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Public Affairs & Media Relations

About Us

                        MUSC Campus



As representatives of South Carolina’s only comprehensive academic medical center, the staff members of the MUSC Office of Public Relations work to convey how our faculty, staff, clinicians, students and scientists are changing what’s possible in health   care, every day. We take seriously our charge to build awareness of MUSC, and how our institution serves all South
Carolinians through education, research and patient care. We take even more seriously how we bring that information to various communities; whether through mass media, publications, videos, or social media, the professionals in our office are committed to protecting integrity and the public trust through transparent, accurate, timely and ethical communication.

Meet the team

Shar Atkins 

Sharlene Atkins manages the office and budget for the Office of Public Relations, also serving as executive assistant to the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer.  She has an extensive background in human resources, office management and accounting. She oversees the Broadcast Message system, a campuswide daily email communication system and assists with external and internal public relations duties.

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Cindy Abole is a writer and editor for MUSC’s weekly campus newspaper, The Catalyst.  Cindy previously served as associate editor of The Catalyst and staff writer. She also manages the Office of Public Relations’ internship program for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students and volunteers. Cindy earned a bachelor’s of art degree in journalism and public relations from the University of South Carolina. She worked in the news industry at the Post and Courier and WCIV-TV 4. She conducted public affairs work, media relations coordination and educational support on a regional and national level with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama before joining MUSC in 1998.

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 Cindy Abole

Heather Woolwine 

Heather Woolwine serves as the media relations director for MUSC, spearheading the media relations division of the Office of Public Relations. She has honors bachelor's degrees in communication and psychology, and a master's degree in communication from the College of Charleston. She has been with MUSC for 12 years and participates in strategic communication planning for the university and the medical center. Heather serves as a spokesperson for MUSC and actively manages the reputation and image of the enterprise through mass and social media relations.

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Dawn Brazell is the integrated communications manager and joined the MUSC staff in 2010. She handles health and science writing, design work and coordination of the MUSC PR multimedia website. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and has worked as a journalist and freelance writer for more than 20 years. While at The Post and Courier newspaper, she won writing awards for health coverage.

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 Dawn Brazell

Tony Ciuffo 

Tony Ciuffo is a media relations coordinator who earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. Tony spent nearly 20 years as director of media relations for College of Charleston athletics, also serving as the school’s radio play-by-play announcer, garnering him the S.C. Sportscaster of the Year in 2003 and 2009. He joined MUSC in 2010 to facilitate news stories and provide information at the request of the media.

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Sarah Pack joined the PR staff in 2011 after more than 15 years in print journalism. She brings valuable knowledge in photojournalism, video and media relations to the team. Sarah has bachelor's degree in photojournalism from Ohio University, and worked at the Medina Gazette (Medina, OH), The Anderson Independent-Mail (Anderson, SC) and The Post and Courier in Charleston, SC.

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 Sarah Pack

Mikie Hayes 

Mikie Hayes joined the PR team in 2013 as copy editor and head writer for The Catalyst, but was not a stranger to MUSC, having previously spent nearly 11 years in development leadership positions beginning in the early 90s.  In the interim, she served as chief communications officer for an international corporation responsible for driving corporate strategy and message development, developing branding initiatives, internal communications, and external media relations. She also served as president of a foundation with offices in five countries that worked with the government and national media on numerous projects. Hayes is an experienced researcher, writer, editor, public speaker, and communications professional.

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Helen Adams writes for the MUSC News Center and The Catalyst newspaper. She has an extensive background in news reporting, most recently at the CBS affiliate in Atlanta, GA, and her awards include an Emmy for her work as an anchor at a TV station in Columbus, Ohio. Helen joined MUSC in 2014.

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 Helen Adams

Ryne Danielson 

J. Ryne Danielson writes for The Catalyst and News Center. He holds a Bachelor of Science in anthropology and a Master of Arts in political science, both from Appalachian State University. Ryne wrote freelance before joining MUSC in 2014 and has won several awards for creative writing. He enjoys writing on issues in research, diversity and public policy, as well as stories with an international scope.

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Jeff Watkins handles special projects, such as commencement and faculty convocation, and is editor of the MUSC Annual Report. Jeff attended North Carolina State University and graduated with honors from the College of Charleston with a bachelor’s in English. He has more than 10 years’ experience in print and broadcast journalism, having worked for newspapers in North and South Carolina, and serving as managing editor for a South Carolina television station. He has been with MUSC for more than 29 years.

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 Jeff Watkins

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