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The Burr Magazine

Meet The Staff


The Burr Magazine is Kent State University’s first student magazine, made by the students for the students. The Burr publishes a semesterly magazine that explores big issues and burning ideas, as well as fascinating people and the consuming preoccupations of its college audience. Each issue contains a compelling mix of how-to articles, original reporting and personal essays. features Web and multimedia stories, as well as blogs on lifestyle issues, including relationships, fashion and entertainment.




Holly Liptak is a senior journalism major with a minor in graphic design from Green, Ohio. She is editor-in-chief of The Burr this semester as well as the opinions editor for The Kent Stater. This is her third semester with The Burr and final semester at Kent State. When she isn’t editing, she can be found watering her plants, rewatching “Avatar: The Last Airbender” or enjoying copious amounts of pasta. You can find her on Instagram @h.liptk.

Emma Andrus

Senior Editor (Writers)

Emma Andrus is a junior journalism student from Olmsted Falls, Ohio, with minors in public relations and creative writing. This is her fourth semester with The Burr. Emma is also an administration reporter for The Kent Stater/KentWired and an intern with Kent State’s Collaborative NewsL@b. 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 seeing what The Burr will accomplish this fall. When Emma is not pursuing her passion for words, she can be found making and listening to music or enjoying good pasta. You can follow her @EmmaBAndrus on Twitter to keep up with her journalism-related endeavors.


Senior Editor (Bloggers)
Annie Zwisler is the senior editor (bloggers) for The Burr this semester. This is her third semester with The Burr, and she is excited to graduate with a bachelor’s in Journalism/Pre-Law in December. She hopes to attend law school after she graduates and become a practicing attorney. Annie also serves as the managing editor for The Kent Stater and the communications specialist for the College of Communication and Information. When she’s not hanging out in Franklin Hall, Annie loves to spend time with her family, go on hikes and hang out with her friends.


Art Director
Preston Randall is a senior design student from Columbus, Ohio, focusing primarily on illustrative design with a minor in studio art. This is his second semester working for The Burr as a member of the illustration team and his first as art director. Alongside his studies at Kent State, he is taking multiple online illustration and art courses to further his talent as an illustrator. Preston is also taking commissions for character designs, storyboards and comic strips, all in hopes to one day make a career out of his art. Some of his other passions include cooking, hiking and exploring the fields of astronomy and culture. You can find more of his work on Instagram @art_of_98.


Assistant Art Director
Shane McGinnis is a junior majoring in visual communication design and political science. This is his second semester working for The Burr, and he is excited to further his design abilities. He also works for Kent State Recreation in operations and the Adventure Center. When he’s not directing the art team or struggling to climb up the rock wall at the REC, he likes running and riding his bike around Kent. He also has a love of NPR and Radiolab podcasts. You can follow him on Instagram @shane_mcginnis.


Photo Director
Anna Lawrence is a senior photography major and the photo editor for The Burr in her sixth semester on staff. She has been practicing photography for six years, and her favorite subjects to photograph are people, fashion and nature. She especially loves to stage photos into stories of her own. In her free time, she loves to watch movies, play video games, listen to music and cuddle with her two goldendoodles. Anna tries to find inspiration in everything she does. You can follow her journey on Instagram @annatl_photos.


Web Editor
Alex Miller is a freshman visual communication design student from Wadsworth, Ohio. Always eager to learn new skills and work with others, he is thrilled to join The Burr staff as the web editor during his first semester of college. Since high school, he has designed WordPress websites, logos, magazine layouts and more. Alex looks forward to his education at Kent State and involvement in student media. Follow him on Instagram @its.alexmiller to see the next four years unfold.


Copy Desk Chief
Abigail Bottar is a senior at Kent State. 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 fifth semester working for The Burr and third as copy desk chief. She is also an intern at WKSU. In her free time, Abigail enjoys going to Trader Joe’s, listening to copious amounts of public radio and trying new cookie recipes. You can follow her on Twitter @AbigailBottar to see more of her work.


Promotions Director
Gabby Jonas is a junior journalism major with a minor in fashion media. This is her first semester working for The Burr, and she is excited to be The Burr’s promotions director. She has been a part of TV2 since her freshman year at Kent State and plans on going into the broadcasting industry after graduating in 2023. When she isn’t involved with student media, Gabby attends to her obligation as president of the Jewish organization Chabad on campus. In her free time, she also enjoys running, getting involved with her sorority Phi Mu, cooking vegetarian meals or hanging out with friends! Find her on Instagram @gabby_jonas or on Twitter @GJonastv2.


Assistant Promotions Director
Emily Robinson is a junior marketing major with a minor in finance from Green, Ohio. This is her first semester working for The Burr, and she is very excited to be on staff as the assistant promotions director. After getting her bachelor’s degree, she hopes to get a master’s in either finance or business administration. When she isn’t working or in class, she can be found playing piano, hanging out with her friends or baking every kind of dessert under the sun. You can find her on Instagram @em.0716.



Copy Editor
Katie Flack is a sophomore English major from Southern California. This is her second semester on The Burr staff as a copy editor, and she also works for Luna Negra as a staff writer and editor. Minoring in creative writing, she aspires to be published as a young adult author after college, a dream she has held dear since first writing creatively in middle school. When not reading or writing, she can be found obsessing over “Star Wars,” getting lost in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or hanging out with whatever animal she can find.


Copy Editor / Blogger
Sophie Young is a freshman majoring in journalism with a minor in visual journalism. This is her first semester as a blogger and copy editor for The Burr. She also works as an office assistant for Kent State Student Media and as a reporter for The Kent Stater. Hiking, listening to indie music and trying new foods are Sophie’s favorite ways to spend free time. You can contact her at


Copy Editor / Writer
Wyatt Loy is a senior journalism major with a minor in political science from Warren, Ohio. This is their first semester with The Burr, but in the past, they’ve written for The Kent Stater/KentWired and Fusion Magazine. They were also an intern with Akron Life Magazine, and they plan on covering political and social issues post-graduation. In their spare time, you can find them reading nonfiction, doing nature photography, making another Spotify playlist or mingling in the LGBTQ+ Student Center. You can contact them at, follow their Instagram @loy.wyatt or check out their website at

grace burton

Grace Marie Burton is a senior journalism and mass communication major. She has been writing for The Burr for three semesters and has contributed to other student publications. When she’s not writing, she can be found in the pit at shows or wandering around the library.


Terry Lee III is a senior communications major at Kent State. This is Terry’s second year working for The Burr. He is also working with Uhuru Magazine this semester. He loves all forms of art. In his spare time, Terry reckons himself a poet. He also enjoys music, cinema and his house plants.


Alton Northup is a freshman journalism major from Erie, Pennsylvania. This is his first semester writing for The Burr, and he also writes for The Kent Stater. He has a passion for telling human stories, wherever those stories may be found. His interests include art, politics, religion and culture, many of which influence the topics he covers. His dream in life is to travel the world learning about the people whose lives he shares. 

jenna bal

Jenna Bal is a sophomore journalism major with minors in English and web design. This is her second semester blogging for The Burr. When she’s home in Toledo, Jenna enjoys working as a barista and spending time with her younger sisters. Her hobbies include reading, hiking and journaling. Her favorite book is “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. After graduation, she hopes to work in publishing and eventually pursue her master’s degree in library sciences. Keep up with her work on Twitter @bal_jenna.

hannah keiL

Hannah Keil is a freshman journalism major, and this is her first semester blogging for The Burr. When Hannah is not finishing all of her assignments at the last minute, she reads a copious amount of trashy romance novels (see her blog for more) and endlessly scrolls through TikTok. Once her time at Kent State is up, she hopes to combine her passions and become a travel blogger, exploring the world and telling people all about it. You can contact Hannah at her email or keep up with her on Instagram @hannahkeil.


Mackenzie Shaffer is a junior journalism major with hopes for a career as a food journalist. This is Mackenzie’s first semester blogging for The Burr. She also works as a barista for a local coffee shop in her quaint Ohio hometown. Outside of school and work, you can find Mackenzie cooking and photographing food, journaling, trying to be a yogi, hiking and camping with her friends or her dad, scrolling through Pinterest and trying to find the beauty and gratitude in every moment.

makenzie dutton

Mak Dutton is a junior visual communications major with a minor in photojournalism. This is her first semester working as a designer for The Burr. Mak is graduating in the summer, and afterwards she hopes to find a job in the magazine or film industry. You can find her on the weekends bartending at the best bar downtown: Brewhouse! In her free time, Mak enjoys watching anything horror, blasting music in her room, roller skating or cuddling up with her dog, Koda. You can follow her on Instagram @cute_as_a_dutton!


Keri Fabrizi is beginning her third year at Kent State. She has majors in marketing and visual communication design. This is her second semester working for The Burr as a designer, and she’s excited to bring her designs and creativity to the Fall 2021 print edition. Her hobbies include crocheting amigurumi and creating poly-art illustrations of colorful animals. When she gets free time from studying, she can be found watching anime, reading fanfiction or petting her cat. You can follow her on Instagram @keri_fabrizi_19.


Jenna Patrick is a sophomore majoring in visual communication design and minoring in photography. This is her first semester working for The Burr, and she is very excited to be joining the team. In her free time, Jenna loves to explore nature and practice wildlife photography. Some of her hobbies include reading mystery novels and playing video games. In the future she hopes to work in the publication or advertising design fields.


Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Abbey Pickens is ecstatic for her second semester working for The Burr as a designer and illustrator. Abbey is a junior majoring in visual communication and design and minoring in user experience design. Her future goal is to work in brand development and logo design. Abbey is excited to bring her creativity to The Burr team again this semester! In her free time, you can find her at a local thrift store or playing with her two pet ferrets. Stay up to date on Abbey’s art and other endeavors by following her on Instagram @xabbeypickensx.

Alexandria Platt

Alexandria Platt is a sophomore majoring in digital media production with a minor in Italian. This is her first semester working for The Burr as a videographer. She also works as the lead videographer for a wedding photography business on the weekends. When not in class, you can find her skateboarding, drinking coffee outdoors or studying in the Kent State Library. Outside of campus life, she loves to travel and visit her two dogs, Cheddar and Simon, back home in Warren, Ohio.

Tiffani Nelson

Tiffani Nelson is a senior visual communication design major born and raised in Kent, Ohio. This is her first semester working for The Burr as an illustrator, for which she is beyond excited. In her free time, you will typically find Tiff hiking with her dog or in the kitchen trying a new recipe. Her hobbies include drawing, playing video games and watching movies. In the future, Tiff hopes to become a full time professional illustrator, especially in the field of character design. You can find some of her works on Instagram at tiffani_nelson_illustrations.

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson is a senior in visual communication design from Columbus, Ohio. This is her first semester illustrating for The Burr. She has taken on freelance work as a children’s book illustrator in the past and plans to continue in that field or in editorial illustration after graduation. When she’s not at work or in class, Sarah can be found spending time with her boyfriend and kitten or on the lake paddle boarding with friends. Find her on Instagram @Sarah_E.T.Illustrations.

Olivia Vennel

Olivia Vennel is a senior visual communications design major with a focus in illustration from Allentown, Pennsylvania. This is her first semester with The Burr as an illustrator. She has a strong interest in animation and wants to further develop her skills specifically in 2D animation. In her free time, you’ll find Olivia skiing down the slopes, playing volleyball with her friends or running. You can follow her on Instagram @oliviavennel.

Crystal White

Crystal White is a junior majoring in visual communication design with a focus on illustration. This is her first semester working as an illustrator for The Burr. Art and creativity have always been of interest to her, especially watercolor painting and mixed media work. Even outside of school and work, Crystal spends her time creating, whether it be writing or painting. She also loves spending time in nature and gets much of her inspiration from the organic world. She also loves hiking, kayaking and rollerblading. You can follow her on Instagram @crave_that_crystal to see more of her artwork.


Carla Thigpen is a freshman political science major from Girard, Ohio. This is her first semester at The Burr, and she is excited to be on the staff and grow her passion for writing. In her spare time, Carla loves to try new food, listen to new music, take random pictures and spend time with her friends and family going on new adventures. Carla’s biggest goal is to make a difference through her writing and touch the lives of the people around her. You can follow her journey on Instagram @carla_thigpen.


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.



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