Executive Director – Katie Nickolaou
Katie Nickolaou is from Battle Creek, Michigan. She is a senior Meteorology major with a double minor in digital media and mathematics. Broadcast Meteorology is her vocation. She has wanted to be a broadcast meteorologist since she was 3 years old. She loves all types of weather, but she especially likes tornadoes and snow. She joined VUTV the first day of her freshman year and has loved it ever since. She spends a lot of time in the studio, and enjoys visitors.
News Director – Jessica Burns
Jessica Burns is a junior Meteorology major, Digital Media minor from Dowagiac, Michigan. Ever since the young age of 3, Jessica has wanted to be a broadcast meteorologist. Jessica became involved in VUTV day 1 of her freshman year at Valparaiso University and has loved every day of it. During her time at VUTV, Jessica has worked extensively not only in weather but in news as well – she became the News Director her sophomore year and still holds the position this school year. When she is not at VUTV, Jessica enjoys singing, spending time with friends, and taking pictures of clouds and sunsets.
Assistant News Director – Perry Lerit
Perry Lerit is a senior Digital Media major from Jeffersonville, Indiana. Their love for journalism and video production has recently come together through their involvement with VUTV. Perry holds a deep appreciation for storytelling and strives to share their own stories effectively, creatively, and with passion. They are most looking forward to expanding their skill set, exploring new concepts, and gaining further insight into the wonderful world of film and television.
Weather Director – Heather Bricca
Heather Bricca is a Meteorology major from Couer d’Alene, Idaho. Ever since the age of 5 she has had a huge passion for Weather. She has always wanted to be a Broadcast Meteorologist after watching her favorite news station at home everyday. Ever since then she has always gone with the “Heather with the Weather” slogan whenever anyone asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her passion for weather shows through with the work she does for VUTV.
Assistant Weather Director – Blake Harms
Blake Harms is a sophomore Meteorology major from Hudsonville, Michigan. Blake has always had a passion for watching the skies, as well as the broadcast industry. Most recently, Blake interned at WLNS-TV in Lansing, Michigan to learn more about the industry. While weather is his true passion, he also can be seen anchoring 15 News at 5 from time to time.
Sports Director – Lauren Wilson
Lauren Wilson is a Sophomore Sports Management and Communications double major from Edgerton, Ohio. In addition to VUTV, Lauren works as a sideline reporter for The Valley on ESPN. Upon graduation, her dream job is to be a sideline reporter in the NBA. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching basketball and seeing concerts.
Programming Director – Sophie Hecht
Sophie Hecht is a junior Digital Media major from McHenry, Illinois. Though Sophie always enjoyed television, her passion grew as she spent more time with VUTV. She loves working with a team, making people laugh, taking pictures of her friends, and loves the creative process. After she graduates, Sophie looks forward in exploring her passion for television production.
Productions Director – Hannah Forton
Hannah Forton is a sophomore majoring in Music Industry with a Communications minor and is from Macomb, Michigan. She is the Vice President of MESA, Music Enterprise Student Association and interned at Rock Hill Sound Recording Studio last summer. She is excited to be a part of VUTV and has always been interested in television production, and the business side of TV. Her hobbies are watching movies, writing music, and performing in the Celebrate band.
Video Editing Director (Spring 2019) – Nate Randle
Video Editing Director (Fall 2018) – Carmen Vincent
Carmen Vincent is the new video editing director this year from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and she’s excited to work directly with VUTV content. Ever since she was little, she has loved storytelling, and beginning in middle school that storytelling took on a video platform. She lives and breathes video now, creating three short documentaries and two short films so far as a sophomore Digital Media major. Nothing excites her more than being able to tell someone’s story, or thinking up her own, and she’s eager to explore that passion within the context of VUTV.
Business Director – Jack Ruf
Jack Ruf is a Senior Accounting major from North Riverside, Illinois. He is excited to be a new addition to the VUTV team and to see behind the scenes of VUTV content. He always had a strong passion for mathematics and economics and felt the best combination was accounting. He has always been interested in television and jumped at the opportunity to apply his business knowledge to the world of VUTV. In his free time Jack enjoys going to sporting events particularly basketball and listening to music.
Advertising Director – Katlyn Williams
Katlyn Williams is a Senior Sociology and Economics double major from Harvard, Illinois. In addition to her involvement at VUTV, Katlyn is also the Programming Director at WVUR 95.1 The Source, which is Valparaiso University’s radio station. Even though she doesn’t plan on making television her career, she still enjoys making television magic happen. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and seeing local concerts. After graduation, she hopes to work on her PhD in Sociology, and eventually become a professor.
Digital Director – Collin Luft
Collin Luft is a junior Computer Engineering major from St. Louis, Missouri. He is the host of VUTV’s SPARKED! which airs every other Friday. In addition to VUTV, Collin spends his time working on autonomous growing systems as well as a variety of other projects that combine his passion for technology and gardening. He is the starting running back and offensive captain on the Valpo Robotics Football team and helped lead the team to its 2018 National Championship over Notre Dame last spring.
Faculty Adviser – Ron Blatz
Ron Blatz joined Valparaiso University in the fall of 2014 as the Temporary VUTV Advisor and Studio Manager. Ron became the Permanent Faculty Advisor for VUTV and Studio Manager in 2015 on a part time basis. In October 2016, Ron was promoted to Faculty Advisor for VUTV, Studio Manager and HLN/ESPN Broadcast Coordinator. In September 2017 Ron accepted a promotion to full time with Valparaiso University with the title of Faculty Advisor for VUTV, Studio Manager and Broadcast & Streaming Manager.
In Ron’s broadcasting career he has worked for a number of TV stations throughout the Midwest including, WEHT, WNDU and WYIN, just to name a few. Ron has worked as a director/producer, master control operator and supervisor, floor director, camera operator and all production positions in-between.
Ron resides in Valparaiso with his wife, of over 15 years, Tami and their fur baby Bella. In his off time Ron likes fishing, attending NASCAR races, and spending time with his family and friends. Ron and Tami also own their own DJ Service, Music-N-Motion Mobile DJ Service.