Powering a Nation

A Project of the UNC School of Media and Journalism

2013 Staff

PAN 2013 Pictures 20 WRKG 1Pictured, from left to right: front row — Hannah Weinberger, Emma Galli, Katy Denning, Sara Peach; second row — Laura Ruel, Ashlyn Still, G. Ligaiya Romero, Brittain McNeel, Spencer Bakalar, Erin Hull; back row — Chad A. Stevens, Natalie Taylor, Eric Pait, John Remensperger, Bob Sacha; not pictured — Jan Yopp, Daren Brabham, Matt Brozowski, Jody Sugrue

About the 2013 project

Our 2013 Fellows present a Powering a Nation special report, “Over Water Under Fire.”

The interactive documentary, “Over Water Under Fire,” combines a video narrative with motion graphics and text to present the Colorado River as a living timeline of our nation’s innovations and exploitations with water as the river’s uncertain future echoes the precarious state of water resources in this country. The graphics and text pieces will focus on how humans have physically altered the environment along the river in response to limited water resources, how the river has responded to those changes and what choices the country will have to make in the future.

The narrative arc is integrated with a video story on Special Ops veterans who come back from battle zones with PTSD and take a river trip called “Warriors on Cataract” as a means of therapy. These veterans emphasize the human connection to water resources and subtly echo the theme of U.S. resource allocation.

This presentation is an experiment in journalistic storytelling. We welcome feedback about your experience: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Our 2013 Fellows

Editorial Emma 


Emma Galli

Co-editor in Chief, Interface Designer, Motion Graphic Artist

Emma is a recent graduate of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a B.A. in editing and graphic design. Her visual communication degree allowed her to explore different areas of journalism including interactive and web design, information graphics, publication design, and motion graphics. As an undergraduate, she was the Art Director for the campus features magazine, Blue & White, as well as the Journalism School’s first iPad magazine, wabi sabi. She has also contributed to Living Galapagos and 100 Gallons. Emma is planning on moving to New York to pursue employment as a designer and storyteller and looks forward to facing new creative challenges.

Connect: Portfolio  || @emmagalli  || Vimeo

Editorial Ligaiya


G. Ligaiya Romero

Co-editor in Chief, Videographer

Ligaiya is a documentary photographer and filmmaker interested in innovative forms of interactive storytelling. Originally from New York, she graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with dual degrees in film production and international development. As a director of photography, she has worked on several documentary films: exploring life in the shantytowns of Brazil, the presidential elections in El Salvador, and the art of translating poetry in Mexico. Ligaiya is a Roy H. Park fellow, pursuing a master’s degree in Visual Communication at the UNC-Chapel Hill.

Connect: Portfolio || @Ligaiya  || Vimeo

Editorial Brittain


Brittain McNeel

Interface Designer, Motion Graphic Artist

Brittain was graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill this May with a B.A. in graphic design and news editing. Her major has allowed her to take on a wide range of design challenges, from making a motion graphic for Durham’s Museum of Life and Science to publishing a print magazine and iPad edition in a single semester. After Powering a Nation, Brittain will continue her studies at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter with an art direction concentration. After completing her master’s, she hopes to continue working on integrated multimedia projects in an agency environment.

Connect: Portfolio  || @brittainmcneel || Vimeo

Editorial Katie


Katy Denning

Interface Designer, Motion Graphic Artist

Katy is a 2013 graduate of UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a specialization in editing and graphic design. During her time at UNC she has concentrated on storytelling via information graphics, motion graphics, and audio-video work. She also loves traditional art and illustration, which comes through in her design style. She has worked as a designer for UNC Visitors’ Center and Soccer.com.

Connect: Portfolio || @katykd || Vimeo


Editorial Hannah


Hannah Weinberger

Writer, Researcher

Hannah Weinberger was graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill this past spring with a major in Mandarin Chinese and a minor in journalism and mass communication. Since discovering reporting at the tail-end of her junior year, Hannah has worked for organizations including Blue & White Magazine, Reese News and CNN in Atlanta. When not swimming through reams of Colorado River historical documents, Hannah enjoys teaching herself guitar, running and persuading people that they are in The Matrix. She hopes to join either an investigative or travel journalism outfit–or become China’s best-loved foreign karaoke star.

Connect: Portfolio || @Weinbergrrrrr || h.rs.weinberger (at) gmail (dot) com

Editorial Natalie


Natalie Taylor

Writer, Researcher

Natalie is a master’s graduate student in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and is interested in visually communicating science to the general public. She is thrilled to be working with Powering a Nation this year and loves developing her research and writing skills. In her time off, she enjoys rock climbing, biking, eating, spending time near bodies of water, learning the harmonica, watching documentaries and going to science museums.

Connect: @leafcutternats || nhtaylor (at) gmail (dot) com

Editorial Spencer


Spencer Bakalar


Spencer Bakalar is a documentary photographer and videographer, and a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. Meeting and learning from so many people has allowed her to see the world differently, but has also allowed her to “see the world.” Documentary projects have taken her to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uganda, Austria, the United Kingdom and all over the U.S. In July, she will join the Los Angeles Times as a video and editing intern.

Connect: Portfolio || @SpencerMary214 || Vimeo

Editorial Eric


Eric Pait


Eric Pait is a rising senior in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Although he began his time at UNC studying photojournalism, he recently switched to the multimedia sequence to focus on interactive web development. His visual background brings a unique perspective to the coding environment and heavily influences his ability to integrate visual content into websites. Eric worked as the programmer for the Carolina Photojournalism Workshop’s award-winning project from 2012, “Port City Stories.”

Connect: Portfolio || @ericpait || Vimeo

Editorial John


John Remensperger


John Remensperger received his master’s in Mass Communication Research from UNC-Chapel Hill in May of 2013. Before moving to North Carolina, John spent five years managing and marketing municipal arts and recreation programs in California. John’s research interests include the use of new media in government and political communication and in the promotion of civic participation.

Connect: Portfolio || @jreme100

Editorial Erin

Erin Hull


Erin Hull is a 2013 graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She specialized in photojournalism, finding a love for capturing the everyday moments through still photography. Erin’s love for photography is closely entwined with her love for travel, as photography allows her to explore the world. Photojournalism has taken her around North Carolina with her work for The Daily Tar Heel and to Malawi last summer where she worked on Proctor & Gamble’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water campaign. She will join The Denver Post in July as a photography intern.

Connect: Portfolio || @erinfhull

Editorial Ashlyn

Ashlyn Still


Ashlyn was graduated from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2013 with a concentration in multimedia. During her time as a student, she embraced her inner code nerd as Director of Design and Technology at Reese News Lab, polished her Django chops as a designer/developer for the award-winning Living Galápagos project, and spent a summer building interactive graphics at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As a self-proclaimed “news nerd”, she prefers programming to prose as her storytelling medium. She currently works as a freelance web developer and is pursuing a career in data journalism and news application development.

Connect: Portfolio || @ashlynstill || Github




Susan King, Dean
Laura Ruel, Executive Producer
Chad A. Stevens, Producer


Daren Brabham
Matt Brozowski
Bob Sacha
Jan Yopp
Jody Sugrue
Sara Peach

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