Cecily Burt is a staff writer with the Oakland Tribune, a metropolitan daily in the San Francisco Bay Area. She covers city government, including the recent election of Oakland’s first woman and first Asian-American mayor, and the Port of Oakland, the fifth-busiest container port in the country. She has also covered the health, science, courts, and Berkeley beats. She is a participant in the Chauncey Bailey Project, a consortium of journalists from different media organizations who investigated the murder of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey. She graduated with a degree in journalism from San Francisco State University in 1992. She is married and enjoys biking, hiking, camping and running around with her dog, Lexie. She is a huge SF Giants fan and can’t wait for them to win another World Series.
Debra Douglass is the publisher and editor of the Woodlawn Villager Community Newspaper. She inherited the publication from The Security-Woodlawn Business Association in 2003. With her mother as co-editor, Debbie manages all of the day-to-day operations of The Villager, including content, layout and design, distribution, public relations, and administration. Her commitment to celebrating the wonders of the community has earned her and her publication countless awards and recognition for helping to improve the quality of life in Woodlawn and its surrounding neighborhoods. Prior to this assignment, Debbie was employed for 15 years at the Social Security Administration headquarters in various positions, the past seven years as a visual information specialist. She resigned in 1991 to become a stay-at-home mother. As a full-time student majoring in urban arts at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Debbie has just completed a semester of study abroad at the Marchutz School of Art in Aix en Provence, southern France. Her son and daughter are college students as well. Debbie is divorced and lives in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Kimiko Fieg-Peterson works as a presentation editor at the Victoria Advocate, overseeing an eight-member copy editors/page designer desk. She is in charge of daily visual presentation of the paper. She has redesigned the paper twice in the past three years. Before joining the Victoria Advocate in 2007, she worked as a graphic artist/page designer at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times for 23 years. She has received recognition from numerous organizations, including Texas APME, Island Newspaper and Katie awards given by the Dallas Press Club. She was born in Japan and came to the United States when she was in high school as an AFS exchange student for one year. She returned in 1979 as a student at the State University of New York, Oneonta, graduating with a fine arts degree. She lives in Victoria, Texas, with her husband, Brooks; two dogs; a cat; and five cars (some classic, some old-timer, some utilitarian).
Sundra Hominik is a multimedia journalist who works with small central Virginia newspapers and their websites, including the Henrico Citizen/henricocitizen.com. She produces stories and digital photos for print and online content, such as video projects, and uses social media to promote the content. Sundra has worked as a journalist in broadcasting, print and online for more than 25 years. As a senior editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2007-2011, she helped develop digital/online content, including a weekly business e-newsletter with embedded video and an online video program promoting the newspaper’s enterprise projects. She also helped develop and guide the paper’s social media strategy and administered its Facebook and Twitter accounts. A Tennessee native, she has also lived in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina and now Virginia. Sundra enjoys spending time with her husband trying to tame the wooded area surrounding their rural home, listening to music and shopping.
Jason Lantz is the production editor at the Idaho Statesman, where he directs a staff of copy editors, designers and artists who help produce the daily newspaper, IdahoStatesman.com, multiple special sections and magazines. He’s been at the Statesman since 2002. During his tenure, he’s been the assistant sports editor, outdoors editor and breaking news assigning editor — often serving in multiple roles at the same time. He also spent seven years as a copy editor and page designer at The Billings (Mont.) Gazette.
Sheryl Marsh is the courthouse beat reporter covering county government and the judicial system for The Decatur Daily in Decatur, Ala. Her specialty is investigative reporting, and she has consistently uncovered corruption among public officials, which resulted in some losing their jobs or going to jail. Sheryl grew up in Talladega, Ala., and worked at The Daily Home there for 22 years before accepting the position at The Decatur Daily in 1998. Sheryl has won numerous Alabama Associated Press and Alabama Press Association awards, including Freedom of Information, Community Service, Investigative Reporting and First Amendment.
Mike Odom covers city government, writes features and takes photos for the twice-weekly Fairhope Courier, one of six small papers linked by a common website and owned by Gulf Coast Newspapers in Baldwin County, Ala. Six years ago, he shifted careers to journalism from law, where he worked mainly in the public interest sector, including the successful prosecution of the first state environmental criminal case tried to a jury in Alabama. Before joining the Courier in 2007, Odom was a staff writer for the Navarre Press, an independent weekly in northwest Florida. He has taught newspaper reporting at the University of West Florida and writing at the University of South Alabama, where he expects to finish a master’s in English in December 2011, which he started before law school more than 30 years ago; his creative nonfiction thesis in progress is called “Slow Learner.”
Amity Paye is assistant to the publisher and web editor at the New York Amsterdam News, one of the oldest ethnic papers in the country. She began her work with the Amsterdam News as an assistant editor and headed the paper’s website redesign while in her last semester at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University studying magazine journalism. Before joining the Amsterdam News, Amity was managing editor at Urbane Perspective Media & Lifestyle, an online magazine for minority women, and interned at various print magazines, including Redbook and Time Out New York Kids.
Rahel Solomon was recently hired as a staff writer for the Black Professionals News community newspaper. The paper reaches 15,000 and covers Philadelphia, Delaware and South Jersey. Solomon graduated in 2010 from St. John’s University with a B.S. in finance. She was chosen as a participant for the 2011 Poynter Fellowship for College Journalists. She resides in Philadelphia and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Michael Thompson is the assistant editor of the Portage Daily Register in Wisconsin. He joined the staff two years ago with the aim of building a video journalism program for the newspaper. In addition to training co-workers in the use of multimedia tools, he designs news pages, edits reporters’ work, maintains the Daily Register’s Facebook page, contributes an occasional reader interaction column and contributes news stories and photos. Before coming to Portage, Michael worked on newspaper copy desks; he was news editor of the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo., and of The Ann Arbor News in Michigan before it closed in 2009. He started his journalism career with a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund copy editing internship and has worked in seven newsrooms, at newspapers ranging in circulation size from 5,000 to well over 100,000.
Scott Waltman is the county government, courts and political reporter for the American News, a 15,000-circulation daily newspaper in his hometown of Aberdeen, S.D. He started at the American News in 2000 after working as a sports editor at the Black Hills Pioneer and the Mobridge Tribune. Both are smaller South Dakota newspapers. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 1996 with a major in journalism and a minor in history. He’s covered a wide variety of topics, ranging from children’s sports to presidential visits. At the American News, he’s helped expand online content and coverage. In his spare time, he enjoys music, sports, reading, outdoors activities, nearly anything social and attempting to corral his cat, Rilo.
Morgan Young graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in print journalism and a minor in creative writing from West Virginia University in 2011. Being a product of the Washington, D.C., area it was easy for Young to develop a love for national politics, but her participation in WVU’s digital journalism project, WV Uncovered, deepened her appreciation for the power of local politics and multimedia. Young is 21 years old and works as a reporter for the Chambersburg, Pa., newspaper Public Opinion. As a self-described news junkie and food addict, Young enjoys staring at Twitter and Google News while eating a good meal.