Intern Edition Spring 2005


Summer 2005 Interns

Intern Bios

Ashley Ahearn

Ashley Ahearn, Radio Expeditions

Ashley Ahearn was born in Charlestown, Mass., and moved with her family to Gloucester on Cape Ann, Mass. She attended Gloucester and Manchester public schools before enrolling in St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H., where she graduated with distinctions in French, Japanese and humanities.

Ashley's interest in radio journalism was born when she interned with radio producer Sandy Tolan who was preparing a piece for NPR on the dying fishing industry in Gloucester. She also assisted with a book by Tolan on Henry Aaron and race relations in America. Following this internship, she worked for Lamis Andoni on several pieces on the Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestine.

At Georgetown University, Ashley graduated with honors, majoring in comparative literature and earning distinctions for her thesis. During her college, Ashley studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and interned at Transitions Online, an international journal based in Prague.

This summer she is working with Radio Expeditions and looks forward to future expeditions of her own. On weekends you can find her recklessly endangering pedestrians on her bicycle and being a rowdy Red Sox fan.

return to top
Vahan Baladouni

Vahan Baladouni, Audio Engineering

Vahan Baladouni, originally from New Orleans, completed his undergraduate studies in sociology and music technology at Loyola University. Some of his interests include: listening to live acoustic music, especially jazz, playing mandolin and guitar, sound gathering, musical performance recording, sound editing, technical evaluation of gear and enjoying southern Cajun seafood.

Vahan recently completed a program of study at the Conservatory for Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe, Ariz. His experiences include assisting on remote recordings for orchestral performances, post-production, and studio recording. Vahan has interned at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, Livinghead Audio Recording in Phoenix, and Swelltone Labs Studio in New Orleans. The sound rich stories that NPR produces have attracted him to the internship program with the Audio Engineering Department. He looks forward to a career in audio engineering.

return to top
Malika Bilal

Malika Bilal, Online Editorial - Audio Bio

Malika Bilal grew up listening to All Things Considered and Morning Edition on NPR during the long car rides to and from school with her parents. The born and raised Chicago native is a senior at Northwestern University where she's majoring in journalism. She recently returned from a semester abroad in Cairo, where she practiced her Arabic skills at American University, and she hopes to one day put those skills to work as a foreign correspondent. She's worked with TV broadcasting at her campus station, dabbled in magazine writing, and has done daily reporting at a Tribune Company newspaper. As for now, she's excited to be working with NPR Online as an editorial intern, so that she'll soon have experience in all types of journalism.

return to top
Claire Blaustein

Claire Blaustein, Performance Today - Audio Bio

Claire Blaustein is the enemy - a former performer, graduating from Indiana University-Bloomington with a degree in violin performance, she turned to the dark side and decided instead to pursue a career criticizing the work of others. She now is getting her master's in music criticism from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

She came to NPR partially as an escape from being a lonely American in Canada, eh? - but mostly because NPR programming had been a part of her life for as long as she could remember. "I was always on my way to or from lessons or rehearsals, and NPR was on in the car," Claire said. "I got dirty looks from many a conductor because I couldn't make myself miss the end of a segment." The thing she is most grateful for in her internship is that they even let her in the building at all. "Once you're in here, there's no limit to what you can learn."

Claire is the intern at NPR's Performance Today. She also writes freelance criticism (which means that no one really asked for her opinion, but she gives it out anyway) for JIVE magazine and The Washington Post.

return to top
Joy Cameron

Joy Cameron, Development

Joy Cameron attends George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In May 2006, she will graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in electronic media. Interested in radio production and public broadcasting, she could think of no better place than NPR to explore both careers simultaneously. As an intern in the Development Department and managing editor for Intern Edition, Joy hopes to gain a well-rounded view of NPR and a better sense of what she sees as her ideal career in broadcasting. She spent last semester studying abroad in London, an experience that only furthered her interest in traveling and exploring other cultures. Joy is from Albuquerque, N.M., and she has found that her time in D.C. has interrupted her love affair with green chili and Mexican food in general.

return to top
Chan Casey

Chan Casey, Legal

Chan Casey recently completed his first year of law school at Columbia University and is an intern in the Office of the General Counsel at NPR. Before going to law school, he spent twelve years acting, mostly in New York.

return to top
Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen, Ombudsman

Ben Cohen is interning in the office of the ombudsman. A Baltimore native, he is thrilled to be in Washington, D.C. after spending too much time in the Berkshire Mountains studying physics at Williams College. When asked how he made the jump from physics to journalistic ethics, Ben quickly points out that the best qualities of a scientist are embodied by the Ombudsman, most notably, an indefatigable skepticism. Additionally, his years working as an archivist and phone support technician taught him that people need to vent to someone, and that their claims often have merit. Plus, it's much better to work for NPR than to be a staffer on Capitol Hill.

return to top
Yolanda Coleman

Yolanda Coleman, Publicity and Events

Hailing from the quilting capital of the world, Paducah, Ky. for those not in the know, Yolanda Coleman's love of journalism and passion for non-profit organizations attracted her to NPR. Or maybe it was the brainwashing that occurred as a result of the many years of NPR her dad forced her to listen to on the way to school before she got her license. Either way, she's thrilled to finally be here, working as the publicity and events intern in the Communications Department.

In the fall, Yolanda will begin her senior year at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she is a journalism major with an emphasis in magazine and graphic design. When she is not serving as a higher education beat reporter and graphic artist for the Columbia Missourian, Yolanda enjoys laughing, worshiping the greatness that is Oprah, chicken, sleeping through the time she should be using to prepare for the LSAT and working on the novel she hopes to complete sometime before she dies. After graduation, Yolanda hopes to recover from the trauma of spending four years in the Midwest (which will probably take decades), visit South Africa, write for Essence, work for a design firm and maybe attend law school if she can ever gets around to preparing for the test.

return to top
Katy Dichter

Katy Dichter, Reference Library

Katy Dichter, the intern in the Reference Library, earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University before moving to San Francisco to pursue a career in live event production. After many years in the Bay Area, she moved to Seattle to get a master's in library and information science at the University of Washington. She's actively honing the most endearing and important librarian qualities: wearing one of those chains to hold her glasses (haven't bought the glasses yet), fastening her hair in a bun with a No. 2 pencil, and "shh"-ing.

return to top
Kim Fox

Kim Fox, Academic Advisor - Intern Edition

Kim Fox is an instructor at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. She is also the station manager for the college radio station, WMCO 90.7. Additionally, she freelances for various media outlets and recently won the Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association for "Gathering Places." That feature was produced for the "This Time Around" series that aired on NPR member station, WOUB in Athens, Ohio.

return to top
Jeremy Freed

Jeremy Freed, News and Notes - Audio Bio

Escaping the bleak wasteland of the Canadian tundra and making his way to Los Angeles, Jeremy Freed somehow found himself at NPR West. A native of Toronto, Jeremy first left his homeland to attend the Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, where he majored in drama, and spent a lot of time driving around, shooting at bottles, and perfecting his freestyle-skills. The Southwest could not hold him, however, and he fled back across the border to major in drama and English at Bishop's University, a tiny liberal arts school near Montreal. There he rode freight trains, discovered a thrift store goldmine, and co-created a scandalous zine.

Jeremy recently spent six months in South Africa reading, writing, getting in touch with his roots, and generally having the time of his life. Someday, Jeremy hopes to play harmonica in a bluegrass band, visit opium dens in Laos, and write articles about stuff. He is very happy to be working at NPR.

return to top
Whitney Gent

Whitney Gent, Corporate Communications

Whitney Gent is the corporate communications intern at NPR. A true Midwesterner, she comes from Wichita, Kan., but spends most of her time in Springfield, Mo., attending Drury University. She will graduate in May 2006 with a bachelor of arts degree in speech communication and minors in Spanish, politics and government, and global studies.

Dr. Seuss once wrote, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better - it's not," and Whitney cites this as a long-time personal motto. Her internship, she says, will help her gain the skills necessary to make the world a better place through improved communication. When a diversity of people and opinions prevail, she believes discourse is capable of producing real change. Besides, public broadcasting fascinates her.

Whitney also loves Kansas University basketball, Diet Coke, and watching movies based on Jane Austen books.

return to top
Katie Gradowski

Katie Gradowski, Online - Audio Bio

Katie Gradowski hails from the green suburbs of New Jersey, where she spent her formative years reading books and planning her eventual escape to a real city. She lives in Baltimore now, which is a step in the right direction. When not working as an intern at NPR, she enjoys reading, traveling, and exploring used bookstores at every opportunity.

Katie recently graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in English and creative writing, and spent the last two summers traipsing through Germany on a research grant to study Expressionist architecture. She worked at the local NPR affiliate in Baltimore and then migrated south to D.C., where she is now an editorial intern for NPR Online.

return to top
Daria Grayer

Daria Grayer, All Things Considered, Weekend

Daria Grayer graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, where she studied philosophy and journalism, in the spring of 2004. During her time at Spelman she participated in a United States Embassy fellowship exchange with the British embassy, in which she worked closely with the mayor of London on international policy reform and advocacy.

Through her experience at Spelman and fellowship in London, she was able to nurture her love for wisdom and a global commitment to understanding cross-cultural beliefs and practices. More importantly, these experiences inspired her to use the world as a referential source of inspiration and to further explore questions that traditionally go unanswered.

This global frame of reference is what drew her to NPR. It was NPR's ability to confront life as an object of cognition in which everyday news becomes interestingly thought- provoking. Daria also completed a master's fellowship at Howard University where she studied ethics and public policy as it relates to health disparities in the media. Currently, she works with Weekend All Things Considered and looks forward to continuing the growth this experience has awarded her already.

return to top
Christian Grisales

Christian Grisales, Talk of the Nation

Christian Grisales is a senior at Texas State University, majoring in mass communications in electronic media. Originally from Cali, Colombia, Christian has lived in San Marcos, Texas for the past six years.

Christian's interest in journalism began in Cali when he watched soccer matches. "I used to hear the commentator talking really fast about the game and I immediately knew that I wanted to be on radio or TV doing the same thing," he said. To get his start, Christian has been involved in several events, including the 2004 and 2005 Latin Billboard Awards, and the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards.

Christian reported for NPR's Next Generation training program at the Latin Grammy's in Los Angeles, and worked as a news anchor for his school's radio station for two years. "I like news and I find a great interest in reporting news, especially about Latin America since that's where I come from," he said.

In his spare time, Christian enjoys playing tennis and his guitar. As a good Latin guy he loves eating good food, dancing, speaking Spanish and soccer.

return to top
Kella Hammond

Kella Hammond, Weekend Edition, Saturday - Audio Bio

Kella Hammond grew up listening to her grandmother's tall-tale stories every summer in Hickory County, Mo. As a result, Kella learned how to observe by watching hummingbirds, how to tell a story by listening closely during Saturday night BINGO at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, and why the human voice makes NPR stories so compelling. Kella received her bachelor's degrees in anthropology and journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia in May 2000.

Before enrolling in graduate school at the University of Arizona in 2004, where she is studying creative writing in a master's of fine arts program, Kella joined Teach For America. As part of the TFA program Kella taught sixth grade for two years in rural North Carolina. In addition to chaperoning middle school dances, Kella has worked for a youth-led non-profit media project in Atlanta, interviewed the unemployed in Independence, Mo., and baked and sold cinnamon rolls for a farmers' market in Liberty, Mo. She hopes to continue to write, teach, and make documentary radio in a community with mountains and visible stars.

return to top
Marissa Harris

Marissa Harris, All Things Considered - Audio Bio

Marissa Harris is thrilled to be working with All Things Considered this summer. In May, Marissa graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with scholastic honors. As a theater-journalism double major, her collegiate experience was intense but life altering. Before graduating, Marissa spent a semester abroad in London, during which she fell madly in love with BBC. She greatly enjoyed reading shamelessly opinionated British newspapers, and found their post-U.S. election headlines absolutely hilarious.

Marissa loves to read, is an avid "Star Wars" fan, and always, always makes room for Jell-O. She is currently penning her first full-length drama "The Auction", which centers on a privileged mulatto slave named Jacqueline and her flight to freedom.

return to top
Erick Hitter

Erick Hitter, Audio Engineering

When he's not hiding in the Engineering Department at NPR, Erick Hitter is an audio engineering student at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. If all goes according to plan, he will graduate with a bachelor's degree in said program in May 2006. He received his associate's degree in electrical engineering in May 2005 and is now putting that degree to use with NPR's Tomorrow Radio project.

Erick's interests in the audio and electronics fields are quite diverse, from live engineering to radio frequency research and design. In his spare time (what little exists…ahh college) he makes an attempt to stay abreast of developments in his field, experience diverse types of music, and seek out good food. "There really is nothing like discovering a good restaurant I can enjoy with friends," Erick says. After graduation, Erick hopes to put his degree to use exploring and developing new technology for audio and terrestrial/satellite radio.

return to top
Emily Inlow

Emily Inlow, Broadcast Library

Wayward traveler Emily Inlow was born in Maine, raised in Georgia and did time in Michigan and Ecuador before landing in Seattle. She came to NPR because she believes in the kind of information-gathering the organization cultivates. "As a librarian in training, I'm interested in how information becomes part of the historical record," she says. "As someone who has studied oral history, I'm interested in capturing the information that you can only find when you talk to people and listen to their stories." These ideals made Emily perfect for her internship with the Broadcast Library.

Socrates once said, "the unexamined life is not worth living," which is why Emily lends much of her energies to efforts that promote literacy. She did her undergrad at Kalamazoo College and, in June 2006, will complete her master's with the University of Washington Information School. From there, she aspires to be a librarian and spend her free time traveling and scuba diving.

return to top
Desiree Jones

Desiree Jones, National Desk - Audio Bio

National Desk Intern Désirée Jones, is an agricultural communications major and aspiring journalist from the University of Kentucky. Her summer studies in Belize, during her freshman and sophomore years in high school sparked an interest in civic and rural issues; particularly, her interest to increase civic participation among rural and socio-economically disadvantaged citizens through better reporting.

Before completing her undergraduate studies, Désirée will study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa with the School for International Training. While abroad, she will study multiculturalism and social change with a research emphasis on the free press. In theory, her work both here at NPR and in Cape Town, will create an informal comparative study of the free press, to answer her personal and professional questions in regards to the role of the free press in civic life.

Désirée has worked with the University of Kentucky's Agricultural Communication Service in the News and Information Department as a Cooperative Extension Intern and wrote essays about campus life for the National Public Radio affiliate WUKY-FM 91.3, among other activities.

return to top
Michael Karavolos

Michael Karavolos, Online Shop

Michael Karavolos grew up in Columbus, Ohio and received his undergraduate degree in psychology from The Ohio State University. He then moved to New York in 1999 where he lived and worked for five years before deciding to go back to school to get his MBA.

Currently, he's attending the University of Miami and will begin his second year in the MBA program with a concentration in Marketing. Michael was drawn to NPR because he sees the organization as one of the few remaining bastions of quality news. NPR fits into a lot of areas where he has interest: new media, information flow, and non-profit organizations. Michael's hobbies include Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and learning more about history.

return to top
Liliya Karimova

Liliya Karimova, Weekend Edition, Sunday - Audio Bio

Liliya Karimova grew up on the Volga river in the former Soviet Union. She came here four and a half years ago and earned a masters degree in English. She will soon receive a second master's in communications, before pursuing her doctorate in intercultural communication at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Her biggest achievement so far is her commentary, "A Tatar's Exploration of Identity," which was broadcast on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. "It conveyed my struggle to define my personal identity in today's multicultural world," Liliya said.

Having been exposed to the ideological media of the Soviet Union and post-Communist Russia, Liliya has come to appreciate the importance of freedom of speech, the press, and unbiased reporting. Now, as an intern at NPR, she is discovering that an important news organization is not just an objective source of information. It is also a private tutor on America, the world culture and life.

Some day, Liliya hopes to take what she's learned here back to Russia.

return to top
Sae Komura

Sae Komura, Newscast Unit - Audio Bio

Sae Komura has been interested in journalism for as long as she can remember, so it was natural for her to major in journalism when she transferred to Temple University in Philadelphia.

Sae was born and raised in Osaka, Japan, and loved learning English. On January 17, 1997, when a major earthquake hit the neighboring city of her hometown, she knew she wanted to be a broadcast journalist. Broadcasters kept everyone updated with crucial information. She wanted to be able to help others in the same way broadcasters were able to help her during the earthquake.

Sae loves challenges and chose to stay in the United States pursuing a career in broadcast journalism. She was excited to hear about the opportunity to intern at NPR as she has worked at a member station, WRTI-FM 90.1, as a reporter covering various local news stories.

Aside from working, she has an avid interest in business news and political affairs. Her life long dream is to be a foreign correspondent. Through her internship with NPR this summer, she hopes to hone her writing and reporting skills as well as news judgment at the network level.

return to top
Gregory Lehman

Gregory Lehman, Finance

Phoenix native Gregory Lehman just completed his freshman year at Georgetown University and is proud to say he's still alive. Not only is he still alive, but he liked D.C. so much he decided to stay for the summer and work in the Finance Department at NPR. As a business school student, Greg thinks this would be the perfect opportunity to combine his business and journalism interests. He is still, however, trying to find his great story idea. In the meantime, he will continue to learn all he can about business.

return to top
Patricia Li

Patricia Li, Music Unit - Audio Bio

Patricia Li was born in Shanghai, China, but moved with her parents at the age of one to Buenos Aires, Argentina where she grew up. As if this international migration were not enough, she has been living for almost two years in Pittsburgh, after winning a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a master's in piano performance from Carnegie Mellon University. She started her piano studies at the age of six and has performed widely in Argentina and the United States, in venues such as the Colón Theater of Buenos Aires, Carnegie Music Hall of Pittsburgh, Kansas University and the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Concert Society. Her instructors include Maestros Anton Soler and Biljensky and Enrique Graf.

In addition to music, Patricia is interested in astronomy. She represented Argentina at NASA's International Space Camp in 2000. Patricia also loves languages; she dedicates her free time trying to learn French and German, besides knowing Spanish and Chinese.

Her passion for classical music, her commitment to promote it though media and her motivation for challenging and leadership experiences brought her to NPR this summer. Besides, she believes it would be the ideal place to hone her sound engineering, reporting and arts management skills. So far it has been a life-changing experience for her. It is her dream to be able to produce a new radio program for NPR in the future, where maybe she can be featured as a piano performer, integrating a few of her passions at once.

return to top
Jill Merselis

Jill Merselis, Audience and Corporate Research - Audio Bio

Steve Merselis once said to a friend who was preparing to embark on a long car ride with Jill: "Don't let her near the radio dial or you'll be listening to NPR for the whole seven hour trip." In so many words, this describes Jill's reason for being at NPR - she loves this place! Her deep respect for the in-depth and diverse programming led her to look into intern and employment opportunities here, and her background in economics and statistics led her to the Audience and Corporate Research Division, where she is now an intern.

Jill grew up in Wayland, Mass., and graduated in May from Bucknell University with a bachelor of arts in economics and political science and a minor in Spanish. Jill enjoys hiking, running, swimming in the ice-cold northeast ocean, riding horses and especially tennis (she was on Bucknell's women's tennis team). Aside from sports, Jill loves to travel, baby-sit her three nephews, cook, try to speak Spanish, and eat lots and lots of sushi.

"When she grows up," Jill wants to move back to New England and build a log cabin in the middle of nowhere (but at the same time close to the ocean and an airport from which she can fly to foreign countries) and either work in public radio, environmental policy, or economic development (or all three, if she finds a way.)

return to top
Laine Middaugh

Laine Middaugh, Washington Desk - Audio Bio

Laine Middaugh is the summer 2005 intern at the Washington Desk. She is a proud native of Seattle, Wash. and has never owned an umbrella. Laine is entering her senior year at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., where she studies politics and philosophy. She is particularly interested in social policy and politics, including the role of race in American politics, and is still trying to figure out how to go about changing the world.

Laine grew up listening to NPR in the backseat of her father's car and applied for an internship hoping that the brilliance of the NPR staff might rub off on her. No word yet on whether her plan for intellect-by-osmosis has panned out, but she gets a kick out of hearing familiar voices around the office anyway and loves the opportunity to research new stories every day.

return to top
Robert Molina

Robert Molina, Online Editorial

Robert Molina, of Olney, Md. sees himself soon as a citizen of the world. He plans to become a foreign service officer in the U.S. Department of State. In the meantime, he likes the pace of the news business.

He covered the American Society of Newspaper Editors Convention in Washington, D.C. in April and spent last summer as a reporter on the staff of the Lexington, N.C. newspaper, The Dispatch. Robert is a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he toils toward double degrees in journalism and Spanish. His dream job is to drive a Formula One racecar or be Indiana Jones for a day.

return to top
Jehan Mondal

Jehan Mondal, Online Business Development - Audio Bio

Jehan Mondal was born and raised in the rough and tumble of northern Virginia's suburbia. Although she recently graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in commerce, she's keen on receiving a doctorate in the philosophy of life. As a student she found outlets in writing for the school paper, serving as treasurer for fiscally responsible organizations, and ensuring the vitality of first-year females as a residential coordinator.

This summer, Jehan looks forward to balancing the books and a little business savvy with dreams of being heard in a new way through Intern Edition, meeting people tuned in with their heart, and composing a most excellent adventure.

return to top
Francisco Moreno

Francisco Moreno, Morning Edition

Francisco (better known as Alejandro) Moreno is a master's student at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. While originally from northern Connecticut, he thinks of Los Angeles as home. He has written a number of opinion-editorial pieces for U.S. papers and wire services, but would usually rather be scuba diving.

return to top
Yasmine Noujaim

Yasmine Noujaim, All Things Considered - Audio Bio

NPR foreign correspondent Anne Garrels started it all. After reading Garrels' book "Naked in Baghdad" during her last semester of college, Yasmine was taken by the honest, moving way that she presented her Iraqi experience. If radio journalism meant really digging deep into the center of a story, or in this case the heart of a country, Yasmine wanted to learn the medium.

Coming from a print journalism background, Yasmine has found everything at NPR "new." Used to the mobility of a pen and pad, the concept of lugging a microphone and mini-disk player around to cover a story has been a difficult challenge. But she enjoys capturing the voices of those interviewed on tape; their emotions and inflections replayed faithfully -- a task oftentimes impossible in the world of print.

Yasmine is a recent Georgetown University graduate with a double major in French and Arabic. Unable to stay still in one place for long, she sees herself in Morocco some day, where she's heard the men are uncommonly handsome.

return to top
Christian Nwachukwu

Christian Nwachukwu, Jr., Morning Edition

Christian Nwachukwu, Jr. graduated in 2004 from Morehouse College with a bachelor's in biology. The Manson, N.C., native worked as a columnist for The Warren Record in Warren, N.C., as a sports contributor to the News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C. and as an editor of his college newspaper, The Maroon Tiger. He also worked as a research assistant in a neurobiology lab, studying circadian rhythms in rats, which has prepped him for working the overnight shift as the Morning Edition intern. He enjoys jogging and traveling.

return to top
Desmond Ortega

Desmond Ortega, Day to Day - Audio Bio

Desmond Ortega is a recent graduate of California State University- Northridge with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He fell in love with the field after anchoring an award-winning half hour news broadcast on the university radio station, KCSN-FM 88.5. He also reported for Valley View News, the university television journalism program. In that same period, Desmond discovered NPR and was enthralled by what he thinks is "the most credible journalism organization in the country." He believes NPR stands for integrity above all else, which is what drew him to intern at NPR West in Los Angeles.

Although reporting was his primary interest, the production aspect is increasingly becoming intriguing to him. Desmond says if given one adjective to describe himself, it would be "insightful," as he tries to see all sides of any equation and always look for the deeper meaning. "I believe NPR is a reflection of that, which is why I'm proud to be an intern on The Day to Day Show."

return to top
Liliana Percy

Liliana Percy, Arts and Information Desk - Audio Bio

When Lily Percy applied for an internship at NPR, she actually found herself using the phrase "National Public Radio has been the soundtrack to my life" several times throughout her application. The daughter of Colombian missionaries, Lily was raised to value everything seen, written and heard and has consequently made it her ultimate goal in life to find a way to incorporate her love of film, books and music into some sort of viable career.

A recent graduate of Florida International University, with a bachelor of arts in English and a film studies certificate, Lily feels most at home in a movie theater or a bookstore and dreams of one day being 'man' enough to write for Esquire magazine, brave enough to be Freddie Mercury and funny enough to make her father laugh.

return to top
Nakiah Qualls

Nakiah Qualls, Creative Design Services

Imagination is the key to making your wildest dreams come true and Nakiah Qualls believes that wholeheartedly. Not only has her imagination driven her to explore the world of jewelry making, but it has also brought her a new adventure as an intern in the Creative Design Department.

A December 2004 graduate of Frostburg State University with a bachelor's degree in mass communications, Nakiah has been the host of her own weekly radio show, Throwback Soul featuring Phoenix (herself), on WFWM-FM 91.9, an NPR member station, and was a producer for an on-campus, student-run television news program, News Notes.

In her spare time, Nakiah is the co-host of "Teen Focus", a show on Channel 76 in Prince George's County, Md., and enjoys going to the movies to see the latest romantic comedies and action flicks.

return to top
Christopher Reed

Christopher Reed, Legal

Originally from Denver, Chris graduated from Lehigh University in 2003 with a bachelor of science in economics and went on to Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H. where he just completed his second year. While in college, Chris served as a local host of NPR programs and a newscaster on WDIY-FM 88.1 in Bethlehem, Pa. In law school, he serves as the editor in chief of IDEA: The Journal of Law & Technology and he recently interned with Judge Steven McAuliffe at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire.

Outside of school, Chris does freelance voice-overs and consulting work for small media clients and he eventually hopes to pursue a full-time career in the media business that allows him to combine his interests in business and economics, broadcasting, and the law. On rare occasions when Chris is not working or thinking about radio, Chris enjoys traveling, photography, and writing.

After a lifelong interest in the media, and a longtime affinity to public radio, working for NPR has been a fantastic opportunity for Chris. He is actually a "repeat offender" at NPR, having interned for the company's Business Development department in 2002. This summer he returns as an intern in the Legal Department.

return to top
Rachel Rodriguez

Rachel Rodriguez, All Songs Considered - Audio Bio

Rachel Rodriguez grew up in Greensboro, N.C., and, as a lifelong Blue Devils fan, now attends Duke University. A rising sophomore, Rachel plans to declare majors in history and political science when she returns to school in the fall.

For the summer, however, Rachel will put this focus aside and plans to concentrate on two other interests - music and web design. Rachel has played the violin since she was nine and taught herself HTML as a seventh grader. The opportunity for her to combine the two led her to apply for an internship with NPR's online music show, All Songs Considered.

She now spends her days auditioning CDs of independent artists to play on the show and updating the site. Rachel grew up listening to NPR and hopes for a future career in journalism or possibly law. When she's not working, she enjoys playing violin (especially with the Duke Symphony during the school year) and checking out the endless cultural opportunities in Washington, D.C.

return to top
Emily Schmall

Emily Schmall, Intern Edition

Emily Schmall is this summer's executive producer of NPR's Intern Edition. A native of Chicago, Ill., Emily has written and produced stories for NPR, the London Financial Times, and The Miami Herald. She holds a bachelor of arts in Spanish and literature from Bard College in New York. She enjoys cross-country running, Victorian novels, Latin American literary critiques and local news. She aspires to be a freelance foreign correspondent in Latin America, revive a local NPR affiliate and attend graduate school.

She is the daughter of a criminal and labor law professor and pro bono death penalty attorney, Lorraine Schmall, and Associated Press reporter and White House speechwriter, Derek Schoen.

return to top
Michelle Siegel

Michelle Siegel, Member and Program Services

Michelle Siegel is a proud native of Washington, D.C. Junior year has come too quickly for her at George Washington University, where she is studying political communications. She previously worked with CNN's Crossfire at her university, which is where she caught the broadcast media bug.

In her spare time, Michelle loves to do touristy things-museums, art galleries, monuments and standing on the wrong side of the escalator. She also enjoys sitting in the sun, reading just about anything, and most importantly, watching "Star Wars."

return to top
Paul Spelman

Paul Spelman, Legal

Paul Spelman is a recovering journalist now attending law school at the University of Maryland. His unfortunate news addiction can be traced back to 1991, when he started working as a radio and newspaper reporter in Telluride, Colo. Switching to TV in 1994, he spent a decade as an on-air TV reporter in North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, D.C. Finally kicking the reporting habit in 2004, he escaped back to school in downtown Baltimore, and is now entering his second year at Maryland Law. He is contemplating a career in First Amendment and/or copyright law, and since NPR's General Counsel's office deals with both, it seems like a good place for him to be.

return to top
Andrew Synowiez

Andrew Synowiez, Online Technical

Andrew Synowiez graduated from the University of North Carolina in Spring 2005. He was originally born in Pennsylvania, but did most of his growing up on the eastern shore of Maryland in Easton. His family moved to the former golf capital of the world, Pinehurst, N.C., at the beginning of his freshman year in high school and has lived in the area since.

While at UNC, Andrew received his BS in computer science and was very active in varying technical and non-technical positions during his 4 years. He started out by leading a website consulting club whose goal was to provide free sites to fellow student organizations at UNC. Beginning his sophomore year, Andrew began working for the Center for Instructional Technology at UNC, where he spent three years working on Human Computer Interaction and Web Usability. He worked closely with both the seeing and hearing impaired to create websites accessible to everyone.

Andrew also had journalistic experience at UNC from spending two semesters working for The Daily Tar Heel, UNC's student newspaper, as a staff photographer and one semester as an assistant photo editor. Highlights of that included regularly photographing the 2005 College Basketball National Championship team. His hobbies include photography, music, golf, billiards and basketball.

Currently, Andrew is the technical online intern, working with fellow full-time programmers to provide IT solutions for NPR. He became interested in NPR after a few years of listening to their broadcasts via WUNC-FM 91.5 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

return to top
Ashlei Taylor

Ashlei Taylor, Audience and Corporate Research - Audio Bio

Ashlei Taylor is a soon-to-be senior at the University of Maryland at College Park. She's happy to be interning close to her hometown, Rockville, Md. Ashlei studies business marketing at UMD, and recently traveled with the business school to Hong Kong. This June, she took the LSAT to be considered for law school admission. By no means short of interests, she also directs an all-female a cappella group called The Treble Makers. She says, "I attempt to learn from everything I experience." She is excited to learn more about audience and media research and make new friends at NPR. Working in NPR's Audience and Corporate Research Department and contributing as a musical director for Intern Edition are the highlights of her summer.

return to top
Gisela Telis

Gisela Telis, Science Desk

In her previous life, Gisela Telis sat at a computer all day and did astrophysics research. Now, as the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Fellow at the Science Desk, she gets to sit at a computer all day and wince at the sound of her own voice. Gisela grew up in Elizabeth, N.J., and studied astronomy, anthropology and creative writing at Columbia University in New York. She graduated in 2003 and has been a full-time research assistant in the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory ever since. She enjoys hiking in the desert, experimental cooking, and drinking lots and lots of coffee.

return to top
Tracey Tran

Tracy Tran, Human Resources - Audio Bio

As a recent graduate of George Mason University in his native Fairfax, Va., Tracy Tran lists "developing my inner idiot savant to beat the all-time Jeopardy champion, Brad Rutter," as one of his passions. He used to dream of one day becoming a sportscaster and says he was drawn to NPR because the people here really care about getting all sides of the story for the audience. Tracy hopes he can use this summer to make friends and learn more about NPR's function as a business and news organization.

return to top
Katie Unger

Katie Unger, Science Desk

Katie Unger recently received a master's degree in science writing at Johns Hopkins University. To intern at NPR, she has given up the independent life for a rent-free existence in her parents' home in Rockville, Md. But the sacrifice has proved worth it as she now spends her days assisting the cast of characters they call NPR's Science Desk. Katie enjoys running after lightning bugs and butterflies, and just plain running. When the summer is over she hopes to use her newfound skills to launch herself into a career in science journalism.

return to top
Nhia Vang

Nhia Vang, Media Relations - Audio Bio

Nhia Vang lives her life by one main rule, "Live, love and laugh - and of course, dance like nobody is watching." The Mount Gilead, N.C. girl always dreamed of getting out of her town, but when it came to college, she landed just an hour away at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. But that did not keep her hopes down, she still hopes to travel one day.

Currently, she is a senior communication studies major with a concentration in public relations. She will also have a minor in journalism and graduate with a certificate in international public relations. When she graduates in December 2005, she hopes to pursue public relations in a non-profit organization. While at UNCC, she worked at The University Times, the campus newspaper. She has served in several editorial positions during her three years with the organization. Last year she was the managing editor.

All the while, she's made wonderful friends, making the most of each day and enjoying the simplest things about life. She enjoys the company of friends and loves to laugh. Alone, she enjoys watching movies, cooking and dancing in the privacy of her home while belting out Frank Sinatra songs.

return to top
Felix Wang

Felix Wang, Finance

Originally from Shanghai, China, Felix Wang is a rising sophomore at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Both a pianist and a huge classical music fan, Felix had the honor of performing for two NPR affiliated stations. Because of those unforgettable experiences, he wanted to be a part of this organization, contributing to, and enjoying the beautiful, noble and moral cause it upholds.

As for the D.C. experience, Felix gives the city a "10" for excellent cuisine, attractions, and entertainment. He says D.C.'s leisure-oriented vitality was particularly appealing.

Although he is not sure about his future plans, he knows this internship experience will help guide him in making the best decisions.

return to top
Markell Williams

Markell Williams, Information Technology - Audio Bio

When Markell Williams discovered he was going to be interning at NPR in the Information Technology Department, he was elated. This would not only be the opportunity to work for one of the best news organizations around but a chance to spend the summer at home as well. A native of the D.C. area, Markell currently resides in Bowie, Md. He's been braving the cold winters in Rochester, N.Y. attending Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor's degree in information technology in May 2004. Markell will receive his master's in information technology in May 2006 from RIT, as well.

Don't be fooled, though, there's more to him than computers. His many passions include music, singing, art, writing, reading, and learning new things. Markell aspires to be a renaissance man - an IT consultant, a writer, an artist, and an entertainer. An ultimate dream of his would be developing a magazine or radio/TV show devoted to news, entertainment, and technology. A motto that Markell lives by is: "Never succumb to the expectations of what others want for you. Do what you want to do. Live! Live well and be happy!" Markell looks forward to great a summer at NPR - an experience that will aid in both his personal and professional growth.

return to top
Home | Show | People | Features | Interning

   Next Generation Radio

Summer 2005 Intern Edition
Site Creators: Andrew Synowiez, Ben Cohen