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Donna Wertalik

Professor of Practice
  • Director of Student Engagement and Founder/Advisor of Prism
Donna Wertalik
3052 Pamplin (0236)
880 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Donna C. Wertalik, M.S. is Professor of Practice, Director of Student Engagement and Founder/Advisor of PRISM.

Donna is an innovative, achievement-oriented senior manager with diverse corporate and academic experience, training, and acquired skills in the identification of marketing opportunities, brand management, social media engagement and measurement as well as overall product development. Her background and experience emphasize her commitment to bottom-line profitability and market-share growth through strategic brand positioning.

Her role encompasses branding, marketing and metrics for the business school, as well as leading the strategic efforts of Pamplin’s Virtual Identity through Virginia Tech’s Social Media Organization, Prism.  

Donna has taught in all areas of marketing, including Undergraduate, Graduate and PhD Bridge Programs.  She holds a bachelor of science in marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University, as well as a Master’s of Science in Marketing and a Graduate Certification in Social Media and Data Analysis from Southern New Hampshire University. Donna has more than 22 years of industry experience and has worked for organizations such as Nestle Corporation, Schering Plough and Glaxo Smith-Kline, as well as key advertising firms such Ogilvy, CommonHealth, and Pace, Inc., a division of McCann.

She continues to consult through her firm Speak Marketing, which allows her to balance academia and industry to the fullest. Her speaking engagements include Dreamforce 2014, focused on digital transformation and Sales Connections, 2015, focused on a connected campus through social media. In addition, she has worked with Senator Mark Warner on two occasions focusing on entrepreneurial efforts and women in business initiatives.

Donna received two National Telly awards, in 2009 and 2010 as well as recognition from the National Advertising Federation (Addy's) in 2006, 2007, 2008.  In addition to this, she was Business Week 2012, Favorite Professor and Virginia Tech Favorite Faculty 2015.

Recently, she was awarded a 2016 Telly and a 2016 Gold MUSE International award, for her work with PRISM, VT’s official student social media organization, founded by Wertalik.

Based on her National and International Reputation, both corporations as well as Universities have approached Donna with a variety of opportunities, inclusive of reviewing textbooks and publications in the area of social media and digital initiatives, consulting and career opportunities, as well as many speaking engagements and leadership workshop requests.


B.S., Marketing Fairleigh Dickinson University

M.S., Marketing, Southern New Hampshire University

Teaching Interests

Marketing Communications and Advertising & Social Media

Research Interests

Social Media, Data Analysis, Community Management, and Marketing and Real World Applications


Additional Information

  • Faculty Advisor-Prism (Pamplin Reinventing Social Media) 

Noteworthy Accomplishments & Recognition

  • 2017-2018- Board of Advisors- McGraw Hill.  Appointment was based on National recognition and a key feedback leader in the prototype development for principles of marketing. 
  • 2017 Telly awards – VT PRISM was awarded two Bronze Telly awards for a video promoting a major initiative within the Pamplin College of Business. There were over 13,000 submissions.
  • 2016 Telly award —VT PRISM was awarded a Bronze 2016 Telly for the Welcome to Pamplin online video they developed. They competed within the 36th Annual Telly Awards which received over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.
  • 2016 MUSE Award – VT PRISM was awarded a GOLD Muse award. The student organization competed against 12,000 submissions from 33 countries with a 40-foot bus wrap designed for First & Main Shopping Center
  • VT PRISM — Nominated as 2016 Student Organization of the Year by Virginia Tech DSA
  • Donna Wertalik was nominated as the 2016 Advisor of the Year by Virginia Tech DSA
  • Membership and Participation within the CT+E Marketing-Destination Areas Curriculum Committee


Since my appointment as Associate Professor of Practice, I have served as:

  • Founding Member of Innovate 
  • Steering Committee for Pamplin—Virginia Tech-Master Re-Brand
  •  Faculty Lead--VT CP2S ($19 million-dollar packaging, education, research and innovation center), CT+E (Destination Area-Creativity District-Curriculum Committee Member)
  • 2017-- Invited Lecturer for the Chicago Hokie Alumni Chapter
  • 2017-Invited Faculty Member for Destination Area-Summer Course Development
  • 2016-2017-Invited Lecturer for VT Athletics 
  • 2015 - Selected as the Key Note Speaker for Senator Mark Warner’s Women in Business Annual Conference
  • 2014-2016- Department Marketing Lead for Freshman Orientation
  • 2014-2015 - Selected as a two-time Speaker for DreamForce Conference, hosting 120,000 marketers and digital Fortune 500 Companies
  • 2013-- Keynote Presenter-YP Summit- Senator Mark Warner

Advisory Board

I have been a founding member of the Marketing Advisory Board since its inception.  In Spring 2014, I took over the role of Faculty Liaison for our alumni advisory board.  Since that time, we have built a board of 14 committed alumni members annually, who provide an annual average of  $10-$15,000 ($45k currently is available for student usage) through our marketing excellence fund and marketing advisory operating fund.

In addition, I also built a strategic alliance with Coca-Cola, who for the last 2 years (and continuing into the 3rd) is sponsoring our annual “Barracuda Bowl”, which made VT News this past year and allowed 50 marketing students to compete in a shark tank “like” competition.  This year’s winner’s will be provided a $7,000 budget to create an on-site activation for Coca-Cola.  The success of their event and ongoing social media campaign locked in full-time job opportunities for both and Coca-Cola’s continued support and sponsorship.

Finally, our board has also finalized their vision and mission, and is highly regarded by Pamplin for their help with our students and for their support of GBAC and the potential to gain their corporations as sponsors.

Board Roles

  • Virtual LI-Marketing Advisor | 2014 - 2015
  • Pi Sigma Epsilon-VP Educator | 2009 - 2015

Student Advising/Student Funding

Since joining the department, I have advised all three current organizations - PSE, PRISM & the newly re-chartered AMA.  I have worked to ensure internships and full-time opportunities and served as a VP Educator on the National Pi Sigma Epsilon Board and built a strategic alliance with Ferguson, who is the Top 3rd employer for our students.  In addition, I raised funds through sponsorship contracts for all three organizations representing over $250,000 in the last three years.  These funds have been utilized in student RSO accounts for training, certifications and field explorations.  I have taken over 1,000 students to conferences, field trips and seminars all over the country, with a focus on NY, DC, Chicago and San Francisco.

Students in PSE rose to Top Silver Chapter during my time advising and encouraged the need for a Sales Minor for the department.  The student   organization PRISM, which serves under the department and Dean’s office in two capacities, has won 3 National Telly awards’s for their work, along with a Gold Muse.  Almost 50% of students in Prism represent marketing majors.


  • National Telly | 2009, 2010, 2016, 2017
  • Addy | 2008
  • VSMPR | 2008, 2009, 20010
  • Faculty Advisor of the Year-Virginia Tech-University of Student Relations | 2011
  • Appointed Key Note Speaker -Pamp li n College of Business Commencement | 2011
  • Case iii Award-Marketing Website | 2012
  • Bloomberg Business Week-Outstanding Professor | 2012
  • Pi Sigma Epsilon-National Faculty Advisor of the Year | 2012

Teaching Awards

  • VT Faculty Advisor of the Year-2015
  • Teaching Excellence- Pamplin College of Business 2013
  • Pi Sigma Epsilon-National Faculty Advisor of the Year-2013  


  • Advertising Federation of the Roanoke Valley Montgomery Chamber of Commerce
  • Pi Sigma Epsilon (Sales and Marketing) Business Fraternity Delta Phi Epsilon (Alumni)
  • Fairleigh Dickinson (Alumni)
  • Southern New Hampshire University (Alumni)