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On Wednesday, November 9, Seton Hill University welcomed Rich Stimel, vice president of Corporate Communications, First Commonwealth Bank, Mike Wilson, media specialist, and Susan Weczorich, assistant professor, communication, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, to the first annual Communication Panel Discussion. Hosted by the Communication Honors Society, Lambda Pi Eta, and facilitated by Jack Ciak, Sc.D., the event featured three communication professionals.

In his role as vice president for Corporate Communications for First Commonwealth Bank, a $5.7 billion financial institution headquartered in Indiana, Pa., and operating 112 retail offices in 15 counties in western and central Pennsylvania, Stimmel oversees all internal and external corporate communications, including press releases, executive speeches, employee communications, online messaging, social media engagement, crisis communications and media relations. In addition to his corporate communications experience, Stimmel worked for many years in the advertising industry in a variety of capacities, including copywriting, media buying and account service. He is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators and the Public Relations Society of America. Stimmel is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business with a dual concentration in finance and marketing.

Wilson has been contributing to the media since his junior year at Forest Hills High School, where he wrote school news for the Portage Dispatch. He later attended college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where he worked in various student media outlets. For two years, Wilson was the sports director at WIUP-FM, where he called play-by-play for Crimson Hawks athletics and produced the station's sports programming. Before completing his studies, Wilson also served as a staff sports writer for the campus newspaper, The Penn, a sports analyst on IUP-TV, president of the Society of Professional Journalists (IUP Chapter), and editorial intern at Johnstown Magazine. He graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a double minor in communication media and English. Wilson currently works for the Westmoreland Sports Network.

Wieczorek is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and speaking enhanced coordinator for general communication. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in education Master of Arts degree in communication. Wieczorek is completing her doctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh. She has experience as a public relations director, personnel marketing director and manager at a medical practice.

“I loved stories the panelists shared about the unique, and unexpected, paths that the communication field led them on,” stated Julie Pierret, senior communication major. “The crowd was completely focused on the professionals’ careers and interested to learn about opportunities that we may have.”