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Our Amazing Team

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Arden Ryan

Summer 2022 marks Arden’s sixth season working for the Daily. A longtime Chautauquan, he is excited to continue supervising the Daily’s newsies. Following his editorial debut last season, Arden plans to write more articles this summer. He is an incoming freshman at Carnegie Mellon University, and he is interested in studying English and international relations. If he’s not around the Daily office, Arden can be found reading, swimming or sailing.

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Breanna Nelson

Breanna Nelson

Breanna Nelson is a 2021 graduate of SUNY Oswego, where she majored in communications with a concentration on public relations. During the 2021 season, Breanna served as the Daily’s editorial office manager. She is excited to return for a second season at Chautauqua, where she will serve as the assistant editor.

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Brett Phelps

Brett Phelps is a visual journalist from Bardstown, Kentucky. Entering his junior year, Brett studies photojournalism, marketing, data analytics and computer information systems at Western Kentucky University. In his first summer at Chautauqua, Brett looks forward to soaking in all of the culture and knowledge that the season has to bring. In his downtime, he enjoys taking long drives through the country backroads (with the windows down), going on hikes, traveling to new destinations, attending concerts and playing the piano. Brett’s life endeavor: Capturing the celebration of life!

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Carrie Legg

Carrie Legg is a photographer for The Chautauquan Daily. She is a recent graduate of Ohio University with a Bachelors of Science in Photojournalism and a specialization in social sciences. Carrie was the photo editor of Southeast Ohio Magazine for two seasons and worked on the photo staff of her school paper, The Post, for four years as a staff photographer and eventually photo editor. Carrie has been taking photos casually for almost a decade, but professionally for about six years. She is passionate about sharing stories of people and events in a visually interesting way that causes critical thinking and contemplation. In her free time, Carrie enjoys being outdoors, hanging out with friends, and playing with her two cats, Pepper and Poppy.

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Elizabeth Backo

Elizabeth Backo is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Backo, who is from Pittsburgh, works at a Sheetz and spends her free time attending way too many country concerts. Her time at Chautauqua will consist of geeking out about analytics and nearly crying every time she sees a dog. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @liz_backo.

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Neville Hardman

Neville Hardman is an alumna of Kent State University, where she earned a degree in multimedia news journalism. She aspires to have a career in editing, music editorial or longform writing. In the meantime, she’s probably napping like some human incarnation of Snorlax or blaring a post-punk song.

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Henry Domst

Henry Domst is a rising senior at SUNY Fredonia double-majoring in graphic design and art history with a minor in computer science. He is originally from Springville, New York, and currently works for his school newspaper, The Leader, as design editor. Already this summer he studied abroad in Florence, traveling all over Italy, experiencing new things, indulging in the cuisine and feeling inspired. When he’s not designing, you may see him biking. Henry is excited to meet everyone in Chautauqua, hoping to expand his network and make long lasting friendships.

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HG Biggs

HG Biggs is a rising senior at the University of Mississippi where she studies Mandarin Chinese. HG credits baseball with sparking the start of her photographer career. Her first experiences holding a camera were taking photos through chain link fences at her brothers’ little league t-ball games. HG has just finished three years working for the University of Mississippi’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Mississippian; two and a half of those years she spent as photo editor. During her first summer in Chautauqua, HG will be working as a photographer for The Chautauquan Daily, and she is excited to photograph everything outside of the sports fields where she spends much of her time at home.

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James Buckser

James Buckser is a rising junior at Boston University studying journalism. At BU he works with The Daily Free Press and WTBU News, among other campus publications. He is very excited to be reporting on the Interfaith Lecture Series during his first season at Chautauqua, and for the opportunity to interview a wide array of interesting voices. While currently residing in New England, James grew up in Upstate New York, and is looking forward to returning. Outside of reporting, James enjoys going on poorly-planned runs and playing the guitar badly.

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Jess Kszos

Jess Kszos is an undergraduate photojournalism student at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is interested in photographing the stories of the community around her. Two years ago she started at Cobb’s Hill Park in Rochester, New York, to photograph people she did not know, and now she is a freelancer best known among the basketball community in Rochester. Her father, Joe Kszos, was born and raised in Chautauqua County, while her mother, Lynn Kszos, studied Chautauqua Lake while completing her Master’s Degree at SUNY Fredonia, and Jess is excited to be closer to her roots at Chautauqua.

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Lauren Smart

Lauren Smart

Lauren Smart is an arts writer and educator based in Dallas, TX. She writes for American Theatre, Dallas Morning News, Dallas Observer, Cowboys & Indians, among others. She is an adjunct professor of arts journalism at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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Ruchi Ghare

Ruchi Ghare is a recent graduate from Pratt Institute, where she majored in graphic design with film as her minor. Originally from Mumbai, India, Ruchi has had a lifelong passion for storytelling through art, as well as a keen interest in learning more through experience. This summer, she is excited to join The Chautauquan Daily for a pleasant change of scenery and immerse herself in its culture and community. When she isn’t designing, Ruchi can be found listening to music or doodling on any surface she can find.

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Sara Toth

Sara Toth is entering her fifth summer as editor of The Chautauquan Daily and works year-round in Chautauqua Institution’s Department of Education. Previously, she served four years as the Daily’s assistant and then managing editor. An alum of the Daily internship program, she is a native of Pittsburgh(ish), attended Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, and worked for nearly four years as a reporter in the Baltimore Sun Media Group. She lives in Jamestown with her husband, a photographer, and her Lilac, a cat.

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Sophia Neilsen

Sophia Neilsen is a senior at Ohio University studying communications with two minors in psychology and sociology. She studies her minors because she wants a better understanding of society and environments while grasping how different people think and the reasoning behind their behaviors. Sophia is creative and uses her curiosity and persistence in several school organizations, such as Thread Magazine, Variant Magazine, and Kappa Alpha Zeta. She joined these outlets to express herself creatively through academics and art.

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Stacey Federoff

Stacey Federoff is thrilled to be serving as copy desk chief at the Daily, returning for her second full season — albeit 14 years apart — after covering the theater company as a reporting intern in 2009. A native of Sutersville, Pennsylvania, Stacey holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Penn State University and master’s degrees in media communication and business administration from Point Park University. She has worked at three Pittsburgh-area newspapers, a public relations agency, and a record label, but by far, her favorite job is working as a haunt actor at the ScareHouse, where she will return for her sixth season this fall. Ask her about her record collection, the Zombie Pickle, or vintage Volkswagens when you see her on the grounds. She lives outside Pittsburgh with her fiance Dusty and their cat Nova.

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WE ARE YOUNG AND CREATIVE

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A magazine our team

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