Stephanie Colombini

Veterans and Military Issues Reporter

Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's public affairs show. She's also a reporter for WUSF's Health News Florida project.

Stephanie was born and raised just outside New York City. She graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx, where she got her start in radio at NPR member station WFUV in 2012. In addition to reporting and anchoring, Stephanie helped launch the news department's first podcast series, Issues Tank.

Prior to joining WUSF, Stephanie spent a year reporting for CBS Radio's flagship station WCBS Newsradio 880 in Manhattan. Her assignments included breaking news stories such as the 2016 bombings in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood and Seaside Park, N.J. and political campaigns.

Her work in feature reporting and podcast production has earned her awards from the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the Alliance for Women in Media.

While off the clock, you might catch Stephanie at a rock concert, on a fishing boat or anywhere that serves delicious food.

Ways to Connect

Maureen Sevilla, Chief of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Clinic on Fort Bragg, hosts a game of 'STI Jeopardy' for a small group of soldiers. It's one way health officials are trying to make STI prevention training more relatable for young troops.
Krystle Burns / Fort Bragg Department of Public Health

Military health officials say troops are engaging in more high-risk sexual behavior, and part of the reason might be the popularity of smartphone dating apps.
 


Shawn Campbell helps Justin Herris get back on the boat after a dive at the Circle of Heroes military memorial off the coast of Clearwater, Fla.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

A growing number of programs try to treat PTSD by getting veterans into nature, even deep under the sea. But there's little scientific evidence that treatments like "scuba therapy" work.

More than 500,000 American veterans were exposed to nuclear weapons tests from the 1940s to the early 1990s. These so-called “atomic veterans” were not permitted to speak about their participation in the tests until 1996 when the Nuclear Radiation and Secrecy Agreements Laws were repealed. Now the veterans who were exposed to the radiation from the weapons program will be offered a certificate marking their contribution.

Observers watch an explosion during Operation Hardtack in 1958. 35 nuclear tests were conducted in the Pacific, exposing troops to radiation.
Nevada National Security Site

The new certificate recognizes as many as 550,000 veterans who were exposed to nuclear weapons tests between 1945 and 1992. But the certificates leave a lot of atomic veterans underwhelmed.

Army veteran Mike Monthervil (left) uses an adaptive controller to play video games as his VA recreational therapist Jamie Kaplan watches.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

Some VA medical centers have realized that helping vets get back in the game can also help with their recovery.

Therapist Keith Smith demonstrates virtual reality equipment at the University of Central Florida. Smith uses virtual reality to help treat veterans' post traumatic stress disorder.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

The University of Central Florida is using virtual reality to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. It's worked well enough that the Pentagon will fund similar programs elsewhere.

Wildlife biologist Kory McLellan shoots off pyrotechnics to scare birds away from the airfield at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
Mariette Adams / U.S. Air Force

Fireworks, drones, and habitat relocation projects are among the ways that Air Force biologists are fighting the expensive and potentially deadly problem of bird strikes.