The Burr is the first student-produced magazine for Kent State University, the city of Kent and anyone looking for strong, journalistic storytelling.
We strive to provide our readers with interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent.
Sara Crawford is a senior journalism student from Lakewood, Ohio, with minors in public relations and political science. She is the editor-in-chief for The Burr, this being her fourth semester. In addition to working for The Burr, she is the opinions editor for The Kent Stater and an intern for the Cleveland Magazine. She has always had a passion for writing, starting with short stories about her friends and dog throughout elementary school and advancing from there. She is excited to see what this semester holds for both The Burr and herself! You can follow her on Twitter at @sara_crawford1 to learn more about her journey in journalism!
Elliot is the art director for The Burr this semester. They have been working for the magazine for the past three years. They are a visual communication design student and are deeply interested in pursuing illustration as a profession upon graduating. Elliot is passionate about creating work for nonprofit organizations, and they currently raise money through their artwork with proceeds donated to the nonprofits. They have a strong love for frogs, strawberries and cozy blankets. Autumn, in their opinion, is the superior season because who doesn’t want to wear sweaters all the time and step on crunchy leaves? Elliot’s social media showcases the variety of work they create professionally, pro bono and art simply made for the joy of it. You can follow them on Instagram @elliot_design.
Anna Lawrence is a junior majoring in photography. This is her fourth semester working for The Burr and her first semester as the photo editor. She has been practicing photography for five years, and her favorite subjects to photograph are people, nature and architecture. Anna tries to go home to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, every weekend to see her two goldendoodles. In her free time, she loves to watch movies, listen to music and read. She also loves to travel and hopes to visit Florence while attending Kent State. You can follow her on Instagram @annatl_photos.
COPY DESK CHIEF
Abigail Bottar is a junior at Kent State University. She is pursuing a major in political science with a concentration in American politics and minors in history and women’s studies. This is Abigail’s third semester working for The Burr and first as copy desk chief. She also is an intern at WKSU. In her free time, Abigail enjoys going to Trader Joe’s, rewatching “Gilmore Girls” and reading. You can follow her on Twitter at @AbigailBottar to see more of her work.
Augusta Battoclette is a senior journalism major and business management minor with a passion for music journalism. This is her second semester working for The Burr, and she is excited to work with an amazing staff. She has been writing since before she knew how to read and has been a journalist since seventh grade. You can find more of her work here.
SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR
Jacqueline Flickinger is a senior fashion merchandising major with minors in marketing and entrepreneurship. While last year she was a blogger for The Burr, this year she is the social media director. She still enjoys writing and hopes to write a teen-fiction novel in the future. She is also a freelance painter/artist. Some of the other hobbies include running, playing video games and hanging out with her pet bunny, Winnie.
SENIOR BLOGGING EDITOR
Maria Serra is a senior journalism major and human sexuality minor who enjoys writing in the third person. She enjoys writing about sex and relationships at Her Campus where she also serves as a senior editor for Kent State’s chapter. She also writes music news and other content for Alternative Press in Cleveland. When she’s not burning her retinas by typing in Google Docs for hours on end, she enjoys performing stand-up and improv comedy on regional stages. To no surprise, her jokes also revolve around sex and relationships. This her second year working for The Burr and her first time editing for the magazine. Check out some jokes on her Twitter @MaSerra8.
SENIOR WRITING EDITOR
Annie Zwisler is a junior journalism major at Kent State and senior editor for The Burr. Annie also minors in pre-law as she hopes to become a practicing attorney. Along with The Burr, Annie is the president of Flash Harmony, a Kent acapella group. She also is a graduate of the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, apple pie and the TBS hit sitcom “New Girl.”
Our Spring 2020 Team
Mary Elliott is a senior majoring in advertising and minoring in professional and technical writing. She brings a unique perspective to the table with her diverse background in writing and editing, and she is excited to be a part of The Burr this semester as assistant web editor. Feel free to follow her on Instagram @maryelliott_!
SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR
Kaitlyn Finchler is a sophomore journalism major with a minor in public relations from Delaware, Ohio. She is the social media assistant this semester but in the past has been a writer, blogger and photographer. Aside from The Burr, she is the photo editor and a reporter for KentWired, as well as a social media assistant for A Magazine. She is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and serves as the public relations chairhead. Kaitlyn can be reached on Instagram and Twitter @kaitlynfinchler and by email at email@example.com.
Gina Butkovich is a journalism and political science major with a passion for writing about women in sports. When she was five, her parents got her a Kit Kittredge American Girl Doll, and she has wanted to be a journalist ever since. This is her first semester with The Burr, and she is working as a writer. When Gina is not working, writing or studying, you can find her watching the Cubs win, attempting to bake or playing with her dog. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @gigibutko.
Grace Christopher is a second-year graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in journalism and mass communication. Grace has her bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Youngstown State University. This is her first semester as a staff writer for The Burr. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching TV and walking her goldendoodle, Belly.
GRACE MARIE BURTON
Grace Marie Burton is a sophomore journalism major. She’s a music and pop culture writer and junkie. When she’s not perusing Rolling Stone, writing or at a concert, she’s often writing pieces about a variety of subjects. Whether it’s boy bands, dismantling John Lennon or the legacy of historical events, she’s always looking for something interesting to explore and write about.
Lillianna DiFini is a second-year student at Kent State studying communication studies with a concentration in relational and workplace communication. Additionally, she is pursuing a minor in public relations. Lillianna previously wrote for The Burr as a blogger last semester and is now a writer. Her hopes for this semester include continuing to explore her passion for writing as well as create content that is both relevant and interesting to the Kent State community as a whole. After earning her bachelor’s degree in communication studies, Lillianna plans to continue her education and earn her master’s degree in education to one day pursue a career in academic advising.
Molly Heideman is a senior journalism major from Avon, Ohio. This is her first semester writing for The Burr and currently serves as the general assignment editor for The Kent Stater and an editorial intern for Akron Life Magazine. Molly has always had a passion for writing and would write short stories and poems growing up. When she’s not writing or reporting, you can find her making a new Spotify playlist, crocheting or taking walks around campus. You can contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @mollyhjmc.
Sarah McGinnis is a senior from New Jersey, studying fashion merchandising with a minor in fashion media. In addition to writing for the Burr, she also writes for A Magazine and the Kent State Chapter of Her Campus. Sarah was previously a writing intern for Bruised Knuckles, focusing on music reviews and politics. She plans to one day work as a fashion writer with a focus in sustainability. When Sarah isn’t writing or studying, you can find her watching horror movies, crocheting or starting her fifth cup of coffee. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Instagram @veggiegrl.
Becca Sagaris is a fifth-year journalism student from Aurora, Ohio, with minors in sustainability and political science. This is her first semester working for The Burr as a writer. In addition to working for The Burr, she is a copy editor for The Kent Stater and a communications intern with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. When Becca isn’t writing, working or studying, you can find her binge-watching “One Tree Hill” for the eighth time, eating copious amounts of spaghetti or scrolling through photos of her dog, Molly, on her phone or sometimes doing all three at the same time! You can contact her at email@example.com and follow her on Instagram at @beccasagaris.
Sara Borkman is a first-semester blogger for The Burr. She is a freshman integrated language arts major and hopes to become a teacher one day. Sara has a passion for music and has learned four instruments (and counting!) in the duration of her lifetime, as well as singing and dancing. In her free time, she can usually be found at her favorite coffee shop or hanging out with her pet goldendoodle. She is a cum laude graduate of Twinsburg High School. You can follow her on instagram @saraborkman.
Brie Camp is a junior journalism major who hails from an inconsequential little town in Pennsylvania known only for their local liberal arts college and the overwhelming amount of pizza joints. Brianna is a transfer student and recently switched majors from English to journalism but has always held a passion for words and their many sneaky ways of stringing together to create meaningful stories. This is their first semester at The Burr, and they are excited to get started on writing about anything and everything. In their spare time, Brianna enjoys cooking, spending time with their girlfriend and their dogs Samson and Buddy, caring for their plants, and watching great movies. You can usually catch Brie on campus working at the Student Center or grabbing a coffee to keep them and their laptop company. You can contact Brie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow them on Instagram @_b_a_n_a_n_a_g_r_a_m_s.
Domenic Cregan is from Mayfield, Ohio. He is a senior English major. This is his first semester with The Burr. He likes art and having a good time with his friends. You can follow him @domcregan on Instagram.
Cassidy is a sophomore journalism major with a criminal justice studies minor from Toledo, Ohio. This is her first semester blogging for The Burr. Aside from The Burr, she also enjoys writing lifestyle pieces for Her Campus. In the future, Cassidy hopes to travel and write for a digital magazine. When she is not writing, Cassidy enjoys watching crime documentaries on Netflix, working out and dreaming of where she’ll travel next. You can follow her journey on Twitter and Instagram @cgladieux04.
TERRY LEE III
Terry Lee III is a junior at Kent State with a major in journalism and mass communication. Terry is from Canton, Ohio. He spends his free time biking, reading and listening to music. He also enjoys many forms of art, including film and poetry. You can follow him on instagram @iamterryterryiam and Twitter @terryleeiii.
Maria McGinnis is a senior journalism major with minors in advertising and psychology. She is currently editor-in-chief of A Magazine (@amagksu), features editor for The Kent Stater/KentWired and a blogger for The Burr. When she isn’t writing or working on school work, Maria loves to spend time with her family and friends, do yoga, bake and watch Netflix. She is currently rewatching “The Vampire Diaries” after finishing “Gossip Girl” during quarantine and would love some new streaming suggestions. Follow Maria on Instagram @maria.mae98 and on Twitter @MariaMcGinnis13.
Sierra Severt is a freshman dance and English double major. This is her first semester blogging for The Burr. She is a member of the Kent Dance Ensemble, and she enjoys learning and writing about the different kinds of art. She aspires to dance with a professional ballet company someday while editing for a magazine or publishing house. She loves dogs, cats, yoga, cozy sweaters and chai lattes, and she has a mild obsession with “Criminal Minds”. You can follow her on Instagram at @sierra_s__ or email her at email@example.com.
Morgan Smith is a senior fashion merchandising student from Tiffin, Ohio. This is her second semester blogging for The Burr. In her free time, Morgan enjoys spending time with her cats, watching her favorite television shows (particularly “Big Brother”) and thrift shopping. Follow her thrift page on Instagram @morganleethrifts, where new-to-you clothing can be purchased without having to search the racks.
Emma Andrus is a sophomore journalism student from Olmsted Falls, Ohio, pursuing a minor in public relations. This is her second semester with The Burr. Emma is also a copy editor for The Kent Stater/KentWired. She has been passionate about storytelling and the power of the written word ever since she could read and write, and she is looking forward to having a hand in telling stories with The Burr this fall. When she is not exploring her passion for words, Emma enjoys good pasta, crossing off to-do lists and making and listening to music. You can follow her @EmmaBAndrus on Twitter to keep up with her journalism adventures.
Holly Liptak is a junior journalism major with a minor in design from Green, Ohio. This is her first semester working for The Burr as a copy editor, and she will also be working for The Kent Stater as an assigning editor. When she isn’t editing, Holly can be found watering her plants, advocating for the Oxford comma or enjoying copious amounts of pasta. You can find her on Instagram at h.liptk.
Jocelyn O’Bryon is a senior from Clarksville, Ohio pursuing a major in visual communication design with a minor in photography. This is her first semester working as an illustrator for the Burr. She has also been interning in the photography department at iDesign in Solon, Ohio since June 2020. She is passionate about all things related to graphic design and photography and has recently taken an interest in motion graphics. Some of her favorite things include baking, coffee and “Bob’s Burgers.” You can follow her on Instagram at @jociebird to see what she’s up to!
Dominica (Nicky) Hoover is a sophomore from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, pursuing a BFA in visual communication design with a minor in marketing. This is her second semester working as an illustrator for The Burr. She is also working as the student designer for the Kent State Design Innovation Hub. She has a passion for both illustration and graphic design and is especially fascinated by the ways in which these two fields intersect. Some of her favorite things include horror movies, coffee and art museums. You can follow her on Redbubble @nickyhoover or Instagram @nickyhoover to see more of her work.
Alyssa Maziarz is a sophomore visual communication design major. She is passionate about all things Halloween, plants and illustration. In her spare time, you can catch her around the campus greenhouse, walking along the Cuyahoga River or sketching on her iPad. This is Alyssa’s second semester working for The Burr as well as her third semester at Fusion. She is looking forward to continuing her journey and connecting with people through the visual arts. You can follow her on Instagram at @alyssamaziarz.
Samantha Schaffer is a senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, studying visual communication design. This is her first semester as an illustrator for The Burr. Along with working for The Burr, she will be an art director for Luna Negra and a graphic designer for University Libraries. This past summer she volunteered to do some designing for Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS). She has enjoyed expanding her work through these different experiences and is excited to see where The Burr takes her. To see her art journey, follow her on Instagram @arstysamtaylor.
Miranda Sepúlveda is a sophomore from Meadville, Pennsylvania, studying visual communication design with a minor in Spanish. This is her first semester working as an illustrator for The Burr. In addition to The Burr, she holds positions in the Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA) and Undergraduate Student Government. She is fascinated by illustration and design and strives to explore and push diversity in her artwork. Some of her other passions include yoga/meditation, foreign languages, mindfulness and telenovelas. You can see more of her artwork on Instagram @miranda_sepulveda or follow her @mirando_a_miranda6.
Nina Lozada is a sophomore from Cleveland, Ohio, studying journalism with a minor in photography. This is her first year working for The Burr Magazine as a photographer, and she is very excited. When she isn’t busy with school, you can find her reading a book or even writing one. Photography is something she has always had a fascination with, taking photos of anything that catches her eye. You can find some of her work on her Instagram @ninadenise.photos.
Marisa DeRoma is a senior visual communication design major with a minor in photography. She is originally from Rocky River, Ohio. This is her second semester working for The Burr as a photographer. Marisa also works as a designer and illustrator for A Magazine. While she usually focuses on
illustration, she also has a passion for photography. Marisa hopes to make the best out of working with the stories given to her from The Burr. Follow her Instagram at @marisa_deroma or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hayley Vitale is currently a sophomore majoring in photography. This fall, she will be working as a photographer for The Burr. She has been taking photos for about seven years, but she really found a passion in photography a few years ago when she was chosen to take athletics photos for her high school and started a small business taking senior portraits. Hayley hopes to gain photography experience with The Burr, so she can eventually leverage it and her degree to pursue a career someday in her field.
Hayley’s mother (‘94) and grandfather (‘73) attended Kent State, and her father was a member of the President’s Cabinet for 10 years from 2005-2015, so she grew up appreciating the Golden Flash experience. She is really excited this semester to engage in new photo assignments and experience a student-run magazine. You can follow her on Instagram @hvphoto.graphy.
Summer Lawrence is a freshman exploratory major from Akron, Ohio. This will be her first semester working as a photographer for The Burr. Aside from The Burr, she will be working alongside Fusion magazine as one of the photographers. She was the photographer for her high school’s yearbook for two consecutive years. She also co-advised her school yearbook/yearbook class where she gained experience designing and editing. She has a passion for photography and is very excited to work for the Burr this semester. Some of her favorite things include horror movies, coffee, fashion and Pinterest. Summer can be reached on Instagram @okaysummerr.
SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA
Hi, I’m Holly Liptak, a senior journalism student from Akron and the editor-in-chief of The Burr this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent, Ohio. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.