J-Talk Speakers 2017
J-Talk is a TED-style lecture event featuring three of our talented alumni who share their stories of inspiration and innovation that has guided them in their lives and careers. We are excited to welcome this year's speakers to J-School Generations on Oct. 5-6, 2017.
Zak McKibbon Beasley grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his bachelor of science in journalism degree from the University of Kansas in 2007. After college, Beasley worked for his father in the lumber industry, working primarily in the communications and inventory departments. This opportunity allowed him to work in Western Africa and Eastern Europe. Beasley received his master of science in strategic communications and his juris doctor from the University of Kansas in 2015. While in law school, Beasley served as the Student Bar Association president and founded the Military Law Society. As a graduate student in the J-School, Beasley served as a graduate teaching assistant. Beasley also interned at Kansas Legal Services in Topeka, Kansas. He is licensed to practice law in Missouri.
Beasley was commissioned into the Marine Corps on August 10, 2012. He was promoted to first lieutenant on August 10, 2014. After passing the Missouri bar, Beasley reported to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point on temporary active duty orders from Oct. 27 to Dec. 31, 2015. He then attended The Basic School from Jan. 5 to June 29, 2016. He then attended Naval Justice School from Oct. 18 to Dec. 21, 2016. He was promoted to captain on July 5, 2017. He is currently assigned to Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where he works in the trial services office as trial counsel. Beasley also serves as the special assistant to the U.S. Attorney for Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Jenni Carlson (j'97) is a sports columnist at The Oklahoman, offering commentary and opinion on topics ranging from the NBA and major-college sports to high school and youth athletics.
While Carlson was a student at KU, she worked for the University Daily Kansan in a variety of capacities. As a reporter, she covered men’s basketball, women’s basketball and various other sports. As an editor, she oversaw the sports department. Carlson also interned in the sports departments at the Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, the Kansas City Star and the Oregonian in Portland.
After graduating in 1997, she went to work as a high school sports writer at the Kansas City Star. She covered high schools in Johnson County for three months, then became the paper’s high school sports columnist.
Two years later, she was named sports columnist at The Oklahoman, becoming the first woman to have a general-assignment sports column in the history of the Oklahoma City newspaper. In addition to writing for The Oklahoman and its website, NewsOK.com, she also quarterbacks several of the sports department’s weekly studio shows and segments.
Carlson has served as president and board chair of the Association for Women in Sports Media. She has also won various awards for her writing nationally from the Associated Press Sports Editors and the National Association of Black Journalists, regionally from the Great Plains Journalism Awards, and on the state level from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Carlson and her husband, Ryan, make their home in Oklahoma City. They have a 5-year-old daughter, Millie.
Kameron Mack (j'12) is currently a senior producer/director at Complex Magazine. He heads the channel "Complex Hustle," which is a lifestyle vessel for creators, entrepreneurs and young professionals navigating the new economy. Throughout the span of Mack's career, he has worked with an extensive list of celebrities and influencers including Beyoncé, Diddy, DJ Khaled, Jimmy Iovine, Zendaya, and more. He has developed and produced a vast amount of network television shows and live broadcast events. Mack also is an on-air personality for MTV/Viacom Networks.