Meet the Staff at West Texas Public Radio


Elise Pepple

Elise Pepple, General Manager

Elise began her career in public radio in 2008 when she brought StoryCorps to her small town in Alaska. She continued working for StoryCorps during their Alaska Initiative, relocating to the northwest Arctic. In 2011, Elise produced and hosted a radio show celebrating sense of place in Sitka, Alaska for KCAW. She left Alaska to study radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Study. After Salt, Elise received a grant to produce the Other AK, a project celebrating the complexities and realities of Alaskan life. Elise was a Creative Community Fellow with National Art Strategies for her work using storytelling to build community. She co-produced Portland Brick: a project building public memory in collaboration with The City of Portland. Elise hosts a live storytelling series called Hear Tell, dedicated to people telling true personal stories around a theme. She was an adjunct faculty at The Maine College of Art where she taught students the practices of live storytelling, podcasting, and oral history. Elise was also The Outreach and Public Engagement Coordinator at SPACE Gallery.

Elise believes in the power of radio to shape and animate who we are, where we live, and how we relate. She probably gets this from her mother.

John Cone

John Cone, Engineer

John Cone is a broadcast engineer, the latest episode in what can only be termed a productively misspent youth. Previous stages have included stints as an Army officer (Captain, Signal Corps, VietNam), ergonomist (retired Advisory Human Factors Engineer/Scientist, IBM; Corporate Standards Project Authority on visual human factors; editor of one international standard on visual display ergonomics and optics, and contributor to others), studenting (BA, English literature; MA, ABD experimental psychology), and, of course, broadcasting. John is leaving positions with Alaska Public Broadcasting, Inc., and previously CoastAlaska, where he was the engineer for over a dozen small public radio stations in villages across all of rural Alaska. Other character defects include flying (commercial pilot, airplanes and gliders), occasional singing (Arizona Opera chorus), and recording engineering (live acoustic performance, solo to symphony). Oh, and that photo… How many engineers does it take to change a light bulb (on top of a tower on top of the Federal Building in Juneau)?

Sara Melancon

Sara Melancon, Office Manager

Sara graduated from Louisiana State University in 2013 where she worked at the university’s student-run radio station for three years.

After an accidental trip to Marfa in early 2014, she interned for KXWT for five months before accepting her current position.

In addition to running the office, Sara co-hosts the music program No Country for Old Music on Tuesday nights at 8 PM.

Carlos Morales

Carlos Morales, Morning Edition Host and Reporter

Before joining KXWT, Carlos worked at KWBU in West Texas. While there he covered a range of topics from education to poverty. He joined West Texas Public Radio in April 2017 as Morning Edition host and reporter.

In the past, he’s also worked with the Voces Oral History Project, a group the records the histories of Latina/o World War II veterans. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Carlos strongly believes in the power of radio to bridge divides.

When he’s not listening to the radio, you can find him exploring the West Texas lands.

Jackson Wisdorf

Jackson Wisdorf

Jackson Wisdorf, All Things Considered Host

Jackson was born in Plano, Texas and lived in North Texas until moving to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University. After graduating from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media and Communication, he moved to Marfa in August of 2015 to intern for Marfa Public Radio, and was hired on in July of 2016.

Other than working at KXWT, Jackson enjoys talking [at great length] about beer, listening to music and cooking. When not hosting All Things Considered, he co-hosts No Country for Old Music along with his own music program Thee Midnight Snack.

Diana Nguyen

Diana Nguyen, West Texas Talk Producer

Diana Nguyen is from Houston, Texas and graduated with a degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas. She started at the station as an intern in 2015, but now produces the daily interview program West Texas Talk. Nguyen is particularly interested in exploring the intersection of range life, high-brow art, and the vast oil fields of West Texas.