Staff Directory

  • Wayne Maikranz

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    M.A. Jounalism, B.S. Communications

    Wayne Maikranz is a former copy editor for a daily newspaper in Indiana. In addition, he was a co-editor of a regional metropolitan magazine in Indiana and worked as a client service representative for an advertising firm. He was honored as UNC Charlotte’s 1992 Employee of the Year. In addition, Maikranz received the1993 Distinguished Magazine Adviser Award from CMA. He received a National Teaching Award in 1987 from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He previously served on the advisory program board for the Associated Collegiate Press Association. He co-authored The Guidebook of Magazine Fundamentals for the Associated Collegiate Press and designed The People of Route 601: Life in the Slow Lane, a book of photography by Lex Youngman.  In 2008, he was inducted into the College Media Advisers Hall of Fame.


    As media adviser, Maikranz provides journalism training support and advice on legal, production and editorial content concerns. The adviser provides a support role and coordinates retreats and convention travel, oversees the office and business management functions and promotes student staff development. He also advises the Student Niner Media board.

  • Kelly Lusco Merges

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    Assistant Director, Student Media Marketing Advisor


    B.A. - Mass Communication, Specialization in Public Relations

    Since joining the Student Niner Media staff in 2004, Merges has enjoyed her experiences motivating students in the areas of sales, marketing and promotions. She continues to work with the staff to sell and produce multimedia campaigns that help area businesses promote themselves to the ever-growing UNC Charlotte campus and surrounding community.

    Merges graduated in 1996 from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. She brought more than 12 years of experience in both the print and public relations industries, including serving as editor of two monthly entertainment magazines, The Grapevine andThe Navigator. Now, Merges has over 20 years of experience in the industry and enjoys sharing that knowledge and experience with her students.

    The adviser works closely with the marketing department staff to develop sales strategies, client service and effective circulation and promotion of the individual media. The marketing department was recognized as the 2005 and 2007 Business and Advertising Student Staff of the Year from CNBAM. In addition, the 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 marketing directors were named Business Manager of the Year by CNBAM.

  • Joshua Wood

    Coordinator for Production and Graphic Design


    B.F.A. - Illustration, Certificate in Full-Stack Web Development

    Joshua Wood graduated from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a full-stack web developer certificate. He is an alumni of Student Niner Media and was previously Editor-In-Chief of Sanskrit. Wood is excited to rejoin the Niner Media family and begin a new chapter at UNC Charlotte.

    In his position as coordinator for production and graphic design, he is responsible for the overall production needs of Student Media. He will also advise the student production team to support all their design and production to ensure all standards and requirements are met.

  • Laurie Cuddy

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    Business Manager, Student Media Marketing


    B.S. - Accounting

    Since joining the Student Niner Media staff in 2012, Cuddy has enjoyed working with students in the Marketing department to generate advertising agreements, answer clients’ questions and garner new business.

    In her position as business manager, she is responsible for all aspects of accounts receivable. From invoicing clients to working within state guidelines to collect revenue, Cuddy handles the finances for the Department of Student Niner Media.
    Cuddy is a graduate of Penn State, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She brings more than 15 years of experience in accounting from the private sector.

  • Danny Huffman

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    Office Manager


    Danny is a retired Air Forces veteran.  He brings to us 20 years of experience as a Financial Analyst in Financial Management, Budgeting and Resource Management.  During his work for the Aired Forces, he was was presented with the Airman of the Year Award-Non Commissioned Officer.  He is responsible for budgets, student payroll, travel and accounts payable.