Meet the Team

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Alyssa Susnjara

Senior Media Relations Specialist

Alyssa Susnjara is a senior media relations specialist at Circa who is constantly consuming the news. She always has her finger on the pulse of trending news topics, allowing her to build strong relationships with the media by providing relevant sources while bringing top-tier media opportunities to the faculty members she works with. She’s most passionate about fostering trusting relationships with her clients, diving into their research, and securing opportunities that showcase their monumental work in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired. Alyssa graduated from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication with a degree in public relations. She moved to San Diego to enjoy the sunnier side of things — with endless access to beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and all the varieties of macaroni and cheese the city has to offer.
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Andrew Glasser

PPC Team Lead

A graduate of the University of California, Andrew Glasser has been with Circa for over five years and is currently our acting PPC team lead. He is an expert in all of our PPC channels — Google, Bing, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and many more. Taking an approach focused on student enrollment, ROI, and problem-solving, he researches, plans, and manages many of our clients’ PPC accounts and is responsible for over $100,000 in ad spend every month. In addition to golfing and coaching lacrosse, he is passionate about supporting his team, exceeding client expectations, and, above all, always being open to learning new things.
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Ashlyn Lipori-Russie

Media Relations Specialist

Ashlyn Lipori-Russie brings more than six years of journalism and media experience to the digital PR team. Prior to joining Circa in November 2019, she received a local Emmy nomination for her work in news production. Ashlyn’s experience has taught her how to bridge the gap between news and public relations, pitching stories that spark the interest of national publications. In her short time at Circa, she has landed faculty placements in CNN, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and more. A California native, she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 with a degree in political science and a passion for digital storytelling in order to educate the masses. In her off time, you can find Ashlyn teaching yoga, talking to strangers, reading at the beach, or planning a weekend getaway.
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Audrey Willis

Account Manager

Audrey Willis is an account manager at Circa who joined the team in 2015. Her background in higher education began during her senior year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she worked as a marketing and public relations specialist for the university. Audrey brings almost a decade of social media marketing experience along with a background in PR, digital marketing, and graphic design, lending both creative and analytical skills to the marketing team. Just recently, Audrey earned a certificate in leadership principles from Harvard Business School Online. As an account manager, Audrey manages the execution of holistic marketing strategies and identifies opportunities to exceed goals. By leveraging her PR background and passion for results-driven strategy, she strives to transform every professional relationship into a true partnership. When she’s not at her desk, you can find Audrey cruising down the boardwalk or dancing to a funky beat.
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Bill Timpe

Director of Project Management & Technical Operations

Bill Timpe is the director of project management and technical operations at Circa. He leads the account and project teams while ensuring top-notch project execution and client delivery for partners such as Harvard Kennedy School and Tulane University. After graduating with a degree in history from California State University, Chico, Bill realized that history was filled with entities that had failed because of a lack of organization, and it drove his passion to find ways to help teams succeed at an optimal level. Bill then pursued a career in all things web, with the hopes of taking on a project management role. Bill is focused on engaging team members to provide best-in-class program management experiences, and he draws on his background in leading project teams for the Sony eCommerce Platform. He continues to work on new process iterations, pushing Circa and its partners toward higher efficiency standards.
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Brette Cox

Partnership Manager

As a partnership manager at Circa, Brette Cox takes pride in serving as a true partner and advocate for her clients to help them tie their marketing efforts to true results. Through her tailored approach and goal-specific strategies, she provides a unique perspective on marketing in the education field. She developed her deep expertise in ROI-driven marketing tactics through her years of experience as a marketing consultant to best-selling authors, global retail brands, and leading advertising agencies, among others. Brette previously owned a marketing consulting firm where she helped clients implement holistic strategies to facilitate business growth. Always drawn to business and marketing, Brette created her first business plan in elementary school. Since then, she’s been obsessed with building businesses and brands. She holds a marketing degree from Clemson University and believes the best fall Saturdays are spent in Death Valley watching the Tigers play.
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Caroline Khalili

Director of Communications

Caroline Khalili is the director of communications at Circa. Since joining the company in 2014, she has been instrumental in leveraging key stakeholders, such as faculty members, to help institutions engage with target audiences in more meaningful and authentic ways. A seasoned interviewer and communications strategist, Caroline is well-positioned to draw out key insights and unique aspects from university partners to help guide the creation of compelling client narratives, eye-catching creative, and valuable media opportunities on their behalf — ultimately leading to increased student enrollment and retention. She also leads the development of research-based personas, which allows institutions to more effectively reach and engage with key audiences through tailored messaging and visuals. Her own insights around PR trends and topics have been featured in PR Daily, Meltwater, and Entrepreneur. Caroline graduated from the University of Oregon with honors in business administration and marketing. A Seattle native, she is happy to now reside in sunny San Diego.
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Cherie D’Souza

Analytics Leader, Sr. Data Analyst

Cherie D’Souza is the analytics leader and senior data analyst at Circa, where she collaborates with various teams across the organization to enhance and develop in-depth client analytics. She brings with her over 13 years of analytical experience, stemming from her tenure with Marsh Inc., a Fortune 500 Company. She has been with Circa since 2019 and has collaborated with various teams across Circa to enhance and develop in-depth client and partner analytics. Her past experience in analytics, process development, and Salesforce CRM administration allows her to excel in the digital marketing space. Cherie is a proud Penn State alumna, and you can find her proudly wearing her Penn State blue and white on most weekends while watching sports with both her two-legged and four-legged babies. She lives in the Northeast and loves the beach, boating, and getting outside — even in the winter.
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Clayton Dean

Co-Founder, President & COO

Clayton Dean is the co-founder and chief operating officer at Circa Interactive. After chasing his dream of working in professional sports (NBA, MLB, USA Swimming) in the two years after college, Clayton found his true passion: higher education. Over the last decade, Clayton has partnered with dozens of top institutions to implement innovative marketing and enrollment strategies and consistently exceed enrollment goals. Clayton is a former Division I swimmer and holds a bachelor’s in business administration and sports marketing from Duquesne University, a master’s in organizational leadership and management from Lewis University, and a certificate in new media and internet marketing from the University of Denver. In 2018, Clayton was named a San Diego “Top Business Leader Under 40” finalist and also guided Circa Interactive to a No. 1,929 ranking on the 2018 Inc 5000. In his free time, Clayton serves on the board of the YMCA of San Diego County and the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego, competes in triathlons, and spends time with his wife and son.
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Connor Christiansen


Connor Christiansen is responsible for developing brands’ stories and delivering those stories across a variety of platforms. He graduated from the University of Nevada’s Reynolds School of Journalism in 2016 and has worked in digital marketing since 2015, primarily in PR roles. He joined Circa Interactive as a PR specialist in the summer of 2018 but soon transitioned to the copywriter role, which allows him to channel his passion for writing and storytelling into crafting brand identities for some of the country’s leading higher education institutions. You can see Connor’s work across our clients’ creative guides, social media advertisements, email campaigns, Google Ads, landing pages, and any other brand touchpoints. Outside of Circa, Connor writes about comic books, the Star Wars franchise, and the video game industry for AIPT Comics, where he also co-hosts Talkin’ Tauntauns: A Star Wars Podcast. If Connor isn’t buried in a comic book or glued to his TV, he’s likely playing or watching hockey.
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Davis Bourgeois

Media Relations Specialist

Davis Bourgeois is a media relations specialist with more than five years of media production experience. Davis recently moved back to San Diego after working in New York City for three years as a news producer at Newsweek and later Fox News. Her experience in news production gives her a deep understanding of the importance of building authentic relationships with media members in order to consistently secure placements in national publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post. As a native of Orange County, California, Davis is excited to be back on the West Coast, where the weather is always warm, breweries are always open, and a dog beach is never more than 10 minutes away.

Farzin Espahani

Director of Paid Media and Analytics

Farzin Espahani is the director of paid media and analytics at Circa Interactive. He is obsessed with conversion rate optimization and finding a healthy balance between cost per lead and cost per enrolled student. He has developed and executed paid media strategies for a variety of higher education institutions. For example, he has conducted media analysis and facilitated budget management for Tulane University, American University, University of San Diego, University of Pennsylvania, and LSU, as well as many other higher education institutions. Farzin takes a unique approach to behavioural targeting in paid advertising which stems from his educational background in Social Psychology and Bio-Cultural Anthropology. Farzin built and managed multiple high-performance digital marketing teams within a variety of industries. In 2005, Farzin co-founded The Patient’s Guide, a web publishing and lead-generation company serving healthcare providers. His company was acquired by IAC Publishing, the company behind & Farzin holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in bio-cultural anthropology from California State University, Fullerton.
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Frederic Lee

Senior Director, SEO + Content Strategy

Frederic Lee is the senior director of SEO and content strategy at Circa. He leads search visibility strategy and execution for dozens of higher education programs. Frederic has proved that any university, big or small, can increase its presence and tell its story in the often-daunting global search engines. His future-facing approach to content creation strategies puts universities in front of their unique national, regional, and local audiences through search and social tactics. He leads a team of technical, creative, and strategic SEO and inbound marketing experts. Frederic graduated from Florida State University with dual bachelor’s degrees in media communications and Spanish language and literature. Frederic can be found at SMX, Unbounce, Traffic Think Tank, and other annual conferences absorbing and contributing to the best minds in the industry. He enjoys exploring the Iberian Peninsula and is constantly seeking out his next global adventure.
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Gabrielle Brambila

Visual Designer

Gaby Brambila is a visual designer at Circa, where she is responsible for ensuring that the design team creates work that aligns with the client’s brand identity as well as Circa’s vision for the client. Her primary goal, both as a designer and as a Circa employee, is to always look for new ways to innovate and grow. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from San Diego State University, where she also cut her teeth as a higher education graphic designer as the SDSU Lavin Entrepreneurship Center’s primary designer. Outside of the office, Gaby focuses on practicing her many creative crafts, such as painting, working with resin, embroidery, and digital drawing. She also enjoys seeking out the best restaurants, breweries, and movies and would ultimately like to find a way to somehow enjoy all three while nested in a green, woodsy area.
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George Bradley

PR Manager

George Bradley is the PR manager at Circa. Since joining the team in 2015, George has played a vital role in placing faculty in national media publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and CNN. With five years of experience working with university stakeholders, George has become an expert in engaging with and leveraging the expertise of faculty members to ensure their voices are represented in the media. During this time, the relationships George has built have enabled Circa to build trust within our partnerships and develop strategies that ensure the success of our digital PR initiatives. George graduated from the University of Plymouth in England with a Master of Science in Marketing Management and Strategy, and he moved to the United States shortly after. When not in the office, George can be found playing English football (soccer) or out on the golf course with his Circa colleagues, probably three-putting.
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Gissela Azcona

Junior Graphic Designer

Gissela Azcona is the junior graphic designer at Circa Interactive. A natural creative thinker, she works with the creative team to bring clients' stories to life in a way that demands the audience’s attention. Her ability to exceed creative expectations makes her an integral asset to the design team, and her never-ending passion for learning guarantees she’ll continue to develop new skills and strategies. Despite graduating high school with not much direction, Gissela quickly picked up a passion for visual storytelling and ended up graduating from CETYS University with a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Graphic Design Engineering. Aside from visual storytelling, Gissela loves working out, caring for her pup (Luna), and escaping to Disneyland whenever she can.
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Grant Leonard

Partnership Manager

As partnership manager, Grant Leonard functions as a genuine team member for Circa’s university partners. Through strategic communication abilities, holistic marketing prowess, and dynamic project management tactics, he leads the execution of program efforts, leveraging the full spectrum of the marketing mix. He’s obsessed with discovering creative ways to solve real business challenges through cutting-edge marketing campaigns, and he finds fulfillment knowing that Circa’s work amplifies so many profound stories in higher education. Prior to joining Circa, Grant owned a boutique digital marketing agency in the Washington, D.C., area. His insights have been quoted in Forbes and, and his entrepreneurial story has been told in two published interviews with ARLnow and Local Marketing Diaries. This Alexandria, Virginia, native is a proud Virginia Tech graduate. A lifelong storyteller, Grant is writing a series of novels that he hopes to publish one day.
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Haley Marx

Social Media Specialist

As the social media specialist at Circa, Haley Marx is passionate about helping clients understand and leverage the power of social media to enhance their online presence and connect universities with students who will lead the future. Haley manages multiple high-profile social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in addition to maintaining Circa’s own social media strategy. Her ambition for brand storytelling drives her to curate social content that connects like-minded individuals and moves Circa’s social media strategy forward. When she’s not working at Circa, you can find Haley stand-up paddle boarding on Mission Bay or checking out live music in the local area.
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Haylee Lynch

Project Coordinator

Haylee Lynch is a project coordinator at Circa with a passion for organization and increasing team efficiency. Her current role as project coordinator for the paid media team ensures Circa’s project deadlines and goals are met while improving day-to-day productivity. Haylee transitioned to a project management role with Circa after a career in event planning, where she discovered an interest in organization, budget planning, and resource coordination. Originally from Northern California, the miles of sunny Southern California beaches led her to San Diego State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in film and new media. When she isn’t studying for her project management certification exam, she enjoys all things San Diego. Paddleboarding, scuba diving, and visiting the San Diego Zoo baboons are a few of her favorites.
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Jacque Dobbins

Brand Manager

The brand manager at Circa, Jacque Dobbins has a passion for developing unique brand stories and creating engaging, powerful narratives that connect universities to the right students — and ultimately increase enrollment. With a career based in higher education marketing, she believes in the importance of iteration, innovative thinking, and collaboration, a philosophy she brings to her work on the creative team. Her past experience includes everything from UX, content strategy, and copywriting to editorial direction, branding, and digital advertising. She has helped tell the stories of universities both big and small, including Westminster College, University of Utah, American University, and Northwestern. Jacque grew up in the mountains of Southern Idaho and currently lives in Bend, Oregon, where you can find her reading, traveling, and spending as much time outside as possible climbing, hiking, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, paddle boarding, and rafting.
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Jason Avant

Lead Editor

In his role as lead editor, Jason Avant brings his passion for impactful, informative, and inspirational content to Circa. He has 15 years of experience in content writing, editing, and content/social media strategy, ranging from freelance and consulting work for agencies (including Ogilvy and Ketchum) and brands (including Microsoft, Porsche, and Kmart) to communications management for a Fortune 500 biotech company. As a creative writer, Jason has written for award-winning websites and magazines, and as an editor, he has overseen content that has reached hundreds of thousands of readers. A self-described “Swiss Army knife of content,” he’s spoken on brands, blogging, and social media at notable events, including PRSA’s 2009 International Conference and South by Southwest in 2011 and 2012. When he’s not working, you can find him surfing, running, hiking, traveling, playing rugby, and recovering from the aforementioned activities.
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Jerelsy Young

Junior Account Manager

Jerelsy Young is a junior account manager at Circa who combines her passion for public relations, digital marketing, and education to provide partners with timely, holistic, and creative solutions. Prior to joining Circa, she developed her marketing acumen as a brand specialist for Planet Fitness, one of the country’s fastest-growing fitness corporations, and as a project manager with WISE Advise + Assist Team, an outsourcing agency for small businesses. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside and multiple digital marketing certificates from a variety of institutions. Jerelsy is a proud military spouse and enjoys the fast-paced lifestyle the military creates. Originally from Southern California, she now resides in duty stations across the United States. She loves spending time with her family, working out, and the beach.
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John Hetu

Paid Media Specialist

John is a paid media specialist on Circa’s paid media team who is passionate about advertising and finding all the pieces of the puzzle that create the perfect digital campaign. Prior to joining Circa he worked as a program manager at an automotive testing facility, where he started making websites for friends and family in his free time. He didn’t really know how to actually get those sites in front of people, though, which led him to SEO and PPC. John quickly realized it was time for a career change, so he joined an SaS company to lead its clients’ PPC efforts. Since then, John has accrued four years of experience in paid media, and he strives to bring a creative approach to the data-driven world of PPC. When he is not at work, you can find him skateboarding, surfing, or in the kitchen making homemade gnocchi and red sauce.
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Joseph Ashby

Partnership Development Manager

As an experienced partnership development manager, Joe Ashby has helped hundreds of programs and universities build successful student enrollment campaigns for more than a decade. He learned the value of hard work in the Air Force, an experience that set the foundation for his entire life. His diverse background, work ethic, and desire to understand a client's needs and expectations are, without question, his greatest strengths. Joe holds an MBA from Saint Leo University and executive certificates in leadership and management and negotiation from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. Residing in South Florida with his wife and two children, Joe does his best to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather on a daily basis.
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Joseph Lapin

VP Marketing and Communications

Joseph Lapin is the vice president of marketing and communications at Circa. His role is focused on helping universities tell their stories within multifaceted marketing campaigns to find students who will make an impact on the world. He has run communication, branding, and content strategies for Harvard Kennedy School, Tulane University, and American University, as well as many other higher education institutions. Joseph is a graduate of the MFA program at Florida International University, and his writing has appeared in major publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, LA Weekly, Narratively, Salon, and The Los Angeles Review. He is the host and creator of The Working Poet Radio Show, where he interviews Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award winners, and Academy Award winners. He is also a former adjunct professor at Woodbury University and Florida International University.
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Joshua Pittman

Art Director

Joshua Pittman’s role at Circa is to take the messaging goals of a project and guide the creative team by determining the visual styles and mood that will best tell a client's story. He helps lead the team in creating and executing those themes in a visually compelling manner, unique to each client. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and has been working in marketing creative for over 10 years. He also acts frequently as an illustrator, specializing in digital painting in both Circa projects and his own (more fantastical) work. Josh continues to further his growth as an illustrator, focusing on techniques that enable realistic painting from imagination. He then combines these artistic techniques with visual storytelling principles to create compelling imagery with a conceptual message. His decade of experience with visual storytelling, graphic design, and illustration gives him a wide array of stylistic possibilities when working with the team to create impactful messaging.
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Justin Fisher

Director of Analytics & Digital Strategy

Justin Fisher brings a unique set of skills and experience to Circa, with more than a decade of digital marketing experience — mostly in the higher education space. He has led digital strategy and tactical efforts at the University of Wisconsin and Pearson, as well as paid media and SEO strategies for major brands such as the Golf Channel and Disney. Justin is a passionate believer in the power of education and was even a guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Justin earned a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Central Florida, a Master’s in Information Management from Arizona State University, and, most recently, a management certificate from the University of Wisconsin. When Justin isn’t working, he loves being in the sun, whether he’s at the beach or at SeaWorld with his family or trying to out-drive his friends on the golf course.
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Katie Keller

Partnership Manager

Katie Keller is a partnership manager at Circa with a passion for finding meaningful, effective ways to support the goals of Circa’s many partners. With a background in strategic management and digital marketing, she strives to create lasting relationships with partners by ensuring that day-to-day needs are met as she identifies solutions, improves efficiencies, and discovers strategic opportunities for long-term success. Katie has nearly 10 years of experience working in a variety of industries, including e-commerce, technology, and higher education, most recently serving as the director of digital marketing at a nationally recognized liberal arts college. A graduate of the University of San Diego with a bachelor's degree in marketing, Katie is a proud California native originally from the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Kyle Lambert

Director of Paid Media

Kyle Lambert is the director of paid media. Prior to Circa, Kyle spent 10 years at a variety of agencies managing paid media campaigns across a variety of industries, including higher education. He is passionate about understanding what influences people's decision-making processes to create relevant and delightful ad experiences. A native of Philadelphia, Kyle received his Business Administration degree from Susquehanna University just outside of Philly, with emphases in Marketing and Entrepreneurship along with a minor in Spanish. He is also an MBA recipient from St. Joseph's University. Sports are a lifelong family tradition as he grew up a die-hard Philadelphia fan, played collegiate lacrosse, regularly plays ping pong, cornhole, and other sports. If he’s not playing sports he can be found sitting back, watching a game.
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Lindsey Baumann

Senior Media Relations Specialist

Lindsey Baumann is a senior media relations specialist on Circa’s digital PR team. Since joining the team in 2018, she has been instrumental in delivering consistent media placements for university professors in outlets such as The Washington Post, Forbes, The Associated Press, and Scientific American. Lindsey is passionate about building strong relationships with both her clients and the media to help bring new insights to trending news topics. An East Coast native, Lindsey grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication from Virginia Tech. She relocated to San Diego to be closer to her sister and to enjoy the warm weather and good vibes. In her free time, Lindsey enjoys the North County beaches, hiking, and cheering on the Hokies!
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Maria Akhter

Content Strategist

Maria Akhter’s passion for creating valuable and engaging content for prospective students is what makes her such a strong content strategist for Circa’s SEO team. With four years of experience as a writer/editor for various university publications and student-run blogs, she has developed an expertise in content creation and a passion for sharing content with the right audience. Maria’s work can be seen in the SEO team’s expansive link-building strategies and in Circa's Higher Ed Marketing Journal content strategy. Prior to joining Circa, Maria's love for books drew her to the publishing industry, where she worked as a publicist. She is a graduate of UC Davis, with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature, and a minor in Arabic. A Bay Area native, Maria is a true California girl who enjoys basking in the San Diego sunshine and eating all of the tacos this lovely city has to offer.
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Martyna Lapinskaite

Paid Media Analyst

Martyna Lapinskaitė is a paid media analyst at Circa, where she develops and executes online paid advertising strategies based on the unique student journeys established by various universities. Martyna is passionate about data, and she often loses herself in a sea of Excel spreadsheets — analyzing data and how it impacts the enrollment experience in higher education. She strongly believes that all problems can be solved through analysis and creativity. Martyna grew up in Lithuania and attended Vilnius University, where she earned her Bachelor’s in International Business and Administration. After graduating, she lived in both Denmark and San Francisco before settling in San Diego. When she is not working, you can find her backpacking, hiking, road tripping across the country, or just couch-potatoing with her pup, Bojack.
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Meg Lundquist

Operations Manager

Meg Lundquist is the operations manager at Circa. She brings 15 years of strategic business and operational experience, from Fortune 500 companies to midsize digital agencies and bootstrapped startups. Joining Circa in the summer of 2019, she focuses on the development of sustainable, repeatable, and quantifiable business process improvements and is always looking for that perfect blend of agility and structure. When she’s not nerding out over process maps or various methods of automating routine functions, you will find her on an adventure with her husband, daughter, and their two dogs; singing at an open mic night in the city; working on one of her many unfinished paintings; or lifting heavy things. Meg earned her Bachelor of Arts in Digital Communication from the University of Washington.
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Michael Longo

Lead Editor

Michael Longo is a lead editor at Circa, where he is responsible for developing on-brand content ideas with the SEO and editorial teams while overseeing a team of writers and editors to create informative, high-quality content. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and has extensive freelance writing and editing experience for a variety of publications. He has also worked as a researcher for multiple documentary films. Michael has been working with Circa since 2015, where he continues to hone his higher education marketing and content strategy skills. He lives in Los Angeles, where you can find him reading through piles of books, re-watching The Sopranos, and cooking for his family and friends.
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Mick Ryan

Digital Marketing Intern

Mick Ryan is a digital marketing intern at Circa. He loves playing music and making people laugh, and he is passionate about helping others, whether in a professional or personal setting. Eager to dive deeper into his marketing career, he is constantly looking for opportunities to learn and grow as a professional. He has previous experience in creative design as well as SEO, and he is always trying to apply himself to new challenges and approach learning opportunities with an open mind. With his innate creativity, he tries to turn every problem inside out and upside down in order to gain a fresh perspective. Mick operates across departments, assisting with aspects of digital PR, creative, and SEO. He is a graduate of California State University, Chico, where he earned a bachelor’s in marketing. A San Diego native, Mick is truly at his happiest anywhere with burritos and/or dogs.
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Raymond Martinez

SEO Manager

Ray Martinez is Circa’s hip-hop wizard/SEO manager, concentrating on search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization, and content strategy. Specifically, he develops SEO strategies, creates detailed backlink profile analysis, optimizes on-page elements, manages web development resources, and performs technical audits for Circa’s partners. Ray has worked with diverse organizations such as California Western School of Law, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, University of San Diego, San Diego Food Bank, HD Supply, and the California Innocence Project. Ray’s work with these partners has led to millions of search impressions, thousands of organic keywords ranking first on Google, and healthier sites that drive lead generation. Ray earned a Master of Science in Media Management from The New School and a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations from The City College of New York. He is a proud parent to his Chihuahua, Tiffany. In his free time, Ray composes music and travels.
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Renan Rodrigues

Paid Media Intern

Renan Rodrigues is the most recent member of the paid media team at Circa. With a background in finance, he found Circa after a long-planned career transition into digital marketing. He has been assisting the team with weekly and monthly PPC reporting, building and managing paid media campaigns in search and social channels, monitoring KPIs, and recommending optimizations. Renan has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is currently pursuing an MBA with a specialization in marketing. He grew up in a coastal town in Southeast Brazil and now resides in San Diego. Renan loves the outdoor activities, breweries, sunsets, and amazing weather that Southern California living affords.
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Rob Heidrick

Managing Editor

Rob Heidrick is Circa’s managing editor. He is responsible for leading content production, developing editorial strategy, and overseeing Circa’s network of contributing writers and editors. Rob has more than a decade of experience creating content for business, consumer, and academic audiences, working in online and print journalism, business research, copywriting, and higher ed communications. A master’s graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Rob previously worked as an editor at the business information company Dun & Bradstreet and the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business.
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Robert Lee

Co-Founder & CEO

Robert Lee co-founded Circa Interactive in May 2011 after spending three years leading digital marketing teams at Embanet Compass (acquired by Pearson in 2012), an online program management provider. His vision for Circa Interactive was to provide an alternative solution to traditional marketing models for universities who were looking for assistance in driving high-quality student enrollments for their on-ground and online degree programs while keeping control over their brands and messaging. Robert has a bachelor’s in management information systems from Florida State University and is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Executive Leadership Program. He oversees strategic direction of Circa Interactive’s innovative enrollment marketing services and has had the pleasure of working with Ivy League universities, state-run academic institutions, and boutique private schools. Robert is a former collegiate swimmer and water polo player who continues to enjoy the water through masters swimming and ocean trips.
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Sara McCaskey

Lead Editor

Sara McCaskey is passionate about content — consuming it, creating it, and using it as a tool for crafting great user experiences. As a lead editor at Circa, she combines creative instinct and data-driven expertise to weave compelling narratives and empower brands to stand out as industry leaders. With a background in content strategy, copywriting, and UX writing, Sara brings a user-first approach to her work, driving powerful results for brands by creating content that provides real value to users. She believes in thoughtful rule-breaking, ego-free collaboration, and happy clients. Prior to her role at Circa, Sara worked with brands both big and small, including Adobe, the University of Arizona, and the Natural History Museum of Utah. In her free time, she loves to travel, cook, and dabble in the outdoor scene in Bend, Oregon, where she lives with her husband and their goldendoodle, Panko.
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Sarah Kaubisch

Digital Project Manager

As a Digital Project Manager at Circa, Sarah Kaubisch focuses on client project success and drives initiatives to improve operational efficiency and scalability for the Content Production and SEO teams. She uses a collaborative and process-driven approach to align stakeholders on project objectives, guide efficient execution, and establish documented best practices so that success can be replicated. Before joining Circa in 2018, Sarah developed her experience in project management, digital content development, and process improvement at Pearson and Cengage, where she managed cross-functional teams to develop print and digital courseware that is used today by thousands of students across multiple disciplines. Sarah graduated from NYU with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Linguistics and a minor in Sociology. When she’s not studying project management, Sarah enjoys cooking, traveling, and reading.
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Sean Taylor

SEO Specialist

As an SEO specialist at Circa, Sean Taylor specializes in both on-page and off-page SEO efforts. He is responsible for managing technical SEO for partners, maintaining the overall SEO health of their websites, and ensuring that content is optimized to best practices so they rank on the first page of Google. Sean has experience in a wide variety of digital marketing and business development roles. Prior to joining Circa, he helped scale an adventure tourism company across the U.S. through strategic business development and operations management. With his involvement in numerous niches, such as e-commerce, tourism, and sports marketing, Sean has developed a diverse skill set that helps him to identify areas of opportunity to help grow an online presence. Aside from working at Circa, Sean spends his time outdoors, surfing, skateboarding, or hanging out at the beach with his perfect dog, Nacho.
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Shannon Falotico

HR and Talent Manager

Shannon Falotico is the human resources and talent manager at Circa, with a passion for the people who make Circa Interactive the creative and innovative organization that it is. After earning her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of San Diego, Shannon began working with Circa as a communications specialist. She eventually found herself taking on many of the HR strategies being implemented during Circa’s growth, which led to the revelation of her passion for human resources. As a recent graduate of the University of Southern California’s Master of Science in Human Resource Management program, Shannon uses her passion for implementing strategic talent initiatives to guide employees through their journeys at Circa and ensure that they are set up for success and ready for all challenges. When she’s not working on the next big Circa people initiative, Shannon loves yoga, traveling, a good glass of wine, and petting other people’s dogs.
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Tyler Putz

Inbound Marketing Manager

Tyler Putz is the inbound marketing manager at Circa, where he is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive content strategy that includes cross-departmental insights focusing on guiding potential students down the enrollment funnel. A leading digital marketer, Tyler also assists Circa’s content marketing, website performance analysis, and link-building efforts for a variety of higher education institutions. Tyler graduated from the University of Iowa with honors in English and holds certificates in business analytics from Cornell University and applied data science from Columbia University. Outside of work, Tyler enjoys puzzles, spending time with his Boston terrier (Banks), and watching Iowa Hawkeyes athletics.

With a team of 44 employees headquartered in San Diego and a distributed team of higher education professionals across the United States, Circa Interactive’s robust and skilled team can help you achieve your brand and enrollment goals. Let’s Talk>>