Meet the Staff at Marfa Public Radio


Elise Pepple

Elise Pepple, General Manager

Elise began her career in public radio in 2008 when she brought StoryCorps to her small town in Alaska. She continued working for StoryCorps during their Alaska Initiative, relocating to the northwest Arctic. In 2011, Elise produced and hosted a radio show celebrating sense of place in Sitka, Alaska for KCAW. She left Alaska to study radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Study. After Salt, Elise received a grant to produce the Other AK, a project celebrating the complexities and realities of Alaskan life. Elise was a Creative Community Fellow with National Art Strategies for her work using storytelling to build community. She co-produced Portland Brick: a project building public memory in collaboration with The City of Portland. Elise hosts a live storytelling series called Hear Tell, dedicated to people telling true personal stories around a theme. She was an adjunct faculty at The Maine College of Art where she taught students the practices of live storytelling, podcasting, and oral history. Elise was also The Outreach and Public Engagement Coordinator at SPACE Gallery.

Elise believes in the power of radio to shape and animate who we are, where we live, and how we relate. She probably gets this from her mother.

Sara Melancon

Sara Melancon, Office Manager

Sara graduated from Louisiana State University in 2013 where she worked at the university’s student-run radio station for three years.

After an accidental trip to Marfa in early 2014, she interned for Marfa Public Radio for five months before accepting her current position.

In addition to running the office, Sara co-hosts the music program No Country for Old Music on Tuesday nights at 8 PM.

Jackson Wisdorf

Lorne Matalon

Lorne Matalon, Fronteras Desk Correspondent, UT Energy Institute 2016-2017 Energy Journalism Fellow

Lorne’s stories on the U.S.-Mexico border and Latin America are broadcast on NPR member stations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas via the Fronteras Desk network, along with the statewide broadcast of the Texas Standard, a production of KUT in Austin. Recent features focused on Mexican energy reform, the lifting of the ban on the export of U.S. crude oil and the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, built using the power of Eminent Domain to build a natural gas pipeline in the Big Bend of Texas to ferry natural gas from the Permian Basin to Mexico. The pipeline is being built on some of the last legacy ranch lands in the United States.

Matalon’s series, “Borderland Exodus: Towns Near Path of Proposed Mexican Pipelines Suffer Rash of Violence,” was awarded a 2016 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. The series is an investigation into corruption in connection with a series of pipelines and other energy-related infrastructure either built or under construction on the Mexican side of a corridor that lines the U.S. border southeast of Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas.

Matalon is currently the 2016-17 Energy Journalism Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. The fellowship is jointly sponsored by UT Austin’s Energy Institute and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business. Matalon succeeds Russell Gold, senior energy reporter at The Wall Street Journal.


Carlos Morales

Carlos Morales, Morning Edition Host and Reporter

Before joining MPR, Carlos worked at KWBU in West Texas. While there he covered a range of topics from education to poverty. He joined Marfa Public Radio in April 2017 as Morning Edition host and reporter.

In the past, he’s also worked with the Voces Oral History Project, a group the records the histories of Latina/o World War II veterans. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Carlos strongly believes in the power of radio to bridge divides.

When he’s not listening to the radio, you can find him exploring the West Texas lands.

Jackson Wisdorf

Jackson Wisdorf

Jackson Wisdorf, All Things Considered Host

Jackson was born in Plano, Texas and lived in North Texas until moving to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University. After graduating from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media and Communication, he moved to Marfa in August of 2015 to intern for Marfa Public Radio, and was hired on in July of 2016.

Other than working at MPR, Jackson enjoys talking [at great length] about beer, listening to music and cooking. When not hosting All Things Considered, he co-hosts No Country for Old Music along with his own music program Thee Midnight Snack.


Diana Nguyen

Diana Nguyen, West Texas Talk Producer

Diana Nguyen is from Houston, Texas and graduated with a degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas. She started at the station as an intern in 2015, but now produces the daily interview program West Texas Talk. Nguyen is particularly interested in exploring the intersection of range life, high-brow art, and the vast oil fields of West Texas.



Zoe Kurland

Zoe Kurland, Intern 2017

After interning for the Kitchen Sisters radio production company in San Francisco, working on their NPR series Hidden Kitchens and their podcast The Kitchen Sisters Present, Zoe fell in love with the radio world and found her way to Marfa Public Radio. Originally from California, she is currently taking a leave from Wesleyan University, where she studies Psychology and English. She’s a big fan of ghost stories, so if you’ve got a good one, she’d love to hear it.