Team in Transit

From truck stops to tailgates   //   the story behind moving an SEC football team

Meet the staff

Estee Beck

Estee is a senior journalism undergraduate. While working on her degree, she has written for local publications like The Independent Florida Alligator and The Fine Print, and she also interned at the university’s news bureau generating press releases and creating content for the university’s primary academic news outlet. Specializing in print news, Estee is also expanding her skills as a multimedia journalist using photo, print and video to reach across the industry’s changing platforms.

Sarah Brown-Cohen

Sarah is a junior at the University of Florida. She was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. She is studying public relations with a concentration in sport management. She is an account assistant at Alpha Productions and a member of the UF chapter of PRSSA. She has a passion for sports and is a member of the University of Florida surfing and wakeboarding clubs.

Rob Copeland

Robert Copeland was born in Tampa, FL with a passion for sports and a fierce determination for success.  While an Account Manager for Find Your Customers, Rob developed and managed national marketing campaigns and consistently ranked in the top three gross revenue producers, bringing in more than $500,000 in nine months. As the Public Relations Coordinator at the Association of Volleyball Professionals, Copeland increased awareness and exposure of both the tour and its players through the creation and distribution of 30+ published press releases about 8 separate events.

Caitlyn Finnegan

Caitlyn is a writer, designer and multimedia storyteller with a love of all things local. She’s working toward completing her degree in online journalism and Spanish at the University of Florida, where she serves on the executive board for the Florida Magazine Student Association.  Her stories have taken her many places, from the pits of local barbecue masters to the tasting rooms of up-and-coming breweries. She has worked with Her Campus, HOME Magazine and CBS Sports and hopes to one day write for a regional magazine.

Nicole Greiner

Nicole Greiner is a senior journalism major at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. Nicole is pursuing a career in sports information and media relations. She interned with the NBA’s newest team, the Charlotte Bobcats, in the summer of 2011. She currently works with the University of Florida’s University Athletic Association as a communications assistant where she writes articles, conducts research and assists with events. She specializes in writing and is also broadening her skill set with audio and video editing as well as multimedia reporting.

Steve Johnson

I have been working for newspapers as a photographer my entire adult life, but soon after taking a job at The Orlando Sentinel in high school, I realized there is much more to journalism than just a still picture. Since then, I have focused on mastering the art of photography while exploring new ways to tell a story through multimedia projects online and on mobile devices. As I continue to explore what many are trying to define as “new journalism,” I’ve also recognized the importance of running a business. While at the University of Florida, I have covered the Gulf Oil Spill, multiple NCAA National Championships and a laundry list of sporting events and breaking news.

Alex Kaufman

Alex Kaufman is a Industrial and Systems Engineering senior at the University of Florida who has a strong outside interest in graphic design, photography, and videography. He spent the past summer photographing dolphins, shooting promotional work, and revamping dolphin research data collection for The Florida Aquarium. He will graduate in Spring 2012 and go to work in the engineering industry.

George Pappas

George is finishing his degree in journalism and Spanish. He got his start writing lifestyle features for the St. Petersburg Times. George covers UF athletics for ESPN Radio and GatorBait Magazine, and contributes statistics and information on CBS Sports’ weekly college football broadcasts. He worked on Sports Illustrated’s documentary on former college football coach Urban Meyer and is collaborating on a project about Gators in the NBA for Fox Sports Florida. George also covers Major League Baseball and has a special interest in the game in the Dominican Republic.

Melissa Pender

Melissa is a fourth-year journalism student specializing in feature writing and sports reporting. She has worked for several Gainesville publications, including The Independent Florida Alligator, INsite Magazine and Home: Living in the Heart of Florida. Team in Transit was her first experience with advanced multimedia programs and she says the best part about the experience was learning from the rest of the team.

Matthew Riva

Matt has been behind a camera since before he can remember. It originally started out as “photos of landscapes with absolutely no human element whatsoever” as his mom would say. These days it’s progressed to video and other forms to tell not just a pretty picture but a story. Matt likes to think that he’s now coming into his own as a journalist and loves working with the other fine storytellers and people of Team in Transit.

Ali Robertson

Ali is a third-year journalism student with minors in education and leadership. During her time at UF, she has worked as a writer and photographer for “Our Town,” a project showcasing North Central Florida communities. Ali interned with Bay News 9 in St. Petersburg, and most recently with the corporate communications division of Bright House Networks in Orlando. She currently writes for The Odyssey, a weekly lifestyle publication. After graduation, Ali plans to pursue a career in magazine journalism in New York City.

Jillian Rogers

Jillian is a fourth year University of Florida student majoring in Journalism and Communications and minoring in History. She has held previous internships in the United States House of Representatives, a Washington, D.C. based public affairs firm and magazine publishing company, and a Gainesville City Commission campaign. She is a member of Florida Blue Key. She is a second generation Gator and believes there is nothing better than Saturdays in the Swamp.

David Tintner

David Tintner is a senior journalism student at the University of Florida. Although he found his love for journalism in the print medium, online media and web development have quickly become his passion.  He was awarded the prestigious University Scholars research grant and is studying interactive content and data visualization with the hope of developing a web application to aid small news organizations. David works for the University of Florida Levin College of Law as a web editor, and is also the webmaster for Angels Among Us Pet Rescue. He will graduate in the spring and plans on working for the web start-up company GoScheduleMe.


Dave Carlson

Dave Carlson has more than 20 years of experience in print journalism with job experiences from reporter and photographer to editor, designer and manager of daily newspapers. He is serving as an executive producer for this project. A pioneer in the development of interactive newspapers, Carlson is executive director of the college’s Center for Media Innovation + Research and director of the college’s Interactive Media Laboratory. He is a consultant to some of the world’s foremost online services and software companies and the former new media columnist for American Journalism Review. He teaches about the electronic community and the future of mass media. Carlson was national president of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2005-2006, the first educator ever to hold the post. He serves on the board of directors of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. A noted speaker and futurist, he has given more than 100 presentations on five continents.

Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a graduate student at the University of Florida pursuing a master’s degree in journalism. He is the graduate assistant for the 21st Century News Lab and is serving as an executive producer for this project. A native of Pennsylvania, he has interned with the Erie Times-News, the Erie SeaWolves (Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) and held a variety of campus jobs creating written, still and motion media. He also maintained a freelance client base instructing various non-profit organizations in video editing and creating an online presence. He graduated in 2011 from Mercyhurst College with a bachelor’s degree in communication.

Matt Sheehan

Matt Sheehan is the Team in Transit director, and oversees the multimedia reporting and production of the project.  Matt is director of the 21st Century News Laboratory at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. Sheehan joined the college after two years in the media startup world, where he served as chief operating officer for a niche media company. A journalist and MBA, he has jumped between established/emerging media and the academy. He’s served as an assistant news editor at The Washington Post, worked at a few East Coast papers (as an editor, reporter, designer and online producer), and spent a few years as an academic administrator at the University of Maryland, where he also taught.