BIOS



Photos by Amy Blaszyk

Nour Akkad


Washington Desk



From Damascus, Syria to Long Island, New York, to Fort Smith, Arkansas (that's right - Arkansas), Nour Akkad brings new meaning to versatile accents. She is currently a junior at George Mason University getting a B.A. in Governement and International Politics and Economics. When not studying, sleeping and shopping, Nour is eating and obsessed with politics. She has her parents and sister to thank for bringing NPR into her life - not a car ride to either school or ballet back in the day went by without listening to Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Currently Nour is interning at NPR's Washington Desk, bringing in her prior experiences in Capitol Hill with Senator Blanche Lincoln's office and network news with ABC's World News Tonight. Her future plans include her own "Good Will Hunting" glory where she will write her own movie, star in it, win Sundance and of course an Oscar, anchor in Broadcast Journalism, and become Secretary of State. She says "Hey, if Dubya can become President, then anything is possible!"


Lisa Brunner


Radio Expeditions



Lisa Brunner grew up daydreaming, writing, and playing the piano in southeastern Pennsylvania. A desire to follow in her father's footsteps and become a college radio DJ played heavily in her decision to attend the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a B.A. in English and Political Science with certificates in Women's Studies and Film Studies in December 2006.

After adventures abroad, including stone-cooked Mongolian marmot on the Trans-Siberian Railway, an Indian Varkari pilgrimage, and accidentally wandering (i.e. getting lost) sans passport & money in Cambodia, she feels right at home with Radio Expeditions as a co-production of NPR and the National Geographic Society. Lisa continues to immerse herself in music, interrogate strangers, devise elaborate scavenger hunts, and strive in the direction of social justice.

Lisa is ecstatic to be at NPR and looks forward to her potentially thrilling (although still fuzzy!) path through life.


Paul de Revere


All Songs Considered



Paul de Revere is a 22-year-old born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. He is currently a junior newspaper journalism student attending Florida A&M University and is NPR's All Songs Considered intern. His local NPR affiliate is WFSU, 88.9 FM. He grew up in a musically inclined family, with both parents as former reporters, so music journalism came naturally to him. He is honored to be working at NPR and hopes to continue his career there in the near future. To keep his airy mystique, he tends to avoid having his picture taken.


Tommy Gillespie


All Things Considered



Tommy Gillespie is a sophomore at the College of William and Mary where he is pursuing a degree in American Studies. There he coordinates an ESL tutoring program for language minority students in area schools. Though a broadcasting novice, Tommy has a ten year background in the performing arts, having served in creative and technical capacities in community, college, and semi-professional theatrical productions. A native of Ashland, Kentucky, Tommy is glad to return to Washington where he previously spent time working as a page in the U.S. Senate.



Ashley Grashaw


Talk of the Nation



Ashley "Gettin' It Done" Grashaw, a bon vivant with a penchant for dinner theatre and a knack for melodramatic Scottish monologue, graduated with honors from UC Berkeley in 2006 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, and a minor in Narcissism. She enjoys French cinema and has an unhealthy (borderline obsessive) fascination with George Foreman...and his grill. Her interests include writing satirical vignettes; instigating water balloon fights; and using the phrase "on the fritz" as often as possible.

Ashley joins NPR from her native Los Angeles, where she was once an intern for On Air with Ryan Seacrest, an experience that brought home the importance of "the little people." As an expert in bandaging paper cuts and staple wounds with agility and fortitude, Ashley is a welcome addition to the trenches of live radio. Her talent at restocking printer paper and delivering scripts in a punctual manner, however, still remains to be seen.

In the future Ashley hopes to walk the Great Wall of China, cartwheel in front of the Taj Mahal, dance Junkanoo with the locals in the Bahamas, and ride a camel named "Ziggy" in zigzag patterns around the Egyptian pyramids. She is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the world of public radio, and hopes to absorb as much production know-how as possible.


Adam Hinterthuer


Science Desk



Adam Hinterthuer will hopefully have his Masters Degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison by the end of May. His only remaining prerequisite is not getting kicked out of his Science Desk internship. Adam has a wonderful wife, Carrie, and two sometimes-wonderful cats back home in Madison, where they are patiently waiting out his quixotic three-month quest into the nation's capital.

Before NPR, Adam was a science writer for Earthwatch Radio, a freelancer for the Isthmus free weekly, and even wrote an article on frogs for Highlights Magazine for Kids. (Although he couldn't find the sailboat on the Hidden Pictures page). Adam is, like many NPR employees, a graduate of Carleton College. He is originally from Arkansas.


Rebecca Jacobson


Arts & Information Desk



Rebecca was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She learned to talk at a very early age, and according to family and friends she hasn't stopped talking since. The little chatterbox was incredibly curious about the world around her, and that curiosity never dissipated throughout her education. She went on to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, better known outside Nebraska as "The Huskers," where she graduated with honors (and from the University Honors program) with a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Film Studies. Her education didn't stop in the classroom - she was involved with local theater productions and student film projects, and has earned a brown belt in judo. Rebecca has always been interested in the great tradition of sharing information and telling stories. With that in mind, she worked at Nebraska Educational Television on long form documentaries. She applied for an internship with National Public Radio when she realized after years of schoolwork that she would graduate and have to go into the real world. She's now an intern with the Arts Desk and thrilled that she gets to spend her time completely absorbed in the world of music, film, theater, literature, and the media.


Ben Jarvis


Media Relations / Corporate Communications



With a passion for communication and a passion for media ("1980's Tom Hanks" movie marathons are TOTALLY legitimate), Ben Jarvis feels very much at home with NPR. Growing up, he spent the majority of his impressionable youth in Atlanta (where the playas play) after which he lived for two years as a missionary in Portugal (where the jogadores jogam). Fluent in Portuguese and ready for a college education, Ben then matriculated at Brigham Young University to study the ancient art of Public Relations.

Now as NPR's media relations intern, he has had the inestimable opportunity to get his radio on while helping to manage and promote the NPR name. Alongside his media relations duties, Ben has also been dubbed "Intern Blogmaster" and has appropriated the title of "Director of NPR Advertising" for himself (Hint - NPR has no advertising). While his true ambition is to be paid a whole bunch of money to go around and make friends with people, Resident Movie/Trivia Buff would also be acceptable, as would Generally Amazing Problem Solver.

Jason Kane


Morning Edition



As a child in the land of concrete, corn and endless shopping malls (Columbus, Ohio, to be specific), Jason Kane loved listening to his grandparents' family stories, myths and tall tales. So he's been traveling the world collecting them from other people ever since. His favorites have come from men in Appalachia trying to grow pumpkins, witchdoctors in Africa trying to fight AIDS and the woman in front of the White House whose been trying to get the president's attention for the last 25 years.

While reporting from South Africa last spring for Religion News Service, he missed American coffee and National Public Radio most of all. He returned to the U.S. and was threatened with physical harm for listening to one too many episodes of Morning Edition at his work/study job. So he decided to try his hand as an intern for the show itself.

Jason has taken courses at four universities within the last four years, and is expecting to graduate (on time!) this spring with a degree in journalism from George Washington University.

Aemon Malone


National Desk



Aemon Malone was born and raised on a small farm in Virginia where he learned to sheer sheep at a young age. The onset of a crippling hay allergy during his eighteenth summer forced him to consider a less bucolic lifestyle and he enrolled in the University of Virginia where he studied English literature eventually graduating in December of 2005.

After graduating Aemon traveled south to Chile where he worked on a winery and hitchhiked throughout the country. During his time in Chile, Aemon mastered the fine art of South American hitchhiking and thoroughly enjoyed the relentless nightlife.

Aemon is an aficionado of NPR and is thrilled to be interning at the National News Desk. A recent opportunity to help cover President Bush's trip to Mount Vernon where he flew in a helicopter has inspired Aemon to pursue radio journalism, if not at least a helicopter pilot's license.


Ricardo Ramirez


All Things Considered



Ricardo joins All Things Considered after obtaining a Master's in French and Francophone Literature from Texas Tech University. He also received a double bachelor's in French and Psychology from Texas Tech. This means he spent the last 5 years in the dry, sandy, windy plains of Lubbock, Texas. His small ventures in journalism include writing a weekly opinion column for the Daily Toreador - his alma mater's newspaper - and a summer internship with El Nuevo Día in San Juan, Puerto Rico, his hometown. There he helped cover world news and appointed himself "international reggae correspondent" for the entertainment section.

Ricardo's interests include Latin American issues, reading, Afro-Caribbean music and jazz. He hopes to be employed as a journalist someday. Somehow.


Laurel Wamsley


Weekend Edition Saturday / Intern Edition Executive Producer



While Laurel's gravelly voice makes her unlikely to be the next Sylvia Poggioli, she's thankful for the chance to give broadcasting the old college try. She graduated in May from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in the Wisdom of Pam Durban, and minored in Living the Dream.

In the last year, she has spent memorable stints living in the high desert of Santa Fe, finagling library access at Harvard, and woof-trapping in Wyoming. She wasn't sure how she'd like the District, but the city has won her over with its Chinatown buses, free books, and high concentration of great people.

She's enjoying her internship at Weekend Edition Saturday, which has given her an appreciation for ambient sound and an excellent rapport with the baristas of 7th Street. She grudgingly admits that Scott Simon is now the voice of her internal monologue.