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A free summer seminar for experienced high school journalism advisers


Joshua HatchJoshua Hatch is the Director for Digital Products at The Chronicle of Higher Education and Chronicle of Philanthropy where he has also served as Assistant Managing Editor, Digital, and Senior Editor of Data and Interactives. Prior to joining the Chronicle, Hatch worked at the Sunlight Foundation and was the interactives director and a multimedia producer at USA Today. Joshua was awarded the 2018 Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT, served eight years on the board of directors for the Online News Association, including two as president, and teaches online journalism at American University. He grew up in Kent, Ohio, and as the son of parents who taught and attended Kent State, has close ties to the university.


Tasha StewartTasha Stewart is the senior manager of engagement and next-generation content at WCPO, Cincinnati’s ABC affiliate. In her role, she guides social strategy, manages content on alternative platforms such as Alexa and OTT, leads digital storytelling training, edits special projects and runs WCPO’s Instagram account, as well as helps run the newsroom each day. Prior to this position, she directed entertainment coverage for WCPO’s digital subscription initiative, working on projects ranging from longform comic journalism features to audio storytelling to an illustrated children’s book. She previously worked at The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Detroit News, and she was a member of the 2016 ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media.


Mike Reilley is an SPJ digital trainer who has taught Google News Initiative tools to more than 5,100 journalists and educators in the past three years. He also is co-founder of and trainer in the MediaShift Training Network and the founder of Penny Press Digital LLC, a consulting and training company. When he’s not on the road doing trainings, he teaches data and multimedia journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he is a visiting professor. A former reporter at the LA Times and web editor at the Chicago Tribune, Reilley served for 13 years as a faculty member at Northwestern, Arizona State University and DePaul University, teaching digital journalism to hundreds of students and professional journalists. He holds journalism degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (undergrad) and Northwestern University (master’s). He founded and updates the research site The Journalist’s Toolbox ( for SPJ and runs the Chicago data site, The Red Line Project (


Mandy Jenkins is a fellow in the 2018-19 class of the John S. Knight journalism fellowship program at Stanford University, where she is researching disinformation and audience trust. Prior to JSK, Jenkins was the Editor-in-Chief at Storyful, overseeing an editorial team that worked with newsrooms to find, verify and publish eyewitness media and social insights from around the world. Jenkins was previously managing editor of Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome national newsroom, which supported more than 200 local newspapers across the U.S. in producing digital journalism projects. Earlier in her career, Jenkins coordinated the OfftheBus citizen journalism program at Huffington Post Politics, taught social journalism at Georgetown University and worked as social media editor for Washington, D.C. local news startup TBD. Jenkins also held several digital news roles at the Cincinnati Enquirer and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of News Editors, and is President of the Online News Association. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Kent State University and currently resides in Mountain View, California. 


Sara Catania is director of journalism school partnerships for the Solutions Journalism Network. She teaches journalism at the University of Southern California, serves on the program committee for the JSK Journalism Fellowship, where she was a fellow, and supports the Online News Association Women’s Leadership Accelerator as a mentor and speaker. Her journalism experience includes digital leader and newsroom manager, grounded in years of editing, reporting and writing at a wide range of news outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Mother Jones, the LA Weekly and NBC.


Jan Leach is director of Kent’s Media Law Center for Ethics and Access. The Media Law Center annually hosts the Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop, which brings together media professionals, educators and students for debate about urgent ethics topics. Last year (2018), Leach taught and spoke about media ethics in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, and, in 2014, taught media ethics for a month in India. Before joining the faculty at Kent State, Leach was editor and vice president of the Akron Beacon Journal for five years. During her tenure, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists named the Beacon Journal “Best Newspaper in Ohio” three times. Leach has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in journalism with a concentration in media ethics from Kent State.


Rachel Dissell has been a reporter for The Plain Dealer since 2002 and has written investigative pieces that have led to changes in laws or policies and public perceptions. Her series with reporter Leila Atassi led to the testing of nearly 14,000 rape kits and the investigations of decades old cases that followed. Since then nearly 800 defendants in Cleveland have been indicted in previously unprosecuted rape cases.  Toxic Neglect, a series with colleague Brie Zeltner, exposed Cleveland’s poor track record for investigating when children were lead poisoned and sparked talk of solutions to reduce the problem. In 2015, Dissell was chosen as a Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma Ochberg Fellow and has received training in the neurobiology of trauma and trauma-informed interviewing and storytelling techniques and ethics. She occasionally teaches courses at Kent State University, her alma mater, about public affairs reporting and solutions journalism.


Kevin Necessary is the editorial cartoonist at WCPO in his home town of Cincinnati. He is a graduate of Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and has worked as a copy editor, graphic designer and illustrator at newspapers in Ohio and California. In addition to his editorial cartoons, Kevin writes and draws comic journalism stories for WCPO, and illustrated the children’s book “My Best Friend Fiona.”


Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. Her days begin before the sun comes up as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio’s sports scene. Last year, she started a weekly radio segment focusing on Northeast Ohio’s music scene, called Shuffle. Rabinowitz has been honored by the Radio-Television Digital News Association with a national Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting for her story about painkiller addiction in college sports. She’s also been recognized as “best anchor” by Associated Press of Ohio and has won awards from the Press Club of Cleveland, Ohio Professional Writers and the National Federation of Press Women. Rabinowitz got her master’s degree from The University of Akron. She teaches at Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and is the adviser for Kent State’s college radio station, Black Squirrel Radio.