About Us

UM's School of Communication is located in Wolfson Building.

UM’s School of Communication is located in Wolfson Building (Staff photo).

The South Florida Arts News & Review writers are undergraduate student journalists who are spending the semester reporting and writing about the arts of South Florida.

We are writing about books, movies, live and recorded music, dance, theater, art exhibitions, food-restaurants, television, radio, and cable, and other creative and performing arts in our region. We write news, features, and reviews about a wide range of South Florida artists and arts events.

We are based within the Journalism and Media Management Department of the School of Communication, University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.

SOC Courtyard buildings

The UM School of Communication Courtyard  (Staff photo).

Our course is an upper division undergraduate class, JMM 443, “Covering the Arts.”

This site features our work and was created in mid 2013. The site is supervised by Dr. Bruce Garrison, the course professor.

Our spring 2023 reporters and reviewers are:

Lily Bhote (lmb308@miami.edu) is a senior studying journalism and business marketing. She grew up in Chicago and moved to Miami in 2019 to pursue her degree. Bhote has been an avid writer since her childhood and would like to continue her passion as a journalist in her career. In 2021, Bhote worked at Ocean Drive Magazine as a journalism intern, writing dozens of articles that were published. She is very interested in fashion, art, music and current events.

Alex Eubanks (ahe24@miami.edu) is a senior journalism major with minor in music business. A Florida native, he is passionate about all things music, film, television, basketball, gaming, and enjoys writing about just about anything else the world of entertainment has to offer. He has written for The Miami Hurricane, as well as his previous school newspaper, The Crows Nest, and currently writes for several music sites including Everything Is Noise and Loud Hailer, as well as having an internship screening film. 

Sydney Hawkins (shh61@miami.edu) is a senior journalism major on the law track. Sydney has a passion for writing, and hopes to find a way to combine her journalism background with a legal career one day. She is from Orlando and never thought she would stay in Florida for college. One of her favorite things to do is travel. Throughout her years at UM, she has studied abroad twice. She lived in Rome her freshman year and Barcelona her junior year. She’s excited to graduate and start the next chapter of her life. 

Vivianne Martell (vmm84@miami.edu) is a senior studying journalism and media management. Her love of storytelling and media has inspired her to work in broadcast journalism. Vivianne was born and raised in Miami and has a deep understanding of the region’s diverse multicultural nature. She is dedicated to using her platforms as a journalist to elevate underrepresented voices. Vivianne is hoping to make a significant impact in the field of journalism. 

Madison Mikan (mlm758@miami.edu) is a junior broadcast journalism major and a public relations and marketing minor. She was born and raised in Edina, Minn., and loves watching sports. Madison is a reporter for UMTV and hopes to work in journalism after graduation. She has had multiple marketing internships, including Target’s Partnerships Design Team and Modern Impact Marketing Firm. She enjoys traveling, baking, working out, and trying new restaurants.  

Valeria Palladino (vgp21@miami.edu) is a sophomore majoring in journalism. She was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and moved to Miami to become a journalist. Valeria was that student who secretly wished the next assignment would be an essay, while most students dreaded it. She has fallen in love with what it means to be a journalist: gathering information, conducting interviews, editing, storytelling, and communicating. She hopes to keep exploring and break out of her comfort zone in the next two years. Some of her work can be found in Distraction.

Carly Payne (csp97@miami.edu)  is a senior double majoring in political science and journalism. She grew up in Fairport, N.Y., a village just outside of Rochester. Moving to Miami was a huge culture shock for her but she loves everything this city has to offer. On campus, she serves as the People and Organizations section editor for the Ibis yearbook. She loves to travel and hopes to work as a travel writer in the near future. Payne also has published work with the I24 News, an international news station based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Phoebe Rosenblum (phoeberosenblum@miami.edu) is a senior at the Frost School of Music, majoring in music with a concentration in classical voice and minors in contemporary songwriting and Italian. After years of performing and some critical writing practice, she is taking the opportunity to dive into arts journalism, before moving home to New York City to pursue a career in music and music criticism. With a clear perspective as a singer and multi-instrumentalist, she hopes to improve her writing with her knowledge of the inner workings of concerts.

Charlotte Snoonian (cos26@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in art and sport administration. She grew up in a small town in Massachusetts called Bolton with her twin sister and two younger brothers, each of whom she is very close. On campus, Charlotte writes for the sports section of The Miami Hurricane. In her free time, she loves to paint, crochet, work out, and go hiking. In the future, she wishes to pursue a career in sports media, and hopes to travel the country through her job. 

Rachell Soler (rxs1637@miami.edu) is aka Rachi Relos. She was born in Higüey, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic, and raised in Houston. Her major is journalism, and minor is music business. She is very passionate about making music and is a recording artist and singer-songwriter who hopes to impact many people one day. She loves Miami because it reminds her of her hometown and she has been able to learn a lot of things from this amazing city. She would love to stay after she graduates from UM, but she will go where music takes her. 

Samantha Vargas (sev72@miami.edu) is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in creative writing. She was born and raised in Miami and currently serves as a staff writer for The Miami Hurricane. Her passions include music, thrifting, traveling, spending time with loved ones, and reading and writing poetry. After graduating, she aspires to work as a writer for a newspaper or magazine and continue to cover arts and entertainment.

Simone Werner (sew157@miami.edu) is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism and motion pictures production. She is originally from Severna Park, Md. Simone worked at CBS 4 News in Miami as an Assignment Desk editor. She is very involved in film and television production. She is an associate producer for UMTV’s award-winning live news show, NewsVision, and a video producer for UMTV’s award-winning live sports show, SportsDesk. Simone loves to branch out and cover the arts as well.


Our spring 2022 reporters and reviewers are:

Dani Apple (dia19@miami.edu) is a junior at UM. She is a broadcast journalism major with minors in visual art and sports medicine. She was born and raised in New York City and loves the cultural diversity it has to offer. Apple hopes to attend law school after graduation and become an entertainment or sports attorney. She attended an arts high school in New York City in which she studied fine arts. She especially loves modern art and design and she is passionate about interior design and art collection.

Kris Berg (ccb126@miami.edu) (He/they) is a senior majoring in English literature and journalism. Before enrolling at the University, he graduated in 2019 from Pleasantville High School. He has written for the news and opinion sections of The Miami Hurricane, and Westchester local newspaper The Examiner. Kris plans to graduate from the U in December 2022. After graduating, he hopes to pursue a career in journalism, as well as music and visual art.

Carolina Camus (cmc519@miami.edu) is a sophomore double-majoring in journalism and advertising in the School of Communication. She was born and raised in Miami. She is currently the editor-in-chief of the Ibis, UM’s on-campus yearbook that is created entirely by students. Through her work for the Ibis, she has won multiple awards for her design and coverage of on-campus events. She enjoys covering all things art, culture and travel not only through writing, but through photography and design.

Amanda Crane (arc264@miami.edu) is a sophomore majoring in journalism on a writing and reporting track with a minor in theater arts. She was born and raised in Deerfield, Ill., and has published work in The Miami Hurricane and Distraction Magazine. She is interested in pursuing a career in the arts because theater has been a long-time passion. Her goal is to become a casting director. She has discovered her love of music and media at UM. She believes the arts are integral to building a strong society and hopes she can make a positive impact. 

Jiarui He (jxh1179@miami.edu) is a senior with a double major in electronic media and elementary education and a minor in art. She is from Xinjiang, China. She enjoys photography, editing, reading, movies and travel. She volunteers for a Chinese social platform called GAISA and produces her own channel on Tiktok. She has experience as a Chinese tutor for native Spanish-speaking children. She hopes to attend graduate school and loves the work environment on campus. She would like to find a job related to education or social media.

James Keen (jxk1091@miami.edu) is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in meteorology. He was born and raised in New York City. At 24, James decided to trade cold winters for abundant sunshine and moved to South Florida in 2013. James has a passion for tropical weather and spends much of his free time observing the weather models and writing about these topics online. He hopes to combine his knowledge of journalism and meteorology and use his skill set to pursue and career focused on tropical weather.

Molly MacKenzie (mem437@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism and double minoring in ecosystem science and policy and in public health. She was born in New York City and raised in Westchester County, a north suburb of the city near the Connecticut border. She is a writer for the Ibis yearbook and I have published work in Distraction Magazine and The Miami Hurricane. She is passionate about traveling and writing about entertainment and lifestyle.

Amir Mahmoud (aym17@miami.edu) is a fourth-year student double-majoring in journalism and political science. He has lived his whole life in Little Rock, Ark., before heading to South Florida. Amir has served as the news editor of The Miami Hurricane and head delegate of the UM Model UN club, a group focused on simulating the United Nations and debating international issues. Amir also works for WVUM. You can find him enjoying a ball game, watching a film, or working on his journalism and art portfolio.

Analya Meneses Imber (afm119@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in Spanish. Originally from Caracas, she has lived in Miami since 2014. She is fluent in English and Spanish and learning Italian, French, and Hebrew. Analya is interested in the arts, food and traveling, Latin American politics and fashion. During her free time she enjoys visiting museums and art galleries, as well as spending time with her dog Pipa. She wishes to return to Venezuela and communicate in a newly freed state as a professional. 

Julia Sanbe (jmz76@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism and creative advertising with a minor in motion pictures. An avid fan of all the latest upcoming television shows, movies and theater productions, she is excited to be able to write all about the latest up-and-coming arts and entertainment news both around Miami and abroad. In her free time, she enjoys reading and drawing and is an active member of both The Miami Hurricane and the University of Miami Model United Nations Team.

Alena Williams (anw86@miami.edu) is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in music and entertainment business. A natural born writer and innovator, Alena hopes to one day work for a distinguishable music and culture magazine, or one day even create her own. She has worked with F(Empower)Miami; a local femme group of “culture shifters,” The Miami Hurricane, and FMHipHop.com, a notable source for Hip Hop and R&B. Alena writes her own blog, LifeWithLayLow.com, where she shares knowledge about spirituality, music, and Black culture.

Our Spring 2021 reporters and reviewers are:

Emmalyse Brownstein (exb793@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism with minors in media management and theater arts. She was born and raised in Vero Beach, Fla. She is the executive editor for Distraction, UM’s on-campus magazine and has interned with News@TheU, Coral Gables Magazine and Wine Spectator. She enjoys covering all things art, culture, travel and environment not only through writing, but through podcasting and videography.

Yubei Chen (yxc1017@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in human resource management and minoring in journalism. She is from Ningbo, China. Besides working with people and writing the things she interested in, she also likes watching film. She is a rational person when she makes decisions and film is one thing that can relaxes her. After graduating, she hopes that she can find a job related to dealing with the relationships between people, such as human resources or public relations.

Sophia Constantino (sxc1199@miami.edu) is a senior, majoring in journalism and ecosystem science and policy and minoring in Brazilian Portuguese. She is from Clinton, N.Y., a small village in woodsy Central New York. As someone who believes in the infinite value of meaningful connections with the outdoors, she hopes to pursue a career in environmental and social justice. This could mean law school and intensive training in wilderness education, survival skills and youth outreach. Perhaps both. She is an avid reader, writer and runner.

Leslie Dominique (lad191@miami.edu) is outgoing, ambitious and ready for the fast-paced world of broadcasting. She is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism with minors in international relations and psychology. She has a background in reporting, editing, and producing for various UMTV as well as Instagram Television Productions. She also serves as public relations chair of a campus organization. Her work has been published in print and digital media. Leslie Anne’s interests currently lie within broadcast journalism and media relations. 

Bailey Donine (bdd49@miami.edu) is a senior, which is exciting and nerve-racking, from Orange County, Calif. While at Mission Viejo High, she was involved in everything and was her school’s senior class president. She decided to attend Saddleback College in Orange County and later transferred to UM. She was accepted in broadcast journalism with a minor in business. She loves UM and everything it has to offer. She thinks it is the perfect fit and although she is sad this is her last year, she is excited for what the future holds.

Maria Jose Flores (Mjf149@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in photojournalism with a minor in creative advertising. Originally from Cuernavaca, Mexico, Maria has considered Miami home for eight years. She is fluent in English and Spanish and knows a little French and Italian. Maria is passionate about the arts, traveling, and photography and has visited 53 countries along with her mother, a documentary photographer. She hopes to follow her mom and become an international photojournalist and share memorable stories with the world.

Jayda Graham (jxg1690@miami.edu) is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in anthropology and creative writing. She is from Bowie, MD. She enjoys reading, cooking, writing creatively, watching movies/television shows and trying to experiment with new food. She is the editor of The City, a section of Gravity Magazine, UM’s first publication dedicated to the black experience. She is also the executive producer of UMTV’s The Culture. After graduating, she wants to pursue a writing career as a screenwriter, novelist, and journalist.

Kay-Ann Henry (kkh41@miami.edu) is a senior from Kingston, Jamaica, majoring in journalism and minoring in creative writing and sociology. She currently works as the opinion editor for UM’s The Miami Hurricane, where she makes it her duty to report and comment on the university and the greater Miami and South Florida community’s most vulnerable members. When she isn’t writing for The Miami Hurricane, she’s still writing and working to cultivate safe spaces for other Black queer women like herself.

Julian Maceira (mjm476@miami.edu) is a junior double majoring in journalism and film. He was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Fla. He’s always been fascinated with storytelling and has been watching movies, reading novels, and listening to all kinds of albums since he was young. Since childhood, he wanted to be a movie critic and he came to UM to pursue that goal. In his spare time, he enjoys fitness, travel, watching and making movies with his friends, and creating movie review videos for his YouTube channel.

Gianna Milan (gmm167@miami.edu) is a sophomore at UM’s Frost School of Music in pursuit of a B.M. with majors in piano performance and journalism. Her  heart belongs to Distraction, UM’s only student-produced lifestyle magazine where she acts as digital executive editor and writes stories about everything from Black Lives Matter and maladaptive daydreaming to transphobia and the arts. Through music or words, Gianna champions the freedom to express. She has her sights set on musicology or law school.

Elisabeth Mitrano (exm1028@miami.edu) is a junior double majoring in journalism and gender and sexuality studies. Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, she has called South Florida her home for the last 13 years. Elisabeth considers herself multicultural as her family is of German, Swiss and Italian ancestry. She is interested in all things media and the First Amendment and hopes to attend law school to become a media lawyer in New York City. Elisabeth loves to travel, read, and listen to 1970s and 1980s music, particularly her favorite band, Queen.

Sebastian Morales (sfm65@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in international studies and journalism. He grew up in Venezuela but has resided in Miami for the past six years. His interests expand over several fields, including many art forms such as music, film, and dance. The role that the arts can play in building a community as well as the great impact arts can have at the individual level has his attention. He hopes to improve his writing, communication, and storytelling skills by taking journalism courses.

Valentina Pope (vgp17@miami.edu) is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in public relations. She is a Florida native, born and raised in Fort Lauderdale. She is also a singer/songwriter and performs at various events around Miami. She is currently interning at Cultivate PR where she helps plan events, write press releases, and manage clients accounts. She enjoys fashion, fitness, and creating content for her YouTube channel.  

David Repka (dtr41@miami.edu) is a student majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in public relations. He comes from a small town in a small state, Hockessin, Del. Making the move from a small town to a big city was a natural and easy transition as he is able to bolster his strengths in photography greatly. With doors now busted open, opportunities seem endless and he hopes to take on as many challenges as possible.

Natalie Santos (nds63@miami.edu) is a junior double-majoring in journalism and English literature. Born in Queens, N.Y., Natalie has lived in Miami for most of her life. She has contributed work to The Miami Hurricane and runs an Instagram account dedicated to creating a community for literary lovers (@natalie.reads). Natalie enjoys writing lifestyle features as well as book and film reviews. Interested in education and sharing her knowledge with others, Natalie hopes to become an author and a high school English teacher.

Madison Schurr (mps153@miami.edu) is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism with minors in art and marketing. She is from Nyack, N.Y., home of the Lower Hudson Valley’s art scene. She is passionate about fine arts, fashion, beauty, film and television. Madison works as an associate producer for two UMTV shows, one focusing on popular culture and the other focusing on late-night comedy. In her spare time, she enjoys making art, watching anime and playing with her dog, Mickey.

Stanley Spiegelman (sxs2507@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism and a minor in public relations. He is from Pompano Beach, Fla. Stanley has dedicated his time to self-betterment, improving his writing, and consuming all types of sports. He hopes to continue his studies further in law school, and one day practice copyright law. 


Summer Xia (jxx252@miami.edu) is a sophomore, double majoring in journalism and theater arts. She is from Qingdao, China, and has lived four years in the U.S. Summer has an interest in reporting about culture in the U.S. and China. She also enjoys acting, movies and painting and seeks to write about art. She has been involved in UMTV’s “Off the Wire” and written for The Miami Hurricane. She was an intern at Qingdao Television and a freelancer for Lumist, a social media platform in China. She hopes to become a news anchor or reporter.

Our Spring 2020 reporters and reviewers are:

Sarah Braddock (svb8@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in advertising and creative writing. She was born in Melbourne, Fla., and was raised to love two things above all else: music and Miami Hurricanes’ football. With that Sarah hopes to pursue her passion of sharing music by becoming a music journalist (the dream is Rolling Stone). She hopes to live somewhere that has actual seasons. Sarah is writing for her own personal music blog, interning with international music and talent agency MN2S, and contributing to WVUM’s blog.

Lavisha Budhrani (lkb44@miami.edu) is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in elementary education. She was born and raised in Hong Kong. Lavisha has worked as an intern for Prestige Magazine (Hong Kong). She also worked as a social media and marketing intern for MINIMAL, a high-end sustainable clothing brand in Hong Kong. She hopes to work at a magazine. Although Lavisha’s dream is to be in mass communication, she is also passionate about teaching. She hopes to teach one day in an international elementary school in Hong Kong.

Dylan Kossar  (drk52@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism as well as minoring in criminology and public advocacy. Dylan is on a pre-law track and is hoping to attend law school in the fall 2021 to study federal investigations and white collar crime. While law is her passion, she majors in (and enjoys) journalism as a way to enhance her writing and study important ethical and political issues. On campus, Dylan is a member of Delta Delta Delta and works as an academic tutor. She is originally from New Jersey, but intends on living in New York City in her future. 

Keagan Larkins (kjl90@miami.edu) is a sophomore majoring in journalism and creative advertising. He is from Charleston, S.C., but hopes to venture away from the South to pursue his creative dreams. He has a love all things fashion and hopes to one day work in the fashion industry, whether it be fashion journalism or fashion advertising. He is currently pursuing his dreams as the fashion director and co-public relations manager of Distraction magazine. He is also interning at Ximena Kavalekas and Joolz by Martha Calvo as his beginning into the fashion industry.

Jordan Lewis (jxl1734@miami.edu) is a junior journalism major with a minor in gender and sexuality studies. She has been the editor for The Miami Hurricane‘s Edge section –– which she recently got renamed to Culture –– for the past year and a half. Jordan also acts as the publication’s social media manager, which she took over in 2019. Jordan holds a position as a brand ambassador for Aerie by American Eagle, where she works to promote messages of body positivity and female empowerment.”

Sarah Lustgarten (sbl20@miami.edu) Sarah is double majoring in journalism and creative writing, with a minor in Judaic studies. Originally from Philadelphia, Sarah has considered Miami home  for five years. Although her interests lie in writing fiction and poetry, she was raised with a deep appreciation for modern and contemporary art. Her exploration in the field has only broadened  to other art forms such as music, specifically that of the 1960s and 1970s. She thoroughly enjoys barre — whether teaching or taking a class — yoga and mindful meditation. 

Shearerlyn Mok (wlm47@miami,edu) is an exchange student from the equally sunny island of Singapore. She is a junior majoring in communications and new media and wants to pursue a career in journalism. Shearerlyn has interned as a news producer at Singapore’s Channel News Asia. A strong interest in the heritage and culture of Southeast Asia has drawn her to aspire to work in Indonesia. Shearerlyn has identified as a pianist and musician throughout her life and hopes to uphold a lifetime dedication to the arts.

Daniela Pagnozzi (dtp30@miami.edu) is a junior from New Jersey, majoring in journalism and political science. She is pre-law and plans to attend law school. Daniela is passionate about law and journalism with a great interest in the First Amendment. She intends to practice media law. Daniela is a member of the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta and the Society of Professional Journalists. Most recently, she interned at a law firm in Coral Gables. Daniela hopes to return to the New York City area and work on the in-house counsel for a news corporation.

Greta West (greta@miami.edu) works in the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change at UM and is pursuing a degree in journalism with a minor in creative writing.  She already has bachelor’s degrees in music and English, and a Master of Arts in liberal studies, all from UM.  She taught humanities as an adjunct faculty at Miami Dade College. She sang with the Collegium Musicum of the Miami Bach Society for five years.  She likes British murder mysteries and has just completed the first draft of her own mystery novel. 

Alexis Wiener  (amw224@miami.edu) is from Saddle River, N.J., and is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in sports administration. Alexis has a passion for writing and hopes to pursue a career in sports, whether it be on or off camera. She interned at the UM’s Athletic Department, where she conducted interviews, created content for the social media accounts and built graphics. Her favorite memory there was when she was on the field during the Miami football game against Virginia. Miami upset the No. 19 ranked school, 17-9.

Our Spring 2019 reporters and reviewers are:

Kaley Fedko (kfed510@miami.edu) is a fifth-year senior from Pittsburgh. Kaley is a former cheerleader at UM and the University of Pittsburgh and has two brothers on the UConn baseball team, but sports is not her journalistic passion. Her interests include pop culture, fashion and all things glamorous. She has nurtured these interests for the past year as an editorial intern at Ocean Drive magazine, where she has been able to meet and transcribe interviews from Paris Hilton and Ricky Martin. She considers Miami her home. 

Izabella Felpeto (ixf135@miami.edu) is a Cuban-American aspiring journalist from Miami, seeking to further her passion for story-telling through news producing and reporting. Her work was most recently featured within the pages of Ink Publishing’s inflight magazine issues.  Her interests both in-front of and behind the camera developed at UM and will continue to develop her skills after she graduates from the School of Communication this spring.

Glen Howard (g.howard@miami.edu) was born and raised in Miami-Dade County, He has always been the most outgoing and lively person of any room. In elementary school, he was first exposed to TV production. Being a part of a production team solidified his interest in wanting to be in front of the camera delivering the news and for working behind the scenes. Ultimately, Glen hopes to gain experience reporting the news and managing network operations both in front of and behind the camera to achieve his goal of working in television.

Nicolas Iparraguirre (n.iparraguirre@miami.edu) is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. After spending three years attending Washington University in St. Louis where he was a member of the men’s basketball team, Nicolas transferred to UM to pursue a degree in journalism. Nicolas has worked as a social media intern for Vix.com and marketing intern for Azamara Club Cruises. Interested in working in corporate communications, Nicolas is currently applying for jobs leading up to graduation.

Julia Kohl (jek46@miami.edu) is a senior obtaining majors in journalism and public relations and a minor in sociology. She is the editorial director for the University of Miami chapter of Spoon University. Julia loves to travel and immerse herself in different cultures. She enjoys visiting museums, attending live performances and trying new foods. Julia also enjoys participating in the creation of art, whether it be dancing, painting, photographing or writing. She hopes to pursue a career in law. 

Tyler Murphy (txm422@miami.edu) is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. Tyler was on the UM football team from 2015-18. The University of Miami has been his dream school since he was a kid, growing up on the north side of Atlanta. He enjoys traveling to different cities around the country. So far, Los Angeles is his favorite city visited and he would love to live there one day. Tyler is sports anchor on UMTV’s “Culture” and he hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting. His dream job is to become an anchor on ESPN. 

Vivianna Onorato (vxo60@miami.edu) was born and raised in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, but my family is originally from Abruzzo, Italy. I am a senior at UM, majoring in broadcast journalism and  double minoring in public relations and marketing. When she was 4 years old, she started playing tennis, while doing other activities, such as flamenco and music. She was in love with tennis and her dream was always to be a professional tennis player. But an injury ended her tennis career and she is dedicated to her news media career.

Marine Paccanari (mkp63@miami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in Arabic studies. Growing up in Morocco, she has always been fascinated by different cultures and the arts. A big inspiration for her came from living in a household where both parents were artists, allowing her  to go to many different exhibitions and learn from many different painters. As such, most of Marine’s life has been dedicated to the arts and music, taking courses in both subjects. Consequently, she hopes to pursue a career in music journalism.

Adam Spector  (aks152@miami.edu) is a student turned billionaire writer and a failed 2016 class president candidate. Despite his success, Adam came from humble beginnings. West Philadelphia born and raised, he spent most of his days on the playground. He was shooting b-ball when a couple of guys who were up to no good started making trouble. Adam got in one little fight and his mom said “you’re movin’ with your auntie and uncle in Miami.” Adam also made a name for himself with his rapper alter-ego “Jewish Ice.”

Isabella Vaccaro (ixv96@miami.edu) is a sophomore majoring in journalism and minoring in Spanish and theater. She is executive editor of Distraction magazine and a staff writer for the UM School of Communication website. Isabella loves being a journalist in Miami, because of the amazing art, music and dance to report about in the city. Originally from Connecticut, Isabella relishes in the year-round warm weather and beach days, but one day hopes to pursue a career with a major lifestyle magazine in New York City.    

Myles Valentine (mxv550@miami.edu) is from Compton, Calif., near Los Angeles. He is a senior at the University of Miami majoring in broadcast journalism and double minoring in sports medicine and sports administration. Myles is also a member of the UM track and field team where he holds the school record in the 60-meter dash. He has also interned for the Miami’s women’s basketball team. His goal is to become a sports broadcaster for ESPN or a similar sports news organization.

Elyse Waterman (elw26@miami.edu) is a senior at UM majoring in journalism and minoring in public relations. She is also drawn to photography, art, music and film. She is currently a member of Delta Kappa Alpha, a national gender-inclusive cinematic professional fraternity where she is head of the CineJournal. Off campus, she is an editorial intern for Prism Creative Group in Miami. Growing up internationally in Melbourne, London, California and New Jersey, Elyse is incredibly adaptable and hopes to have a career that gives her the opportunity to travel. 

Teddy Willson(tdw41@miami.edu) is in her junior year at UM where she is obtaining a major in journalism and minors in public relations and music business. She serves as the editor-in-chief of Distraction magazine, the university’s award-winning, student-run lifestyle magazine. In her role at Distraction, she has honed her passion for graphic design, art direction and writing of all kinds, though entertainment journalism where she feels most inspired. Though music has played a central role in Teddy’s life and upbringing, her pen is her preferred instrument. 

Jenni York (jey11@miami.edu) is a senior majoring in journalism and studio art, and minoring in motion pictures animation. As an artist, she has a creative eye and appreciates art of all forms. Whether actively participating in fine arts, such as painting murals, or critiquing the work of other artists, Jenni finds art to be a universal language, allowing for different styles to carry different perspectives. Additionally, she possesses a deep appreciate for music, food and wine, and film: She strives to expand her journalism horizons by writing about these subjects.

Our Spring 2017 reporters and reviewers:

Hanya AlKhamis (hanya.alkhamis@gmail.com) Is a junior majoring in journalism and political science. Brought up in Kuwait, she aspires to change the social scene in Kuwait. Previously she had joined one of the biggest media redefining companies in Kuwait called Galiah Tech in which they help to provide services such as marketing and branding of products and/or companies. She enjoys art and appreciates it very much. One example the art in Miami’s Wynwood, which creates life for the community. She hopes to bring that kind of enthusiasm to Kuwait. She seeks to alter Kuwait’s perception of journalists.

Zachary Devita (z.devita@umiami.edu) is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in media management. Over his college career, he has written for publications (such as Miami Shoot Magazine), worked as technical director at UM’s television department and has interned every summer since his freshman year (including working for an NGO and as a production assistant in Los Angeles). He is also a giant movie and TV buff, which inspires him to write creatively. He hopes to become a journalist for Vice News, working in political-international news.

Michael Franca (mef135@miami.edu) is a sophomore majoring in journalism and minoring in psychology. His interests include music, entertainment and sports. Michael hopes to pursue a career as a sports writer. As a native of Miami, his favorite teams include the Heat, Dolphins, Marlins and Hurricanes. Michael turned this interest into writing for fosseposse.sbnation.com, an SB Nation blog covering English Premier League’s Leicester City. He has worked for Sportsmanias, a website and app, as well as proplayerinsiders.com, covering the Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. Michael’s love of music — especially hip-hop — has pushed him to think about a career in covering the arts.

Etty Grossman  (grossmanetty@hotmail.com) is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in public relations. Born and raised in Colombia, she hopes to go back to her home country and change the way news is being written. She enjoys reading and acting, and is passionate about helping other people through out her writing. During the last three years, she has been involved with a non-profit organization for low-income pregnant teens. When she graduates, she aspires to be a magazine editor or to have her own Colombian newspaper.

Kate Hovan (k.hovan@miami.edu) is majoring in print journalism with a minor in history. She participated in the “Fordham Nightly News” program as an anchor, reporter and technical assistant during her freshman year at Fordham University. Transferring to the University of Miami for her sophomore year, she was an associate producer for the weekly campus newscast “NewsVision” and began writing for The Miami Hurricane in her free time. She most enjoys writing for news and pop culture.

Aaliyah Weathers (amw80@miami.edu) is a sophomore majoring in journalism and motion pictures with a minor in music business. Originally from Atlanta, she was highly influenced by the arts and entertainment that the city produced, cultivating her love for music and pop culture. She is particularly interested in how different forms of art inspire and are inspired by social issues. She hopes to use her voice to bring light to injustice through print and visual media.

Michael Yunis (m.yunis@miami.edu) is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in exercise physiology. He has an interest in covering the arts, specifically music (hip hop) and in reviewing movies and television shows. He has an interest in writing about the world of health/nutrition/exercise and what new things develop in the field of exercise physiology. Michael hopes to work for a company like Vice News some day, doing some sort of investigative reporting.

Lingyue Zheng (lxz126@miami.edu) pursues beauty in life. Anything contains intricate and exquisite human wisdom thrills her and elicits her creative ideas. Fond of literature and fan of architecture, paintings and photography. Never say no to traveling and exploring the unknown – they are forever her inspiration and muses. She loves the world in a quiet way; she enjoys using words combined with images to record a moment and thereby communicate her message to people. She is always devoted to discovering hidden beauties lying at some neglected corners that people seldom think about.

Our Spring 2016 reviewers are listed below:

Marwan Alenezi Marwan Alenezi (m.alenezi2@umiami.edu) is a senior studying journalism, with minors in film and psychology. He is from Kuwait. Previously a contributing writer and photographer for The Miami Hurricane, his interest for documenting truth include a critical view of contemporary arts and culture as well as international relations. Although his background and experience are mostly comprised of writing, he hopes to be a contributing member of international media community with an emphasis on filmmaking.

Sophie Braga de BarrosSophie Braga de Barros (s.bragadebarros@umiami.edu) is a junior from São Paulo, Brazil, majoring in journalism and Latin American studies and minoring in electronic media. She has worked with student media since her freshman year, writing for The Miami Hurricane and as the current assignment editor for UMTV. Despite her love for journalism, Sophie would like to pursue a career in higher education and student affairs and help develop future student leaders.

Clarissa BuchClarissa Buch (c.buch@umiami.edu) is a sophomore majoring in journalism and religious studies with a minor in sociology. She is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times and The Miami Herald. She is also a LinkedIn Campus Editor, where she writes and recruits students to publish on LinkedIn Pulse. When Clarissa is not writing, she can be found in a spin class, binge-watching a crime show, or trying a new restaurant.

Samantha CohenSamantha Cohen (s.cohen38@umiami.edu) is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in marketing. As a South Florida native, Samantha hopes to leave Florida and pursue a career in entertainment journalism after graduating in the spring. She has interests in entertainment, fashion and photography. She has held numerous internships at Ocean Drive Magazine and Rachel Zoe Inc. She aspires to one-day work at either a major fashion magazine as a stylist or writer and become an entertainment host on E News.

Chiara DiGiallorenzoChiara DiGiallorenzo (c.digiallorenzo@umiami.edu) is from Philadelphia and spent most of her life pursuing a career in the arts whether in dance, acting, fashion or the written word. She began as a professional dancer for the Wayne Ballet Company of Performing Arts, mastering classical ballet and contemporary dance. Chiara touring with the Joffrey Ballet School and other dance companies. She moved to Los Angeles after being cast as a supporting actress in a feature film where she was then initiated into the Screen Actors Guild. Chiara is studying journalism and art history. She has worked as an editor for the Miami Rail Magazine as well as the fashion house Moschino.

Yuna JoYuna Jo (y.jo2@umiami.edu) is a junior from Tokyo and Shanghai majoring in journalism with minors in psychology, advertising and marketing. She is an international student who moved to the U.S. for the first time for college and is fluent in four languages. She is the managing editor at Ibis yearbook and a student senator at Student Government. She frequently has to spell her name out when meeting new people.


Kami KnaudtKamila (Kami) Knaudt (k.knaudt@miami.edu) is a sophomore from Los Angeles majoring in journalism with a minor in modern languages. She has been involved with Distraction Magazine online for the past two years and is the current Student Life Blog Editor. Kami has a passion for reading and travel and hopes to one-day work for a magazine while traveling the world. If she is not watching “Criminal Minds,” you can find her outside doing something adventurous. Kami’s dream is to one day eat her way around the globe.

Nicole PocoviNicole Pocovi (n.pocovi@umiami.edu) is a senior majoring in electronic media and minoring in journalism. Originally from Buenos Aires, she moved to the United States to pursue her dreams of studying abroad and expanding her horizons. She chose Miami for its cultural diversity and for its amazing opportunities. She’s a hardworking and responsible person with a very good attitude. She has very good communication skills and her objective is to became a well-known public relations writer and work within a multinational corporation.

Axel TurciosAxel Turcios (a.turcios@umiami.edu) is a Honduran-American multimedia journalist, writer and blogger. Turcios was born in La Ceiba, Honduras and moved to Miami when he was 13. In 2013, he obtained an Associate in Arts degree in mass communications and journalism from Miami Dade College. He transferred to UM to major in broadcast journalism and minor in political science. He interned at Univision Channel 23, at CBS’s affiliate, Channel 4, and at America TeVe Channel 4. He landed his first job as a news reporter and producer at America TeVe.  He attended the University of Westminster where he finished his minor in political science. He now works as an associate producer at Telemundo 51.

Devon Ashley WadeDevon-Ashley Wade (Devonashley19@yahoo.com) is a senior from West Palm Beach, Fla., majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science and Spanish. She has a passion towards covering art and culture and conveying how they instill a sense of satisfaction that comes from creating something new. She interned with WSVN-7 News in Miami. As a sophomore, she job shadowed at WPBF 25 News as well as WPTV 5 News in Palm Beach County. AT UM, she reported for UMTV’s “NewsVision.”

Zhiwei XiaZhiwei Xia (z.xia2@umiami.edu) is a senior majoring in broadcasting and journalism with a minor in international studies and theater art. Originally from Shenzhen, China. She loves music, novels, movies and TV shows. She has worked production for UMTV’s “Newsvision,” was a news intern at Shenzhen broadcasting and an assistant director intern at Shenzhen Star World Culture Communication Co., LTD. She would like to become a news anchor and producer. She also hopes to go to graduate school.

Our Spring 2015 reviewers are listed below:

Allison BaerAllison Baer (a.baer3@umiami.edu) is a senior at the University of Miami majoring in journalism with a minor in Spanish. She is an editorial intern at Ocean Drive magazine on Miami Beach. She previously interned at The Zoe Report and Fort Wayne Business Weekly. She is from Fort Wayne, Ind.



Courtney BarichCourtney Barich (c.barich@umiami.edu) is a senior at the University of Miami. She is a broadcast journalism major with a marketing minor. Courtney aspires to work in journalism or public relations. She spent two summers interning for the
“Howard Stern Show” and loved the creative part of the internship. She also spent one summer as a public relations intern for Theory Inc. Courtney is from Westchester, N.Y., and is looking to live in New York City after she graduates in May. ​

Chelsea HarringtonChelsea Harrington (c.harrington4@umiami.edu) is a senior in the School of Communication, majoring in print journalism and minoring in political science. Originally from Plymouth, Mass., she is inspired by the culture and the constantly energized vibe of life in Miami. She has interned with Wicked Local News in Massachusetts, as well as, Ocean Drive magazine in Miami. Upon graduation in May, she has plans to move to New York to further her writing career. ​

Emily JosephEmily Joseph (e.joseph4@umiami.edu) is a junior from Tampa, Fla., studying public relations and journalism. Her hobbies include running, traveling and sports. She enjoys comedy and dramatic movies (“Argo” is her favorite) and aspires to write or work for a sports team. A gluten-free foodie, she favors farm-to-table restaurants with an emphasis on organic ingredients.


Alexandra KlumppAlex Klumpp (a.klumpp@umiami.edu) is a senior double majoring in broadcast journalism and English. She’s a Miami native and loves her city, but she can’t sit still once the school bells ring. She spent the past two summers interning on the West Coast and the first five months of 2014 living in Madrid. Her free time is spent immersed in novels, reading two to three books a month and watching classic and contemporary must-see films with friends and a bottle(s) of wine. Her future is unknown, but it’s bright.

Brenda McGraneBrenda McGrane (b.mcgrane@umiami.edu) is an aspiring journalist and food and spirits enthusiast. Brenda is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in public relations. Born in Miami and raised in Slovakia, Brenda grew up learning to speak Slovak and Czech. When Brenda is not immersed in her books, travels or culinary adventures, she works full-time as a retail senior assistant store manager. Brenda is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and is currently the communications manager for UMiami’s Public Relations Experience Program (P.R.E.P.). After graduating, Brenda hopes to see more of the world and write about journeys with the company of her dog, Sydnee. ​

Brandon MichaelsBrandon Michaels (b.michaels3@umiami.edu) is a junior. He is a pre-law student with a focus on print journalism with a minor in public relations. He is from New York and went to Byram Hills High school in Armonk. Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, he is an avid New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets fan. Brandon, the son of a lawyer, has always envisioned taking after his father and going to law school. Knowing how vital writing is to law, he hopes he can use his writing background to become a successful New York attorney. ​

Melissa OstroffMelissa Ostroff (m.ostroff@umiami.edu) is a junior at the University of Miami. Her major is journalism with a minor in advertising. Melissa is originally from Chicago, but she hopes to one day live in New York City or San Francisco. She would ideally like to work for either an online or print publication, or at an advertising and marketing firm. In her free time, Melissa enjoys such activities as photography, graphic design, and travel. ​


Autumn RobertsonAutumn Robertson (a.robertson4@umiami.edu) is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and meteorology with aspirations of becoming a broadcast meteorologist. Robertson is president of Future Black Communications Professionals, a Toppel Career Center ambassador and was on-air meteorologist for the UMTV “Newsvision” program in 2013. Her other commitments include the Miss University of Miami Pageant committee, a Black Awareness Month member for United Black Students, and public relations chair for SPARK, a national mentoring program for girls in the third through fifth grades.

Julie RoldanJulie Roldan (j.roldan1@umiami.edu) is a senior majoring in English literature and Spanish language with a minor in journalism. She was born in Puerto Rico, but soon moved to the Northeast U.S. suburbs where she yearned to return to Latin culture. She attributes the origination of this desire to her father — a Mexican immigrant who woke her up every Saturday morning with the sound of mariachi music and the taste of his special chilaquiles. Julie’s love for music grew beyond mariachi when she began to study classical piano. Her performance career was unfortunately cut short by a severe illness, which in turn inspired her to learn more about health and nutrition. Although she is always looking for the newest “green” cafés and juicers, she admits she still can’t say no to a good “medianoche” sandwich. Julie believes the atmosphere of Miami encompasses many of her life passions and interests.

Melissa SotoMelissa Soto (m.soto10@umiami.edu) is a senior. Her major is journalism and minor is international studies. She is from Miami and previously attended Coral Gables Senior High School. Throughout her life, she spent a lot of time outdoors and involved in different sports. She danced and, after becoming bored with it, decided to become a competitive swimmer. From it, she has made life-long friends and quickly learned discipline and structure for a daily routine. She is not sure in which direction she wants her life to take her with a degree in journalism, but she does believe she wants to do something with marine conservation through writing. Growing up in Miami, as a swimmer and recently studying abroad in Australia, the ocean has become a more prominent focus in her life. She hopes, through writing, that she is able to conserve the oceans and, more importantly, educate people on the destruction happening daily to the world’s oceans. ​

Joshua StoneJoshua Stone (j.stone7@umiami.edu) is a senior majoring in print journalism and minoring in film. Josh grew up in exotic Boca Raton, where yes, your grandparents may reside. After graduating welding school, he moved to Miami with his wife, and later starter writing for a small Fort Lauderdale magazine before returning to school. He is a published and active automotive journalist and also enjoys snowboarding. A love of cars brought him into welding and writing and led to exploration of photography and cinematography. When he’s not studying, at school, or at his marketing internship, his time is spent with his wonderful wife Emily (a UM Law grad) and his two dogs Tilly and Turbo.

Siyuan Sharry TongSiyuan (Sharry) Tong (s.tong1@umiami.edu) is a junior from Hangzhou, China, a beautiful city close to Shanghai. Her major is journalism with minors in political science, philosophy and economics. She is passionate about life and loves traveling. She became interested in writing and design after taking classes in the area and became a contributing writer and designer for Distraction​ magazine. She would like to work in a media-related area and continue to write or design after graduation, but she is also interested in grad school.

Maggie Urban-WaalaMaggie Urban-Waala (m.urbanwaala@umiami.edu) is in her last year as a journalism major at UM. Most of her time there is spent managing the news sector of WVUM 90.5 as the news director, working as an executive producer of UMTV’s NewsVision, and working as a contributing photographer for The Miami Hurricane. She spent her first two years at Hofstra University as a staff writer and columnist for The Hofstra Chronicle. She currently interns in special projects at Fusion, working on stories used to make miniseries. She began studying journalism in hopes of spreading her humanitarian focus and genuine concern for social awareness. Her future dream is to work for Vice.

Donatela VaccaDonatela Vacca (d.vacca@umiami.edu) is a senior majoring in journalism and French. Originally from Buenos Aires, she moved to Miami as a freshman looking for a chance to explore new cultures and pursue her passion for writing and traveling. She is fluent in Spanish, English, and French, and is learning Chinese. Donatella is a contributor for The Miami Hurricane and currently works as assistant photo editor of Distraction magazine. Born a book lover, a creative writer, and a film geek, Donatella is expanding her horizons when it comes to reviewing some of her favorite art forms: movies, books, plays, and food. After graduation, she hopes to find a job that will allow her to both write and explore the world.​

Audrey WinkelsasAudrey Winkelsas (a.winkelsas@umiami.edu) is a senior majoring in biochemistry and pursuing journalism as a minor. After graduating, she plans to go to graduate school in the biomedical sciences. In addition to working in the lab, Audrey hopes to do science journalism. She believes effective communication is vital in science, not only between researchers but also with the public. Audrey’s passion is singing in choir at church. Her love of music and cathedrals took her to England for fall 2013. Having studied abroad in London, Audrey hopes to travel more and would also like to write about accessible travel for people with disabilities.

Spring 2014 members are listed below:

Pablo ChaconPablo Chacon-Alvarez (p.chacon2@umiami.edu) is a senior at UM double majoring in creative writing and journalism. He was born in Bogota, Colombia, but moved to Miami when he was seven years old and he has been living there since. After graduation, he plans to devote himself full time to establishing a career in the music industry as an entertainer. He is the main vocalist and lyricist for the band Dinosaurs ‘N Disasters, The group’s first EP, “Life After Youth,” was released in November 2010. With his band, he has performed all over Miami, as well as in Tallahassee, Atlanta, and New York City. His first love was writing and his passion is music.

Natalie GoenagaGoenaga, Natalie (n.goenaga@umiami.edu) is a Miami girl who grew up in an incredibly loud and tight-knit family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many cousins. She has two supportive parents who have been together since they were 17, making them the greatest love story she will ever know. Her sister is two years younger and currently taking on the culinary world. Natalie is the oldest of all the cousins, so growing up, she was always in the spotlight. She has always known what she wanted to do. She was always the dreamer of her family, dancing and singing, acting and modeling since the day she turned 8. At 22, she is still doing all those things, living life to its fullest, and on her way to becoming an Emmy-award winning entertainment broadcast journalist thanks to the UM.

Gina GoldbergGina Goldberg (ginag0510@gmail.com) is a Miami native and a senior majoring in advertising (the creative track) with a minor in public relations. She recently interned for the Los Angeles-based artists FriendsWithYou. Gina enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures around the world. She recently took a missionary trip in Costa Rica and she has been a member of numerous non-for-profit organizations. In 2011, she was featured as one of the cover girls for Social Affairs magazine “Top Faces in Philanthropy”. She has a passion for photography and The Miami Heat.

Victoria HernandezVictoria Hernandez (vrhernandez116@gmail.com) is majoring in journalism and sport administration. She is currently an intern at CaneInsider where she reports on Miami Hurricanes football and basketball. She grew up in Colorado, but was born in California. Victoria is passionate about the arts and has danced since she was three years old. This has inspired her to pursue a minor in dance. She enjoys hip-hop music, inspirational biographies, baby back ribs, and all things sports. To date, the highlight of her college career was Urban-Project Los Angeles with Athletes in Action. While her dream job is to work for ESPN, she is excited to go wherever God takes her.

Katie JacksonKatie Jackson (k.jackson16@umiami.edu) is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science. She is a reporter for the UM Television entertainment show “UMTV Pulse,” and has been a production crew member for other UMTV shows including, “Newsvision,” “Sportsdesk,” and “UniMiami.” She was a creative services intern for NBC 6 South Florida, working for the daily lifestyle/entertainment show “6 in the Mix.” She was also an editorial intern for Ocean Drive magazine. After completing her internship with Ocean Drive, she realized that, in addition to broadcast reporting, she also has a passion for writing and is now working on creating her own fashion and lifestyle blog. After graduation, she would like to work as a reporter for an entertainment show while continuing writing for her blog.

Valerie LopezValerie Lopez (valerielopz@me.com) is a Colombian-raised / Miami based photojournalist soon to graduate from University of Miami with a B.A. degree in journalism and photography minor. She has worked as a freelancer for more than three years along with different firms in the creative industry. Valerie has a strong attachment to her cameras, journal, and books, if you don’t find her shooting, she will be traveling or looking for her next adventure.


Melissa MallinMelissa Mallin (m.mallin@umiami.edu) is a 21-year-old student. Graduating from Winter Springs High School in 2010, she went on to study a year of photojournalism at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. In 2012, she graduated with an Associates degree from Valencia College in Orlando. As a senior, she continues to work on her BFA in photojournalism at the University of Miami. She is currently the assistant photo editor and photo online blog editor of Distraction magazine. Her interests include nature and documentary photography, electronic dance music (EDM), reading and writing. Her career goals include working for National Geographic, the Associated Press or any other major photography publication.

Roxana MazaRoxana Maza (Roxymaza@aol.com) is a student majoring in print journalism and minoring in psychology. Maza, 21, was born in Los Angeles, but was raised in Miami and speaks English and Spanish. She is of Peruvian descent. Transferring from Miami Dade College to UM in the spring 2013 after earning her Associate in Arts, she graduated with highest honors. She has recently discovered an interest in public relations and is considering a minor. Currently working with Ocean Drive magazine as an editorial intern, she aims to move to New York City after graduation and work as an editor and writer at a magazine. Happily suffering from an everlasting case of wanderlust, she hopes to do travel writing and photography. She enjoys everything revolving around culture and especially enjoys learning and taking part in cultures of other regions. Her most memorable experience was traveling to Tokyo last spring break, feeding her strong interest in Asian culture.

Ashley McBrideAshley McBride (a.mcbride@umiami.edu) is a 21-year-old junior from Tampa with a major in journalism and minors in Africana studies and human and social development. She currently works as the copy chief for the University of Miami Ibis yearbook as well as a contributing writer and photographer for the Ibis, and as a senior news writer for The Miami Hurricane. McBride has also contributed articles and photography to Distraction magazine. She enjoys reading and photography in her spare time and her favorite authors are Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. After graduating, she wants to attend graduate school to study media, communication, and culture. Eventually, McBride wants to work to gain exposure for underrepresented and marginalized communities through news journalism, and work to change the portrayal of many of these groups in the media.

Kassandra MeyerKassandra Meyer (k.meyer7@umiami.edu) is a journalism graduate student. She is also a musician and has spent her undergraduate years studying at Berklee College of Music. Born in Florida and raised in Puerto Rico, Kassandra spent her childhood learning Spanish, reading books, and observing the lives around her. When she is not delving into a book, she loves watching Criterion Collection films and reading their film essays. She also enjoys attending local art openings and music shows. She moved to Miami in 2013 and quickly became a follower of the city’s burgeoning art scene. She admires the works of Joan Didion, Stephen Shore, and Brian Eno. One day, Kassandra hopes to write a novel, buy a bicycle, and witness the end of Miley Cyrus’ career.

Aisha MoktadierAisha Moktadier (a.moktadier@umiami.edu) is a senior, double majoring in journalism and international studies. Born and raised in Miami, she has also traveled to several parts of the world including parts of Europe, China, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Moktadier is interested in pursuing a career writing feature stories for a newspaper about social and cultural issues and change occurring in different parts of the world once she graduates. She is currently working on a research project that addresses the effect homosexuality in motion pictures has had on policy-making in Europe and also studies issues of women’s rights in Third World countries. She currently contributes stories and photographs to The Miami Hurricane and interned and published blog posts for the Wynwood Arts District Association in summer 2013.

Emelia NunnEmelia Nunn (emelia676@gmail.com) is a senior double majoring in print journalism and English with a concentration in creative writing. She is currently an office assistant for the UM’s Student Accounts office and has worked as a contributing writer for The Miami Hurricane, Communique and Fort Pierce Magazine. Following graduation, she plans on attending graduate school for an M.F.A. in creative writing, to better reach her goal of becoming a published novelist. Emelia loves animals and has done extensive work with South Florida wildlife rehabs and animal shelters. Other interests include wildlife photography, films, reading, writing and refinishing antique furniture.

Jackie SaloJacqueline Salo (jackie.salo@gmail.com) is a junior at the University of Miami studying print journalism and political science. Currently, she is an intern at The Miami Herald, where she writes for the Neighbors section. She is not new to covering to community news, having written for Long Island’s daily newspaper, Newsday, over the summer. On campus at UM, she contributes to The Miami Hurricane, covering a wide range of topics. When she graduates, Jackie hopes to work for a Web site.

Jess SwansonJess Swanson (j.swanson2@umiami.edu) is a senior studying print journalism and English literature. Currently, she is an intern at New Times Broward Palm Beach’s news blog, The Daily Pulp. Previously she was the editorial intern at Ocean Drive magazine where she published monthly articles and brainstormed trends in art, travel, food and drink, beauty, and fashion. On campus, she is a staff writer at The Miami Hurricane and contributes to Distraction, where she was copy chief.

Ashley ZimmermanAshley Zimmerman (a.zimmerman1@umiami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in history. Born in New Jersey, she came to South Florida with her family at age 13. As a teenager she found a love of acting, singing, and theater when she enrolled in summer camp at the Coral Springs Center of the Arts. While her love is writing, she still enjoys the arts in various forms. She has written for The Miami Hurricane covering both news and entertainment. As as intern with City Link (owned by the Sun-Sentinel) Ashley wrote for the “Best Bet” section. She plans to use her writing and photography skills for a career as an environmental journalist.

Spring 2013 members of our group are listed below:

Alejandra AcunaAlejandra Acuña (m.acuna@umiami.edu) is a student at the University of Miami, where she is majoring in journalism and international studies. Acuña, 20, will receive her Bachelor of Science degree in May 2013. She has worked as a Section Editor in the Ibis, the University of Miami Yearbook, and as a contributing writer for Distraction Magazine, the on-campus magazine for the students at UM. She was an intern at Univision Communications in Miami, Fla., and is a freelance writer for Ournationalparks.org and themiamiplanet.org, both online publications. She was also an intern for the social media department at Venue Magazine, a luxury magazine for South Florida Latin-American market. She wrote lifestyle stories for the website in Spanish and English. Acuña wants to chisel her writing skills in Syracuse University, getting a Masters in Journalism of the Arts in hopes of becoming a staff writer or editor for a magazine.

Elizabeth de ArmasElizabeth de Armas (e.dearmas@umiami.edu) is a senior at the University of Miami, born and raised in the Sunshine State. Majoring in journalism and minoring in sociology, de Armas is the opinion editor of UM’s award-winning newspaper, The Miami Hurricane. She is also a contributing writer for the university’s yearbook, The Ibis, and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Golden Key International Honor Society and of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She writes part time as a reporter for The Miami Herald. In the summer between her junior and senior year, de Armas interned for an online publication in Washington, D.C., Hispanic Link News Service. In Washington, she covered the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Capitol Hill, and various other political events. de Armas describes herself as dedicated, tenacious and motivated. She plans on attending graduate school for her Master’s degree in journalism and hopes to become a political or investigative reporter for The New York Times.

Isabel BradorIsabel Brador (i.brador@umiami.edu) Isabel is a junior studying print journalism and history at the University of Miami. While she was born in the Dominican Republic she was raised in Miami and has fallen in love with Florida, particularly the beaches on the West Coast and the diverse culture of South Florida. She is a staff writer at the university’s student paper The Miami Hurricane, has worked as a blogger for the health company mindfulCITY, and has served as a press intern for the Good Government Initiative. She loves writing about cultural events, particularly food and theater reviews. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in either Florida history or in Early Modern English history.

Melissa CastilloMelissa Castillo (m.castillo16@umiami.edu) was born in Miami, Fla., in 1991. She developed a passion for writing at a young age and had been pursuing a future as a non-fiction author and journalist ever since. She began writing a book in high school and has written several short stories along the way. Castillo honed her skills through her studies at the University of Miami and internships at The Miami Herald and an online news networking site, Open Media Miami. She continues to write and study journalism but has recently come across a new passion and career path. After taking a few international studies courses, Castillo became deeply interested in ethnic wars and the effects it has on its people. She has been exploring the possibility of being an international lawyer focused on humanitarian issues around the world.

Nancy CermenoNancy Cermeño (n.cermeno@umiami.edu) is a junior at the University of Miami where she majors in visual journalism and motion pictures. She was born in Granada, Nicaragua, and came to the U.S. just in time for the 1990s in Miami. Nancy is passionate about pedagogy and environmental journalism and is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists. You can find some of her stories on TheMiamiPlanet.org and Ifanboy.com, where she writes reviews for comics. She loves and hates, but mostly loves, Miami — the way you do a troubled family member — and may or may not have a 305 tattoo. Nancy considers time and water the two most precious things in the world and wishes people would pay more attention.

Nicky DiazNicky Diaz (a.diaz40@umiami.edu) is a junior majoring in journalism with minors in mathematics and education. She enjoys music and plays three instruments — the clarinet, piano and guitar. She has been to more than 40 concerts. Nicky is the copy chief at The Miami Hurricane and she also works as a reporter for The Miami Herald. She has also written for Miami New Times. Nicky has lived in Miami for 20 years, but she hopes to move to Los Angeles or New York City soon.

Alejandra GutierrezAlejandra Gutiérrez (a.gutierrez16@umiami.edu) is a senior at the University of Miami. She was born in Medellín, Colombia, and currently lives in Miami, Fla., where she is double majoring in journalism and international studies. She was anchor and reporter for the University of Miami news in Spanish, UniMiami, and has written stories for The Miami Hurricane. She is member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She was an intern at Univision, where she covered local, national and international news. She collaborated in a report that was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2010. Gutierrez describes herself as dedicated and persistent. She plans to attend graduate school in France for her master’s degree in international media.

Rachel JanosecRachel Janosec (r.janosec@umiami.edu) is a senior in the School of Communication at the University of Miami and is from New Jersey. She is majoring in print journalism and minoring in psychology. She has a passion for editing, writing, and everything fashion and hopes post graduation to write for a fashion magazine and to travel around Europe freelancing. A combination of fashion and travel writing would be an ideal job position for Rachel after graduate school in California. She is also interested in social media work and writing reviews for food and music. Rachel has worked at True Divinity, a fashion showroom in New York City, as its blogger and social media writer.

Hadley JordanHadley Jordan (h.jordan@umiami.edu) is a senior at the University of Miami, double majoring in visual journalism and studio art. She has a passion for storytelling and is pursuing a career making documentaries. She has filmed and produced several short documentaries and photo essays and has been published in The Miami Herald. She has worked on a full length documentary and will be traveling to South Africa in June to work on another. She is currently a staff photographer for The Miami Hurricane. Hadley loves the arts; she plays a few instruments and is a visual artist as well, working in different media such as painting, photography, and ceramics.

Mike LaSusaMike LaSusa (mlasusa2000@yahoo.com) is a senior at the University of Miami. After completing his degree in communication with majors in journalism and international studies, he plans to pursue a career in political journalism. Mike currently works for the University of Miami’s Center for Hemispheric Policy, which examines critical issues affecting countries in the Western Hemisphere through its policy discussions on economic, and political developments, business and trade, U.S. policy and security issues. He has a long-time passion for literature, cinema, and music and has written a few amateur reviews as well as some freelance articles on environmental issues. Mike is currently working on a blog (mikelasusa.wordpress.com), which analyzes the coverage of political current events from a number of well-known blogs.

Laura MorcateLaura Morcate (l.morcate@umiami.edu) is a junior pursuing a dual major in electronic media and motion pictures at the University of Miami. She works closely with UMTV, the award-winning cable television station on campus. She specializes in multimedia production and has a passion for all aspects of filmmaking including writing, producing, and cinematography. Laura is always searching for something new and inspiring, and is excited to explore and share some of the latest trends in art, film, literature, television and the culinary world.

Stephanie Parra copyStephanie Parra (s.parra1@umiami.edu) is a junior majoring in political science and journalism, and minoring in French and history. The first week of her freshman year, she joined The Miami Hurricane staff as a copy editor and reporter. Since then, she has worked on the staff as the copy chief and news editor. In late July of 2011, she began interning for The Miami Herald. She covered a variety of topics including Key Biscayne politics, holiday happenings and random feature stories. After graduation, she plans on attending law school and graduate school.

Vanessa RamosVanessa Ramos (v.ramos4@umiami.edu) is a senior at the University of Miami majoring in print journalism and English and minoring in marketing. She has written for The Miami Hurricane and Ibis yearbook and has edited for Distraction magazine and UM’s undergraduate literary journal, Mangrove. In the spring of 2011, she interned as a writer for the travel website DavidsBeenHere.com. She enjoys reading blogs and reviews that cover anything from entertainment news to books and TV shows. Her favorite shows are HBO’s Girls and PBS’s Downton Abbey. In the future, she hopes to turn her passion for writing and pop culture into a career.

Daniela RodriguezDaniela Rodriguez (cdaniela8107@gmail.com) was born in Colombia and raised in Miami. She has a great eye for detail and fashion. Even though she is interested in politics, her passion lies in the world of fashion. With internships at Haute Living magazine, Antenna magazine in New York, and MTV Tr3s, she has learned a great amount of fashion journalism. She also has experience as a stylist, working as a fashion assistant. She is currently a blogger for The305 website. After graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in print journalism and a minor in international studies, she hopes to move to move to New York and work her way up to be an editor for a major fashion magazine.

Kevin SandsKevin Sands (k.sands@umiami.edu) is an on-air DJ and the music director of 90.5 WVUM-FM. Raised in Celebration, Florida, Kevin is generally considered a fun* person to be around**.
* Statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. Not guaranteed to be genuinely fun, perceived “funness” could be little more than a flimsy façade. Surgeon General’s Warning: Kevin Sands has been linked to increased exposure to long, pointless tangents, people who wear at least a sport jacket regardless of how casual the event is, independent music, and manual typewriters.

Brittany-WeinerBrittany Weiner (b.weiner1@umiami.edu) is a senior at the University of Miami majoring in print journalism, with minors in art and marketing. She was born and raised in Marlboro, N.J. Brittany and has been published in many on campus publications including Distraction Magazine and The Miami Hurricane. She is currently the Lifestyles editor of the Ibis yearbook. For the past two summers, Brittany has held internships in New York City. In the summer between her sophomore and junior years, she interned at Woman’s Day magazine, and this previous summer she was a beauty editorial intern for Allure magazine. She has interests in fashion, music, photography, and art, and is an aspiring fashion editor of a magazine. After graduation, Brittany plans on looking for a job within the magazine industry in either fashion or entertainment.

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