In Armagh 2009


This year the Armagh Media Project hosted undergraduate students from several universities including San Francisco State University, University of Kansas, St. Louis University and the University of Neveda-Reno. Each student is responsible for writing a story, taking photographs for another story, producing video for a third story and publishing a fourth story on the Web.

The faculty members came from different universities, professions, disciplines, backgrounds, and expertise, but have in common a passion for multimedia storytelling.

The Students


I'm Robin Bigda, a triple major in journalism, anthropology and Spanish at the University of Nevada, Reno. I'm a thrill seeker who finds adventure everywhere I go and I love new experiences. When I'm not out traveling the world, I'm a bookworm who curls up in front of my fireplace to read or write.


Jaena Rae Cabrera is a senior at San Francisco State University majoring in online journalism, with a minor in philosophy and religion. She is currently a page designer for her university's newspaper, but has also worked as a multimedia producer and a copy editor for other university publications.


Hi, my name is Shelly Davidov and I've just received my Bachelors of Sciences in News Editorial Journalism from West Virginia University in May. During my undergraduate education, I worked for WVU's official newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum as a staff writer in 2006, as Associate Arts & Entertainment Editor in 2007 and finally Editor-in-Chief throughout my senior year from April 2008 to April 2009. In addition to writing for the P.I. Reed School of Journalism's Alumni Magazine, I also worked as a summer correspondent for The Charleston Daily Mail. While I've written everything from hard news and music reviews to celebrity gossip columns and feature stories, I enjoy writing editorials and theatre reviews the most. I love singing, reading, painting, writing and I'm addicted to theatre, all things Harry Potter and anything to do with cute animals. After I complete the Armagh 2009 program, I'll return home to Fairmont, West Virginia. I can be reached at for any inquiries. Cheers!


Amy Graham is a native of Camarillo, California. She is a senior at San Francisco State University. After graduation she hopes to write for a fashion, travel or music magazine. She enjoys traveling and meeting new people.


Cassie Harwood is an undergraduate at San Francisco State University, majoring in print journalism and minoring in political science. She lives in Oakland, where she likes rides her bike, walk around and eat lots of sushi. In Fall 2009 she had an editorial internship at the East Bay Express, where she had several articles published. She also spent two years as a copy-editor at Maximum Rock 'N' Roll Magazine. After she graduates, Ms. Harwood would like to find the answers to many unknown questions and then turn them into stories inside a newspaper, as well as to copy-edit the stories of others. Also, she would like to live in a wooded area of semi-seclusion with a dog and a sunny porch.


Megan Hopkins is a recent 2009 graduate from San Francisco State University who wants to continue to build on her degree in journalism but also has a passion for cinema and film. She was a staffwriter for both her school newspaper and magazine but hopes to use her experience here in Armagh to learn how to think more visually and use different multimedia. She doesn't know what the future holds but she hopes to obtain a job at a local newspaper or magazine in her hometown of Monterey or begin screenwriting for her own film project.


Russ Horvath is a senior at San Francisco State University who just might, and he stresses might, get out of college in four years less the Governor and state legislature stop being Vogon-based bureaucrats (minus the poetry). He is a Creative Writing major looking for a job where he gets to be himself instead of wearing a fake Italian suit and ponder the lunacies of the stock market and/or business world everyday. A Porsche would be rather nice though, so a job with an evil, Bond-esque corporation in the jungle or Caribbean would be fine. So if you're reading this SPECTRE, my email is


Brigid Kinsella is a senior studying communication and creative writing at Saint Louis University.  Future undecided, but hoping to continue her education in multimedia.


Could human civilization be floating perilously on the thin membrane of an environmental bubble that is ready to pop? Phil Marshall thinks so. That is why he has dedicated the last five years of his life to studying journalism at San Francisco State University so that he can report on the ongoing destruction and degradation of the natural world that supports us all. Armed with a well-honed set of journalistic skills that utilizes training in video production, photography, magazine and spot news writing, he will venture forth into an uncertain world and expose all that would let a green world turn brown.


Susan Melgren
graduated from the University of Kansas in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, News and Information and a minor in history. During her undergraduate studies, Susan worked for the University Daily Kansan and Jayplay, the university's two on-campus student-run publications, and Natural Home, a consumer magazine with a focus on sustainably built homes and green remodeling.


Amber Mosby is a photojournalism student at San Francisco State University getting her second B.A. She has had several pictures and short stories published online. You can e-mail her at


Alex Wawro
is a freelance journalist and writer living in San Francisco. An alumnus of the SFSU Journalism Department, Alex has worked for various publishers (including APG Media and IDG Entertainment) and hopes to use his multimedia storytelling experience to spread knowledge, pay rent and fight crime. He can be reached at


Jamie Reed Wells
is a junior pursuing her Bachelors Degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. When she’s not at school she’s spending time with her sorority, Delta Kappa Sigma, riding her horse, Sassy, and going to as many Giants games as possible.


Kelli Wurfel, a native of Wichita, Kansas, graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While attending KU, she worked for the advertising and production staff at The University Daily Kansan and interned for Special Olympics of Kansas in event planning.

The Faculty



Michael Williams is the Chair of the News and Innovation track and associate professor of interactive media at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. Williams has been a professor at several U.S. universities and has also been a visiting professor at Ural State University in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Prior to teaching, Williams had nearly 10 years in professional journalism as a photographer, editor and director of Internet development. He has also done extensive visual communication work throughout the U.S., Europe and Russia.

Williams served as site director for Armagh 2009.


Cindy Bonfini-Hotlosz is the Chief Information Officer and Director of Production for JesuitNET, a consortium of the Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the United States. Cindy’s passion for production began in high school, writing and producing annual Christmas plays for the local elementary schools. She produced one of the first International Teleconferences Bridging the Gap: Education and Industry as part of a High Technology grant in 1989. In the late 1990s, she worked with NASA to produce several online courses and communication campaigns for their commercialization project, including a three-part teleconferencing series, Technology Transfer in Action. In her time with the Jesuit colleges, she has helped launch new online programs that span several disciplines. Her passion for story-telling has evolved as technology has evolved -- keeping her on the “bleeding” edge.


Darcy Caputo earned his degree in communication, cultural studies, and fine art photography at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Since graduation, Darcy has worked for a variety of photography studios, design companies, and has been a contributing writer/photographer to The Pacific Northwest Inlander, an alt-weekly in Spokane, Washington since 2005. More recently he has had his photographs published by Stones Throw Records and XLR8R magazine. He has worked for ieiMedia as the technology/lab assistant for the Cagli, Italy and Armagh, N.Ireland programs for the summer of '07, and again in Cagli 2008 and Armagh 2009, as well as Gonzaga Universities newest graduate program in Cagli for the summer of 2009.  Currently he works in Portland, Or as a freelance web designer/photographer.

Dr. Margaret McAliskey is a leading voice coach and vocal health care expert as well as having a national and international experience of media and communications training. Widely recognised as an inspirational leader, teacher, and communicator, she has over fifteen years’ experience in speech analysis, individual and group coaching, vocal optimisation and course design. She has lectured in Trinity College Dublin on under and post graduate linguistic, communication and research based programmes. Dr McAliskey is currently Moderator for all speech, drama and communications subjects for Trinity Guildhall Examinations London. She is also the voice trainer for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (UK).

In her private practice, Dr. McAliskey has a successful track record of working with private clients from the world of broadcasting, politics, journalism, law, education, call centres operatives and business sectors throughout the UK, Ireland and abroad.


Don Menn teaches courses in the Magazine Sequence as well as Newswriting and Reporting. He has served as editor-in-chief of magazines such as Guitar Player and Multimedia World; written for such publications as San Francisco Magazine, Harper's, The San Jose Mercury News, and The San Francisco Chronicle; and — as associate publisher and executive vice president of GPI Publication — helped launch many award-winning periodicals, oversee a book and record division, and secure worldwide distribution of different kinds of media products. A graduate of Stanford University, he has held virtually every job title in publishing from editorial Assistant at The Kansas City Star to CEO of Loud, Inc., prototyping a news magazine for teens.


Elenie Opffer has academic pursuits that flow naturally from her involvement in social justice and community building efforts and work as an organizational consultant. Finding puzzling questions she could not answer in the field, she left San Francisco to pursue a Ph.D. in Boulder, Colorado. She takes interest in negotiation of diverse cultural/gender identities and participatory democracy in organizational and group contexts. She has published a number of articles in the areas of gender, sexuality, culture, conflict and communication. She is an active member of the Intercultural and Peace and Conflict Division in the National Communication Association. She is also an active member of the Western States Communication Association and former conference organizer and president of the Rocky Mountain Communication Association.


Yumi Wilson
is an assistant professor of journalism at San Francisco State University, where she teaches news writing, reporting, opinion writing, literary journalism and several other courses. She is a part-time web producer for Yahoo and a blogger for City Brights at She has just started on an oral history project on journalists in the Bay Area, focusing on The San Francisco Chronicle, where she previously worked as a reporter and editor for 11 years. Wilson graduated from USC with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism in 1990 and obtained her MFA in creative nonfiction from USF in 2007.