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.
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 Marfa/West Texas Public Radio 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.
Travis Bubenik, Morning Edition Host and Reporter
Travis can be heard delivering local and regional news, weather reports and more every weekday from 6-9 AM. When not on the air, he hosts longform interviews for West Texas Talk and conducts independent reporting on a variety of issues relevant to West Texans “from the border to the Basin.”
Originally from the Houston, TX area, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as General Manager for UT’s student-run radio station, KVRX. Between an internship at Marfa Public Radio and later coming on board full-time, he was the News Director for KVNF in rural Western Colorado.
His dog’s name is Valentine (after the town, yes).
Lorne Matalon, Fronteras Desk Correspondent, UT Energy Institute 2016-2017 Energy Journalism Fellow
Lorne’s stories on the U.S.-Mexico border and Latin America are broadcast on NPR member stations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas via the Fronteras Desk network, along with the statewide broadcast of the Texas Standard, a production of KUT in Austin. Recent features focused on Mexican energy reform, the lifting of the ban on the export of U.S. crude oil and the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, built using the power of Eminent Domain to build a natural gas pipeline in the Big Bend of Texas to ferry natural gas from the Permian Basin to Mexico. The pipeline is being built on some of the last legacy ranch lands in the United States.
Matalon’s series, “Borderland Exodus: Towns Near Path of Proposed Mexican Pipelines Suffer Rash of Violence,” was awarded a 2016 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. The series is an investigation into corruption in connection with a series of pipelines and other energy-related infrastructure either built or under construction on the Mexican side of a corridor that lines the U.S. border southeast of Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas.
Matalon is currently the 2016-17 Energy Journalism Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. The fellowship is jointly sponsored by UT Austin’s Energy Institute and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business. Matalon succeeds Russell Gold, senior energy reporter at The Wall Street Journal.
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/West Texas Public Radio, and was hired on in July of 2016.
Other than working at WTPR, 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 The Midnight Snack.
Wesley Smith, Engineer
Wesley has been a broadcast engineer for 16 years. Most of that time he worked with Broadcast Works, designing, building and maintaining countless radio stations across the US. He has trained for the likes of Google, iMedia Touch and Scott Studios. He’s been in and out of the Big Bend region for about eleven years and now calls it home.
Cecelia Quinn, Membership and Events Coordinator
After graduating from Texas Tech University, Cecelia Quinn returned to her hometown, Fort Worth, for three years. In fall 2016, Cecelia relocated to West Texas for her current position. Although new to public broadcasting, she has worked with various nonprofit organizations and is passionate about fundraising. She is looking forward to utilizing her experience to become a valuable asset to West Texas Public Radio.
Travis Lux, Intern 2016-2017
Before joining the Marfa Public Radio team, Travis freelanced for WRKF in Baton Rouge, LA. Originally from Austin, he studied anthropology and sociology at Rhodes College in Memphis, and radio production at the Transom Story Workshop. He loves soup – send him your favorite recipes.
Zoe Kurland, Intern 2017
After interning for the Kitchen Sisters radio production company in San Francisco, working on their NPR series Hidden Kitchens and their podcast The Kitchen Sisters Present, Zoe fell in love with the radio world and found her way to West Texas Public Radio. Originally from California, she is currently taking a leave from Wesleyan University, where she studies Psychology and English. She’s a big fan of ghost stories, so if you’ve got a good one, she’d love to hear it.