Robert is from Kisumu, Kenya. He worked as a radio host in Nairobi under the nickname Prince Nesta, drawing inspiration from Bob Marley’s music. Recently, he has spent some time in Maryland, and found his connection to Reno through his uncle, who lives nearby and who also studied at UNR. Nesta previously studied at the United States International University in Nairobi, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in International Relations. During his time as a DJ, he worked for Easy FM, Q FM, USIU Radio, Nation FM and for BBC Radio as a Kenya’s Cultural Correspondent, doing a healthy mix of on-air broadcasting and content production. Nesta is passionate about finding adventure, and outside of work and school he loves listening to Reggae music and watching Arsenal soccer, as well as club and recreational sports. One day, he hopes to own his own digital media company. He plans to use his graduate degree to build his skill in leadership and innovation, perhaps someday leading to a place at the table formulating policy when he returns to Kenya.
Sarah is a Reno native with an eclectic travel history; she’s also lived in Columbus, Ohio, and Budapest, Hungary. She earned her undergraduate degree from UNR with a major in French and a minor in Journalism, after which she continued on to Ohio State University for her MFA in Creative Writing. Sarah has worked as a teaching assistant at Ohio State, and will be teaching at UNR during her graduate studies as well. She’s most passionate about foreign languages, books and writing, especially long form nonfiction. Her dream job is to do research-based nonfiction writing, using a global historical focus to help folks contextualize the present. She would love to do an in-depth study on modern Russian politics. Sarah hopes to use her graduate degree to get a job as a writer in the field, and will use her time at the Reynolds school to narrow this focus. In her free time, she likes to read, hike, kayak and knit.
Cassidy is originally from Pahrump, Nevada and has also lived in Las Vegas, Nevada and Salt Lake City, Utah. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Psychology and Journalism. Cassidy is passionate about journalism, politics, and communication, and has actively pursued these passions through her varied work at Wendoh Media, the City of Carson, and Clark County School District. Her dream job is to be a press secretary, and she hopes to use her graduate degree to help her get into a doctoral program for International Affairs. Outside of school and work, Cassidy loves to snowboard, hike and kayak, and works as a personal trainer.
Laura was born in Monterey, California, and has spent time here in Reno, as well as in Wyoming at Grand Teton National Park. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at UNR, with a major in Journalism and a minor in Speech Communications, and during her time worked for the Associated Students of the University of Nevada. Laura has also worked for Grand Teton National Park in marketing, as well as at Northstar Ski Resort by Lake Tahoe. She’s especially passionate about hospitality marketing, community engagement, local politics, and how those intersect with environmental concerns, and hopes one day to work as a marketing and sales director for a resort. When thinking about her time here at the Reynolds School, Laura hopes her studies will lead her towards a Ph.D. in Public Communications. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, backpacking, running, and music.
Sarah is originally from Reno, and has also lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Las Vegas, Nevada. She earned her undergraduate degree with a dual major in Film and English Literature from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. During her time in Southern Nevada, she worked for UNLV’s service program, planning volunteer events and alternative break trips for undergraduate students. She’s passionate about community engagement and compassionate issue education, as well as film and the relationship folks have with the media they consume. Sarah hopes to use her graduate studies to refine these interests and to make an impact in her community. Her dream job is in media criticism, and she hopes one day to work for NPR. Sarah spends her free time hanging out with her dog, backpacking, watching television, reading, and writing.
Julia is a native Nevadan, who was born in Carson City and grew up in Reno. She moved to Illinois, where she lived for ten years, and attended Illinois State University. It was while working at the student newspaper, the Vidette, that she discovered her love of journalism. Missing the West, Julia relocated to the state of Washington for the final two years of her undergraduate career. There, she received her bachelor’s degree in Digital Journalism with honors from Central Washington University. Julia worked for a daily newspaper, The Daily Record, in Ellensburg, Washington while finishing up her last year of schooling. She also wrote for the student magazine, Pulse, and worked at an on-campus public relations office, The Publicity Center. Currently, she is a teaching assistant at the University of Nevada, Reno. Julia hopes the Reynold’s School of Journalism will help her refine her writing skills and eventually she would like to write about social justice issues. In her free time, Julia likes to read comic books, cook and spend time with her friends and family.
Sudhiti was born in Calcutta, India, and has worked from different parts of her country over the last few years. She received her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Jadavpur University in Calcutta. After graduation, Sudhiti worked as a research fellow for the Global India Foundation, a think tank where she explored subjects like digital divide and how unrest in northeast India has affected education. Beginning in 2011, she worked as a writer for a variety of publications, including Caravan Magazine, the BBC and The National. Most recently, Sudhiti worked as project director for the Indian Council of Social Science Research, where she reported on sexual violence. She is passionate about social justice issues, and hopes to use her reporting to show the realities of these issues as best she can. Her dream job is to be a reporter, and to make a difference in people’s lives. Sudhiti plans to use her time at the Reynolds School to acquire skills relevant to the modern media landscape, and wants to apply these new skills to an in-depth study. In her free time, she enjoys music, reading, travel, swimming and running.
Jim is originally from the San Francisco Bay area, and has also spent time in Oregon and here in Nevada. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree as a dual major in Journalism and History at the University of Oregon. For the last 8 years Jim worked in marketing and communications, and also as an instructor at Sierra Nevada College. Before that he worked for several newspapers as a reporter and editor. Outside of work and school, he’s passionate about his two kids, reading and writing, surfing, mountain biking and skateboarding. He also plays music. Jim’s dream job would be to teach, and to write nonfiction. He hopes to use his graduate degree to find a deeper understanding of modern media and technology.
Melody was born in Las Vegas, where she lived for only three months before her family relocated to the Central Coast of California. Her parents are missionaries, and so growing up she also lived on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, in the Pacific Northwest, Mongolia, Barbados, Northern California, and in Malta. She then returned to California, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Humboldt State University. Since then, Melody has worked for Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, as well as for a variety of daily newspapers, web and software companies, and coffee shops. These days, Melody is living her dream, working for the Reynolds School in marketing and communication. She hopes her time in this program will help her in her current role, and she is also considering teaching. In her free time, Melody enjoys a good cup of coffee, biking around town, and roller derby.
Shevawn was born in Las Vegas, and has lived in Reno for the last 13 years. She moved here for her undergraduate studies, and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a dual major in Creative Writing and Anthropology. Shevawn spent the last several years working with Friends of Nevada Wilderness, a conservation nonprofit organization based in Reno and Las Vegas, as their Communication Manager. Currently, Shevawn is employed as a Graduate Assistant in the Programming and Marketing Department of the Joe Crowley Student Union on campus and serves on the board of the Nevada chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, assisting with communications and marketing needs. She’s passionate about public land issues and conservation; in her spare time, she enjoys backpacking, music, reading, and spending time with her husband and their dogs. Her dream job is to continue in the communications field, as a director for a larger conservation company and freelance writing in her spare time. Her goal is to grow awareness about public lands issues among the stakeholders – be they reporters, local government, or the public. Shevawn hopes to use her graduate degree to build her skills in storytelling and reporting, and to gain focus that will help her shape her career.
Wednesday is a native of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, and attended the University of Idaho in Moscow for her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism. She’s passionate about sports; while in Idaho, she ran for the track team, and focused her studies on sports reporting. This interest eventually led to an internship with ESPN 1400, and work as a sports reporter for Idaho Public Radio with a show called “Wednesday on Wednesday.” In addition to this, Wednesday has a passion for animals and living a healthy lifestyle. She has two dogs, and likes to spend her free time reading, working out, and cooking. Wednesday plans to use her graduate degree to deepen her knowledge of the field and to set herself ahead of the crowd. Her dream job is to continue in media relations for an athletic department at a university, or perhaps in sports reporting – she hopes to pursue a career path that will make women more respected in the world of sports.
Anthony is a native Nevadan, born and raised in Reno. He received his undergraduate degree in Journalism, with a minor in Spanish from UNR. He recently lived in Madrid, Spain for a year and a half, working as an English teacher at an elementary school. Anthony started his career working in marketing and strategic communications for a start-up company in Reno called Canine Cuties. He has also worked for the Northern Nevada Literacy Council, helping older adults to obtain their GED. Anthony has a passion for traveling, photography and outdoor activities, especially skiing. His dream job would be to become a journalism professor at a university. He wants to use his time at the Reynolds School to begin that process, to grow his understanding of strategic communications and to redefine his career goals. Anthony uses his free time going rock climbing, skiing and reading. His favorite book is Church of Spies.
Candice hails from Johannesburg, South Africa and has also lived in Idaho. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Film and TV live performance at AFDA, the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance. Candice started her career creating training videos for a telecommunications company in South Africa and now works as a teaching assistant for a multimedia class at UNR. Candice has a strong passion for music, dancing, reading and writing. She hopes to become a public relations agent, a social media manager or work for a local radio station. Candice wants to use her time at the Reynolds School as a general learning experience, and to improve her writing skills to use them in public relations. During her free time, Candice enjoys spending time with her husband outdoors, watching movies and learning more about animals.
Katie was born in Reno, and grew up on a hay and cattle ranch in the Sierra Valley. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Communication at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The summer of her junior year she studied in London. While earning her undergraduate degree Katie worked as an associate editor and graphic designer at the Brock Center for Agricultural Communication in San Luis Obispo. This past summer, she had the opportunity to intern for three different cattle breed associations: the American Hereford Association, the American Maine-Anjou Association, and the American Chianina Association. She has previously interned for the National Western Stock Show and the California Cattlemen’s Association. Katie is passionate about the agriculture industry, specifically about California agriculture and the beef industry. She wants to use her graduate education to be at the forefront of communications, as a successful spokeswoman for agriculture. During her free time, Katie enjoys hanging out with her family and friends, listening to “Red Dirt Country” music and exploring the world.
Ashley Nickole Andrews
Ashley was born in California and has lived in Reno for the last ten years. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a degree in Marketing from the College of Business at UNR. Ashley works as an event and web presence manager for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Her passion is to use marketing and public relations principles to communicate research-based horticulture information. Her goal is to grow healthy, beautiful Nevada communities. Ashley will use her graduate degree to further her career in Cooperative Extension. During her free time, Ashley loves to garden, read and spend time with her family.
Mauricio Rojas Durand
Mauricio is originally from Lima, Peru but has spent time living and traveling around the world. He has lived in Vermont, has studied in Helsinki, Finland and stayed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He completed his undergraduate degree in Communications at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, in Lima. Mauricio’s career experience includes different areas of media and communications. He has worked as a communications assistant for a NGO related to regional cuisine and cooking in Peru. He was a logistic assistant and communicator in his hometown university, within the Faculty of General Studies. He recently worked as a marketing assistant for a financial company and now works as a project assistant at UNR. Mauricio has a strong passion for traveling, photography, movies and languages. He is bilingual in English and Spanish. He wants to become a travel journalist and work in marketing, project coordination and media strategies. He hopes to use his graduate degree to look into strategic communication and to redefine his career goals towards journalism and marketing. Mauricio spends his free time reading, walking, watching movies and traveling.
Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ruben has spent time living in Washington, Colorado and Alaska. He completed his undergraduate degree in Marketing at the University of New Mexico. His passions involve reading, writing and music. Ruben is passionate about snowboarding, which led him to work as a snowboard instructor. He currently works as a teaching assistant for UNR. He plans to use his time at the Reynolds School to redefine his career goals towards journalistic writing. Ruben’s dream job would be to write features on social and political issues around the United States. Ruben spends his free time reading books, surfing the Internet and playing sports.
Nisha was born and grew up in Chennai, India. She received her undergraduate degree in Information Technology Engineering from the Anna University, in Chennai, India. Nisha started her career working as a reporter for India Express, as part of an internship at the newspaper. She has also worked as a content writer at Doodle Blue, an application development company in India. Nisha’s passions involve reading and writing and singing Indian classical music. Nisha’s dream is to work as an editor at a fashion magazine and ultimately to create such a magazine herself. Nisha would like to redefine her career goals throughout her time at the Reynolds School. During her free time, she loves reading novels, going shopping and exploring new cuisines.
Breanne was born in Southern California and grew up in Colorado. She earned her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She currently works in University Events for the University of Nevada, Reno doing events for the President’s office and Development and Alumni Relations. She has a lifelong passion for graphic design and visual communication. She plans to use the time at the Reynolds School to expand her visual design knowledge. During her free time, Breanne enjoys gardening, traveling, and meeting cats.
Erin was born in South Lake Tahoe and lives in Sparks. She received her undergraduate degree in secondary education with an emphasis in English at Great Basin College. She also studied literature and theater in London. She worked as an Information Assistant for the Bureau of Land Management, and was also employed by the U.S. Forest Service. Erin is passionate about writing, reading and photography. When she graduates she wants to follow her passion and become a public affairs representative for the National Parks Service or a journalism instructor. She loves the outdoors: hiking, kayaking and traveling.
Molly was born and raised in Southern California. She received her undergraduate degree in social sciences from Washington State University. Prior to moving to Nevada she worked in sales and management in the fashion industry, including stints at Destination Maternity, White House Black Market, Chico’s, and Brighton Collectibles. Her creative outlets include writing, singing, and songwriting. Molly would like to strengthen her writing skills to pursue a career in public relations, or reporting and writing. During her free time she enjoys the beaches and recreational opportunities of Lake Tahoe, and spends time with her family and her dogs.
Kellie is a native Nevadan, hailing from Reno. She received her undergraduate degree in Spanish with a minor in communications from UNR. She lived in San Sebastián, Spain for fourteen months, where she focused upon Spanish language studies. She also lived in New York and San Diego. Kellie is an entrepreneur who owned two businesses: Nevada’s Women’s Directory and Drawn2Imagine Art Academy for Kids & Teens. Now she is a marketing specialist and a community outreach developer for Saint Mary’s Fitness Center. She loves water skiing, hiking, hunting, backpacking with her husband and friends, and triathlons. Her dream is to establish a business that will help people “find their bliss.” She plans to use the time at the Reynolds School to become an experienced writer and develop a new business idea.
Dylan grew up in Ferndale along the northern coast of California. He received his undergraduate degree in Journalism from San Francisco State University. After working as a digital associate for SPIN magazine in San Francisco, he moved to South Lake Tahoe where he worked as reporter and photographer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Now he works as a freelancer for Tahoe Quarterly, Outside Magazine and Amazon. During his free time, he enjoys outdoor sports such as snowboarding, surfing, swimming, hiking, paddle boarding, and fly-fishing. He is passionate about photography, reading good journalism, and following the news. His dream job is to be a travel editor for a national publication. During his graduate studies, Dylan plans to work on large media projects for his clients, a major feature story, and a documentary film.
Luka was born in Upstate New York and lived in Sonoma, California. He received his undergraduate degree in writing from Ithaca College in New York. He formerly worked at a winery and at a ski school for the disabled. Currently, Luka lives in Tahoe City, California where he works in public relations for the High Fives Foundation. He enjoys sports and playing music in a rock band, or playing the fiddle on his own. He plans to combine his writing skills with visual design, all within a personal agenda of progressive social change. During his graduate journalism program he plans to become a better storyteller, using visual design to improve the quality of life in the communities he loves.
Kris grew up in Connecticut, earned an English degree in Arizona, studied art in Boston and Los Angeles, ran a photo gallery in Reno in the mid 2000s and taught art to kids in the San Francisco Bay Area. She now reports on arts, culture, parenting and outdoors in Reno and nearby regions. Kris is a frequent contributor to Reno News & Review, and she blogs on Double Scoop Art Blog. She’s published over 300 articles in local and regional outlets and earned grants and awards from the Nevada Press Association and Nevada Arts Council. She likes to bike, hike, camp and explore every lake, creek and trail of the Sierra Nevada, right in Reno’s back yard. This year her 12-year-old taught her how to ski.
Graduate Program Alumni Testimonials
Graduates of RSJ’s Media Innovation M.A. program have gone on to successful careers in interactive media, journalism, communications, and other fields. What was their experience in the Graduate program? Where are our talented alumni now?
“It set me up for success”
“The program had something. Something new, something innovative, something fresh. They were really trying to prove themselves and their work as far as why journalism is important as a whole. I was exposed to different concepts like design thinking, developing empathy, solving problems, about pursuing people and helping them, which resonates well to what Journalism is all about.”
Jonathan Barragan was working as a communications specialist at University of Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) when he started his graduate studies. Currently, Barragan works in Digital Marketing for Flood Marketing, (Wyoming) and as a freelancer for startups and different agencies in town.
“[The grad program] inspired me to take different routes in my career”
“We were able to do different activities that inspired what I’m doing now. At the Reynolds School, I was able to start learning and talking about new media and innovative ways to share and spread news. The people in my cohort were so inspiring. I tried things I’ve never tried before.”
Alexandra Hoeft had the intention to further her experience in Sports Journalism. Her summer internship changed her career approach to environmental journalism and community building for Nevada Land Trust. Hoeft is currently working as an Initiatives Coordinator for Nevada Land Trust and as a Public Outreach Specialist for the Nevada Department of Transportation.
“[The grad program] gave me an opportunity to explore Journalism”
“What attracted me to the grad program was the desire for collaborative experiences, and the willingness to learn about print, photography, videography and general storytelling. My best takeaway was the small intimate cohort that allowed me to get to know people well and collaborate with them. I like that we had the ability to sort our own paths: the classes and the tracks.”
Michelle Matus continued working as a freelancer after completing her graduate studies. She is now the membership coordinator for KUNR Reno Public Radio.
“[The program] is constantly innovating”
“It embraces the idea of the future of journalism by people of our generation. Professors create an environment that gives you the sensation that you are working with colleagues and not with teachers. They give you a tremendous amount of freedom to explore.”
Jeri Chadwell-Singley worked as a freelancer for Reno Magazine and the Reno News and Review after completing her graduate studies. She is currently working as a Special Projects Editor for the Reno News and Review.
“[The grad program] helped take me up to the next levels in my skills”
“Achieving my master’s degree has made it possible for me to be hired to write college news. After studying at UNR with such great and accomplished professors, I feel proficient and ready for any and all projects in Communications.”
Patricia Bouweraerts currently works as a Marketing and Communications specialist at Truckee Meadows Community College.
“Definitely do it”
“I considered other graduate schools, but when it came to the value and the amount of time that it would take to complete the program and the small, close net feeling that I got, it was worth it.”
Christine Seiber is currently working as a professor of Journalism at Tennessee Tech. She was offered a position right after she graduated from The Reynolds School graduate program.
“Use the [Reynolds School] grad program to go to the top”
“Everybody comes into the program with different needs. My want was to come out as a writer. The program was set up to allow me to do that.”
Brad Rassler is the Founding Editor of Sustainable Play, a long-form literary outdoor writing magazine celebrating the confluence of people, planet and play. He writes for Outside Magazine, Sierra Magazine and Alpinist Magazine.
“UNR set me up on my career. They prepared me for this journey”
“What attracted me from the RSJ is that they were trying to do different things. They were experimenting but they were open to experiment.”
Regina Revazova has been working in public radio in the last four years. In 2017 she founded her own radio production company called Open Conversation.