Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Editor Erin Geismar Selected for New York Times Institute

Ithacan editor in chief Erin Geismar has been selected for this year’s New York Times Student Journalism Institute, to be held during winter break in Miami.
The institute offers student journalists an opportunity to work with prominent professionals in a newsroom environment. All expenses for students are paid, including transportation, and the students receive a stipend.
Nic Barajas ’08 attended last year’s institute. Now he’s designing pages for the Times.

Alumni Come to Town

Last weekend’s Park Scholar Alumni Board meeting brought a number of former Ithacan editors to town. We got to see Joe Geraghty ’04 and his wife Brenda (Ludwig) ’03; Katie Maslanka ’06, who is now doing campus ministry work in Denver; and Michelle (Theis) Cuthrell ’04.
Perhaps best of all, we finally got to meet Michelle’s 2-year-old son, Connor (shown with Michelle above), who was excited about his new baby brother or sister scheduled to arrive in April.
We also had dinner with Nic Barajas ’08, who happened to be in town as well. And they tell us the legendary Bill Earl ’08 was also around, but we didn’t get to see him.

Ithacan Ranked as Gold Medalist

The Ithacan has been named a gold medalist for the fall 2007 and spring 2008 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 newspaper’s scores on the critique’s 1,000 point scale were 948 for fall and 948 for spring.
The CSPA consistently ranks The Ithacan as a gold medalist, its highest category.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Meeting the New President

On November 19, Washington, D.C. alumni gathered at the Willard InterContinental Hotel on Pennsylvania Ave. to meet new Ithaca College President Tom Rochon. The event attracted a number of former Ithacan editors and staff members. Above (left to right): Steve Chaggaris ’94, Kelly Rohrer ’94, Jeff Selingo ’94, Kristin Muenzen ’00, Tom Rochon, Rob Bluey ’01, Melissa Bluey ’00, Melissa Bloomrose ’02, Anna Uhls ’07, Michael Bloomrose ’02, Joe Geraghty ’04, Nate Weixel ’08, senior Tristan Fowler and Anne Walters Custer ’05. Photo courtesy of Rob Bluey ’01.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vanessa Schneider and Anna Uhls Visit Digital Journalism

It’s been a good semester for Digital Journalism. We brought in two alums — Vanessa Schneider and Anna Uhls, both class of 2007 — to share their experiences with our current students. Vanessa is working for, and Anna for
Vanessa came October 7, and discussed her work with the Interactive unit at the Times. She supervises a staff of 13 comments moderators and works to develop new ways to involve readers with the Times site.
[Video courtesy of Erica Hendry. The volume is low, so turn it way up.]

She visited with Wes Siler, a blogger for (his title is Road Test Editor, which has to be the coolest job ever — he road-tests cars and motorcycles and then reviews them) and creator/editor of, a Web site for motorcycle enthusiasts. He talked about building a career as an online journalist and blogger. They both did double-duty in the class and as guest speakers for an evening SPJ evening meeting.

Anna Uhls (right in photo below) came to the class November 18 and talked about her work as a producer and video journalist at

Part of her job was covering both national party conventions and other campaign events for the Post. She spoke in two sections of Wenmouth Williams’ Media and Society course, Jeff Cohen’s Covering the Election and then in Digital Journalism, as well as meeting with students in an SPJ evening session.
We’re fortunate to have alums like these willing to share their experience and stay involved with the program.

Monday, November 03, 2008

More Pacemakers for The Ithacan

The Ithacan’s status as one of the best college newspapers in the country was reaffirmed this weekend when the paper was awarded the 2008 Pacemaker and Online Pacemaker awards — widely regarded as “the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism — by the Associated College Press. The 2008 award is for work published during the 2007–08 academic year (Erica R. Hendry, editor in chief).

The Pacemaker recognizes excellence in college and university print publications; the Online Pacemaker is awarded to outstanding collegiate Web sites. This is the third time The Ithacan has won the Pacemaker in the past four years, and the third year in a row it has won the Online Pacemaker.

The awards were presented at the 87th annual National College Media Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. The Associated Collegiate Press is the oldest and largest national membership organization for college journalists in the country. This year's competition was judged by the staff of the St. Petersburg Times.

Shown above (front to back): Editor in chief Erin Geismar, news editor Libby Sile and former editor in chief Erica Hendry.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Liz and Kelli Come to Town

Liz Crowley (left) and Kelli Grant, both class of 2004, came to town for the Apple Harvest Festival earlier this month. Stephanie and I, along with this year’s editor in chief Erin Geismar and last year’s EIC Erica Hendry joined them for lunch at the Lost Dog. Kelli is a former Ithacan news editor and special projects manager; Liz was chief copy editor and managing editor. Here’s what they’re up to:

Kelli celebrated her third year at in June, and was recently promoted to senior consumer reporter. Her “Deal of the Day” column continues to be the most-read column on the site. “Writing about personal finance in this crazy economy has been challenging (lots of late-night calls with my editors to dump the next day's story for one addressing breaking news), but it's nice to know that our advice on cutting grocery bills or finding the best bank deals is actually making a difference in readers' day-to-day finances.”
She’s also appearing frequently on television. In addition to her weekly SmartMoney TV “3 Tips” videos, she’s a regular guest on CNN Headline News, CBS Up to the Minute, NBC Weekend Today in New York and the local CBS weekend morning show. On the freelance side of things, she has regular gigs with Good Housekeeping and Family Circle, as well as a few trade magazines.
“The big news, though, is something I hope to have wrapped up soon. I've been working on a book proposal about personal finance for recent college grads. Several editors have already expressed interest, and I'm just tweaking the sample chapters before sending everything out the door. In other words, I'm still crazy-busy. Business as usual.”

As for Liz, she’s in her second year as a proofreader and copywriter for Facts On File, a reference publishing company in Midtown Manhattan.
“I’m happy to say that my nerdy grammar knowledge is appreciated. I moved to New York City after graduation to earn a master’s in world history from New York University (’06), and I hope to teach all subway conductors that ‘last and final stop’ is redundant. Kelli and I are slowly making our way to restaurants where former Top Chef contestants now cook.”

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Latest on Lovell

I asked Andrew Lovell what he's been up to since he graduate in May, and here's what he had to say:

"I am working as a sports writer/sports copy editor for the New Britain Herald in New Britain, Conn. When I'm not in the office laying out pages, editing stories, etc., I'm out covering local sports. New Britain is only 10-15 minutes from the Hartford area, so there is actually quite a bit going in our coverage area.
"I have covered everything from little league baseball games this summer, to high school football games, to a professional hockey camp run by a local physical trainer. I am working on a feature on a former local football player that is now in his fifth season in the NFL. They have also given me a weekly column of sorts, in that every week I report on a handful of kids playing college sports that used to play at high schools in our coverage area."
So there's hope, people: There are still jobs out there for those of you who have the talent and the drive. Andrew did a great job last year improving the writing and the overall quality of the sports section. The Herald is lucky to have him.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Margie is a Mom

Margie (Obreza) Chetney ’99, former Ithacan sports editor, and her husband Matt welcomed their first child, a daughter, on Sept. 7, 2008. Haylee Ann Chetney was 8 pounds, 10 ounces and 20.5 inches long. Matt and Margie live in Syracuse, where Margie has worked for The Post-Standard newspaper for 9 years, since graduating from IC. After 4 years as a sports copy editor, Margie was promoted to assistant features editor and now oversees the production duties and copy desk for the features/entertainment/CNY department. She can be reached at

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ithacan Named Number Two in the Country by SPJ and Pacemaker Finalists by ACP

The Ithacan has been named the number two non-daily student newspaper in the country for 2007 by the Society of Professional Journalists.
The paper was presented with the Second Place National Mark of Excellence Award at SPJ’s 2008 National Convention and Journalism Conference on Sept. 5 in Atlanta. Erica R. Hendry ’09, the paper’s 2007-08 editor in chief and current special projects manager, accepted the award on behalf of the paper.
The Society of Professional Journalists is the largest organization of professional reporters and editors in the country. Each year SPJ presents the Mark of Excellence awards to recognize outstanding work among college and university newspapers. The Ithacan was awarded the First Place Mark of Excellence Award for Best Non-Daily Newspaper in the Northeast Region (SPJ Region 1) in April, and then went on to compete against the 11 other regional winners in the national competition. George Washington University’s GW Hatchet ended up taking the top prize.
In addition, the paper has been named a Pacemaker Finalist and The Ithacan Online has been named an Online Pacemaker Finalist for 2008 by the Associated Collegiate Press. The winners of the award — widely regarded as “the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism” — will be announced at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Kansas City on October 31.
The Associated Collegiate Press is the oldest and largest national membership organization for college journalists in the country. The Ithacan last won the Online Pacemaker Award in 2007, and won both the Pacemaker and the Online Pacemaker in 2006. This year’s competition was judged by the staff of the St. Petersburg Times.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Newsbeat Goes On

The latest issue of Fuse, the college's student-written admissions magazine, features a piece by last year's Ithacan editor in chief, Erica Hendry, recounting her experiences in the job. "The Newsbeat Goes On" can be found here.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Future Ithacan Editor in Chief Visits Office

Cate Cagnazzi, five-month-old daughter of Mike (’98) and Cristin Cagnazzi, stopped by Park for a visit last month. If she comes to Ithaca she'll be a freshman around 2026, which means she'd be editor in chief by 2029. It's nice to have that taken care of.
Cate was born April 4. Congratulations Mike and Cristin!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

More Bluey, Now in the Washington Post

Rob Bluey ’01 was recently included among a group of conservatives featured in a Washington Post story on young Republicans' concerns about the future of the party. Bluey is director for the Center for Media and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Louison in the Times

Cole Louison ’00 continues to freelance while working at GQ. His latest New York Times feature, "His Radio Days and Nights," ran July 20. It profiles an 80-year-old machinist who restores radios.

Bluey Featured in Fuse

Rob Bluey ’01 is featured in the latest issue of the college's student-produced admissions magazine, Fuse. You can find the story here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

News from England

This just in from former photo editor Meghan Mazella ’06:
I graduated in January with my master's in Literature, Film and Visual Culture from the University of Sussex and started a work experience position at the Victoria and Albert Museum in their picture library (check out their site: When that finished in May, I interviewed for a position at the British Museum's picture library and got the job. So I am back living in London and working at British Museum Images ( Basically I license images for use in publications both academic and commercial and get into museum exhibitions for free. :-
Hope everyone is well!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The D.C. Summer Event

Stephanie and I made our annual summer visit to Our Nation’s Capital last weekend and had dinner with Ithacan alumni and current students interning in D.C. Friday night. (Our thanks to Dean Lynch for picking up the tab and to Rob Bluey for making the arrangements at Clyde's at Gallery Place.) Four of the last five Ithacan editors in chief were in attendance.
Photo 1 (left to right): rising junior Lena Yue, Melissa Bluey ’00, Rob Bluey ’01 (EIC 2000–01), Anne Walters ’05 (EIC 2004–05), Roger Custer ’04 and rising junior Tricia Nadolny.
Photo 2: Vanessa Leong ’00, Nate Weixel ’08, Max Steinmetz ’08, rising senior Erica Hendry (EIC 2007–08), Brenda (Ludwig) Geraghty ’03, Joe Geraghty ’04 (EIC 2003–04), the horizontal head of Charlie Ellsworth ’04, and Beth Quill ’06 (EIC 2005–06).
Photo 3: Tori Fusaro, Caitlin Connolly ’05, Charlie Ellsworth ’04, Rachel (Berlin) Moir ’00, Michael Moir and Andrew Lovell ’08.
Stephanie and I stayed out of the pictures, because we’re shy that way.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What a Face!

Sofia Maryee D'Agnes, daughter of Jennifer (Quinzi) D’Agnes ’00 and Chris D’Agnes couldn't wait to join us and entered the world at 7:50 p.m. on June 4 — more than three weeks early. She weighed in at 5 pounds, 11 ounces. Congratulations Jen and Chris!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mission to Africa

Incoming Ithacan opinion editor Aaron King and Liz Getman, both rising seniors, are spending the summer interning with CORAfrica (Children of Rural Africa), a U.S.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality education to children in rural Nigerian villages. Check out their blog about the experience. A journalism major, Aaron is also a boxer — a former Golden Gloves champ at that. Take a look at Anna Ghosin-Szeliga's profile of him — if for no other reason than to check out the photo of him teaching Mead Loop to box.

Bloomroses Across America

For the past three weeks, Mike and Melissa (Thornley) Bloomrose, both ’02, have been traveling across the country seeing the sights. Melissa, who just completed her student teaching semester at Essex Elementary School, has been documenting the trip for her class. Check out her blog about the trip — it's fun stuff.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Back from Iraq

Mike Bloomrose ’02 is back from Iraq. A lieutenant in the Navy JAG Corps, Mike just completed a six-month voluntary tour of duty with the Multi-National Force Iraq, Task Force 134 - Detainee Operations. There was a welcome-home party for him at his parents' house in West Suffield, Conn., on Saturday. We couldn't make it, but I talked to him on the phone, and he sounded well and happy to be home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Some Alumni Come to Town

We’ve had a number of alumni stopping by the office in recent weeks, meeting and talking to the current staff. On March 28, Rob Bluey ’02, former Ithacan editor in chief and now director of media and politics at the Heritage Foundation, and his wife Missy (Bloomrose) Bluey ’01, assistant art director at The Atlantic, spent some time talking to Editor in Chief Erica Hendry, News Editors Tricia Nadolny and Kathy Laluk, Assistant News Editor Libbly Sile, Senior Writer Nathan Weixel, and Design Editor Lena Yue about their experiences at the paper and opportunities in Washington, D.C. Erica, Tricia and Lena will all be interning in D.C. this summer — Erica and Tricia at USA Today.
Caitlin Connelly ’05 came to town on April 11 and met some of the staff. Caitlin was chief copy editor and managing editor during her time at the paper. She’s still at the Center for Dispute Settlement in Washington, D.C.
Then Joe Geraghty ’04 and Michelle (Theis) Cuthrell (Dec.’04) stopped by the house after the Park Scholar Advisory Board dinner April 12 for a few hours of catching up. Good times. Joe is still working for Sen. Ben Nelson (D–Neb.), and Michelle is editor in chief of Good Catch Publishing and the mother of one of the cutest two-year-olds on the planet.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Board of Publications Selects 2008–09 Editor in Chief

The Ithaca College Board of Student Publications has selected junior Erin Geismar to be the editor in chief of the Ithacan for the 2008–09 academic year.
Erin, who is currently studying in Spain, has served as a staff writer, assistant news editor and news editor at the paper, and has been a staff writer and blogger for ImPrint, the college's online magazine, as well.
Her story "Living Below the Line" was recently named Best News Story for 2007 in the New York Press Association's annual Better College Newspaper Competition, and her stories "Life in the Jungle" and "What Lies Beneath" are finalists for Mark of Excellence Awards in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 1 competition in the In-Depth Reporting and Feature Writing categories, respectively.
A Park Scholar, Erin was selected to receive a prestigious American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) internship for summer 2008, which she will spend at Smart Money magazine.
She is a journalism major minoring in economics and Spanish.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The NYPA Loves the Ithacan

For the eighth time in nine years, The Ithacan has been named the Best Overall Student Newspaper in New York State by the New York Press Association. In addition to winning the organization’s top collegiate honor, the paper also took First Place for General Excellence, First Place for Overall Sports Coverage, Second Place for Best Editorial and Third Place for Best Design.
In individual honors, junior Erin Geismar’s story, “Living Below the Line,” won First Place for Best News Story, and Thomas Pardee, now a student at Columbia College in Chicago, won Second Place for Best Feature Story for “Snake Charmer.”
Shown above at the awards ceremony in Albany on April 5 are, left to right: News Editor Kathy Laluk, Assistant Sports Editor Corey Francer, Assistant News Editor Libby Sile and Managing Editor Tristan Fowler.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Awards from New York

The Ithacan won its third consecutive Apple Award for Best of Show at the National College Media Convention in New York City last month. The award was presented at the convention’s closing ceremony at the Marriott Marquis on March 17. The paper has won the award five times in the seven years it has been presented. The Ithacan also won first place Gold Circle Awards for Overall Tabloid Design and for Feature Writing (for Thomas Pardee's "Snake Charmer") from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
Editor in Chief Erica Hendry and Design Editor Lena Yue are shown here with the most recent additions to the office orchard.

Dinner with the New York Alumni

New York–based alumni from the past decade met with current students for dinner and conversation at the Heartland Brewery on 43rd Street on St. Patrick’s Day during the spring National College Media Convention at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square. The alums had the opportunity to catch up with each other and share experiences with the current generation of Ithacan editors.
Clockwise from left: internet journalist Wes Siler, Vanessa Schneider ’07, junior Erica Hendry, Emily Paulsen ’05, Jennifer (Hodess) Gonzalez ’02, Stephanie Serino (hiding behind Jen), Deepa Shah ’06, Jennifer (Quinzi) D’Agnes ’00, Chris D’Agnes, Cole Louison ’00, Lisa Boyars ’01, Mike Cagnazzi ’98, James Sigman ’98, freshman Alexis McNutt, Liz Crowley ’04, sophomore Kiersten Timpe, sophomore Nick Santos, sophomore Patrick Doyle and freshman Libby Sile.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chuck Holliday Ties the Knot

Former Ithacan photo editor Chuck Holliday ’99 married Ashley Hendrix on December 1 in Memphis. The bride and groom met as law students at the Cecil C. Humpheys School of Law at the University of Memphis.
The couple now lives in Jackson, Tenn., about an hour east of Memphis. They work down the street from each other: Chuck is focusing on criminal defense and consumer law at the firm of Spragins, Barnett & Cobb; Ashley is building a practice in domestic relations and debtor bankruptcy.
“I think my journalism background has made me a better lawyer when it comes to doing research,” writes Chuck. “So many lawyers think that taking a deposition is a major ordeal, but I just see it as a long interview. In a sense, it’s even a little easier because the deponent is required to answer your questions and has sworn to tell the truth. Imagine writing an article and telling a source that he had to be at your office at a specific time and answer your questions under oath!”
Shown above at the wedding are Bonnie Flock ’01, Paul Colombo ’00, Ashley, Chuck, Jason Miller ’99, who served as best man, and Rachel (Berlin) Moir ’00.

Monday, March 17, 2008

An Update on Natalie and Steve

Natalie (Lyons) Silver, Dec. ’04, became managing editor at Templeton Foundation Press in West Conshohocken, Pa., earlier this month. At The Ithacan, she served as managing editor, opinion editor, and chief proofreader. Natalie has been at TFP since 2005, where she started as editorial assistant. In her new role, she manages all editorial and foreign-rights matters for the press. She also attends Villanova University part time, pursuing her master’s of public administration.
Her husband, Steve Silver ’04 works as the technical director for television programming at NFL Films in Mount Laurel, N.J., and as a freelance technician for Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia. They live just outside of the city.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wilson on the Opera Circuit

Nathan Wilson B.M. '05, former chief proofreader, opinion editor, and distribution manager at The Ithacan, recently returned from Poland in January, where he sang the role of Figaro in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at the Silesian State Opera House in Bytom. The production was part of a collaboration between the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy and the University of Louisville, where Nathan received his Master of Music degree in May 2007.
Nathan continues to reside in Louisville, Ky., teaches voice part-time at both Bellarmine University and the Louisville Academy of Music, and has recently sung professionally with Kentucky Opera, the Louisville Ballet, Musica Toscana, Amici Opera (Philadelphia), and the Concert Chorale of Nashville.
Nathan also continues to be involved in the newspaper business: his day job as a Field Verification Representative in the circulation department at the Louisville Courier-Journal keeps him busy four mornings a week. He hopes to give a recital this summer in his hometown of Corning, N.Y., about an hour from Ithaca. More about Nathan can be found at

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Return of Beth Quill

After spending five months at Science magazine in Cambridge, England, Elizabeth Quill '06 (editor in chief 2005-06) has made her way back to Washington, D.C. She begins her new job as associate editor at Science News ( this week. The magazine, now led by Tom Siegfried (former science editor at the Dallas Morning News), covers current science research and reaches more than a million readers. Though Quill was sad to leave Cambridge with its quaint charm, port and cheap flights to European cities, she is glad to be wielding a red pen again. Writers beware.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Junior Erin Geismar Awarded ASME Internship

Erin Geismar ’09 has been awarded an American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) internship for summer 2008. This highly competitive and prestigious program will place her at a prominent magazine in New York or Washington this summer.
Erin, a Park Scholar, has served as a reporter, assistant news editor and news editor at the Ithacan. She is studying in Spain this semester, but will be returning to work at the paper in the fall.
Erin is in good company. We’ve had a strong track record with ASME since our students started applying for the internship five years ago. Past Ithacan staffers who have received the award include:
2003: Kelli B. Grant ’04
2004: Michelle Theis Cuthrell, Dec. ’04
2005: Beth Quill ’06
2006: Vanessa Schneider ’07
Congratulations Erin!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vanessa Schneider Goes Full Time at the New York Times

Vanessa Schneider was recently hired by The New York Times in New York as a news assistant for its Community division. Vanessa has been freelancing as a discussion moderator for the past several months, and she will be stepping up as a full-time member of the team, helping to develop new and engaging ways to build a reader community on
Vanessa worked at The Ithacan throughout her four years at IC, beginning as an Accent staff writer freshman year, and eventually serving as editor in chief senior year. After graduating in May, Vanessa moved to Brooklyn and worked as a researcher at In Style and Real Simple magazines. She is also copy chief for a motorcycle culture and design site,

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cuthrell Memoir to Be Published

"Behind the Blue-Star Banner," Michelle (Theis) Cuthrell's memoir of her life on the home front during her husband Matt's deployment in Iraq, will be published next month. Michelle, a December ’04 grad, was 23 years old, nine months out of college and 11 weeks pregnant with her first child when Matt deployed to Iraq in August 2005. The book tells the story of the trials and triumphs in her life, living alone at an army base in Fairbanks, Alaska, and "the lessons she learned about true service and sacrifice along the way."
More information on the book is available at

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sheppard Moves to Washington and The American Prospect

In September, former Ithacan columnist and Buzzsaw editor Kate Sheppard (journalism and politics, '06) moved to Washington, D.C., to take a writing fellowship at The American Prospect, where so far she has reported on climate and energy policy, immigration, the labor movement, and the 2008 election. In addition to writing for the print publication, she also writes for the magazine's website and award-winning blog, TAPPED. Before coming to the Prospect, Kate spent a year working at Grist magazine in Seattle, blogging and reporting for MSN's climate and energy site, and freelancing for various publications. She is currently preparing to head to Florida to cover the Republican primaries, where she's hoping to spend some quality time with Rudy Giuliani.