J-School Alumni News

Do you have a new job or some exciting news related to your career? We'd love to know about it and share it with others. Be sure to tell us when you graduated and your degree. Email jschool@msu.edu.

Joseph Swavy, BA, '98, is managing editor of Daily Racing Form in New York, overseeing daily news operations including handicapping, reporting, copy editing, design, and digital production groups.

Matthew Pakula, ’96, was elected to the board of directors for the Student Press Law Center (SPLC). The group works to educate high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment, and supports members of student news media as they seek to cover important issues free from censorship. SPLC conducts workshops on media law developments across the country and provides free legal research and educational materials for student journalists and their teachers on its website (www.splc.org). Pakula is senior manager for corporate social responsibility for Tyson Foods, Inc., based in Chicago.

Jim Kavanagh, BA, '85, is Now Desk editor at CNN. He previously was a writer at CNN.com and copy desk chief at the Akron Beacon Journal.

Gary M. Cates, BA, '81, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Rurban Financial Services Corporation, a publicly-traded Defiance (Ohio)-based bank holding company. Cates is an executive with the ProMedica Health System in Toledo, serving as the President of the ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital and the ProMedica Transportation Network (the system's air and ground medical transportation company). He also recently opened Kaitlyn's Cottage, a donor-funded not-for-profit respite center in Northwest Ohio for children and young adults with special needs.

Marilyn King, BA, '10, is now Marketing Coodinator at Qualigence International in Northville, Mich. Lindsay Machak, BA, '09, has moved from the Times of Northwest Indiana to Washington, D.C., to be assistant editor of two Hanley Wood trade publications: Multifamily Executive magazine and Apartment Finance Today.

Dan Austin, BA, '83, has a new book out, "Forgotten Landmarks of Detroit." His first book was "Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City's Majestic Ruins." You can find them at HistoricDetroit.org.

Lauren Leigh, BA, '12, will cover county government for The Pioneer in Big Rapids.

Heather (Lockwood) Jordan, BA '10, has moved from the Petoskey News-Review, where she was director of new media content/staff writer, to the Saginaw News, where she is a reporter.

Jeremy Verdusco, BA, '98, has moved from The Detroit News to a new job as editor of National Driller magazine, a member of the BNP Media group.

Alex Mitchell, BA, '12, begins his new job with MLive in Bay City on Jan. 2.

Tony Briscoe, BA, '12, has been hired as a general assignment reporter by The Detroit News.

Jenny Raye, BA, '12, has been hired as an editorial assistant in the Texas A&M Office of Graduate Studies' thesis department.

Jacob Kanclerz, BA, '12, covers the executive branch of government at Michigan Information and Research Service (MIRS).

Brittany Smith, BA, '10, is new media specialist at GoodJobsNow.com, where she manages all content for the nonprofit's social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Steve Eder began work Oct. 8 with The New York Times, following two years with the Wall Street Journal. At the Times, Steve will be college sports investigative reporter, examining the money, politics, and other issues behind the scenes.

Cameron Rudolph, BA, '11, has been working in marketing/communications/public relations at Starr Commonwealth, a child and family services organization in Albion, Mich., since November.

Jennifer Chen, MA, '12, is part of CCTV, China's new, 100-person broadcast operation in Washington, D.C. Here is a recent article on CCTV: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-04/chinas-latest-export-journalists

Amy Thompson Avishai said a series of her photographs, Within These Walls: Educating Girls in Rural Morocco, was exhibited at PHOTOSTOP Gallery, in White River Junction, Vt., and won best art exhibit of the year in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. You can see more of Thompson Avishai's work at her site: http://www.amythompsonphotos.com/

Cybil Wallace, BA, '94, was part of the Ustream team presenting at the Online News Association conference in San Francisco Sept. 20-21. She is an editorial director. Cybil joined Ustream in May after stints at the Daily Rocket-Miner in Rock Spring, Wyo.; The Post Register in Idaho Falls, Idaho; the Associated Press; CNN.com and Yahoo.

Kristen M. Daum, BA, '09, started as a reporter at the Lansing State Journal on Sept. 24. She is returning to the area from the The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota, where she was politics and government reporter.

Krista (Latham) Jahnke, BA, '02, has moved from the Detroit Free Press to communications officer at The Skillman Foundationin Detroit.

M.L. Elrick, BA, '90, has moved from the Detroit Free Press to Fox 2 Detroit.

Lish Dorsett, BA, '03, is now the social media manager at The Henry Ford museum.

Tiffany Williams, MA '12, is starting her own photography/videography business in Houston. While a student at MSU, Williams created a 30-minute documentary film, "Paul Robeson-Malcolm X Academy: Education By Any Means Necessary." The documentary has been shown at the National Council on Educating Black Children conference in Kansas City, Mo., and the National Black Educational Alliance meeting in Atlanta.

Hayley Beitman, BA '12, was hired by Downtown Publications in Birmingham, Mich., following a successful internship there. She writes, has the full-page photo on the September cover and is part of the launch team on Xpress, a full-color monthly magazine for the LGBT community. Xpress debuts in October.

Amy Blaszyk, BA '03, launched www.wetheeaters.com on Aug 1. The blog is a community-based venture that seeks to bring together people who like to eat and talk about good food.

Nicquel Terry, BA '10, will be moving from her job as local editor for Patch in Clawson, Mich., to the Asbury Park Press, where she will be a metro reporter. She starts Sept. 4.

Julia Mianecki, BA '12, accepted a job as an editorial assistant at Penguin Group in New York City.

David Weatherwax, BA '06, was named Photojournalist of the Year for smaller markets by the National Press Photographers Association. Weatherwax is the chief photographer for The Herald in Jasper, Ind. You can view his work here.

Amber LeCroix, BA '98, became an associate account director at BRG Communications in Alexandria, Va.

Kelsey Pence, BA '12, is working for the Sandusky Register in Sandusky, Ohio, as a sports writer and page designer.

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