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Christina Crane chats with Old Fort Niagara Executive Director Bob Emerson on `Roam the Region.`
Christina Crane chats with Old Fort Niagara Executive Director Bob Emerson on "Roam the Region."

Niagara University's communication studies department launching careers around the country

Sat, Oct 22nd 2016 07:30 am


SEE RELATED ARTICLE: 'Roam the Region' with the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce

The Niagara University communication studies department instills drive within its students.

Under the tutelage of department chairs Dr. Mark Barner and the late Dr. Brian Murphy, many passionate and determined CMS students have ascended the communications industry ladder - including "Roam the Region" host Christina Crane, Class of 2009.

Crane interned at WCBS-TV-2 in New York City and worked with Entercom Communications and Time Warner Cable News Buffalo before taking a job with Simon Construction Co., and then with the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce.

Here are a few more notable NU graduates.


Corbetta, Class of 2015, works as a reporter on WKBW-TV Channel 7's "AM Buffalo."

After graduation, Corbetta worked with Time Warner Cable News and the Buffalo Sabres public relations department.

"I then decided to pack my bags and move away from home for the first time," she said. "Just minutes outside of the Big Apple, I served as the dugout reporter and in-game host for the Rockland Boulders baseball organization. After the season, I created a demo reel and found myself in the offices of WKBW-TV here in the Queen City."

Courtney Corbetta 

Courtney Corbetta

Leanne Stuck 

Leanne Stuck


Stuck, Class of 2014, works as the Erie County government and courthouse beat reporter at WJET-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania. But it was her first internship with WCBS-TV-2 in New York City that truly launched her career and passion for broadcast.

"Dr. Mark Barner had connections with the general manager at the station, Peter Dunn, who was a Niagara University graduate," Stuck said. "He was able to help me secure a summer internship position."

Once Stuck returned home, she then interned with WKBW-TV in Buffalo.

"If it were not for my internships, I would not be where I am today," she said. "I made connections during those internships that helped me secure my first job and get my foot in the door in one of the most competitive industries."


King, Class of 2014, is weekend editor at the Post-Star in Glens Falls. Prior to that, he was a reporter for Manchester Newspapers - a family-owned community newspaper company that dates back to 1875.


Schiano, Class of 2013, works as an account executive for a public relations firm in Chicago. He is working with the Movember Foundation, along with local restaurants and national chains, too. Throughout his time on the Ridge, Schiano interned with Tops Friendly Markets and, soon after graduation, was hired as a public relations specialist.

Although he misses Western New York, Schiano said he loves his time in Chicago.

"It was time to travel and expand my horizons. It was a risky move, but I had to follow my gut instinct," he said.


Zaepfel, Class of 2012, is the editor of The Niagara-Wheatfield/North Tonawanda Tribune at Niagara Frontier Publications.

AT NU, Zaepfel held multiple positions, including editor-in-chief, with the school's student newspaper, The Niagara Index. She also interned in the web department at WCBS-TV-2 news in New York City.

After graduation, Zaepfel held an advising sales position for Sun Media Corp. in Canada and worked in marketing before taking on her editorial position.

"I worked in multiple communications fields and soon knew, in my heart, I wanted to return to journalism," she said. "It's always good to try new things, especially if you don't know what you want as a career. Every experience, be it good or bad, will help direct you in some way."


Bitetti, Class of 2012, is a New York City-based writer, editor and content creator with a niche in the interior design industry. Having written for a plethora of platforms ranging from magazine and newspaper to digital and social media content, Bitetti's work has been published by The Huffington Post, as well as various interior design blogs.

She absolutely adores alliteration and perfectly placed punctuation. You can always find her with either a book or an ice cream cone in hand. When she's not busy mentally correcting everyone's grammar on Facebook, she's sharing tips, tricks and tales on her blog, www.OliviaRoseKnows.com.


Simpson, Class of 2012, works as a morning producer for Time Warner Cable News Buffalo.

"Any typos on the show anytime between 4:30 and 10 a.m. are on me," she said, joking.

After taking a CMS 100 course, Simpson fell in love with the field. She founded the university's newscast, the "Ridge Report," and interned in the creative department of WCBS-TV-2 in New York City.

Some words of advice to current communication studies majors: "Don't rely on just your academics and classes and assume that will be enough to land you a job at graduation," Simpson said. "Find ways to take initiative, and pursue your own ideas and projects outside of class."

Simpson also interned at a public relations agency in Buffalo and helped out with production at Niagara. For now, she doesn't have any plans to stop producing.

"I think I still have room to grow and develop in my current position," she said.

Sarah Kim 

Sarah Kim


Kim, Class of 2011, is an assignment editor at WCBS-TV-2 in New York City.

"Not many people understand what an assignment editor does, but I believe it is the most important position in the entire newsroom - it is the core of the newsroom," she said. "An assignment editor is the first to know the information before it is given out. We work closely with the executive producers, producers, newsgathering managers, writers, but, importantly, we try to help reporters and photographers make their job as easy as possible by gathering as much information as possible before sending them out on stories."

In New York City, "I've covered major breaking news, both nationally and locally, such as the pope visiting the U.S., the Paris attack, several mass shootings, Chelsea and N.J. explosions, N.J. Transit terminal crash, LIRR derailment and, of course, the current presidential election," Kim said.

Prior to rejoining WCBS, where she previously served as an associate producer, Kim worked at the FOX News Channel as a national regional assignment editor.

"Apart from their beliefs and what many people may say about this specific network, it was truly a great experience to work on a national and international level for a major cable television network," Kim said.

"Being a journalist is no easy task, but it has been a very rewarding experience thus far," she noted.

Geoff Redick 

Geoff Redick


Redick, Class of 2011, works as a weekday reporter on Time Warner Cable News Albany. Throughout his time at Niagara, he worked for AM 1490 WBTA in Batavia.

"It was really valuable working for the station while being a full-time student," Redick said.

After graduation, he continued to work for WBTA and also picked up a part-time morning producing position with WHEC-TV Channel in Rochester.

"It's all about getting that foot in the door," Redick said.

After applying for one reporting job after another, Redick was hired as a multimedia journalist for Time Warner Cable News out of a bureau in Batavia. From there, he moved on to the Rochester station and now resides in Albany.

"I love the area, and have been able to cover some really great stories," Redick said.


Bailey, Class of 2003, is a general assignment reporter and weekend morning anchor at CBS 2 in Chicago. She joined the station in 2012, and was quickly promoted to her current position. She has also anchored the weekday morning show.

Prior to that, Bailey worked for more than five years at WRGZ-TV Channel 2 in Buffalo, where she was a popular news anchor and well-respected field reporter. Bailey launched "Daybreak Sunday" in 2008, and she was nominated for a New York State Regional Emmy in 2011.

Bailey received a master's degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University.


Maloni, Class of 2001, is an award-winning journalist and managing editor at Niagara Frontier Publications. He earned a master's degree in magazine, newspaper and online journalism from the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. His articles on news, sports and entertainment have been featured in more than two-dozen publications in the U.S. and Canada.

Maloni is an adjunct professor in the Niagara University communication studies department. Corbetta, Stuck, Zaepfel and Bitetti each interned with him en route to their current positions.

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