Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Happy Couple Returns

Former Ithacan managing editor Whitney Faber ’12 and fiancĂ© Chris Roach ’11 returned to campus today to make arrangements for their Sept. 16 wedding in the college chapel. The couple, who live in Boston, stopped by the Ithacan to check out our new office. It was great to see them again and have the chance to congratulate them on their engagement, to introduce them to current editor-in-chief Jack Curran, managing editor Kira Maddox, news editor Kayla Dwyer, Life & Culture editor Steven Pirani, design editor Grace Clauss, assistant design editor Allie Teodore and webmaster Evan Sobkowicz. Plus it’s always fun watching alumni who graduated before Sept. 2013 react to our new space.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lauren DeCicca’s Photo Selected for Time’s ‘Defining‘ Instagrams of 2014

A photo by former Ithacan photo editor Lauren DeCicca ’11 has been selected by Time magazine as one of “29 Instagrams That Defined The World in 2014.” The photo, captioned “Goodbye Thingyan, catch ya next year!” can also be viewed on Instagram

Lauren returned to campus in September during a visit back to the States and sat down for a Q&A with Ithacan Life & Culture editor Evin Billington. Check out the audio slideshow here

Thank You, Twitter

Twitter certainly picked an interesting place to cut off the subject line when I shared that last post.

NewsPro Ranks Ithaca College Journalism Program #11 in Country

Ithaca College’s journalism department made NewsPro’s 2014 list of the top-25 journalism programs in the country, coming in at #11. You can find the complete story in their December 2014 issue, along with the Park School’s latest promotional ad.

Monday, November 03, 2014

The Fall Conference in Philly

Four current students attended this fall’s National College Media Convention Oct. 29–Nov. 2 in at the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia. Managing editor Kira Maddox, assistant news editor Taylor Zambrano, assistant sports editor Kristen Gowdy and design editor Grace Clauss attended three days of workshops run by journalism professionals and college newspaper advisers. Kira also co-moderated a discussion session on diversity in the newsroom, and I presented a session titled, “Philosophy for Journalists: Journalism and the Problem of Suffering.”

Chris Baxter ’08 presents at the conference.
In addition, alumnus Chris Baxter ’08, currently a reporter with the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger,  presented two conference sessions which were scheduled as the result of his having been a recipient of the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists for 2013, sponsored by the University of Michigan, in the Excellence in Local Reporting category for his story, “Private Schools, Hidden Riches,” which investigated spending practices at New Jersey private schools for students with disabilities.
The Ithacan was presented with Finalist Awards in the National Newspaper Pacemaker and National Online Pacemaker competitions. The Pacemaker is widely regarded as “the Pulitzer Prize” of collegiate journalism.” In addition, the paper won 7th place in the conference’s on-site Best of Show competition in the newspaper category and 8th place in the website category.

From left, Taylor Zambrano, Kira Maddox, Kristen Gowdy
and Grace Clauss with the Ithacan’s Pacemaker Finalist
The high point of the trip, apart from the cheesesteaks, was getting together with our Philadelphia alumni. We’ve built up a small concentration of alums there, so we got them together with the students attending the conference. Most of them were able to make it to dinner at Smokin’ Betty’s for an evening of good food and good conversation.
Clockwise from left, design editor Grace Clauss, Tricia Nadolny ’09, assistant
 news editor Taylor Zambrano, Josh Mellman ’09, Cory Francer ’10, Michelle
 Skowronek Horner ’11, assistant sports editor Kristen Gowdy, Noria
 Litaker ’06, Chris Baxter ’08 and managing editor Kira Maddox.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Alumni Weekend 2014

This year’s Alumni Weekend celebration wasn’t quite on the scale of 2013, when we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Ithaca College’s communications school, but it still provided an opportunity see get together with some old friends and for current students and alumni to interact. Several visitors dropped by the office, and we had a chance to join a few of them for dinner at the ever-popular Viva. 
From left, former editor-in-chief Erin Geismar ’09, former
editor-in-chief Erica Hendry ’09, former photo editor Max
Steinmetz ’08, and current news editor Kayla Dwyer ’17. Erin
is currently Long Island editor for, Erica is
a digital producer for NPR in Washington, D.C., and Max is
completing his M.F.A. thesis in creative and professional
 writing at Western Connecticut State.
From left, former editor-in-chief Libby Sile ’11, current
editor-in-chief Jack Curran ’15 and current news editor
Kayla Dwyer ’17 at the Big Desk in the Ithacan office.
Libby is currently an associate editor with Departures
Magazine at Time Inc.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Tricia Nadolny Talks to the News Staff

Former Ithacan news editor Tricia Nadolny ’09, now a city hall reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, skyped in on October 5 to give our staff advice about how to pursue a career in journalism. She offered useful suggestions on how to build a portfolio of work, pursue internships and work toward professional success. Her own career can serve as a worthy model for students just starting out.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

That’s PROFESSOR Delaney to You

Former sports editor Brian Delaney ’04, now a lecturer in our journalism department, collaborated with Professor Anthony Adornato to present a Saturday morning workshop on interviewing skills for our campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on Sept. 27. He did a great job — he’s a natural in front of a classroom. Or he may just have been in a good mood because he’d recently gotten married.

Friday, September 12, 2014

He Has The Ithacan in His Blood

Laura Bauman Shalem ’06 with son Isaiah
and husband Avi in the Ithacan office.
Young Isaiah Shalem dropped by the Ithacan office, perhaps to make plans for his future career. His mother, former Ithacan sales manager Laura Bauman Shalem ’06, still holds the record for advertising sales. With that background, he’s bound to go far. 

Monday, September 01, 2014

It’s Ithacan Brew Fest Time!

Andy Swift ’09 and Michelle Barrie ’10
Labor Day means many things — honoring the achievements of American workers, a long weekend and the unofficial end of summer foremost among them — but for IC grads who worked at The Ithacan, it mostly means Ithacan Brew Fest. Once again our dedicated alumni made the trek upstate (or in some cases from as far as D.C.), this time to a house they rented in Trumansburg. Everyone brought a beer native to their home, so there were a lot of new experiences to be had. This year’s editor-in-chief, Jack Curran, and managing editor, Kira Maddox, joined us and met their glorious predecessors. This is a tradition that seems to have staying power.

Cory Francer ’10 and Tricia Nadolny ’09
Andrew Lovell ’08 and Max Steinmetz ’08

Jackie Palochko ’11 and
Nic Barajas ’08

And, of course, Erica Hendry ’09

Sunday, August 24, 2014

“On the Cover of the Rollin’ Stone...”

One of our former students who turns up in this blog from time to time is someone who didn't actually graduate from Ithaca College — Patrick Doyle. As a student here through 2008 he was one of our best Accent writers and was the assistant section editor, in line to become Accent editor, when he decided to transfer to NYU. During the process of earning his degree there, he interned at Rolling Stone, where his was eventually hired as a writer and then promoted to associate editor. Earlier this month he published his first Rolling Stone cover story, on Willie Nelson. 

Patrick has always kept in touch with me and his Ithaca classmates, and has never made a secret of how much his Ithacan experience contributed to his development as a writer and editor. And I’ve never made a secret of how proud we are of his success. Congratulations Patrick!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Margie Obreza Chetney’s Work Honored

Margie Obreza Chetney ’99 with Michael Veley,
 director and chair of SU’s Department of Sport
Former Ithacan sports editor Margie Obreza Chetney ’99 was presented with Syracuse University’s Falk College Rising Star Award on August 21. The award goes to an employee who has worked for Falk College for less than two years and has, among other things, shows outstanding initiative, works independently but is also a strong team player, demonstrates a positive attitude and shows significant efforts and accomplishments in a short amount of time.

Sounds like the Margie I remember.

Margie works in the university’s Department of Sport Management, where she oversees all of the its communication, social media, and newsletters, while also working with sport management students and professors on a daily basis. She left the newspaper business in 2013 after spending 14 years at The Post-Standard in Syracuse as a reporter, copy editor and assistant editor. Switching its emphasis to a more digital format led to several changes at the newspaper, and Margie saw the time of transition and uncertainty as a chance to take her career in a new direction.

Margie lives in Syracuse with her husband, Matt, and their two children, Haylee, 6, and Jake, 4. Margie is also busy on the bowling lanes, winning three Syracuse city titles in May 2014.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Good Times in Our Nation’s Capital

From left, Lena Yue ’10, Erica Hendry ’09, Nate Weixel ’08,
Max Steinmetz ’09 at the alumni dinner.
It was an exciting time in Washington, D.C., last weekend, when I was able to combine my annual dinner with our Washington alumni on Aug. 7 with attending the Aug. 9 wedding of one of our best former editors-in-chief, Beth Quill ’06, and Seth Zuckerman.

The D.C. dinner is always one of my favorite parts of summer, although it has the bittersweet quality of usually being the last fun thing I do before going back to work for the fall semester. Combine it with a wedding (the 14th wedding of an Ithacan alum I’ve attended) and there's nothing bitter about it.

Senior Miles Surrey, Kate Sheppard ’06 and Caitlin Connelly
Ellsworth ’05 at the alumni dinner.
The Bride: Beth Quill ’06

Bonnie Flock Tabasco ’01 and Mike Tabasco ’00 at the dinner.

We had a great time this year, as usual. Dinner was at our favorite spot, the Old Ebbitt Grill, and it brought out the usual cast of characters, plus a few new ones. This year’s crowd included Caitlin Connelly Ellsworth ’05, Charlie Ellsworth ’04, Erica Hendry ’09, Noria Litaker ‘06, Alexandra Palombo ’11, Max Steinmetz ’09, Kate Sheppard ’06, Bonnie Flock Tabasco ’01 and Mike Tabasco ’00, Megan Tetrick ’03 and her husband Brad Hopewell, Kerry Tkacik ’13, Nate Weixel ’08 and Lena Yue ’10. Current students Deanna Romanoff and Miles Surrey were also on hand. Jill Agostino ’86 was in New York on New York Times business the night of the dinner, so Erica, Max and I had brunch with her on Sunday.

Alex Palombo, Kerry Tkacik and
Yue again!
Enjoyable though the dinner was, however, the high point of the weekend was Beth’s wedding. The ceremony was beautiful, and the word “radiant” doesn’t do her justice. The ceremony was held at the St. Thomas Apostle Church in Woodley Park, and the reception at St. Francis Hall, adjacent to one of the coolest/creepiest American monasteries I know, the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America. (I love that place! I’ve visited it many times.) Nothing creepy about the reception though — just a lot of people coming together to celebrate a wonderful couple. It was also a nice chance to spend more time with people I like: Anne Walters Custer ’05, Noria Litaker ’06, Lyndsey Runaas ’06 (that’s Dr. Runaas to you) and Kate Sheppard ’06 and her husband Deen Freelon. I always tell current students that becoming involved with The Ithacan is like becoming part of a family, and it’s never more evident than at times like this.

The newly married bride and groom
come down the aisle.

Noria Litaker ’06, Kate Sheppard ’06, Lindsey Runaas ’06,
Beth Quill ’06, some goon photobombing, and Anne Walters
Custer ’06 at the wedding.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Some Summer Visitors

I had the pleasure of joining up with some alumni who returned to Ithaca to enjoy our beautiful summer weather during the past week. Former Ithacan news editor Aaron Mason ’02 came from Buffalo, former Managing Editor Jennifer Hodess Gonzalez came from Long Island and former Photo Editor Melissa Thornley Bloomrose came from Washington, D.C., along with children and friends, for a weekend visit, which prompted lunch at Viva on Saturday.

Back, from left, Ed Drantch, Aaron Mason ’02, Jennifer Hodess
 Gonzalez ’02, Melissa Thornley Bloomrose ’02 and Sarah
 Lentz ’02. Front, Isabella Gonzalez (standing), Eleanor
Bloomrose (in stroller). Henry Bloomrose was also there,
although he seems to have vanished for the photo. He was
probably off on superhero business.
Then last night another former news editor, Alex Leary ’97, who is also living in D.C., took a break from visiting family in Cortland to join me for dinner at ... where else? It was nice to see them all again. And I'm glad I got to see Melissa and Alex here, since they won't be in D.C. when I get there this weekend for my annual visit.
Alex Leary ’97

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dropping in on the New York Alumni

After having dinner at Bubby’s in Tribeca on July 8, the usual suspects
and I went out for some additional libation. From left, Nic Barajas ’08,
Deepa Shah ’06, Emily Paulsen ’05, Jim Hawver ’07 and Matt Quintanilla
’07. Not shown is Stacey Coburn Williams ’07, who actually organized
 the Bubby’s gathering but couldn't come out with us later.

As part of my summer travels I had a chance to spend a few weeks in New York earlier this month after returning from a week in Prague. This gave me plenty of time to catch up with some of my favorite alumni. No matter how much time I have, there's never enough to see everyone I’d like to see, though, but here were the highlights.
Aaron Edwards ’12, now an associate editor at NBC’s
Breaking News, was kind enough to give me a tour of
the news operations at 30 Rock on July 10.
One of the high points of my visit was a
tour of the Lower East Side Tenement
on Orchard Street, conducted by
our own Emily Gallagher ’06 on July 14. I’ve
always been fascinated by that chapter of our
history, and Emily did an excellent job telling
the story of the immigrants and their struggles.

On July 11, I grabbed some coffee with the legendary
Sami Khan ’02, who had recently put the finishing
touches on “Khoya,” his first feature film.

Had brunch on the 13th with Edon Ophir ’09,
whom I had’t seen in way too long. We caught
 up, reminisced about the legendary Fight Club
of 2008–09, and he filled me on his new job
at Uber.
Back to Bubby’s on the 14th for dinner with Paul
Colombo ’00 (left) and Dave and Lisa Boyars Gehrke ’01.
And the best part was I finally got to meet little Aaron,
 who had just turned two months old the day before. 

Beer and apps with James Sigman ’98
 and Mike Cagnazzi ’97 at The Half King,
Sebastian Junger’s bar under the High
Line on W. 23rd.
And last, but far from least: Team Newsday! From left,
Casey Musarra ’11, Kaydi Poirier ’11 and Erin Geismar ’09,
all working at, came in from Long Island to
join me for tapas at El Quinto Pino on the 16th. A couple of
days later I had more tapas with Patrick Doyle at Bar
Basque just two blocks away, but I was so engrossed in
our conversation I forgot to take a picture. There's always
one. Sorry Patrick!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Musical Memories

#tbt It was five years ago this week that the members of the great class of 2009 left Ithaca to make their way in the world. At a post-Commencement party at Erica Hendry, Andy Swift and Tahleen Ovian’s apartment we were treated to the finest in musical entertainment.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Welcome, New Ithacan Alumni!

Commencement each spring brings new graduates to the ranks of the Ithacan alumni, and this year is no different. While we said goodbye to quite a few current editors and staff members who received their degrees on May 18, we’re happy to welcome them to the ever-growing network of those whose experience on the paper will provide a springboard for future successes.

Megan Devlin and her family.
Elma Gonzalez with her family.

Among the 2014 graduates who served on the editorial board were Megan Devlin (editor-in-chief 2013–14), Sara Webb (managing editor, spring 2013), Allie Healy (managing editor 2013–14), Anjali Patel (opinion editor, fall 2013), Patrick Feeney (opinion editor, spring 2014), Elma Gonzalez (news editor, fall 2012), Jackie Eisenberg (Accent editor, fall 2013), Taylor Palmer (sports editor, fall 2013; Year in Review editor, 2014), Rose Vardell (assistant Accent editor), Vicky Wolak (chief copy editor, 2013–14), Deanna Romanoff (multimedia editor, spring 2014), Kevin Dates (sales manager 2012–13) and Chelsea Russo (Year in Review design editor, 2014).
Allie Healy and her mom.
The mighty Wenmouth
Williams, who is retiring
as journalism department chair.

Graduates who served as staff members included Mike Caffrey, Nik Decosta-Klipa, Rebecca Helmich, Lewis Kendall, Nathan King, Andrew Kristy, Cady Lang, Bianca Lupi, Dylan Maloney, Nick Marcatelli, Benjii Maust, Meagan McGinnes, Gillian Nigro and Mark Warren.

In addition, at our end-of-the-year awards ceremony at the Ithacan Banquet on May 1, the following people were recognized for their work:
Story of the Year: Jackie Eisenberg, “Break Out," March 20, 2014.
Photo of the Year: Amanda den Hartog, “#Cortaca2013,” Nov. 21, 2013.
Multimedia Story of the Year: Samantha Certrulo, Amanda den Hartog, Emma McQuade and Jillian Baker, “Taste of Success,” Feb. 6, 2014.
Outstanding Section: The Ithacan Online (Evan Sobkowicz, webmaster; Jessica Corbett, social media manager; Jillian Baker, interactive designer)
Outstanding Editor: Tucker Mitchell (photo editor)
Outstanding Freshman: Kayla Dwyer (assistant news editor)
Outstanding Senior: Elma Gonzalez
Outstanding Achievement: Megan Devlin, Allie Healy
Amanda den Hartog’s Photo of the Year

Congratulations to everyone for a great year!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Ithacan Power Couple

#tbt Ithacan power couple, Spring 1998: News Editor Rob Bluey ’01 and Layout Editor Melissa Bloomrose ’00.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Grant and Ellick Headline in Alumni Magazine

Ithacan alumni are are well represented in the latest issue of IC View, the Ithaca College’s alumni magazine. Kelli Grant ’04 wrote the cover story, “Start Me Up: The Rise of the Entrepreneur,” which takes a look at six alumni who have launched their own successful businesses. And the magazine interviews Adam Ellick ’99 about the dramatic story of Malala Yousafszai’s emergence as an education activist and leader in the movement for women’s rights in Pakistan. Ellick’s documentary work for the The New York Times is credited with first bringing  her story to the attention of the American public.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism, March 2009

#tbt Erin Geismar ’09, Jennifer Nevins ’09 and Tricia Nadolny ’09 at the Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism, March 2009. The conference attracted the best teachers and practitioners of narrative journalism to Boston each year to speak and conduct workshops for hundreds of attendees. As a result of the impact of the economic downturn on the Nieman endowment, 2009 was the last year the foundation sponsored the conference.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Marissa Tejada ’00 Publishes Novel

Former Ithacan writer Marissa Tejada ’00 is publishing her first novel. Chasing Athens, a romantic comedy and contemporary romance novel will be released by e-book romance publisher Musa Publishing on April 25.
As Marissa describes it in her press release, “Set in Athens, Greece, the Greek Islands and Ithaca, New York, Chasing Athens follows Ava Martin, a heartbroken American expat, whose new husband unexpectedly ditches her after their move abroad. Instead of returning to the States, she makes an abrupt decision to stay. Despite pressure from her mother, uncertainty over her divorce and issues with her long-estranged father, she's determined to make it on her own. With her Greek friends, she laughs and learns while facing culture shock, language barriers and the charm of Mediterranean men, until a life-threatening emergency back home in sleepy Ithaca, N.Y., forces her to confront her disappointing past, and forces her to redefine the meaning of home.”
The book will be available on the Musa Publishing website, as well as through Amazon and Kindle.
Since graduating from IC, Marissa has worked around the country as a television reporter and anchor, as well as in public relations. She is currently living in Athens as a full-time freelancer and blogger specializing in culture, food and wine, technology and travel writing.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dinner at Viva

Just finished an enjoyable dinner at Viva Taqueria with, from left, former photo editors Rachel Orlow ’13 and Shawn Steiner ’13, as well as our current special projects manager, Elma Gonzalez ’14. Also present, but not shown, was the consistently camera-shy Kelsey O’Connor. Shawn and Rachel were passing through town on their way back to New York.