Who we are

Our Story

We love podcasts. Our morning coffee is accompanied by Michael Barbaro’s “hmms.” Sarah Koenig is our favorite celebrity.

It takes a huge amount of time, effort and expertise to build long-form podcasts, but highly produced, investigative audio stories don’t have to come from a major studio in New York or L.A.

Something amazing and unique is happening on the University of Texas campus. Students and alums are reinventing what it means to create the most popular podcasts. The next big audio story won’t be coming from a national podcasting powerhouse. It will come from The Drag.

We’re an audio production house built by students, professors and Moody College alums. We love audio storytelling, and we especially love long-form journalistic podcasts that guide listeners through a complex story. And we want to help the media world figure this out, so we partner with media organizations to help them tell fascinating stories. The next generation of podcasters will come from the Moody College. Where did we get our name? Guadalupe Street, famously called The Drag, runs alongside our home on campus. The Drag was created thanks to the Dallas Morning News Innovation Fund, which supports innovative student projects in the Moody College of Communication.

Our first podcast, “The Orange Tree,” hit the top 20 in all categories on Apple Podcasts and continues to stay in the charts. We’ve got many more exciting projects in the works, and we can’t wait to share them all with you.

Love what we do? Show your support for The Drag today by making a donation to support our student podcasters who, in addition to juggling school work, internships, jobs and extracurriculars, are working hard to create the compelling longform podcasts you’ll soon see at the top of the charts.

Our Team

We aren’t a typical team of audio storytellers. We’re professors, students and people who just walked the graduation stage. Some of us didn’t know how to hold a shotgun mic when we started, while others edited audio in their closets all night. All of us love a good story and are passionate about podcasts.

Robert Quigley

Executive Director

Quigley founded The Drag in 2019 as a way to give students a chance to create compelling podcasts. He is a Moody College professor who spent 16 years as a journalist, mostly at the Austin American-Statesman.

Katey Psencik Outka

Associate Director

Katey joined The Drag full-time in 2021 after working in newspapers, TV, digital media and nonprofit marketing. In her free time, Katey cheers on Longhorn sports, listens to way too much Taylor Swift and plays with her dogs, Oso and Mav. She’s also an adjunct lecturer in UT’s School of Journalism and Media.

 
 

Christian McDonald

Technical Director

Christian is the director for the DMN Journalism Innovation Endowment and an assistant professor of practice in the School of Journalism and Media, teaching data, coding and digital media project classes. He joined UT-Austin’s faculty full-time in 2018 after 28 years working for Cox Media publications in Austin, Atlanta, Phoenix and Longview, Texas.

Cesar Perez

Producer, Crooked Power

Cesar comes from Ecuador and goes way back with storytelling; he comes from a family of journalists. He’s an avid coffee drinker who loves soccer, music and a good conversation.

Aurora Berry

Host and Producer, Planet Texas

Aurora is a junior studying Journalism at the University of Texas and a serial houseplant killer. She chose to work in podcasting because she thinks that the ability to tell stories is one of the coolest things about being a human being.

Ashley Miznazi

Host and Producer, Darkness: Austin Bomber

Ashley is a cat-loving, plant-nurturing senior studying journalism and communication. She likes reading, traveling and reporting on issues that matter to her. Check out her work at ashleymiznazi.com

Tamara Rodriguez

Associate Producer

Tamara is a sophomore studying journalism and creative writing. She loves reading and writing fiction, painting scenery and meeting new people.

Jackie Ibarra

Host and Producer, Darkness

Jackie is a third-year journalism major from San Antonio, Texas. She loves podcasts, plants and all things Taylor Swift.

Jade Emerson

Host and Producer, Lady Bird

Jade is a junior studying journalism at UT. She likes books, earl grey tea and learning new things, but storytelling will always be one of the great loves of her life.

Anahi Chavero

Host and Producer, Hi, How Are You Season 1

Anahi is a journalism and textiles & apparel major at the University of Texas at Austin. 

 

Helen Hulsey

Graphic Designer

Helen Hulsey is a senior advertising major exploring the intersection of art and humanity. When she’s not up late art directing ads for the Texas Creative program, she likes to create artwork for nonprofit organizations. If you’re looking, you can probably find her downing cold brew at Bennu.

Maren Bennett

Audio Editor and Producer

Maren Bennett is a third-year journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin. She began working in audio at The Daily Texan in the summer of 2021 and joined The Drag in September of 2021. 

Marissa Greene

Host and Producer, Hi, How Are You
Associate Producer

Marissa is a third-year journalism major who loves quirky earrings, all variations of soup and the people she gets to meet through digital storytelling.

Meena Anderson

Associate Producer, Devilish Deeds

Meena is a fourth-year journalism and radio-TV-Film major with a minor in French, where she has achieved conversational fluency. She’s a member of the Moody Honors Program at UT. She likes traveling, writing, social justice, kpop, sushi and cats.

Megan Parker

Host and Producer, Devilish Deeds

Megan is a senior at the University of Texas studying journalism and business. She enjoys reading, drinking boba tea and watching eight-season CW dramas.

Sara Kinney

Host and Producer, Darkness

Sara is a sophomore studying journalism and public health who spends a bit too much time on Animal Crossing. She loves puzzles, animals, and napping.

Kameryn Griesser

Associate Producer

Kameryn Griesser is a junior Journalism major and English minor. In her free time she enjoys acting, agonizing over French theory and binge-watching Vice documentaries.

Sofia Vargas Karam

Marketing and Communications Manager

Sofia is a journalism major who enjoys coffee, house music, spending time outdoors and traveling. She joined The Drag to make sure that our important storytelling reaches the right audience.

Peyton Sims

Host and Producer, Devilish Deeds

As a UT journalism major, Peyton is excited to see all of the places her love for storytelling will take her. When she’s not doing research for The Drag, Peyton can be found taking pictures for The Daily Texan and SPARK Magazine, working on a new painting, or journaling at a local coffee shop.

Sewa Yo’otu Olivares

Audio Editor and Sound Designer

Sewa is a 4th year Journalism major with a passion for audio fidelity and engineering. She spends her free time producing music, performing and DJing, as well as working with the Native American community in Austin through the Native American and Indigenous Collective.

Heather Stewart

Audio Editor and Sound Designer

Heather is studying journalism, religious studies and creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin. She loves playing and listening music, all kinds of writing and seeking truth on important topics.

Aisling Ayers

Host and Producer

Aisling is a journalism senior from Boerne, Texas. She loves reading historical fiction, watching British period dramas and swimming in Barton Springs. She joined The Drag to further pursue her passion for long-form journalism and create work that matters.

Dina Barrish

Producer

Dina Barrish is a junior journalism major pursuing a Hebrew minor and business Spanish certificate. She joined The Drag fall 2022 to further explore the audio world and learn from her professors and peers. 

Carly Rose

Fall 2022 intern

Carly Rose is a senior journalism major at the University of Texas. In her quest to make podcasting her main personality trait, she is also Audio Editor at The Daily Texan. She loves road trips, Duolingo, and Dolly Parton.

Doing this for a grade

Moody College students get a chance to produce professional-quality podcasts as part of a capstone class at the School of Journalism. Working on teams with our paid staff members, the students are getting an experiential learning lesson of a lifetime. Each semester, a fresh group of students will help shape our stories and get credit for their work when our podcasts hit the top charts.