Meet the Finalists

The right to essentially become a professional Cyclone fan drew a wide range of interest from a rather diverse group of people. It was difficult to select 16 out of the 45 resumes we received (except for three Hawkeye fans who applied). Nevertheless, here are the people we've chosen to compete to be our next Reporter. There are some that are experienced, some that are not, but all of them share a love for the Cyclones.

Ryan Buck

Attended Iowa State from 1999-2002, majoring in journalism and mass communication…National Cyclone Club member…football season-ticket holder…former baseball player at Indian Hills Community College…graduated from Des Moines Christian High School in 1998…considers this his "dream job" and someday hopes to break into sports talk radio.

Valerie Connell

Attended Iowa State from 1997-2002, majoring in psychology…currently works as the assistant manager of the Iowa State Center Ticket Office…names Andrew Moser, one of ISU's strength and conditioning coaches, as one of her references…said that she used to think Johnny Carson stole the "HEEEREEE'S JOHNNY!" line from Johnny Orr when she was a little girl until someone set her straight.

Mike Dempsey

Attended Iowa State from 1983-88, made the Dean's list, and majored in Business and Secondary Education…is currently a free lance writer for the Ames Life and Times, where he writes a weekly column focusing on high school and youth sports in the Ames and Gilbert communities…considers himself a "rabid" Cyclone supporter that would love a job that pays him to write with passion about topics he loves.

Mark Hersom

Iowa State graduate, class of 1993, with a Bachelor Business Administration…former DJ at KUSR radio at Iowa State…former sports reporter for THE JOCK, where he once interviewed Sage Rosenfels, and current sports reporter for KXNO during the high school sports season…last spring he attended a Marshalltown Community College game to do his own personal scouting of Jiri Hubalek.

Corey Johnson

Iowa Stage graduate, majored in advertising with a minor in English…currently works as the senior copywriter for Innova Ideas & Services in Ames…was previously a web developer for Innova…former intern at the Carroll Daily Times-Herald…claims to fame include scalping tickets outside Phog Allen Fieldhouse to see Jamaal Tinsley, standing on the sidelines to watch Troy Davis, and a project he is currently work on with Bobby Douglas.

Jeff Johnston

Iowa State graduate, class of 2000, majoring in Human Resource Management with a minor in history…currently pursuing a CPA designation at Grand View College…might be KXNO's most-prolific emailer…his clever cover letter was written in the form of a letter-of-intent a recruit would sing to play for the Cyclones, complete with mock quotes from Dan McCarney…converted from Hawkeye to Cyclone while a student at ISU.

Josh Madden

Graduated from Iowa State this spring with an advertising degree, minor in Sociology…former Assignment Sports Editor and Senior Reporter for the Iowa State Daily from 2003-2005, editing all the sports stories in the paper while covering ISU football and men's basketball…wasn't born a Cyclone fan but grew to love them as a child thanks to players like Fred Hoiberg and Troy Davis.

Sam McCorey

Attended Iowa State from 1980-85, majoring in communications and business administration…currently works with senior citizens at Polk County's Central Senior Center, including the building and planning of the $1.2 million center that was recently built…has been a die-hard Cyclone fan since the late 1970s…says he has "the drive and desire to break into the sports reporting field."

Seth Nailor

Graduated from Simpson College in 2003, majoring in mass communications and journalism...worked on-air at KSTM-FM (88.9) radio from 2002-03…student journalist at The Simpsonian…played basketball at Simpson from 1999-2001…former intern at WHO-TV in Des Moines where his duties included assisting in the broadcast of SoundOff…says he has "been a Cyclone fan since birth."

James Niffenegger

Graduated from Iowa State this year, majoring in marketing…interned at KASI-AM and KCCQ-FM radio in Ames during the summer of 2004…was a shuttle van driver as a student at ISU…self-proclaimed president of the Andrew Skoglund Fan Club, going so far as to create the Big Skogs Website that was featured in the Ames Tribune and on the Larry Eustachy radio show…also an Eagle Scout.

Amanda Ouverson

Graduated from Iowa State in May, majoring in journalism and mass communications…former member of the Dean's List and winner of the Pathways to Success Leadership Award…former Senior Sports Reporter and Assignment Sports Editor for the Iowa State Daily from 2004-05, covering ISU football and women's basketball…former sports editor for the NIACC Logos…currently an intern for CycloneNation.com.

Alvin Snyder

Completed six credit hours at the University of Southern Ankeny (DMACC)…Des Moines East High School graduate, class of 1999…is a certified umpire for Greater Des Moines leagues for "the love of being heckled."…was molded into a Cyclone because of his hatred for the "Chokeyes" growing up…says his "style is not impetuous, defenses are not impregnable, not ferocious, and I don't want to eat your children."…also has a "deep, dark loathing" for Nebraska.

Andrew Swan

Graduated from Iowa State in 1990, majoring in English…served in the U.S. Army from 1984-88 in West Germany, earning both Army and Air Force achievement medals…rose to the rank of corporal…served in the Iowa National Guard from 1988-92, where he was a former Soldier of the Year…looks at this as "a wonderful chance to do something I can truly love."…a lifelong Cyclone fan.

Darren Trusler

Graduated from Iowa State in 2001, majoring in transportation and logistics…currently is a department supervisor for the Jacobson Companies…was born into a strictly Cyclone home and married a fellow Cyclone…says the one word that best describes why he is the best person to be our next head writer is "passion."

Justin Van Houten

Attended Iowa State from 2000-04, majoring in business administration…former student representative to the Iowa State University Foundation…was the first person to contact us about a potential job opening…grew up going to Hilton Magic with Johnny Orr and Jack Trice Stadium to see Troy Davis with his dad…his references include the boys' basketball coaches at ADM (Adel) and Creston High Schools.

Damon Vilmont

Currently a moderator for CycloneNation.com…has more posts on our website than any other subscriber…refused to take night classes at DMAAC so that he wouldn't miss ISU basketball games…received an award for participation in Deaf Services of Iowa in 1995…bounced around from "job to job" three years ago until his father died, and is now working on a fitness and sports management degree at DMAAC.


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