By:
September 29, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Sept. 29, 2020) – The Poynter Institute is pleased to announce the third of three classes selected for its sixth annual Leadership Academy for Women in Media. This elite group of 26 women will convene online Oct. 4-9, 2020, and in person in 2021. They join a network of more than 390 graduates who experience significant personal and professional transformation through the Poynter leadership program.

“I’ve been looking forward to bringing together this inspiring group of founders, producers, directors and editors since they were selected in January, and I know 2020 has hurled unfamiliar challenges at them in the intervening months,” said Samantha Ragland, lead faculty of the women’s leadership academy. “So, I offer an enthusiastic and heartfelt welcome to the final cohort of 2020. It’s never been a better time to meet and connect with your peers, level up, and reinvigorate your passion for a career in journalism. And that’s exactly what Poynter’s academy will do.”

Participants will receive one-on-one coaching from top media executives, learn practical advice on navigating newsroom culture and gain a deep understanding of what it takes to successfully lead today’s news and media organizations. Interactive online sessions will cover creating space for diverse talent, defeating imposter syndrome, advocating for yourself and others, building community and handling burnout and anxiety.

“Training leaders who understand the need to represent the increasing diversity of their audience is urgent,” said Doris Truong, Poynter director of training and diversity. “This is the second leadership academy Poynter will host online. I’m proud that we have been able to translate Poynter magic in a digital space and provide the support this cohort deserves to create a more equitable and inclusive space in their organizations.”

Charo Henríquez, editor, newsroom development and support at The New York Times, will kick off the academy with an exclusive keynote address. She is an expert in digital journalism, product, workflow and systems; she is also a faculty alum of the 2016 program.

The other instructors joining Ragland, Truong and Henríquez are:

  • Alicia Bell, news voices organizing manager, Free Press
  • Cheryl Carpenter, leadership faculty, Poynter
  • Malia Griggs, commerce editor, SELF
  • Kristen Hare, editor, Locally
  • Katie Hawkins-Gaar, founder, Digital Women Leaders
  • Kelly McBride, senior vice president and ethics chair, Poynter

“My time in Poynter’s program helped me understand that I am not alone, that we all feel like imposters sometimes, that we face similar challenges in our newsrooms and in balancing work with life, especially when work is life,” said Griggs, a graduate of the 2019 Poynter Leadership Academy for Women. “Having the perspective of a community of peers I trust is invaluable — now more than ever before. So, I’m excited to meet this group and talk to them about burning out and how to manage it. It’s a work in progress, and I couldn’t do it myself without the support of my own cohort.”

In addition to attending online workshops, participants will also be invited to digital social hours taught by graduates of the program, such as chair yoga with The Penny Hoarder’s Sushil Cheema.

Meet the October 2020 cohort

The 26 women in the October cohort come from all over the United States as well as from Canada. They were selected by a committee of graduates and Poynter faculty, with an emphasis to ensure diversity across ethnicity, geography, technology platforms, organization size and skill sets.

Poynter is pleased to welcome the following members of the upcoming Leadership Academy for Women in Media:

Alissa Ambrose
Director of Photography and Multimedia
STAT
@alissa_ambrose

Katie Brumbeloe
Digital Coach
Gazette
@katiebrumbeloe

Jen Christensen
Producer/Writer
CNN.com and CNN
@jechristensen

Elaine Clark
News Director
KUER
@elaineclarkday

Lauren Colley
Senior Editor, Digital
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
@LolaZabeth

Vianna Davila
Investigative Reporter
ProPublica
@viannadavila

Stacey Decker
Deputy Managing Editor for Digital
Education Week
@staceyrdecker

Emilia Diaz-Struck
Research Editor
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Jin Ding
Program Manager
International Women’s Media Foundation
@jinkding

Becca Greenfield
Team Leader, Diversity Team
Bloomberg News
@rzgreenfield

Emanuella Grinberg
Field Producer
Court TV
@grinsli

Vicky Ho
Deputy Editor/Online
Anchorage Daily News
@hovicky

Rose Hoban
Founder, Editor, Legislative Reporter
NC Health News
@rosehoban

Katie Jensen
Principal & Executive Producer
Vocal Fry Studios
@katiejensen

Ashley Kang
Executive Director
South Side Newspaper Project, Inc. publishing The Stand Newspaper
@Ashley_E_Kang

Tara McCarty
Designer
The Washington Post
@tmac0201

Kristin McCudden
Managing Editor
Freedom of the Press Foundation
@TrackerKK

Maureen Mitra
Editor
Earth Island Journal
@idratherbeacat

Iza Montalvo
Media and Communications Executive, The Olán Group, LLC
Radio Host, iHeart Radio
@izamontalvonews

Jessica Naudziunas
Managing Editor, Video
ABC NEWS
@JNAUZ

Nathalie Nieves
Associate Producer
CBS News
@NNievesCBS

Beth Rakouskas
Creative Director
Science Magazine/AAAS
@bethrak

Abby Rhoad
Visual Editor
LNP | LancasterOnline
@abby_beatles

Trish Rocha
Digital Executive Producer
KGET TV-17

Lydia Serota
Head of Content Experiences
Wall Street Journal
@lydiaserota

Elizabeth Shell
Senior Manager, Audience + Social Media Visuals
USA TODAY
@elizabeth_shell

The 2020 Poynter Leadership Academies for Women in Media are made possible in part by support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Gannett Foundation.

About The Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at newsrooms, conferences and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information literacy project for young people, first-time voters and senior citizens. The world’s top journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

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Mel Grau is the senior product specialist at The Poynter Institute, focusing on Poynter's training experiences and newsletters. She also edits The Cohort, Poynter’s biweekly…
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