2001-2005 Alumni


Micheal Foley

Graduated May 2005
Hudson, Wisconsin

Personal News: I joined in November 2010 and launched Hudson Patch in December 2010. I moved back to Wisconsin from Seattle and left my job as a content editor at Microsoft's main PR agency for the opportunity to get back into community Web journalism.

What's your job like? I'm basically a one-man show. I have the ability to run the Hudson Patch website using just a laptop, a camera and an iPhone. I can work from just about anywhere—coffee shops, restaurants, the library, my car, etc.—but I spend most of my time working from my spare bedroom in my apartment. There is no Patch office for me to work from. I spend my days coordinating coverage with a stable of freelance contributors, managing the site, managing a social media user community and covering the news myself. I could start my day by shooting photos at an accident scene, then write a city budget story, then exchange links with Hudson businesses on Facebook, then live-tweet news about a house fire. In the evenings might look in on my sites comment stream to make sure nobody is violating the terms of use before heading out to a city council meeting or high school hockey game. I'm basically responsible for keeping my Hudson user community up to date on all the important stuff all the time. In the age of the Internet, there's no good reason to hold the news for a weekly press run.

Reflections: UWRF's journalism program was perfect for someone like me. At bigger schools, students might end up being really good at one thing, but they tend to not be so well rounded. I've heard that journalism students at the University of Minnesota rarely get the chance to work at the campus newspaper while they are undergrads. During my three years at UWRF, I served on the Student Voice staff all six semesters, including one as the top editor. I had the opportunity to not only write, but also to shoot photos, design pages, prepare the Web edition, assign stories, manage the staff and more. It's only because of my well-rounded education at UWRF that I'm able to be an effective editor.

Jen Cullen
Mike Longaecker and Jen Cullen

Graduated May 2004
General assignment reporter
Red Wing Republican Eagle
Red Wing, Minnesota

What's your job like? Different every day. I do a little bit of everything, including reporting—and lots of it—photography, page design, editing and online work.

Personal News: I'm still dating Mike Longaecker [pictured], who I actually met through the UWRF Journalism Department. I have been traveling at lot—to nowhere in particular. I love sports, scrapbooking, kayaking and anything else that has to do with the outdoors. I am working with a personal trainer and have lost 66 pounds since September 2007.

Reflections: UWRF was a wonderful place to spend my college career. I felt the journalism faculty was truly invested and interested in my education. The opportunities for hands on learning prepared me well for the challenges ahead.

Jolene HallJolene Elizabeth Heaton Bracy Hall

Graduated Dec. 2001
Certified International Property Specialist/Broker

Turnquist Partners Austin, Texas  

What's your job like? I have an amazing job. I am currently working in real estate as an "Certified International Property Specialist" but I also recently earned my Texas broker's license. I assist clients with the sales and purchase of property across the world. I have had the opportunity to travel to London, Paris, St. Maarten, Anguilla to assist clients. This morning I met with a couple from France who wish to buy property in Texas. I have a client here in Austin who wants to buy property in Estonia. In addition to creating ads, web content, and marketing, one of my responsibilities is to research the countries and customs prior to meeting with the clients. I've learned a smattering of different languages and must start devoting time to learning one proficiently soon. Next week I am attending a reception for the Governor of the State of Jalisco in Mexico, who will be visiting Austin.  

Personal News: My husband Ty and I have just relocated to Austin, Texas after spending two fun-filled years on the island of Nevis in the West Indies. A tiny sombrero-shaped island fringed with golden sand beaches, Nevis is comprised of about 36 square miles. The population numbers 11,000 with a contingent of approximately 25,000 green vervet monkeys. Our exciting experiences included competing in the Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten and traveling to other islands.
We are very happy to be back in Texas near our family. We have daughter Keilah and her husband Adam; Landon, Phillip and Keaton. Phillip and Keaton's punk band, Head Panic, played in Minneapolis last July. By day, Phillip works for News8 Austin and Keaton works for a video game design company. Keilah is a nurse and Adam is in sales. Landon installs home theatre systems.

I loved being in school at UW-RF. My professors and mentors were/are amazing people. I have never forgotten their kindness, inspiration, and the moments they pushed me to the brink to help me succeed! I would not be where I am without their encouragement and dedication to their profession. I have often times wished I were in a position to come back to Graduate School at UW-RF...but it looks like UT is going to be a likely candidate in the next year or two, I'm thinking International Business......


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