March 5, 2019

Updated: March 13, 2019

This class of 30 women will come to Poynter from Finland, India, Kenya, South Africa and the United States for a week of intensive leadership training.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 5, 2019) – The Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, is pleased to announce the second of three classes selected for its fifth annual Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. This elite group of 30 women will join a network of more than 300 graduates who consistently report being transformed personally and professionally through the program.


Applicants to 2019 program


Women selected total


Distinct academies in 2019

“We’re so excited to welcome our next cohort of amazing female journalists,” said Doris Truong, Poynter director of training and diversity. “I look at these faces and I see the people who will guide journalism through challenges such as harassment and pay inequality. Our industry needs more women at the top, and this training will embolden 30 more women to be the change-makers we need.”

Poynter is hosting three distinct seminars again this year: the first concluded last week, the second will begin March 31, and the final will occur in October.

During Poynter’s weeklong program, participants receive one-on-one career 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 digital news organizations.

“We just wrapped up our first academy of 2019, and I couldn’t be much happier with how it turned out,” said Katie Hawkins-Gaar, the lead faculty for Poynter’s 2019 Leadership Academies for Women in Digital Media. “The guest faculty were honest and thought-provoking, the conversations throughout the week were challenging and enlightening; and, most importantly, the participants formed close connections and identified countless ways to support each other in their careers. I can’t wait to do it all again at the end of this month.”

Hawkins-Gaar will be joined by the following guest faculty members during the second academy:

  • Emma Carew Grovum, freelance journalist and project manager
  • Joy Mayer, director, Trusting News
  • Kat Downs Mulder, director of product, Washington Post
  • Destinée-Charisse Royal, senior staff editor, graphics, The New York Times
  • Gloria Riviera, correspondent, ABC News
  • Andrea Schneider, law professor, Marquette University Law School
  • Jennifer White, host of WBEZ’s The Morning Shift and the Making Oprah and Making Obama podcasts

Royal and Carew Grovum are both graduates of Poynter’s academy and will be returning as instructors. Poynter instructors Kelly McBride, Doris Truong, Cheryl Carpenter and Kristen Hare will also teach at the academy.

Meet the spring 2019 cohort

The women selected for the spring cohort are pioneers in digital media who have demonstrated an aptitude for leadership through current projects and references. They are selected by a committee of graduates of the program, 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 Digital Media:

Yirmiyan Arthur
Photo Editor
The Associated Press

Vanessa Barford
Senior Journalist

Mary Bowerman
Network Social Media Editor

Amber Burton
Junior Associate, Audience Development
The Wall Street Journal

Haley Correll
Manager of Social Media and Digital Strategy | The Times-Picayune

Cristina Daglas
Deputy Editor

Nancy DeVille
Digital Producer
YR Media

Megan Douglass
Newsroom Coordinator, Talent
The Wall Street Journal

N’Jeri Eaton
Deputy Director of Programming & New Audience

Maija Koski
Vauva & Meidän Perhe / Sanoma Media Finland

Jasmine Lee
Graphics Editor
The New York Times

Robyn Malcolm
Copy Chief

Tianna Mañón
Open Mic Rochester

Maggie McNeary
Deputy Online Editor
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Mariecar Mendoza
Senior Digital Arts Editor
San Francisco Chronicle

Mollie Muchna
Digital Engagement Editor
Arizona Daily Star

Erin Peterson
Executive Producer

Jenna Pirog
Senior Director, Video & Immersive Experiences
National Geographic Partners

Christie Post
Supervising Producer & Host
The Penny Hoarder

Cristina del Mar Quiles
Co-founder, Web Editor and Reporter

Mpho Raborife
Night News Editor

Erin Reynolds
Audience Engagement Specialist

Ginny Romney
Senior Web Producer
Deseret News

Lily Ronoh-Waweru
Editor and Team Leader
Parents Magazine

Katie Sanders

Katie Sanders
Managing Editor

Dayana Sarkisova
Deputy Editor, SB Nation
Vox Media

Megha Satyanarayana
Senior Editor
Chemical & Engineering News

Mallorie Sullivan
Audience Engagement Specialist
Dallas Morning News

Kate Travis
Digital Director
Science News Magazine

Rachel Wise
Regional Video Editor & Video Trainer

More Poynter resources for women in media

In addition to teaching three times more women in 2018 and 2019 through the signature leadership academy, Poynter brought back The Cohort newsletter in 2018. The third iteration of The Cohort launched today with a new structure that prioritizes diversity, featuring voices from different women in digital media every other week.

Hawkins-Gaar also founded, a platform that facilitates female mentorship within the digital media industry. More than 75 graduates from Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media and ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator volunteer time on their calendars to coach women on topics like navigating start-up culture, managing remote teams, planning career changes and more — for free.

“Newsrooms do better journalism when they reflect the communities they serve. The newsrooms that do the best job have diversity throughout the entire organization, including in the executive suites,” said Kelly McBride senior vice president and Chair of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter. “That’s why Poynter has expanded the work we do in service of journalists of color and women. By strengthening journalists who can bring diverse experiences to newsroom leadership, Poynter elevates all of journalism”

The 2019 Poynter Leadership Academies for Women in Digital Media are made possible in part through support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, McClatchy Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Gannett Foundation and WordPress.

Applications for the 2020 Leadership Academies for Women in Digital Media will open in November 2019.


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 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 teen digital information literacy project. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to 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 previously edited The Cohort, Poynter’s biweekly…
Mel Grau

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