Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Latest on Bloomrose

Lt. Mike Bloomrose, JAGC, USN '02 has been working for the Multi-National Force Iraq, Task Force 134 - Detainee Operations since mid-October. Mike is the Special Release Attorney for TF-134 Legal. As the Special Release Attorney, Mike reviews requests to specially release Coalition Forces security detainees. Mike works at Camp Victory just outside of Baghdad, Iraq. He will return to the United States at the end of the Spring.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Star Tribune Hires Quintanilla

After two consecutive internships, Matt Quintanilla was recently hired by the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as a news designer.
He's already in the rotation of A1 designers but has done plenty of work in the local section, business, features and even a few stints at, a free entertainment weekly produced by the Star Tribune.
This is Matt's first job and he looks forward to being part of the coverage of the Republican National Convention in September. Matt worked at The Ithacan for four years in a number of positions — design editor, editor of The Ithacan Online, editor/lead designer of Year In Review and opinion editor.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Louison in the Times

Cole Louison ’00, who has been working for GQ in New York for quite a while now (he recently interviewed Ted Nugent for them) has just had his first story published in the New York Times. "Tangled Up in Blue" ran in the Times on December 2. Check it out.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Familiar Faces

The fall semester meeting of the Park Scholar Alumni Advisory Board brought a bunch of recent alums to town this weekend. In addition to being able to spend some time with Joe and Brenda (Ludwig) Geraghty (class of ’04 and ”03, respectively) and Michelle (Theis) Cuthrell ’05, I was also able to say hello to Kate Sheppard ’06, Katie Borges Farnham ’03, Brad Bisbing ’01 and Brian Dashew ’06.
Then when I was at Mass on Sunday morning, who turns up but James Sigman’98, who was in town with Anthony Iaffaldano ’99, Mike Cagnazzi ’98 and others celebrating Anthony’s 30th birthday at Maxie’s. Happy Birthday, Anthony!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Barajas Accepted by Times Journalism Institute

Many of our alumni have had the opportunity to meet current senior Nic Barajas at events in New York and Washington over the past year. Nic has been the paper's assistant design editor, design editor and managing editor, and is currently serving as online editor.
Well here's some exciting news: Nic has just been accepted into this year's The New York Times Journalism Institute, which will take place January 2–13 at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
The Institute brings students together with writers, editors and designers and photographers from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Times Company Regional papers for 11 days of reporting, editing, designing and taking photographs as they cover real news events. Throughout the program, students have opportunities for intense discussions with award-winning journalists on everything from the nuts and bolts of the everyday life of journalists to the larger issues of the profession. Students selected to attend have all their expenses paid, including transportation, and also receive a stipend. The Institute is offered in collaboration with the Black College Communications Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Congratulations, Nic!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fennessey Returns!

Sean Fennessey ’03 was in town last weekend for the Cortaca game and took time to stop by the Ithacan office to meet with some of our current students. After stints at Complex and Stuff magazines in New York, he is currently the associate music editor at Vibe, where he runs two sections of the magazine and assigns reviews. He shared his experience in magazine journalism and offered the students advice on preparing for the professional world. This was his first visit to campus since graduating.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ms. Hendry Goes to Washington

Also while we were in Washington at the conference, my friend John Gizzi, political editor at Human Events, invited me and Ithacan editor in chief Erica Hendry to accompany him to the Oct. 26 White House press briefing. He introduced us to members of the White House press corps, and Erica had the opportunity to meet White House Press Secretary Dana Perino (shown above, right, with Erica).

Dinner with D.C. Alumni

The fall conference in Washington last month (see previous post) was a good opportunity to hook up with D.C.–area Ithacan alumni. Dean Lynch was kind enough to pick up the tab for dinner at the historic Old Ebbit Grill near the White House. Current editor in chief Erica Hendry was introduced to a group of her predecessors that included four former editors in chief, two former managing editors and three former news editors.
Shown above, left to right: David Wilkinson, Vanessa Leong ’00, Anna Uhls ’07, junior Erica Hendry, Melissa Bluey ’00, Rob Bluey ’01, Charlie Ellsworth ’04, Caitlin Connelly ’05, Joe Geraghty ’04, Brenda (Ludwig) Geraghty ’03, Anne (Walters) Custer ’05 and Roger Custer ’04.

Another Online Pacemaker!

It's fall conference season again. This year the National College Media Convention was held in Washington, D.C., Oct. 24–28, and for the second consecutive year The Ithacan was awarded the Online Pacemaker Award by the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers. The award recognizes overall excellence and is generally considered "the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism."
This is important recognition for our Web site which, if you read it you'll know, has become a major focus of our journalistic efforts in recent years. Gone are the days when we simply shoveled the print edition onto the Web. The Ithacan Online still has everything the print edition has, but also has breaking news, daily sports coverage and plenty of online-only features and multimedia content.
But that wasn't the only recognition the paper received at the conference. Our own Evan Falk, a junior TV-R major, took first place in the convention's "D.C. Portrait" competition, an on-site photo shoot-out that challenged the participants to capture aspects of life in the city. Evan's prize-winning photograph was of a Viet Nam vet visiting the grave of another vet who had saved his life during the war. You can check out the winning photo here. He also received honorable mention for a second photo he submitted.
The Ithacan was also recognized at the convention's Design Showcase, which identified the best work from among the papers participating in the conference. Our "Model Behavior" Accent front from October 11 was cited as an example of dynamic design, and our Accentuate and Buzzer pages were identified as the judges' favorite examples of creative presentation.
More to come on the Washington trip.
(Left to right in photo above: Assistant Sports Editor Cory Francer, Online Sports Editor Brendan O'Keefe, News writer Tristan Fowler, Editor in Chief Erica Hendry, Design Editor Lena Yue, News Editor Erin Geismar, Assistant News Editor Tricia Nadolny, and photographer Evan Falk.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Beth Quill Goes to England

Elizabeth Quill ’06 (editor in chief 2005-06) began an internship at Science magazine in this month after completing her master’s degree in science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She will be writing daily news stories for Science’s Web site and also contributing front matter to the weekly magazine. (Here’s the address for the dailies in case you want to indulge in your geekier side ( Aside from a summer internship at The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington D.C., Quill moves from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Cambridge, England for this six-month gig. Perks of living and working abroad include exploring lovely Cambridge, taking occasional business trips to London, and having the freedom to rattle on about everything from cell biology to particle physics without puzzling her colleagues. Though she still gets funny looks for other reasons.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Keeping Busy, As Usual

Three years after graduating from Ithaca College, Michelle Cuthrell (December ’04) spends her days with her Army husband in the rainy suburbs of Seattle, Washington, where she works as a personal chef, chauffer, nurse, nanny, maid, tutor, playmate, teacher and professional motivator — and that's just for her 18-month-old son, Connor. Outside of life as a mother and military wife, Michelle works from her home office as the editor in chief of Good Catch Publishing, a Portland-based Christian publishing company, and volunteers her services at Fort Lewis Army post and Capital Christian Center. Between toddler gym classes and military functions, Michelle has also completed her first book, a memoir about dealing on the home front with the unprecedented 16-month-long deployment of her husband to Iraq.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Schultz Becomes a Navy Lawyer

Matt Schultz ’00 (assistant sports editor, Spring 1998) is a United States Navy Officer in the JAG Corps. He is currently at Naval Justice School in Newport, R.I. and will graduate in mid-December. Following graduation he will head west to Naval Legal Service Office Northwest in Bremerton, Wash. After graduating from IC, Matt lived in London and traveled through Southeast Africa before returning to Minnesota and going to law school at the University of St. Thomas. He practiced law for two years before joining the Navy, focusing mostly on large civil litigation and anti-trust issues.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Helping Children in Need

Ellen (Stapleton) Hale ’03 (editor in chief 2002-03) started work in August as the communications assistant for Sunrise Children’s Services, a faith-based nonprofit in Louisville, Ky. Sunrise provides care for hurting children and families across Kentucky through seven residential treatment programs for teenagers in state custody, foster care services, adoption services and outpatient counseling centers.
Ellen’s duties on the three-person communications team vary from writing and sending news releases to preparing for special events to monitoring news clippings. She also is the go-to proofreader for agency publications and finds topics for the president’s blog.
In addition, Ellen was hired as a freelance writer for Good Catch Publishing, where her former Ithacan opinion editor Michelle Cuthrell ’05 is editor in chief. Ellen can be reached at

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ithacan Ranked as Gold Medalist

The Ithacan was recently named a gold medalist for the fall 2006 and spring 2007 semesters in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's annual college newspaper critique.
Each year the CSPA evaluates member papers on overall content, news, depth reporting, features, opinion/editorial, sports, arts/entertainment, editing/headline writing, and design/graphics on the basis of more than 150 specific criteria.
This year the paper's scores on the critique's 1,000-point scale was a near-perfect 994 for fall and 994 for spring.
The judge commented: "Clearly you are producing a top-notch paper. For me, the most appealing part of your product is the variety of topics being covered. They vary from serious topics to amusing and inventive ones."
The Ithacan is consistently ranked as a gold medalist in the CSPA critique.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Anna Uhls at the Post

Anna Uhls ’07 began working at in August. First hired as an editor in the Interactivity section, she worked with reader involvement and contribution to the site, including commenting, discussions, blogging, and new applications. This also allowed her to work on future innovative and exciting projects for the booming section on the site.
About a month after she began, a position in the Politics section opened at After interviewing, she got the job, and now splits her hours between Interactivity and Politics. She is thrilled with the opportunity to work with the editors and reporters on the politics team at the WashPost during such an exciting time in Washington.
But more importantly, last week at the WaPo T-shirt Contest, she got the honorary award (it didn't exist until she got there) of "Nerdiest" for her X-Files “Trust No One” shirt. She thinks she should have won “Sweetest.”

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bloomrose to Head for Iraq

Lieutenant Mike Bloomrose ’02 (editor in chief 2000–01), Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Navy, has volunteered for a six-month deployment as an individual augmentee to Iraq. Bloomrose will be working at Task Force 134, which acts as a liaison with the Iraqi criminal court system. Bloomrose will be deployed from mid-September 2007 to late April 2008, including training time. His wife, Melissa (Thornley) Bloomrose ’02, continues to live in Groton, Conn., where she is working on her master's degree in elementary education at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Another Year Begins

The new year at The Ithacan started strong with a package reporting on the announced departures of the president and three deans in the first issue and a second issue full of solid writing. The multi-media components of the Web site are growing in quality and quantity every week. And the entire paper is now available in PDF form each week.
Shown above (left to right), Managing Editor Tahleen Ovian ’09, Editor in Chief Erica Hendry ’09, News Editor Erin Geismar ’09 and Assistant News Editor Kathy Laluk ’10 discuss one of the pages for this Thursday's issue.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Selingo Named Editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education

We learned today that Jeff Selingo ’95 (Ithacan editor in chief 1994) has been named editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education, the premier publication covering higher education. Jeff has been working there in a number of positions, most recently as an assistant managing editor. He is a consistent supporter of The Ithacan and was the prime mover behind the creation of the Ithacan Scholarhip. He is also a model of how far talent and hard work can get you. Congratulations, Jeff.

Another Former EIC Ties the Knot

Joe Geraghty ’04 (editor in chief 2003–04) and Brenda Ludwig ’03 were married June 2 in Latrobe, Pa., and the event attracted a considerable crowd of former Ithacan staffers. It was a beautiful ceremony and one of the livliest receptions I've attended in quite some time. The couple promptly moved from Bristol, Tenn., to Washington, D.C., where Joe is now a Deputy Legislative Aide for Senator Ben Nelson, the Nebraska Democrat who also employs Charlie Ellsworth ’04 in the same capacity.

Our Best Year Ever

As earlier postings indicate, the paper had a very good year as far as external recognition was concerned. When all was said and done, 2006–07 turned out to be the best awards year for the paper ever. Between recognition for The Ithacan as a whole and recognition of individuals for work publsihed in the paper, we brought home 28 awards this year. Here's the final list:

• 2006 Newspaper Pacemaker Award (for 2005–06 academic year)
• 2006 Online Pacemaker Award
• First Place Best of Show Award at the Fall National Student Media Conference, St. Louis, Missouri
(This was the first time a paper has won all three awards at one convention)

• 2007 Silver Crown Award (for Fall 2005 semester)
• 2007 Silver Crown Award (for Spring 2006 semester)
• "Apple Award" for Best of Show at the Spring 2007 Student Media Convention, New York City (4th time The Ithacan has won in the 6 years the award has been presented)
• Certificate of Merit, News Writing, Christopher Baxter ’08
• Certificate of Merit, Sports Column Writing, Alejandro de los Rios ’07
• Gold Medalist Certificate for Fall 2005 in CSPA's Annual Newspaper Critique
• Gold Medalist Certificate for Spring 2006 in CSPA's Annual Newspaper Critique

• Best Overall Newspaper (category includes weeklies and dailies; this is the 7th time in 8 years The Ithacan has won)
• First Place, General Excellence
• First Place, Best College Newspaper Website
• First Place, Editorial
• Second Place, Design
• First Place, News Story, Christopher Baxter ’08, "Who's Looking?" February 9, 2006.
• Second Place, News Story, William Earl ’08, "Unlocked: Room Security Not Enforced," March 2, 2006.
• Third Place, News Story, Mallory Diamond ’09, "Ithaca College's Black Market," November 9, 2006.
• First Place, Feature Story, Vanessa Schneider ’07, "Living a Second Life," December 7, 2006.
• Second Place, Feature Story, Tricia Nadolny ’10, "Ghost Hunter," November 2, 2006.
• Third Place, Feature Story, Jim Hawver ’07, "Against the Pain," September 21, 2006.
• Second Place, Column, Kim Gillman ’07, "Wanted: Leader for Generation Y," January 19, 2006, and ""Haitian Workers Sweat for Sweets," February 16, 2006.
• First Place, Photography, Evan Falk ’09, "This I See: From the Field," November 16, 2006.
• Third Place, Photography, Chris White ’06, "Two-Year-Old Luna Payne of Varna Helps Her Mom..." April 13, 2006.

• Mark of Excellence Award, Second Place, Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper
• Mark of Excellence Award, Second Place, General News Reporting, Mallory Diamond ’09, "Ithaca College's Black Market," November 9, 2006.
• Mark of Excellence Award, In-Depth Reporting, Second Place, Christopher Baxter ’08, "Screenings on Standby," September 21, 2006.
• Mark of Excellence Award, Third Place, Feature Writing, Vanessa Schneider ’07, "Living a Second Life," December 7, 2006.

None of this would have been possible without the foundation and high standards set by alumni. Congratulations to everyone involved with the paper.

The First Park Student Media Alumni Reception

When we were in New York for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association conference in March (see March 23 blog entry) we held the first-ever Park Student Media alumni reception at the Roosevelt Hotel, inviting New York–area alums from the Ithacan, WICB and the radio stations to join us for a few hours of (free) food, drink and company. Eloise Greene M.S. ’90 (TV), Chris Wheatley ’81, M.S. ’98 (radio) and I hosted the event.
We were expecting close to 100 people, but a nasty St. Patrick's Eve snowstorm kept many of them away. Still, we had around 50 there, including quite a few Ithacan alums. The met some of our current students attending the conference and reconnected with each other.
Here (finally) is a photo of current and former Ithacan students from the event. Front row (left to right, of course): Vanessa Schneider ’07, Andy Swift ’09, Kristen Sammpiere ’03, James Sigman ’98, and Mike Cagnazzi ’98. Middle row: Nic Barajas ’08, Jamie Saine ’08, and Deepa Shah ’06. Back row: Brendan O'Keefe ’10, Lena Yue ’10, Erica Hendry ’09, Olivia Rebert ’10, Kelli B. Grant ’04, Liz Crowley ’04 and Adam Ellick ’99. Former Ithacan photo editor Scott McDermott ’97 got there too, but, ironically, too late for the photo.
Everyone had a terrific time, so we may do somethng like this again before long.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Meanwhile, at the New York Press Association

The New York Press Association once again has named The Ithacan the best college newspaper in New York state — for the seventh time in the past eight years. The award was presented at the NYPA conference in Saratoga Springs on April 7. The award was for the 2006 calendar year: spring editor: Beth Quill ’06; fall editor: Vanessa Schneider ’07.
In addition to taking the competition's top honor, the paper won the following awards in its strongest showing to date:
First Place, General Excellence
First Place, Best College Newpaper Website
First Place, Editoral
Second Place, Design
First Place, News Story, Christopher Baxter ’08, "Who's Looking?" February 9, 2006.
Second Place, News Story, William Earl ’08, "Unlocked: Room Security Not Enforced," March 2, 2006.
Third Place, News Story, Mallory Diamond ’09, "Ithaca College's Black Market," November 9, 2006.
First Place, Feature Story, Vanessa Schneider ’07, "Living a Second Life," December 7, 2006.
Second Place, Feature Story, Tricia Nadolny ’10, "Ghost Hunter," November 2, 2006.
Third Place, Feature Story, Jim Hawver ’07, "Against the Pain," September 21, 2006.
Second Place, Column, Kim Gillman ’07, "Wanted: Leader for Generation Y," January 19, 2006, and ""Haitian Workers Sweat for Sweets," February 16, 2006.
First Place, Photography, Evan Falk ’09, "This I See: From the Field," November 16, 2006.
Third Place, Photography, Chris White ’06, "Two-Year-Old Luna Payne of Varna Helps Her Mom..." April 13, 2006.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Crown and Best of Show Awards for The Ithacan

The Ithacan was presented with two Silver Crown Awards by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and an "Apple Award" for Best of Show at the Spring College Media Convention in New York City on March 17.

The Gold and Silver Crowns are the top honors awarded to college newspapers by the CSPA. The awards were for issues produced during the fall 2005 and spring 2006 semesters; Elizabeth Quill ’06 was the paper's editor in chief during that period.

The "Apple Award" is the convention's Best of Show award, presented in various categories for newspapers, magazines and yearbooks. The Ithacan has won this award four times in the six years it has been offered. This year's winning entry was produced during the fall semester under the editorship of Vanessa Schneider ’07.

In addition, Chris Baxter ’07 won a Certificate of Merit for News Feature Writing for Newspapers and Alejandro de los Rios ’07 won a Certificate of Merit for Sports Column Writing for Newspapers in CSPA's Gold Circle Awards.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More Alumni Updates

Joe Geraghty '04 (editor in chief, 2003-04) has been a city government reporter at the Bristol Herald Courier on the border of Virginia and Tennessee for the last two and a half years. After a June wedding to Brenda Ludwig '03, Geraghty will begin looking for his next job in journalism. Email him at

Ellen Stapleton Hale ’03 (editor in chief, 2002–03) is doing development work for the Presbyterian Homes for Children in Louisville, Kentucky, putting her journalism education to work to help children in need. She’s still at

Chris White ’06 (assistant news editor, 2004–05) is leaving his job producing the evening news at WVII-TV/WFVX-TV in Bangor, Maine, to produce a 30 -minute news show and 30-minute politics show weekdays at RNN-TV in Rye Brook, N.Y., just north of New York City. You can contact him at

Friday, February 23, 2007

Alumni Updates from Our Washington Bureau

Melissa Bloomrose Bluey ’00 (managing editor, 1999-2000) is the assistant art director of The Atlantic Monthly in Washington, D.C. She says she relies on skills learned in 269 Park Hall on a regular basis when designing at The Atlantic. E-mail her at

Rob Bluey ’01 (editor in chief, 1999–2000) has left his job as editor at Human Events Online in Washington, D.C., to move to the Heritage Foundation as director of their Center for Media and Public Policy. He recently contributed a guest commentary on political blogging to the Ithacan and has a blog of his own. You can reach him at

Caitlin Connelly ’05 (managing editor, 2003–04) is working as a program coordinator at the Center for Dispute Settlement, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC, where she works with local government agencies and schools to provide mediation/conflict resolution services and trainings to the community. “I'm definitely putting to work the conflict management and project management skills I learned to employ as managing editor!” she writes. She's at

Anne Walters Custer ’05 (editor in chief, 2004–05) is putting her dual Journalism/German majors to use as an editor and correspondent at the Deutsche Presse-Agentur wire service in Washington. E-mail her at

Charlie Ellsworth ’04 (sports editor, 2003–04), is also in Washington, employed as a deputy legislative assistant for Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), working primarily in communications and transportation policy issues. He hasn’t abandoned his interest in sports writing, though — he’s also working part-time for The Washington Post on the sports desk. E-mail address:

After leaving her job at Ratheon in Boston, living in Bolivia for a month and spending the summer working with the Center for Corporate Citizenship, Vanessa Leong ’00 (opinion editor, fall 2000) moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue an M.B.A. and Master’s in International Affairs at George Washington University. You can e-mail her at