Katey Outka has a legal pad filled with podcast ideas, and she’s bringing them to The Drag this January as our full-time senior producer.
Outka is an expert storyteller. Over the years, she has taken on roles as a multimedia journalist, an editor and a social media manager. She knows what stories are worth telling and how to share them in compelling ways. She joins The Drag after spending a year as the communications and marketing coordinator at the Texas Book Festival. She also has worked at KVUE, KLRU, the Austin American-Statesman and The Daily Dot. Outka will put her expertise to use at The Drag by helping students with their podcasting projects and turning our audio production house into a sustainable operation for years to come. As senior producer, Outka will also manage the day-to-day operations of The Drag.
“She will make our storytelling stronger from day one,” Executive Director Robert Quigley said. “Hiring someone of her caliber is a milestone for our program, and I can’t wait to work with her.”
As an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Outka is a skilled teacher, and she finds excitement in seeing her students grow. However, she wanted to find a way to work with students beyond just the teacher-student relationship.
“For me, it was the opportunity to work with students, not just in a teaching capacity, but in a collaboration and creating kind of capacity,” Outka said.
This position will be Outka’s first full-time position at UT Austin, but she has been working at the university since she was an undergraduate student in the journalism school. She grew up a Texas fan and dreamt of attending UT for college. Yet, when she applied, she was waitlisted before ultimately getting accepted. For Outka, obtaining this position at her alma mater is almost like a dream.
“I definitely feel like my first day working back on campus I will probably cry,” Outka said. “The fact that 10 years after graduating from high school, 10 years after thinking that I had been rejected from UT and now I get to work at UT is pretty surreal.”
Until in-person operations resume, Outka will help out The Drag remotely. When she’s not in Zoom meetings, she loves listening to podcasts, like “Scam Goddess” and John Green’s “The Anthropocene Reviewed.” She also spends plenty of time reading and hanging out with her shih-tzu, Oso.