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Stories | 03.11.24

Meet the Team: Communications

From expanding the University’s reach through media relations and social media to developing editorial and brand guidelines, it’s been a busy year for the Communications staff — one of the newest teams created at the University.

Meet the Team graphicResponsible for maintaining the institutional brand and creating and disseminating content, the team’s goal is to elevate the University’s academic reputation and drive philanthropic efforts.

The Communications staff has done significant work over the course of the last year, with all team positions filled. The team has implemented several tools to support the institution, including a centralized project management system, a standardized platform for internal messages, a program to monitor and track media coverage, and a web-based design and publishing tool to help faculty and staff create various visual content.

In 2024, the team is focusing on previously untapped tactics, including more videos and creating larger content packages. The team most recently launched the new series, This is Adler, which combines video and traditional storytelling to highlight Adler’s unique programs, and the social media campaign, Meet an Adlerian, which highlights individuals who inspire the next generation of Adlerians.

Let’s meet the small but mighty team that’s making all of this happen. And, if you have story ideas, the team has made the process easier than ever. Share exciting news, updates, and announcements by emailing [email protected] to schedule time with a member of the Communications team or by completing this request form.

Heather Miller
Director, Public Relations

Where is your hometown?
Birmingham, Alabama

Photo of Heather and her husband Doug horseback riding.

Heather and her husband, Doug, at the 2024 NGSPA Region 16 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship.

What is your role on the Communications team?
I manage public relations and external communications for the University. This includes pitching Adler news and stories to media, seeking opportunities to showcase our faculty expertise through media interviews, and driving awareness for the University among external audiences.

From your perspective, how does your role impact/benefit students, faculty, and staff?
Through my role, I am able to drive broader awareness for the University and position faculty as experts in a wide range of news outlets. Media coverage of the University and our experts not only aids in brand awareness, but it also helps the University’s online search presence, driving positive returns on our organic search rankings; and 40-50% of our enrollment starts from organic search.

What led you to Adler?
The University’s focus on the idea that our health resides in our community, so we all play a role in keeping our communities healthy, led me to Adler. The opportunity to help grow awareness for the institution and the great work happening, not to mention I get to work with a great team, is icing on the cake.

When I’m not at work, I’m: Playing with my husband and daughter, and doing chores on our farm. We spend a great deal of time outdoors with our bird dogs and horses.

One fun fact about me: My husband and I hunt and compete with our dogs. We hunt upland birds (quail, grouse, pheasant), and compete in field trials (hunting competitions) with our dogs. We do both activities on horseback, so all of the animals get to participate!

Alexander Perez (he/him/el)
Social Media Manager

Where is your hometown?
I’m originally from Aurora, 45 minutes west of Chicago.

Photo of Alex Perez at Waynes World

Alex inside the main control area at the Wayne’s World TV station in 2016.

What is your role on the Communications team?
All things social media for the University, including content creation, partnerships, video, and strategy.

From your perspective, how does your role impact/benefit students, faculty, and staff?
My role helps build community, share stories, create opportunities to learn and engage, and overall, visually introduce the world to Adler University and how dope of a place it is.

What led you to Adler?
The mission.

When I’m not at work, I’m: working.

One fun fact about me: I ran the Wayne’s World TV station.

Tara Romanella (she/her)
Associate Vice President, Communications

Where is your hometown?
I was born in Toronto, moved to North Carolina when I was seven with my family. I consider both of them my hometown — they each are in their own way — but there is no place like Toronto! 

Photo of Tara Romanella and her favorite chips

As a Canadian, Tara enjoys one of her favorite snacks — ketchup potato chips.

What is your role on the Communications team?
The Communications team at Adler is responsible for many things — from public relations to internal communications, event support and promotion to storytelling and social media. In my role, I work on strategy development but am still very involved in content execution. I also have the privilege of working with an incredibly talented team, each of whom brings communications at Adler to life.

From your perspective, how does your role impact/benefit students, faculty, and staff?
We strive to tell stories about the extraordinary work happening at Adler to internal audiences and the public. These efforts help inform prospective students about what it would be like to attend Adler, but they also help engage partners, generate awareness, and increase the University’s academic reputation.

What led you to Adler?
I began my career working in Los Angeles at a boutique public relations firm under one of the entertainment industry’s leading crisis experts. It was a fantastic experience, but I was still looking for more. That is what led me to a career in higher education, working at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Clemson University. Like many of us, when I learned about Adler and its social justice mission, I was immediately interested in joining the institution. After learning about the University and this position, which was new to the institution, I saw it as an exciting opportunity to build a new team at an organization that aligns with my values.

When I’m not at work, I’m: Probably doing something around my house. I’ve been working room to room, renovating it DIY style since I purchased it six years ago. I’ve started dabbling in re-doing furniture, too. Outside of my HGTV attempts, I love spending time with my dog, cooking, and practicing yoga.

One fun fact about me: I practiced classical ballet for 10 years and was in the Nutcracker for five years. Ketchup potato chips are also my absolute favorite thing.

Kimber Solana (he/him)
Content Strategist/Writer

Where is your hometown?
That’s tough to answer because I’ve moved around. Born in Digos City, Philippines, but have lived the longest in Chicago (14 years).

Photo of Kimber Solana in Maui

Kimber Solana hikes the Haleakala Volcano in Maui.

What is your role on the Communications team?
I write, edit, and create content for the University’s internal and external audiences. This can vary between writing stories for Adler News, editing the weekly e-newsletter (Inside Adler), copyediting reports and social media copy, and updating the University’s Editorial Style Guide.

From your perspective, how does your role impact/benefit students, faculty, and staff?
By highlighting the great social justice-related work at Adler — from our profiles of alums and graduates to stories featuring students’ internships and the University’s partnerships with community organizations — I help prospective students get a better sense of what it’s like to attend Adler and what makes the University and its programs unique.

What led you to Adler?
After writing about dentistry for eight years at the American Dental Association, I was ready for a change. I knew at Adler, I’d be able to write stories more focused on social justice-related work that students, staff, and faculty are doing — from providing mental health services to young people and health care workers to influencing programs that help the historically underserved.

When I’m not at work, I’m: either reading a novel, binging a new show, traveling somewhere new, or taking pictures of my cat.

One fun fact about me: I used to be a newspaper reporter, covering everything from crime and courts to city hall.

Jenii Stewart (they/them)
Art Director

Where is your hometown?
Grew up in Clayton, Indiana (the middle of nowhere).

Photo of Jenii Stewart and Robin Hood

Jenii with one of their six pets, Robin Hood.

What is your role on the Communications team?
I make sure anything Adler branded adheres to our brand guidelines and aids in putting the University’s best foot forward. I also run the online store, and oversee Adler’s new templating solution called Marq, and the University’s digital asset management software Brandfolder.

From your perspective, how does your role impact/benefit students, faculty, and staff?
Through design, I aim to make students, faculty, and staff feel excited about the University, and proud to represent Adler and its mission.

What led you to Adler?
After doing the agency hustle, I was looking for an in-house team where I could bring my full, authentic self to work and feel like I’m making a difference at the same time. I’ve found that at Adler. I love the social justice mission of the University.

When I’m not at work, I’m: probably drawing. I’m a total nerd and enjoy drawing comic book characters and my weekly D&D night. I’m currently slowly working on drawing my party’s characters. Character design is my happy place.

One fun fact about me: I shoot traditional archery and have two longbows at home. My fiancé, Sarah, and I also have six pets who keep us busy and endlessly entertained: four cats, a dog, and a snake.

Meet the Team graphic

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