Poynter Selects Participants for Two New Leadership Academies for Women in Digital Media

The additional classes help meet the growing demand for women’s leadership training in journalism

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 4, 2018) – The Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, is pleased to announce two more classes selected for the 2018 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. 

In the last three years, 81 rising women leaders participated in the Poynter Women’s Leadership Academy. In 2018 alone, Poynter will train more than 75 women journalists through the program. 

“More women are looking to Poynter for guidance on developing their leadership skills and elevating what they’re already doing as digital pioneers,” Poynter President Neil Brown said. “We designed two additional women’s leadership academies this year to give these ambitious, talented women the tools they need to advance their careers and improve their organizations. They are changemakers and journalism will benefit from their leadership.”

The academies, each tailored to its participants, provide guidance on navigating newsroom culture, exploring leadership styles, making ethical decisions and building resiliency. Equally significant, the academies connect women leaders who can inspire and mentor each other beyond the week of training. 

“This program is important because it’s bringing women together and showing them that they aren’t alone,” said Becca Aaronson, product manager at The Texas Tribune and one of the participants in the first 2018 women’s leadership academy. “One of the most amazing parts of this was seeing how many women there are like me in newsrooms across the country that are pushing and striving and encountering roadblocks that they don’t know how to handle. Now we have more tools—and each other—to clear those paths.” 

More than 600 women applied to the 2018 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media that occurred in March at Poynter. In response to the record number of applicants, Poynter created two more academies, one beginning the end of May and the other in November. 

Applications were open to the women who previously applied to the 2018 academy. All participants are selected to ensure diversity across ethnicity, geography, technology platforms, organization size and skill sets. 

Members of the upcoming 2018 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media classes are:

Class II

  • Mary Anne Andrei, Story Producer, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Stephanie Backus, National Editorial Manager, Hearst Television, Pittsburgh
  • Danuta Bregula, Head of Online Strategy, Gazeta Wyborcza, Warszawa, Poland 
  • Emily Brown, Director of Platform Storytelling, USA Today, Washington, D.C. 
  • Corinne Chin, Video Editor, The Seattle Times, Seattle
  • Mariah Craddick, New Acquisition Manager, Crain Communications, Chicago
  • Jessica Cuellar, Production and Operations Director, POLITICO Pro, Falls Church, Virginia
  • Jessica Dailey, Digital Editorial Director, Domino Media Group, Brooklyn, New York 
  • Elis Estrada, Director, Student Reporting Labs, PBS NewsHour, Arlington, Virginia 
  • Eline Gordts, Assignment Editor, HuffPost, Oakland, California
  • Kira Hoffelmeyer, Engagement Editor, The Park Record & KSL Newsradio, Salt Lake City
  • Mandy Hofmockel, Deputy Editor - News, Newsday.com, Deer Park, New York
  • Rosemary Kelly, Director of Audience Development, MIT Technology Review, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Bo Kim, Director of Network Development, Vox Media, New York
  • Megan Leach, News Editor, Digital, The Canadian Press, Ontario, Canada
  • Erin Martin, Senior Product Manager, APIs,  NPR, Milton, Massachusetts 
  • Katherine McMahan, Program Manager/Executive Producer, The New York Times/BBQ Films, Brooklyn, New York 
  • Diana Neille, Managing Director, Chronicle, Cape Town, South Africa 
  • Lu Ortiz Perez, CEO and Human Innovation Lab Director, NVA Labs, Montclair, New Jersey 
  • Monica Richardson, Senior Managing Editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta
  • Danielle Rindler, Designer, The Washington Post, Washington D.C. 
  • Destinée-Charisse Royal, Senior Staff Editor, Graphics, The New York Times, New York
  • Melissa Stasiuk, Deputy Head of Programming, The Globe and Mail, Ontario, Canada 
  • Kay Steiger, Washington Editor, Vox.com, Washington, D.C.
  • Jenny Ye, Data Director, WNYC New York Public Radio, New York
  • Christina Zdanowicz, Senior Producer, Social Discovery Team, CNN Digital, Atlanta

Class III

  • Jenn Amur, South Asia Editor, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 
  • Margaret Arakelyan, Communications Officer, Fund for Armenian Relief, Hovtashat Village, Armenia 
  • Christine Bohan, Deputy Editor, TheJournal.ie, Dublin
  • Lindsay Claiborn, Real-Time Desk Editor—Video, McClatchy, Washington, D.C.
  • Rachael Delgado, Director, Knowledge Services, Education Week, Kensington, Maryland 
  • Elizabeth DePompei, Digital Editor, The News and Tribune, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Rania Efthemes, Director of Content Strategy, Scotsman Guide Media and Ask a Lender, Bothell, Washington 
  • Anne Godlasky, Director of Social Content, USA TODAY, Princeton, New Jersey
  • Tash Grzincic, Digital News Lead, Toronto Star, Toronto
  • Mariah Helgeson, Senior Editor, On Being Studios, Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Jareen Imam, Director of Social Newsgathering, NBC News, New York 
  • Antoinette Isama, Associate Editor, OkayAfrica, Brooklyn, New York 
  • Liz Johnson, Senior Director, New Audience, The Record, Nyack, New York 
  • Joumana Khatib, Senior Staff Editor, The New York Times, Brooklyn, New York
  • Dana Lacey, Freelance, San Francisco
  • Tabatha Leggett, Head of Buzz, UK, BuzzFeed, London
  • Chelsea Matiash, Senior Editor, Digital Storytelling and Training, The New York Times, New York
  • Alex Newman, Deputy Editor, Public Radio International, Allston, Massachusetts
  • Yesenia Perez-Cruz, Design Director, Vox Media, Philadelphia
  • Jacqueline Policastro, Washington Bureau Chief, Gray Television, Washington, D.C. 
  • Gillian Roberts, Visual Reporting Editor, CQ and Roll Call, Arlington, Virginia
  • Emily Smith, Senior Assignment Editor, CNN, Atlanta 
  • Omnia Shawkat, Founder, Andariya, Khartoum, Sudan 
  • Christina Tapper, Managing Editor, Bleacher Report, New York
  • Silvia Viñas, Editor, Radio Ambulante, St. Albans, England 
  • Elana Zak, Senior Editor of Programming, CNNMoney, New York

The 2018 Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media is made possible in part by Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Katie Hawkins-Gaar, former digital innovation faculty member at Poynter, will once again lead the program. She will be joined by the following guest faculty members at the May academy: 

  • LaSharah Bunting, Director of Journalism, The Knight Foundation
  • Megan Greenwell, Editor-in-Chief, Deadspin
  • Dhiya Kuriakose, Senior Director of Development and Syndication, Condé Nast
  • Carol Pauli, Associate Professor of Law, Texas A&M University
  • Swati Sharma, Deputy Editor, Atlantic.com

Greenwell, Kuriakose and Sharma are alumnae of Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media and have since advanced in their careers. 

In addition to increasing the number of academies in 2018, Poynter also created day-long women’s empowerment symposiums and brought back The Cohort newsletter

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

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 organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute’s website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. 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 broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

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