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Campus remembers mass comm. student as ‘friendly guy’

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Joey Puskedra, 22, a senior majoring mass communications at CSU-Pueblo, died Sunday, Sept. 12.

Puskedra is survived by his daughter, Sasha Marie Sober; his parents, Dave and Teresa Puskedra; brothers, Luke and Rob; grandmother, Eileen Puskedra and grandfather, Merle Joseph Schrodt. He is preceded in death by his grandmother, Martha Marie Schrodt, and grandfather, Matt Puskedra.

Puskedra was attending CSU-Pueblo on a Western University Exchange Leadership scholarship. During his time at CSU-Pueblo, Puskedra also served as an ambassador for the International Student program office, and worked for the Colorado National Parks as a crew leader for the Colorado Legends and Legacy Youth Corps.

Joey Puskedra

 As a writer for CSU-Pueblo TODAY, Puskedra wrote news and feature stories, and assisted with editing video for online. He also served on the art committee, and won awards for collages he created. Additionally, Puskedra studied film work at the Mahidol University near Bangkok, Thailand, where he produced and directed a sitcom pilot for Thailand television.

 In an e-mail to the campus, Cora Zaletel, director of External Affairs, said, “Joey was a very charismatic individual who loved people. His smile and sense of humor were contagious. He had an extraordinary ability to put people at ease.”

Students and faculty said they are shocked at the death of Puskedra. He was a personable individual, they said, and was well liked by everyone with whom he came in contact.

Jennifer Mullen, who chairs the mass communications and center for new media department, said, “I advised Joey each semester and found him to be a soft spoken and gentle person.”

Leticia Steffen, an associate professor with the mass communications and center for new media department and adviser for CSU-Pueblo TODAY, described Puskedra as a skillful editor. Puskedra was enrolled in Steffen’s feature writing class this semester.

 “One of the things Joey really enjoyed was video editing, and he helped the TODAY out many times over the past year when we were in a pinch for video-editing help,” Steffen said. “He also had lots of creative ideas, and I was looking forward to reading more about his international travels in his feature writings. Joey will be missed by many in the department.”

 DaMarkus James, who is features editor for CSU-Pueblo TODAY, said Puskedra was someone who contributed ideas and joined in discussions, and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind in class.

“I met him a few times and he was really sociable,” James said.

Puskedra was born in Ogden, Utah, on Dec. 8, 1987, and graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School. He loved sports and in high school participated in basketball, soccer and track. He participated on the Advantage Competition Traveling Soccer team and was an all-state high school player.

 Puskedra loved music and performed in his high school band, “Split to Differ.” He also was the lead singer and drummer for the band “Soothing Dissonance.”

 Donations can be made to St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School or St. Joseph Catholic High School through the Mortuary, 836 36th Street, Ogden, Utah. You can send online condolences to www.leavttsmortuary.com.