Karen Zeman

Executive Director

Karen Zeman Pic

When Karen moved to Alaska from Atlanta she made the mistake of wearing a business suit, heels and up-do to her interview (something the teens at Spirit of Youth relentlessly tease her about). She has since adapted to Alaska’s fashion trends and has become very involved in her community.

Karen has been the Executive Director at Spirit of Youth since 2008 and thoroughly enjoys working with our fabulous teens, staff, board and community partners. She previously worked for Boys & Girls Clubs of America where she oversaw their outcome measurement and program planning initiatives. She also managed programs related to youth financial literacy and job readiness and assisted local Boys & Girls Clubs to improve their services. Karen has worked with teens for more than 20 years and says she is constantly amazed by their dedication, creativity and caring.

Karen grew up in Wisconsin and attended Portland State University where she fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and Youth Development.

Rosey Robards

Director Alaska Teen Media Institute


Rosey Robards has been the Director at ATMI since November 2007. She says this is “the best job ever!” and we think she means it! She graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a degree in Journalism and Public Communications in May of 2005.

You might recognize Rosey’s name from publications such as the Anchorage Daily News, AK This Month and The Northern Light, where she was editor-in-chief for the 2003-2004 academic year. Her passion is writing feature stories, especially those that include music and art. She has experience in radio, photography, multimedia journalism and web design.


Robert Stormo

Assistant Director Alaska Teen Media Institute


Robert joined ATMI in September of 2009. Prior to working at ATMI he was a volunteer. He graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2007 with a degree in Journalism and Public Communications. Robert works closely with the Alaska Press Club and is the JPC Alum Representative for the UAA Media Board.

Cari Zawodny

Teen Advisory Council Coordinator


Nithya Thiru 

Communication Specialist

Nithya Staff Page

Nithya Thiru first came to Spirit of Youth as an ATMI student producer in high school. Learning the ropes of radio production from Rosey and Robert, Nithya went on to work for three years in the news department at KRUA 88.1 FM.

In 2014, she graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a Bachelors in History, and began work as a freelance journalist. A year later, Nithya traveled to Sri Lanka and worked for six months at Verité Research, a leading think tank aimed at promoting democratization and transparency. Through her work in Sri Lanka, she witnessed firsthand the power of youth to transform our world.

Nithya is a major Harry Potter nerd, and can often be found playing Quidditch on the Park Strip, or out buying more books than she has time to read.