The journalists

Going into the spring of 2022, these 16 journalists took a gamble. In the midst of the omicron surge in the United States, they signed up to travel in May to Northern Ireland to cover slated elections, the ongoing pandemic and fallout from Brexit. They spent the spring pre-reporting their stories and are headed to Northern Ireland from May 22-June 5.

Nance Beston

Nancy Beston is a sophomore journalism major at UM. They have worked at the Montana Kaimin for one semester as an arts and culture reporter covering topics ranging from pole dancing, concerts, queer issues, and autism awareness. They have also taken a class titled feature writing where they had to write an obituary for Danielle Johnston who was killed by domestic violence. They are traveling abroad for the first time, starting in May! They are excited to cover tourism in Northern Ireland and look forward to enjoying their first legal beer.

Mazana Boerboom

Mazana Boerboom is a graduating senior from Holladay, Utah, studying journalism and geography and this is her second shot at going to Northern Ireland with the School of Journalism! Her love of storytelling began before she could write and has blossomed into a passion for sharing stories through the written word. She has worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor at the Montana Kaimin, was the managing editor of the 2021 edition of Byline Magazine — which one a regional SPJ award for best overall student magazine — and worked for over a year interning with the Missoulian. After four enriching years at the University of Montana, Mazana is excited to end her college career with a bang in Northern Ireland. 

Daisy Coyne

Daisy Coyne is a sophomore at the University of Montana. She is from a rural ranching community and began writing monthly articles for her local town’s newspaper in middle school. Her agriculture-based background instilled a deep respect for the land in her and pushed her to pursue a degree in Environmental Journalism. Daisy is excited to travel to Northern Ireland to listen to local communities’ involvement in the fishing industry surrounding Lough Neagh and hopefully hold an eel!

Christine Compton

Christine Compton is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Montana. She works as a news reporter at the Montana Kaimin where she writes on crime and events. Her first experience abroad was when she lived in Japan for five years. Since then, she’s fallen in love with examining differences in perspective, culture and ways of life.

Carolyn Crowder

Carolyn Crowder is a sophomore at the University of Montana studying political science and English. Carolyn is fascinated by Northern Irish history and politics and is thrilled by the opportunity to revisit the region and report on the outcomes of the May election.

Andrea Halland

Andrea Halland is a senior studying journalism and English literature. Her favorite activities include reading with her cat and hiking with her dog. She is the copy chief and digital editor of the Montana Kaimin, UM’s student-run newspaper. Her dream is to go into editing, either of news or literature so that she can get paid to read.

Clarise Larson

Clarise Larson was born and raised in the suburbs of the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She is a lover of wool socks, fluffy dogs and anything with gluten. As a recent graduate of the University of Montana’s journalism program, she originally moved to Missoula because of the mountains but stayed because of the people. Now, she is headed to Juneau, Alaska with her dog to start a reporting position at the Juneau Empire.

Jack Marshall

Jack is a Journalism major at the University of Montana with a minor in media arts. He is actively interested in sports and the culture surrounding it. His interest in travel and non-American sports brought him to the University’s International Reporting class. His goal is to pursue a career in sports broadcasting but for now he is focused on how a tree disease and the war in Ukraine may affect one of Northern Ireland’s traditional sports.

Andy Mepham

Andy Mepham is a junior at the University of Montana pursuing a B.A in photojournalism with a minor in wildlife biology. He also works as a resident assistant for UM Housing, where he consistently utilizes communication and problem-solving skills when addressing the issues of first-year students. Andy is interested in covering global affairs regarding climate change and human interest stories focusing on Gen Z as they take the reins on policy-making decisions for the future. While in Northern Ireland, Andy will be the team photographer.

Asa Thomas Metcalfe

Asa Thomas Metcalfe is a writer from Vermont. He is currently studying journalism at the University of Montana where writes sports for the Montana Kaimin and freelance music articles. His work can be found in the pages of Idioteq, Verbicide Magazine, and American Vulgaria or by google searching his full name.

MaKayla O’Neil

MaKayla O’Neil grew up on a ranch in central Montana. She is ready for her first trip abroad and to report on the complexities of education in Northern Ireland. She designed spreads in Byline Magazine and the Native News Honors Project and is the design editor of the Montana Kaimin. She will graduate in December from the University of Montana with a major in journalism and minor in business administration. She will pursue a career designing for magazines and other publications.

Allie Ouendag

Allie Ouendag is a junior studying journalism and entertainment management at the University of Montana. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan Allie moved to Missoula in order to ski, however fell in love with the arts community and transferred to the university this fall. Allie’s work as a freelance reporter for the Missoula Current lead her to a love of music journalism and arts coverage which she hopes to pursue after she graduates. 

Addie Slanger

Addie is a recent University of Montana grad from Helena, Montana. She graduated with degrees in journalism and Spanish, and served as editor-in-chief of the Montana Kaimin, UM’s independent student newspaper. Her time in undergrad instilled her with a true passion for storytelling, and she is excited for the opportunity to report abroad on emerging political trends in a post-brexit Northern Ireland. Addie is interested in law and politics, and hopes to attend law school in the future.

Andy Tallman

Andy (short for Anderson or Andromeda) Tallman is a UM sophomore from Bozeman pursuing a degree in journalism. His work has appeared in the Montana Kaimin, the Montana Pioneer and the Montana Standard. He loves print reporting, especially in new places, and hopes to end up as an investigative reporter wherever the wind takes him.

Mariah Thomas

Mariah Thomas is a junior at the University of Montana, studying journalism, political science and history. She is the features editor of the Montana Kaimin and has a passion for storytelling and political writing, shaped by her love of reading and words from a young age. Mariah is also Irish, and took this course as a way to connect with her family’s historic roots.

Emily Tschetter

Emily Tschetter is a journalism and political science student at the University of Montana. She works as a news reporter at UM’s independent student newspaper, the Montana Kaimin, where she’s found a passion for government and politics reporting. Her love of travel and exploring other regions and countries’ histories and cultures drew her to studying Northern Ireland. She hopes to have similar international reporting experiences in her career after graduating in 2024.


Jule Banville

Jule Gardner Banville teaches writing, reporting and audio courses as an associate professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism, where she’s also the faculty adviser to the Montana Kaimin. She reported and produced the narrative podcast, “An Absurd Result,” about prosecuting sexual assault, published November 2021. She’s worked in daily newspapers, altweeklies and in public radio and podcasting. She’s married to UM Journalism Professor Lee Banville and they have two daughters, Kate and Maggie.

Lee Banville

Northern Ireland has been an area of interest for decades. Having helped cover the peace agreement in 1998 while working for the PBS NewsHour and having traveled to the region repeatedly, he decided to take a team of journalists to the region to explore how Brexit will affect the political, economic and cultural life of the region. He has taught at the University of Montana since 2009 and was editor-in-chief of the Online NewsHour from 1995-2009.