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Posted: October 28, 2005 04:52 PM
Meet the student newsroom staff

Kara Andrade

Kara Andrade
University of California, Berkeley

Kara Andrade, 28, received her B.A. in Literature from New College of Florida. She has interned for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, El Tecolote, the Laney Tower, Colorlines magazine, the Guatemalan Human Rights Watch, and the Oakland Tribune as a reporter, photojournalist and translator.

She was a program coordinator and community organizer for a youth policy and prevention group called Environmental Prevention In Communities (EPIC) based in Berkeley, Calif. Currently, she is a staff writer for the Contra Costa Times’ Alameda Journal.

She also attends the graduate program in Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. Andrade hopes to integrate her extensive background in public health with her interest in journalism.

Joel Ballezza

Joel Ballezza
University of Washington

Joel Ballezza, 2005 Senior Class Speaker for Purchase College, recently relocated from New York to Seattle, where he is pursuing a masters degree in Digital Media Communications at the University of Washington.

During this past summer Ballezza worked in the User Experience Design division of IBM, where he advised on customer navigation and functionality. Previously he has worked for the Communications Division of the United States Department of Agriculture, Federal Judiciary’s Office of Public Affairs and the public relations firm Ruder-Finn. When Ballezza is not hunkered down in front of a computer he lives to cycle, rock climb, and hike.

April Chan

April Chan
University of Maryland, College Park

April Chan, 25, received a bachelor's degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley, in December 2002. She is pursuing a master's degree in journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park, after working for two years as a laboratory research associate at BACPAC Resources, a genomics facility located at Children's Hospital in Oakland, Calif.

Last spring she interned in the weather section at USAToday.com. She has freelanced for The Takoma Voice, Laurel Leader and The Prince George's Post newspapers in Maryland. She currently interns a few hours a week at J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism.

Christen DeProto

Christen DeProto
Columbia College

Christen DeProto, 24, is currently finishing her junior year at Columbia College. A lover of all things literary, Christen is studying journalism with a focus on magazine writing.

Between being a full-time student, a full-time worker and a marketing intern for H.W. Lochner Inc., she finds time to work as a contributor to the Columbia Chronicle, H.W. Lochner's company publication "Life at Lochner," and she maintains a blog.

After her fall '06 graduation, Christen hopes to attend graduate school at NYU.

Stacy Gimbel

Stacy Gimbel
University of Florida

Stacy Gimbel is a senior at the University of Florida. Though a public relations and finance double major, she recently has been awakened by the field of online journalism.

She worked this summer as the Public Relations/Internet Coordinator for Student Life Camp, covering each day's events with photos and copy. The experience inspired her to enroll in a Reporting for Online Media course. Her team's latest project covered Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, whose popularity is rising in Gainesville. Upon graduation in December, Stacy hopes to work in online journalism or with faith-based organizations, helping them communicate through the Web.

Ruxandra Giura

Ruxandra Giura
American University

Ruxandra Giura is a master's student majoring in journalism and public affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, Ruxandra is interested in politics and business news and hopes to use online journalism to reach new audiences.

She has interned with Reuters in Romania and the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire in Washington, D.C. She has also worked for radio and television stations and produced a bilingual student newspaper.

Ruxandra is currently a Web developer for her school's Web site. After graduation she wants to become an online journalist anywhere in the world.

Latria Graham

Latria Graham
University of Florida

Latria Graham was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. She is a graduating senior at the University of Florida majoring in Telecommunication News. She has worked as a news reporter for her school's radio stations and as a volunteer sports reporter for Gatorzone sports show.

Latria also has interned at BET.COM as a writer and online video correspondent, at BET Nightly News as an assistant/reporter, and at WCJB TV20 Sports as a production assistant.

She is currently the noon-day anchor at WUFT News Channel 5. She is a member of NABJ and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Maria Ignatova
Washington and Lee University

I am a senior Journalism and Politics major at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, I came to the United States to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. My ultimate goal is to be a foreign correspondent for a major TV station in Europe or the US.

I spent the summer interning for CBS Evening News in Washington, D.C. The summer before that I was in Barcelona, Spain, working on an article about the Catalan language and Latin American immigrants.

I work for the college TV station and also produce the journalism department's news Web site. Currently I am applying to M.A. programs in International Relations.

April Chan

Dean Zulich
Art Institute of Seattle

I was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1973. I immigrated to the United States in 1995 after a bloody conflict devastated my homeland. I have lived through the horrors of the war and feel extremely fortunate to have survived the years I spent living under the siege in my hometown.

I have been actively involved with photography for the past two years, and I find it to be my one true passion. There is a long tradition of photographers in my family, including my father and my uncle. I enrolled in the photography program at the Art Institute of Seattle in the summer quarter of 2004.

Through my photography, I have been able to express myself, and to share my vision influenced by all the turns my life has taken. I plan to travel back to my homeland as well as the other parts of globe and bring back the images of different worlds the way I see them.

Professional staff

Claudette Artwick

Claudette Guzan Artwick
Washington & Lee University

Claudette Guzan Artwick, Ph.D., is the author of Reporting and Producing for Digital Media. She is associate professor of journalism in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va.

She heads the Rockbridge Report, a digital news lab in which students in broadcast, print, and mass communication courses produce a Web site and television news program. In addition to her academic teaching and research experience she has served numerous television stations in writing, reporting, research, and technical capacities.

Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson
Boston University

Michelle Johnson lectures in the journalism department at Boston University. Until last week (Oct. 21), she wrote the Personal Tech column for the Boston Globe. The column, which Johnson had written for since 1999, was pulled in the wake of budget cuts. A former editor for the Globe, Johnson held a variety of positions in her 13 years at the paper, including assistant business editor and assistant political editor.

She was a part of the team that launched the Globe's regional Web site, boston.com. Johnson has volunteered on print and online student projects for more than 10 years, including all three UNITY conventions. She currently runs the online projects for NABJ, NAHJ and NLGJA.

Over the years she has mentored dozens of college and high school students interested in careers in journalism. She is co-chair of Boston's 15-year-old high school journalism workshop for students of color, sponsored in part by Dow Jones.

Mentors and volunteers

About this site

News on the 2005 conference is produced by the Online News Association Student Newsroom, which is supported by grants from the Scripps Howard Foundation, National Association of Black Journalists, and CBSNews.com.

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