MEET THE TEAM


Savannah Smith

Executive Producer
Savannah is the Executive Producer for UT Today. She was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN, but calls Knoxville her second home. She is a senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media. Her experience in producing includes interning at WTVC, the ABC local affiliate in Chattanooga during summer 2019. Savannah was a Producers Academy Intern at WBIR, the NBC local affiliate in Knoxville. She has also served as Lead Producer of UT Today last season. Currently, she is an Associate Producer at WVLT, the CBS affiliate in Knoxville. While at UT Today, Savannah is overall in charge of writing weekly shows that consist of both national stories and UTK related stories put together by her fellow classmates. When Savannah isn’t in the studio booth, she spends her free time as a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band. Savannah plans to continue her producing career as a full-time producer at WVLT. 

Courtney Cox

Lead Entertainment Producer/Anchor 
Courtney Cox is a Senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media. Courtney is an aspiring entertainment/lifestyle reporter and her ultimate goal is to work for Entertainment Tonight. When she is not working on a project, Courtney can be found binging the latest Netflix shows or listening to podcasts. She is a graduate of Memphis Central High School and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and the National Association of Black Journalists. Last year, Courtney interned at WATE 6 On Your Side as a news intern and at The National Civil Rights Museum as a marketing intern. To keep up with Courtney, follow her on Instagram @courtneycoxtv and on Twitter @courtneycoxtv 

Joseph Staton

Lead Sports Producer/Anchor
Joseph Staton is the Lead Sports Producer and Anchor with UT Today. He was born in Crossville, Tennessee, and is a senior at the University of Tennessee. Joseph will graduate in the Spring of 2021 with a degree in Journalism & Electronic Media. Since his freshman year at UT, Joseph has been Executive Producer and host of TorchLight Sports on The Volunteer Channel, while also covering Volunteer football and basketball. In Fall 2019, Joseph was a news and sports intern for WVLT-TV in Knoxville where he covered high school football and local news. In the Spring of 2020, Joseph had an internship position at WBIR-TV where he covers college basketball and local events. For UT Today, Staton produces the sports segment, contributes stories to news and sports, while also occasionally anchoring either side. Joseph plans to enter the sports industry through media with a final goal of joining an NBA or NFL team’s front office.

Carson Burns

Lead Digital Content Producer
Carson is the Lead Digital Content Producer for UT Today. She was born and raised in Eagleville, TN, a small town about 45 minutes outside of Nashville. She is a Senior studying Journalism and Electronic Media and minoring in Political Science. Professionally, she interned with WBIR-TV as a Producer’s Academy Intern last Spring. She also received an internship with WKRN-TV in Nashville for the Summer of 2020 that was canceled due to the pandemic. She has served as the Student Director of Operations for The Volunteer Channel, the student-run broadcast network at UT for two years, as well as the Executive Producer for Volunteer News. She recently accepted a part-time position as a Multi-Platform Producer at WBIR-TV where she will produce digital content on the weekends and television content during the week. This position will transition to full-time after her graduation in May. 

Mara McJilton

News Anchor/Reporter
Mara McJilton is a news anchor and reporter for UT Today. She is from Dunwoody, Georgia–where she sparked an interest in Mass Communications. She gained experience in the broadcast industry through the Academy of Mass Communications at Dunwoody High School (yes, where Ryan Seacrest went to HS) and through her first internship at Seacrest Studios in Atlanta. She is now a Senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, majoring in Agricultural Communications, with a minor in Journalism and Electronic Media. She has been involved with The Volunteer Channel since her freshman year–starting as an intern and working her way up to being a host and producer for the Vol News show. Mara was a reporter intern at WATE for 6 months in 2019, and upon graduation, in May she hopes to be a Multimedia Journalist/Reporter at a local television news station.

Jessica Davis

News Anchor/Reporter
Jessica Davis is a news reporter for UT Today. She was born and raised in Memphis, TN. She started attending UT in the Spring of 2019 after transferring from Southwest Tennessee Community College. Jessica is a senior at the University of Tennessee and plans to graduate in the Spring of 2021 with a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. Since attending UT Jessica has been a reporter for The Volunteer Channel, covering the latest news on campus. Jessica’s journalism experience includes working as a reporter for TVC and an intern for WREG News channel 3 in Memphis Tennessee. After graduation, she plans to begin building her career in broadcast journalism. 

Bryce Oselen

Anchor/Reporter

Bryce Oselen is a reporter for UT Today. He was born and raised in Memphis, TN. He graduated from Tennessee State University cum laude in 2019 with a Bachelors in Communications. Bryce now attends the University of Tennessee as a Master’s Candidate and will graduate in May of 2021. Bryce has interned with ABC’s WATE-TV, and anchored for the Volunteer Channel’s The Morning Jem”. Bryce loves the art of storytelling and hopes to become a national correspondent and journalism professor. 

 

Scarlett Simpson

 News Anchor/Reporter & Digital Content Producer

Scarlett is a News Anchor and Reporter for UT Today. She is a Tennessee native from Memphis but calls Knoxville her home. Scarlett is a junior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville studying Journalism and Electronic Media with a focus on broadcast journalism. Her experience includes being a student reporter for WMC News Channel 5 as well as reporting for The Volunteer Channel. When she’s not working on a report, Scarlett can be seen volunteering or pursuing a leadership position on campus. She hopes to gain more experience in the studio environment as well as the social media aspect of journalism. After graduation, she looks to pursue her career in broadcast.

Nia Myrthill

 News Anchor/Reporter

Nia Myrthil is a News Reporter for UT Today.  She was born in Tallahassee, FL, and raised in Atlanta, GA. Nia is a junior at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville studying Journalism and Electronic Media with a minor in Theatre. Her experience includes interning for The Volunteer Channel, an Atlanta-based nationally syndicated morning radio show called “The Bert Show” and traveled abroad hosting her own late-night program at Eastside FM in Sydney Australia. She plans to become an entertainment news reporter/personality and dreams of becoming a reporter for Entertainment Tonight. 

Camruinn Morgan-Rumsey

News Reporter

Camruinn is a Knoxville native and News Reporter for UT Today. He is a Senior majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media and minoring in Business Management. On-campus, he has worked as a photographer for the Daily Beacon, the student-run UT newspaper. He has also worked on production for Unwarranted, a program on the Volunteer Channel. Professionally, he has worked as an Operations Technician for WATE-TV, a local TV news station in Knoxville. Camruinn plans to work as a reporter for a legacy news outlet in a large market. 

 

Nina Howard

News Reporter

 Nina Howard is currently serving as a News Reporter for UT Today. She is a Junior majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media. Nina was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Her involvement on campus includes Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Student Success Center Ambassador, as well as a ME4UT recruitment officer. Her journalism experience includes Deejaying at WUTK The Rock and Writing for the Daily Beacon. Nina hopes to gain more experience as she works alongside her peers producing UT Today. A career goal for Nina is to anchor for Good Morning America or a leading Network.

 

Olivia Calfee

News/Sports Reporter 

Olivia Calfee is currently serving as a News Reporter for UT Today. Olivia is a junior at The University of Tennessee studying Journalism and Electronic Media. She was born and raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and has a passion for storytelling. This summer, she plans to study internationally and report in Prague, Czech Republic. She is a member of Phi Mu and is also a part of the Volunteer Team, a student recruiting organization for the football team. Olivia is so excited about her opportunity to work as a reporter for UT Today.

Phil Servello

Sports Producer

Phil Servello is currently finishing up his master’s degree at UT, focusing on sports journalism. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania, graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, and eventually came to Knoxville after a short stint in North Carolina. Phil covers local high school sports for Knox News and the Oak Ridger, produces Rock Solid Sports, a sports talk radio show, and spends his nights writing copy for up-and-coming rappers and brands. Phil spends his free time playing pro-level volleyball, gaming, and picking up random jobs as a writer.

 

Katie Priefer

Sports Anchor/Reporter

 

Katie Priefer is a senior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media. Her passion for sports and love for storytelling drives her to pursue a career as a sports reporter or anchor covering NFL football. She has interned with the Cleveland Browns, The Volunteer Channel, and WUTK Radio. Priefer is currently interning with VFL Films and is very excited to be a part of the UT Today team. Keep up with Katie via her Instagram @katiepriefer

 

Grace Lovinski

Sports Anchor/Reporter
Grace Lovinski is a Junior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Journalism and Electronic media. Grace grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where she was consumed around sports and where she never doubted her love for the games. Grace is involved with Sports Mecca, a talk show on Monday Nights along with The Morning JEM, a morning talk show aired throughout the week. This summer, she plans to study international reporting abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. Grace wants to continue to be involved in any way with her passion for sports hoping to lead to her dream of being a sports broadcaster for ESPN.

 

Maia McCoy

Sports Reporter 
Maia McCoy is a sports reporter for UT Today. She was born and raised in Memphis, TN. She is a student-athlete as a member of the Tennessee track and field team. Maia graduated in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Journalism and Electronic Media. She will graduate in May 2021 with a Master’s of Communication in Journalism and Electronic Media. Maia interned for WUTK 90.5 Rock for the Rock-Solid Sports Segment this past fall semester. Upon graduation, she plans to compete as a professional track and field athlete. After her athletic career, she plans to find work for a sports network and hopes to begin building a career in sports broadcasting.

Zach Patton

Sports Reporter/Technical Director 

Zach Patton is a junior at the University is Tennessee studying journalism and electronic media. He has a passion for sports that runs deep, proven through all of his endeavors. Zach is a video assistant with the University Of Tennessee’s Women’s Basketball team, he’s a former producer and one of the original crew members of Barstool’s Bussin With The Boys, he serves as creative content director/ operations assistant for Martins Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity series. Zach also has his own media company, Patton Outfitters, which serves many clients in the area of video producing and graphic design. At school, he serves as the producer/director of the Volunteer Channels Sports Mecca, and now UT today’s technical director.

Simran Kumari

International Editor/Digital Content Producer 

Simran Kumari is serving as an International Editor and a Digital Content Producer for UT Today. She is an international graduate student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and is majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media. She was born and raised in New Delhi, the capital city of India, and moved to the United States in December 2016 for higher education. Simran completed her Bachelors in English Language and Literature with a minor in Journalism from Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) in Alabama. Professionally, she has interned with one of the national news channels of India, NDTV, during the General Election and State Assembly Election of India in 2014 and 2016 respectively as a Translator and Data Interpreter. Additionally, she has been a summer intern for University Marketing and Communications at AUM, conducting interviews and writing news stories for the university’s website. After graduation in Fall 2021, Simran plans to begin her career in broadcast journalism and aspires to become an anchor for CNN International.

 

Photos of the UT Today team courtesy of Camruinn Morgan-Rumsey, (Instagram: @camruinn)