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Who We Are

Welcome to the Office of Communications

Members of our team include former print and broadcast journalists, and publications, marketing, design and communication experts. Learn more about them below.

Jennifer Berryman
Executive vice chancellor for communications

Jennifer Berryman is executive vice chancellor for communications and the chief communications officer at UMass Chan Medical School. Jennifer’s team tells the stories of UMass Chan and its unique contributions to the academic health sciences by highlighting groundbreaking biomedical research, top-rated education and public service efforts that advance the health and wellness of our diverse communities throughout Massachusetts and across the world. Prior to joining the medical school in 2014, Berryman spent 19 years at WCVB-TV, where she helped to lead the news team that earned the national Edward R. Murrow Overall Excellence Award, one of journalism’s highest honors, in 2012 and 2014. She is a graduate of Ithaca College and in 2009 completed the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation’s Health Coverage Fellowship.


Lisa M. Larson
Associate vice chancellor, communications

Lisa Larson oversees an experienced team of writers, editors and multimedia content creators who identify and develop timely news and feature stories on the world-class research, education, health care and public service missions at UMass Chan. Lisa, a Massachusetts native, worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years prior to joining the Office of Communications at the Medical School as a news media producer in 2011. A graduate of Fitchburg State University, her first job in journalism was at her hometown paper, the Clinton Item, before working for the MetroWest Daily News and most recently, the Boston Herald. The mother of two daughters, Lisa is an active Girl Scout leader in her local community.

  • Samuella Akaab

    Samuella Akaab

    Junior graphic designer

    Samuella Akaab joined UMass Chan in early 2022. Prior to that, Samuella was a graphic design intern at the Nigerian-American fashion company Femi Aina New York. She received her Bachelor of Arts in marketing and graphic design from Assumption University. Outside the office, she enjoys exploring new TV shows and music and is a foodie.

  • Joanna Alizio

    Joanna Alizio

    Web communications content manager

    Joanna Alizio has more than a decade of experience in higher education as a writer for language-learning textbooks, an editor for a health and wellness magazine, and as a classroom Spanish teacher. In her role as web communications manager, Joanna manages the website standardization initiative, a collaboration between the Office of Communications and academic departments to strategically improve, update and standardize UMass Chan websites. She also manages internal web projects for the Office of Communications. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish language and literature from the University of New Hampshire.

  • Lisa Barry

    Lisa Barry

    Executive assistant

    For more than a decade Lisa Barry has provided high-level administrative support for a wide range of projects within the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of Communications at UMass Chan Medical School. Immediately prior to joining UMass Chan, Lisa managed the office of a former president of a major security technology company. She has a degree in machine and tool design and began her career as a draftsman at Digital.

  • Ellie Castano

    Ellie Castano

    Senior director, editorial

    Ellie Castano brings more than 25 years of experience to her role as senior director, editorial. In this role, Ellie works to ensure that all content produced by the Office of Communications is aligned with institutional style, brand, standards and goals. She maintains the UMass Chan editorial style guide, oversees web project and content team members, and serves on the Branding Committee. She is also managing editor of @umasschan magazine. Prior to her current role in the Office of Communications, she contributed stories to the news website and various publications at UMass Chan as well as coordinated production of numerous print pieces. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she also began her career in higher ed communications. She joined the Medical School in 2005.

  • James R. Fessenden

    James R. Fessenden

    Senior science writer

    Jim Fessenden writes about the exciting and groundbreaking basic and translational research taking place at UMass Chan Medical School. Some of Jim's areas of interest include molecular and cellular physiology, genetics, RNA biology, gene therapy, rare disease research, stem cell biology, and systems biology. He collaborates between external science media and UMass Chan faculty and staff to promote UMass Chan science. Prior to joining UMass Chan in 2008, he worked in journalism and public relations.

  • Bryan Goodchild

    Bryan Goodchild

    Video and digital media director

    Bryan Goodchild directs, drives and oversees the development and production of professionally high quality and engaging videography, photography, podcasts and multimedia content to highlight and amplify the mission and accomplishments of UMass Chan. Prior to joining UMass Chan, Bryan worked for several years in broadcast television in Vermont after graduating from St. Michael’s College, and in Boston for WFXT and WBZ.

  • Janjay Innis

    Janjay Innis

    Communications content specialist, diversity and inclusion

    Janjay K. Innis works with stakeholders across the Medical School to systematically create, improve, maintain and review diversity, inclusion and health equity content. As the lead diversity storyteller at UMass Chan, Janjay curates diversity content and messaging for UpNext, the Diversity and Inclusion Office’s weekly newsletter, and UMass Chan News to report on the progress UMass Chan is making toward diversity, equity and inclusion. She has more than 10 years of experience working with nonprofits and faith communities to shift their organizational culture and community engagement strategies from charitable social service to justice-based social change through education on racial and economic disparities and systemic change through civic and legislative engagement. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the UMass Amherst, with a specialization in American studies, and a Master of Divinity with a concentration in conflict transformation from Boston University School of Theology.

  • Dan Lambert

    Dan Lambert

    Brand director

    Dan Lambert leads the UMass Chan visual branding strategy and produces a wide range of graphic design pieces in support of the school’s strategic goals. Dan’s design work includes templates and graphics distributed through the Brand Toolkit, presentation material for the Office of the Chancellor, social media graphics, an assortment of admissions and events collateral, and @umasschan magazine. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art education/sculpture and a professional certificate in graphic design from MassArt. Prior to joining UMass Chan, Dan was senior graphic designer for the MIT Alumni Association.  

  • Hallie Leo

    Hallie Leo

    Marketing content coordinator

    Hallie Leo is thrilled to capture the brilliant and diverse stories that UMass Chan Medical School students offer to the world. With a professional background in both radio news reporting and digital marketing, Hallie enjoys finding creative solutions and contributing to collaborative work. She graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Dickinson College. When out of the office, you might find her laughing at a comedy show, scouting out the best places to eat or singing karaoke. 

  • Colleen Locke

    Colleen Locke

    Digital marketing director

    Using data to direct strategy, Colleen Locke writes and produces content for the institutional social media accounts. Colleen also manages the office’s weekly newsletter and writes stories for the UMass Chan News website and @umasschan magazine. She is available to advise colleagues across UMass Chan on social media best practices and guidelines. She came to UMass Chan from UMass Boston, where she served as digital communications editor in its Office of Communications. Prior to that, she was a three-time Emmy-winning television and web producer. Colleen does community theater for fun and is a Buffalo Bills, Syracuse Orange and NASCAR fan.

  • Hayley Mignacca

    Hayley Mignacca

    Media relations specialist

    Hayley Mignacca joined the UMass Chan Office of Communications in late 2022. Hayley supports the media relations director in promoting the Medical School's faculty, staff and students through media outreach. She leads the production of the weekly UMass Chan 'In the News' newsletter, she also supports the production of the Voices of UMass Chan podcast and writes for UMass Chan News. Prior to joining UMass Chan, Hayley worked for nearly four years in broadcast journalism and news production, most recently as the 6 p.m. producer at Spectrum News 1 Worcester. She got her start working as an associate producer on the sunrise shows at WJAR Providence.

    She graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence with a Bachelor of Science in media and communications. Hayley is a Rhode Island native. When she’s not working, she likes to spend time with her family and her cat, Leela, and go to the gym and travel.

  • Patrick Sargent

    Patrick Sargent

    Communications writer

    Patrick Sargent joined the UMass Chan Medical School Communications team in 2022 as a communications writer, covering government and community relations stories, campus events, and more for UMass Chan's online news and print publications. Before coming to UMass Chan, Pat was a journalist in the Worcester area for nearly a decade. A lifelong Worcester resident, he grew up just over a mile away from the UMass Chan campus. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Worcester State University. Off campus, he is the showrunner for a pair of podcasts: "Unsolved: Worcester," a true-crime podcast, and the upcoming "The United States of U.F.Os," which will explore the historical context of UFO sightings in America. He enjoys sports radio, hot coffee and reading.

  • Susan E.W. Spencer

    Susan E.W. Spencer

    Senior writer and editor

    Susan Spencer brings decades of print journalism and public health experience to shape major medical science stories for UMass Chan's online news and magazine publications. While a reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Susan covered health, investigative stories and local news. Before she fell in love with journalism, she worked in health policy and nonprofit organizations. Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, where she majored in psychology, and a Master of Science in health policy and management from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A longtime avid distance runner, she returned to running marathons after becoming an empty nester. 

  • Sarah Willey

    Sarah Willey

    Media relations director

    Sarah Willey identifies stories to help promote the incredible work of UMass Chan’s faculty, staff and students. Prior to working in public relations, Sarah spent the first half of her career in broadcast journalism as a producer and writer in fast-paced newsrooms around Boston. Both fields require her to be forward thinking, nimble and organized. As a media relations director at UMass Chan, she works to build strong mutual relationships with reporters who cover health, medicine and science and inform them about news at UMass Chan. When she is not working, she spends her time with her family, including husband Aron, teenage daughters, Samantha and Molly, and their 10-pound Shih Tzu/Chihuahua, Snickers. If she could retire anywhere, it would be Croatia. She loves to listen to podcasts and music, works out every day and couldn’t live without peanut butter or coffee.