New Staff Member Joins Center To Assist with Grant Writing

Joan Zitzelman, a communication specialist with extensive experience in business and government relations, became the newest member of the Cox Center when she joined the staff as a program coordinator in December.

Zitzelman's primary responsibility in the Center will be proposal writing and working with potential corporate sponsors of Cox Center activities. She is cum laude graduate of the Grady College of Journalism, holding an AB-J degree. She also earned a master's degree from the College, combining journalism and the humanities. She worked as a researcher for public and commercial television stations in New York before returning to Georgia and a position handling news and production assignments for Channel 11 in Atlanta.

Zitzelman moved into public information work for the Georgia State Senate. She also worked with Georgia Power Company, where she frequently coordinated internship programs that included Grady College students. Georgia Power transferred her to the Georgia mountains to direct operations of a visitors center when the Company developed attractions and visitor facilities around Tallulah Falls that are now incorporated into Tallulah Gorge State Park.

She then began to specialize in tourism marketing and served as Director of the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1989 through 1996.

"It was my most exciting and challenging professional opportunity to date to work in partnership with the University of Georgia, business and political leaders from Athens and northeast Georgia as we hosted athletes, spectators and the international media during the years leading up to Olympic events at the University venues," she comments.

Since 1996, Zitzelman has performed a variety of marketing and journalism assignments for individual clients through her own business, Georgia Mountain Promotions.

At least initially, Zitzelman will work half-time in the Center. She will continue her outside work as a professional communications consultant.

Immediately upon joining the Center, Zitzelman worked with Cox Center Visiting Research Scientist Dr. Tudor Vlad and Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker on a proposal to develop a joint training program for journalists between the University of Georgia and Babes-Bolyai University in Romania. Dr. Vlad is director of the School of Journalism at Babes-Bolyai.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to have someone with Joan Zitzelman's credentials join the Cox Center," Dr. Becker said. "I know she is going to help in our efforts to broaden the exchange activities of the Center."

Zitzelman joins Kornelia Probst-Mackowiak as one of two program coordinators in the Center.