Meet the Crew

These folks work behind the scenes to make Homework Hotline happen every day!  You might not see them from behind the camera or in the control suite but they are busy working hard to make sure you get to see the show! Meet the crew of Homework Hotline:


Lisa Famiglietti

Producer of Homework Hotline

My name is Lisa Famiglietti and I am the producer of Homework Hotline. This is my fourth season producing Hotline and my sixth season working on the show. As a producer, I am busy trying to stay one step ahead of everyone during the show. I help the host teachers figure out which questions to do on-air and what to say. I make sure the crew knows what is going on that night, such as what segment is airing. I also plan out the timing of the show, write scripts, and work on our website. I also edit a lot of segments that you might see on the show.

I started working on Homework Hotline while I was a student at St. John Fisher College (whoop, whoop) in Rochester, New York. I started out as an intern running camera, answering the phones, and floor managing. At the end of my internship I was hired on as a  production assistant for WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester, New York. WXXI Public Broadcasting is the station that produces and broadcasts Hotline to you. I have also spent some time working in New York City, but returned back to Rochester because I missed the crew so much.

My favorite part of Homework Hotline is working with the amazing crew!  Our crew works hard every day to make sure that Hotline is on air for you every night. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that you guys at home don’t get to see. None of this could be done without the crew. And the teachers! The teachers come in to host Hotline after they have already taught a full day in the classroom.  As Craig Zaremba would say, these teachers are "fantastic!" But most importantly, this show would be nothing without you, the viewer! You guys are the ones who allow us to come into work every night. We enjoy getting your phone calls, emails, comments, and questions. You are the real super stars of the show! So go ahead and give yourself a high five. Yeah!


Kris Nestle

Production Manager for WXXI

I’m originally from Van Hornesville, NY, which is 15 miles north of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.  I attended Owen D. Young Central School and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. I have been working in television for 17 years with this current season being the 12th that I have directed Homework Hotline.  The part I enjoy most about Homework Hotline is that we are able to assist students with their homework from all over the Northeast and southern Ontario & Quebec, Canada because of our far reaching signal. In my spare time I love to root for my New York Yankees and Buffalo Bills, watch NASCAR (Go Dale Jr.!), ride snowmobiles, and barbeque and grill.  But above all else, I cherish the time I spend with my wife Alicia, daughter Rory and my beloved Chinook Bruno (dog).


Jason Milton


My name is Jason Milton and I am the director of Homework Hotline. This is my second season working as the full time director and my 9th season working on the show. I started working on Hotline as an intern while I was completing my Bachelor’s degree of Communications at SUNY Brockport and was hired as a Production Assistant after my internship. In the years to follow I was able to work in every crew position on the show before I started directing. I have always enjoyed working on Hotline as the live aspect creates a lot of excitement and our crew is top notch!

While I’m not behind the director’s chair I spend my time writing and performing music with my band, The Demos, traveling, and trying to spend as much time outdoors as I can! 


Chris Golding

Assistant Director

My name is Chris Golding. I have worked as Assistant Director on Homework Hotline for 15 years. I help build the graphics for the show and am one of the operators that make them appear every night. The show is a proud part of my life and I am lucky to work with such a fine crew. 

When I'm not working I enjoy playing my drums and spending time with my three young boys. Here is a picture of me with my 2 youngest boys Sawyer and Chase. They love bubbles!


Tom Dooley


Hi, I’m Tom and I’m a producer here at WXXI.  I started working at WXXI in October of 2013 and am responsible for producing both long-form documentaries as well as shorter segments like the ones you see on Homework Hotline.

In my personal life, I love traveling and living in other countries.  When I was in high school I was an exchange student in Argentina for a full year and lived with an Argentine family.  Ever since then, I haven’t been able to stop traveling.  In college I studied Cultural Anthropology and spent my whole junior year living abroad.  I’ve made it a goal to go to a different country for every year I’m alive!  So far I’ve been to 36 countries on 5 different continents!  I’m also a photographer and I love to take pictures when I travel.  I even have my Master’s degree in International Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.


Robert Braden

Production Engineer

My name is Robert J. Braden, and I do Audio Production and Sound Design for Homework Hotline as well as many other TV/Radio shows here at WXXI. This is my first season working on the show. I went to school for audio engineering here in upstate NY. I also went to a music conservatory in California. My past experience includes audio engineering, directing, and producing for all kinds of broadcast productions including TV, documentaries, commercials, and radio. I have also produced, written, and performed many music and sound effect scores.


When I'm not working I enjoy playing guitar/music, practicing Tibetan Buddhism, and volunteering with endangered wolf/animal rescue and sanctuary along with traveling.


Mikhail (Mike) Gershteyn

Production Engineer

Also known as "The Mad Russian". I was born and raised in the former Soviet Union, what is now Ukraine, and immigrated into the United States 15 years ago. My career in television started over 20 years ago back in my country with work in movies, TV production, and advertisement and continued in the USA 14 years ago, when I start working at WXXI-TV. I have spent most of my time working on Homework Hotline as a camera operator, segment producer, and, in the last 5-7 years, as a Master Control Operator.

My responsibilities on Homework Hotline include recording video packages (book reviews, zoophily, etc.) to our production server so the director can use them for air during the show. I'm also responsible for adjusting and balancing lights and colors on our studio cameras. I also record the show and make sure it gets distributed across New York State to other public television stations. It’s great to be a part of the production crew for a show that helps kids with their homework and learn about different aspects of life, here and around the world.


Rob Kriegel

Production Engineer

I've been working in broadcast television and radio for most of the last 17 years, 13 of which have been with WXXI. I've worked on Homework Hotline for 11 of those 13 years.

I work in the operations and engineering department of WXXI as a master control operator (MCO).  My duties as a MCO include monitoring all incoming and outgoing satellite signals needed for broadcast on all of our various television channels.  My responsibilities on Homework Hotline include dubbing video packages (book reviews, zoophily, etc.) to our production server so the director can use them on-air during the show.  I'm also responsible for adjusting the light and dark balance on our studio cameras - this is called chipping and shading.  My last duty is to record the show as it airs and to save it to our archive so that it can be played back in the future on other channels such as City 12, which only airs in the City of Rochester. My favorite parts of the show are the various video packages used throughout the week.


Hayley Barber 

Production Assistant

Hayley Barber is new to our WXXI family. After interning on Homework Hotline she new it was good fit for her. She excited for the changes of Homework Hotline and can't wait to get started. She will being getting the full experience with working camera and floor managing and even some new tasks. She's ready to put all hands on deck and drive into the fun here at WXXI. Besides working at WXXI Hayley is a hard working college student who is ready to work in the field of video production. 


Lindsey Brown

Production Assistant

I have worked in TV/Radio Broadcast Communications for 13 years.  I’ve worked with WXXI for 7 years at first as an operations technician and currently as a production assistant.  I love when kids get psyched about their homework, they aren’t kidding!  When I'm not at work, I spend a lot of the time writing, practicing yoga, listening to music, dancing around to music and tring to create.


Katie Epner

Production Assistant

Hi, I’m Katie! This is my first season working on Homework Hotline, and I’m psyched! Creating videos has been my #1 passion since I first picked up the family camcorder way back when. From then on, I’ve never not been working on a project. As always, I’m looking forward to learning from this experience and working together with the crew to make the new season the best yet!

When I’m not filming for WXXI or working on my own projects, I like to be as active as possible. Hiking, kayaking and skateboarding keep me busy in the summer; and skiing and snowboarding are my obsessions in the winter. With any extra time between all of that, I love watching movies. Some of my favorites are: Labyrinth (1986) and Catch Me If You Can (2002). Outside of the movie itself, I like to research how it came about. Under IMDb’s “Trivia” section you can find a ton of cool facts about a movie, ranging from auditions all the way to editing. If you like movies offscreen as much as on, check this out!

Finally, I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of the team, here at WXXI. For anyone else who dreams of working in the exciting and creative world of communications, my advice is to never let anything stop you. There are so many incredible resources out there, from the Internet to within your community, that can help you not only reach your goals, but surpass them beyond expectations. Stay positive, reach out, and never stop chasing that dream!  


Chelsea Newton

Production Assistant

Hi, I’m Chelsea! I’m a production assistant at WXXI and am super excited for this season of Homework Hotline! I studied documentary video production and sociology at SUNY Fredonia, and spent a semester in Ireland as an intern during my senior year. I LOVE to travel and experience new cultures. I also enjoy hiking, camping, and really anything that involves sunshine! In my spare time I also really enjoy photography and working on personal projects. My favorite part about working on Hotline is getting to see the whole crew on a daily basis – I love the energy everyone has, and we always have fun! 


Alyssa Rodriguez

Production Assistant

Alyssa leads a double life: she's a professional fiddle player and a TV/radio extraordinaire. She interned at WXXI in Classical 91.5 FM about a year ago and fell in love with WXXI. She's very excited to be a part of Homework Hotline, and when she's not running cameras or operating sound boards at WXXI, she's hosting a radio show on contemporary classical music at WAYO 104.3 FM. 


Brandon Schoepfel

Production Assistant

Hello my name is Brandon. I have been working as a production assistant at WXXI for a little over a year now. My jobs for Homework Hotline include assistant directing, working camera, floor managing, editing and the list goes on. In the future I hope to direct the show. I am looking forward to another fun season of Homework Hotline especially with the new changes we have made this year! Outside of work I enjoy playing basketball, playing the guitar and fishing. 


Kat Schwartz

Production Assistant

Kat Schwarz is from the finger lakes in upstate NY! She works as a production assistant for WXXI TV which means she runs camera, TelePrompTer and the audio board among other things! She is very excited to be a part of Homework Hotline especially with all the new changes happening this season! "WXXI and Homework Hotline create a fun and creative work environment; I'm very lucky to work alongside contributing members of our community every day!"


Zaida Souissi

Production Assistant

I have worked for WXXI over the past two years as a production assistant. My role for Homework Hotline changes weekly from operating a camera, assisting on the phones, helping on a video segments, to transcribing. I really enjoy operating the cameras, especially when I get to do the opening shot.

As a production assistant I help out around all our studios. I help with lighting, setting up a studio for an event or show, or assisting on-location shoots.

Outside of WXXI I enjoy watching movies, taking photos, and traveling.


Allen Thomas

Production Assistant

My name is Allen Thomas and i'm a production assistant here at WXXI. I grew up watching Homework Hotline so I was very excited to become a part of the show. I graduated From St. John Fisher College with a focus in video and broadcast production. In my free time i love to both listen to and write music. I''m also a big movie fan and go out to see as many films as i can. My favorite part about working on Homework Hotline is hanging out with the great crew around me and putting on good show for all of you to enjoy!


Max Waldt

Production Assistant

Hello, my name is Max, I am a musician, programmer, student and avid techy. I have always enjoyed taking things apart to see how they work on the inside which eventually led to me finding a passion in audio and sound production. Computers have also been a huge part of my life since I was very young, because of this I am currently studying computer science in a hopes to tie it in with my audio background. I always enjoy learning new things and tackling a challenging problem head on.