Lori Aratani is a member of the General Assignment/Enterprise team at The San Jose (CA) Mercury News where she has worked since 1990. Prior to covering political stories she was an education reporter for the Mercury News. In 2000, Aratani was a New Media Fellow at the Newspaper Association of America. She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in journalism.
Barrie Barber covers politics as well as county, state and national government news for The Saginaw (MI) News. Before joining The Saginaw News, he worked as a reporter for The Livingston County Press, The Marion Star and Traverse City Record-Eagle. In 2000, Barber won third place in the public service category at the Michigan Press Association for a series on the rising cost of gasoline. He received a Bachelor of Science in political science at Eastern Michigan University.
John Bender is the political editor at The (Riverside, CA) Press-Enterprise. He supervises reporters in Riverside, Sacramento, Washington, DC who cover the federal government, local, state and federal lawmakers; the state budget, Indian gaming and tribal political government; transportation and higher education.
Previously, Bender worked as at the Pasadena Star-News as a city editor and the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group where he was the editor of weekly papers. He received a Bachelor of Science in communication from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona.
Douglas Bennett is an assistant city editor at The South Florida Sun-Sentinel who oversees election coverage. Previously, he worked as a deputy metro editor at the East Valley Tribune and a reporter at the Massillon (OH) Independent and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bennett graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in English and business and has a master’s in journalism from Kent State University.
Andrea Bernstein is a senior reporter at WNYC New York Public Radio. She has covered breaking news stories in politics and government, law enforcement and the World Trade Center rebuilding. Previously, Bernstein worked as a reporter at the New York Observer and as a freelance reporter for various publications. She won the Edward R. Murrow Award in 2000 for Best Investigative National Report for “NYPD Strip Searches: Though Illegal, the Practice Continues.” She has also won several state, regional and national awards. Bernstein received a Bachelor of Arts in literature cum laude from Yale University.
Christian Berthelsen is a staff writer for the San Francisco (CA) Chronicle. He covers state politics for the paper’s capitol bureau. Previously, he was a freelancer for The New York Times, and worked for the Santa Monica Outlook, City News Service and Glendale (CA) News-Press. Berthelsen was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting in 2002 and has won several business news awards. He received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Hofstra University.
Larry Bivens is a correspondent at Gannett News Service in Washington, DC. He is the service’s primary editor for political coverage. Before joining the Gannett News Service, he worked as a reporter at The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, New York Newsday and the Miami Herald. He won the Paul Miller Fellowship for Washington Journalists from the Maynard Institute. Bivins graduated from Cleveland State University.
Jeff Burnside is a special projects producer and reporter for NBC 6/ WTVJ in Miami, FL. He will cover politics for the current election cycle. Before joining NBC 6/WTVJ, he worked as a producer at WSVN TV, KSHB TV NBC Kansas City, KIRO TV CBS Seattle and KING Broadcasting NBC Seattle. He has won several awards since 1984 including a 2003 regional Emmy. Burnside received a Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University.
Kathy Bushouse is a municipal reporter who covers the city of Boca Raton for The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. She is part of a team of reporters that tracks election-year donations in state and national races. Before covering politics, Bushouse covered the police and the city of Coral Springs. She has won several in-house writing and reporting awards. Bushouse received a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida.
Catalina Camia is the Washington editor at Gannett News Service. She supervises reporters who cover Congress and politics in Washington, DC. She helps develop and edit stories about campaign finance. Previously, she worked for the Freedom Forum, the Dallas Morning News and Congressional Quarterly. Camia graduated from the University of Southern California.
Rebecca Cantwell is responsible for overseeing political coverage for the statehouse, city and county of Denver at the Denver (CO) Post. She has worked at Interactive Work, The Rocky Mountain News, and the Gazette Telegraph. She won various writing awards from the Colorado Press Association. Cantwell graduated from Swarthmore College with a bachelor’s degree and has a master’s degree in journalism from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
Karen Crummy is a political reporter for the Denver (CO) Post where she covers city hall, mayoral races, government fraud, waste and abuse. Previously, at The Boston Herald, she reported on Congress, the president, homeland security, and local, state and Congressional races. She won the Damon Runyon Scholarship Award for News Writing from the Denver Press Club. She is also a lawyer who received her degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Crummy also holds a master and bachelor degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Anjeanette Damon covers election-year politics and the statehouse for the Reno Gazette-Journal in Reno, NV. Previously, she covered City Hall and the police. Damon won second place in the community service category from the Nevada Press Association in 2003. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Nevada at Reno.
Michelle DeArmond is a political and Indian affairs reporter at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, CA. Before coming to the Press-Enterprise, DeArmond worked at the Associated Press in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Indianapolis as well as The Indianapolis Star. She won several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Inland Southern California Chapter in 2002 and the Native American Journalists Association in 2003. DeArmond received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Paul Feist is the statehouse editor for the San Francisco (CA) Chronicle. He is responsible for tracking the money that comes into political campaigns as well as the lobbying that influences policymaking in California. Before joining the San Francisco Chronicle, he worked at the Stockton Record, The Lodi News-Sentinel and the Paradise Post. He won a National Headliner Award for team reporting on a schoolyard shooting. He has also edited several stories that won first place at local and state press clubs. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.
Michele Matassa Flores is the deputy investigations editor at the Seattle (WA) Times. She supervises stories related to the paper’s 2004 election coverage. She has held several positions at the paper since 1988. Previously, Flores worked at The Salem (OR) Statesman-Journal. She was part of a team that was chosen as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for the Seattle Times’ coverage of the Washington, DC snipers. Flores received a Bachelor of Science in journalism at the University of Oregon.
Beth Fouhy is a reporter at the Associated Press. Before joining the AP, she worked as an executive producer for political coverage at CNN. Fouhy has covered the California recall election, Wesley Clark’s recent run for president and numerous other federal and local elections. She was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2001. Fouhy graduated from Oberlin College.
Charles Gay is the capitol bureau chief and an assistant metro editor for the Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution. Previously, he worked as a copy editor at the St. Petersburg (FL) Times. He has also been a reporter at the Augusta Chronicle and the Valdosta Daily Times, both in Georgia. Gay received an award in 2002 from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for editing column writing. He received a Bachelor of Arts in history at Washington and Lee University.
Laura Gunderson is a reporter for The Oregonian in Portland, OR, responsible for the covering officials at the county, state and congressional levels. Previously, she covered education and sports for the paper. She was a member of the team that won the C. B. Blethen Memorial Award in 2003. Gunderson received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Portland.
Janie Har is the lead state capitol reporter for The Oregonian. She covers the Oregon Legislature, the governor’s office and specific issues such as transportation and gambling. Before joining The Oregonian, she worked as a reporter for Sacramento Bee and Tri-City Herald. She earned a bachelor’s in English, a master’s in journalism as well as a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
David Jacobs is an assistant city editor at the Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal. He leads a team of government reporters covering the 2004 elections and the Nevada Legislature. Before joining the Reno Gazette-Journal, Jacobs worked at The (Newark, OH) Advocate, the Associated Press, The Toledo (OH) Blade and The Columbus (OH) Dispatch. He has won several reporting and writing awards from the Society of Professional Journalists in Toledo, Columbus and other Ohio cities. Jacobs has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of Toledo. He also received a Master of Science in journalism from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
Sonji Jacobs is a staff writer at the Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution and is part of the state government team. Previously, Jacobs worked as a reporter for The Miami Herald. She served as the President of the South Florida Black Journalists Association. Jacobs graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in history and literature. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
Susan Kelleher is an investigative reporter for the Seattle Times. Before joining the Seattle Times, she worked an investigative reporter at The Orange County Register in Santa Ana, CA, where she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for investigative reporting as part of a team that uncovered fraudulent and unethical fertility practices. She also won a Polk award for medical reporting and numerous other awards. Kelleher received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Ray Locker is the Associated Press’ Sacramento correspondent. As California’s political editor, he also oversees all political coverage of California. Previously, he worked as an assistant city editor at the Los Angeles Times, a senior editor for news at the Tampa Tribune and a reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. He won Best in Business award from the Society of Business Editors and Writers in 1997 and 1998. Reporters under his direction have won several AP awards. Locker graduated from the University of Cincinnati. He holds a Master’s of Science in journalism from Ohio University.
Martha Mendoza is a national writer and investigative reporter for the Associated Press in San Francisco, CA. Before joining the AP, she worked as a staff writer at The Santa Cruz (CA) County Sentinel and The Bay City News Service. In 2000, Martha won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting as part of a team that revealed how American soldiers in the Korean War had killed civilians at the No Gun Ri Bridge. The following year, she was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University. Mendoza graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Cheryl Miller is a city hall reporter for The Record in Stockton, CA. Previously, she was a freelance writer for the Sacramento Bee, National Journal and San Francisco Chronicle. She also worked at the Hollister Free Lance and Mountain Democrat. She won second place for business writing from California Society of Newspaper Editors in 2003. Miller received a Bachelor of Arts at Santa Clara University. She has a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley.
Jane Kahoun Murphy is a state editor at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, OH. She supervises stories about lobbying, fundraising and electronic voting at the state capitol bureau. Before becoming state editor, Murphy led the paper’s education team. She has held a number of positions at The Plain Dealer since 1985 including assistant metro editor and reporter. Previously, she worked at The News-Herald in Willoughby, OH. Murphy won a 2003 Woman of Professional Excellence Award from the Cleveland YMCA. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The Ohio State University.
Nancy Price is an assistant city editor at The Record in Stockton, CA. She oversees metro reporters who cover politics. Previously, she worked as a reporter for The Lawrence (KS) Journal-World, The Anchorage Times, The Florida Times-Union and The (Daytona, FL) News-Journal. Price has won several reporting awards. She graduated from Northwester University’s Medill School of Journalism with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism.
Caitlin Rother is part of the local government team at the San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune where she writes about local government issues, particularly government ethics and political finance. Previously, Rother worked as a staff writer at the Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Springfield Union-News and Berkshire Eagle. She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. Rother won the two “Best of the West” awards in 1999 and 2000 for Hard News Feature and Growth and Development reporting. She graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. Rother also holds a Master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Julie Carr Smyth is The Plain Dealer’s lead legislative reporter. She covers legislative battles, elections and electronic voting. She has covered local politics, public education, environmental contamination and aviation safety in her 18-year career. Before joining The Plain Dealer, Smyth worked at The Orlando Sentinel and The (Albany, NY) Times Union. She won the Howard Metzenbaum Award for Civic Journalism from the Ohio chapter of Citizen Action in 2003 for “Money Matters.” Smyth received a Bachelor and Master of Arts in journalism from The Ohio State University.
Charles Stile is the statehouse bureau chief at The Record of Bergen County (NJ). Before joining The Record, he worked as a statehouse bureau chief, statehouse correspondent and city hall reporter at The Times of Trenton (NJ). Stile has won several awards from the New Jersey Press Association. He graduated from The College of New Jersey.
Deirdre Sykes is an assistant managing editor at The Record of Bergen County (NJ) where she participated, along with Charles Stile, in an massive effort, upwards of 150,000 words, to expose and explain the role of big money in New Jersey politics. Sykes has served the paper in various roles since 1988 including assistant managing editor for news, state editor, Passaic bureau chief, and late metro editor. During the years she supervised the state desk, The Record won the New Jersey Press Association’s General Excellence Award as the top paper in the state. Sykes graduated from Cornell University.
What fellows have to say about past seminars:
"A spectacular experience. It was far better than I had expected. Thanks to all those who worked hard to create this neat conference."
- Ward Bushee, Cincinnati Enquirer