Tal Abbady is a reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Abbady
has written about crime, religion, homeowner associations and immigration issues
in southern Palm Beach County. In January 2005, Abbady traveled to Sri Lanka
and wrote a series of articles for on the tsunami's devastation in that country's
coastal villages. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists
and a former English teacher. Abbady holds a M.A. in English education from
Teacher’s College at Columbia University and a B.A. in English literature
from Sarah Lawrence.
Diane Alters is an assistant city editor at the Denver (CO) Post.
She has also worked at the Colorado Springs Gazette and at the Boston
Globe and as a lecturer at the University of Colorado’s Graduate
School of Public Affairs. In 1991 Alters won first place in general
reporting from the Colorado Society of Professional Journalists. She is a member
of the International Communication Association, the American Academy of Religion
and the National Communication Association. Alters holds a Ph.D. in media studies
from the University of Colorado and an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government
at Harvard University and a B.A. in history from Grinnell College.
Frank Bentayou is a reporter for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland,
OH. He has also worked as an editor at both Tampa and Cleveland magazines,
as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune and as the director of student media
at Kent State University’s School of Journalism. He has received numerous
awards over the years including Florida Medical Association’s Excellence
in Medical Reporting award (1978), six National City and Regional Magazine
Association awards for editorial excellence and design (1984-1989) and the
Ohio Press club award for column writing. Bentayou holds a M.A. in journalism
from Kent State University and a B.A. in English from the University of South
Matthew Hay Brown is the religion writer at The Baltimore (MD)
Sun. Brown has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and
the Middle East; he has written for TheNew York Times, The Boston
Globe, the Christian Science Monitor and other newspapers. Prior
to joining The Sun in August, he covered Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
from San Juan for several Tribune newspapers. Brown holds a master's
degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.
Kitty Caparella has worked as a reporter for the Philadelphia Daily
News since 1972. She began her career at the Courier-Post in Cherry
Hill, NJ. In 2004 she won the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ)
of Pennsylvania’s Excellence in Ongoing News Coverage award. In 2003
she spent two months in China after winning the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine
Arts’ Henry Scheidt Memorial Travel Scholarship upon graduation from
the four-year certificate program in printmaking. Caparella is a member and
former president of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia, and a member
of SPJ (Philadelphia chapter), Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association
and the Pen and Pencil Club. She holds a B.S. in journalism from Temple University
in Philadelphia and has won an N.E.H. Fellowship for Journalists at the University
of Michigan, and a fellowship to study the mass media in Mexico from Temple
University and Universidad de las Americas.
Candy Cooper is a freelance writer based in Montclair, N.J. She has
held reporting positions at The Detroit Free Press, the San Francisco
Examiner and the Bergen (NJ) Record. A University of Michigan Knight
Journalism Fellow, she has won numerous awards over 26 years, including finalist
for the Pulitzer Prize, the Selden Ring award for investigative reporting,
and the Society of Professional Journalists award for environmental writing.
Cooper holds a B.A. in French literature and American history from the University
of Wisconsin-Madison. Her recent work focuses on Muslim-American youth.
Sandi Dolbee is a religion and ethics editor at TheSan Diego
Union-Tribune. She has also worked at The San Jose (CA) Mercury News, the Fremont
(CA) Argus, the Auburn (WA) Globe-News and Kent (WA) News Journal. Dolbee
has won numerous awards for her writing including the Religion Newswriters
Association’s Religion Reporter of the Year (2004), the San Diego Society
of Professional Journalists award for feature writing, and the Copley Newspapers’ Ring
of Truth award (2003 and 2001). Dolbee is a board member of the Religion
Newswriters Association and holds a B.A. from Central Washington University.
Chris Echegaray covers diversity, demographics and immigration for The
Tampa Tribune. He has also freelanced for several magazines, including Latina
Magazine, writing a cover story on Shakira, the international superstar
from Colombia. He began his career at the Worcester (MA)Telegram
and Gazette. Echegaray is a member of the National Association of Hispanic
Journalists and the Asian American Journalist Association. He holds a B.A.
from Springfield College.
Lisa Marie Gomez is the minority affairs reporter for the San Antonio
Express-News. Gomez has also worked as the marketing director for the
Gladys Porter Zoo, as a journalism teacher and as a reporter at The Monitor and Brownsville
(TX) Herald and KRGV-TV in Weslaco, TX. She is a member of Investigative
Reporters and Editors, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and
the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. In 1995 she won the Associated
Press Managing Editors’ award for her series ‘A Barrio Grows
Up.’ This past July she won the San Antonio Express-News’ online
breaking news award for her blog, Hurricane Emily - Eye of the Storm. Gomez
holds a B.A. in broadcast journalism from Texas State University – San
Kymberli Hagelberg is a staff writer at the Akron (OH) Beacon
Journal. She has also worked at Sun Newspapers in Cleveland and
the Cleveland Scene magazine. Hagelberg won first place for both news
and business coverage from the Ohio Newspaperwomen’s Association in
2003 and second place for news coverage in 2004. She was also honored by
the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists for best coverage of children’s
issues (2004). Hagelberg is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors
and is currently attending Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio.
Nathaniel Hoffman is a reporter with the Contra Costa Times in
the California Bay Area. He covers immigration, California cultures and demographics.
He has also worked as a reporter for the Idaho Press Tribune and as
a freelance writer for the Boise Weekly. Hoffman holds a B.A.
in Africana studies from Cornell University.
John Iwasaki is a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Before coming to the Post-Intelligencer, he reported for two Oregon
papers, The Bulletin in Bend and the Valley Times in Beaverton.
Iwasaki has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the
Washington Education Association and the Washington State School Directors’ Association.
He has been a guest speaker at university and high school journalism classes
in Seattle and a judge for the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship program.
Iwasaki holds a B.S. in journalism from the University of Oregon.
Anna Johnson works for the Associated Press. She is based in
Chicago. Before coming to AP, Johnson worked at the Daily Herald (IL).
She is a member of the Association for Women Journalists. In 2004, Johnson
won the Medill School’s Robert H. Wieder Scholarship Award. Johnson holds
a M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in journalism
from the University of Missouri.
Gretel Christina Kovach is a staff writer for the Dallas Morning
News. Before coming To the Morning News, Kovach worked as a Cairo-based
freelance writer. Her work appeared in Newsweek, the Christian Science
Monitor and other
publications. In 2004 She won a Dallas Morning News award for best beat
reporting. She holds a M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and a B.A.
in English literature from Mills College.
Nicole Lee is a reporter for The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne,
IN. She began her journalism career at the DeKalb (Ga.) Neighbor, and
has worked in news management at the Atlanta Daily World, and in public
relations for the Fulton County (Ga.) Department of Communications. Most recently,
Lee was part of an enterprise reporting team for Knight Ridder’s Washington
Bureau, where she provided coverage of rebuilding efforts in Mississippi due
to Hurricane Katrina. Lee is a member of the National Association of Black
Journalists, and in 2002, won an award in the hard news/feature category from
the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists. She holds a B.A. in print journalism
from Georgia State University.
Jason Margolis is a reporter for KQED Public Radio. He is based
in Sacramento, CA. Prior to joining KQED, Margolis reported for the Seattle
Times and CBS Market Watch. He has won various awards from the Northern
California chapter of Radio Television News Directors Association and the Peninsula
Press Club. Margolis holds a M.A. in journalism from the University of California – Berkeley,
and a B.A. in history from the University of California – Los Angeles.
Omar Mullick is a staff writer for The Muslim Link Newspaper in
Park, MD. The paper is distributed in Virginia, Maryland and in Washington
D.C. Before joining the Muslim Link, he worked as a New York-based freelance
photographer and spent six years working in the film industry. Mullick holds
a degree in politics, philosophy and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Monique Nazareth is a producer with National Public Radio’s “Fresh
Air with Terry Gross.” She is based at WHYY in Philadelphia,
where Fresh Air is produced. Before coming to WHYY, Nazareth
worked at Christian Science Monitor radio as the associate producer
of “Weekend Edition,” and as a news assistant. She holds
a B.A. in journalism and mass communications with a minor in Portuguese from
the University of Iowa.
Charles Radin recently became religion writer for The Boston Globe after
serving four years as chief of the newspaper's Middle East bureau. Before coming
to TheGlobe, he worked at the Hackettstown (N.J.) Gazette and
at Tribune Publications in Boston. Radin has studied Japanese and Hebrew
and is a member of the Foreign Press Association. He won the National Council
on Crime Delinquency’s Pass award (1998), the National Press Club’s
Freedom of the Press award (1989) and the Savellon Brown award for investigative
journalism (1983). Radin holds a B.A. in journalism from Boston University.
Tom Schaeffer is an editor and columnist for The Wichita Eagle.
Before assuming his current position in 1991, he reported for The Wichita
Eagle. Schaefer is also former minister of Grace Lutheran Church in Wichita,
KS. He has received numerous accolades over the years including first place
in the Kansas City Press Club’s Presidents Award (2002), third place
in their best columnist competition (2000) and second place in 1999. Schaefer
is a member of the Religion Newswriters Association and holds a M. Div. and
B.A. from Concordia Senior College in Ft. Wayne, IN.
Larry B. Stammer is a religion writer for the Los Angeles Times.
Since coming to the Times in 1975, he has also worked as an environmental
reporter, a general assignment reporter, and as the Sacramento-based state
politics reporter. He began his career at TheSan Jose Mercury News as
a reporter and then as their Sacramento bureau chief. He has been awarded second
place in both the Religion Newswriters Association’s (RNA) Templeton
Religion Reporter of the Year competition and RNA’s Supple Religion Writer
award. He is currently writing a book on the intersection of religion
and the environment. Stammer attended California State University in both Los
Angeles and Sacramento.
Joe Sterling is a news desk editor at Wires CNN, CNN's wire
service in Atlanta. Before coming to CNN in 1997, he worked at The
Nando Timesand The News & Observer, both in Raleigh, N.C., The
Pittsburgh Press, and The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pa.
Sterling was a senior editor at CNN.com when it won a Webby award in
1999 and he was recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
for contributions to coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks. He is
a member of the Press Club of Atlanta, Online News Association and the Society
of Professional Journalists. Sterling holds a degree in communications from
Temple University and is currently studying Turkish.
Jennifer Taylor is a producer, director and founder of Specific
Pictures, an independent documentary production company based in San
Francisco. Before founding her own company in 2000, Taylor produced several
films and series which aired locally on KQED-TV (San Francisco), nationally
on PBS and the Sundance Channel, and internationally. She has
won many awards for her work including a 2005 Northern California Emmy for
entertainment and a 2002 Northern California Emmy for best community program.
In 1998 her film Paulina won Best Documentary at the San Juan Film Festival
in Puerto Rico and a Grand Jury Prize at the San Francisco International
Film Festival after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. Taylor is a
member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and sits on
the Board of Directors of the Film Arts Foundation. She holds a B.A. in Latin
American studies and media studies from New College of California.
Jean Torkelson is the religion writer for the Rocky Mountain News in
Denver, CO. She has also worked as a columnist at the Wilkes Barre (PA)
Times Leader, as the Minnesota Governor’s press secretary, and as
a reporter at KMSP-TV in St. Paul, MI. Torkelson has won numerous accolades
for her reporting including the Pennsylvania Press Association’s award
for column writing, the Rotary Club of Wheat Ridge’s (CO) Faith to Faith
award, and the Colorado Association of Black Journalists’ newswriting
award. Torkelson holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin. She also studied
journalism at the University of Wales in Cardiff, Wales.
Tim Townsend has been the religion reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch since
June, 2004. In September, he was named the 2004 Templeton Religion Reporter
of the Year by the Religion Newswriters Association. He began his career in
1999 as a news assistant at TheWall Street Journal, and his work
has since been published in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune
Magazine, the Boston Globe Magazine and Rolling Stone. Townsend
holds a M.A. in religion from Yale Divinity School, a M.S. in journalism from
Columbia University and a B.A. from Boston College.
What fellows have to say about past seminars:
"I learned so much. This conference has energized me to go back to my newsroom ready to write story ideas that I learned here. This is a wonderful crash course on Latinos and would recommend it to any reporter who deals with numbers, social issues, education, immigration and public policy."
- Leonel Sanchez, San Diego Union Tribune