Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three wonderful visual journalists…

Marsha Blackburn is a quality assurance specialist and technical writer for the Research Triangle Institute in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina. A graduate of the nearby University of North Carolina, Marsha spent seven years as features editor for the Fayetteville Observer and then three years as assistant editor of the Triangle Observer before moving to the News & Observer of Raleigh in 1991. She stayed there for 18 years, serving as an assistant metro editor, editor of 50 Plus, a producer for Nando Media, coordinator for and a content producer for She moved to the RTI in 2009 as a proposal manager and slid over to her new duties in February. Find her Twitter feed here.

Kristen Huth is the librarian at Hopewell High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. A 2009 graduate of Penn State University, Kristen served as managing editor for design her senior year at the Daily Collegian. She majored in journalism, minored in French and interned at the Virginian-Pilot and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. She won nice scholarship three years ago from the American Copy Editors Society. She obtained a master’s degree in library and information science last year from the University of Pittsburgh and began working at the high school last year. Plus, she continues to work at the Tribune-Review. Find her professional web site here. Kristen turns 25 today.

Elsolet Joubert is an artist for Graphics24, the infographics unit of the Media24 chain of newspapers and based in Johannesburg, South Africa. A 2004 graduate of Northwest University, Elsolet spent two years as an artist for Beeld, the Afrikaans-language daily in Johannesburg. She left in 2007 to join an advertising agency but returned the next year to concentrate on business graphics via Media24′s business news unit, Sake24. In 2010, she moved into the brand new graphics unit, where I had the pleasure of working with her again. In just a few weeks, she’ll make her first trip to the U.S. in order to attend the Kalish Visual Editing Workshop in Muncie, Ind., and then spend a week here in Virginia Beach studying with me. In her spare time — believe it or not — Elsolet attends law school. Find her web site here. Elsolet turns 30 today.

Kristen, Elsolet and Marsha share a birthday with actors Lisa Edelstein, Edward Ernest “Judge” Reinhold Jr., Laurence Tureaud (better known as Mr. T), Raymond William Stacey Burr, Mary Margaret “Peggy” Cass and Sarah Emily Ramos; musicians Christopher George Latore Wallace (better known as Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G.), Adam Wade Gontier (of Three Days Grace), Gerard Hugh “Leo” Sayer and Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller; sports greats Kent Allen Hrbek (baseball), Robert Joseph “Bobby” Cox (baseball manager), Herbert Dorsey Levens and Errick Lynne “Ricky” Williams Jr. (football) and Ara Raoul Parseghian (football coach); photographer Vernon Joseph Biever; painter Henri Julien Félix Rousseau; poet Alexander Pope; novelist Harold Rubin (better known as Harold Robbins); serial murderer Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer; comedian-turned-senator Alan Stuart “Al” Franken; physicist Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov and philosopher Plato.

In addition, today is Victoria Day, American Red Cross Founder’s Day, National Endangered Species Day, National Wait Staff Day and I Need a Patch for That Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a terrific birthday!