RISE Contributors

Tom Martin, WEKU - Producer/Host of Eastern Standard 
Tom is Senior Editor & Host for the RISE series and the Producer & Host of Eastern Standard. He’s a Morehead native, has served as news anchor for KQV Radio in Pittsburgh, a Peabody Award-winning anchor and documentarian at AP Radio Network News in Washington, D.C., as well as a news anchor for the RKO Radio Network, ABC Network News and WABC News in New York. He was founding program director of WRVG public radio, and from 2005 until 2013, Tom was the founding editor-in-chief for Business Lexington. He has served as Producer/Host of Eastern Standard since 2018.

Chris Begley, RISE Associate Producer & Special Projects Reporter
Chris is an archaeologist, a wilderness survival instructor, an author and an anthropology professor at Transylvania University. He has a doctorate from the University of Chicago, was a Fulbright Scholar in El Salvador and is a National Geographic Explorer. He has also worked as a reporter for The Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg, KY. His grandparents owned the C.B Caudill Store in Blackey, Kentucky. Chris has produced a series of radio segments called “Future Tense,” which have aired on Eastern Standard

Corinne Boyer, Former WEKU - Special Projects Reporter    
Corinne is an award-winning reporter who covered special projects for WEKU and was part of the RISE Team that created episodes 1-6. Corinne has also worked as a health reporter for the Ohio Valley ReSource, the agriculture, meatpacking plants and immigration beat for the Kansas News Service at High Plains Public Radio. She has also reported for the Eugene Weekly, KLCC–NPR for Oregonians, The Source Weekly, Lane Monthly magazine, and the Charleston City Paper. 

Jeanne Marie Hibberd, WEKU – RISE Senior Producer  
Jeanne Marie is WEKU's Director of Corporate & Community Support and Senior Producer for the RISE series. She has worked in nonprofit community development, fundraising and communications for more than 35 years. Much of her work has focused on Eastern Kentucky. She spent 10 years as Development & Communications Director at Hindman Settlement School, and has held positions with Berea College, the Mountain Association and Eastern Kentucky University.

Stan Ingold, WEKU - News Director  
Stan is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 20 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting. 

Stu Johnson, WEKU - Reporter  
Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years. He primarily covers state and local government issues. 

Crystal Jones, WEKU - Special Projects Reporter  
Crystal recently joined the WEKU staff as a Special Projects Reporter for Eastern Standard. She is also the Executive Producer & Host of “A Mewz in the Mountains,” a radio show/podcast showcasing Kentucky music and art. 

Neil Kesterson, RISE Sound Designer & Technical Director   
Neil is a Sound Designer and Owner of Dynamix Productions in Lexington, KY. Dynamix is WEKU’s production partner for Eastern Standard. Neil has been in the audio recording/post business since 1984. He worked for two companies (House of Commons, and Host Communications) for nearly 20 years before starting his own business. Since opening in 2003, we have won or been a part of nearly one hundred awards; including more than 75 ADDY’s (American Advertising Federation), 8 Telly's, 2 Silver Microphones, a PRSA (Public Relations Society of America), an Eclipse Award, and an Emmy nomination.

John McGary, WEKU Reporter
John comes to WEKU from The Woodford Sun, where he was editor while covering government meetings, reporting on community events and taking photographs. At the Sun, he won multiple awards for news and feature stories and columns. John’s radio experience includes news and starting a radio magazine show at NTC Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and co-hosting a morning news/talk show in Owensboro, Ky. while working for The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.

Sam Adams, The Mountain Eagle
Jared Bennett, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting
Alexa Beyer, Mountain State Spotlight
Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader
Katie Myers, WMMT
Mimi Pickering, Appalshop
Reporting Team, The Daily Yonder
Sylvia Ryerson, former WMMT reporter, radio producer and currently a PhD candidate at  Yale University