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Exited: The team

Karen Shakerdge
Malinda Ruit/WXXI News
Karen Shakerdge

Karen Shakerdge, reporter and producer:  Karen Shakerdge covers health for WXXI News. She has spent the past decade asking people questions about their lives, as a documentary film producer, oral historian and now radio reporter.

Karen spent months producing Exited, a podcast about young people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities navigating life after high school, which she developed with colleagues at NPR’s Story Lab.  

Karen has a bachelor's degree in cultural studies and media studies from The New School and a master's degree from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

In 2016, the Association of Health Care Journalists recognized her story about liver transplantation with an Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. Her two-part story about donor breast milk banks received an Outstanding Public Affairs Program award from the New York State Broadcasters Association in 2017. 

Veronica Volk
Credit Denise Young/WXXI news
Veronica Volk

Veronica Volk, producer: Veronica Volk is an award-winning reporter and producer for WXXI News. As a general assignment reporter, she covered a wide range of topics from City Hall to the photonics industry to medical marijuana.

Most recently, she's been producing stories about environmental issues with regional journalism collaborative Great Lakes Today.

She is the producer and co-host of the true-crime podcast Finding Tammy Jo along with Gary Craig of the Democrat and Chronicle.

Veronica got her start as an enterprise reporter in the Bronx at WFUV Public Radio. She later advanced to senior producer of its weekly arts and culture show Cityscape.

She holds a bachelor's in communication and media studies from Fordham University and is originally from the Jersey Shore, Exit 88. 

Malinda Ruit
Credit Karen Shakerdge/WXXI News
Malinda Ruit

Malinda Ruit, photography intern: Malinda Ruit is a fourth-year photojournalism major with a minor in psychology at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Beyond traditional photojournalism, she also finds audio-based stories very compelling and hopes to gain more experience telling stories through visual and auditory media.

She is currently working on her senior capstone project, documenting a young woman's recovery from a 10-year-long journey with an eating disorder, the medical conditions she lives with because of the disorder and how it has affected the career path she chose to pursue.

Malinda is graduating in May 2018 and hopes to pursue a career in producing and editing video.