Student Biographies

Jamie Brian

Jamie Brian is a junior global communication major from Harrison City, Pennsylvania. She attended Penn-Trafford High School and is the daughter of James and Karen Brian. Jamie is passionate about exploring the world and learning foreign languages, and she is ecstatic to be traveling to China this summer. On campus, she is involved with UNICEF, Habitat for Humanity, and Lambda Phi Eta. She enjoys writing in all of its forms. She has worked as a reporter for The Kent Stater and The Burr Magazine in past semesters. Whenever she has the chance, she is also fond of reading and writing poetry. Outside of school, Jamie is a commercially licensed pilot and can be found spending many hours at her second home, Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. There is an extensive list of places Jamie would like to visit, but she cannot think of a better place to start than China with the School of Communication Studies.

Grace Blackley

Grace Blackley is a sophomore student at Kent State University majoring in visual communication design with a minor in fine art. She is from Chesterland, Ohio and attended West Geauga high school, but moved her sophomore year to Macedonia, Ohio and also attended Nordonia high school. Grace is the Panhellenic delegate in her sorority, Chi Omega, where she spends a lot of her time, but when she isn’t at the Chi O house she’s at home in Macedonia with her mom and best friend, Kathryn Koehler. You can find Grace at Scribbles coffee shop most weekday mornings or printing at Fedex or All media (she’s a regular). Grace is known for her love of pugs, art, pineapples and music; if you see her on campus say hey! Her loud nature makes her hard to miss.

Madison Spreitzer

Madison Spreitzer is a sophomore from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She is the daughter of Ed and Buffy Spreitzer. She graduated from Woodridge High School and is now attending Kent State University majoring in Interpersonal Communication. In high school, she received the John Philip Sousa award for the highest honor in wind ensemble, and was 6th in the state for cross country and track and field. She is continuing her running career here at Kent State on scholarship.

Joseph Young

Joseph Young is a junior at Kent State studying graphic design and anthropology. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he’s accustomed to living in a culturally diverse urban metropolis. His parents, Joseph Sr. and Taunya Young, are both college graduates. Involved in a multitude of art forms from the age of four, his current interest lies in the significance of art to society. Since then, he’s been involved in community art and nature activities, which promote creativity and connecting to the wilderness. Before beginning his college career at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and Kent State, he graduated from Cleveland Heights high school in 2011. It took some time to find out what he wanted to do professionally. He studied filmmaking at Tri-C for two years before choosing a lifework in design. The problem-solving process of forming an effective visual communication design is what intrigues him the most about this field. His future plans include graduate school, community, work, and creative exploration.

Kenae Hughes

My name is Kenae Hughes. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. My parents’ names are: Tenisha Owens (deceased) and Kenneth Owens. I attended Adlai Stevenson elementary/middle school. I also attended John F. Kennedy high school. My major at Kent State University is Public communication including two minors: interpersonal and organizational communication. During my free time I like to write poetry or listen to music. I love to learn and experience new things. I live by the Latin term Carpe Diem which means seize the day. I like to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future. Live in the moment.

Katelyn Lawrence

Katelyn Lawrence is a senior Psychology major at Kent State University, and she is also a member of the University’s Honors College. Upon completing her Bachelor’s degree, she intends to go into a PhD graduate program in Clinical Psychology. She graduated from Niles McKinley High School in 2013. She grew up in Niles, Ohio, where both of her parents, Jacqueline and Jeffrey Lawrence, are from as well. While in her senior year of high school, Katelyn attended classes at Kent State’s Trumbull Campus. Along with being a full-time college student, she also works full time as an Operations Supervisor at a nearby restaurant. During her three years at Kent, she has been involved with a research lab in the Psychology Department as a research assistant. Kent State has also given her the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy for a short period of time.

Carrie George

Carrie George is a freshman photojournalism student with a political science minor. Her hometown is Bel Air, Maryland, a small suburb of Baltimore. Kent’s esteemed journalism program and her love of travel and new adventures drove her to move so far away for her education. Carrie is a member of Kent State’s Honors College, and she has worked as a photographer for the university’s newspaper, The Kent Stater, as well as a writer for the literary arts magazine, Luna Negra.

Daniel Socha

Daniel Socha is a Global Communication Master’s student in the School of Communication Studies. Daniel was born and raised in Berea, Ohio to Katherine and Christopher Socha. Following high school, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Kent State University. After completing his undergraduate degree, Daniel worked as a residential director for a study abroad program in Morocco, followed by a position as an English teacher and Cultural Orientation Coordinator for a refugee resettlement agency. After completing his Master’s degree, Daniel hopes to work in international development and eventually go on to pursue a PhD.

Dana Setting

Dana Setting is from Akron, Ohio. She is a graduate from Central-Hower High School. As a senior global communication student at Kent State University, she has been on the Dean’s List for four years and has received numerous scholarships. She intends to continue her academic success in grad school. In her free time, she is an obstacle course racer, trail runner and member of the Akron Rugby Football Club women’s team. She works as a Library Assistant on the Kent Stark campus, and plans to live abroad after graduation.

Ellen Morales

Ellen Morales is a senior Public Communication major at KSU. She grew up with her parents, Ernie and Lisa, and her little brother, Blaise, in Berea, Ohio. She attended Berea High School then Cuyahoga Community College at the Western Campus before transferring to Kent State. She is the Parent and Alumnae chair of the Rho Kappa chapter of Phi Mu here at Kent. She is also a member of Cru and SSI: Students Supporting Israel. Ellen hopes to get into political campaigning when she graduates. She loves to travel, learn about cultures, and meet new people!

Michael Gallagher II

Michael Gallagher II is a sophomore, Digital Media Production major, in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Born and raised by Michael and Laura Gallagher in the Chicagoland suburbs. Michael came to Kent State University in the Fall of 2015 to pursue a career in television. Here he has made many friends and has been active in TV2 and KSU Independent Films since starting school. After the fall semester, he received recognition for his academic success by being on the Dean’s list. In the spring he applied and was accepted to take part in this cultural exchange in Chengdu, China at Sichuan University. Michael hopes to grasp more knowledge on the Chinese lifestyle and heritage. This will be his first time abroad and he verymuch looks forward to this amazing experience.

Elizabeth Garlinger

Upon completing this Spring 2016 semester, Elizabeth Garlinger will be entering the senior year of my undergraduate degree at Kent State University.  My major is in Communication Studies with a concentration in Health and minors in Public and Global Communication. For this reason, you can commonly find me in Taylor Hall. I am originally from Wauseon, Ohio, and graduated from Delta High School in the class of 2015. My family is fairly extensive, I have two dogs, six siblings, and am a daughter to Steve and Angie Behnfeldt and Larry Garlinger. Later in life, I would like to have a career in international health campaign development and implementation. Due to this, I look forward to the opportunity to immerse myself and learn by studying abroad in the Sichuan University Immersion Program. I am thrilled to report muchmore on our experiences and travels, stay tuned.

Hana Barkowitz

Hana Barkowitz is a sophomore public relations major and political science minor. She is the President of the Kent State College Democrats and plans on working in political public relations after graduation. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School and is able to tell anybody the best brunch spots in the burg. When she is not watching Broad City, she can be found hanging out with friends and finding new music to listen to. She is inspired and supported by her parents, Paul and Doreen Barkowitz.

Samyah Moktan

Samyak Moktan is from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, home to the mighty Mt. Everest. She is pursuing her M.A. in Communication Studies with a concentration in Global Communication. As a child she was exposed to different cultures having completed her entire schooling in Loreto Convent Darjeeling, a school in West Bengal, India. Her mother Suberna Moktan and her father Lonchen Moktan are both in Nepal and they are extremely proud of their daughter. Samyak is also a graduate teaching assistant and teaches a class called Introduction to Human Communication. She loves interacting with students from diverse backgrounds and feels confident that her students will excel in their lives. She is a huge Harry Potter fan and in her free time enjoys reading books on philosophy.

Arnesha Tipton

My name is Arnesha Tipton and I am a Junior Applied Communication Studies Major with a double minor in Media Literacy and Women’s Studies. I was born in Warren, OH to my amazing and supportive parents Lizzie and Michael Tipton. I went to Howland High School, which is where I got my first interest in communications and broadcast. Becoming a communication studies major was one of the best decisions I have made and I am excited to continue growing and learning. I am so thankful for this opportunity of the cultural exchange and I look forward to immersing myself in a new environment and enjoying a new life experience.

Brooke Mullins

My name is Brooke Mullins, and I am a sophomore at Kent State University majoring in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and minoring in Japanese. I am from a town called Lordstown in Ohio, and I went to Lordstown High School. My parents are James and Melinda Mulllins, and I have two other siblings. Because my major is TESL, I plan on travelling all over the world to teach English and immerse myself into new and exciting cultures. I have previously been to Japan and Australia and loved both of my experiences abroad. Studying different languages and cultures across the globe is very exciting for me, and I am thrilled to continue my studies and travel all around the world.

Gabrielle Woodard

Gabrielle Woodard is a senior public relations major, political science minor, from Mansfield, Ohio. She loves the study of public relations and its impact on politics. Gabrielle participated in the Spring 2015 Washington Program in National Issues and enjoyed interning with the Federal Communications Commission. Gabrielle was the President of the Kent chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) for the 2015-2016 school year. During this term she was awarded the National President’s Citation for PRSSA participation on a national and chapter level. She was honored to be one of nine Student Leaders of the Year, awarded by Kent State University’s Center for Student Involvement. Gabrielle is also a member of Alpha Phi women’s fraternity. Gabrielle is a graduate of Ontario High School and is the daughter of Gay and Gary Woodard.

Amrita Datta

Amrita Datta, the youngest child, born to a doctor father and housewife mother in India, grew up along with her elder brother who was her friend and guide. It was in the course of time that her soul seemed to develop an intense passion for art in the form of drawing and painting. Years passed, but her passion persisted unchanged. She participated in many art competitions all over the world that helped her to get her work exhibited in the National Art Academy in India. With a huge support from her parents, she has flown to the opposite side of the world to peruse her dreams. Now there, she is at Kent State University as a freshman in the department of VCD, fighting all odds to score for a bright future.

Marissa Nichol

Marissa Nichol was born in Orange County, California, and raised in Sagamore Hills, Ohio by my parents David and Charlene Nichol. After graduating from Nordonia High School in 2015, I began attending Kent State University to major in Journalism and minor in Fashion Media. At Kent State I have taken advantage of the student media programs by getting involved in TV2 and Kent Wired. I have experience as a newscast weather anchor, entertainment cast member and reporter, associate producer, and Kent Wired web assistant. I am also a member of Phi Mu Fraternity, which raises money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. My goals after graduation are to work as a reporter or writer for a magazine, and to someday teach students abroad.

Tyler Haughn

My name is Tyler Haughn and I am a sophomore Journalism and Mass Communication student here at Kent State. I do not have a minor currently, but I am thinking about minoring in nonprofit studies with a concentration in conservation. I am from Grove City, Ohio. Grove City is around 15 minutes south of Columbus for reference. I went to GCCS which is a high school in my hometown. My parents’ names are Mark and Colleen Haughn. I am 20 years old and do not know what I wish to do after obtaining my undergraduate degree from Kent State. As I mentioned above, I am thinking about getting involved in nonprofit work in some way, using both my major and minor accordingly. I am also passionate about the sport of soccer, and it would be very interesting to cover and report on the latest occurrences in the sport as well.