2015 Cohort


Patricia Bouweraerts

Patricia Bouweraerts Patricia was born in Iowa and grew up 80 miles from Chicago in Rockford, IL. She received her undergraduate degree in music education from Northern Illinois University and her master’s degree in music performance from DePaul University in Chicago. Prior to moving to Nevada, Patricia taught music to elementary school students in Chicago. After moving to the Silver State, Patricia began teaching music in Washoe County while taking night classes at Truckee Meadows Community College to earn her degree in graphic design, which she put to use doing page layout and ad design for the Nevada Appeal and the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. Patricia reported for The Echo, TMCC’s publication, for two years, and was the founding editor of The Digital Echo during the 2013-2014 academic year. Currently, she works in the public information office at TMCC, writing college news articles, press releases and newsletters. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, environmental and landscape photography, and listening to world music. Patricia hopes to further explore how people respond to linguistics in journalism.



Alexandra Gurevich

Alexandra Gurevich Alex was born in Russia and moved with her parents to Israel when she was eight. She has spent much of her adult life traveling in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Alex received her undergraduate degree in business administration and marketing from San Francisco State University. Before joining the Reynolds School, Alex worked in sales and marketing, social media, brand identity and content creation for various companies. Alex enjoys spending time with her one-year-old daughter and engaging in outdoor recreation, especially in Lake Tahoe. She is also passionate about travel and exploring new cultures and cuisines. During her time at the Reynolds School, Alex plans to gain experience with emerging multimedia and publishing tools. Her dream job would be to work in marketing communications and in social media marketing in a place where she could use her expertise in branding, consumer communications, technology and design.



Alex Hoeft

Alex Hoeft Alex grew up in Henderson, Nevada and attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where she received her undergraduate degree in communications with an emphasis in print journalism. She has held multiple positions, working in public relations, marketing, reporting, and graphic design. Alex enjoys running, reading, and watching sports. She plans to use her time at the Reynolds School learning and refining new skills to help her engage with sports fans, athletes, and coaches. Her dream job is to work in sports media.



Courtney Laubacher

Courtney Laubacher Courtney grew up in Bishop, California and has lived in Reno since 2008. She began her undergraduate studies at the community college in Bishop before transferring to UNR, where she received her degree electronic media with a specialization in speech communications in 2011. Courtney has worked at the Apple Store in Reno since 2010. Prior to this, she spent three years working in radio writing and production in Bishop and was a radio DJ for KDOT 104.5 in Reno. In her free time, Courtney enjoys watching documentaries, “storm chasing,” and anything that is scary. She plans to use her graduate education to become a production assistant for Apple Inc. Courtney’s dream job would be to work for South Park Studios or become an independent documentarian.



Michelle Matus

Michelle Matus Michelle grew up in Carson Valley, Nevada but has spent time living in many places across the Western United States and the world, including Seattle, Portland, Southern California, Belgium, France, Australia, and South Korea. In 2008, Michelle received dual undergraduate degrees from UNR in French and international affairs. During her time in South Korea, she worked as an English teacher. She has also worked as a creative director in recipe development for a company in Portland and in policy support for the State of Nevada. Michelle enjoys winter sports, hiking, rock climbing, photography, traveling, and cooking. During her time at the Reynolds School, she hopes to refine her skills in journalistic writing, photography, and community engagement. Her dream job would be one that combines her passions for the outdoors and environmental conservation with her love of photojournalism.



Becky Moser

Becky Moser Becky grew up in Sparks, Nevada, and received her undergraduate degree from UNR in Psychology, with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. Becky discovered her passion for public relations during her time working for some of Reno’s most popular nightlife destinations, including BuBinga Lounge in the Eldorado and Edge Nightclub at the Peppermill. She currently works full time for the university in the Graduate School Dean’s office. During her free time, Becky enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, friends, and family. She also enjoys writing, cooking, and participating in Downtown Reno events. During her time at the Reynolds School, Becky hopes to refine her public relations and multimedia skills and cultivate her social media, writing, and marketing talents. Her dream job would be to work for a public relations firm where she could use her skills in branding, social media, and event planning to promote venues within the nightlife industry.



Jen Pizzi

Jen Pizzi Jen grew up in Braintree, Massachusetts and moved to Farmington to complete her undergraduate education in English literature and philosophy from the University of Maine. She currently lives in Truckee, California and works for Season’d Catering. Jen has also worked in the restaurant and ski industries and spent time as a snowboarding coach at Carrabassett Valley Academy at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine. During her free time, Jen enjoys skiing, snowboarding, trail running, cooking, and living a healthy, outdoor lifestyle. Jen hopes to use her graduate education to find new ways of helping communities of people seeking to share in healthy, active lifestyles. Her dream job is to give back to the snow-sport community through outreach and social media engagement.



Christine Seiber

Christine Seiber Christine grew up an hour south of Nashville, Tennessee, in Columbia — a city known for annual mule festivals and the courthouse from Hannah Montana: The Movie. Realizing her gloomy poems from high school creative writing class would land more cringes than book deals, she decided to use her writing skills to animate other people’s stories and found journalism. She received a bachelor’s degree in communications-journalism with a digital multimedia emphasis from Tennessee Tech University. After graduation, Christine worked at The (Columbia, Tennessee) Daily Herald, where she covered crime, county government, education and the occasional health feature before becoming half of her hometown newspaper’s copy editing duo. After moving to Nevada in January 2014, she blogged for a Reno-based startup accelerator for female entrepreneurs. Christine adores vivid verbs, solid statistics and creative copy and aspires to teach those standards to future journalism students. In her spare time, she tweets about innovative journalism, reads about inspirational women and dreams of the day when the Nashville Predators lift the Stanley Cup into the air.



Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith Ryan was born in Birmingham, Alabama and spent eight years in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to Fresno, California. He completed his undergraduate education in print and photojournalism at California State University, Fresno. Ryan has worked as a sports editor for the Los Banos Enterprise in Los Banos, California. He also spent seven years teaching journalism and English at Los Banos High School. During his summers, Ryan worked as a photographer in Costa Rica, the Grand Canyon, and Mono Lake for Rustic Pathways, a student travel and community service program. In his free time, Ryan enjoys running, hiking, cycling, watching football, spending time with his wife, Melissa, and playing various instruments, including the guitar and bass. Ryan hopes to research better ways to use new media to engage young people in the news.

2014 Cohort


Jonathan Barragan

Jonathan Barragan   Jonathan is an alumni of the University of Nevada, Reno (Dec ’10), with a bachelors degree in Marketing. He is a first-generation American, and the first in his family to receive a college education. He has successfully launched websites and blogs, orchestrated social media campaigns, handled online advertising, and dabbled in PR and event coordinating. He currently works with USAC, a non-profit study abroad organization and freelances for local businesses in town. Jonathan is an ninja online marketer, computer nerd savant, caffeine addict, Laker/NBA fanatic, huge foodie, proud husband and father to-be, family oriented, and a “loves Jesus” kind of guy. He was once ranked in Nevada for ping pong and learned from an old “grandmaster” Chinese ping pong player. Follow him on Twitter at @mrjdbarragan. Jonathan is a member of the graduating cohort of 2014.



Brian Burghart

D. Brian Burghart  Brian is the editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review.  He has lived in Reno since Aug. 7, 1984.  He worked as a bartender until November 1993, when some friends who were starting a newspaper needed someone to do the music calendar for $25 a week. The Nevada Weekly introduced Reno to alternative journalism.  In February 1995, those pals sold the paper to Jeff von Kaenel and Deborah Redmond of the Sacramento and Chico News & Reviews. The living personification of the Peter Principle, Brian performed every editorial job at the weekly before becoming editor in November 2002. He was a freelance writer and a stringer for Time magazine. He has won numerous journalism awards. Brian likes gardening, making stuff out of steel, and hanging with his son, Hunter. He has taught magazine writing and multimedia journalism at the Reynolds School of Journalism, and is currently pursuing master’s degrees in English and Journalism.  Brian is a member of the graduating cohort of 2014.



Ann Burns

Ann Burns Ann was born in Detroit and grew up in Livonia, Michigan.  She attended Western Michigan University, where she majored in Criminal Justice & Political Science.  After tormenting her parents with the idea of law school, she relocated to Reno, Nevada and began working at KRNV as a production assistant.  Three years later, Ann accepted a job as Assistant Director for Studio Production at ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she  worked on shows such as SportsCenter, Outside the Lines as well as ESPN sister channels ESPNews and ESPN Classic. Ann was honored to win two Emmys and be nominated for a third in her time at ESPN.  From Bristol, Ann was hired by the Denver, Colorado FOX affiliate, KDVR, and helped to develop and establish the morning flagship show “Good Day Colorado”.  Ann was the lead director for “Good Day Colorado ” as well as pre and post-game shows for the Denver Broncos. Wanting to get out of the control room and combine her passion for both television & marketing, Ann relocated back to the Truckee Meadows and is currently working for KTVN as their Promotion Manager. Ann’s hobbies include playing golf, traveling and attending as many baseball games as possible.  She also supports our community through her volunteer work as a board member of the Nevada Women’s Fund.  Ann is a member of the graduating cohort of 2014.


Jeri Chadwell

Jeri Singley

Jeri Singley Jeri is a native Nevadan who grew up in Elko County and spent time working with both Barrick Gold Corporation and the Nevada Mining Association. She is a strong proponent of historic preservation and holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. In her spare time, Jeri enjoys exploring Nevada’s outback with her husband, Nathan, and their chihuahua, Leopold. She specializes in multimedia storytelling and virtual reality panoramic photography. Visit spiritofsunmountain.com. Jeri is looking forward to moving to Munich, Germany after she and her husband are finished with their graduate educations. Jeri is a member of the graduating cohort of 2014.




Cody Johnson

Cody Johnson  Cody moved to Reno from his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M.  He completed his B.A. in Journalism at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M, where he specialized in public relations and advertising with minors in marketing and advertising. Cody spent three years working with the media relations department for athletics at New Mexico State University.  He spent one year as the media contact for men’s and women’s tennis and two years as the media contact for cross country and track and field.  Cody also spent his first year working as a sports reporter for the school newspaper, The Round Up. Cody worked closely with philanthropy and non-profit organizations throughout his time at NMSU.  He served as the director of recruitment for St. Jude’s Up ‘Til Dawn during his senior year, as well as philanthropy chair for his fraternity where he led an effort to raise close to $4,000 for the John C. Huntsman Cancer Institute.  Cody also worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Las Cruces, raising money for the foundation and incorporating community service for the program with the NMSU campus.  Cody hopes to utilize the interactive journalism skills he learns at the RSJ to work with community outreach and marketing services for a non-profit organization one day. Cody is a member of the graduating cohort of 2014.


Gretchen Manske

Gretchen Manske

Gretchen Manske Gretchen is originally from Reno. After pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Purchasing and Business Operations Management at Arizona State University, she moved to Southern California and worked in the tech industry for Loral Aerospace and others for seven years. Gretchen returned to Nevada and received her Master’s in Business Administration from UNR. She then worked for two years in marketing and business development as a licensed health insurance agent at Renown Health. Her desire for a more creative career moved her to Las Vegas in 2004 to attend the College of Southern Nevada Certificate Program in Web and Graphic Design. She returned to Reno in 2011, a product of the layoffs and downturn in the Las Vegas economy, and in spring of 2011 Gretchen returned to school at UNR, taking courses in Information Design, Visual Communication and Integrated Marketing. Currently she is working part time for the Medical Library, School of Medicine, as web designer/developer and content manager for a new healthcare initiative. Gretchen has a strong interest in brand journalism, with particular interest in application of new media in the fields of healthcare and related fields. Gretchen is a member of the graduating cohort of 2013.



Kelsey McCutcheon

Kelsey McCutcheon  Kelsey grew up in Ithaca, NY and moved west after studying biology at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.  A series of wildlife biology and environmental conservation-related jobs led her through nine states before arriving in Reno, where she has been working for an environmental consulting company and restoring rivers, streams and springs in Nevada for the past five years. Until beginning the interactive journalism program at RSJ, writing had been a hobby and science had been Kelsey’s main career focus. In this program, she is hoping to combine these two interests through science journalism, working to help improve communication between scientists and the public on environmental topics in the Great Basin.  Kelsey is a member of the graduating cohort of 2014.



Jerad Pettaway

Jerad Pettaway  Jerad graduated from UNR with his Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing in spring of 2013.  He currently works for the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada and has assisted with both the public affairs and support services departments.  Starting in the fall of 2013, he will also be assisting with the social media and outreach efforts of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Upward Bound program.  The program is designed to help students graduate high school, and gain entrance to and successfully graduate from college. Jerad has held internships with City of North Las Vegas’ communication department and assisted the City of North Las  Vegas fire department’s Public Information Officer. Jerad would like to work in the public affairs/media relations department for a large organization. An avid sports fan and outdoors enthusiast, Jerad enjoys camping, golfing, and the occasional recreational basketball game.  Jerad is a member of the graduating cohort of 2014.


Tim Prentiss

Tim Prentiss

Tim Prentiss Tim was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his bachelor’s degree in English Literature at UNR and worked at the Washoe County Law Library for seven years before staring part-time work for the American Civil Liberties Union. Tim worked as a freelance writer for the Reno News & Review from 2003 to 2010, mostly covering local musicians. He is married and has a three-year old daughter. Both he and his wife are graduate students at UNR.  Tim is a member of the graduating cohort of 2013.





Brad Rassler

Brad Rassler Brad has spent the better part of his adult life wandering through the Sierra Nevada as a climber, skier, trail runner and cyclist. He’s variously shoveled roofs, built trails, worked for an internet start-up, an investment analyst, PSIA-certified ski instructor, and a facilitator and guide for Outward Bound’s corporate leadership programs. He’s worked with Fortune 100 companies as a management consultant through his consultancy, A Sustainable Way. Until recently, journalism was a hobby, and his feature articles have appeared in Climbing Magazine, Powder, Couloir, Adventure Sports Journal, Ascent, Sea Kayaker, and other adventure sports magazines. He is currently a contributing editor of Tahoe Quarterly, and is the sole writer and conversation starter of Sustainable Play, an ezine devoted to chronicling the confluence of people, planet and play. Brad attended college at Franklin and Marshall College, San Diego State University, and Pepperdine University, where all combined, he minored in English, Drama, majored in Finance and received an M.S. in Organizational Development. Most weekends you’ll find Brad on road, trail and rock in the mountains between Reno and Lake Tahoe, where he lives with his longtime partner, Jane Grossman. Brad is a member of the cohort of 2014.
Link: A Sustainable Way: http://www.asustainableway.com
Link: Sustainable Play: http://sustainableplay.com


Tony Spiker

Tony Spiker

Tony Spiker Tony discovered photography more than 10 years ago when he joined the Navy, where he served as a photographer on board the USS Tarawa. After five years of active duty, he joined the Naval Reserves and is currently stationed with the Combat Camera Group – Pacific and is still a combat photographer. In between deployments to the Middle East, Tony owns and operates Vista Gallery and Framing with his wife, Melissa. Struck by the artistry of photographer Ansel Adams, Tony concentrates his efforts on black and white photography. He is inspired by the artistic freedom that the black and white medium provides. Tony is a member of the graduating cohort of 2013.


Recent Graduates – 2013 Cohort

Alex Pompliano

Alex Pompliano

Alex Pompliano Alex grew up in Pinehurst, North Carolina. While still in high school, he became interested in the technological side of journalism. He got the opportunity to work for WYBE, a public TV station. It was there he learned how to operate cameras, edit video & audio, and prepare programs to air. After graduating with his bachelors from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, he landed a job as a staff writer for Encore Magazine, a local weekly magazine. At Encore, Alex helped with the publication’s integration of content that was curtailed for its online readers and he launched a weekly online video series and podcast. He worked there for a year before moving to Reno to become a part of the graduate program at UNR. In spring 2013 he worked as the Managing Editor of the Nevada Media Alliance, covering the 2013 Nevada State Legislature. Alex created, edited and produced content on several media platforms, partnering with KUNR, the Reno Gazette-Journal and KNPB. Alex is interested mostly in new, innovative methods of journalism – typically ones that creatively overlap different types of media and utilize emerging forms of technology. Alex is a member of the graduating cohort of 2013.


Regina Revazova

Regina Revazova

Regina Revazova Regina comes from a little mining town in Central Siberia. She moved to the Caucasus region in Russia at age 17 to earn her B.A. in Journalism. She has a traditional print journalism background, but her desire to understand the transformation of contemporary journalism and move beyond daily reporting led her to graduate work at the University of Nevada, Reno. She has reported on acts of terrorism, social injustice, refugee camps, violation of human rights, corruption and constant fights for justice for numerous media platforms such as BBC and the main (only) source of open information in the region – the Caucasian Knot. Regina also combines her graduate study with motherhood: she has three children ages six, five and three. Regina is a member of the graduating cohort of 2013.


Abbie Walker

Abbie Walker

Abbie Walker Abbie received her BA in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Business Administration from UNR. Currently, she is a social media intern at Western Industrial Nevada, a professional networking organization. Abbie is a sports enthusiast and is rooting for the Oakland Athletics and the Yotes, or Phoenix Coyotes. Abbie emphasizes the importance family holds to her, “They are the driving force for me to be better today than I was yesterday.” Abbie is a member of the graduating cohort of 2013.