Joanna RosenthalOriginally from Westchester County, New York, Joanna has lived in a variety of different cities across the United States, where she has worked in strategic communications and journalism. Joanna joined Nueva from the Alzheimer’s Association, where she held roles in both communications and development. Before her career in nonprofit communications, Joanna was an Emmy-winning television news anchor and reporter in Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Richmond, Virginia.

Joanna recently relocated to the West Coast from Boston with her family.

1. What experiences from your past have best prepared you to help tell the story of Nueva?

Throughout my career, I’ve worked at both large and small companies and nonprofits, in cities across the country. I’m intrigued by trailblazing and mission-driven organizations that are poised for growth. I deeply admire the vision Karen Stone McCown had when she founded Nueva, and believe in Nueva’s commitment to serving gifted learners.

Amazing experiences are unfolding at Nueva each day, and I’m constantly struck by the incredible passion our students have for exploring their world. I’m inspired when I watch learning happen — it’s magical.

My three daughters currently attend preschool. I love hearing about their days at school and watching their minds at work. As a mother of identical twins, I’m particularly interested in the roles nature and nurture play in early development. Education is a new sector for me professionally, and it is thrilling to work in an environment like Nueva.

2. Many readers may not know that you are an Emmy-winning news anchor and reporter! During your time in broadcast news, what kinds of assignments motivated you and brought out the best in you professionally?

Television news is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled business that was so exciting for me to experience as a young professional. While I was completing my undergraduate degree, I worked for the CNN bureau in Miami. I covered major stories while with CNN, including the Florida presidential election recount of 2000 and the trail of the 9/11 hijackers through South Florida. While working in local news, I covered different beats — public safety, government watchdog investigations, and breaking news. Major weather events were often the most grueling as well as the most important stories to tell. Communities tend to come together in the face of a shared threat, and just as you see neighbor helping neighbor in the wake of a storm, news crews develop a special bond while working to make sure they can do their jobs effectively as they stand in harm’s way. The stories I liked telling the most were about real people facing and triumphing over real challenges.

3. What has been the most exciting, or challenging, part of joining Nueva and leading the Communications department?

One of the most exciting things about working at Nueva is identifying opportunities to build community through storytelling. In 2017, there are so many ways we can tell a story. It’s been challenging and rewarding to evaluate the tools we are currently using to communicate with our students, families, teachers, and visitors and see how we can experiment with new approaches while staying true to our values.

4. As someone who attends many meetings and works closely with folks across all three divisions, what advice do you have for our community about working in groups, collaborating on projects, and overcoming roadblocks in the storytelling process?

Fortunately, our communications office is integrated across all three divisions with contributors who teach in the classroom and work closely with students. While we are part of the office of institutional advancement, we serve a variety of divisions and departments at Nueva. Everyone is open and collaborative here, and I’ve yet to hit a roadblock. In traditional journalism, you hit roadblocks all the time. Sources and subjects might be reluctant to be interviewed, or parties clamor for their stories to be told, but the material would only appeal to a narrow audience. You don’t really find those issues at Nueva.

5. There is a rumor that you love ice cream. If you could create a brand new ice cream flavor inspired by your work at Nueva, what would it be?

I’d create a few different custom flavors for Nueva ice cream lovers. Maverick Marshmallow is a vanilla ice cream base with marshmallow and fudge swirls and a hint of cinnamon. Nuttably Nueva is a honey ice cream base with peanut brittle and spicy pecans. For those who prefer dairy-free, Ballet Lawn Berry is a blackberry sorbet with a hint of mint.


November 3, 2017

 

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