Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five wonderful visual journalists…
Evan Backstrom is a designer at the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa. A 2012 graduate of Ball State University, Evan served as chief page designer for the student paper there, the Ball State Daily News, and interned at Stamprint Printing and the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. He went to work for Gannett two years ago. Find his web site here, his NewsPageDesigner portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.
Deb Belt is a curation editor for Patch.com sites in Maryland and Georgia. She’s based in West Des Moines, Iowa. A 1984 graduate of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., Deb spent 13 years at the Des Moines Register, as a copy editor, assistant metro editor and an editor of the Register‘s community sections. She left in 2011 to work for Patch. Find Deb’s Twitter feed here.
Allisence Chang is a special education teacher in Phoenix, Ariz. A 2008 graduate of Michigan State University, Allisence worked internships at the Somerville (Mass.) News and the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. She also served a fellowship at the Poynter Institute in 2008 and studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador, before joining the Arizona Republic later that year as an artist and page designer. She left the Republic in 2011, earned a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, spent some time in Thailand and then began her new career that fall. The previous summer, she studied abroad in Costa Rica. Currently, she’s finishing up work on a second master’s degree. Find her portfolio site here, her wonderful photo blog here and her Twitter feed here. Allisence turns 28 today.
Mike Emmett is a free lance reporter, photographer and web designer in Cary, N.C. A 1976 graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., Mike worked as a reporter and copy editor for a number of papers including the Gazette of Chillicothe, Ohio, the Citizen-Journal of Columbus, Ohio, Florida Today of Melbourne, the Times-Union of Jacksonville, Fla. and the Rocky Mountain News of Denver, before joining the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., in 1992. He was one of the early pioneers of Raleigh’s web site, Nando.net, in the early 1990s before working with web operations at TotalSports, Nascar.com, the Greenville (S.C.) News and Media General.
He’s put out four novels — that I know of: 1) A horror novel called Demon, published in 2011. 2) Eva: A Ghost Story, published in 2012. 3) A collection of short stories called Damn it to Hell, also published in 2012, and 4) A Mystical Time, published in 2013.
Suzanne Tate is a communications and marketing specialist and a licensed English teacher in Norfolk, Va. A 1991 graduate of Virginia Tech, Suzanne spent eight years at the Coalfield Progress of Wise County, Va., as a reporter, community editor and then managing editor. She became education editor of the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk in 2005 and slid over to head up the Chesapeake city team a year later. She moved to the Bristol (Tenn.) Herald Courier in 2008 as opinion page editor. She left in 2010 to return to school at King College in Bristol, Tenn., where she earned an MBA. She earned a secondary school teaching certificate last year. She went to work for the Norfolk public school district last Fall. Find her cooking blog here, her food Twitter account here and her regular Twitter feed here. Suzanne turns 45 today.
Evan, Allisence, Mike, Deb and Suzanne share a birthday with actors Carrie-Anne Moss, Hayden Leslie Panettiere, Kim Victoria Cattrall, Melvin Van Peebles and Clarence Williams III; musicians William James “Count” Basie, Kenneth Donald “Kenny” Rogers, Jackie DeShannon and John Graham Mellor (better known as Joe Strummer of the Clash); director Peter Lindsay Weir; animator Isadore “Fritz” Freleng; TV host Sam Brody Jenner; sports greats Usain St. Leo Bolt (sprinter), Wilton Norman “Wilt” Chamberlin (basketball), James Robert “Jim” McMahon Jr., Archie Mason Griffin (both football), McLuin Emmanuel “B.J.” Upton (baseball) and Christopher Eugene “Chris” Schenkel and John Francis “Jack” Buck (both announcers); illustrator Aubrey Vincent Beardsley; England’s Princess Margaret, the Countess of Snowdon; Google co-founder Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin; AOL co-founder Stephen McConnell “Steve” Case and TV journalist Harry Smith.
In addition, today is Poets Day, Senior Citizens Day and National Spumoni Day. Seriously.
Best wishes, folks! Have a terrific birthday!