The Emerson College Alumni Association fosters and maintains the spirit and devotion of alumni in an effort to promote the reputation and growth of the College. The Association provides an opportunity for alumni to serve as partners in guiding the direction of the College, and in working to increase its resources through a variety of committees and activities.
Membership in the Association is extended to any person who has attended Emerson College for two or more years. Association members elect a group of alumni volunteers to a governing Board of Directors on an annual basis. If you are interested in serving as a board member, please contact kevin_fleming [at] emerson.edu (L)leigh_gaspar [at] emerson.edu (eigh Gaspar).
Nanci Isaacs ’79 - President
As a sales and marketing manager for broadcast and sports marketing companies in Boston, the United States Virgin Islands, New York, and Los Angeles, Nanci Isaacs has paired her 30+ years of experience from the advertising and marketing world with the real estate arena...and now enjoys working as a senior real estate specialist at Compass. It's a combination of her vast knowledge of Los Angeles neighborhoods and the enthusiasm she puts into either selling or locating properties to buy that makes her an asset to her clients.
And it’s that same enthusiasm that spills over into her work with Emerson alumni. Whether she’s hosting biannual apartment search workshops for ELA seniors or mentoring members of the EBONI Alumni organization, Isaacs always finds time to help out. In 2018, she received the Spirit of Emerson Award from President Pelton, and she accepted the Black Excellence Award on behalf of EBONI in acknowledgment of its 50th Anniversary in 2019.
Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Isaacs has called Los Angeles home for the past 20+ years. She lives with her husband, Kelvin, and two daughters, Isabelle and Olivia.
Carla Lewis ’86 - Immediate Past President
Carla Lewis currently serves as Head of Business Development at OceanX, and previously has served as Business Development Specialist at TickPick, and senior vice president for content distribution at Participant Media/Pivot TV. Lewis was vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for NuvoTV, where she oversaw all aspects of sales and marketing for the eastern half of the country. Previously, she was senior vice president of affiliate sales at AmericanLife TV, vice president of national accounts for the Oxygen Network, and spent 12 years at USA/NBC Universal Television in New York City. She joined USA/Universal as manager for the Northeast region and was promoted to director, responsible for subscriber growth of USA, Sci-Fi, HSN, TRIO, and News World International. After NBC purchased USA/Universal in 2004, Lewis was also responsible for subscriber growth for CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, CNBC World, and Shop NBC.
Paul J. Morra ’95 - Vice President
Paul J. Morra is partner, executive producer, and director of Swift River Productions, a motion picture, television, and brand marketing firm based in Los Angeles with offices in New York City. Morra and the Swift River team bring an unparalleled blend of resources, skills, and overwhelming dedication to each project, which has earned them industry awards and recognition for highly acclaimed work with Microsoft, Xbox, Adidas, Amazon, Samuel Adams, and Wynn Resorts. Morra also co-created a number of television shows, including IFC’s critically acclaimed The Henry Rollins Show. During his earlier days as an assistant cameraperson and member of the IATSE Local 600, he worked on the sets of Titanic, The Peacemaker, and Bowfinger, among others.
Morra is very proud of his affiliation with ELA’s internship program, through which he has personally mentored 70 Emerson students since 2000; he also helped launch ELA’s mentorship program, the Career Advisory Network (CAN). He is a strong advocate for volunteer work and dedicates much of his free time in a number of community service roles. In 2010, he co-founded Los Angeles County’s first Call Firefighter program, Engine 271. He completed the county’s rigorous Block 1 Fire Academy and served as an active Call Firefighter for his community. Morra resides in Malibu, California, with his family and is an active member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Marlene McCurtis ’79 - Secretary
Marlene McCurtis is a freelance documentary producer/director and teaching artist. She worked as a supervising producer at Arnold Shapiro Productions for over 10 years, where she produced real-crime and historical nonfiction series and several documentary films. Her television directing credits include National Geographic’s Dog Whisperer, A&E’s Emmy-nominated series Beyond Scared Straight, and the Peabody Award–winning PBS series A Place of Our Own/Los Ninos en Su Casa.
She is in post-production on Wednesdays in Mississippi, her first documentary feature film about a little-known interracial alliance between women during the Civil Rights movement. The film-in-progress has screened at the Athena Film Festival, the Cucalorus Film Festival, and the Civil Rights Museum.
McCurtis’s recent film, Here I’ll Stay, is a nonfiction short about the powerful coalition between immigrant rights’ activists and local Civil Rights veterans in Mississippi. She co-produced and co-directed the film for the Field of Vision’s series Our 100 Days, which featured stories from the perspective of vulnerable communities impacted by the current political climate. Here I’ll Stay is on the festival circuit and has screened at the New Orleans Film Festival and the Oxford Film Festival.
She is the co-director of TheatreWorkers Project, where she teaches creative writing at Dads’ Back Academy, a re-entry program for ex-offenders; at The Francisco Home, a transitional home for formerly incarcerated individuals; and at the California State Prison, Los Angeles County. An avid yoga practitioner, she is the co-founder and director of Yoga@, a grassroots organization that offers low-cost yoga to adults, teens, and people with disabilities in underserved communities.
She graduated from Emerson College with a BS in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism and has an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State. She is an alum Fellow of Stanley Nelson’s Firelight Media Directors Lab and a DGA member.
Tim Stanley ’89 - Treasurer
For 25 years, Tim Stanley has been a leader in the movement to secure reproductive rights in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. Starting with NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota as a graduate student intern organizing college campuses and ending in a successful 10-year career as executive director, Stanley became a leader among his peers in the NARAL affiliate network. Highlights of his tenure include paid campus interns on 16 colleges statewide, the first year-round pro-choice membership canvass in the country, and service on the national Board of Directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 2006, he has been the executive director of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund. In this role, the native New Englander provides oversight to the affiliate’s advocacy efforts, in addition to its work to educate and mobilize voters for reproductive health and freedom. Stanley has a BS from Emerson College and an MPA from Hamline University.
When he’s not working, he finds time to run, bike, swim, hang out with his amazing wife, and travel the country in order to run, bike, swim, and do other crazy athletic things with his friends. He’s a bike commuter, an avid fan of the New York Times crossword and NPR, and a member of the community faculty at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, where he teaches legislative advocacy and lobbying to undergraduates. He can still name the starting line-up of the 1975 Boston Red Sox, and his hands-down most favorite job ever was being a paperboy for the Hartford Courant.
Pat Peyton ’84 - Representative to the Board of Trustees
Co-author of the award-winning book Physical Intelligence (Simon & Schuster, 2019), Pat Peyton has over 25 years of experience in consulting and the design and delivery of customized training solutions, having served as training manager for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets; director of communications for a leading human resources and organizational development consulting firm; and senior consultant, VP, SVP, and chief design officer for Richardson (a leading sales training firm) before establishing her own leadership and sales consultancy, Sphere International. She also has a background in dance, voice, and stage performance.
In her leadership and sales work, as well as her Physical Intelligence work, Peyton has partnered with world-class (Fortune 500/FTSE 100) organizations globally, such as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Invesco,Citigroup, Credit Suisse, PwC, KPMG, Cisco, VMWare, Veeam, Dell, Google, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Mars, Tiffany and Co, and Shell Oil to help them establish sales, service, coaching, and physically intelligent cultures. She helped these companies significantly increase revenue, customer satisfaction, employee retention, and profitability, and supported them in achieving performance improvement across multiple-level audiences, diverse industries, global theatres and cultures, and via multiple delivery platforms. Her work has won awards from HR Magazine and Brandon Hall.
Peyton’s exceptional communication and analytical skills, as well as her business acumen, enable her to quickly diagnose organizational challenges, design solutions, and help clients create sustained behavior change. Her experience includes instructor-led, self-paced, case study-based, web-based, elearning, and blended solutions, taking a ground-up approach or integrating existing processes and content into training design and delivery.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior from Emerson College, and has completed post-graduate work in organizational communication and international business.
David G. Breen ’78 - Representative to the Board of Advisors
David G. Breen is principal designer/founder of VDA, Inc, an award-winning, full-service, event design and experiential marketing agency. VDA has the capabilities to create totally unique, customized event designs in both the physical and virtual/digital worlds. An accomplished designer and consultant in Boston, Breen has worked to establish the unrivaled reputation for excellence that marks VDA. Having spent more than 30 years in the corporate event-marketing arena, he is well-respected throughout the industry for creating brand experiences that drive business growth through client collaboration and creative thinking.
Breen is a graduate of Emerson College with a bachelor’s degree in Technical Theater and Design. He is a former president of the Emerson College Alumni Association (ECAA) and is also a strong supporter of both the Emerson College E3 Entrepreneurial Studies program and Launch (powered by Emerson College), a business startup incubator program. He is an avid basketball player, eternal optimist, and the proud father of two fine young men.