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Meet the Team

Meet the staff of Vida Magazine. Thirteen undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Alabama were selected through a rigorous application and interview process will write, photograph, video, record and edit Vida Magazine.  

Editorial Staff

Issue II
Costa Rica

Mary Kathryn Carpenter is a graduate student at The University of Alabama where she studies journalism and works as a research assistant for the Office of Undergraduate Research. She is from Natchez, Miss. She is the recipient of the UA Visual Journalist of the Year award for 2015-2016. Carpenter’s stories and images have been featured in Glamour Magazine, Alpine Living Magazine: New Zealand, Natchez the Magazine, The Natchez Democrat and The Tuscaloosa News. Carpenter served as photo editor for Alpine Living Magazine, an award-winning, student-produced
travel magazine. 

Mary Kathryn Carpenter

Elizabeth Elkin is a senior journalism major and theatre minor at The University of Alabama. She is editor-in-chief of The Crimson White and a producer and reporter for WVUA 23. She previously was managing editor of The Crimson White, editor-in-chief of Mosaic Magazine, and an intern for the German Press Agency. Elkin was the recipient of the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists' National Mark of Excellence Award for In-Depth Reporting, Large School Division; the Institute on Political Journalism's Collegiate Journalism Award; and a finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' Region 3 Mark of Excellence Award for Non-Fiction Magazine Article.

Elizabeth Elkin
Managing Editor

Lane Stafford is a graduate student at The University of Alabama where she is studying journalism. She has been a photographer for UA's Service Learning Magazine and the seventh issue of Alpine Living Magazine: New Zealand, an award-winning, student-produced travel magazine. Lane had the honor of being named UA’s Outstanding Visual Journalism Student for 2016-2017. She has also worked for The Crimson White, Alice Magazine and The Tuscaloosa News. Lane has a passion for travel and visual media. She  took photography courses in London during the Summer of 2016. Her dream job would take her around the world. 

Lane Stafford
Visual Media Editor

Mary Clay Kline is a senior at The University of Alabama majoring in journalism and minoring in nutrition. She is from Cleveland, Miss. She is the recipient of UA's 2018 Holle Award for News Media Writing. She is the online editor for Alice Magazine, where she formerly worked as a staff writer, blogger and photographer. Delta Magazine, Druid City Living and SapereFood, among others, have featured her writing and photography. Kline hopes to pursue magazine writing after graduation.

Mary Clay Kline
Chief Copy Editor

Kaylin Bowen is a communications specialist for the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research (ACIIR) and adjunct professor of news writing at the University of Alabama. She received her B.A. in journalism in 2016 and her M.A. in communication in 2017 through the Accelerated Master’s Program. She served as a writer and designer for Alpine Living Magazine: New Zealand. Additionally, she has worked for The Tuscaloosa News, Dateline Alabama, Alumni Magazine and The Greenville Standard in a variety of roles including writer, designer, and photographer. 

Kaylin Bowen
Web Editor

Christina Ausley is a junior at The University of Alabama where she is majoring in Journalism and Psychology, and minoring in Spanish. She is from Louisville, KY, and enjoys working with UA’s newspaper and magazine publications such as The Crimson White and Alice Magazine. She currently works as editor-in-chief of Mosaic, UA’s honors magazine, and has worked domestically as an editorial assistant with Alabama Heritage Magazine, and internationally in London, England as an editorial assistant to both Food and Travel and SUITCASE magazine.

Christina Ausley

Alayna Clay is a senior at The University of Alabama, where she is majoring in visual journalism and double minoring in graphic design and anthropology. She is a member of the Honors College. She works as a graphic designer at Creative Campus and a photographer at eTech during the school year. She also interns as a production assistant at WVUA 23, a photographer at The Tuscaloosa News, and a writer and editor at Recruiting and Staffing Solutions Magazine. She previously interned as a copy desk editor at The Tuscaloosa News, and in her free time she works at YMCA.

Alayna Clay

Emma Bissell is from Tuscaloosa, Ala. and a sophomore at Northridge High School. She plays on the varsity women’s soccer team and hopes to study biomedical engineering in college after graduation in 2020. She has served as a photographer for Alpine Living V—Spain and Portugal and Alpine Living IV—Germany and Switzerland and has created the Fit4Life website, which provides health and exercise information for teenagers. She hopes to play soccer in college while getting her degree in engineering.  

Emma Bissell


Dr. Kim Bissell is a Professor in the College of Communication and Information Sciences and serves as the College’s Associate Dean for Research. She is the Southern Progress Endowed Professor in Magazine Journalism and also serves as the University of Alabama’s Director of Undergraduate Research. She launched Alpine Living Magazine in 2005 and has supervised the publication of all seven issues. She also launched VIDA Magazine in 2016. She has traveled internationally with students nine times in their production of various print and online magazines.

Kim Bissell
Faculty Adviser




Jessa Reid Bolling is a senior at The University of Alabama where she is majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. She is from Reform, Ala. She has worked as a contributing writer and staff reporter at The Crimson White newspaper at the University and has had an internship with The Tuscaloosa News in the digital/multimedia/editing department.

Jessa Reid Bolling


Sam MacDonald is a sophomore at The University of Alabama. She is earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts concentrating in photography and digital media. She is from Huntsville, Ala. She has been the assistant photo editor for The Crimson White for the last two semesters as well as the football photographer for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. On top of football, she covers gymnastics, men’s basketball and various other sports. She freelanced for The Tuscaloosa News. Her goal is to one day work as a travel photographer for 
National Geographic.

Sam MacDonald




Alexander Richey is a junior at The University of Alabama studying radio storytelling. Born just a stone’s throw from the Tennessee River in Northwest Alabama, Richey has spent much of his career covering the unique musical heritage and history of his homeland surrounding the FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound recording studios. Alexander has work credited from Alabama Public Radio, The Crimson White and Set Magazine

Alexander Richey
Radio Producer





Sam West is a senior at The University of Alabama studying journalism and history. He is from Birmingham, Alabama. West is the managing editor of The Crimson White and has previously served as a culture editor and reporter.

Sam West