Katie Hawkins-Gaar is the organizer of Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. She was previously Poynter’s digital innovation faculty member, and taught journalists how to make the most of social media, understand audience engagement, rethink workflows, and foster creativity. Hawkins-Gaar created The Cohort, a newsletter dedicated to women kicking ass in journalism, and was the co-founder of 40 Better Hours, a project to improve newsroom morale. Prior to Poynter, she was the managing editor of CNN iReport, the network’s global citizen journalism platform. Hawkins-Gaar is passionate about improving workplace culture, championing women, and building online communities. She’s currently on sabbatical — dividing her time between traveling, writing about grief and other topics, and figuring out what’s next in life.
Joy Mayer, an engagement strategist, focuses on the evolving notion of audience engagement in journalism — how communicators can foster two-way conversations, collaborate with their communities and know who they’re serving and how well they’re doing it. She is a consulting fellow at the Reynolds Journalism and an adjunct faculty member at the Missouri School of Journalism and The Poynter Institute. During 13 years as an associate professor at MU, she created an engagement curriculum and a community outreach team in the Columbia Missourian newsroom and taught Web design and print design.