Alumni Stories

Many of our alumni work in television, film, and radio, but you’ll also find them in technology companies, universities, professional sports organizations, governments and municipalities, and even agriculture. Some move West. Some move East. Many choose to stay close and help Indiana’s economy grow.

No matter where they live, we’ve found our alumni to be generous with their time and talents. They return often to campus as guest speakers, serve as departmental curriculum advisors, and seek out current students for internships and new grads for open positions.

Most people recognize Media alumnus David Letterman from his late night TV career or his popular Netflix series. One of our buildings is even named in his honor. You may also be familiar with Jay Williams, founder of Legion Creative Group and former senior vice president of creative content for Walt Disney Co. and Disneyland Resort. Or perhaps you’ve watched NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night” or SyFy’s “Face Off,” among shows produced by Dwight D. Smith’s company, Mission Control Media.

Browse below to meet just some of the hundreds of Media alumni working across the U.S. and abroad.

Master's Degree

Steven Albritton

Evening Anchor
WLWT News 5, Cincinnati, OH

Steven Albritton

I currently anchor the 5:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m newscasts Monday through Friday and do special project reporting. Previously, I worked at KMBC 9 News in Kansas City, Missouri where I co-hosted the KMBC 9 Storytellers Podcast while also doing investigative reporting on the opioid crisis. I began my career in May of 2012 at KATC TV 3 in Lafayette, Louisiana where I started as an MMJ and was promoted to weekend anchor and eventually weekday morning anchor.

How Ball State prepared me for my career

Ball State prepared me to hit the ground running in my first job as a MMJ reporter in Louisiana. From day one, I could go live in the field and effectively deliver strong news coverage because of all the opportunities I was able to take advantage of in the department. In a professional newsroom, they want people who don't need their hand held to get work done and stories turned in a timely fashion. I can't thank Ball State enough for making sure we were ready to be the next generation of journalists.  

Michelle Calka

Associate Professor of Communication Studies
Manchester University

Michelle Calka

I teach a variety of undergraduate courses in media, research methods, and interpersonal and small group communication, and oversee the student internship program. I also direct the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning, a professional development initiative on campus.

How Ball State prepared me for my career

The Digital Storytelling curriculum supported both hands-on experience and my academic research interests. The research I started at Ball State on virtual worlds became a crucial part of my research agenda. The Department of Media's M.A. helped me develop the confidence to pursue a Ph.D., where I found a passion for teaching about media in addition to studying it.

Kaitlin Paege

Videographer and Photographer
Jovial Foods Inc.

Kaitlin Paege

I currently work in North Stonington, Connecticut, with Jovial Foods, an organic imported Italian food company. In addition to food photography and videography, I also assist in graphic design and social media. At least twice a year, I spend two weeks in Italy taking photos and videos (and washing dishes!) at our company’s culinary getaways for Americans in Tuscany.

How Ball State prepared me for my career

Because of the incredible teachers and the resources of Ball State's Media department, not only did my diploma give me a degree in my field, but upon graduating, I also had the videography skills and knowledge of the industry that helped me prepare for and successfully acquire my dream job. I even met my new boss, through my connection of a Ball State professor, while studying abroad in Italy.

Cassandra Eiler

Assistant Editor

Cassandra Eiler

As an assistant editor at Netflix, I work on trailers and behind-the-scenes content for Netflix original shows and features. I help with creating projects for editors, managing media throughout the editorial process, and communicating with the finishing team to complete the final product.

How Ball State prepared me for my career 

My classes at BSU, especially my film and media studies classes, gave me a deeper understanding of themes and stylistic looks of films, which I apply when marking the best of the behind-the-scenes footage for various pieces in a campaign. These classes also broadened my knowledge of film and introduced me to a wider array of movies than I had watched or appreciated before. Professors in Media had a big impact on preparing me to enter the field purely by being supportive and always encouraging me to pursue and explore whatever job and career options that interested me even as they changed and evolved throughout my time at BSU.

Richard L. Rogers

Video Producer and Motion Graphics Designer
The North American Spine Society

Richard RogersCurrently, I work as the all-in-one video department at a non-for-profit health care association. Whether it is planning out shoots, controlling the camera and audio on location, editing the footage, making motion graphics in After Effects or even creating the necessary 3D elements in Cinema 4d, it is my job to do it all.
How Ball State prepared me for my career 

My time at Ball State Media allowed me to be prepared for flexibility in all areas of production which better prepared me to wear as many hats as necessary and complete projects to the fullest potential. The professors at Ball State were exceptionally motivating in teaching the lesson - one’s success is not just how they’re performing in class, but also how that individual is furthering themselves on their own projects to hone their personal goals.

Sarah Jackett 

Staffing Associate
Bunim Murray Productions

Sarah Jackett

I am heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the Human Resources department for Bunim/Murray Productions - the company who essentially founded reality TV with The Real World in 1984. From staffing for shows to planning exciting employee events to managing our internal and external websites, we make sure our employees and followers feel appreciated and are excited about our projects.

How Ball State prepared me for my career 

The Ball State Media department prepared me for many aspects of my current position. From the beginning, I have been familiar with the ins and outs of production as well as the impact our TV shows have on the general population in a cultural sense, which allows me to connect further with our employees and supporters. This deeper knowledge of the industry and influence it holds was gained undoubtedly in the halls of the David Letterman Communication and Media building!

Alex Brown

Assistant Managing Editor
Inside Indiana Business 

Alex BrownIn addition to reporting on business news throughout the state, I help manage our online content team and curate the stories we cover each day. I also anchor our afternoon IIB Radio reports that air on commercial and public radio stations statewide and manage the IIB social media channels.
How Ball State prepared me for my career 

The number one thing I learned in Ball State Media that I’ve used throughout my career is the importance of a good work ethic. My class projects and my work at WCRD taught me to be adaptable and willing to try anything to get the job done. This served me well during my days as a part-timer at Emmis Communications and led me to my first full-time job. My motto in this industry is “Never say no when you can say yes,” because people will remember the willingness and effort you put in and will help you to advance in your career.

Brandon Pope

WCIU and CW 26 Chicago 

Brandon Pope

At the WCIU and CW 26, I anchor the news blocks of our morning show, The Jam, and conduct interviews with guests. I also do daily news packages, long form stories diving deeper into topics, movie reviews, celebrity interviews, and feature stories. I also do live field reports for the biggest stories of the day, allowing me to dive into hard news, sports, entertainment and everything else Chicagoans might care about. 

How Ball State prepared me for my career 

Ball State Media’s News courses immediately gave me an edge when I entered the job field. During my first stint in South Bend, IN, I quickly gained praise for my quick editing skills, shooting ability, and writing. Media helped me build those muscles on the daily through coursework, out of class projects, and student media organizations like Newslink Indiana, WCRD, and Cardinal Sports Live. And many of the professors, like Dr. Maria Williams-Hawkins, still guide me today.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Ball State Media family. 

Abby Walton

Evening Anchor/Multimedia Journalist
WCTV Tallahassee, FL

Abby WaltonI currently anchor the 5:30, 10:00, and 11 p.m. newscasts for those living in North Florida and South Georgia. In addition to anchoring, I shoot, edit and report special features and belong to several community organizations.
How Ball State prepared me for my career
I know I wouldn't be where I am today without BSU's Media program. The real world newsroom experience I gained while in school proved to be invaluable after graduating. Besides providing a good news foundation, our professors are great mentors, always giving constructive criticism to help us become the best version of ourselves.

Mel Watson

News Director
WTVG-TV Toledo, OH 

Mel WatsonIf you would have told me, even just a couple of years ago, I would be a news director, I would have replied no way! I never wanted the responsibility that comes with the title. But never say never! Thanks to a Ball State classmate from our time together in the late 80's I am the news director at 13abc Action News, WTVG  in Toledo, Ohio, market 71. I manage a staff of 48. 
How Ball State prepared me for my career 
I knew from an early age I wanted to work in television news. I watched the 6:00 p.m. news, after dinner, with my dad almost every night. But watching the news and actually working in news of course was very different. Ball State prepared me for a career that’s spanned over thirty years by teaching me how to write and produce television news. Some words of wisdom: There are no longer single job descriptions. We are all multi-media journalists. Become expert at digital reporting and the new horizon of over-the-top content.

Jennifer Gardner

Product Manager

I head up the product team for GrowIt!, a mobile app plant community.  I make sure developers have enough details to build our iOS and Android apps while also keeping in mind the overall product vision and roadmap. 

How Ball State prepared me for my career

All those hands on Ball State Media classes helped me to be unafraid of new technology and hardware.  Just pick up the phone/tablet/camera/piece of software and figure it out.  As a product manager, I draw on my group project experiences to manage the timeline and people.  The countless hours of analyzing TV/film have helped me to bring storytelling skills to work to aid in explaining technical challenges and product vision. 

D’Marcus Pulce

Digital Media Technician
T3, Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

DJ PulceI edit videos for the Cartoon Network Youtube channel which currently has over 1 million subscribers. I also edit and deliver squeeze credits, menus, and short-form, on-air projects, including writing and editing short-form mashups for our “CN Anything” show that airs in Latin America. I’ve also had the opportunity to star as on-air talent in Turner’s internal videos. This fall, I’m starting a 2-year editing apprenticeship with Turner Classic Movies.
How Ball State prepared me for my career

Ball State Media taught me never to be afraid to pursue all of my passions. I was continuously pushed to achieve more than what was in front of me and to trail blaze my own path. I love the Media program because it gave me opportunities to get involved outside the classroom and make mistakes; something that is benefitting me greatly in the ever-evolving media landscape today.

Andrew Quinn and Joe Vella

Bayonet Media

Andrew QuinnJoe Vella

Andrew: As the one of the owners of the business my role is complex. I often spend time in working with our staff to keep them creatively engaged, and fulfilled. My mind is always focused on the big picture, where Bayonet is headed, and how we are going to get there. Right now I'm working on turning original content into a sustainable revenue stream for the business. For our clients I'm working with them to create a concept that fulfills their marketing, branding, and communication goals while also making a video that's engaging for audiences. As we approach our 5th year in business, I'm blow away and proud of the organization that Joe and I have built with our friends: 2 best in show ADDYS, over 20 EMMYS, silver national ADDY, a feature independent film, 36 episode series for Fox Sports, work for companies like Toyota, Wal-mart, Bass Pro, HBO, GE, Makers Mark, and The Indiana Pacers.

How Ball State prepared us for our careers

Joe and I met while at Ball State after being introduced by a professor. Within the University we started to form our own group with other Media students to create projects outside of the classroom. We found many opportunities to hone our skills as we earned credit for independent studies. We met our producer, Kevin Grazioli, and produced 2 documentaries for WIPB-TV via grant money. None of this would have happened without the department and community surrounding it. Currently, Bayonet employs a total of 8 people, all of which are BSU alumni. So in a way, even after graduation, BSU and Media have provided continued support in the form of recruiting.

Cassie Lambert Scalettar

Co-Executive Producer/Freelance TV Producer
Currently working on season 2 of Netflix's "Dating Around"

Cassie Lambert ScalettarMy exact role can vary show to show, but I often take part in casting the show, hiring the producing staff, and then working with the production team on all aspects of the creative process. I scout locations, determine content, collaborate with the technical team to find the look and feel of the show, work with the cast to deliver a great, authentic experience, and then support the editors to deliver a final cut that everyone is proud of. 

How Ball State prepared me for my career
As soon as I arrived in Los Angeles and started working, I realized what an exceptional experience I had a BSU. Starting my freshman year, I was given access to cameras, lighting packages, PBS shows that were shot on campus that I could work on, edit bays, and professors that encouraged me to check out gear on the weekends and get creative and collaborative. I felt like I was already a part of a production team and was given four years to hone my skills. The amount of hands on experience I had before graduating really prepared me to feel confident and relatively equipped to dive right in once I was hired by a former BSU grad for my first full-time production job out of college.
I’ve been a producer for almost twenty years (class of 2001!) and now I love when my oldest daughter gets a chance to visit me on set and sees how passionate I am about my career. I hope she finds her focus early as well, loves what she does, and has a supportive team behind her like I had at BSU.

John Boone

Principal Renewal Manager

John Boone

I enable my clients to leverage technology that helps them to create competitive advantages. I work to ensure that my enterprise customers are pleased with their current solutions and demonstrate how new products can further transform their businesses on a global scale.

How Ball State prepared me for my career

I was very active with many groups at Ball State, especially the radio station, WCRD. These experiences allowed me to develop negotiation and sales skills, which I still use today. In all, my experiences would have been for nothing had it not been for the amazing faculty in the Media department. I have to thank them for helping to shape me for the future.

Kelly Harlow Pruitt

Sales Manager, Indianapolis
Cumulus Media

I work for the largest media cluster in Indianapolis, reaching 1.1 million people. I’m proud to represent 6 radio stations: WFMS, WJJK, WNDX, WNTR, and WZPL. We’re also a fully-integrated digital solutions provider and create & execute some of the best events in the community. My favorite part: I’m fortunate to work with 10+ sales reps every day to help them exceed their budgets, grow their business, expand their marketing acumen, overcome challenges and celebrate their wins!

How Ball State prepared me for my career

Two words: Immersive. Learning. Without my hands-on experience at NewsLink my first semester, freshman year, I never would’ve found out that a career in broadcast news was not for me. Thanks to that experience and the direction and support from the amazing Nancy Carlson, I joined the student-run radio station, WCRD, and focused my efforts on sales. There, I worked with real clients, real money, and gained real experience in media sales years before graduation. So when it came time to find my first job, I had more knowledge and confidence than my peers because of my experience at Ball State. I’m so proud to be a Ball State Media grad and eternally grateful to the Media department, staff, and professors who continue to support me almost 10 years later.

Brian Harrington

Director of Strategic Partnerships
Circle City Broadcasting

Brian HarringtonI’ve worked in broadcast sales for over 28 years. Fifteen of those years were spent in management roles, and I later ran a small marketing company in Indianapolis. Currently, I’m at Circle City Broadcasting where my primary focus is creating strategic community partnerships and highlighting that CCB is Indiana's only Black Owned Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified with broadcast television stations in the state.
How Ball State prepared me for my career
Ball State Media gave me access to opportunity and experience via my internship with WRTV-6 sales department and through selling advertising at the campus radio station, WCRD-FM. Those opportunities positioned me well to have added confidence and focus as I started my journey in the Industry. I was challenged extensively by the professors on staff at the time because my ego dictated that I needed to be challenged and held accountable and it was the BEST thing that could have ever happened for the “younger” ME.