Meet Our Editorial Staff

Lexie Little, Editor-In-Chief,  E-mail:
Lexie Little is a senior from Kingsport, Tennessee studying journalism and electronic media and French and francophone studies. Lexie has interviewed Grammy award winners and a world-renowned surgeon, lived in Paris, France and worked as a deejay for 90.3 WUTK. If she’s not writing or in the classroom, you can find her watching classic movies, reading, shopping or cheering on the Vols. Lexie plans to continue her education in journalism and mass media with interests in media history and literary journalism. To get in touch with Lexie, email her at or tweet her @lexieclittle.    
Chelsea Babin, Managing Editor
Chelsea Babin is a first-year graduate student in the School of Journalism & Electronic Media. She was born in Texas, but she grew up in Michigan and moved to Tennessee in 2011. She has two cats, Captain and Cleo, and a dog, Carl. Chelsea enjoys photography as a hobby/mini side-job. When she’s not at school or work, she’s probably watching Hulu to catch up on all her favorite shows (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Good Doctor,” “NCIS,” etc…). She aspires to be a magazine editor for an entertainment magazine at some point in her career and would love to eventually have her own publication. She currently works at Knoxville Style Magazine. To get in touch with Chelsea, email her at or tweet at her @_babinn.    
Vanessa Rodriquez, News Editor                              E-mail:
Vanessa Rodriguez is a senior studying journalism and electronic media. She hopes to be an entertainment journalist and work at E! Entertainment. Her interests include celebrities, travel, food and spending time with family. To get in touch with Vanessa, email her at  
Ainsley Kelso, Arts & Culture Editor
Ainsley Kelso, is a sophomore majoring in journalism and electronic media. She is a 1794 Honors student. Outside of academics, Ainsley frequently goes to concerts, reads and enjoys traveling when given the opportunity. She knew from a very young age she wanted to be a writer, a desire that pushed her to work hard and take advantage of every opportunity. Along with working with the TNJN, Ainsley is also a member of Advocates for Autism, works as a notetaker on campus and enjoys volunteering when she gets a chance.  
Jake Nichols, Sports Editor E-mail:
Jake Nichols is a senior in journalism and electronic media. In his time at UT,  Jake has worked for several media outlets including Rocky Top Insider, WUTK Rock Solid Sports, VFL Films, SEC Network and the Tennessee Journalist. Jake serves as a play-by-play broadcaster for East Tennessee high school sports at Diamond Clear Media. He is excited to return to where his journalism career began. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends, girlfriend and family. Jake also enjoys building his photography portfolio. You can reach out to Jake by email at or on Twitter or Instagram using @jnichols_2121.  
John Vandergriff, Assistant News Editor E-mail:
John Vandergriff is a senior studying journalism and electronic media. He hopes a career in journalism will take him to an editor’s position at a news publication. When he’s not in class or at work he enjoys watching movies and tv, reading, and playing his guitar. You can reach John at or tweet him @jvandergriffin.  
Lauren Claxton, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor E-mail:

Lauren Claxton is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Originally an economics major, she quickly realized that journalism was the right fit for her. Majoring in journalism and electronic media and minoring in global studies, she hopes to one day write for “Nightly News with Lester Holt.” In addition, after interning with Bridge Refugee Services, Lauren aims to use her field to give underrepresented populations a voice in the media.

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Lauren is a South Knoxville girl at heart. She lives and breathes for Tennessee basketball, is a “Game of Thrones” fanatic and is an unashamed Taylor Swift fan. This is her first year as a Resident Assistant in Hess Hall, and she loves being a resource to the 61 girls on her floor.

Feel free to reach out to any of these editors to join our staff. A person does not need to be a major in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media or taking journalism classes to be on the staff of the Tennessee Journalist. The Tennessee Journalist is always interested in adding writers, editors, photographers and others interested in Web journalism to its staff.