SPA Workshop


We can’t thank everyone enough for attending our SPA Workshop at the University of Miami School of Communication. We had an amazing turnout and a wealth of knowledge and know-how was shared with everyone. We’d especially like to thank our Session Leaders for giving their time, talent, and expertise to help jump-start you on your broadcast career path!

If you weren’t able to attend or if you missed any of the sessions while you were there – no worries! Catch it right here on our Sporfie Livestream

This event brought broadcast journalism professionals to college and high school students who are currently seeking careers in the field, giving them the chance to learn about all facets of the business.

Learn more about our workshop session leaders below.

Camera/Lighting/Equipment Choices

Jim Guarasci
Executive Producer, BECON TV

Jim Guarasci has 32 years of experience in film and television production and is Executive Producer at BECON-TV (WBEC-TV). He’s worked in multiple areas of production including as Executive Producer, Director of Photography, Director, Videographer and First AC.  He oversees School Duel, Short Cuts and Broward Teen News for BECON-TV. Past productions include commercial work with Pet Supermarket, City Furniture, and Flex Seal. And various television series which aired on The History Channel, The Travel Channel, MTV, and VH1, as well as; 400 programs, informational series, and Public Service Announcements for the U.S. Government.  Jim was formerly on the Board of Directors of the Student Television Network.  Awards include a Suncoast Chapter Emmy® Award, five regional Telly Awards, the Platinum Ava Award and the Communicator Award of Excellence.

Being a Journalist. The Hustle, The Grind

Nicole Linsalata
7 NEWS General Assignment Reporter, WSVN

Nicole Linsalata joined 7 NEWS in August 2005 as a general assignment reporter. She joined the station from KIRO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Seattle, where she worked as a general assignment reporter.

Prior to working in Seattle, Nicole was a reporter and weekend anchor in Fort Myers at WZVN-TV, the ABC affiliate. While at WZVN, Nicole received the Florida Press Association Award for Overall Achievement. Nicole has also worked in Atlanta at WAGA-TV, covering hurricanes, the death of John F. Kennedy Jr., and the deadly tornadoes in South Georgia. She received an Emmy nomination for field reporting while at WAGA.

She began her broadcast career at WKMG-TV in Orlando where she received two Central Florida Press Club Awards for series reporting and covered stories such as the Value-Jet crash, the death of serial killer Andrew Cunanan, and the Olympic Park bombing.
In 2012, Nicole received both an EMMY and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for her news report, Hope for Haiti. The series featured the hurricane-ravaged island two years after a catastrophic earthquake hit just west of Port-au-Prince.

In April 2023, Nicole traveled to Israel with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation for the commemoration of the country’s 75th Anniversary.

A South Florida native, Nicole grew up in Cooper City and is a graduate of Florida International University.

Storytelling 101/Long Form & Short Form

Gina Presson
Lecturer University of Miami, Reporter, Producer

Gina Presson is an award-winning journalist for both commercial and PBS radio/TV stations, print and digital. She now teaches broadcast journalism and writing at the University of Miami. She also advises the UMTV shows “Primetime,”“Newsbreak” and “Canescast” winning national BEA and SPJ awards and nominations for Suncoast SPA.

Professionally, Presson won two Suncoast Emmy® Awards, the International Gabriel, PBS Jan Mitchell, SPJ, Associated Press and Tampa Bay Black Journalists awards. Other awards include twice finalist International New York Film Festival, Green Eyeshade finalist plus nominee for nine Suncoast Emmys. She serves on the Board of Governors for the Suncoast chapter of NATAS. She collaborated with professors Julbe and Ezzy on “Peafowl Predicament: Friend or “Foul?” documentary recently screened in five film festivals internationally.

She holds a degree in public policy from Duke University and a master’s in Specialized Journalism: Investigative Reporting and Documentary from the University of Southern California Annenberg.

Presson most recently served as reporter/producer for WEDU-TV, PBS Tampa producing “Florida This Week,” a weekly news program, and “Suncoast Business Forum.” She also ran coverage of the GOP Convention, town hall meetings, and political debates. She narrated “Quest” a science /technology program airing nationally on “Sci-Tech Now” and PBS affiliates and was station on-air talent.  Presson was the Florida bureau chief for Public News Service covering political, environmental, and social issues with stories published on NPR and CBS nationwide, in newspapers and on websites. She founded Presson Perspectives: news, documentary and digital production; and created MedForum, one of the first health news websites. Presson also was a television reporter, producer and anchor covering politics, crime, social issues, arts, and business in markets including Dallas (5) and Tampa (11). She works on long form projects primarily about social issues. However, while Presson loves creating television, she loves working with students even more.

Mia Laurenzo
Producer/Podcaster, SideShow Charlie Productions

Mia Laurenzo is a 37-year veteran of public television in Miami and began her career learning every aspect of video production. Her television experiences include producing for a series, special events and historical documentaries.  As a documentary producer, her films have been distributed to PBS stations nationwide and have earned her six Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards.

Currently, she is owner of SideShow Charlie Productions, LLC, a multimedia production company, that produces The SoFlo Weird Show podcast featuring weird Florida stories and works on contract with WLRN Public Media producing promotional content for television on the web, radio and social media. In addition, her freelance work includes marketing and event planning.  She serves as a Board Member for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Suncoast Chapter and is Chair of the Student Production Awards Committee.

TV Performance (On-Camera Presence) 

Craig Stevens
7 NEWS Anchor, WSVN

NATAS Silver Circle recipient and Emmy Award winner Craig Stevens has been in television news for more than 30 years, primarily as a co-anchor at WSVN.

Stevens has reported a wide range of stories: several hurricanes beginning with “Andrew,” the Oklahoma City bombing, elections from the local level to national races, including the disputed 2000 Presidential Election from Austin, Texas. He spent weeks following the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace and the manhunt for Andrew Cunanan, Pope John Paul II’s visits to Cuba and the United States, the death of JFK, Jr., the Elian Gonzalez saga, and Fidel Castro’s visit to the United Nations.  In 2015 he reported from Cuba the flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana and the visit of Pope Francis.

Stevens began his career in 1987 in the mailroom at NBC NEWS in Washington. By election night 1988, while still a sophomore in college, he was working full-time in the NBC newsroom as an assignment desk assistant. Eventually, he worked on such programs as “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today,” and “Meet the Press” as a production assistant.
Beginning in 1990, he spent two years as a reporter and substitute anchor at WBBH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Fort Myers, before joining WSVN in 1992. Stevens left us for a brief stint in 1997, to anchor weekend news at our Boston sister-station, then NBC affiliate WHDH. He returned to WSVN in 1999, as weekend anchor, followed by his promotion to main anchor two years later.

For several years he served on the adjunct faculty at both the University of Miami and Barry University.

Stevens is the recipient of eight Suncoast Regional Emmy® Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and in 2014, was awarded the prestigious “Silver Circle” award, for his years of devoted service to the television industry in the Sunshine State.

He is a native of Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, and, in 1990, graduated from The American University in Washington, D.C. with a major in Communication/Print Journalism and a minor in History.

Lynn Martinez
7 NEWS Anchor & Deco Drive Co-Host, WSVN

NATAS Silver Circle recipient and Emmy Award winner Lynn Martinez Anchors 7 NEWS First at 4, 7 NEWS at 4:30, 5:30 and 7 News at 6:30 PM. She also co-hosts the popular entertainment show “Deco Drive” at 7:30 PM.

Martinez came to WSVN in 1991 as a co-anchor of TODAY IN FLORIDA, WSVN’s # 1 rated morning news program and general assignment reporter. One of a trio of anchors in the morning, Martinez quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to weekend anchor. Two years later, she moved to her current assignment on the weeknight news. In 1998, she began co-hosting Deco Drive, the half-hour news magazine show known for celebrity news and the latest on the South Florida entertainment circuit.

Martinez began her broadcasting career in 1989 at the CBS affiliate in Cadillac, Michigan, where she served as an anchor and producer.

During her 32 years at WSVN, Martinez has covered the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, was one of the first U.S. reporters to cover the atrocities in Bosnia, traveled to Holland after the murder of a German tourist in Miami, and went to Rome to cover the Pope. She was also featured on the Fox program “America’s Most Wanted” on a story about how to survive a carjacking. She’s covered numerous hurricanes including Andrew in 1992 and Wilma in 2005. She also interviewed President Barack Obama in 2011.

For “Deco Drive,” Martinez has interviewed numerous celebrities, among them:  Tom Hanks, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Cameron Diaz, Andy Garcia and Keanu Reeves.
Martinez won an award for a series on organ donation called “Dying for an Organ,” and was nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of Hurricane Andrew.
Martinez has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in journalism from “Webster University” in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mobile Journalism

Mike Castellucci
Michigan State University Artist in Residence/Phoning it in Creator

Mike has become the pioneer in new technology storytelling. He has broken the glass ceiling of storytelling with his phone.

Mike’s innovative work has grabbed attention around the world, from professionals to professors who want to know Mike’s secret. He has become a case study in Europe for those in the mobile journalism and digital mediums. The shows have been shared extensively on social media platforms worldwide. Mike has been asked to speak yearly on the subject at the world’s first conference dedicated to mobile journalism called MojoFest in Ireland and lead a panel called “New Technology in Storytelling” at the PromaxBDA conference in NYC. He has been featured as a TEDx speaker in Michigan. Most recently, Mike was the Opening Keynote speaker in London at the Media Technology Show on the Mobile Journalism Stage.
Most importantly, his brand of inspirational storytelling is always mentioned as the best in the country and world.  He was just awarded the National Edward R. Murrow Award in New York City. He also has been honored with 29 Emmy® Awards, including the coveted Emmy® for Video Journalist in the Lone Star Region 2020, and the Michigan Region 2019 and 2021.

Editing Tips & Video/Audio

Michael Anderson
Director of Production Services, WLRN Public Media

Michael Anderson is a highly accomplished and innovative technical professional with an impressive career spanning over 23 years in the field of digital media and Broadcast Television. With a strong background in project management, producing, and directing, Mr. Anderson has consistently demonstrated his expertise and creativity in various facets of the industry.

Michael Anderson has been involved in various projects throughout his career, showcasing his versatility and skillset. His work encompasses live events, historical documentaries, feature films, commercials, web series, and reality TV. He has collaborated closely with esteemed organizations such as WLRN Public Media Channel 17 Miami, Discovery Channel Latin America, Accord Productions, Cineworks Digital Studios, and SuperGroup International.

One of Mr. Anderson’s notable attributes is his exceptional ability to thrive under pressure and deliver results within demanding timelines. His commitment to meeting deadlines while maintaining high-quality standards has earned him a reputation for reliability and excellence.
In recent years, Michael Anderson’s remarkable contributions have been recognized through prestigious awards and nominations. Notably, his work on the acclaimed television show “The Grand Lady” led to a well-deserved Suncoast Chapter Emmy award in 2022. His production “Hero of a Thousand Faces” garnered recognition in 2021, while “Troubled Waters: A Turtle’s Tale” captivated audiences in 2020. His short film “Hometown Hero” also became part of WLRN’s 50th Anniversary of Apollo’s Moon Landing short films series. The remarkable documentary “The Secret Weapon That Won World War II,” produced for WLRN Public Media, earned a Suncoast Chapter Emmy nomination in 2020 and is currently being distributed to PBS stations nationwide. Furthermore, Michael’s work on the short film “Midway Home” earned him a Producers Guild of America award.

As a distinguished member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Suncoast Chapter, Michael Anderson remains committed to utilizing his talents and wealth of experience to tell inspiring stories from the community. Continually seeking new opportunities to push creative boundaries, he remains at the forefront of the industry, consistently delivering engaging and thought-provoking content that captivates audiences.

Mia Laurenzo
Producer/Podcaster, SideShow Charlie Productions


Alex Suarez
Executive Producer, South Florida Live & Acceso Total

With over 25 years in the Broadcast industry, Alex Suarez started as a producer in the sports department, and he has worked his way up to leading two departments in the NBC 6 newsroom. Suarez is currently the Duopoly Executive Producer of Entertainment for NBC 6 and Telemundo 51. Previously he served as the Sports and Entertainment Executive Producer at NBC 6.

Alex is first a generation Cuban American, born and raised in Hialeah. A graduate of Hialeah High, Alex earned his associate degree in Broadcasting from Miami-Dade College in 1994 and a bachelor’s degree in communications from St. Thomas University in 1996.

In his time at NBC 6, Alex has covered many major sporting and entertainment events including 2-Super Bowls, 2-World Series, and 6 NBA Finals. Alex is a 2-time Emmy® award winner for his work on NBC 6 in the Mix and most recently he won a Telly and two Communicator awards, for a 1-hour special on the opioid epidemic in South Florida.

Jennifer Aguirre
Producer, South Florida Live

Jennifer Aguirre is the Producer and Booker of NBC 6’s Lifestyle and Entertainment show ‘South Florida Live.’ Jennifer began her nearly 10-year career in New York, where she worked her way from Associate Producer to Segment Producer for Public Broadcasting. She also spent several years as a Morning Line Producer at WPBF in West Palm Beach and NBC 6 in Miami covering some of the biggest stories of the decade including the COVID-19 pandemic, the January 6th insurrection, the Trump Impeachment, George Floyd Protests, 2020 Election, War on Ukraine, death of Queen Elizabeth II and overturning of Roe v. Wade. Most recently, Jennifer covered the Indictment of Former President Trump in Miami and the historic flooding in Fort Lauderdale. Prior to joining ‘South Florida Live’ Jennifer conceptualized and launched NBC 6’s free multi-platform streaming ‘FAST’ Channel focusing on hyper-local news and content. Jennifer graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Lake Forest College.

Script Writing – Feature/News/Narrative

Gina Presson
Lecturer University of Miami, Reporter, Producer

TV Performance (On-Camera Presence)

Antonio Mora
Wolfson Chair, University of Miami

Antonio Mora is a nationally known journalist, perhaps most recognized for his years at ABC News, including his four years as the news anchor and chief correspondent for “Good Morning America.” He also anchored Al Jazeera America’s prime-time newscasts and worked as a lead anchor at local stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. He is a published columnist who was one of the original writers for Meta’s Bulletin project. Almost 100 of his columns can be found at

Easy Live Production – Sporfie

Robert Walraven
CSM – Sporfie Fundraising, Sporfie

Robert Walraven, affectionately called “Raise Rob”–is Sporfie’s livestream fundraising expert. He resides in New Mexico with his beautiful wife Sandanee and 9-month-old daughter Wylar. He is passionate about giving back and helping people reach their full potential. He has worked in public schools, owned multiple businesses including local magazines, and owned a private competitive volleyball club. He is originally from the state of Oregon.

Jon LaCroix
Director of Operations, Bulletproof Bear (Music + Sound)

Born from a vision to merge independent boutique music catalogs with the collective experience of its founders, Bulletproof Bear ambitiously strides to become the largest and fastest-growing, truly independent creative music licensing agency in the industry. With roots tracing back to the iconic series ‘American Idol’, Bulletproof Bear’s influence has expanded, securing pre-cleared deals with esteemed organizations such as Omnicom Group, Bloomberg Media, Paramount | CBS, NBC Universal, Vice, WB, 20th Television, Starz, Lionsgate, and more.
In addition to its ever-growing pre-cleared catalog, Bulletproof Bear has evolved into a global enterprise with international partnerships and affiliations with all major Copyright Management Organizations. Our core offering of music consultation has expanded to include a variety of music services, catering to our clients’ diverse needs.
Bulletproof Bear provides a cross-territorial music licensing solution, ensuring seamless integration to global music licensing, regardless of territory. In addition, Bulletproof Bear fosters creativity by facilitating custom music production through our roster of award-winning composers. Our specialized consulting services, which include music supervision, music clearance, and global music rights administration, further empower labels, production companies, and even brands to efficiently manage and distribute rights from a variety of sources.
As Director of Operations at Bulletproof Bear (Music + Sound), Jon LaCroix brings over 20 years of expertise in international rights administration. He spearheads the company’s operations, managing global agreement filings, ensuring accurate song registrations, and overseeing timely royalty distributions. His comprehensive understanding of international music copyright law and meticulous attention to detail provide a robust framework for the company’s operations.

Documentary: The Long Game

Scott Barnett
Fuxion TV, Producer, Director

Scott Barnett is an independent producer and director with over thirty years of experience in broadcast television, content creation and commercial advertising production, as well as an alumni of the U. Recent productions include Crossing Overtown, currently airing on PBS stations and highlighting Miami’s unique role in the Civil Rights movement as well as the history of America’s only Black Police Precinct and Courthouse that was integral in the development of Miami’s leading role in the establishment of community policing practices.   He is also the Director of the Emmy-nominated State of Rodeo celebrating 500 years of cattle ranching in the State that started it all, following the diverse story of Rodeo in Florida. Scott was also the Showrunner for the PBS children’s program Kid Stew, created by author James Patterson, winner of 8 Suncoast Emmy® Awards, with a total of three seasons now airing on PBS stations. Other documentary work includes Osceola’s Journey, a historical travelogue with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Himmarshee – A History of Fort Lauderdale’s New River, the Midnight Basketball League, a youth sports league in Overtown and a recent project about the RISE program with Miami-Dade highlighting the county’s efforts to bring about economic renewal to Miami’s smallest businesses adversely affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic.


Social Media/Digital Content

Rocio Sevilla
Media Producer, Bowstring Studio

Rocio Sevilla is a media producer who started in the industry as a Production Assistant for Paramount Networks – specifically Nickelodeon. Through her 10 years with Paramount+ Rocio learned the ins and outs of linear TV Production and led the development of content for the Nickelodeon and MTV apps, social media, and websites. After Paramount+ Rocio went on to work for Hola! USA and Telemundo networks where she produced shows and online. Today, Rocio works remotely as an Integrated Producer for Bowstring Studios, is pursuing an MBA in Marketing and Data Analytics, and has her own media company based in Miami, FL. Outside of the 9-5 Rocio loves to do yoga, attend media events and travel – feel free to ask her about any of the above!

Creating Change Through Investigative Journalism

Dave Bohman
Investigative Reporter, WPTV, NBC West Palm Beach

Contact 5 Investigator Dave Bohman returned to Florida in January 2020, after spending the last decade as the Investigative Reporter for WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania. There, he covered and uncovered several public corruption cases resulting in some elected officials getting sent to prison, and others being voted out of office. He also broke several stories about the opioid crisis and won more awards for broadcasting excellence than any other reporter in Northeastern Pennsylvania in recent years.

From 1998-2007, Dave was on Florida’s Gulf Coast, working as a reporter at WTSP-TV in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he covered the Teri Schiavo “Right-to-Die” story and spent a month in Tallahassee reporting on the contested 2000 Presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

For most of the 1990s, Dave was a Weekend Anchor and reporter for WDTN-TV in Dayton, Ohio where he covered politics, crime, and military matters surrounding the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

After graduating from Syracuse University, Dave started his career at WPTZ in Plattsburgh, New York, and later opened the Burlington, Vermont Bureau, before moving south to work as the weekend anchor at WCTI-TV in New Bern, North Carolina.

Dave has four Emmy® Awards to his credit and has more than 50 other awards in his four decades on television. This native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts is thrilled to be back in Florida, and when he is not chasing down stories, Dave is working on his golf game or working on his other passion: cooking.

He has two daughters in college.

Student Memberships

Students must be enrolled in an accredited college/high school within the Suncoast Chapter region.

  • $15 membership fee
  • Renewable each year

Become a member!