Ben Allen is WITF's first full-time general assignment reporter and the producer of Transforming Health and Beyond the Bio. He also runs WITF’s Public Insight Network (PIN).
Ben spent nearly two and a half years as Morning Edition host at KOSU, the largest NPR affiliate in Oklahoma, headquartered at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. While in Oklahoma, he garnered a number of awards for his reporting, including 4 first place Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma chapter awards in 2012, tied for the most of any journalist – print or broadcast – in the state. His reporting exposed a plan by a Native American tribe to commercially harvest castor beans, which contain the poison ricin. That plan was eventually shelved. He also illuminated the impact the U.S. farm bill has on both farmers and the poor.
Ben grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, but he escaped the Bay State without a Bah-stan accent. A 2011 graduate of Fordham University, he worked at the school’s highly acclaimed public radio affiliate WFUV in both the news and sports departments for 4 years.
Cary Burkett is the host of Fresh Air and All Things Considered and produces features for the WITF Arts and Culture Desk. He also serves as co-host for WITF's Center Stage, heard Saturday and Sunday evenings at 8 p.m.
Cary has been actively involved with the arts across the region. He has worked and performed with many of the area arts organizations, including Theatre Harrisburg, York Little Theatre, Bel Voce, the Sunderman Conservatory Wind Symphony and the Pennsylvania Academy of Music. For Music at Gretna, he portrayed Johann Sebastian Bach in a special Bach concert. He also worked with composer Alan Krantz to create a work for Music at Gretna called The Cryptic Composition, based on Cary's WITF radio drama series, Sherlock Bach. Recently he collaborated with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of a new ballet version of Camille Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals. Cary wrote the story for the ballet and served as narrator in the performances.
Cary received a BFA degree in theater from the University of Texas, and has worked in numerous regional theaters, dinner theaters, summer stock and touring companies across the country. Some of his roles include Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, and John Adams in 1776. He has a shelf full of acting awards.
He lived for several years in New York City, where in addition to performing in Off-Broadway productions he worked as a writer and editor for DC Comics and as a freelance writer for Marvel Comics and Red Circle Comics. He has chronicled the adventures of such heroes as Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man. He also created his own super hero character, Nemesis, for DC Comics.
With his wife, Jennifer, Cary also created a Christian theater group called ACT, Agape Christian Theatre, and they have toured pieces on missionary trips to Russia, Holland and the Philippines.
Marie Cusick is a reporter with StateImpact Pennsylvania and WITF in Harrisburg, PA. She joined WITF from Albany, New York where she worked as a multimedia reporter for WMHT. Her work was broadcast by public stations across New York as part of the Innovation Trail— a reporting collaborative between six stations. She appeared regularly on WMHT’s award-winning, statewide public affairs TV show, New York NOW. She also traveled throughout the state to cover some of New York’s biggest stories, including the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in New York City in 2012, the flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in the Catskills in 2011 and the debate in Albany over New York’s moratorium on hydrofracking.
Marie was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for television stations in Lancaster and Casper, Wyoming. Marie holds a degree in political science and French from Lebanon Valley College.
Scott LaMar has worked in broadcasting, in both radio and television, and now online and in social media, for more than 36 years. Currently, LaMar is the host and Executive Producer of the daily Smart Talk news and public affairs program on WITF 89.5 FM and 93.3 FM. With LaMar acting as Executive Producer, Smart Talk has won Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcast Awards every year since its debut in October 2008.
Previously, LaMar was WITF TV's Sr. Public Affairs producer and produced the station's award-winning weekly public affairs TV program Smart Talk and the Issues PA series on the Pennsylvania Public Television Network. LaMar has won more than a dozen Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcast Awards since 2000 and has been nominated for five Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards.
A native of Coatesville, PA, LaMar has also worked as a broadcast news anchor, sports play-by-play announcer, and manager.
Tim has been with WITF, central Pennsylvania's public radio station, since August 2001 and has worked in a variety of roles. He was promoted to the position of Multimedia News Director in January 2011. G
Getting up at "0-dark-30" for the past few years, Tim helps listeners start their day as Morning Edition host. Lambert is a four-time winner of the RTDNA's prestigious national Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in broadcasting and has also been recognized with 13 Regional Murrow honors. In 2007, he was the only broadcast journalist in Pennsylvania honored with a national Murrow for his report on the fifth anniversary of the crash of Flight 93 in Somerset County. The story was a personal one for Tim -- his family owned a portion of the crash site. Throughout his career, Lambert's reporting has also been honored by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated.
Beyond the world of radio, a special interest of his is working with the Alzheimer's Association. Tim is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has been working in radio since 1993. The veteran journalist has also worked in Lewistown and Gettysburg. He and his lovely wife Amy and their dog Happy live in Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County.
Joe has had an interest in audio and music ever since he was a kid. What started as a fascination with his parents' vinyl records and cassette tapes turned into a love of both performing and recording. He grew up in Elizabethtown, PA and moved onto Pittsburgh in 1999 where he majored in Photography at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2004 he attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences in Tempe, AZ, and then returned to Pittsburgh to intern and subsequently become employed there by a recording studio.
He returned to Elizabethtown in 2007 and began working for WITF in 2008 where his skills have found a good home both in on-air hosting and audio work.
Mary Wilson is the state Capitol reporter for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.
Mary came to WITF after a year being a catch-all staffer for a Maryland politician. Partisanship was a drag, but other things stuck: she has great empathy for those who have spent hours folding sample ballots and building campaign signs.
Before that, she was a part-time show host and cub reporter at WFUV-FM in New York City. She covered the closing of the old Yankee stadium and narrated the scene of Harlem on the night of the 2008 presidential election.
Mary graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx with majors in history and Italian.
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