Kristy Nyp, CJE, Manhattan High School

Student Leadership Instructor

Nyp advises yearbook, video production, newspaper and online news for Manhattan High School. Her publications have won multiple All-Kansas and All-American awards in her eight years since at MHS. At the 2018 JEA/NSPA National Fall Conference The Mentor, MHS’s weekly newspaper, earned ninth place in the Best In Show contest. Nyp is the current president of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association. Before becoming an adviser in 2005, she spent 15 years working in the media industry. Her hobbies are running, proofreading everything she reads (especially social media posts and public signs) and consuming stories in the form of books, movies, articles, videos and any other form they come in.

Cary Conover,  Andover High School

Photography Instructor

Cary Conover teaches photojournalism, broadcast, digital media design and yearbook classes at Andover High School, where he has been since 2011. Before that, Cary spent ten years in New York City working as a freelance photographer. He shot for The New York Times and The Village Voice (among many other publications) before returning to Kansas to teach full time. In 2021 Cary earned his MFA in photography through Savannah College of Art and Design, and had a large exhibition of photographs on display at CityArts Gallery in downtown Wichita. He continues to do freelance photography in the Wichita area, and works to stay active with his studio art practice. A 1996 graduate of K-State, Cary has taught at the Flint Hills Publications Workshop nearly every summer since 1998.

Brendan PraegerWabaunsee High School

Writing and Reporting Instructor

Brendan Praeger has advised the weekly newspaper and podcast at Wabaunsee High School for more than a decade. He previously advised at Manhattan High School. He also serves as a KSPA board member and works as a contributing writer for the Manhattan Mercury.

Nick Homburg, Kansas State University

Drone Photography Instructor 

Hello, my name is Nick Homburg,

I am originally from Idaho where I spent 30 plus years working as a documentary photographer, film maker, and entrepreneur. I have four daughters, and seven grandchildren; six of which are girls, the one grandson of course is spoiled rotten.

I currently work as a professor of practice for the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kansas State University.  At K-State I teach photography, video and audio production, and drone journalism. It has been said I get to play with all the cool toys, and I must say they are right. As fun as photography, video and audio are, the drones take all of this to new heights.

Emily Boragine, Kansas State University

Social Media Essentials Instructor

My name is Emily Boragine and I am the Social Media Specialist for Kansas State
University. I manage central social media channels of the university. I moved to
Manhattan in 2021 from my home state of California. I grew up outside of San Francisco
before going to University of Oregon for my degree in Journalism. Working in social
media allows me to get learn about the vibrant K-State community and the surrounding
Manhattan community. I love getting to work with different people and groups to learn
about what they are passionate about! When I’m not working, I enjoy exploring Kansas
towns with my husband and our Golden Retriever and finding unique mementoes to
decorate our apartment to remind of us all the places we have been!

Tucker Love, Shawnee Mission High School

Graphic Design Instructor

Tucker Love is the journalism teacher at Shawnee Mission South High School where he advises the Heritage yearbook, The Patriot newsmagazine and website, photojournalism staff, and Inscriptions literary magazine. Love is a designer at heart and loves all things typography. He has served on the KSPA board and is the current board president for JEMKC. He received the KSPA Sunflower award in 2022 and was a JEA Rising Star in 2020. Love’s students regularly attend regional and national conventions & workshops and have received recognition in local, regional and national contests.

Barb Tholen, Lawrence High School

Advising Student Media Instructor

For 10 years, Barbara Tholen was a newspaper reporter, and she loves to share her experiences from her writing days with students. These days, she’s exactly where she wants to be: advising newspaper, yearbook and online publications at Lawrence High School. Her students have won or been Pacemaker finalists seven times in the past six years. Tholen is a JEA Rising Star and KSPA Sunflower Award recipient as well as a Kansas Master Teacher. She’s also the president-elect of KSPA.

Dawson Wagner, Kansas State University

Radio Instructor

Dawson currently works as Assistant Chief Operator for Wildcat 91.9 FM and is a Drone Pilot for Wagnair Media.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications & Digital Media with a minor in Leadership & Unmanned Aircraft Systems from Kansas State University.
Dawson is a licensed Part 107 Remote Pilot and is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant pursuing his Master of Science in Mass Communications at K-State.

Dawson strives to help change the world through storytelling and sharing experiences that will positively influence future generations.