Our Students & Coaches 2017

Penn State students worked for three days, learning to shoot and edit video and to tell stories with the help of six talented alumni

Our Students

Their Coaches


 Andy Colwell was until recently a photojournalist at the Erie Times-News and GoErie.com, where he worked since 2012. He is now a freelance photographer and videographer based in Denver. He’s a proud fourth-generation Penn Stater of the Class of 2011. Andy grew up in State College and attended University Park, where he received bachelor of arts degrees in photojournalism and art photography. Outside of the Erie Times-News, Andy is also works as a freelance photographer for editorial, commercial and event clients, but he’s also frequently found around the Erie area photographing, running, biking and kayaking…but never at the same time because that would be really difficult.
Andy’s pictures and video journalism have been published globally via the Associated Press and in Newsweek, People Magazine, the Denver Post and numerous newspapers across Pennsylvania. When he was in his last semester at Penn State, he was a part of the Harrisburg Patriot-News’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky scandal. Andy is an avid outdoors enthusiast and Eagle Scout who loves exploring and conserving natural spaces, crafting and sharing puns, and meeting new friends. He can be found online at andycolwell.com, vimeo.com/andycolwell and on Instagram and Twitter as @andycolwell.
Andy Grant is always exploring new ways to create and tell interesting stories.
He has worked in television and video production for over a decade, including long form and short form documentary work for broadcast as well as new media.
He has worked for several production companies including Driftwood Productions in State College, PA and WNED-TV Buffalo/Toronto. He is currently a Producer/Director at WPSU in State College, PA.
Andy graduated from Penn State in 2005 with a degree in Telecommunications.
Mark Stitzer is an award-winning director of photography and Steadicam operator.  A 2002 graduate of Penn State’s Film program, Mark has been working in television and film production in just about every major crew role from grip, to audio, to Steadicam and directing.  Because of this diverse experience range and skill set, he has been called the “Swiss Army Knife of filmmaking”.

 His work ranges from commercials and shorts to feature length independent films and documentaries. In 2014 he earned an Emmy award for his work as the Director of Photography on the nationally aired PBS documentary “Water Blues Green Solutions”.

Jill Knight  A staff photographer/video journalist WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., Knight has also freelanced long-term documentary photo essays to various publications and runs her own destination wedding photography business. 
Prior to being hired by WRAL she was a staff photographer at The News & Observer. Jill completed internships at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Charlotte Observer. She was named the 2013 North Carolina Student Photographer of the Year by the North Carolina Press Photographers Association.
In 2013, two of Knight’s long-term photo essays, “Special Delivery” and “Duty, Honor, Gay Marriage,” appeared on the New York Times Lens Blog and in The New Yorker. “Special Delivery” was later published in Marie Claire Australia and the Penn Stater alumni magazine. It also placed first in the National Heart Journalism Awards Photo Essay category.
Knight has worked as a freelance photographer for The Associated Press, Polaris Images, ZUMA, Walter Magazine, the Centre Daily Times, the York Dispatch, the Fayetteville Observer and as a student contributor to Penn State’s CommMedia.
When she is not taking photos, Knight enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time outdoors with her husband and dogs.
Kat Rodriguez Since graduating from Penn State in 2013, Kat has worked in web video production. Her latest short doc, Cash Mob for Avi, was featured in ABC World News Tonight with David Muir and the Big Apple Film Festival.
She is currently a freelance video producer in Brooklyn, New York.
Matt Ford is an avid experimenter of new forms of visual storytelling.
Before co-founding Vignette Interactive, Matt worked as a multimedia journalist for The Associated Press covering the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the “Arab Spring,” and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before journalism, Matt worked in the Los Angeles film industry as a set and studio lighting technician on productions such as Spiderman 2 and The West Wing.
Matt studied film at Toronto’s York University and has degrees in journalism from Penn State University and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.