The first and last name in higher ed research, marketing, and branding.

We’ve had nearly every job in the industry. We're market researchers, data lovers, writers, math majors, psychologists, and avid karaoke and trivia night enthusiasts. We hail from every part of the country. Most of all, we’re proud, professional students—curious by nature, compassionate by choice, and constantly working to build higher ed brands that inspire and endure.


Elizabeth Scarborough Johnson

Chairman & Partner

Elizabeth Johnson founded SimpsonScarborough in 2006 with the vision of creating a higher ed marketing agency that puts research at the center of marketing strategies. Over the last 30 years, Elizabeth has helped more than 300 institutions research, develop, and implement plans to increase visibility, strengthen enrollment, raise money, and advance higher ed brands — from flagship universities and Ivy League institutions to small liberal arts colleges and regional state schools.

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Elizabeth Scarborough Johnson

Chairman & Partner

Elizabeth Johnson founded SimpsonScarborough in 2006 with the vision of creating a higher ed marketing agency that puts research at the center of marketing strategies. Over the last 30 years, Elizabeth has helped more than 300 institutions research, develop, and implement plans to increase visibility, strengthen enrollment, raise money, and advance higher ed brands — from flagship universities and Ivy League institutions to small liberal arts colleges and regional state schools.

She is a staunch advocate for the role of CMO within higher ed and the need to integrate marketing across the enterprise for colleges and universities to thrive despite the many challenges facing the industry. Elizabeth is a trusted resource within the higher education marketing community, having presented more than 200 workshops and papers at a veritable alphabet soup of higher education-related conferences and symposia, and chairing the American Marketing Association's Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education from 2007-2011.

Her work is fueled by an enduring belief that higher ed changes the world, and that US colleges and universities play an essential role in solving the world's most pressing problems — like curing cancer, alleviating poverty, and ending systemic racism.

James Madison University (B.S. in Mathematics)
Fordham University (M.B.A with a concentration in Marketing)

Jason Simon

CEO & Partner

Jason has more than 20 years of experience leading marketing efforts in higher education and became SimpsonScarborough’s CEO in 2020. He has led the agency’s growth and expansion as an integrated marketing communications firm. The son of a political science professor, Jason grew up on college campuses and leads the agency’s commitment to championing the value of higher education and ensuring its work has lasting impact. He loves figuring out complex organizations, telling their stories, and driving change and examination.

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Jason Simon

CEO & Partner

Jason has more than 20 years of experience leading marketing efforts in higher education and became SimpsonScarborough’s CEO in 2020. He has led the agency’s growth and expansion as an integrated marketing communications firm. The son of a political science professor, Jason grew up on college campuses and leads the agency’s commitment to championing the value of higher education and ensuring its work has lasting impact. He loves figuring out complex organizations, telling their stories, and driving change and examination.

Before joining SimpsonScarborough, Jason served in marketing communications leadership roles for the University of California and NC State University. He also has brand strategy experience working with corporate and consumer brands such as John Deere, IBM, RedHat, and Sony Ericsson. He managed media and public relations for NC State men’s basketball, and began his career as a sportswriter and editor. Jason was honored as the American Marketing Association’s Higher Education Marketer of the Year in 2013 and is regularly invited to speak at and lead industry events and training.

North Carolina State University (B.A. in Communication)

Our team

As a Senior Copywriter, Rachel explores brands, crafts stories, and creates compelling narratives for our clients across a variety of media from initial concepts to final execution. In partnership with our colleagues across the agency, she will work to create a unique, insights-driven story that stands up in any space, digital or print.

Learning to craft nuanced, scholarly arguments within the framework of a story, from her days as a Philosophy Master's Student,—not just an academic paper—made a huge impact on the way Rachel approaches work products to this day!

Ohio University (B.A. in Classics)
Univeristy of Oxford (M.Phil. in Latin and Greek)

Rachel Thomas

Rachel Thomas

Senior Copywriter

Deb analyzes and reports on survey data, helping to turn data points into insights.

In college, Deb loved her work-study as a tutor at the Writing & Reading Center. There she found she especially loved tutoring for rhetorical theory and working with international students.

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (B.A. in Literature and Writing)

Deb Gere - Director of Research

Deb Gere

Director of Research

As a copywriter, Emily's focus is on integrating data and creativity to weave brand messages that connect with audiences and tell the brands' stories.

One of the greatest lessons Emily learned in college is that you can make absolutely anything interesting (even the driest of poli sci topics) if you're a good storyteller.

University of Denver (B. A. in Political Science)

Emily Barriball

Emily Barriball

Junior Copywriter

Julia works on the Account and Strategy team as a point of contact for clients, and she supports research and project management.

Julia's favorite college memories were the weekend road trips to new cities, learning new things every day, and of course, cheering on the dawgs at Hinkle Fieldhouse!

Butler University (B.A. in Marketing)

Julia Telari - Project Coordinator

Julia Telari

Project Coordinator

Andrea leads research, strategy, and creative projects that help clients make decisions based on data-driven insight.

Andrea’s practice of waking up every morning to run has taught her the importance of a strong mind, hard work, and dedication.

American University (M.A. Public Communications)
University of Alabama, Huntsville (B.A. Communications and Spanish)

Andrea Kruszka - AVP, Accounts

Andrea Kruszka

AVP, Accounts

Chelsea keeps our processes on point and timelines on track. She manages internal teams, plans resources and traffic company-wide, and thinks through any technology and innovation needs.

By making friends and learning to hang drywall while on a Habitat for Humanity spring break trip, Chelsea learned the importance of service and craftsmanship.

Georgetown University (B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing)

Chelsea Woodard - AVP, Operations

Chelsea Woodard

AVP, Operations

Kristen leads institutions through complex integrated projects, shaping research studies, revealing the hearts of brands and developing strategies that allow them to reach the right audiences.

As a high school senior, Kristen applied to Randolph-Macon College because she was impressed by the theme of its viewbook. Fifteen years later, she found herself working with the person who had been the admissions director in charge of developing that very viewbook. That’s when she knew she was doing what she was meant to do.

Northwestern University (M.S. Journalism)
James Madison University (B.A. Communications)

Kristen Creighton - VP, Accounts

Kristen Creighton

VP, Accounts

Hira focuses on survey design, data analysis, and data visualization - delivering strategic recommendations from research findings and in-depth industry knowledge.

Hira is something of an adventurer, her most memorable college experience being the time she bungee jumped on her 21st birthday during her semester abroad in New Zealand.

University of Richmond (B.A. in Leadership Studies and a B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing)

Hira Siddiqui - Senior Research Analyst

Hira Siddiqui

Senior Research Analyst

Eve works with designers and developers crafting creative concepts and brand messaging that help clients connect with audiences and share the stories that make them unique.

Traveling while growing up and her parents' adventurous spirit allowed Eve to inherit an openness to experience. Although a homebody, Eve loves to travel, trying new things & eating new foods!

Edith Cowan University (B.A. in Psychology & Writing, Masters in Psychology)

Eve Scherpenberg - Senior Copywriter

Eve Scherpenberg

Senior Copywriter

Siria interprets data and analyzes results by using statistical techniques to generate insightful and actionable reports that deliver on client objectives and support recommendations.

Some of Siria's favorite memories from college are from having joined GMU’s Azúcar Latin Dance Club where she learned how to dance Rueda de Casino, where couples form a big circle and perform moves together to the calls or hand signals of a leader.

George Mason University (M.A in Applied Developmental Psychology; B.A. in Psychology with a Business minor)

Siria Rioja

Siria Rioja

Research Analyst

Osmond executes data-driven design to progress institutional brands forward.

Creative exploration is Osmond's favorite pastime. Whether through graphic design, behind the camera lens, or in the kitchen, he's always cooking something up.

Alabama State University (B.F.A. in Graphic Design)

Osmond Curtis

Osmond Curtis

Junior Graphic Designer

Alec supports quantitative and qualitative research, brand strategy deliverables, and ensures that projects are managed to stay on task.

Alec’s memorable college experience was time studying abroad working on a consulting project with Carlsberg Brewery, making him both an academic and a professional with finely brewed grains.

University of South Carolina (B.S. in Business Administration)

Alec Smith - Research Project Manager

Alec Smith

Research Project Manager

Kristie leads higher ed institutions through a collaborative and data-driven process to create compelling, innovative, and sustainable campaigns that bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be.

Kristie firmly believes that one's degree is not so much about the ranking as it is the feeling when you're on campus. Coming from a diverse background of higher ed and Silicon Valley, Kristie aims to help SimpsonScarborough and our clients navigate the intersection of innovation and tradition.

Seattle Pacific University (B.A. in English, Creative Writing)

Kristie Colón

Kristie Colón

Account Director

Cole oversees visual design for print, digital, and environmental mediums, and she specializes in branding and identity, splitting her time between art direction and design.

Cole’s favorite memory from college was her freshman year when she stayed up all night in the dorm lobby discussing philosophy and fell in love every week.

Columbus College of Art and Design (B.F.A. in Advertising & Graphic Design)

Cole Londeree - AVP, Creative Director

Cole Londeree

AVP, Creative Director

Marguerite uncovers the "why" behind messaging, helping organizations communicate powerfully and memorably.

Study abroad in Paris and Sydney allowed Marguerite to experience communications on a global scale, engage with diverse perspectives, and broaden her scope.

Syracuse University (B.A. in TV-Radio-Film & Sociology)
Loyola University Chicago (M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration)
Emerson College (M.A. in Integrated Marketing and Communications)

Marguerite Moore - Strategist

Marguerite Moore


Maddie helps our teams through detail-oriented project management, and also assists the research and creative processes. 

Maddie's favorite college memory is when ESPN's College Game Day came to JMU and our football team won! She loved seeing the school come together and celebrate, Go Dukes!

James Madison University (B.S. in Communications)

Maddie Smith - Project Coordinator

Maddie Smith

Project Coordinator

Tim uses a keen eye for user pain points to develop strategies to make higher ed websites approachable, navigable, and easy to use.

Conducting research at the LBJ Presidential Library at UT Austin helped Tim learn the importance of digging into primary sources in order to develop genuine insights.

The University of Texas at Austin (B.A. in History)

Tim Meyer

Tim Meyer

Junior UX Strategist

Ryan ensures that the needs of our clients are met while working closely with our internal team to provide the resources they need to deliver great work.

Ryan's never run into a burning building to save someone but likes to think he would if put in the position.

The Ohio State University (B.S. in Communication)

Ryan Rekstis - Account Director

Ryan Rekstis

Account Director

Cassandra finds ways to use data that helps clients understand the impact their media campaigns are having on their business by connecting the dots across different data sets.

Cassandra joined our team to help spread her belief in higher ed, that education is about the experiences, the people, and the thought processes gained along the way.

Rochester Institute of Technology (B. S. in Business Administration - International Business)

Cassandra Golda

Cassandra Golda

Media Analyst

Perrie drives operational excellence within the creative and digital teams.

A favorite college memory of Perrie's is her time spent exploring the small town of Delaware by bike.  She had never seen anything like it; cornfields, pastures, and a bunch of nothing-ness. Simply gorgeous.

Ohio Wesleyan University (BA Sociology & Anthropology; Environmental Science)

Perrie Howes - Director, Project Management Office

Perrie Howes

Director, Project Management Office

Matt works at the intersection of research and creative. He helps to distill qualitative and quantitative data into actionable brand strategies and makes them ready to be brought to life.

In college, working as a tour guide, orientation counselor, and athletic host, Matt found that it wasn't one singular experience that shaped him, but instead he was shaped by great people.

Auburn University (B.S. in Marketing)

Matt McFadden - VP, Strategy

Matt McFadden

VP, Strategy

Sara analyzes and reports on survey data and works with the project team to develop key findings for clients.

Sara’s fondest memories from college are from having participated in cultural shows and festivities with GMU's Persian Club.

George Mason University (B.S. in Marketing)

Sara Abtahi - Research Analyst

Sara Abtahi

Research Analyst

Katie executes informed design across external and internal projects.

Katie spent three semesters focusing on design for social good, participatory design, and healthy creative practices to help shape her view on all forms of creating, for both others and herself.

Columbus College of Art & Design (B.F.A. in Advertising and Graphic Design)

Katie Schwendeman Sakowski - Senior Designer

Katie Schwendeman Sakowski

Art Director

Matthew assists the research team in supporting design and methodology for decision-making. Additionally, he supports the creation of Qualtrics surveys and analyzing data.

As a child in a family of nine, Matthew understands the importance of teamwork and keeping a level head. Matthew's most pleasant college experience was in taking would have been a filler class that led to meeting his mentor.

Stockton University (B.A. in Economics)

Matthew Treadwell

Matthew Treadwell

Research Analyst

As a writer, Jason naturally believes in choosing words carefully. He labors to understand the human factors that guide how people think and feel – the better to help clients speak straight to the heart.

One of the best things about college? Not having to apologize for turning up the volume (or the distortion) on the guitar amp after 9 p.m.

Northwestern University (M.S in Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications) The Ohio State University (B.A. in English)

Jason Shough

Jason Shough

Director, Copy & Content

Meredith leverages custom research that leads to meaningful and actionable data to solve problems, answer difficult questions, and drive strategic decision-making.

When Meredith was high school yearbook editor, she thought it would be cool to create profiles of different school classes - thus her first survey was born. The rest is history.

University of Richmond (B.S. in Business Administration)

Meredith Simpson - VP, Research

Meredith Simpson

VP, Research

Nik uses data-driven design to help clients effectively share their stories with the world. 

Nik's stand out college memory is winning the Homecoming Logo Competition and seeing it displayed across the town and university. The foreshadowing isn't lost on him.

Ohio University (B.B.A. Marketing)

Nik Williams - Senior Designer

Nik Williams

Senior Designer

Mary Beth supports our operations team, using her organizational skills and design background to keep digital projects on time and within budget through detailed project management.

Mary Beth thought she wanted to be a vet until she discovered her love of graphic design in high school. Now she has the best of both worlds, with a career in marketing and a pack of four rescue pets at home.

University of Georgia, B.A. in Journalism

Mary Beth Oakey

Mary Beth Oakey

Digital Project Manager

Sara analyzes insights developed from brand research to understand the impact on the consumer journey. She then translates that into effective marketing and media plans and campaigns.

College introduced Sara to the world of travel and building cultural connections. She was able to travel abroad to expand, learn more, and meet new people.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
SUNY Oswego

Sara Wallace - AVP, Marketing & Media Strategy

Sara Wallace

AVP, Marketing & Media Strategy

Malachi helps tell the story of SimpsonScarborough and shares our steadfast belief that higher ed changes the world.

Tutoring kids on the south side of Chicago in undergrad exposed Malachi to the incredible power education has to disrupt poverty and injustice in our world.

Georgetown University (M.B.A. In Progress)
Moody Bible Institute (B.A. in Education)

Malachi Koop - Director of Marketing

Malachi Koop

Director of Marketing

Emma creates strategic, qualitative, and quantitative survey instruments that bridge the gap between data and strategy while she manages project timelines and client deliverables.

Emma’s favorite part of the college experience was having the opportunity to be a Division I student-athlete and captain of her swim team.

University at Buffalo (B.A. in Communication)

Emma Miller - Strategist

Emma Miller


Dempsey creates visual designs that help tell both SimpsonScarborough's story as well as the stories of the higher educational institutes that we serve.

Studying art history and classical literature alongside her studio art and design courses opened Dempsey's eyes to how history and storytelling enrich and expand all facets of design.

Columbus College of Art & Design (B.F.A. in Advertising and Graphic Design)

Dempsey Ewan

Dempsey Ewan

Junior Graphic Designer

Alex informs complex client needs by harnessing innovative and novel forms of data analysis.

Alex was shaped by living in Madagascar for two years before starting college, which started his passion for development and behavioral economics.

American University (B.S. in Economics)

R. Alex Ahlstrom - Research Analyst

R. Alexander Ahlstrom

Research Analyst

Eryka is a strategist who works with clients to connect research and creative to build sustainable strategies for success. Eryka believes that creative problem solving and challenging the status quo are the building blocks to strategic marketing and communications.

When she's not hosting her podcast or pursuing the latest barista trends, Eryka is bringing her philosophy of "bloom where you are planted" into her work and local community.

The University of Southern Mississippi (B.A. in Mass Communications/Public Relations)
University of West Florida (M.A. in Strategic Communications and Leadership)

Eryka Wallace

Eryka Wallace


Meredith helps drive new business and the growth of SimpsonScarborough by crafting proposals anticipating potential clients' needs and specifications.

Meredith's favorite college memories include zip-lining across Lake Matoaka, serving as an Orientation Aide, and learning to play rugby.

William & Mary (B.A. in Psychology & Community Studies)

Meredith Randle - Business Development Manager

Meredith Randle

Business Development Manager

Scott develops WordPress templates and front-end code for client websites.

Some Scott's favorite experiences in college were the classes taken outside of his major. He explored Arizona and the Grand Canyon with a geology professor and learned about those places in a way he never would have otherwise.

California Lutheran University (B.A. in Multimedia)

Scott Smith

Scott Smith

Web Developer

Thomas assists the research team in all parts of the research process from survey design to quantitative analysis, helping to deliver the best outcomes for clients.

An impactful moment from Thomas' higher education experience was the opportunity to conduct research with one of his favorite professors, which helped grow his passion for learning and data.

UNC Chapel Hill (B.A. in Political Science)

Thomas Poole

Thomas Poole

Junior Research Analyst

Bob has worked in higher education marketing for the last 20 years. He has held in-house positions and been an agency leader, including Founder & Managing-Partner of Knowble Media which was acquired by SimpsonScarborough in 2019.

He led the creation of SimsonScarborugh’s digital division and now serves as the chief creative leader for the agency. He loves pushing the boundaries of higher education branding and marketing. He’s a product of a liberal arts education and a champion for the role higher education plays in our society.

Wittenberg University (B.A. in Political Science)

Bob Rafferty - VP, Creative & Digital

Bob Rafferty

VP, Creative & Digital

Kevin works with our client institutions across the country to use insights, trends, and research to help them develop smart and beautiful creative campaigns to meet their goals.

Kevin's greatest takeaway from his higher ed experience is that exploration is education. Kevin follows that ethos through his travels and brings it into his work helping clients to explore new horizons.

University of Pittsburgh (B.A. Poetry)

Kevin Tyler

Kevin Tyler

Account Director

Lex ensures that the business goals and user needs are aligned, and helps to prioritize the team's attention and resources on solving the right problems for the target audiences.

The practice of watching people interact with paintings and seeing what they like and dislike about them has informed Lex's ability to observe users interactions with websites and apps.

Savannah College of Art and Design (B.F.A. in Painting)

Lex Hade - Director, User Experience

Lex Hade

Director, User Experience

Andrea supports the media team by planning and implementing multifaceted campaigns that integrate different media types to tell a brand's story.

When she's not waist-deep in campaign reports, Andrea can be found waist-deep in her kayak exploring the waterways of Rochester.

Monroe Community College (A.S. in Business Administration)
Rochester Institute of Technology (BS in New Media Marketing)

Andrea Green

Andrea Green

Integrated Media Specialist

Mike drives creative solutions that enable colleges and universities of every size to communicate their unique brands in novel and powerful ways.

Mike’s superpower is the ability to dance so well super villains freeze in their tracks in utter astonishment. He also knows every word to every song by The Smiths.

University of Notre Dame (B.A. in Marketing)

Mike Roe - VP, Executive Creative Director

Mike Roe

Director, Creative Development

Dan executes creative and tactics for campaigns and clients, producing strategy-driven brand content.

With time spent on stage as a comedic improviser, Dan's got a keen sense of what's a riot or a flop.

Ohio University (B.S. in Journalism - Advertising and Public Relations)

Dan Moore - Content Specialist

Dan Moore

Digital Producer

Savannah works with colleges and universities to move their institutional goals forward through research, strategy, media and creative projects, and she collaborates with our internal teams to ensure we bring these projects to life.

Savannah loved serving as the station manager of WVAC, her college's radio station. Through this experience, she learned how to manage a team, develop content that kept people listening, and think on her feet as the host of several radio programs, skills she still uses in her work today!

Wayne State University (MA - Communications, [Journalism & New Media])
Adrian College (BA's in Theatre & Mass Media Communication)

Savannah Lee Coco

Savannah Lee Coco

Account Director

Ben brings extensive experience in front-end development as well as Web and CMS strategy. He works with university stakeholders to understand their website goals and develops custom solutions.

After graduating from college, Ben traveled across the country with his alma mater. He captured hundreds of alumni stories on video and managed a blog to document the experience.

Wittenberg University (B.A. in Business Marketing)

Ben McCombs - Senior Engineer / Developer

Ben McCombs

Senior Engineer / Developer

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