About the Lincoln Today People

Sriyani Tidball, editor and publisher, balances the production of Lincoln Today with various other projects for Tidball Productions, and her full-time teaching schedule as a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) where she teaches advertising and public relations. A UNL graduate, she holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in journalism. This energetic mother of four and grandmother of three splits her time between the U.S. and her native Sri Lanka, where she and her family have devoted themselves to projects that assist the poor and combat human trafficking worldwide.

Rayna Collins, art director and assistant editor, has been a part of the Lincoln Today team since its inaugural issue 23 years ago. With artistic skills honed in New York City design firms, she gives this annual publication its fresh and sophisticated look. Rayna runs her own successful graphic design business in Lincoln with both local and international clients, while devoting herself to her children, dogs, cats and the pursuit of art and happiness. You can see her work at raynacollinsdesign.com, at etsy.com/shop/lonelycards and at inkognito.de.

Tom Tidball, Lincoln Today’s chief photographer, has shot wonderful photographs for numerous international, national and local publications, including five coffee table books of his own photo studies. The Lincoln native also published his tribute to Nebraska football fans with his book, A Day in the Life: the Fans of Memorial Stadium. Tom’s Pow Wow Plains photography exhibition was the main exhibit at the Great Plains Gallery from August to December 2002 and has toured the state for many years including the College of Journalism’s Jatch Club in 2013. He displayed over 160 art prints and Native narrative in the exhibit, which brought rave reviews and shared Nebraska’s Native heritage with thousands. His most recent coffee table book, People Sri Lanka, published in 2009, showcases his compelling images of a cross-cultural nation. Tom also applies his exciting photographic perspective to video production, teaching and online work with his regular blog at tomtidball.blogspot.com and his social media sites.

Michelle Ashley, copy editor of Lincoln Today, telecommutes as a product documentation specialist for a Minnesota-based online marketing company by day and directs a nonprofit organization that provides therapy and service dogs in her spare time. She has been involved with Lincoln Today for over 16 years, working in editorial and management functions.

Neva Winkle is a recent graduate of UNL’s College of Law. She loves to write and volunteer, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of movie trivia.

Charlyne Berens is professor emeritus at the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications where she taught courses in writing, reporting and editing as well as honors courses on the First Amendment. She has published two books about the Nebraska Unicameral and the political biography of Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Senator and now U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Donna Joy Brakenhoff has lived in Nebraska most of her life. When she’s not working for the state as a computer information specialist, she makes time to enjoy the finer things in Lincoln — these include festivals, good restaurants and bookstores.

Karen Brokaw owns and runs her own media buying company. She is a talented photographer and writer, and takes time out of her hectic life to pursue these talents, and spend time with her husband and grown sons.

Carrie Christensen moved from Colorado to work as Communications Coordinator for the Lied Center.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Journalism and Mass Media, Paige Cornwell is now a journalist for the Seattle Times. She has also published in the Lincoln Journal Star, VICE Media, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Having travelled widely in Asia, her work has been published internationally as well as locally. She fondly remembers her Cornhusker days.

Diane Gonzolas has lived in Lincoln since 1987 and manages the Citizen Information Center, a division of the Mayor’s Office.  She previously worked at KOLN-KGIN-TV and the Governor’s Office. She is on the board of the Lincoln Arts Council and the Flatwater Shakespeare Company and is a member of the Angels Theatre Company.

Andrew “Drew” Guiney graduated from UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications with a degree in Advertising with a minor in Spanish. Some of his passions include reading, writing and photography. He is now the marketing coordinator for the Nebraska Soybean Board.

Julie Hagemeier has been General Manager of the University Theatre and the Nebraska Repertory Theatre at UNL since 1995. She is a board member of The Angels Theatre Company and is on the planning committee for the Lincoln Arts Council’s annual Lincoln Arts Festival.

Maritza Hayes, recently graduated from UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications with a degree in advertising and PR. She was the Husker Women’s Soccer Captain for two years, a TeamMate mentor for three years, and a scholar athlete who has now started a freelance writing career. She was recently awarded one of the prestigious American Advertising Federation’s national awards: Most Promising Minority Student.

Dr. Steve Kerns, a well-known and loved dentist in Lincoln, spends time developing his hobbies of writing, art and music. Father of six, and grandfather of six, Steve takes time out of his busy schedule to paint, play music in his church band and write freelance articles and short stories.

Dave Mlnarik, a long-time resident of Lincoln is the Executive Director of the Cornhusker State Games. In 2015 Nebraska would be hosting the State Games of USA, a project Dave has been working on for the past two years.

Milo Mumgaard works for Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler. Prior to that he was the executive director of the Appleseed Foundation. He holds a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law.

Becky Seth is a naturalist who worked for many years at the Pioneers Park Nature Center. Her special interests are plants, the prairie ecosystem and nature writing. She is also a professionally trained classical pianist.

Judy Shutts is a freelance writer and personal historian whose passion is helping others save life’s stories via audio recordings. She enjoys all Lincoln has to offer: Husker football, volleyball, theater, music and volunteering.

Roxanne Smith is Tourism Supervisor at the Office of the Nebraska Capitol Commission.

Jesse Starita works at UNL’s Daugherty Water for Food Institute as the Education/Outreach Specialist. Prior to this appointment he was the program director at KZUM. Jesse graduated from the College of Journalism at UNL and loves writing. One of the highlights is his life was the semester he spent in Brazil working as a Fulbright Scholar.

Luke Tidball graduated with his BA in Film and New Media from UNL’s Johnny Carson School of Film. Luke is a professional video producer and photographer and loves to travel and do freelance writing and video projects.

A former sports writer for Nebraska and South Carolina newspapers, Ann Teget has worked in the communication field for many years. She has a passion for volunteering and making a difference in the lives of those in need. Her volunteer work includes her work over the years with Leadership Lincoln, the Lincoln Children’s Museum, Crete Chamber of Commerce, TeamMates, and Community Concern Sri Lanka. Ann lives in nearby Crete with her husband Steve.

Tyler Thomas works for UNL as their social media guru. He considers himself an online enthusiast with a passion for digital communication, content strategy and relationship building. Experienced in creating and managing brand experiences of all sizes via web and social media, Tyler loves to visit Lincoln’s restaurants and blog about it. Tyler and his wife Mandy co-founded nebraskafoodie.com.

Ed Zimmer has been the Historic Preservation Planner at Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Department since 1985. He grew up in Omaha, and studied American studies and architectural history at Boston University.

Jonathan Frederick Walz is the curator of American Art at the Sheldon Museum of Art.


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