digital media department  

Alvernia University and the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA)  hosted the second annual College of Business, Communication, and Leadership (CBCL): Because You Matter Conference at the John R. Post Center at Reading CollegeTowne on Thursday, drawing over 200 participants.  


“We are living in consequential times right now with geopolitical tensions, social justice issues and questions surrounding the value of higher education,” said Dean of the College of Business, Communication, and Leadership Travis Berger, Ph.D. “At Alvernia, we often pose the Franciscan question ‘what is ours to do?’ That is why we are here. This conference fosters important dialogue as we face these wicked challenges. The opportunity to have seasoned professionals from all levels meaningfully engaging with academics and students to share their experiences, expertise and perspectives all in one place highlights the value of higher education, mentorship and intentional partnerships like the one we have with the GRCA.”  


The theme of the conference was “The Future of Work” and included sessions on entrepreneurship, leadership, podcasting, AI, community journalism, sustainability, publishing, and social media marketing. Business professionals, academics, government officials, community activists, students, and community members attended to engage in meaningful dialogue. Attendees were also able to attend workshops to engage with the Bloomberg Terminal, podcast suites, Adobe Creative Cloud and Alvernia’s Office of Career Development. President and CEO of the GRCA and Alvernia Trustee Lucine Sihelnik, provided the opening remarks: “Why Leadership? Why Now?” 


"GRCA is very proud to be a Presentation Partner with Alvernia for this event,” said Sihelnik. “Every leader, across all sectors, will be responsible for change on a local, national and global level... Because you matter, and so do I, and every leader and future leader to come, you need to cultivate resilience and invest in your professional development. Today, that is exactly what the conference brings to you.” 


CBCL also announced the expansion of the Executive-in-Residence Program to include Jackie Hoffman, former Y-102, current T-102 WPPA radio personality and podcast host as the inaugural communication and digital media executive-in-residence. The business executive-in-residence is D.G. Yuengling & Son’s Chief Administrative Officer and 6th generation family member, Wendy Yuengling. 


“We are excited to have Jackie Hoffman serving as the very first communication and digital media executive-in-residence,” said Berger. “Our students, faculty, and the greater Alvernia community are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from her.” 


For her first appearance on campus, Hoffman sat on a panel about the future of podcasting moderated by Professor and Chair of the Communication and Digital Media marketing Department, Jodi Radosh, Ph.D. alongside communication majors and podcast hosts Sherrin Smith, Kyle Rudart and Dane Sabarese. Radosh, Hoffman and Smith even recorded a live episode of the Dessert First podcast during the workshop in the university’s podcast suite. 


“I'm honored to have been asked to be in this role. Being in the industry for 40 years and getting to share what I know about the history of communications to people of all ages means a lot,” said Hoffman. “The students can teach me, and I can teach them. What I saw at the conference is the fact that these students are thriving with all the changes that have been made to the media landscape. It was really neat listening to how they do their podcasts and to build relationships with the students as well.” 


Hoffman shared her radio broadcast and podcast journey that started at 15 when she rode her bicycle to the local T-102 radio station in Pottsville and her transition to Y-102 in Berks County where she broadcasted on-air for 10 years until finding her way back to T-102 where she has been the last several years. Smith, Rudart and Sabarese discussed how they started their podcast journeys at Alvernia and, like Hoffman, shared best practices that helped them get to where they are today.  


“As someone who aspires to essentially do what Jackie has done, she has done a great job providing me with advice for the steps I need to take to advance my career into the journalism industry. She also provides insight about the journalism industry and how to navigate it as technology advances,” said Sabarese. “I really appreciated being asked to be a panelist because I was not only able to share my experiences with others but I was able to learn different tactics and approaches that my peers use for their podcasts. Overall, I thought the CBCL Conference was a great idea and a great way for students like myself to showcase my undergraduate portfolio and network.” 


Listen to Smith, Rudart and Sabarese’s podcasts here: 

Sherrin Smith: No Questions Asked Podcast & From the Den COMING SOON.  

Kyle Rudart: Rude Awakening Podcast 

Dane Sabarese: The 401 Podcast & Wolves Weekly Podcast.  

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