The ONA12 Student Newsroom provides coverage of the conference. Find this year’s students and their bios below. The Student Newsroom is sponsored by Google.
Graduate, University of Miami
Currently interning with the broadcasting department of the Miami Heat, Aubrey works to produce promo videos for national broadcast, assists host Jason Jackson on the set of Heat Live, press conferences, and interviews some of the biggest names in the NBA. She is a graduate of The Schreyer Honors College of Penn State University where she received her Bachelor’s degrees in both English and Psychology. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, numerous Honors and service societies, she was also a five-time Big Ten Champion: four of those championships won while competing with the varsity soccer team, and one while competing with the varsity field hockey team. She was captain and a two-sport Academic All-American on a pair of teams that were ranked nationally in the top ten and was a professional athlete until injury ended her career.
Senior, University of Oklahoma
I am an online journalism senior at the University of Oklahoma. I have worked for my campus newspaper for three semesters and currently serve as the online editor. I am also the editor for OU StormCrowd, an innovative project through Gaylord College to harness crowd-sourcing technology to report on severe weather in Oklahoma, and as an editor for routes.ou.edu, a student-run webzine at OU. My interests include reporting, programming, web design and data visualization. I am also a avid follower of politics and developments in web technology.
Graduate, University of California Berkeley
A broadcast, multimedia, and print reporter, Casey is in her final year at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism where she is pursuing a double emphasis in Television and Multimedia. At UC Berkeley, Casey works as a Multimedia Graduate Student researcher assisting others in learning and accessing tools for visual storytelling. She is a Bay Area native and especially drawn to reporting on health care and health disparities. Casey spent the past summer as a Kaiser Family Foundation Media Intern and is now a Kaiser Permanente Institute of Health Policy Journalism Fellow. Her stories have appeared in such publications as The Plain Dealer, The Bay Citizen, Contra Costa Times, SFGate, KCSB 91.9 FM, among other places. Casey has worked on reports for NBC Nightly News, ABC7’s 7 On Your Side (KGO), and KTVU Channel 2 News. She is also a mobile geek and excited by mobile’s impact on journalism. Casey is a contributor to the Mobile Reporting Field Guide, which is available to download for free in iTunes.
Senior, University of Texas at El Paso
Born and raised in the U.S.-Mexico border, Nicole Chavez does not believe in any type of boundaries. This senior multimedia journalism student at The University of Texas at El Paso has a strong passion for news and has been involved with digital media since the earliest stages of her career. Chavez never had a mentor or clear instruction and taught herself web skills leading her to producing content for a local online news website in Ciudad Juarez, MX when she was 15 to work as lead web producer managing a team covering the Tucson’s Jan. 8 shooting anniversary for the 2012 New York Times Student Journalism Institute in Tucson, AZ. Far from limiting herself, Chavez has told stories on video, audio, photo, investigative journalism and social media for the UTEP student publications The Prospector and the bilingual Minero Magazine and as intern for Fronteras Desk, The Brownsville Herald and El Diario de El Paso.
Graduate, University of Miami
I was born and raised in Shanghai as an only child, like all Chinese children of my generation. Also like them, I was destined to study what the authorities decided for me — political science, which, frankly, I hated. Coming to the United States last August to study multimedia journalism is the best thing that’s happened in my life. Having teammates to work with is like having brothers and sisters — they help me see myself more clearly — and our stories focus my heart, mind and senses so intensely that for a time, nothing else exists. In less than a year, I’ve learned to produce documentary-style video stories quickly, and, I hope, with heart. In the same period, I’ve participated in three outstanding web development projects, learning to make sites that are not only functional but also cutting edge. I want to remain and do journalism in the United States, documenting youth culture. As I find that China is sometimes misrepresented in the media here, perhaps I can help with a better understanding as well.
Junior, University of Georgia
I am a University of Georgia honors student pursuing degrees in journalism and Spanish with a certificate in new media. As an inspiring international correspondent, staying up-to-date on new media is important as technologies are employed sooner in international circumstances where it may be easier to tweet a message or for a citizen journalist to post a video to YouTube than to write a traditional news story. I am an avid Twitter user and committed coffee drinker who loves yoga and scuba diving. As newspaper companies transition to journalism companies, I believe journalists will need to be jacks of all trades — experts at writing, editing and technology. I am trying to make this vision a reality with continued practice in my classes and work experiences. This opportunity will be a chance to gather with other student journalists to learn and compare strategies as we propel journalism into the digital realm.
Senior, Marquette University
Marissa Evans is a senior journalism major at Marquette University in Milwaukee. A San Diego native, she’s been a student journalist since her freshman year of high school. She has interned with the San Diego Union Tribune, the Star Tribune, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Washington Post. She’s also an alumna of the New York Student Journalism Institute and a Chips Quinn Scholar. Engulfing herself in books and writing and switching between Spongebob Squarepants and local news stations when she was younger, Evans knew she wanted to do something impactful one day, and was convinced journalism was her niche. She’s a chronic live tweeter and when she’s not immersed in writing or editing print stories she loves being a one-person-crew and toting a camera taking video or photographs for her stories.
Senior, University of Pittsburgh
I’m an aspiring journalist heading up The Pitt News at the University of Pittsburgh starting this April as the Editor in Chief. I’m originally from Altoona, Pa., and my small town paper that told stories about the on-goings got me passionate for journalism. So, naturally, I joined the junior high school paper and the high school paper – both of which I was the Editor in Chief at – before moving to one of the country’s most livable cities. When I’m not interning at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or working at The Pitt News, I’m either contributing to a television blog with The Pitt News visual editor or exploring the city. I’m hoping to use my enthusiasm for innovation to truly launch The Pitt News into the digital age. I want to build a legacy at the paper that I can leave behind for future editors before I pursue becoming an investigative journalist.
Junior, Northwestern University
I came to Northwestern to study journalism and economics, adding the latter to pursue a personal interest and inform my journalism. When I felt pressure to explore supposedly more profitable careers, however, I worked for a student-run consulting group and a non-profit organization’s marketing team. Last summer, I tried corporate communications. But I missed journalism — the newsroom, the content, even the deadlines. Fortunately, in the process, I discovered my passion for digital media and developed useful journalistic skills. I shifted my career aspirations, chose schoolwork about online news and joined the interactive section at a student news magazine. Now, I’m assistant interactive editor at North by Northwestern, and I’ve seen time after time how digital production plays a crucial role in supporting or telling a story. I’ll continue pursuing online journalism, and with the ONA local group I recently co-founded, I hope to pass on my passion to future journalists.
Junior, Howard University
I am a junior broadcast news major studying at Howard University. My goal is to start as a general assignment reporter after graduation.
Senior, University of Texas at Austin
Jessica is a third-year multimedia journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin. While attempting to find new ways of disseminating information through both writing and multimedia projects, she is also working towards an interdisciplinary certificate in human rights and social justice. She hopes to use these skills to become a multi-platform journalist with a focus on either state, national or international politics. In the meantime, Jessica just finished an internship with the digital department at Texas Monthly magazine and is a reporter/blogger for the online publication The Horn. She is also the founder and President of Texas New Media – a start-up student organization focusing on the rapidly changing online journalism industry. In her spare time Jessica enjoys road trips, cooking, and two-stepping, as well as working on her new blog, Stuff by Huff.
Junior, University of Maryland, College Park
I am working to become a backpack journalist who can report stories through writing, videography, photography and any other method of storytelling I can learn throughout my career. My greatest strength is in visual journalism. I can take something boring and turn it into a dynamic picture or video that is both informative and visually appealing. When I started college, I thought I would just become a writer. However, I became a multimedia reporter at the Diamondback, my university’s student paper, and had a change of heart. As I learned about the many different ways a journalist can tell a story, I decided that I want to learn them all.
Senior, Pennsylvania State University
I am currently a student in the visual journalism program at Penn State’s University Park campus. My main focus is in still photography but I also has experience in video editing, sound editing and feature writing. In addition to completing the National Press Photographers Association Northern Short Course in the spring of 2011, I am also a co-founder and the current president of the Penn State student chapter of NPPA. I am a co-founder of my local professional ONA chapter in State College, Pa. I traveled to Brazil this spring to complete an international reporting project in conjunction with McClatchy news service. In December 2012, I will graduate from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism and will then pursue a career as a visual storyteller. When I’m not behind my camera or on the web, I typically spend time with my dog or cooking new recipes.
Graduate, University of Southern California
I am a graduate student studying for my master’s degree in journalism at USC Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication. My professional and academic training in news writing, broadcast and digital reporting enables me to cover a story with multi-media, including video, slideshows and audio. I am also learning HTML coding and how to make info graphics. With two year’s experience, I am currently the only paid foreign writer at Neon Tommy, the 24/7 news website produced by Annenberg Digital News. My brief internship at Los Angeles Business Journal allowed me to work with experienced business reporters and editors in L.A., and develop my understanding of business journalism. I am hard-working, driven and persistent. For example, I took on a three-month project tracking down and interviewing North Korean refugees, and overcame their fear of speaking to the media for lingual and political reasons.
Senior, West Texas A&M University
My name is Krystina Martinez and I am a senior broadcast journalism major at West Texas A&M. I am a second generation Mexican-American and a first generation college student. I am blazing a trail in my family because no one has had the resources or the gumption to pursue a college education. I chose journalism over more “profitable” fields such as nursing because I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity for knowledge. I truly believe that knowledge is power and journalism still has the power to inform people today. I wasn’t always on the media path. I had to take a break from college and work for two years due to the economic crash of 2008. That period made me realize how much I valued higher education and what it could do for other Hispanics.
Graduate, University of Tampere, Finland
I am the middle child in the family of five children, and I believe it shows. I am an observer and a bridge builder, diplomatic in arguments and considerate towards other people. All these skills were also strengthened when my family lived in Russia when I was a kid. Not understanding the language at first, I developed a very sensitive instinct to what is happening. My biggest problem is also my biggest strength: I am honestly interested in all aspects of life. I love to try all sorts of things, and by doing that, try to understand the world a bit more all the time. By really understanding what I am taking photos of, I am able to go past the obvious and deliver photos that surprise the viewers.
Junior, Ryerson University, Canada
I’m a Ryerson journalism student who is looking forward to seeing the influence that new technologies and social media will have on news organizations in the future. I’m a writer and would-be grammarian, with a newly discovered love of audio editing, and working with multimedia productions. I’m interested in reporting on equality issues, arts, and culture, and am fascinated by data journalism.
Senior, University of Southern California
I am a Los Angeles native who, after 15 years in Atlanta, returned to California to study journalism at the University of Southern California. My interest in news began after the attacks on September 11, 2001. I wanted to know why they happened, and what was going on in the world. As I followed the news, I took up writing. At first it was reviews of movies and comic books, but I soon merged my global focus with my writing. I ran my high school’s newspaper in my senior year, and decided to pursue journalism in education and in a career. I am fascinated by current events in the Middle East, and spent June 2011 living in Cairo to report on the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution. I am also a self-admitted geek, and have reported from the Sundance Film Festival and the San Diego Comic-Con.
Junior, Elon University
As a double major in Communications and Information Science at Elon University, I’m passionate about the convergence of news media and the digital world. As the Online Managing Editor of my campus newspaper and website, The Pendulum, I get to lead a team of multimedia reporters in creating high-quality, interactive content. I recently led our site through a major redesign that increased engagement and time spent on our digital offering. I’m passionate about keeping readers engaged with digital content, compared to their print counterparts, and am pursuing research on the subject. Multimedia and news media have always been a part of my life, since publishing the 5th Grade Gazette and recording short films with friends. Following continued work at The Pendulum and a summer internship with the interactive agency Code and Theory, I am eager to play a part in the student newsroom at ONA 2012.
Junior, Syracuse University
Brandon Weight is a sophomore magazine journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He is a multi-platform journalist, utilizing writing, photography, graphic design, video and social media to efficiently and effectively cover stories. Initially enrolling in a writing major, Weight continued to explore interests in visual media by shooting for on-campus publications and designing for a campus magazine, eventually working his way up to photo editor for the independent student newspaper The Daily Orange and design editor for Medley Magazine. More recently, he interned for the TV news magazine energyNOW!, where he honed his skills in video production, graphic design and social media. He continues to work with DSLR video for the online magazine The NewsHouse, producing character driven stories with accompanying articles. Weight will also travel with two fellow students to Jacmel, Haiti this summer documenting the work of a group of doctors.