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Meet the ProPublica Data Institute Class of 2016

We're thrilled to announce the 12 outstanding journalists who will be joining us for the ProPublica Data Institute this year.

We’re thrilled to announce the 12 outstanding journalists who will be joining us for the ProPublica Data Institute this year. Find out more about the Data Institute.

Adrian Garcia (@adriandgarcia) recently joined a news startup in Denver backed by the founder of Business Insider. He previously covered Northern Colorado trends, startup news and developments as a growth and data reporter for the Fort Collins Coloradoan. Adrian joined the Coloradoan in 2014 after graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder. His previous experience includes reporting for the Denver Post, I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS and his hometown paper The Pueblo Chieftain.

Allison Ross (@allisonsross) covers Kentucky’s largest school district as an education reporter for the Courier-Journal in Louisville. Prior to coming to the Bluegrass State, she worked as a senior banking reporter at Bankrate and also spent six years as a reporter at the Palm Beach Post in Florida.

Anthony Martinez (@amartinez1208) is a production assistant at public radio station WBEZ in Chicago. His work has appeared on National Public Radio’s “Latino USA,” “State of the Re:Union” (R.I.P.), and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He’s also a proud alumnus of the Vocalo Storytelling Workshop and member of the Association of Independents in Radio where he’s been a New Voice scholar, New Voice Captain and Entrepreneurial Fellow. When not at the radio station, he’s often behind the camera at public access television’s “Chic-A-Go-Go,” “Chicago’s Dance Show for Kids of All Ages.”

Carol Angela Davis (@carolangelad), JD, is a media entrepreneur, journalist, professor and pioneer in online and mobile media with the distinction of being one of the first online video bloggers in the U.S. (August 2000). She holds an A.B. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, certification in Gamification from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, in business journalism from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication where she was a Reynolds Fellow and in Digital Journalism from the Dow Jones News Fund at Western Kentucky University. In 2016 she was selected to participate in the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy and Hampton University awarded her its prestigious Academic Excellence Award for teaching and innovation in the design and delivery of course content. She is the creator of ¡MPACT-Ed! TM – Impactful, Measurable, Personal and Collaborative Teaching for Engaging Education, a teaching methodology to increase student engagement in all subjects including STEM. She is married, the mother of two adult children and the author of children’s books “Itty Bitty Kitty,” “The Fool from Bonderpool (He Wouldn’t Go to School!)” and “Teeth Have Feelings Too! So Brush Them!”

Lakeidra Chavis (@lakeidrachavis) is a reporter for KTOO Public Radio in Juneau, Alaska. Her work focuses on in-depth critical reporting while on the daily grind, covering social justice issues and institutional accountability. Prior to KTOO, Chavis interned for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. She also spent time working in the Alaska bush, covering nearly 60 indigenous villages that can only be reached by plane. She received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in May 2015.

Lisa Song (@lisalsong) is a reporter at InsideClimate News, where she covers climate change, environmental health and natural gas drilling. She is co-author of the “Dilbit Disaster” series, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, and worked on stories for “Exxon: the Road Not Taken,” which was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer for Public Service. Lisa has degrees in environmental science and science writing from MIT. She is also a fan of cat videos.

Marissa Gaston (@mrmarissalea) is 20 years old, and from Murfreesboro, Tennessee where she studies journalism at Middle Tennessee State University. She likes to read and write about topics and issues pertaining to women and minorities. This summer, she’ll be working on launching a personal blog that explores such, as well as taking a traveling writing course. Her other interests include music, pop culture, and fashion. In her spare time, she’s watching SNL reruns, listening to records, or casually working movie quotes into conversation. :)

Marquita Brown (@mbrownNR) is an education reporter who loves digging through data and is eager to integrate more interactive and digital elements into her work. She currently lives and works in Greensboro, N.C. She has also worked at newspapers in Roanoke, Va., and Jackson, Miss., her hometown. She is a University of Mississippi graduate. In her reporting, she has examined issues such as opportunity gaps facing students who are immigrants or refugees and inequities in teacher quality, school funding and student discipline. That work has earned her a number of awards and fellowships, including several from the Mississippi Press Association and a 2014 fellowship from Renaissance Journalism.

Princess Ojiaku (@artfulaction) is a science writer interested in topics of neuroscience, policy, culture, and society. In her past life as a neuroscience graduate student, she examined the neurons of growing young zebrafish and combed through over 20 years of data on the emotional and social development of people tracked from birth to young adulthood. Master’s degrees in Biology and Public Policy helped to kickstart her journey with data, as she’s found that knowing how to work with data and present it helps to tell a story well. She is thrilled to join the ProPublica Summer Data Institute and bring these skills to her writing.

Tesalon Felicien (@TesalonF) is a journalist from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. He currently works as a freelancer for The Greenville News in Greenville, South Carolina, where he covers high school sports. He previously worked as a freelancer for The Advocate and served as an editorial intern at He received his bachelor’s from LSU Manship School of Mass Communication in 2013, where he was part of the first web production team for the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Reveille. His work has ranged from creating interactive visuals on college student enrollment statistics to covering high school soccer.

Taylor Tiamoyo Harris (@ladytiamoyo) is a 2016 honor graduate of Howard University originally from Dallas, Texas. While at Howard, Taylor served as Editor-in-Chief of her college newspaper, The Hilltop. She also interned at the Dallas Morning News, The Washington Post, the Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Army, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University and various other organizations and companies while a student at Howard. Taylor is a 2016 and 2015 Knight Fellow for the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Conference, and a 2015 HBCU Digital Media Fellowship recipient for the Online News Association (ONA). She has also served on the 2016 nominating committee for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), and received scholarships from NABJ and the Dallas Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists as well. Harris enjoys covering sports, education, metro news and politics, and aspires to become a data and investigative reporter.

Wendi C. Thomas (@wendi_c_thomas) is an award-winning independent journalist and a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Her work focuses on economic and racial justice. She is a regular columnist for The Memphis Flyer and a senior writing fellow with the Center for Community Change. From 2003 to 2014, she was the metro columnist and assistant managing editor at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. Previously she was an editor or reporter at The Charlotte Observer, The Tennessean and The Indianapolis Star.

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