About

For the fifth consecutive year, Ball State University is leading a team of students to cover the APME-ASNE News Leadership Conference. This year students and their advisers from Penn State and Howard University also will assist in covering the conference events and capture the sights and sounds of the convention. Students are paired with mentor editors and editors get a chance to see firsthand how tomorrow’s journalists respond in a multimedia, cross-platform, digital-first environment. You’ll be able to see the student work at apme.com Student work also is in the winter issue of APME magazine.


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Juli Metzger, M.S., is an Instructor with the Department of Journalism at Ball State University. As Coordinator of Ball State’s Unified Media program until summer of 2017, Juli oversaw the build-out of the $4 million renovation of the Unified Media Lab, creating a unique space promoting cross-platform storytelling and establish emerging media protocols. Previously, she was Executive Editor for Digital at the Indianapolis Star from 2009-2011. She’s worked in nine newsrooms in four states and led staffs to win national journalism honors, as well as top awards in each of those states. She’s been a reporter, section editor, executive editor of three newspapers and president and publisher of three other media companies. She owns a boutique content marketing agency specializing in niche publications. Juli is immediate past president for the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie and is board vice president of Project Leadership, a mentoring program designed to get students to and through college or post-secondary education. In January 2016, she was a Fellow for the Entrepreneurial Institute at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. In fall of 2016, Women In Business Unlimited awarded her the Athena Leadership Award. In spring 2017, she was awarded Ball State’s Immersive Learning Faculty Award for her work with students on “Unmasked: The Stigma of meth,” a multimedia, multiplatform immersion class examining drug addiction in Delaware County. “Unmasked” won the APME’s 2017 Innovator of the Year for College Students award. Juli was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Indiana Youth Institute and the national Board of Directors of Associated Press Media Editors.You can reach Juli at jmetzger@bsu.edu.
Casey Smith is a senior majoring in journalism, telecommunications and anthropology with a minor in Spanish at Ball State University. This summer, she interned at National Geographic Magazine by way of the American Society of Magazine Editors internship program, where she pitched and produced stories for print and digital mediums. She has previously interned in the multimedia department at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and worked as a correspondent through the USA TODAY College program. She also was part of Ball State’s BSU at the Games immersive learning experience, covering the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Currently, Casey is the Editor-in-Chief at The Daily News, Ball State’s campus newspaper, where she oversees a staff of more than 100 students. She is also a freelance writer at National Geographic and a digital producer for the National Parks Service. You can reach Casey on Twitter @SmithCaseyA, via email at smith.ann.casey@gmail.com or on her website at www.caseyannsmith.com.
Robby General is a senior journalism and telecommunications major with a minor in sports studies at Ball State University. Robby writes, but also spends his time filming, taking photos, anchoring, coding and recording a pair of newly created sports podcasts. Robby’s previous work includes stints as editor-in-chief, managing editor and sports editor for the Ball State Daily News. In 2016, Robby was one of 10 students, the only sophomore, selected to participate in Hoosier State Press Association Pulliam Fellowship, where he was assigned to work at the Washington Times-Herald as a sports reporter and editor. In the past, he has traveled to Olympic media events, Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 summer games and Florida to cover Major League Baseball spring training. Currently, Robby writes for The Daily News, works as an anchor for Newslink Indiana and is the creator/co-host of two sports podcasts. You can reach Robby on Twitter @rgeneraljr or via email at robbygeneraljr@gmail.com.
Ryan Shank is a senior majoring in telecommunications digital video production and history at Ball State University. He’s an early career documentary filmmaker, having broadcasted three full-length documentaries to date, with a fourth in production and a fifth in planning. Ryan’s previous works have been recognized with Regional Emmy nominations, Auroras and National Broadcaster Association awards. Ryan spent his summer as a video production intern at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where he planned, directed and edited video packages and live productions. He has also worked as a video reporter for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. for the past two years. Currently, Ryan is a multimedia and curatorial intern at Ball State’s David Owsley Museum of Art and the senior video editor at the Daily News and the Unified Media Lab at Ball State. You can reach Ryan at rjshank@bsu.edu.
Allie Kirkman is a junior journalism and telecommunications major with a minor in professional writing and emerging media at Ball State University. This summer, she interned at The Commercial Review, where she pitched ideas, wrote stories and took photos for the online and print publication. She has previously worked as a stringer reporter for The Lebanon Reporter and The Herald Bulletin newspapers. Allie is the managing editor of the Ball State Daily News and the event coordinator of Online News Association at Ball State. Currently, she is also working as a reporter for The Commercial Review. In her free time Allie enjoys being outdoors and exploring new places. You can reach Allie on Twitter @alliekirkman15 or via email at alliekirkman15@gmail.com.

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John_Beale_Penn John Beale teaches photojournalism courses at Penn State. He previously worked as a staff photographer and chief photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Beale’s work has been honored with numerous regional and national awards, including the Community Service Photojournalism Award from the American Society of News Editors. He may reached at jhb169@psu.edu.
John Dillon recently retired as the Norman Eberly Professor of Practice in Journalism in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University.  He taught news writing, editing and newsroom management. He serves as co-director of the Dow Jones Center for Editing Excellence at Penn State. He joined Penn State in 2007 after a 32-year career as a reporter and editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia. He was a deputy managing editor in his last 12 years at the paper. He can be reached at jad53@psu.edu.
Emily Kohlman is a senior in the Schreyer Honors College who is double-majoring in journalism and Russian and double-minoring in political science and media studies. She has interned with WPSU and Calkins Media. During the U.S. presidential election season, she studied in the nation’s capital and interned with Czech Television’s U.S. correspondent. She covered the 2016 Republican National Convention for McClatchy and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. In March, she traveled to Panama to report on the migrant crisis. Emily’s dream is to become a foreign correspondent. After studying abroad in St. Petersburg and continuing her Russian studies at Middlebury College’s summer program, she aspires to combine her interests and report from Eastern Europe. She can be reached at emk222@psu.edu or on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/emilykohlman, and her personal website is www.emilykohlman.weebly.com.
Katie DeFiore is a Penn State junior majoring in print/digital journalism with a double minor in psychology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder, executive producer and host of the Daily Collegian’s podcast Voices of Penn State. She also hosts her own podcast entitled An Entrepreneurial State of Mind. She writes columns for the Daily Collegian and interned over the summer with WPSU as a radio reporter. She is also the public relations executive for Passion With Purpose, a Penn State student organization. You can listen to her podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud by searching An Entrepreneurial State of Mind. You can reach her at kdefiore45@gmail.com.
Maddie Biertempfel is a sophomore at Penn State double majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. Her work has been published in the student-run newspaper The Daily Collegian, and she currently contributes to the Centre Daily Times as part of a select class. She is also an anchor for PSN News, a live student-run news show; a package producer for 46 LIVE, a broadcast for Penn State’s dance marathon; and a newscast member for CommRadio, a student-run radio organization. She expects to graduate in May 2020. You can reach her at biertempfelm@gmail.com.
Alison Kuznitz is a junior majoring in print/digital journalism and marketing at Penn State and the Schreyer Honors College. She is an investigative reporter at The Daily Collegian, with previous coverage spanning mental health, Greek life and student government. She has interned for Hearst Connecticut Media Group and freelanced for local news outlets. She is currently the executive producer of a weekly student-run telecast and a communications intern at Penn State. You can reach her at azk5578@psu.edu.

Milbert O. Brown, Jr. is an Assistant Professor in Howard University’s School of Communications. He teaches courses in multi-media, photojournalism and VR360 video. Before joining the faculty, Brown worked as a photojournalist and picture editor at two major newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe. While at the Tribune, Brown shared the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Explanatory Reporting as a contributing staff member in 2001. Brown is a graduate of Ball State University, B.S. in Journalism and Ohio University’s School of Visual Communications, Master’s program. You can reach him at Milbert.brown@howard.edu or 312-303-7593.
Blairre Perriatt is a senior at Howard University’s School of Communications. The Film major serves as a videographer for the school’s student media projects. She is also a member of Howard University’s Student Chapter of the National Press Photographers Association. You can reach her at blairre.perriatt@bison.howard.edu.
Thao Hoang is a film major in the School of Communications at Howard University. The National Press Photographers Association’s Student Chapter member has produced several student films. You can reach her at thao.hoang@bison.howard.edu.
Cydney Stephens is a broadcast journalism major at Howard University’s School of Communications. The junior was the recipient of the “2017 Photojournalist of the Year” Award presented by Howard University’s Student Chapter of the National Press Photographers Association. You can reach her at stephcyd@yahoo.com.
Katherine Gilyard is a senior journalism major at Howard University’s School of Communications. Gilyard is the National Student Representative for the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). She is also a founding member and the first president ofHoward’s NPPA Student Chapter. Under her leadership, the student group was awarded the “2016 NPPA Student Chapter of the Year.” Last summer, Gilyard served as a photojournalist for the National Association Black Journalists (NABJ) Student Projects. She was also active with NABJ’s Visual Task Force as the student representative and social media chair. You can reach her at katherine.gilyard@yahoo.com.
Judayah Murray is a senior journalism major at Howard University. The New Harford, NY native is an Annenberg Honors Scholar in the School of Communications. She is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and has studied in Oaxaca, Mexico. Murray is the founding producer of the #Black Girls YouTube Too, a social media channel that represents women of color. As the secretary of Howard’s student chapter of the  National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), she has also been active with NPPA’s national conference. Murray was honored by the Howard NPPA student chapter as the “2016 Video Photojournalists of the Year.” You can reach her at judayah.murray@bison.howard.edu.
Tajudeen Bioku — a native of Nigeria — is a graduate student at Howard University’s MFA Film Program. He is an experienced filmmaker with a specialization in writing and directing. He is also a trained cinematographer, and he will be capturing video at the conference. You can reach him at tajudeen.bioku@bison.howard.edu.
BreAnna Bell is a junior journalism major, political science minor from Tulsa, Oklahoma. In her college career, she has worked as an intern for Fox23 news KOKI (her hometown Fox affiliate station), The Tulsa Voice, Respect Magazine, and WHUR. In her time on campus, she serves as the assistant promotions director for WHBC (Howard’s student led radio station) and PR director for Howard University’s Association of Black Journalists. You can reach her at breanna.bell@bison.howard.edu.
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