Election Integrity Fellow
Lauryn Azu is a junior at UW-Madison double majoring in journalism and Latin American, Caribbean, & Iberian Studies with a certificate in digital studies. She also serves as copy editor for The Black Voice. This summer she interned remotely with the Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy Institute at the University of Notre Dame as their audience engagement editor. She’s interested in studying media literacy, technology, ethics, and finding creative ways to tell stories that matter.
Bashir Aden is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a senior at UW-Madison studying journalism and communications arts with a certificate in Digital studies. He is interested in reporting on the nuances of digital media and culture, as well as an interest in visual storytelling. His focus is on investigating the growing social, economic and political influence of the internet and digital culture on our present lives. He works as a podcast editor for the UW-Madison’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and is the current art director for EMMIE Magazine.
Dana Brandt is a senior at UW-Madison studying journalism and English. She is interested in investigative and community reporting and has previously worked at The Daily Cardinal as college news editor and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as an investigative intern. When she’s not reading or writing, Dana can be found listening to music or painting.
Shadid Curriculum Fellow
Luke Daniel Cross is a Ph.D. student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication engaged in political communication and mass communication ethics research. He earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in journalism, both from University of South Florida. His academic interests are centered around transnational electoral information and political communication ethics. (Website: lukedanielcross.github.io/)
Elizabeth Lang is a Costa Rican journalist and a graduate student pursuing her journalism master’s at the SJMC from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She’s specializing in arts and culture by exploring how this discipline responds to a nation’s social, political and economic systems. In Costa Rica she was an Assistant Editor and Reporter for a local news media called The Tico Times. She also published her stories with Costa Rican media La Nación, DelfinoCR, and the NGO SIFAIS. Currently, she’s the only Costa Rican, Central American and Latin American in her cohort.
Abigail Steinberg is a senior at UW-Madison pursuing a degree in political science and journalism. She is interested in the First Amendment and how its freedoms influence civic discourse. Steinberg spent the fall of 2019 interning for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs. Currently, she serves as the Managing Editor of The Badger Herald and as a communications intern with the Madison Public Library Foundation.
Isaac Alter graduated from UW-Madison in December of 2019 with a double major in journalism and political science. While in Madison he interned with State Senator Lena Taylor, UW–Madison Campus and Visitor Relations and madison.com, where he continues to work. He also has interned at CNN as a member of the show team for CNN Right Now.
Shezad Baloch is a graduate student UW-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a teaching assistant for the class Introduction to Mass Communication. Previously, he worked for The Express Tribune, one of Pakistan’s English-language newspapers published in collaboration with The New York Times. He also worked for UNICEF as a media consultant and for PTV-Bolan, a state-run Pakistani television network, as a host of a political and current affairs show. He holds a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Baluchistan and a certificate in journalism in the digital world from the International Academy of Journalism (Intajour) in Hamburg, Germany. He reported from Pakistan’s troubled region of Baluchistan for 8 years.
Cadence Bambenek is a writer, fact-checker and researcher most interested in how science and technology intersect with power and culture. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Cadence previously interned at Wisconsin State Journal, Business Insider and Psychology Today. She now regularly fact- checks for outlets including Popular Science, Science News, Spectrum and The Pew Charitable Trusts on topics ranging from ecology to autism to finance to archaeology to space. In September 2019, Cadence brought her writing and research interests to INCITE, a social science research center at Columbia University, where she works across myriad projects.
Meagan Doll is a communication researcher with professional backgrounds in journalism, higher education administration, and African studies. She is currently an MA/PhD student in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her research interests include journalism, political violence, and media effects. She received her BA in journalism from UW-Madison in 2016 and served as the assistant director of the African Studies Program at UW-Madison between 2016-2019. Meagan’s reporting experience includes positions with MediaShift, a former PBS affiliate, The Sun and Country Messenger newspapers in northwestern Wisconsin, and a 2015 project in south central Uganda investigating local maternal health challenges.
Morgan Grunow is from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and is a senior at UW-Madison studying journalism with a certificate in environmental studies. Morgan is interested in telling stories related to the environment, especially those that elevate voices often silenced as a result of environmental injustice. She is the vice chair of the Associated Students of Madison and enjoys spending time outdoors.
Jack Kelly is a graduate journalism student at
Northwestern University‘s Medill School of Journalism. He is pursuing his master’s in media innovation and entrepreneurship, and is focused on building and growing sustainable media companies. Jack previously worked as an intern with Wisconsin Health News, and held a variety of positions with UW-Madison’s student newspaper, The Daily Cardinal.
Claudia Meyer-Samargia graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2019 as a Journalism and Communication Arts double major. She was a fellow with the center during her senior year, focusing on the ethics of news organizations covering their own harassment scandals. She currently works at NBC News in their public relations department working on all things TODAY, Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press and Dateline.
Jenna Mytton graduated from UW–Madison in spring 2018 with a bachelor of arts in journalism. Post- graduation, she moved to the east side of Madison to start a career in social media marketing and strategy at Ideas That Evoke, where she currently works as an account executive. Outside of work her time is devoted to her new puppy, Frankie.
Camille Paskind is currently working at Wilson Dow Group, an event agency in Chicago, as a production assistant. She helps produce cruise ship naming ceremonies, product launches and other exciting event for companies around the world. She graduated from UW-Madison in May 2018, majoring in journalism with focuses on reporting and strategic communication and received certificates in French language and leadership. She misses Madison and tries to visit as much as she can, but is happy that her new apartment is walking distance to Wrigley Field.
Ben Pickman is currently a news writer/producer at Sports Illustrated. He also helps in general NBA coverage and has previously produced multiple social video series, produced additional videos pertaining to the news of the day and worked on a documentary currently in development. Prior to that, he interned at CNN Sports where he wrote stories for CNN.com (http://cnn.com/) and helped produce CNN’s sports TV hits. The 2018 UW-Madison graduate double- majored in history and journalism, receiving the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Baughman Senior Achievement Award. While at UW–Madison, he covered multiple athletics programs for the Daily Cardinal.
Steven Potter began his reporting career in Milwaukee but now lives in his hometown of Madison. Now a producer for The Morning Show on Wisconsin Public Radio, he has been a freelance reporter for many years where his work regularly appeared in Isthmus, Madison Magazine, Discover magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and many other publications around the state. A graduate student at UW–Madison, he’s pursuing a master’s degree in journalism with a focus on multimedia reporting and data visualization.
Ellie Spadaccini is a junior at UW-Madison pursuing a degree in journalism and Spanish. She is specifically interested in K-12 education reporting as well as covering local arts, culture and media scenes. She is lllumination Journal’s marketing manager and works as an assembly intern at the state capitol.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Francisco found his passion for storytelling anywhere he could find the truth. He is influenced by his Southern and Central American upbringing. As he aspires to develop his own skills of storytelling, he is driven to widen people’s understanding of their placement in the world, and their integral part, within it. He is a senior majoring in journalism and anthropology with a certificate in Chican@/Latin@ Studies.
Luke Verdecchia is a senior at UW-Madison, pursuing a degree in journalism and Spanish. He is interested in investigative reporting, specifically in stories that uncover corporate corruption and/or misconduct. Other career interests include graphic design and photography. He is currently the Wisconsin State Director for Campus Election Engagement Project, a national nonpartisan project that works with colleges and universities to engage their students in federal, state and local elections.
Yidong (Steven) Wang is a PhD student at UW– Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He does research on media ecology, social change, and queer communities. He has a bachelor’s degree in international journalism from Hong Kong Baptist University. As a Center fellow, he wrote about the ethical issues in journalistic coverage of cannabis.
Natalie earned a master’s degree in journalism from the UW-Madison and is a reporter and podcast producer at The Capital Times. Her work has been published by Wisconsin Watch, WWNO-FM, Scalawag, Columbia Journalism Review and the New York Times. In a previous life, she trained as a Spanish-English interpreter and supported adult students pursuing high school equivalencies. She’s a proud alum of Listening Post New Orleans and her college radio station, KDVS 90.3 in Davis, California.