Jana Rausch

Director of Communications

As director of communications, Jana Rausch has established more than a decade of experience working with Lowell Milken’s groundbreaking education initiatives. These include educator effectiveness initiatives spanning K-12 to higher education under NIET and the Milken Educator Awards for the Milken Family Foundation. Rausch plays an integral role in creating successful media campaigns, developing relationships with partners and media across the country, as well as building audiences and professional learning communities through the web and social media. In 2015, she was honored with the NIET Distinguished Service Award.

Jana has worked in media and public affairs for over 20 years. She fostered her passion for communications, research and policy as a graduate research assistant at the University of California at Santa Barbara, then as a deputy press secretary in the U.S. Senate—which took her to Washington, D.C., and to California's 58 counties and 14 media markets. A highlight of that work was directing media strategy for hundreds of press conferences, tours, visits and summits, with topics ranging from homeland security to supporting innovations at local schools.

A proud product of public schools from K-12 to college, Jana graduated with dual bachelor's degrees in English and French from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She spent a year studying at the University of Bordeaux (Lettres), France, and received the Hermione Chevalier Prize from UCSB for writing and research.

 Jana  Rausch

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

It's no surprise that one of my favorite teachers was my sixth-grade English teacher, Ms. Leavitt. She was hugely creative, and you could tell that she lived what she taught. Ms. Leavitt had us act out the works of some of the greatest writers in history. It was in her class where I developed my appreciation for Edgar Allan Poe, and she taught us a trick for memorizing helping verbs, which I remember to this day. 

What was your favorite subject in school and why?

English, French and history were my favorite subjects in school. I had a love and knack for languages, and my foreign language studies always reinforced mastery of my mother tongue. In history, I was particularly interested in social studies, government and the events that forever changed the trajectory of our world. Because literature is so cocooned in history, I enjoyed understanding the historical context and the richness it brought to everything I studied.