Birthdays for Thursday, Jan. 29

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


Sarah Cox is a web designer and developer for Northrop Grumman in Atlanta, Ga. A 1985 graduate of Oklahoma State University, Sara spent two years as an assistant news editor for the Sun-News of Las Cruces, N.M. and then two more as a copy editor and designer for the Caller-Times of Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1990, she moved to the Tribune-Herald of Waco, Texas, as a features designer and copy editor and spent 15 years there before becoming a features designer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2005. She took web design classes at Kennesaw State University and spent two years as a mobile web designer for AT&T before moving to her current position in 2012. Find her portfolios here and here.


Elizabeth Jackson is a senior designer for the Tribune-Review in Pittsburgh. A 2002 graduate of Ohio University, Elizabeth spent a year-and-a-half as a news artist for the Tribune-Review before leaping to the Cincinnati Enquirer in 2003. She returned to Pittsburgh a year later. In addition, she works with Mary Kay cosmetics. Elizabeth turns 36 today.


Luke Knox is an infographics artist for the Boston Globe. A 2002 graduate of UNC-Asheville, Luke spent two years with the Pensacola News Journal in Florida and then a year-and-a-half at the Albuquerque Journal before joining the Arizona Republic in Phoenix in 2005. He moved to Boston in 2010 as a sports design supervisor. He moved to graphics in 2013. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Luke turns 35 today.


Bill Peschel is an author and book reviewer based in Hershey, Pa. A 1982 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Bill worked at small- and medium-sized newspapers, including 11 years at the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. He joined the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., in 2000 and spent 12 years there as a copy editor and page designer until the paper downsized a while back.

Bill’s first book — Writers Gone Wild: The Feuds Frolics and Follies of Literature’s Great Adventurers, Drunkards, Lovers, Iconclasts and Misanthropes – was published in 2010. His second book — The Complete, Annotated Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers — came out in 2011.


He published two more in 2013 — both were annotated versions of Agatha Christie‘s classic murder mysteries (here and here).


Since then, he published three more — a collection of early parodies of Sherlock Holmes from the legendary British humor magazine Punch, an annotated look at writings about a famous 160-year-old murder case and an original Kindle novel featuring the unlikely teamup of Sherlock Holmes and Mark Twain.


And that’s assuming I haven’t missed any.

Read my Q&A with him here. Find Bill’s web site here and his blog here. Find his Twitter feed here. Bill turns 55 today.


Kiah Staley is a freelance designer in Cheyenne, Wyo. A 2002 graduate of the University of Wyoming, Kiah spent two years as a copy editor for Cheyenne’s Tribune Eagle and then three years as a news artist and designer. She was promoted to assistant managing editor for presentation as part of the paper’s huge redesign five years ago. She “retired” in 2010, had a baby, served a few months as director of social media for and then returned to the Tribune Eagle on a freelance basis to design features pages. Find her Twitter feed here. Kiah turns 35 today.

Luke, Kiah, Sarah, Elizabeth and Bill share a birthday with actors Heather Joan Graham, Sara Rebecca Abeles (better known as Sara Gilbert), Thomas William “Tom” Selleck, Ann Jura Nauseda (better known as Ann Jillian), Marc Singer, Jacob Lincoln Freund (better known as John Forsythe), Victor John Mature, Andrew Keegan Heying, Katharine Juliet Ross and William Claude Dukenfield (better known as W.C. Fields); musicians Adam Mitchel Lambert, Jon Gordon Langseth Jr. (better known as Jonny Lang) and Teresa Teng; sports greats Gregory Efthimios Louganis (diving) and Dominik Hašek (hockey); politicians Paul Davis Ryan and William McKinley Jr.; industrialist John Davidson Rockefeller Jr., comic book creator Brian Wood and media magnate Orpah Gail “Oprah” Winfrey.

In addition, today is Curmudgeons Day, Freethinkers Day, National Puzzle Day, Seeing Eye Dog Day and Thomas Paine Day. Seriously.

Have an excellent birthday, all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Wednesday, Jan. 28

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five fine, fine folks…


Mohammed Alabri is a multimedia specialist for the Public Authority for Radio and Television in Muscat, Oman. A 2012 graduate of the Nizwa College of Applied Science, Mohammed interned at the Oman Establishment for Press, Publication and Advertising and with Brand One Media and Public Relations. Find Mohammed’s Twitter feed here.


Randy Foster is managing editor of the Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C. A 1982 graduate of Cal State Northridge, Randy spent seven years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and then worked as a private investigator and an insurance adjuster before entering journalism as a reporter for the Daily Journal of Ukiah, Calif. He worked for a number of small papers in California and New Mexico before becoming news editor of the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer in 2001. He made a go of running a small independent paper in Fayetteville and doing some consulting before taking command in New Bern in 2009. Find his Twitter feed here. Randy turns 55 today.


Katie O’Leary is a designer for Jacqueline Wells Photography and Design of Cleveland, Ohio. A 2013 graduate of Ohio University in Athens, she worked as a page-one designer for the student paper there, the Post. Katie served internships at WYEP-FM in Pittsburgh, the Chautauquan Daily in New York and with UQ marketing, a peer-to-peer marketing group. She moved into her current position in 2013. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here. Katie turns 24 today.


Jeanette Garcia Polasky is a speechwriter and communications specialist for the Baltimore County government in Towson, Md. A 2003 graduate of Duquesne University, Jeanette worked for the Evening Review of East Liverpool, Ohio, and as a correspondence analyst for the city of Baltimore. She earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2008 before becoming deputy director of correspondence and constituent services for the city of Baltimore mayor’s office. She also serves as an executive production coordinator for Clearpath Entertainment and is associate editor of Shockwave magazine. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Eva Finley is a retired postmaster for the U.S. Postal Service. She worked the last few months of her career out of the same post office where she started out as a rural lettercarrier back in the early 1980s in Bradley, S.C. Along the way, she was postmaster in a number of towns in Texas and South Carolina, edited the state postmasters’ newsletters for both states and finally served as editor of the national newsletter for the National Association of Postmasters –a newsletter that, really, was more of a slick magazine.


Eva Jane is also my mother. Surely you can see the resemblance in that picture, taken in 2010 when she hired me to speak to a gathering of state postmaster newsletter editors in Washington, D.C.

Here’s a funny story about my Mom: She was on her way to Houston when she found out I was interviewing for a job here in Victoria. She hadn’t seen me in a couple of years — since I had moved to the West coast — so you can probably guess what she did.


I have the only mom in the world who’d crash a job interview.

Mom is something like 39 years old today. Which doesn’t explain how she has a 52-year-old son. But, whatever…

Katie, Jeanette, Mohammed, Randy and Mom share a birthday with actors Elijah Jordan Wood, Barbara Klein (better known as Barbi Benton) and Alphonso Joseph D’Abruzzo (better known as Alan Alda); musicians Sarah Ann McLachlan, Arthur Rubinstein, William Leonard Roberts II (better known as Rock Ro$$), Joseph Anthony “Joey” Fatone Jr. (of ‘N Synch) and Nicholas Gene “Nick” Carter (of the Backstreet Boys); sports greats Jessica Ennis (track and field), Daunte Rachard Culpepper (football), Andre Tyler Iguodala (basketball), Jermaine Trevell Dye and Magglio José Ordóñez Delgado (both baseball); authors Susan Sontag and Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (who normally went only by her last name); painter Paul Jackson Pollock; French leader Nicholas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa and comedian-turned-TV reporter Maurice Alberto “Mo” Rocca.

In addition, today is Data Privacy Day, National Kazoo Day and Thank a Plug In Developer Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, y’all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Tuesday, Jan. 27

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


Evelyn Lau is a features web editor for the National of Abu Dhabi. A 2010 graduate of the University of Iowa, Evelyn worked as a sports talk show host for the campus radio station and assistant sports editor for the student newspaper. She served an internship with Athlete Interactive, where she created content to go on personal web sites of professional athletes. After graduation, she worked a while as a substitute teacher before starting work in 2011 for the Boston Herald. She moved to Abu Dhabi a year ago. Find her Twitter feed here. Evelyn turns 27 today.


Denise Reagan is director of communications for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Fla. A 1990 graduate of the University of Florida, Denise spent four-and-a-half years as a designer for the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., before moving to the Detroit Free Press as a features designer. In 1996, she became art director of the Friday entertainment section of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. She moved to the Morning News of Savannah, Ga., to become planning editor in 2002 and then again to the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as director of news design in 2004. She moved to Jacksonville in 2006 to become assistant managing editor for visuals at the Florida Times Union. She was named editor of Folio Weekly, an alt-weekly tabloid newspaper in Jacksonville, in 2012. Denise left newspapers in 2013. In addition, she teaches news design on an adjunct basis for her alma mater. She spent five years directing Quickcourse seminars for the Society for News Design and spent three years as president of the SND Foundation. Find her Twitter feed here.

Evelyn and Denise share a birthday with actors Donna Belle Mullenger (better known as Donna Reed), Bridget Jane Fonda (not to be confused with her sister Jane Fonda), Miriam Spickler (better known as Mimi Rogers), James Cromwell, Merle Johnson Jr. (better known as Troy Donahue) and Patton Oswalt; musicians Nicholas Berkeley “Nick” Mason (of Pink Floyd), Jerome David Kern, Lyle Russell Cedric “Skitch” Henderson and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; dancer Mikhail Nikolaevich Baryshnikov; sports greats Marat Mubinovich Safin (tennis), Anthony Cris Collinsworth, William Arthur “Billy White Shoes” Johnson, John Matthew “Matt” Stover (all three football), Arthur Joseph “Art” Rooney (NFL team owner) and Gerald Hatten “Jerry” Buss (NBA team owner); writer Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll); chief justice of the supreme court John Glover Roberts Jr.; TV host Keith Theodore Olbermann and comic book artists Peter Alan Laird and Frank Miller.

In addition, today is Holocaust Memorial Day, National Geographic Day, Viet Nam Peace Day, Auschwitz Liberation Day and Thomas Crapper Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Monday, Jan. 26

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six excellent visual journalists…


Kevin Cox is a senior copy editor with Meredith publications in Des Moines, Iowa. A 1992 graduate of Loyola University in Chicago, Kevin earned a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. He spent nine years with the Des Moines Register in a variety of editing positions, including assistant features editor. He moved to Meredith in 2007. Kevin turns 45 today.


Mike Dizon is a graphic journalist for the Straits Times of Singapore. A 1991 graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, Michael worked with Crown Cards and Avon before joining POL Advertising in 1996. He joined the Straits Times in 1998. Find a few of his paintings here. Mike turns 45 today.


Sara Harvey is a designer for the Lee Enterprises design center in Munster, Ind. A 2009 graduate of Chicago’s Columbia College, Sara served as copy desk chief and then managing editor for the student paper there, the Columbia Chronicle. She interned for the Chicago Tribune‘s RedEye as a designer and copy editor. She went to work for the Times of Northwest Indiana in 2011. She also freelances — the Chicago Headline Club is one of her clients. Find her portfolio here.


Max Schulte is assistant photo editor for the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, N.Y. A 1996 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Max went to work as a shooter for the D&C in 1997 and has been there for 18 years. Find his Twitter feed here. Max turns 43 today.


Rinku Sharma is DNE for design at the Hindustan Times of Delhi, India. A graduate of the government college of Dharmshala, he turns 32 today.


Lon Wagner is director of communications for Ameritox, a manufacturer of medication monitoring solutions in Baltimore, Md. A 1986 graduate of the University of Delaware, Lon spent nearly 15 years as a reporter and project editor for the Virginian-Pilot. In 2009, Lon left the Pilot for ValueOptions, a behavioral health company. He leaped to Ameritox in 2012. Find his Twitter feed here.

Rinku, Max, Sara, Kevin, Mike and Lon share a birthday with actors Paul Leonard Newman and Theodore Scott Glenn; musicians Lucinda Williams, Edward Lodewijk “Eddie” Van Halen and Anita Baker; dancer Kherington Taylor Payne; sports greats Wayne Douglas Gretzky (hockey), Vincent Lamar “Vince” Carter (basketball), James Torrey Smith, Manti Malietau Louis Te’o (both football), Henry Thomas Cotton (golf) and Robert George “Bob” Uecker (announcer); football coach-turned-sex abuser Gerald Arthur “Jerry” Sandusky; general Douglas MacArthur; authors Angela Davis and Philip José Farmer; cartoonist Jules Ralph Feiffer and TV hosts Ellen DeGeneres and Eugene Kal “Gene” Siskel.

In addition, today is National Peanut Brittle Day, Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement, Lotus 1-2-3 Day and Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. Seriously.

Have a great birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Sunday, Jan. 25

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to seven fabulous visual journalists…


Greg Branson is assistant managing editor for presentation and innovation for the Kansas City Star. A 1992 graduate of Kansas State University, Greg spent two years as an artist for the News-Leader of Springfield, Mo., before becoming assistant graphics editor and A1 designer for the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. In 2003, Greg became editor of the Osawatomie (Kan.) Graphic and then publisher of three community papers in Miami County, Kansas. He moved to Kansas City in 2006. Greg turns 45 today.


Carrie Gee is design director for Adweek magazine in New York City. A 2007 graduate of Michigan State University, Carrie served an internship at the Virginian-Pilot in 2006 and then, as the first-ever winner of the Society for News Design’s “the Intern” contest, worked at the San Jose Mercury News the next year. She became A1 news designer for the the Portland Oregonian in 2007 but left two years after her fiancé, Martin Gee, started work for the Boston Globe. She and Martin got married in 2011 and Carrie started work — as a designer for Ready-Media and the Font Bureau in Boston and art director for Edible Vineyard magazine — that summer. She moved to her current position in 2013. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here. Carrie turns 31 today.


Amanda Goehlert is a publications designer for Sport Graphics of Indianapolis. A 2004 graduate of the University of Missouri, Amanda earned a Master’s Degree from Ball State University and interned at the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Va., and the Dallas Morning News. She spent four-and-a-half years as A1 designer at the Indianapolis Star before departing for Sport Graphics in 2010. Find her personal portfolio site here. Amanda turns 33 today.


Huy Mach is a photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He’s a 2003 graduate of Western Kentucky University. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Christina Nuckols is communications advisor to the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources. A graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., Christina earned a master’s degree from Ohio University and worked at a series of papers in western Virginia. She spent a year at the state capitol reporting for the Roanoke Times before switching over to a corporate sister paper, the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, to cover state government and politics. She later moved to the Pilot’s editorial page and then, in 2012, back to Roanoke as editorial page editor. She moved into the public sector last year. Find her Twitter feed here. Christina turns 48 today.


Mary Lynn Rynkiewicz is director of communications for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association in Washington, D.C. 1996 graduate of Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Mary Lynn earned a master’s degree in 1997 from Columbia University and worked as a features editor, online editor and publicist for the Hill in Washington, D.C. She also taught a class on political journalism at Georgetown University. In 2005, she joined the Newspaper Association of America’s PressTime magazine as a staff writer. After NAA closed down PressTime in 2009, Mary Lynn spent a year as a senior proposal writer for SRA International and another year as an editorial manager for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She spent a year as communications and contract manager for the NextGen Institute before starting in her current position in 2013.


Melanie Wass is a senior page designer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. A graduate of the University of Phoenix-Pittsburgh, Melanie joined the Tribune-Review in 1999. Find her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Carrie, Amanda, Huy, Melanie Greg, Christina and Mary Lynn share a birthday with actor Dean Carroll Jones; musicians Alicia Augello Cook (better known as Alicia Keys), Jamesetta Hawkins (better known as Etta James) and Richard Raymond Finch (of KC and the Sunshine Band); director Tobe Hooper; writers Adeline Virginia Woolf, William Somerset Maugham and Robert Burns; sports greats Carl Eller and Louis Roy “Lou” Groza (football), Elzie Wylie “Buddy” Baker Jr. (auto racing), Xavier “Xavi” Hernández i Creus (soccer), Maria Yuryevna Kirilenko (tennis), Steve Roland Prefontaine (track and field) and William Ernest “Ernie” Harwell (baseball announcer); Filipino leader Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino; TV newsman Edwin Harold Newman; music journalist Timothy White and comic book creator Geoff Johns.

In addition, today is National Irish Coffee Day, A Room of One’s Own Day, Opposite Day, Soup Swap Day, World Leprosy Day and Macintosh Computer Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, all! Best wishes!