Media Relations

-4Maydel Santana-Bravo ’91
Director, Media Relations








-1Lilyvania Mikulski ’02
Assistant Director, Media Relations

I fell in love with the fast-paced public relations industry as a freshman in college. Since then I’ve worked in the communications field, primarily at PR agencies, serving clients in the entertainment, real estate, technology, higher education, fitness, and non-profit industries. My expertise includes creating strategic PR and marketing plans, crafting compelling messages, securing targeted placements, working on mergers and acquisitions and crisis communications campaigns, and writing speeches. I truly enjoy producing captivating media pitches that result in heart-pounding phone calls from reporters asking to interview my experts. During my agency life, I formed part of rbb Public Relations’ team that won the 2011 PRSA Silver Anvil for Zumba Fitness’ Party in Pink campaign. Currently, I’m the assistant director of FIU’s Office of Media Relations where I to help advance the university’s mission through communications initiatives. I have a bachelor’s degree in Communication from FIU (Go Panthers!) and a master’s degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. When I’m not searching for reporters to bite on my ideas, sharing best practices or recruiting FIU experts to become media stars, I’m all about spending time with my multicultural family; traveling around the globe; eating spicy food; and working out. Originally from Nicaragua, I’m a native Spanish-speaker who is fluent in English and understands conversational Polish and Italian.

-5Dianne M. de la Cabada
Broadcast Specialist, Media Relations

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 in Miami 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, earning the trust of a community as well as writing and producing stories of impact. There I covered the 9/11 attacks and aftermath as well as the 2004 and 2008 Presidential elections. Along the way, there were wildfires and hurricanes Wilma, Irene, Katrina, Frances and the day’s events throughout South Florida. Using those skills honed on the scenes of some of this country’s biggest news events, I became FIU’s Broadcast Specialist in 2011. It is my job to get FIU on the nation’s airwaves.




MarlenMarlen M. Mursuli
Coordinator, Media Relations

I like long walks on the beach, candlelight dinners, and clichés. OK, not really, but I do enjoy running on the beach and dinner. I’m the Media Relations Coordinator at FIU and when I’m not writing/posting press releases and searching for FIU news stories, I’m out and about in Miami getting into adventures. In 2004 I received my bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Florida in Gainesville. I’ve written for the Independent Florida Alligator, Gainesville Sun, and Latin Trade Magazine, and held the first-ever hybrid position at the Orange & Blue Magazine as a writer and assistant art director of the magazine. After graduating, I worked as an editor editing colorful, heart-pounding financial earnings reports before becoming a teacher. Teaching was an interesting, eye-opening experience with great vacation, but it wasn’t for me. After a small stint at Max Borges Agency where I wrote press releases and pitches for tech-related products and tech company news, and secured press coverage with top-tier media, I came to work at FIU. In early 2013 I started working for FIU’s External Relations department and couldn’t be happier. Outside of work I like to think of myself as a semi-professional athlete without the paid endorsements. More often than not, you can find me competing in triathlons and running marathons.

-3Isabel A. Gamarra ’12
Coordinator, Media Relations

Born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, political controversy and debate was just a part of everyday life. That is why I decided to move to Miami, and pursue a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at FIU. Yes, I’m a proud Panther! After graduation, I worked as an account executive at multinational PR firm, Newlink Communications. During my time at the firm, I managed crisis communications and public affairs campaigns for banks, ports, mining companies and oil giants including Chevron. In the agency world, I learned a lot about communications, media relations, strategy building, community relations, positioning, branding, market research, internal communications and social media. I also learned that PR is where my passion lies. In my spare time I enjoy watching corny TV, cuddling with my doggies, and dancing. I am now back where I started, at FIU where I work as a Media Relations/Public Affairs Coordinator. I’m glad that I can use my skills to expand the reach of FIU’s messages and reach new audiences nationally and abroad.