Centre Focus: Spring 2014

Video posted May 8, 2014 in News by Centre Focus


Public affairs students produced this half hour special video report in April 2014 to explore several ongoing debates and public awareness campaigns in the region. The Centre Focus team is Sequoia Geary, Dominic Pollio, Dayna Smith, Shantelle Johnson, Alexander Wypiejewski, Gabby Coco, Christina Monteleone, Ayanna Hull, Alex Freeman, Tara Brzycki and Victoria Faconti.

Sequoia Geary and Dominic Pollio covered a series of public debates over the controversial College Heights property in State College.  Public hearings over the vacant elementary school have been standing-room-only, as potential buyers including Penn State, spell out the reasons for their interest in purchasing the property.  A final decision is expected in mid June 2014.

Damage from a severe 2014 winter season is the focus of a report by Dayna Smith.  Local and State highway crews report severe damage from freezing and thawing, plows and salt over an unusually long winter season.  Area car shops illustrate some of the costly repair jobs to customer vehicles.

Historic buildings damaged or destroyed by fire is the focus a report by Shantelle Johnson and Alexander Wypiejewski.  Their report examines the current fire codes in historic communities like Bellefonte where major fires have destroyed several large and historic structures not required to have sprinkler systems.

Gabby Coco, Christina Monteleone and Ayanna Hull report on the latest debate over marriage equality in Pennsylvania.  It previews a May 21, 2014, judge’s ruling striking down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage.   The team reports on area efforts to  help the community understand the issues and legal implications of same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth.

The latest breast cancer research and awareness is the focus of a report by Alex Freeman, Tara Brzycki and Victoria Faconti.   The team reports on latest treatments, risk factors, early detection and support to breast cancer patients and their loved ones.  They interview noted Penn State cancer researchers on why breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women.  The team also take viewers to one high-profile event where participants walk 24 hours for a cure.  

About the Contributors

Alex Freeman's photo

Alex Freeman

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Alex has been with ComRadio for two years and is very grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to him.  He is from Wyckoff, NJ but is a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan.  Above all though, Alex stays true to his Penn State roots and bleeds blue and white for all Penn State sports.  He aspires to turn his passion of talking about sports into a career as a broadcaster for any national sports network.  Radio or television, it doesn’t matter, all Alex wants to do is get behind a microphone and voice his opinions to anyone who will listen.  In his spare time, Alex also writes about all that is Philadelphia sports for his blog, Broadstreetmarching.com.

Shantelle Johnson's photo

Shantelle Johnson

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Shantelle Johnson is a senior majoring in Broadcast journalism and minoring in Women’s studies. She took part in an internship at the Times Leader newspaper in Wilkes-Barre where she wrote multiples new stories that were published. Shantelle has a great passion for journalism and broadcasting and she aspires to work at NBC as a news correspondent and anchor. She hopes to raise awareness on the social and political inequalities faced by certain groups each day. Shantelle also aims to help news networks incorporate balanced, multi-cultural stories in an attempt to enlighten viewers of the good, the bad, and the ugly in current society.

Victoria Faconti's photo

Victoria Faconti

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Victoria Faconti is a senior from Port St. Lucie, Florida majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Communication Arts and Sciences. She interned for the Sag Harbor Express in Long Island, New York. Victoria hopes to pursue a career in non-profit organizations.

Christina Monteleone's photo

Christina Monteleone

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

My name is Christina Monteleone and I recently graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a major in Broadcast
Journalism and a double minor in International Studies and Psychology.
I have experience working on Penn State’s TV Network,
PSN-TV. My time at PSN-TV has given me the opportunity to work both behind-the-scenes and as a host. I am also the entertainment editor and writer for Penn State’s Life & Style magazine, Valley.

Alexander Wypijewski's photo

Alexander Wypijewski

Senior / Journalism

An avid lover of reporting, history, and the arts, Alex Wypijewski is a senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management.  He is also very interested in travel journalism and hopes to one day report on experiences found in different parts of the world.  As a native of the famous historic town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Alex is also interested in reporting on stories with a historic spin to them