Coastlines Online, UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association


Summer 2015

Feature: Alumni in Media


t should be no surprise that alumni of UC Santa Barbara have easily made careers in the media, from the nation’s largest newspapers to the anchor desks of the nation’s biggest networks. After all, Gauchos are known for talking, socializing and thinking on their feet.

There are of course the famous Gauchos, including Josh Elliott ’93 at NBC Sports, Jim Rome ’86 on CBS Sports Radio, Harris Faulkner ’87 and Jenna Lee ’02 on Fox News, and Harvey Levin ’72 of TMZ. But there are also the local media stars, from Paula Lopez ’88 the legendary Santa Barbara TV anchor to Matt Kettman ’99 at the Santa Barbara Independent and Los Angeles TV reporter Kirk Hawkins ’04. The web masters include MySpace co-founder Josh Berman ’91.

It is not all young generation media. Marcia McQuern ’64 is the former publisher of the Riverside Press Enterprise and award winning editor, Bob Sipchen ’76 won the Pulitizer Prize at the Los Angeles Times, and Mary Moslander ’88 was a vice-president who was part of the team that launched the Washington Post’s online news product before starting her own web company.

If Gauchos aren’t making news, they are always the first to be covering it.

Below is our inaugural list highlighting Gauchos in Media. For a future follow-up listing, please feel free to submit names of Gauchos you know who are contributing in the media field. Click here to submit names to Coastlines.

Click here to read additional profiles of Gauchos in Media.


“No doubt a lot has changed since 1987 but, I’m guessing my favorites on campus still draw students like me. San Nicolas Hall just might be my favorite part of the UCSB campus. That’s probably because it symbolized my freedom away from my parents’ home… their rules, their stuff, LOL! It’s beautiful there, too - right next to the lagoon. But, it was more than just housing. San Nic was a meeting place. I formed my closest college friendships. In fact, even after my freshman year, when we all moved off campus to Isla Vista, we stuck together.”

“In second place for favorites on campus, and this probably won’t surprise anyone who knows me: Storke Tower and Plaza. Call me geeky but, I find it fascinating that it was named after a journalist and when the Tower bells ring, historically it’s said they ring for freedom of the press.”

On her favorite memory at UCSB:
“Among my favorite memories... sitting in Corinne Vause’s classroom... honing my skills at speaking extemporaneously. She was a hoot and a teacher who’s communications skills made a huge, impact on me. Also, my brief but, meaningful experience writing for the Daily Nexus gave me a first peek at a newsroom.”

On the tragic news surrounding UCSB last year:
“The news became a bit raw for me when last May 23, 2014 when what I was covering affected the community surrounding UCSB. It was the day 22-year-old student Elliot Rodger killed 6 people in Isla Vista. Looking back, I recall co-hosting Outnumbered and as I reported the breaking news, I disclosed the fact that it was my alma mater.”

On the recent oil spill:
“Again, my heart broke with news about the community surrounding UCSB this year with the enormous oil spill. Plan to return to the campus for the first time since I graduated all those years ago. I’ll have my husband and two young daughters with me in late July. My soon-to-be third grader Bella, is very curious about the place where I fell in love with journalism-- most specifically the art of communication under pressure.”

HARRIS FAULKNER ’90, News Anchor, Reporter
Harris Faulkner

HARRIS FAULKNER'S FIRST WRITING JOB was for a left-leaning, alternative paper in Los Angeles, where she was paid $50 per story to cover business.

She has come a long way, both in terms of prestige and politics. Today, Faulkner is considered one of the rising stars of Fox News, anchoring the Fox Report Weekend and co-anchoring the talk show “Outnumbered.”

A 1987 graduate of the Communications Department at UC Santa Barbara, she was the focus of a glowing piece in Variety magazine in March predicting that she was headed for bigger and greater roles at Fox News. In fact, Roger Ailes, the legendary creator of Fox News, told Variety he picked Faulkner for her current anchor jobs “because she’s an excellent journalist with a distinct ability to handle breaking news…” Faulkner often takes over as an anchor on Fox News when there is a breaking news story.

An Army brat whose father was a pilot in Vietnam who rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, Faulkner was nomadic as a child and as a television reporter. Her first taste of TV was as an intern on a station in Los Angeles. From there she got a job as a reporter for a station in Greenville, N.C. For eight years she worked in TV in Kansas City and then worked in Minneapolis. In 2005 she got a start at Fox as a fill-in host on the Nancy Grace Show. Today, she appears on a number of different Fox shows. Her Fox Report Weekend draws an audience of more than one million viewers.

Faulkner has won six Emmys for her TV reporting. Variety named her this year as one of 50 women who are making a positive impact in New York with their media clout.

SPENCER BRUTTIG ’14, Producer Multimedia, UCSB

Spencer Bruttig


UCSB played a critical role in helping prepare me for the working world. I was able to take a wide range of classes, across a variety of disciplines and majors. Because of this, I was able to meet some truly fantastic faculty, grad students and undergrads, as well as expose myself to new concepts and ways of interdisciplinary thought. I double majored in Film and Media Studies and History, which to some people sounds like a bizarre combination, but there are so many wonderful stories in history, and film making is all about the story. Both departments supported me and allowed me to pursue my passions in both of these topics.


It is hard to sort through the countless good memories of my time at UCSB, from meeting my core group of friends in the dorms freshman year, to walking across the stage at graduation in front of my family. But two do immediately come to mind. I loved having the ability to study abroad my junior year. My major departments were not only supportive, but went out of their way to help balance my schedule and get the classes I would need to graduate. Because of this, I was able to spend a semester at St. Andrews University in Scotland, where I studied film and history in 600 year old libraries and stone lecture halls! The other top memory I have is the Blue Horizons summer program. It’s a 9 week intensive environmental filmmaking course that begins with learning the basics of documentary making and the science that needs to be communicated to the general public, all the way through the final keystrokes of film post-production. Each student film is then shown in front of a packed Right quote Pollock Theater—finished or not, with top films going on to film festivals around the country and world. It is through this program that I met mentors and colleagues, which would eventually land me my current job at the university, as well as prepare me to produce and direct a documentary on a girls soccer academy in Ghana. I am so thankful that I was able to study at such a world class university. The fact that it also has a beautiful beach doesn’t hurt either.

DARLENE CRAVIOTTO ’90, Writer, Director

Darlene Craviotto


I originally started as a playwright, got side-tracked by a Hollywood career as a professional screenwriter, and my experience at UCSB brought me back full circle to writing plays again. I went back to UCSB in 2005 (after a 36 year absence) because I had an idea for a play and the mentoring I received from Dr. Laury Oaks in the Feminist Studies Department enabled me to write that full-length play, FOOTPRINTS AT LAETOLI. That experience, along with the coursework at UCSB invigorated my imagination and focused me on the kind of writing I wanted to do in the future. Certainly, FOOTPRINTS is much deeper, richer, and more fulfilling because of the professors and coursework that challenged me to dig deeper inside of myself and reach out further beyond my grasp.

OSCAR FLORES ’08, Digital Jounalist

Oscar Flores


I strongly believe that if it wasn’t for UCSB, I wouldn’t be here at KEYT-TV working in a career that I absolutely love. I received the opportunity to work at UCSB’s Digital Editing Lab, supervising and teaching students and professors about the world of filmmaking and editing. It was there that I took part in the making of a documentary that was picked up by KPMR, the Spanish-speaking local news affiliate. The news director at that time offered me a job, and that’s where my journey into the world of news began. The rest as they say, is history. UCSB provided me with the courage and a channel of connections with people that would be invaluable in the shaping my career.


There were many great experiences I received at UCSB. From the friendly students and staff,to a Green and environmental-conscious culture. If I had to choose one favorite experience it would be the time one of my Spanish classes went on a field trip to Tijuana, Mexico as part of Right quote the education offered in the course.

I had never been to Tijuana believe it or not, and now there I was, with a group of my peers, seeing firsthand what we had been learning and reading in class. These types of opportunities that UCSB offered to me ultimately helped me to not limit myself nor put barriers in front of me to achieve my goals, and reach for the sky one star at a time.

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