University of Pittsburgh
October 20, 2008

Pitt's Department of English and The Pitt News to Host Panel Discussion on Acquiring Internships in Mass Media and Public Relations Fields

Al McDowell Scholarship to be presented at Oct. 27 event
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's Department of English in the School of Arts and Sciences and "The Pitt News," Pitt's student newspaper, will host a panel discussion titled "The Essential Internship: Snaring One in the Media, Public Relations, and Publishing," at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, William Pitt Union Lower Lounge, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

In addition to the panel discussion, the annual Al McDowell Memorial Scholarship, named in memory of the Pittsburgh broadcasting pioneer and 1952 School of Arts and Sciences graduate, will be presented to a Pitt undergraduate student in the English department's nonfiction writing program.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Writing Internship Coordinator Caren Marcus at 412-624-1737 or

Information on the moderator and the discussion's panelists follows.


David Shribman, "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" executive editor, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 1995 for his coverage of Washington and the American political scene. Before coming to Pittsburgh, he was the Washington, D.C., bureau chief of The Boston Globe. He also worked in various positions for "The Wall Street Journal," "The New York Times," "The Washington Star," and "The Buffalo Evening News." His column, "National Perspective," is syndicated in more than 50 papers nationally, and he is a contributing editor for "Fortune" magazine.


Tom Bettag is executive producer of the Discovery network's Koppel Group, which has produced documentaries for Discovery on topics of national significance, including "The Price of Security; Iran: The Most Dangerous Nation?; Living with Cancer;" and, most recently, "The Peoples Republic of China." Before joining Discovery, Bettag was executive producer of ABC News Nightline from 1991 until 2004. Prior to working at ABC, Bettag spent 22 years at CBS, serving as executive producer of "CBS Evening News" with Dan Rather from 1986 to 1991. He is the recipient of six DuPont-Columbia University Silver Batons, five Peabody Awards, three Overseas Press Club Awards, and 30 Emmys. In 1976-77, Bettag took a leave of absence from CBS News to travel to Japan as a Fulbright Scholar to study the country's television networks. He received his BA degree in history from the University of Notre Dame and an MS degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Mark Gruetze, administrative editor of the "Pittsburgh Tribune-Review," oversees newsroom recruiting and the internship program in addition to running the metro desk on Sundays. In his 36 years as a journalist, he has been a reporter, copy editor, and assignment editor. Gruetze began his career at the "Commercial-News" after a summer internship at the paper. He was the city editor and assistant managing editor before being named managing editor of "The Marietta (Ohio) Times" in 1987. Gruetze moved to Pittsburgh in 1992 to help lead the Tribune-Review's expansion of suburban coverage, serving as suburban editor for almost six years before being named administrative editor in 2005. He was editor of the "Collegian," the student newspaper at Kansas State University. Gruetze received the BA degree in journalism from Kansas State.

Susan Johnson started her radio career in Pittsburgh in the late 1980s at WQED-FM 89.3, where she served as program coordinator, membership coordinator, classical announcer, and arts reporter. From 1995 to 2000, she was program director for WUSF-FM in Tampa, Fla. As program director for the Classical Public Radio Network in Los Angeles, Johnson helped pioneer its innovative fundraising and launch its national programming through NPR. A violinist, she performed freelance with professional orchestras and string quartets in Western Pennsylvania, Sarasota, and Los Angeles. Johnson earned a BA degree in music history and literature at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she also studied journalism.

Martin Kaiser has been editor and senior vice president of the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" since 1997. The paper won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting in 2008. Kaiser also worked for 10 years at the "Baltimore Sun," where he was sports editor, assistant managing editor, deputy managing editor, and associate managing editor. He also was sports editor for the "Chicago Sun-Times" for four years. Kaiser graduated from George Washington University and completed Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management Advanced Executive Program.

Jessica Bayer is a senior associate on Burson-Marsteller's Human Resources team in Washington, DC. Since joining Burson-Marsteller in November 2007, she has spent most of her time focusing on recruitment efforts, as well as working with her team to increase diversity recruitment across the company. Bayer recruits for a number of Burson-Marsteller's national offices. Most recently, she managed the 2008 Harold Burson Summer Internship program. Prior to joining Burson-Marsteller, Bayer was a recruitment specialist at Corporate Executive Board in Arlington, Va. She received a BA degree in mass communications with a minor in business from Louisiana State University.

Marin Cogan, reporter-researcher for "The New Republic," graduated from Pitt in April. She received a BA degree in nonfiction writing with a focus in political science and a minor in film studies. Cogan interned at "The New Republic," "U.S. News and World Report," and "Pitt Magazine." She was the 2007 Al McDowell Scholarship winner. Cogan also placed first in the Gertrude Gordon Writing Competition and was named one of "UniversityWire's ""Top College Columnists."

Pam O'Brien holds a visiting lectureship in Pitt's Department of English and is associate director of the department's Public and Professional Writing (PPW) Program. Her responsibilities include supervising PPW interns. O'Brien has worked as a federal grant writer and was vice president of an advertising agency for 15 years. She also writes poetry and has frequently been published in "Rattle," "Blueline," and "The Comstock Review." O'Brien earned a BA degree in Spanish at Allegheny College, a diploma de estudiantes Hispanicos at the University of Madrid, and an MA degree in English at Gannon University.

John Sullivan III began his career at Bedford/St. Martin's publishers as an intern and is now a senior editor at the company. Sullivan primarily edits anthologies of essays for composition courses. "Ways of Reading," a Bedford/St. Martin's anthology, is edited by Pitt professor David Bartholomae, chair of Pitt's English department, and Anthony Petrosky, professor of education and English at Pitt. Sullivan earned his BA degree in English at Suffolk University and his MA degree in literature at the University of Massachusetts.