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At a Glance

2014 Alexia Vanides Online Teaching Award Recipients

Barnes, O'Connell

Joe Barnes and Dennis O’Connell

The 2014 Alexia Vanides IMC Teaching Award went to two instructors: Joe Barnes of Seattle, WA and Dennis O’Connell of Chicago, IL.

Barnes is currently a lecturer at the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University and CEO and Chief Creative Officer of, a social and digital media consulting firm based in Seattle. Barnes teaches a variety of courses at both the graduate level and upper division level including: social and digital media, mobile marketing, word of mouth marketing, Internet marketing, crisis communications, organizational communications, business communications, public relations, and media relations. His background includes over 20 years of senior level journalism leadership experience as well as having consulted over 75 businesses and nonprofits nationwide. He has been quoted in two books and is a board member of Marketing Communications Executives International and the Northwest Science Writers Association. Under his leadership in journalism KOMO-TV in Seattle received the coveted Edward R. Murrow award for outstanding journalism.

He teaches IMC 619 (Emerging Media & the Market) for the WVU IMC program.

O’Connell’s career in marketing communications spans four decades. He began on the creative side as a writer. Eight years later he set his sights on account and agency management. In due time, Dennis was given the opportunity to establish and lead an agency under the aegis of DDB, a world-­renowned advertising agency. His agency, Beyond DDB, was one of the first integrated marketing communications agencies in the nation. In the course of Dennis’ leadership, Beyond DDB grew to the third largest office in DDB’s North American network and one of the most successful agencies of its kind.

Dennis retired from the business after thirty-­four years. However, soon he re-­entered to help start up two consultancies in sectors that have been sorely deficient in today’s marketing environment. He and his partners established a metric-­focused consultancy featuring tools to maximize a client’s return-­on-­marketing-­investment. Dennis then turned his attention to the Baby Boom generation to establish a consultancy dedicated to helping marketers reach this affluent and under-­served demographic with relevant products and respectful communications.

He taught IMC 636 (IMC Campaigns) for the WVU IMC program.