Elyse Mickalonis, photo courtesy of YNN
The thing I remember first about Elyse Mickalonis was the great story idea she pitched for her senior project while in my Journalism Junior Seminar. It was a look, through video, at drive-in movie theaters in upstate New York. Under the guidance of SUNY Journalism Prof. Mary Alice Williams, it turned into a memorable senior project.
Now, Mickalonis has taken her talents as a video journalist to the Binghamton newsroom of Your News Now, a network of local cable news channels owned by Time Warner Cable. She started her job there earlier this year. She’s added social media to her repertoire and Tweeting up a storm. But some things haven’t changed: according to her profile, she’s still into drive-ins. We’re proud of you, Elyse! Stay in touch.
Alan Schwarz of the New York Times in the Purchase Humanities Theater
Alan Schwarz’s extraordinary series of more than 100 articles for The New York Times about the dangers of concussions in the N.F.L got him nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, prompted Congress to act, and revolutionized the thinking about sports-related head injuries.
On Wednesday, invited in by Journalism Professor Andrew Salomon, Schwarz gave a gripping talk to students gathered in the Humanities Theater describing in detail how he used his math background and comfort with statistics to prove a link between concussions and dementia.
A career baseball writer before he took on the N.F.L concussion story, Schwarz concluded the session by signing and selling his books.
Purchase Journalism Alum, Phil Corso, Returns to Talk to a Journalism 1 class
Recent Purchase Graduate, Phil Corso, returned to the hallowed halls of the Humanities building to visit Prof. Donna Cornachio’s Journalism One class Tuesday morning.
Here’s what Prof. Cornachio wrote about the visit: “Grass doesn’t grow under Phil’s feet. A Purchase journalism major, he graduated last May 21; by May 24 he was working the beat at The Daily Harrison, the chain of hyperlocal community papers under the Main Street Connect umbrella. Now he’s about to move on to Queens, to report for The Bayside Times and Little Neck Ledger, part of the Times Ledger company recently acquired by Rupert Murdoch. In his talk to students he spoke about what it’s like to cover an older community where residents are not so familiar with “The Facebook,” having to file five stories a day, and what he’s looking forward to next.”
Here’s what Phil said:
I cover Harrison—the town you are all sitting in right now. The way Main Street Connect and Patch works is they put a reporter on the ground who covers the whole town: high school, sports, government, whatever it is. It’s exciting because it’s new, but also frustrating: you have to find and report five stories a day. You’re online, you’re constantly updating throughout the day, you’re on Facebook and Twitter. Harrison is an aging old Italian community—I’ll post a question on Facebook and maybe I’ll get someone to “Like” it.
The craziest day I had reporting was when the town clerk of Harrison died. He was a young guy, in his 30s and a loved member of the community. It was very sad. I covered the funeral first: that was Story 1; I still had to do four more stories. Then I had to go to the library where they had a petting zoo that day. I had just said goodbye to this young guy and here I was at the goddamn library.
Christopher Vaughan, a Purchase journalism student, got his foot in the door at The Journal News and they liked him so much they gave him a job. He now has the lofty title of Social Media Coordinator – a job he maintains part-time while still taking classes. He monitors their Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare pages as well as doing some video.
Here’s how Chris tells it:
I currently work part-time as a Social Media Coordinator for the Lower Hudson Valley paper, The Journal News. The publication covers local events in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties and over the last decade, has cultivated a significant online presence with their LoHud brand.
I began interning for the paper in the summer of 2010 where I was a general reporter, meaning I wrote everything from a profile piece on a 90-year-old librarian to a towering blaze in White Plains. I gained experience-interviewing dozens of locals and accumulated numerous clips.
I planned to do the same the following summer but LoHud editors had something else in mind for me.
Tom (l) and Charlie Szold at College Daybreak HQ
Tom Szold (Class of 2007) and his younger brother, Charlie, could be on to something: a kind of cheat sheet for journalism students trying to get on top of the news of the day. Their invention is College Daybreak. Students can sign up for FREE and each morning a manageable list of the big stories of the day is emailed right to them. The slogan is “Everything You Need to Know. Nothing More.”
Tom, a Purchase journalism grad who now works for a public affairs company in DC, is promoting Daybreak in his spare time. Charlie, who is a journalism grad from American University, invented the idea. He’s the one who gets up at 5 in the morning and spends two and a half to three hours putting the Daybreak together before heading off to his job as an assistant online producer at USA Today.
“He’s a hell of a trouper,” says Tom of his kid brother.