Archive Speakers

2018 Speakers

row]

Jessica Lee Acevedo

Bio to come

[/row]

Cassandria Alvarado

Marketing Specialist
Capital Brain and Spine

Owner and Operator
CapturExistence Photography

Bio to come


Elaine Ayala

Reporter/Blogger/Columnist
San Antonio Express-News

Bio to come


Colleen Baker

Digital Marketing Manager

Bio to come


Katrina Barber

Graphic Designer
C3 Presents

Bio to come


Sara Bey

Bio to come


Tyson Bird

Projects Designer
Innovation Studio, Gatehouse Media

Tyson Bird works for Gatehouse Media as a Projects Designer in the de//space Innovation Studio. Originally from Idaho, he studied journalism graphics and entrepreneurial management at Ball State University. He works with newsrooms and the company to create the ‘next big thing’ — incorporating trends in design and technology. He is a designer with a passion for prototyping, creating, leading and supporting great digital media experiences. Bird loves talking about the many intersections of design, development and media. More at tysonbird.com.


Dale Blasingame

Dale Blasingame

Assistant Professor of Practice
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Dale Blasingame is a senior lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He received a master’s degree from Texas State in 2011 with a focus in New Media studies.  
 
Before transitioning to Texas State, Blasingame was a television news producer. He spent nine years at WOAI-TV in San Antonio, where he won two Lone Star Emmy awards and was nominated for a third. Before that, he was a news anchor and sports reporter for KTSA-AM in San Antonio. He is also the social media director forLeadhub, an Internet marketing company in San Antonio. Blasingame is a member of the Online News Association, Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. 

Blasingame writes for Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine and recently visited all 95 state parks in one year. Blasingame was included on the Texas Highways Magazine list of Extraordinary Texans for 2016. Blasingame is a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, National Park Foundation and National Parks Conservation Association where he’s been able to marry his passions of technology and our parks by creating a course called Mobile Storytelling in the Park, in conjunction with Texas Parks and Wildlife. 


Scott Bowman

Bio to come


Kelsey Bradshaw

News Reporter
Austin American-Statesman

Bio to come


Amanda Compian

Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communication Student
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Bio to come


Chris Cantu

Social Media Manager
SXSW

Bio to come


Reyna Caraveo

Creative Director and CEO
R.A.C. Events and Design

Bio to come


Larry Carlson

Larry Carlson

Senior Lecturer
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Larry Carlson, a senior lecturer, has been teaching at Texas State since 1985. He has been cited several times by the School of Fine Arts and Communication for “Excellence in Teaching,” has received the SJMC department’s “Outstanding Teacher” award and received a “Mitte Honors Program Distinguished Educator” honor in 2005.

Carlson received a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Southwest Texas State University. Professional experience as a broadcaster, writer, producer and public relations consultant enables him to bring a wide perspective of communication fields into the classroom. He has taught over a dozen courses within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State.

In addition to teaching, Carlson recently served as the Executive Producer of Big Game Hunters Sports Travel, a weekly half-hour program aired on ESPN2 and HD Net. He writes travel and feature articles for the San Antonio Express-News and its publications.
Carlson resides in San Antonio.


Rob Cartwright

News Director
KEYE-TV

Bio to come


Jordan Cooper

Digital Media Planner
Umbel

Bio to come


Mara Corbett

Projects Designer
Innovation Studio, Gatehouse Media

Starting as an innovation intern at Gatehouse in 2017, Mara Corbett is now a Projects Designer in the de//space Innovation Studio. She leads front-end design for national news projects, researches, designs and employs new storytelling tools and tackles blue-sky questions and problems about the future of local journalism. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2017 with a degree in Graphics Design and minor in IT Management. More at http://www.maracorbett.com/.


Halie Davis

Communication Specialist
Student Life at Austin Community College

Bio to come


Jennifer Dodd-Taylor

News Director
Spectrum News

Bio to come


Sarah Duran

Multimedia Journalist
Spectrum News, San Antonio

Bio to come


Marc Duvoisin

Editor and Vice President
San Antonio Express-News

Bio to come


Kiersten Ehr

Digital Content Creator-Sales
KSAT12 TV San Antonio

Bio to come


Judy Everett Ramos

Owner
Judy Ramos Public Relations

Bio to come


Annabel Fidler

Sports Information and Digital Media Coordinator 
Southwestern University

Bio to come


Alex Frank

Web Developer
Austin Web And Design

Bio to come


Silvia Foster-Frau

Reporter
San Antonio Express-News

Bio to come


Brant Freeman

Sportscaster
Texas State University

Bio to come


Steven Gaither

Steven Gaither

Founder
HBCU Gameday

Steven J. Gaither is a multimedia journalist impacting the world of digital and social media. He is a born story-teller with tangible experience in the areas of digital content creation, social media and photography.

A 2009 graduate of Winston-Salem State University, Steven is the founder of HBCU Gameday, the online-leader in coverage of sports at historically black colleges and universities. In fall of 2017 he returned to his alma mater to teach media production.

Founded in 2012, HBCU Gameday has gone from a one-man blog to an emerging force in media and technology. With over 60,000 followers across social media and groundbreaking Amazon FireTV and Roku apps, it is the go-to-site for HBCU sports and culture and a conduit for young journalists to sharpen their journalism and media content creation skills.


Omar Gallega

Technology and Culture Writer
Austin American-Statesman

Omar Gallaga was the technology culture reporter for Austin American-Statesman for the past 21 years. He wrote for 512tech.com, the Statesman’s technology website, covering personal technology, including social media, video games and trends. He was the co-host and co-creator of the “”Statesman Shots”” and “”I Love You So Much”” podcasts and video series. Gallaga’s also a freelance contributor to KUT Austin’s Texas Standard radio program and Previously.tv.


Carlos Garcia

Reporter
Time Warner Cable News

Bio to come


Bridget Garraway

Creative Manager
Alamo Drafthouse

Bio to come


Valerie Gomez

Video Editor
KENS 5

Bio to come


Carmen Graf

Carmen Graf

SVP, Executive Media Director
GSD&M

Bio to come


Lucas Haskins

Bio to come


Erica Hernandez

Bio to come


JC Hernandez

Solutions Planner
Under Armour

Bio to come


Debbie Hiott

Former Editor 
Austin American-Statesman

Bio to come


Zach Ienatsch

Opinions Editor
The University Star, Texas State University

Zach Ienatsch is an SJMC parks alumnus from 2017. He is currently the opinions editor for the University Star and was formerly an intern for the Seguin Gazette and reporter for Community Impact New Braunfels. He is visiting Yosemite in December, which will be his 8th National Park.


Jessica James

Jessica James

Lecturer
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Jessica is a lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University. Her research interests include health communication, gender and new media psychology. Jessica’s thesis, “Mobile Dating in the Digital Age: Computer-Mediated Communication and Relationship Building on Tinder,” focused on the gamification of mobile dating and its effect on user behavior. Jessica recently authored a chapter on the topic in the publication “Sex in the Digital Age” by Ashgate Publishing.

Before teaching, Jessica served as the co-grant coordinator for the Texas State University MIPPA Project, a federally funded research grant that investigated media habits of Medicare-eligible Texans.

Jessica received her M.A. in mass communication from Texas State University and her B.S. in journalism from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. During her time at BGSU, Jessica served as a senior reporter and feature editor for the BG News. She later received employment working as a reporter at the Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She has written for several newspapers in Northern Ohio, including the Fostoria Review Times and the Sandusky Register.

In her spare time, Jessica enjoys painting, reading, softball, swimming, board games and spending time with her cat Howie.


DaLyah Jones

Assistant Producer
In Black America

Bio to come


Patrick Kelly

Patrick Kelly

SunLit Story Time

Bio to come


Susie Kelly

Marketing/ Social Media
SunLit Story Time

Bio to come


Mike Kickirillo

Director of Broadcasting
San Antonio Spurs Sports and Entertainment

Bio to come


Lisa Krantz

Photojournalist
San Antonio Express-News

Bio to come


Jamie Lee

Bio to come


Lane Lewis

Reporter, Anchor, Producer
CBS Radio, 105.3 The Fan

Bio to come


Dustin Lien

Founder
Jump Influence

Dustin Lien is the founder of JumpInfluence, a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles,CA that helps some of influential personal brands and startups scale their audiences and impact more people. He graduated from Texas State University in 2011 with a BA in Mass Communication-Advertising, is the author of It’s Time to Start, and host of The Unleashed Life podcast. When asked what his clients think of him, he’s been lovingly referred to as, “that marketing guy” and “a total badass”.


Chuck Loesch

Engineer, Program Director
NO CONTROL Radio, Emmis Austin Radio

Host
The Metal Podcast
and The Bad Feeling Podcast

Bio to come


Frank LoMonte

Professor and Director 
The Brechner Center at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications

Bio to come


Ashley Lowell-Doussard

Senior Producer
KXAS, NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Bio to come


Gilbert Martinez

Gilbert Martinez

Senior Lecturer and Assistant Director
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Gilbert Martinez is a senior lecturer and has taught Media Law at Texas State since fall 2003. He graduated with a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in New York in 2000. Professor Martinez was appointed assistant director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2012.

From 1993 to 1997, Martinez worked as a newspaper reporter at The Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J. He worked as the weekend police reporter, general assignment reporter and the court reporter covering criminal and civil trials. Martinez was awarded a New Voices Fellowship from the Academy for Educational Development which allowed him to work as a legal fellow in Austin from 2000-2002.


Hady Mawajdeh

Bio to come


Matt McClearin

ESPN Dallas, 103.3

Bio to come


Bryan Miller

Bio to come


Ray Niekamp

Associate Professor
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Ray Niekamp teaches in the Electronic Media sequence at Texas State. Niekamp received a Ph.D in Mass Communication from Penn State University and an M.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota.

In addition to his work as an educator, Niekamp worked in television news for 16 years as an assignment editor, reporter, producer, photographer, editor and occasional anchor. He has been honored with the Poynter Teaching Fellowship at the Poynter Institute and the Gannett Teaching Fellowship at Indiana University. Niekamp is interested in the changing environment of broadcasting, and how the industry continues to evolve through changes in regulation and technology. In his spare time, he enjoys bicycling and is an avid book reader.


Mark Osmena

Video Production Coordinator
Texas State University Athletics Marketing

Bio to come


Jamie Paxton-Morey

SVP of Development/Executive Producer
Red Arrow Industries

Bio to come


Aaron Perez

Bio to come


Stephanie Perez

KGSR Promotions Director/Part-time On-Air Personality
Emmis Communications

Bio to come


Tara Pohlmeyer 

Engagement Coordinator 
Community Impact

Tara began her tenure at Community Impact Newspaper as a digital content producer in August 2016. In a new role as engagement coordinator, she works with editorial, digital and design teams to promote editorial content. At Texas State University, she served as station manager for KTSW-FM 89.9 during her senior year and graduated in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in electronic media.  


Kerri Qunell 

Chief Marketing Officer
Trinity Episcopal School

Adjunct Professor of Management
St. Edward’s University  

Kerri leads the marketing communications team at Trinity Episcopal School, building strategic marketing and branding campaigns to further the mission of the school.

Prior to her current position, she served as Director of Marketing Services at St. Edward’s University, where she is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Management Department teaching Business Communication. Previously, Kerri practiced marketing and PR as Vice President of Communications at Capital Area Food Bank and as Community Relations Director for KEYE-TV. She also worked at Dell, SicolaMartin and Austin Chamber of Commerce, and was a freelancer for several local publications. 

Kerri is a Leadership Austin graduate and past board member, and a founding board member and past president of Young Women’s Alliance (YWA). She serves on the YWA Advisory Council and is a member of Women Communicators of Austin and American Marketing Association. erri was named a 2009 “Profiles in Power Central Texas Woman of Influence” by Austin Business Journal and was a 2006 “Austin Under 40” winner. She is an alum of the Frank McBee, Jr. Fellowship Program in Civic Entrepreneurship and regular guest speaker at Texas State University, where she received her BA in Journalism. 


Sandy Rao

Professor / Assistant Dean of the Graduate College
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Sandhya (Sandy) Rao is Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Assistant Dean of the Graduate College. She is also Honorary Professor of International Studies. Rao received a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. 

Rao worked as a journalist and public relations professional in India. Her research focus is on the diffusion and growth of new media technologies in the Asian region with particular emphasis on India. Rao has published two Books: Cyberpath to Development in Asia–Issues and Challenges, Praeger; and Critical Issues in Communication: Looking Inward for Answers, Sage. She has also published numerous book chapters and journal articles. Rao has presented research papers at International, National and Regional Conferences. 

Rao taught at Manipal University, India, during spring 2008 as a Fulbright Scholar. During her tenure there, she created and helped set up the Center for Media and Marketing Communication Research. 

She chaired the University’s Task force on Internationalization of Texas State University. She has served as the Head, International Communication Division, Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication. She launched the International News Writing Contest in 1997 for the International Communication Division of the AEJMC and continued to coordinate the contest until 2016. 


Pam Renteria

Gaming Marketing Specialist
SXSW

Bio to come.


Jordan Roberts

Senior Content Marketing Manager and Senior Web Editor
SXSW

Bio to come.


Brittany Robinson

Social Media Manager
Margin Walker Presents

Bio to come.


Cindy Royal

Professor / Director of Media Innovation Lab 
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Cindy Royal is a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the founding director of the Media Innovation Lab. She specializes in teaching the practical and theoretical concepts of digital media. Dr. Royal completed Ph.D. studies in Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of Texas at Austin in May 2005. At UT, she focused on the effects of the Internet on communication and culture. Prior to doctoral studies, Dr. Royal had a career in Marketing at Compaq Computer in Houston, TX and NCR Corporation in Dayton, OH. She has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Richmond and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Dr. Royal is the 2013 Charles E. Scripps Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year, presented by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Scripps Howard Foundation. She received the 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas State. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Royal was selected for the prestigious Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, the first full-time academic to be accepted in the program in its 50-year history. She developed a platform to teach programming skills to journalists and journalism students called CodeActually. 


James Russell

Bio to come


Lydia Saldaña

Lydia Saldaña

Communications Director
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Bio to come


Sara Shields

Part-time Lecturer
Texas State University School of Mass Comm and Journalism

Sara Shields is currently a full-time marketing manager in New Braunfels and a part-time lecturer at Texas State University. Since 2015, Sara has been teaching in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Texas State University, she continued her education journey into graduate school. Focusing on digital media, specifically web design and videography, Sara received her Master’s Degree in the spring of 2017.

Aside from marketing and teaching, Sara also runs a creative production business where she’s worked with several clients building websites, producing videos, or designing graphics and logos. In 2017, Sara was a speaker at SXSW Interactive with Paul Trani (Adobe), where they spoke about technology and graphic design.


Brooke Shoemaker

Sports Anchor/Reporter and Yolo Texas Co-host
Quarter Moon Productions

Bio to come


Bob Shrader

Bio to come


Luke Simons

Discovery Desk Manager/Military Reporter
KENS 5

Bio to come


Matt Soles

Career Advisor
Texas State University

Bio to come


Chris Sommer

Afternoon News Anchor
KRLD Radio

Bio to come


Leah Steinbrink

President
Nichenista Media, LLC

Bio to come


Anna Tauzin Rice

Vice President, Marketing and Innovation
Texas Restaurant Association

Bio to come


Isamar Terrazas

Senior Assignments Editor/Field Producer
Telemundo 40, an NBC Universal owned station

Bio to come


Brittany Thomas

Bio to come


Gustavo Torres

Bio to come


Alyssa Vidales

Multimedia Producer
Austin American-Statesman

Bio to come


Cheyenne Wells

Public Relations Major
Texas State University School of Mass Comm and Journalism

Bio to come


Alex Williamson

Chief Brand Officer
Bumble

Alexandra Williamson is Bumble’s Chief Brand Officer. She majored in Cinema-Television at SMU, where she discovered her love of content creation. Having a variety of experience with film and production, Alex began managing social media for Bumble in October 2014 and worked her way into her current position with an unwavering passion for the company’s mission and a strong belief in the brand. Williamson helps empower Bumble users and brings Bumble CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe Herd’s innovative ideas to life. Alex communicates this vision with the Bumble community through voice, content, social media, and customer service.


Holly Wise

Holly Wise

Senior Lecturer
Texas State University School of Mass Comm and Journalism

Holly Wise was selected as a Fulbright Scholar for 2018 – 2019 and is currently teaching solutions journalism at Mount Carmel College in Bangalore, India.

Holly Wise graduated from Murray State University with her master’s degree in mass communications and has spent the majority of her career managing newsrooms in various media markets in New Mexico and Texas.

Wise’s area of journalistic expertise is in solutions journalism and to that end, she founded VoiceBox Media in 2012. Its purpose is to provide rigorous analysis of social problems and how people are solving them. Every semester, Wise recruits teams of mass communication students to intern at VoiceBox Media. Some of their reporting projects have included examining poverty in San Marcos, local social activists in Baltimore and immigration in border cities. Their work has been published in the Austin American-Statesman, Latina Lista and the San Marcos Daily Record.

In 2015, Wise began the Texas State Global News Team in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The team’s first trip was to Nicaragua in January 2016 to embed with the Texas State University School of Nursing students and faculty. The team of six students produced nearly 50 pieces of multimedia content, which was published on the website they designed and managed. Wise is recruiting students to return to Nicaragua in 2017.

In her spare time, Wise hikes with her German shepherds and tries to play her best game of racquetball.


Taylor Wood

Marketing Analyst
Chive Media Group

Bio to come


Andrew Wright

Bio to come


Jon Zmikly

Lecturer
Texas State University School of Mass Comm and Journalism

Jon Zmikly graduated from Central Michigan University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast & Cinematic Arts and a minor in Media Design, Production & Technology. After working at two television stations and one radio station in his home state of Michigan, he received his master’s degree in Media Studies with a concentration in new media at Texas State University-San Marcos. He also created and produced a variety television show called Studio B, interned at SXSW Interactive and became the webmaster at San Marcos Community Church. 

Jon is currently a faculty member of the Digital Media Innovation sequence and is also the co-founder of a full-service digital agency in Austin coiski and works at his church part-time. He is also the content manager of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication website and social accounts. 


Speakers 2017

A.J. Arreguin

Communications Coordinator
Del Valle ISD

Adjunct Lecturer
Texas State University
 

A.J. Arreguin is the communications coordinator for Del Valle ISD, located in Southeast Austin and a part-time lecturer for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Arreguin is a Texas State University Alumni, he received his double bachelor’s degree in public relations and Spanish and his master’s in strategic communication. 


Alicia Inns

Reporter
KXAN -Austin, TX

Alicia Inns joined the KXAN News team in December 2014 as a morning show multi-platform journalist. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism for the University of Oregon, Alicia started her broadcast career at KTVZ-NewsChannel 21 in Bend Oregon. In her 4 years there, she worked as an anchor, reporter and producer while shooting, writing and editing her own stories. 


Chris Davis

Multimedia Journalist
KXAN -Austin, TX

Chris Davis joined the KXAN News team in June 2017 as a multimedia journalist covering stories across Central Texas. Chris received his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University. He interned at WTVR-TV in Richmond then started his career in Sheridan, Wyoming in a bureau for KOTA-TV in Rapid City, South Dakota. While there, Chris won 1st place in the Great Plains AP Broadcast contest. Chris then worked in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at WHTM-TV, covering the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia. 

When Chris arrived in Texas he worked in Waco for two years at KCEN-TV. He covered several big stories there, including the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, the trial of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and the biker shootout at Twin Peaks. Chris was part of a team that earned a Lone Star Emmy Award for a one-hour special that aired on the anniversary of the explosion in West. 


Cindy Royal

Professor / Director of Media Innovation Lab 
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Cindy Royal is a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the founding director of the Media Innovation Lab. She specializes in teaching the practical and theoretical concepts of digital media. Dr. Royal completed Ph.D. studies in Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of Texas at Austin in May 2005. At UT, she focused on the effects of the Internet on communication and culture. Prior to doctoral studies, Dr. Royal had a career in Marketing at Compaq Computer in Houston, TX and NCR Corporation in Dayton, OH. She has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Richmond and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Dr. Royal is the 2013 Charles E. Scripps Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year, presented by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Scripps Howard Foundation. She received the 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas State. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Royal was selected for the prestigious Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, the first full-time academic to be accepted in the program in its 50-year history. She developed a platform to teach programming skills to journalists and journalism students called CodeActually. 


Dale Blasingame

Senior Lecturer
Texas State University School of Journalism Mass Communication

Dale Blasingame is a senior lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He received a master’s degree from Texas State in 2011 with a focus in New Media studies.  
 
Before transitioning to Texas State, Blasingame was a television news producer. He spent nine years at WOAI-TV in San Antonio, where he won two Lone Star Emmy awards and was nominated for a third. Before that, he was a news anchor and sports reporter for KTSA-AM in San Antonio. He is also the social media director forLeadhub, an Internet marketing company in San Antonio. Blasingame is a member of the Online News Association, Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. 

Blasingame writes for Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine and recently visited all 95 state parks in one year. Blasingame was included on the Texas Highways Magazine list of Extraordinary Texans for 2016. Blasingame is a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, National Park Foundation and National Parks Conservation Association where he’s been able to marry his passions of technology and our parks by creating a course called Mobile Storytelling in the Park, in conjunction with Texas Parks and Wildlife. 


Erica Hernandez

Producer
KSAT 12

A graduate from the School of Journalism at Texas State University in San Marcos, Erica Hernandez has been working in the news business for ten years, and is an Emmy nominated producer. She started her career in Laredo, TX as a reporter/producer covering federal and district courts. She later moved to Austin to work at the Fox station as a producer, and after two years moved to San Antonio to work at KSAT 12. As a digital journalist Erica covers stories on all platforms and has several popular series on KSAT 12 including a food segment called Flavor Favs and a Haunting in South Texas.  


gary_boyer-web

Gary Boyer

Freelance Videographer
NBC, CNN & NBA

Gary Boyer is a freelance videographer who shoots for a variety of clients ranging from news networks, such as NBC and CNN, to the NBA. He recently covered Hurricane Harvey for NBC News. Gary has traveled around the world covering professional basketball. He recently returned from a weeklong trip to China covering the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings as part of the NBA’s global initiative.  

Gary began his career in TV news as a photographer for KIII-TV in Corpus Christi. After a year on the Texas Coast, he returned home to San Antonio to work at KSAT-TV, the ABC affiliate. In his 17 years at KSAT, Gary held a number of positions, including chief photographer, executive producer and assistant news director. In 1979, just after returning to San Antonio, Gary was covering the Battle of Flowers Fiesta Parade with reporter Angela Vierville when a sniper began firing into the crowd, killing two and wounding more than a dozen. The two KSAT journalists, caught in the line of fire, hunkered down behind vehicles doing live reports throughout the shooting spree.  


Jason Buch

Reporter
San Antonio Express News

Jason Buch is a graduate of Texas State University, where he was editor of the University StarBuch works for the San Antonio Express-News covering immigration and border affairs. He’s won awards for his coverage of child migration to the U.S., conditions that are driving immigration from Central America and money laundering in South Texas. Buch worked for two years at the Laredo Morning Times before coming to San Antonio. He first worked on the business desk at the Express-News, covering at various times real estate, the automotive industry, manufacturing, technology and telecom.  


Jeff Hahn

Owner
Hahn Public

Jeff Hahn is the owner and principal of Hahn Public. Jeff focuses on brand crafting, message development and crisis communications for the firm’s clients; he also leads the health systems practice area. He is a 26-year public relations practitioner. 

Prior to joining the firm, Hahn was communications director at Freescale Semiconductor and public affairs director at Motorola Semiconductor where he served in roles including government relations, media relations, crisis communication, analyst relations, business operations, employee communication, financial communication and executive communication. 

Hahn serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Communication Studies at Texas State University. He serves as a volunteer for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and was also the Austin city campaign co-chair for the United Way campaign in 2010. Hahn has served on a number of nonprofit boards in the past including the World Congress on Information Technology, and he was Board Chair for LifeWorks in 2003 and for Keep Austin Beautiful in 1998 and 1999.  

Jeff grew moved to Texas in 1984 by enlisting in the United States Air Force. He served at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio where he completed an associate degree in administration, then graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1990 from The University of Texas at San Antonio.  


John A. Salazar

News Reporter
Spectrum News Austin

As an award-winning multi-platform journalist who delivers 20 years of broadcast experience to the Time Warner Cable News team, John A. Salazar began his career working in production before transitioning to the newsroom.  

Before joining TWC News Austin in 2010, John was the chief photojournalist for the CBS-affiliate in Austin. While there, he worked on special projects/investigates where his shooting, editing and producing led the Investigates team to win two Lone Star Emmy Awards, and other nominations by the statewide professional chapter. Salazar also was on the staff of the NBC-affiliate in Austin where he was recognized by Texas Associated Press Broadcasters as Photojournalist of the Year in 2002.  

Salazar covered two of President Barack Obama’s visits to Texas as well as former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Other career notables include local news angles following the 911 attacks, the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and the 2008 Fundame saga. He was the first Austin journalist on-scene following the 2009 mass shooting on Fort Hood. Salazar also spent two weeks in Bastrop County reporting on the state’s most destructive wildfire. 


Jon Zmikly

Lecturer
Texas State University School of Mass Comm and Journalism

Jon Zmikly graduated from Central Michigan University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast & Cinematic Arts and a minor in Media Design, Production & Technology. After working at two television stations and one radio station in his home state of Michigan, he received his master’s degree in Media Studies with a concentration in new media at Texas State University-San Marcos. He also created and produced a variety television show called Studio B, interned at SXSW Interactive and became the webmaster at San Marcos Community Church. 

Jon is currently a faculty member of the Digital Media Innovation sequence and is also the co-founder of a full-service digital agency in Austin coiski and works at his church part-time. He is also the content manager of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication website and social accounts. 


Kathryn Gisi

Hays County Bureau reporter
Spectrum News Texas

Kathryn Gisi is from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She stumbled into journalism at Texas State University. She quickly learned that telling stories suited her and it was something she wanted to pursue whole-heartedly.  

Following graduation, Kathryn packed up and moved to Boothbay Harbor, Maine to write for the local newspaper. From there, she landed her first television gig at the ABC affiliate in Lawton, Oklahoma. She spent another two years working as a multi-media journalist with the NBC affiliate in Southern Illinois. 

After a few years with Spectrum News North Carolina, Kathryn decided it was time to head back to the Lone Star State and took a position as the Hays County Bureau reporter with Spectrum News Texas. 


MassCommWeekLogo_4c_

Kirsten Danis

Managing Editor
The Marshall Project

Kirsten Danis is the managing editor of The Marshall Project, a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on the U.S. criminal justice system. After launching in November 2014, The Marshall Project has won some of the most prestigious prizes in journalism, including a Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting, two George Polk awards and a National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Kirsten previously was an editor at The Wall Street Journal, where her team was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. She was managing editor at the New York Daily News and has also worked as a reporter at the New York Post and The Jersey Journal 


MassCommWeekLogo_4c_

Laura Jesse

Public Affairs Account Supervisor 
KGRB Texas

Laura Jesse is a public affairs account supervisor with KGBTexas Communications in San Antonio, where she handles the agency’s public sector accounts and public engagement campaigns. Prior to joining the agency she served as Public Information Officer for Bexar County promoting the activities of the County Judge and Commissioners Court, County elected officials and the County Manager. 

Laura was a reporter and Watchdog columnist for the San Antonio Express-News from 2003 to 2008, where she worked her way up from a city desk editorial assistant to a city hall bureau reporter. Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication – Electronic Media from Texas State University in 2003. 


Michel Haigh

Graduate Adviser
Texas State University School of Mass Comm and Journalism

Michel Haigh joined the faculty in July of 2017 and teaches graduate courses and serves at the Graduate Adviser for SJMC. 

Haigh earned her undergraduate degrees in ag journalism and speech communication at South Dakota State. She earned a master’s in agricultural education with an emphasis in agricultural communications at Texas Tech University. Haigh earned a Ph.D. in communication studies at the University of Oklahoma in 2006. 

Haigh has co-authored more than 40 conference presentations, seven of which have been recognized with the “Top Paper” award. She has published more than 35 articles in journals. She was an officer in the Communication Theory & Methodology division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and routinely serves as a site-team member for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. 

In 2014, Haigh was named to NerdScholar’s “40 under 40” list of “professors who inspire,” and was the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Communications Alumni Society Board. In 2015, she was recognized with the Excellence in Teaching Award from The National Society of Leadership and Success.  


Olga Campos Benz

Community Relations Director

In addition to her new career as a novelist, former broadcast journalist Olga Campos Benz also holds the role of Community Relations Director for businessman and honored philanthropist, Milton Verret, and his companies. Olga continues her connection and commitment to the Austin community by serving on several nonprofit boards including The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), the Austin Film Festival, the Joe R and Teresa Lozano Long Center, and the Advisory Council of the University of Texas Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. In 2013, the Austin Business Journal named Olga one of the “Profiles in Power: Women of Influence”. She was inducted into the City of Austin Commission for Women Hall of Fame in 2014.  


Sandy Rao

SJMC Professor / Assistant Dean of the Graduate College
Texas State University

Sandhya (Sandy) Rao is Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Assistant Dean of the Graduate College. She is also Honorary Professor of International Studies. Rao received a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. 

Rao worked as a journalist and public relations professional in India. Her research focus is on the diffusion and growth of new media technologies in the Asian region with particular emphasis on India. Rao has published two Books: Cyberpath to Development in Asia–Issues and Challenges, Praeger; and Critical Issues in Communication: Looking Inward for Answers, Sage. She has also published numerous book chapters and journal articles. Rao has presented research papers at International, National and Regional Conferences. 

Rao taught at Manipal University, India, during spring 2008 as a Fulbright Scholar. During her tenure there, she created and helped set up the Center for Media and Marketing Communication Research. 

She chaired the University’s Task force on Internationalization of Texas State University. She has served as the Head, International Communication Division, Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication. She launched the International News Writing Contest in 1997 for the International Communication Division of the AEJMC and continued to coordinate the contest until 2016. 


Shannon Rideout

Director of Communications and Community Relations
Del Valle ISD 

Shannon Rideout currently serves as the Director of Communications and Community Relations at Del Valle Independent School District.  He has over 20 years of experience in the communications field.  Rideout holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Radio/Television/Film from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in Public Relations from University of Maryland-University College. 


Tara Pohlmeyer 

Engagement Coordinator 
Community Impact

Tara began her tenure at Community Impact Newspaper as a digital content producer in August 2016. In a new role as engagement coordinator, she works with editorial, digital and design teams to promote editorial content. At Texas State University, she served as station manager for KTSW-FM 89.9 during her senior year and graduated in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in electronic media.  


Kim Castelluccio

Digital Media Supervisor
97 Degrees West

Kim is experienced in digital media planning and traditional media planning. Before joining the 97 Degrees West team as a Digital Media Supervisor, she was at LatinWorks were she was vital in planning an launching media campaigns for Texas Lottery, Visit Austin, and Jamba Juice.  

She brings on board an in-depth knowledge on the ins and outs of planning and executing digital, social out of home, print and broadcast media buys. Fascinated by the ever-changing industry, she is constantly on the lookout for innovative and efficient ways for clients to engage with their audiences.  

She graduated with honors from Texas State University in San Marcos with a BA in Mass Communications – Public Relations and a minor in English and is happy to still call Central Texas home.  


Lucas Lane 

Account Director 
McGarrah-Jessee

Lucas is an Account Director at McGarrah Jessee, leading the YETI Coolers and Costa Sunglasses teams. Over his ten-year tenure at the agency, he’s contributed to most of the agency’s roster from fast food to dog food and campaigns to websites. Additionally, he has served as the National Chair of Ad 2 and on the National Board of the Directors for the American Advertising Federation


Kerri Qunell 

Chief Marketing Officer
Trinity Episcopal School

Adjunct Professor of Management
St. Edward’s University  

Kerri leads the marketing communications team at Trinity Episcopal School, building strategic marketing and branding campaigns to further the mission of the school.

Prior to her current position, she served as Director of Marketing Services at St. Edward’s University, where she is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Management Department teaching Business Communication. Previously, Kerri practiced marketing and PR as Vice President of Communications at Capital Area Food Bank and as Community Relations Director for KEYE-TV. She also worked at Dell, SicolaMartin and Austin Chamber of Commerce, and was a freelancer for several local publications. 

Kerri is a Leadership Austin graduate and past board member, and a founding board member and past president of Young Women’s Alliance (YWA). She serves on the YWA Advisory Council and is a member of Women Communicators of Austin and American Marketing Association. erri was named a 2009 “Profiles in Power Central Texas Woman of Influence” by Austin Business Journal and was a 2006 “Austin Under 40” winner. She is an alum of the Frank McBee, Jr. Fellowship Program in Civic Entrepreneurship and regular guest speaker at Texas State University, where she received her BA in Journalism. 


Kimberly Cook

Web Producer
Zenoss


Rebecca Larson

UX Designer
USAA in San Antonio


Ashley Hebler

Web Developer 
FANS 1st Media 


Erika Toney

Web Developer
Rainman Creative


Holly Gibson

Developer
Praxent

Executive Director
Women Who Code


Thomas Hodge

Front-end Developer
Sanders/Wingo Advertising Agency


Matt Nelson

Creator
WeRateDogs™

Matt Nelson is the creator of WeRateDogs™. His social media efforts since late 2015 has been documented in NY MagBuzzfeedHuffington PostDaily MailPeople MagazineStudy Breaks and many more. The Washington Post called him “the Internet’s most famous dog rater.” Nelson has accumulated over four million followers across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat in less than a year by showcasing user-submitted dog media attached to his trademark caption style. He resides in Charleston, West Virginia.