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Melissa R. Brandon, PhD

Unique, engaging, and accomplished communications professional who brings together significant and diverse experience in television news journalism, the non-profit sector, corporate public relations, and academia.

Exceptional communications strategist, multi-media story-telling expert, and team leader. Focuses on transcending barriers, solving challenges, exceeding goals, and building trust with both partners and audiences through well-architected, integrated, and effective multi-media communications.

Accomplished scholar focusing on political communication including media effects, cognition, and gender studies. Experience with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research design and implementation.


Highly-reviewed academic lecturer with experience across core public relations courses. Experienced and motivating student advisor and active student mentor.

Academic Experience 

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 7/2021 – 6/2023
Lecturer | Communications

  • Highly-reviewed instructor of undergraduate level public relations courses. Focusing on modernizing and customizing course content in a fast-changing profession to facilitate industry-specific learning and student engagement.

  • Courses taught include introduction to public relations, public relations writing, media relations, public relations case studies, and capstone level campaigns where students produce full-scale public relations plans for real-world clients.

  • Service: Public Relations Society of America Student Advisor.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 8/2013 - 12/2023
Doctoral Candidate

  • Political communication scholar with research interests including media effects, women political candidates, cognition, bias, and gender studies.

  • Research background includes quantitative, qualitative and mixed method study design.

Professional Experience 

Charles Schwab, Lone Tree, CO & Raleigh, NC 3/2015 -8/2021
Director | Corporate Communications / (3/2017 to 8/2021)

  • Led strategic planning and administration of executive leadership meetings in support of creatively increasing employee engagement.

  • Directed firm’s “employer of choice” campaign, communicating impactful and compelling multi-media stories of Schwab’s people, culture, and experiences.

  • Maintained and projected brand identity throughout all communications, in alignment with corporate mission while influencing both employees’ advocacy and the conversion of community members into clients and applicants.

  • Developed, managed, and executed effective marketing and messaging in multi- media content for numerous internal and external channels.

  • Provided location-based communication counsel. as well as tactical and strategic support, inclusive of crisis communications development and messaging in concert with strategic corporate objectives.

  • Led Schwab’s award-winning participation in multiple ‘Best Workplace” rankings.

Senior Manager| Field Communications / (3/2015 to 3/2017)

  • Managed and provided teams with supportive content creation expertise for daily news emails and bi-weekly electronic newsletter via Constant Contact.

  • Directly interfaced with all internal teams via creating and distributing senior leadership corporate messages.

  • Determined and executed effective strategies for crisis communications.

  • Developed intra-web pages, managing and evaluating effectiveness of all content for targeted audiences.

  • Led efforts for multi-media platforms’ development to improve service for internal audience receipt of corporate communications.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Denver, CO & Washington, DC 9/2006 – 8/2013

Senior Director – Organizational Communications/5/2010 – 8/2013

Director – Communications/ 6/2008 – 5/2010

  • Directly supervised team, shared employees, and contractors in weekly development and implementation of an hour-long, nationally televised program.

  • Architected multi-million-dollar online training platform for nationwide audience.

  • Exhibited strong branding knowledge, supported C-level communications, membership retention, and increased new revenue annually by as much as 40%.

  • Produced large-scale live television events across U.S., managing staff of 100+.

  • Financial management and adherence to multi-million-dollar budgets.

Associate Director – Brand Communications/ 5/2007 – 6/2008

Manager – Media Relations/ 9/2006 – 5/2007

  • Managed weekly production and directed marketing and public relations for “Cattlemen to Cattlemen” weekly television show. Produced print and audio releases, and managed web content for trade and consumer media.

  • Concepted and developed association’s annual report, fact sheets, news releases, media statements, speeches, and industry relevant talking points.

  • Led on-site management of large-scale media support facilities.

KCNC (CBS4) & KUSA (9News), Denver, CO

KKTV (11News), Colorado Springs, CO 2/2002 – 9/2006

  • Leveraged foundational education in media production and journalism to produce award-winning new programming. Held ownership of story selection, script and tease writing, show composition, live shot coordination, accordion/squeeze shows, graphic development, web content development, and crew management.


Ph.D. in Political Communication, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO

Master of Professional Studies in Organizational Leadership, Certificate of Advanced Study – Public Relations and Marketing, University of Denver, Denver, CO

Bachelor of Arts – Dual Degrees, Journalism and Technical Communication /Political Science, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO

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