Michigan Radio Newsroom

News and Production Staff

Michigan Radio offers internships in its newsroom and production departments. Check our employment page for current openings.

Newsroom

Julia Field

Julia recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Urban Studies. Having spent the last two summers interning for a Detroit nonprofit and a NGO in India, she decided to dabble in online news journalism. As a university student, she was involved in the student organization, Human Rights Through Education and the Detroit Partnership.  Although she was raised in rural West Michigan, much of her time at the university was spent either in Detroit or studying it. She is interested in urban planning and policy, community redevelopment, and public health issues. After her internship this summer, she leaves for the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Rebecca Guerriero

Rebecca Guerriero is a senior at the University of Michigan studying in the Program in the Environment (Environmental Science). She is a Graham Sustainability Scholar and focuses her studies on water resource management and sustainable city growth and development. Rebecca is from Northville, Michigan and loves everything “Pure Michigan” – it is her dream to visit every Great Lakes lighthouse. Rebecca is writing her Senior Honors Thesis on sustainable golf course design and management. She works at NOAA’s Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center as a research assistant and webmaster and as a summer orientation Peer Academic Advisor for the Honors Program. She enjoys coffee, camping, traveling, the Italian language, the West Wing, and a good stack of books. Her perfect idea of happiness is playing pond hockey with the 1980 Olympic Team. After graduation, Rebecca plans to trek across Canada and watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in one sitting for the first time.

Lindsay Hall

Lindsay Hall is a senior studying Political Science and Psychology at the University of Michigan. She was born in Cape Town, South Africa and moved with her family to Ann Arbor when at five years old. Last winter term Lindsay was fortunate enough to return to South Africa to study at the University of Cape Town and pursue interests in early childhood education and development as a mentor at a local primary school. She is excited for the opportunity to join the Michigan Radio team this semester and experience what it is like to work within the field of communications.

Alana Holland

Alana Holland is finishing  double major degrees in Broadcasting and Journalism from Grand Valley State University before she takes over the reporting world. Even though she's from the small-town Gaylord, Michigan, she has a heart for big cities and loves travel. In her college, Alana is an anchor and reporter for the student-run TV news station, GV Today, was Layout and Design Editor for the newspaper, the Lanthorn, and has interned for Wood TV-8 and Thunder 94.5 radio. Alana spent a summer studying theater in London, her first taste at travel and learning about culture firsthand. Her goal is to work in international journalism, hoping to eventually become the next Christiane Amanpour. She is a self admitted coffee addict, fashion fanatic, vegetarian, photographer, and lover of all things British. In the next ten years she hopes to ride Asian elephants in India, publish a book, attend a New York Fashion Week, hike Machu Picchu, and learn cook. Ultimately though, she enjoys hearing and telling people's stories, and hopes to have what she does with her work improve other people’s lives.

Sarah Kerson

Sarah is an Ann Arbor native and a graduate of Community High School, where she was an editor of its online student newspaper. She spent her freshman year of college at the University of Vermont studying the social sciences and worked as an investigative reporter for UVM's student newspaper. Sarah also enjoys writing poetry, and was a finalist in the 2012 Ann Arbor Youth Poetry Slam. She is excited to expand her journalism and media experience to public radio.

Melanie Kruvelis

Melanie is a rising senior at the University of Michigan, studying Political Science. A Michigan native, Melanie serves as the Editorial Page Editor at The Michigan Daily, managing a staff of more than 40 columnists, bloggers and editorial board members during the school year. Last winter, Melanie spent five months in Madrid, taking classes at a local university and traveling as much as humanly possible on the weekends. She enjoys all things 90s, ukuleles, and the oxford comma.

Lucy Perkins

Lucy is from Suttons Bay, Michigan and is a senior at the University of Michigan, studying English and Communications. She has worked as an Arts writer for The Michigan Daily, as a writing workshop facilitator for the Prison Creative Arts Project, and as an editorial intern at Traverse Magazine. Last year, Lucy spent five months in Buenos Aires, Argentina taking classes and squeezing in weekend travels whenever possible. While in Buenos Aires, she interned for an English newspaper, The Argentina Independent. Lucy is interested in print and radio, and wants to tell real stories, especially about people who may not otherwise have a voice. She enjoys reading, eating barbecue pizza, and playing with puppies.

Dr. Nishant Sekaran

Nishant has been a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Michigan Medical School, and is a staff physician at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. He has an M.D. degree from Vanderbilt University, and an M.Science in Health Related Research from the University of Michigan. Among his peer reviewed publications are “Hot unstable angina—is it worse than subacute unstable angina?” You can schedule an office visit with Dr. Sekaran to get the answer to that question. 

Chris Zollars

Chris is your basic born again journalist.  He reawakened his enthusiasm for radio news after years in the corporate sector writing and producing video and interactive marketing and training projects.  He holds a Masters in Journalism from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University.  Chris started his journalism travels at his town’s daily paper as a teenager and during his undergrad also worked at SIU-Edwardsville’s NPR affiliate (WSIE-FM).   Chris then served five years as a commissioned officer in the US Coast Guard and was Managing Editor/Internal Relations Manager during the first Gulf War.  While in graduate school, he worked in the newsroom at WDWS-AM/WHMS-FM in Champaign, Illinois, and at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications specializing in science/technology stories.  He and his wife live up near Fenton with their 2 dogs, 2 birds, and 7 horses.

State of Opportunity

Kimberly Springer

Kimberly is excited to be back in public radio after several years spent teaching at the university and researching level in the US and abroad in London. She is currently a student in UM's School of Information Master of Science program specializing in social computing and archives/records management. Kimberly’s goal is to work in social media and/or digital archives and curation. To that end, she spends most of her spare time "curating" her Spotify collection, waiting for Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead to come back, and planning for zombie apocalypse. Ask her: she has a plan.

Stateside

Austin Davis

Austin Davis is a sophomore at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in German Language and Communications Studies. He grew up not too far away from Ann Arbor in Rochester Hills, Michigan where his family still resides.  Although he is unsure of his future career path, he hopes to do work in global reporting/journalism and multi-media production. Although this is Austin’s first time working in a radio station, he has previous experience writing for an online publication and working on local political campaigns. He has thoroughly enjoyed his time here at Michigan Radio, and is excited for the further prospects of this internship.

Operations

Chrissy Zamaron

Crissy is the Operations Intern at Michigan Radio and a senior at U of M earning her BA in both English Language and Literature and Spanish Language and Culture. She has a passion for the art of storytelling and is a genuine NPR fanatic. After graduating this May, she hopes to stay in the public radio family by gaining a position at any one of her favorite NPR shows. Outside of her internship, Crissy loves Latin dancing, singing and endless hours of television crime dramas.

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Education
2:26 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

State of Opportunity's hour on what it's really like in a "low-performing" school

Michigan students may have more rigorous performance expectations on MEAP and other standardized tests.
Alberto G. / Creative Commons

The MEAP test has been used to evaluate kids and schools in Michigan for over four and a half decades.

The test is meant to make sure public schools are teaching kids the basics. But MEAP scores affect where parents decide to send their kids, neighborhood housing prices, city tax revenue, and city services.

Basically, the economics of a city rests on how well 8 and 9-year-olds perform on this single test.

State of Opportunity's Dustin Dwyer spent six weeks inside Congress Elementary in Grand Rapids, a school with consistently low MEAP scores. Dwyer followed a third-grade class as they prepared to take the test. He interviewed students, teachers, and parents, trying to figure out how much these numbers matter. What he found was, the test scores do not even begin to tell the story.

To hear the documentary now and learn more, visit the State of Opportunity website. 

Health
11:44 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Hookah lounges are getting popular in Detroit, which has this doctor worried

Hookahs for sale.
Zack Lee Flickr

David Leveille published a story about the increasing popularity of hookah lounges in the Detroit area for PRI's The World.

Leveille spoke with pulmonologist Basim Dubayo, the associate chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Wayne State University's School of Medicine.

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Education
11:36 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Students tell government officials about their high school experience

YouthSpeak forum in Washtenaw County
Credit Virginia Gordan

More than a dozen Michigan and Washtenaw County government officials listened attentively yesterday while students and recent graduates spoke about their experiences in Washtenaw County high schools.

The event, called YouthSpeak, was one of a series of youth public forums organized around the state by youth service organizations.

Some students said school policies do not take into account the poverty, homelessness, and family issues many students face. They said this has a negative impact on their education.

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Education
12:53 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

DTE gives $1 million to Michigan Science Center in Detroit

Detroit Science Center, now known as the Michigan Science Center.
user: Liza Lagman Sperl

The DTE Energy Foundation plans to donate $1 million to the Michigan Science Center in Detroit.

According to their press release, the donation will span a period of five years, specifically funding the science center's STEM educational program (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

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Law
1:59 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Group calls Michigan's African-American homicide rate a public health crisis

African-Americans in Michigan are murdered at one of the highest rates in the nation. That's according to a study from the Violence Policy Center.

The Center says 31 of every 100,000 black Michiganders was a homicide victim in 2011. That's twice the national rate for blacks and seven times the rate for Americans overall.

Josh Sugarmann is the Center's executive director. He says this is part of a public health crisis in America.

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That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun January 26, 2014

The ‘that,’ ‘who,’ ‘which’ dilemma

The pronoun who is for people and the pronoun that is for things, except when it’s the other way around.

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the confusing usage of who, that, and which.

Students are often taught that is for inanimate objects while who is for people. However, standard grammar books allow some variation on this rule.

In fact, the word that has referred to people for hundreds of years.

“You can go back to early translations of the Lord’s Prayer” Cruzan describes. “You will get ‘Our father, thou that art in heaven.” In this example, that refers to a person.

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Economy
4:28 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Congressional Democrats urge renewed unemployment benefits

Bytemarks flickr

More than 1.6 million Americans have lost their unemployment insurance since the end of 2013.

Congress allowed federal legislation designed to give job seekers unemployment benefits to expire on Dec. 28.

Congressional Democrats have called on Republicans to support legislation that would revive unemployment benefits.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, who authored legislation to extend unemployment benefits, said partisan gridlock could cause the number of people without unemployment benefits to double by the end of the year.

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Education
11:10 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Who is Dr. Mark Schlissel, the next president of the University of Michigan?

Dr. Mark Schlissel, the University of Michigan's 14th president.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

This morning, Dr. Mark Schlissel was named the 14th president of the University of Michigan. Dr. Schlissel most recently served as provost of Brown University.

The university Board of Regents appointed Schlissel unanimously.

According to the university’s press release, Schlissel will succeed Mary Sue Coleman on July 1, 2014.

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Education
10:17 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Dr. Mark Schlissel is the 14th president of the University of Michigan

Dr. Mark Schlissel is the 14th president of the University of Michigan
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

This morning, Dr. Mark Schlissel was named the 14th president of the University of Michigan. Dr. Schlissel most recently served as provost of Brown University.

Schlissel graduated from Princeton University in 1979. He later received his MD and PhD from Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. 

Environment & Science
11:59 am
Thu January 23, 2014

These researchers say you'll be less productive if you use your smart phone at night

Smart phones can reduce your productivity, according to a new study
user: Dru Bloomfield Flickr

MSU conducted a study that links productivity to smart phone usage.

Russell Johnson is an assistant professor at Michigan State and conducted the study in collaboration with the University of Florida and the University of Washington.

The study found two big correlations.

First, that the amount of sleep you get is directly related to how much time you spend on your cell phone at night.

If you spend a lot of time on your phone, you'll get less sleep. 

The second big thing has to do with productivity.

Johnson and the other two researchers found that it's harder for people to be focused and engaged at work if they spent a lot of time on their smart phones the night before.

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Politics & Government
12:08 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Former University of Michigan Medical School professor testifies in insider-trading case

Sidney Gilman, the former University of Michigan Medical School professor who leaked secrets to SAC Capital.
University of Michigan University of Michigan

A former University of Michigan Medical School professor told a New York jury that he was “ashamed” of his role in an insider-trading case.

Sidney Gilman was an Alzheimer’s researcher at the university with major credentials; the 81-year-old neurologist worked at Harvard, Columbia and then Michigan, where he chaired the neurology department.

Now, the retired professor is a key witness against portfolio manager Mathew Martoma from SAC Capital, a Connecticut-based company.

During his testimony on Tuesday, Gilman said he gave Martoma secrets about a trial for an Alzheimer’s treatment from 2006 to 2008.

As Michigan Radio's Kate Wells reported in 2012, that information was pretty valuable to Martoma and SAC Capital – to the tune of $276 million:

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Politics & Government
4:45 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Changes could be on horizon for backyard farmers

Backyard chicken coop
Credit Josh Larios / Wikimedia

Many small and urban farms could lose the protection of Michigan's Right to Farm Act.

The Act protects farmers against nuisance lawsuits if they follow Michigan's Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPS).

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development wants to exclude farms with fewer than 50 animals from Right to Farm protection if those farms are in areas zoned exclusively residential.

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Education
4:30 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

University of Michigan administrators boost efforts to improve racial climate on campus

The Trotter Multicultural Center at the University of Michigan may move closer to the university's central campus as part of an effort to improve race relations on campus.
MESA/Trotter University of Michigan

Administrators at the University of Michigan are “doubling down” on efforts to improve race relations at the university’s Ann Arbor campus.

Minority enrollment is down at the university: In 2008, black students made up about 6.8% of the university’s freshman class. In 2012, that number dropped to 4.6%.

A recent Twitter campaign caught the attention of administrators, as students took to the Web to express their frustrations with race relations on campus. The #BBUM campaign – Being Black at Michigan – went viral, with more than 10,000 tweets using the hashtag in November.

As MLive’s Kellie Woodhouse reported, the university is now launching a campus-wide effort to increase enrollment of underrepresented students and improve the campus climate.

One plan in the works is to renovate the Trotter Multicultural Center, a hub dedicated to providing a safe working environment for students on campus.

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Politics & Government
12:59 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Ann Arbor's longest-serving mayor looks back on career

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje.
Doug Coombe Concentrate Magazine

In 2000, John Hieftje began his tenure as mayor of Ann Arbor, and every two years after that, Hiefjte won reelection with numbers reflecting strong support from the people in the city. His 14-year run makes him the city’s longest-serving leader.

He recently announced he is not planning on running for reelection, a decision he says he’s been considering for the past few years.

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That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Homing in on ‘comprise’

If the whole comprises the parts, it seems like the parts should not be able to comprise the whole.

This week on That’s What They Say, Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan take on the verb comprise used to mean compose.

In the 15th century, comprise meant “to seize” or “to comprehend.” From there, comprise took on the definition “to include.” With this meaning, a big part comprises smaller parts.

However, by the 18th century, comprise also meant compose, allowing small things to comprise a larger thing. Ever since this change, the two words have often been used interchangeably.

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Economy
3:34 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

It's a tough time to be a millionaire in Michigan

Buddy, can you spare a million?
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A report from the Phoenix Global Wealth Monitor says Michigan had fewer millionaires in 2013.

Michigan had around 170,000 households with more than a million dollars in investable assets. But that's 10,000 fewer than in 2012.   Michigan's top year was 2007, when it had more than 214,000 millionaires.

David Thompson is Managing Director of Global Wealth Monitor.  He says Michigan's wealth stability is more vulnerable than other states like New Jersey or Maryland with strong centers of wealth creation.

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Politics & Government
10:10 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Listen to Gov. Snyder's 2014 State of the State speech

Gov. Snyder delivers 2014 State of the State address.
Gov. Snyder's office

If you missed tonight's speech, you can listen to here:


Education
1:23 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Today's State of Opportunity call-in show tackles standardized testing

Michigan students may have more rigorous performance expectations on MEAP and other standardized tests.
Alberto G. / Creative Commons

Update: If you missed the program, you can catch the audio on this post.

Do at-risk kids have more on the line when it comes to testing? Are low expectations playing a part in poor test performance? How does the Smarter Balance test compare to the MEAP?

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

What words has Gov. Snyder used most in his State of the State addresses?

A word cloud of Gov. Rick Snyder's most frequently used words in his 2011 State of the State address.
Melanie Kruvelis Tagul

Tonight, Gov. Rick Snyder will deliver his fourth State of the State address.

Michigan’s leaders are already spelling out what issues they hope to see the governor address in this year's annual speech: road funding, higher education, LGBT discrimination and tax cuts, to name a few.

We thought we’d take a look at what Snyder has said in his past talks, and how his speeches have changed during his past three years in office.

Snyder’s 2011 State of the State address:

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Politics & Government
7:58 am
Thu January 16, 2014

In this morning's headlines: State of the State, school employee benefits, replacement for the MEAP

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

State of the State address tonight

Gov. Rick Snyder will deliver his State of the State address at 7 pm. You can listen to the speech live on Michigan Radio.

Court upholds increase in public school employees' share of retirement, benefits costs

"Public school employees will continue to pay more for retirement and health benefits under a ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The unanimous decision upholds a 2012 law that was challenged by teachers’ unions," Rick Pluta reports.

Lawmakers debate new standardized test

"Michigan education officials are defending their choice of a new standardized test. The Michigan Department of Education wants state lawmakers to endorse the Smarter Balanced Assessment. It would replace the Michigan Educational Assessment Program – known as the MEAP. Smarter Balanced is a computer-based test that officials say better measures student growth," Jake Neher reports.

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