Meet the second cohort of Poynter’s 2021 Leadership Academy for Women in Media

Meet the second cohort of Poynter’s 2021 Leadership Academy for Women in Media

August 26, 2021

Millie Tran and Stacy-Marie Ishmael will kick off the week of leadership training in September with a joint keynote conversation about navigating careers.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2021) — The Poynter Institute, renowned for longstanding excellence in training newsroom leaders, is pleased to announce the second of three classes selected for its seventh annual Leadership Academy for Women in Media. This illustrious group of 30 women will join a network of more than 430 graduates who experience significant personal and professional transformation through the prestigious program.

“Poynter co-founded this program with ONA seven years ago to close the gender gap in newsroom leadership,” said Kelly McBride, Poynter senior vice president and chair of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter. “And we’ve seen many of our graduates ascend to some pretty big jobs. Yet women are leaving journalism at a record pace and this threatens our progress. Poynter’s program offers a place for accomplished, visionary leaders to build their leadership capacity and connections. This incoming group has already been tested by the incredible challenges of 2020 and 2021 and they have the potential to change our industry for the better.” 

The Leadership Academy for Women in Media is one of Poynter’s most competitive programs. It is designed for women and nonbinary journalists who directly manage people and are within their first five years of formal leadership experience. During the program — which will be hosted online Sept. 26-Oct. 1 because of the pandemic — participants learn to manage teams more effectively, hone and communicate their strategic vision, and steer their organizations toward greater success.

“This will be the fourth women’s leadership academy we’ve hosted digitally, and we are ready to summon the magic,” said Samantha Ragland, lead faculty for the Leadership Academy for Women in Media. “We’ve expanded the schedule to allow for more deep dives, more opportunities for one-on-one connections and more time to take it all in. This will be the first cohort to experience our new trauma and resilience training, appropriately titled ‘The Hazards of Being a Journalist,’ as well as hear from a panel of experts on negotiation tactics. And don’t even get me started on the keynote conversation! Millie Tran and Stacy-Marie Ishmael will speak together and design their talk around themes specific to this class.”

MORE FROM POYNTER: Why Stacy-Marie Ishmael doesn’t see leaving a job as a failure

Tran, now vice president of content strategy and growth at Condé Nast, and Ishmael, currently co-hosting “Slate Money,” both left The Texas Tribune at the same time earlier this year. In this exclusive conversation, they will talk about their leadership experiences and career choices.

Other training sessions during the week are finding better work-life chemistry with Poynter’s Kristen Hare, tackling tough conversations with Cheryl Carpenter, navigating ethical issues in the newsroom with McBride, creating space for diverse talent with Doris Truong and advocating for yourself and others with Ragland. 

The final Poynter academy this year will take place Nov. 7-12; participants have been selected and will be announced closer to the teaching dates.

Those chosen for Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Media passed through multiple rounds of review with an emphasis to ensure diversity across race, ethnicity, geography, age, platform/medium, organization size and expertise. Reviewers included Poynter staff and faculty, as well as a volunteer committee of program graduates. 

Meet the September 2021 cohort

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

Belén Arce Terceros

Leslie Bailey

Bridget Bodnar

Sarah Bugden

Rebecca Catalanello

Kara Edgerson

Diana Elbasha

Jennifer Emily

Jessica Garcia

Katie Glaeser

Megan Griffith-Greene

Kat Hayes

Naomi Ishisaka

Lottie Joiner

Laura Lopez Gonzalez

Kwani Lunis

Kate Maxwell

Andrea McDaniels

Milly McGuinness

Alisha Miller

Jennifer Murphy

Catherine O’Hara

Jacqué Palmer

Sarah Parnass

Lidia Pedro Sole

Sandhya Sekar

Katherine Simon

Simran Singh

Alex Vitale

The 2021 Poynter Leadership Academies for Women in Media are made possible in part by support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Gannett Foundation.

The application period for the 2022 Leadership Academies for Women in Media will be held on Oct. 25-Nov. 30, 2021. Subscribe to Poynter’s Weekly Training Digest to stay updated about the following leadership programs and other workshops:


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. Learn more at

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