Media Relations and Communication

Maydel Santana ’91, MSM ’16
AVP of Media Relations and Communication


I have worked in and with South Florida media for the better part of the last three decades. I began my career at The Miami Herald in the afternoon of the first day of my freshman year at FIU. I majored in journalism and worked on the student newspaper, while working at The Herald part time, first as an assistant for the social column, then as a weekend assistant on the news desk and later as a junior features writer.

After graduation from FIU, I went to work at el Nuevo Herald, The Miami Herald’s Spanish language sister paper. I worked as a general assignment reporter, covered education and immigration. Among the most memorable stories I covered were the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the Cuban rafter crisis of 1994.

In 1995 I returned to FIU to join the media relations team as the assistant director, where I have been part of FIU’s spectacular transformation into a research institution and one of the largest universities in the country. In my media relations capacity, I lead a bilingual, award-winning team that helps tell the FIU story to local, regional, national and international media and manages crisis communication for our 54,000 student institution.

Recently I went back to the classroom to earn a graduate degree in marketing.

Madeline Baró MPA ‘11
Director of Media Relations

I am a communications professional with two decades of experience in journalism and media relations. I currently serve as Director of Media Relations for FIU. In that role, I supervise the team that writes and disseminates news about the university to national and international media outlets, as well as assists media looking to cover news about FIU or include FIU experts in their coverage. Prior to joining FIU, I worked for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, covering the Cuban-American community and other immigrant communities in Miami. Before that I worked for the Associated Press in Texas, including two years as the correspondent in Harlingen, on the U.S.-Mexico border. My other journalism experience includes working for the Miami Herald’s online edition, writing breaking news for the website and technology articles for the Living section. I am a native of Hialeah, Florida and hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Latin American Studies from the University of Miami and a master’s degree in public administration from FIU.

Dianne Fernandez ’94
Broadcast Relations Manager

I am an Emmy-nominated, veteran broadcast journalist who spent 17 years covering some of the nation’s biggest stories. Most recently, I was the political reporter for WSVN-Channel 7 covering a historic recall election that garnered national attention and the turmoil within the City of Miami Police Department. It was the culmination of a 10-year career at 7News spent cultivating sources and earning the trust of a community. Using the skills honed on the scenes of some of this country’s biggest news stories, I became FIU’s Broadcast Specialist in 2011. It is my job to get FIU on the nation’s airwaves.

Angela Nicoletti
Senior Writer

I have a passion for storytelling and writing. In my role as a staff writer at FIU, I get to live out that passion every day, helping to share how FIU is making an impact on our community and the world. I draft speeches and talking points, as well as memos, university-wide communications and press releases. Previously, I worked in the media relations department at Broward College. While there, I launched an experts database to connect faculty and staff experts to the local media and community speaking opportunities. I also worked the 2014 Florida Gubernatorial Debate, where more than 200 national, state and local media members were on hand from 65 media outlets. I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from Florida Atlantic University and am currently enrolled in FIU’s Global Strategic Communications master’s program.

Lourdes Perez
Media Relations Specialist




Alyse Mier ’16
Junior Account Manager