Ball State University journalism instructor and Coordinator of Unified Media for the College of Communication, Information and Media Juli Metzger has led students to the APME/ASNE conferences every year since 2013. She’s recruited area students from other colleges near the venue to participate in a conference coverage team, as well, producing real-time, multi-platform content. This year, students from Penn State join Ball State in covering this convention.

This is an opportunity for you to meet and take note of the most promising student journalists emerging from some of the best universities in the country.


Tyson Bird_BSU Tyson Bird is a junior Journalism Graphics major at Ball State from Sandpoint, Idaho. He has worked as a page designer for Ball State Unified Media and as an intern for CNHI’s Anderson (IN) Design Center. Tyson has interned as a web designer for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington. He worked as part of a design team at the Chicago Tribune this summer as part of Ball State’s BSU at the Games immersive learning experience covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Tyson has a passion for storytelling and has recently developed an interest in interactive projects to deliver news. He can be reached at or
Kaitlin_Lange_BSU Kaitlin Lange is a senior majoring in Journalism and Telecommunications News and Political Science. She was Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and News Editor during her tenure at The Ball State Daily News. She has completed internships at the Evansville Courier & Press and the Indianapolis Star, where she was a Pulliam Fellow. She has been involved in journalism since working for her high school news magazine in Cincinnati, Ohio. Although she is primarily a news junkie, Kaitlin has worked for a variety of sections, including design.  She also was part of Ball State’s BSU at the Games immersive learning experience, covering the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. She can be reached at
Casey_Smith_BSU Casey Smith is a junior majoring in Journalism and Telecommunications and Anthropology with a minor in Spanish. Over the summer, she interned at the Smithsonian Institution, working on multimedia press projects and external affairs assignments at the National Museum of the American Indian. She is News Editor for The Daily News, Ball State’s campus newspaper. She also was part of Ball State’s BSU at the Games immersive learning experience, covering the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. You can reach her at
Kellen_Hazelip_BSU Kellen Lee Hazelip is a sophomore majoring in Telecommunications and specialized in video production. He is the video editor for the Ball State Daily News and the official photographer of the Student Government Association on campus. He also was part of Ball State’s BSU at the Games immersive learning experience, covering the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. He can be reached at
Alan_Hovorka_BSU Alan Hovorka is a senior journalistic data analysis and presentation major at Ball State University.  He has worked as an investigative reporter and social media director for The Ball State Daily News. He’s passionate about public records requests and data journalism. He interned at The Dubois County Herald and the Evansville Courier and Press. He worked as part of a design and data content team at the Chicago Tribune this summer as part of Ball State’s BSU at the Games immersive learning experience covering the 2016 Summer Olympics.He can be reached at, on Twitter @ajhovorka and his website is
Juli_Metzger_BSU Juli Metzger is an Instructor of Journalism and Coordinator for Unified Student Media at Ball State University’s College of Communication, Information, and Media. She has more than 25 years experience as practicing journalist, editor and publisher, having been top editor at three newspapers and publisher at three others. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in journalism and a Master’s of Science degree in Information and Communication Sciences. She was a 2016 Entrepreneurial Journalism Fellow at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. As Executive Editor for Digital at the Indianapolis Star, Metzger oversaw the newspaper’s website, content development, worked with a team to create strategies to drive online traffic, mobile initiatives and social media engagement. Metzger and news organizations under her direction have been cited by the Associated Press Managing Editors for outstanding public service journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation with its National Journalism Award, the Knight Foundation for public service journalism, state press associations in Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, and Louisiana. In addition to teaching, Metzger owns her own publishing company –– specializing in custom audiences and social media. She can be reached at


John_Beale_Penn John Beale teaches photojournalism courses at Penn State. He previously worked as a staff photographer and chief photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Beale’s work has been honored with numerous regional and national awards, including the Community Service Photojournalism Award from the American Society of News Editors. He may reached at
John_Dillon_Penn John Dillon is the Norman Eberly Professor of Practice in Journalism in the College of Communications at Penn State University.  He teaches news writing, editing and newsroom management, and is director of the Dow Jones Center for Editing Excellence at Penn State.  He also guides selected students each semester in writing news stories for the Centre Daily Times in State College.  He joined Penn State in 2007 after a 32-year career as a reporter and editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia.  He was a deputy managing editor in his last 12 years at the paper. He can be reached at
Kayleigh_Barber_Penn Kayleigh Barber is a senior at the Pennsylvania State University and is double majoring in journalism with an emphasis in digital and print mediums, and English with a concentration in both professional and creative writing. During her time at Penn State, she has interned with the Pennsylvania Center for the Book and is currently a marketing intern with the Penn State University Press. She is on track to graduate in three years, this May 2017. Kayleigh can be reached at
Morganne_Mallon_Penn Morganne Mallon is a Penn State senior expecting to graduate in May 2017 with dual degrees in journalism and international politics. She has interned at CNN in Atlanta and PennLive in Harrisburg, and has had her work published in the Centre Daily Times and the Pike County Courier. In the fall, she will work for Penn State Athletics as a videoboard production intern. At Penn State, she is a founding member of The Daily Collegian’s investigative reporting team; an executive producer and director for PSN News, Penn State’s student-run live news show; and a producer and director for 46 LIVE, a live broadcast of Penn State’s THON fundraiser. You can view her work at or on her Twitter, @MorganneMallon. You can reach her at
Leon_Valsechi_Penn Leon Valsechi is a junior at the Pennsylvania State University pursuing a digital/print journalism major with an English minor and is set to graduate in December 2017.  In Spring 2016, Leon was selected to a team of six students who contributed feature stories and covered spot-news stories for the Centre Daily Times. His work has also been published in Mainstream, the Penn State Sustainability Institute’s online magazine. Leon was a 2016 Edward J. Nichols Memorial Award winner for creative non-fiction and the 2015-2016, 2016-2017 John and Jean Gooch Trustee Scholarship recipient. After graduation he plans to begin a journalism career and eventually pursue a graduate or law degree. You can reach him at
Shuyao_Chen_Penn Shuyao Chen is a senior at Penn State majoring in photojournalism. She is currently a photographer for Onward State, an independent student news website. She also is the Penn State football correspondent for Sports Illustrated Campus Rush. In 2015, she participated in the Online News Association’s Student Newsroom in Los Angeles. Shuyao, from Wenzhou, China, is genuinely curious about the world and passionate about visual storytelling. Her hobbies include playing the piano and singing Italian operas. You can reach her at