Surprising people: Spring 2012

Video posted April 1, 2012 in News, Best of CommMedia by Morgan Mazzarella, Matthew D'Ippolito, Michael Ravotti and Tabitha Rinehart


Students from Comm 481 Multimedia reporting were recently given an assignment to fan out across their communities and find regular people who do something surprising. They found the subjects of these stories as close as State College -- and for one student from New York -- as far away as Staten Island.

Most students know Jeff Brown as a communications instructor at Penn State. Tanner Sweeney is a film student. David Jones usually looks like any other typical 24-year-old State College resident. Matt Burns grew up on Staten Island.

But there's a lot more to these four people than first meets the eye.

More stories of surprising people.

About the Contributors

Morgan Mazzarella's photo

Morgan Mazzarella

2012 Graduate / Broadcast Journalism

Morgan Mazzarella is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in ethics.  In the summer 2010, the native New Yorker spent her time interning for the New York Yankees single A affiliate, the Staten Island Yankees.  Morgan has gained experience while assisting ESPN with various productions.  Morgan plans to graduate this May.

Matthew D'Ippolito's photo

Matthew D'Ippolito

2012 Graduate / Print Journalism

Matthew D’Ippolito is a senior majoring in print journalism with minors in political science and music technology. Matt wrote for The Daily Collegian for two years and now writes for Onward State and WPSU’s Blue Robot music blog. He has had a passion for music since he picked up a saxophone for the first time in fourth grade. He hopes to write for Rolling Stone one day.

Tabitha Rinehart's photo

Tabitha Rinehart

Graduate / Visual Journalism

I am a senior majoring in visual journalism with a minor in Sociology. After my internship with the local radio station (B94.5/WBHV-FM), I went on to become a producer for the same station. I am one of the few responsible for kicking off a morning show for a sister station (Eagle 98.7/WEMR-FM). Working with the State College local radio stations has taught me to be a part of a professional team. I learned to work with a switch board, produce news worthy content to be read on air, and work with editing software such as Cool Edit Pro 2.0. My radio experience has opened doors for me and has helped me advance to my ultimate goal of being a producer in either the film, music, or radio industry.

Michael Ravotti's photo

Michael Ravotti

2012 Graduate / Broadcast Journalism

Michael is one of the sports directors of ComRadio and is a native of Ford City, Pennsylvania; a rural town in Western Pennsylvania of roughly 3,000 citizens.  A senior at Penn State, Michael is majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in kinesiology-movement science.  He is also a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State.  Michael has always been a passionate sports fan, as well as a diehard Penn State enthusiast.  In the future, Michael aspires to obtain a job in sports journalism, preferably in a play-by-play broadcasting position.