Sarah Sabatke
                                                608-214-5689 |

Professional Summary

Results-driven strategic communicator and audiovisual production professional, specializing in producing and creating multimedia assets geared toward raising awareness of the company's mission and increasing employee engagement. Highly detail-oriented with a record of effective leadership and project management abilities as well as demonstrated ability to work remotely.

Key Skills
  • Production and execution of multi-layered communications plans
  • Customer relationship building 
  • Project management with teams of diverse backgrounds
  • Video, audio and photo editing (Final Cut Pro, Adobe Creative Suite, Canva)
  • Security Clearance (Secret)
  • Expert written and verbal communication
  • Effective use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Office Suite in team collaboration
  • Content creation and management via Google Suite
  • AP style writing and copy editing

Career Highlights

  • Project managed and executed Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey — agency-wide communications plan —  with reach of approx. 7,000 employees, resulting in 15% increase in employee participation from previous year (DISA)
  • Directed and produced independent documentary film, titled “Thoughts and Prayers,” featured in eight film festivals and recipient of international recognition (Jonathan B. Murray Center)
  • Created curriculum and led instruction for drone journalism class, approx. 100 students over five semesters, resulting in average of 50 percent from each class pursuing FAA certification (University of Missouri Drone Journalism Program)
  • Led reporting for Mexico Ledger, produced average of 20-25 stories per week, expanded social media presence with 4.5% increase in Facebook followers over 3 months, and earned industry peer award for reporting

Work Experience

Audiovisual Production Specialist - Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)  
Fort Meade, Maryland | Aug. 2020 — present
Rank: GG12
  • Direct in-studio and live event shoots and hybrid/virtual MS Teams productions, often with average attendance of 50-100 military/civilians
  • Produce and edit video projects from storyboard to final product, using Adobe Creative Suite
  • Collaborate with variety of internal customers, senior leaders and external mission partners across the military branches
  • Operate and maintain recording equipment (DSLR and ENG cameras, microphones, lights, mobile teleprompter, etc.), both in studio and in the field, with estimated total value of $500,000
  • Plan and execute agency-wide communications plans, including DISA's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey communications campaign resulting in 15 percent participation increase from previous year
  • Completed 2-year “Next Level Leaders” program, including approx. 100 hours intensive training in ethics, records management, and agency mission, as well as 3-month job rotation
  • Certified contracting officer representative (COR)
  • President of agency-wide Toastmasters club with 90 regular members and guests, leadership committee for Women's Employee Resource Group with 129 active members agency-wide

Documentary Filmmaker - Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism
Columbia, Missouri | July 2018 — Aug. 2022
  • Directed “Thoughts and Prayers,” a documentary chronicling 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting and the experience of journalists who covered the event
  • Produced, filmed and edited the documentary over 3.5 year period using Sony A7iii, DJI drone and editing systems (Adobe Creative Suite/Final Cut Pro)
  • Selected for 8 film festivals, award winner in two international short doc festivals, semi-finalist in 2020 Student Academy Awards

FAA Licensed Drone Pilot and Instructor - Missouri School of Journalism Drone Journalism Program Columbia, Missouri | July 2017 — June 2020
  • Instructed drone journalism class of 20+ MU students per semester, teaching skills required to become FAA-certified pilots
  • Managed and maintained drone fleet worth approx. $25,000
  • Conducted drone photography and videography for clients around Missouri
  • Work was featured on KBIA, Columbia Missourian, Paul Pepper Show, Missouri athletics promotions,
  • 2020 video story on “Radio Friends with Paul Pepper” show awarded National Telly Award
  • Featured as panelist for 2022 “Drone Safety Day” event hosted by Federal Aviation Administration
  • Assisted in creating curriculum and filmed 10 hours of instructional content for 2022 digital drone certification program in Seattle, WA

Content Producer - MU School of Journalism Global Programs
Columbia, Missouri | July 2018 — May 2020
  • Conducted interviews with participants in 21 study abroad and internship programs
  • Developed monthly content calendars and produced multimedia content (including long-form and short social videos) to promote MU Journalism Abroad programs

Technical Assistant - Missouri School of Journalism Equipment Lab
Columbia, Missouri | Aug. 2017 — Feb. 2020
  • Supervised checkout process of camera gear to 500+ journalism students across 10 different courses
  • Ensured that each piece of equipment was accounted for in digital management system
  • Maintained equipment in working order (including DSLRs, cinematic cameras, audio gear, tripods, etc.), worth total of approx. $500,000
  • Managed student concerns regarding equipment operation and gear repairs

Reporter and Photographer - MU Division of Student Affairs
Columbia, Missouri | April 2016 — June 2020
  • Produced strategic communication materials aligned with department's mission of student recruitment and engagement for university of 31,000+ students
  • Pitched, edited and produced stories for Student Affairs website and relevant social media channels with Facebook following of 200,000+
  • Conducted interviews with students and staff for online stories and department's annual report
  • Photographed campus events and individual portraits for publication across campus
  • Project managed using content management systems (WordPress, Asana, Trello and MS Teams)

Staff Reporter - Mexico Ledger/Gatehouse Media
Mexico, Missouri | April — Sept. 2018
  • Sole reporter for Mexico Ledger, providing coverage for county of approx. 25,000 residents
  • Responsible for filling first three pages of local newspaper with news and features, 5 days/week
  • Grew Mexico Ledger Facebook following by 4.5 percent in three months and established paper’s YouTube and Instagram presence
  • Reported and produced weekly features, both written and multimedia pieces (micro-documentaries, photo stories)
  • Multimedia story on a local student was picked up nationwide by The Associated Press and received award in 2019 Missouri Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest (award voted on by industry peers in a partnering state)

Editorial Writer - Alliance Magazine
London, United Kingdom | May — Aug. 2017
  • 20 hours/week internship while attending study abroad program
  • Pitched, wrote and edited 8 long-form, data-led stories and several shorter pieces for digital and print editions of Alliance Magazine, leading global philanthropy magazine, attracting approx. 20,000 unique visitors to website per month
  • Produced  graphics and assisted in pioneering of Alliance Audio podcast
  • Assisted with design process of magazine including content layout, image selection, and magazine redesign

Multimedia Collegiate Correspondent - USA Today College
Columbia, Missouri | Dec. 2015 — June 2016
  • Independently pitched and produced 14 in-depth features and multimedia stories for publication on USA Today channels during 6-month internship
  • Collaborated with USA Today editors and contributor team of 15 reporters nationwide, resulting in enhanced production value and effectiveness of engagement strategies

Reporter and News Executive - MUTV 23 News
Columbia, Missouri | Aug. 2014 — Jan. 2016
  • Managed staff of 30+ at MUTV, University of Missouri's student-run television station
  • Led weekly training sessions on broadcast camera gear, including ENG cameras, audio equipment, television studio equipment and editing software
  • Curated and posted all news department content on digital/social channels, reaching approx. 20,000 students weekly in addition to the general public

Education & Professional Development

Master of Arts, Documentary Journalism — University of Missouri-Columbia
Professional Project: “Thoughts and Prayers” documentary film
Thesis Research: “A content analysis of word choice in social media news coverage of mass shootings”

Bachelor of Journalism — University of Missouri-Columbia
Major: Convergence Journalism-Multimedia Reporting and Producing
Minor: Peace Studies
Certificates: Multicultural Certificate, MU Digital Global Studies Certificate

Adult Space Academy — U.S. Space and Rocket Center; Huntsville, Alabama
Intensive adult camp experience based on astronaut training, including multi-axis trainer, scientific experiments and mock missions on space shuttle, capsule and ISS modules built for training purposes

Google Certificate — Coursera
Pursuing continuing education certificate in UX Design through Google 6-month intensive course

Toastmasters — Fort Meade, Maryland
President (2021-2023), Secretary (2021-2022) and active Level 4 member of Toastmasters public speaking organization (club #3784 — Global Transformers), club geared towards professional development and public speaking skills

Awards & Recognitions
  • Awarded Senior Executive Service (SES) challenge coin as civilian for exceptional service to DISA employee resource group
  • Missouri Press Association's 2019 Better Newspaper Contest - 3rd place in the Multimedia Reporting Category
  • Wisconsin Press Association's 2022 Better Newspaper Contest - 3rd place in the Special Section Category
  • Stronger Than Fiction Film Festival 2020 - Winner of Jury Prize for Best Director 
  • Best Shorts Competition - Winner of Award of Merit in Documentary Short category & in Women Filmmakers category
  • Student Academy Awards - Semifinalist
  • Impact DOCS! Awards - Winner of Award of Merit in Documentary Short category & in Women Filmmakers category
  • National Telly Award for aerial cinematography in “Paul Pepper” special (KBIA)

Sarah Sabatke

Sarah Sabatke is a multimedia journalist and filmmaker based in Columbia, Missouri.
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