Kayla Guilliams was born and raised in Weaverville, North Carolina. She is a graduate student studying journalism through UNC’s Environment & Science Communication Dual Degree Program and will earn her BA in environmental studies with minors in statistics and journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2021.
Riley Davis grew up in Los Angeles, California before moving to the east coast and learning how to survive seasons. She spent the summer of 2019 as a medical writing intern at Yale University, writing for several of the Yale School of Medicine’s publications. At Carolina, she has focused her studies on both environmental and medical writing, and is currently completing her thesis on the conservation efforts of zoos. She is a Maxwell Scholar in Science and Medical Journalism and a Park Fellowship recipient.
Davis received her B.A. from Brown University in 2016, where she double majored in English and Science & Society and focused her studies on the history, philosophy, and sociology of science, and how we represent science in literature. After graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she spent time learning about things like spectrum allocation and 5G, and writing long and short form content about the wireless industry. She loves explaining technical concepts to general audiences, and hopes to use her experiences at UNC to help shape the narrative of how we talk and write about science. In her free time you can find her on the polo field, on a hike with her dog, or reading a good book.
Anne McDarris was born and raised in Cary, North Carolina. She is a graduate student studying journalism through UNC’s Environment & Science Communication Dual Degree Program and earned her BA in environmental studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2019.
McDarris is particularly interested in writing about issues pertaining to identity, conservation, and renewable energy. She has also worked in environmental education for the National Park Service and the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station, as well as assisted with media campaigns for a museum tourism company in London, UK. McDarris was originally drawn to science journalism by the stories she read in National Geographic, and decided to pursue it as a career after taking an introductory journalism class in the fall of 2015. She aspires to one day write for a publication that will inspire others to appreciate science.
Graduating Class of 2019
Larisa Bennett grew up a Tar Heel fan in Pittsboro, N.C. Following in her parents’ footsteps, she completed her undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. A talk by Alexandra Cousteau her sophomore year inspired her to earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a minor in marine science. After taking a semester off to travel solo in Europe, she returned to Carolina to complete a master’s in science and medical journalism.
She spent the summer of 2018 in Washington, D.C. researching and writing about ocean topics as an intern for the Ocean Portal at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Bennett wants to use her combined degrees to effectively communicate scientific and environmental issues to a non-scientific public. In this way she hopes to inspire and equip people to make informed decisions to protect our imperiled planet.
Jeremiah Murphy is now working to expand his thesis project, a comedy podcast about climate change. He is also production supervisor for a podcast produced by two faculty members at The Gillings School of Global Public Health and works at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, researching for the news desert project.
At UNC, Murphy supplemented his science journalism coursework with classes in data journalism, motion graphics and global climate change (that one even had math homework). Murphy is grateful to have been a Roy H. Park Fellow as well as the recipient of the Maxwell Graduate Scholarship for Medical Journalism. He also really enjoyed being a TA for science journalism and audio journalism courses.
A long time ago, when the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was a mere 370 ppm, Murphy received his B.A. in Theatre Arts from Sewanee (after giving up pre-med when chem lab didn’t work out). In between UNC and undergrad, he performed in sketch, improv, and stand-up comedy. Murphy has also worked in a variety of industries: theme restaurants, education, investment banking, public transportation and–something that mixed all of those–stay at home parenting.
Murphy is a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, the National Association of Science Writers, the Association of Healthcare Journalists and Actors Equity Association. His website is jeremiahmurphy.net.
Minali Nigam is a physician-in-training and journalist from Charlotte, N.C. She simultaneously completed her medical degree and master’s of journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2019 and received a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University in 2015. The Duke-UNC dual identity started early; as an undergraduate, she was a Robertson Scholar and fortunate to have the opportunity to explore academics and extracurricular activities at both schools.
Nigam has reported and published stories as an intern for North Carolina Health News and CNN in Atlanta. While at UNC, she was awarded the Maxwell Graduate Scholarship and North Carolina Medical Society Foundation Scholarship for her work in medical journalism. As a medical student, she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor Societies. She hopes to merge her interests in science and writing to share compelling stories that raise public health awareness. Currently, she is pursuing a residency in neurology.
Graduating Class of 2017
Bendaas received her bachelor of arts in anthropology in 2013 from Wake Forest University where she double-minored in journalism and Middle East and South Asia studies. As an undergraduate student, she conducted fieldwork in Algeria’s Aurès Mountains region that centered on the symbolic meaning, contribution to identity, and reasons for disappearance of traditional facial tattoos among the indigenous Chaouia. Bendaas conducted this research as a student fellow for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Her research was also published in Al Jazeera English, Your Middle East, and The Huffington Post.
For her graduate thesis project at UNC, Bendaas returned to Algeria to look at how climate change affected rural sheepherding practices. Her work was published by Thomson Reuters Foundation News.
Rossie Izlar is now an associate producer on the science team at UNC-TV, the state’s PBS affiliate. Izlar graduated from Appalachian State University in 2013 with a bachelor of science degree in sustainable development. While completing her master’s program, Izlar worked as communications intern for the North Carolina Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation, a health-centered, non-profit incubator in Cary, N.C. Izlar, a native North Carolinian, loves swamps, public spaces, pizza and books.
Graduating Class of 2016
Alasdair Wilkins has written about science, technology, and pop culture for publications like The Atlantic, The A.V. Club, io9, New Scientist, Paste Magazine, and Vox. While at UNC, he produced a pair of feature-length documentaries on environmental issues and settlement abandonment in the Shetland Islands and Detroit, respectively. After graduating there in 2016, he worked as associate editor for the science and techology sections at Vocativand as the editor of the innovation section at Inverse.
He also explored larger ethical and historical questions facing the journalistic profession as a 2015 participant in the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics, or FASPE, program. In summer 2018, he spent two weeks in the Canadian Rockies as a resident in the Banff Centre’s Environmental Reportage program, working on an expanded print version of his master’s thesis documentary on the history and geography of Shetland. He is a 2018-19 recipient of the University of Virginia’s Genetics and Human Agency Fellowship, for which he will report on how genetics shapes weight loss. He lives in Brooklyn, where he works as a software engineer at Oscar Health Insurance in addition to his freelance writing.
Graduating Class of 2014
Courtni Kopietz is a communications specialist for the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She develops and implements communications strategies using a variety of digital and print media including newsletters, annual reports, magazine articles, videos and social media.
Kopietz formerly worked as a content strategist at the Morgridge Institute for Research, a nonprofit biomedical research institute based in Madison, Wisc.
As part of the science and medical journalism master’s program at UNC-Chapel Hill, Kopietz reported for stemwire.org through the Journalism School’s Reese Digital News Lab. She produced health and science reports for the campus television news program, Carolina Week, as well as a short environmental documentary for UNC-TV. Kopietz also performed communication work for the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation in Cary, N.C.
Lane earned his M.A. from the UNC Science and Medical Journalism Program in 2014 as a Roy H. Park Fellow. His work there focused on coastal issues related to sea-level rise. Prior to that, Lane earned a B.A. in chemistry from the University of Rochester in 2012, and spent a fifth year there studying fiction and storytelling as part of the Take 5 Scholars Program.
Graduating Class of 2013
Patrick Mustain is a Multimedia Producer for Oceana, providing communications support, including editorial and digital media content for Oceana’s U.S. campaigns.
After finishing his enlistment in the U.S. Navy, Patrick began working as a personal trainer, while pursuing an undergraduate degree in kinesiology at the University of Illinois, then a master of public health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and finally a master of arts at the University of North Carolina School in the Science and Medical Journalism Program.
Patrick was a regular contributor to Scientific American’s Food Matters blog and The Daily Beast. His commentary, “Dear American Consumers,” was the 2013 Scientific American blog of the year, and the highest-read post in Scientific American history at the time of its publishing.
Patrick’s written and digital media work has also appeared in Business Insider, Civil Eats, Grist, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Nashville Public Television, North Carolina Health News, North Carolina Public Television, Upworthy, Weighty Matters, and Yahoo! News.
In 2014, Patrick co-founded NewBodyEthic.org, an organization aimed at reforming the health and fitness industry to make it more inclusive, responsible and effective, by bringing together professionals who are dedicated to providing evidence-based, hype free health advice to consumers.
Some of Patrick’s writing and video work are on his portfolio site at patrickmustain.com.
Graduating Class of 2012
Kelly is a science/technical writer and content strategist for Uncork-it, Inc., an advertising and marketing communications firm in Blacksburg, Va.
In this capacity, she collaborates on multimedia projects, writes extensively about engineering, and brainstorms enthusiastically.
Previously, Kelly was the communications coordinator for the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab at Virginia Tech. In 2013, she interned with the U.S. science communication team at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
Kelly earned her M.A. in science and medical journalism as a Roy H. Park Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill and received her B.S. in physics from Appalachian State University
Stephanie Soucheray works as a medical reporter covering emerging infectious diseases for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.
Soucheray is a native of St. Paul, Minn. She graduated from St. Olaf College in 2007 with a degree in English and history where she wrote on the history of medicine and the rise of the “man-midwife” (today’s OB-GYN) for her senior thesis. After graduation, she worked for the Northfield News and was a production assistant for Minnesota Public Radio, where she worked on “Midmorning with Kerri Miller” and American Public Media’s “American RadioWorks.” She has written rock concert reviews for The St. Paul Pioneer Press and humorous columns on life as an expatriate for various English publications in Germany. At the end of her first year in the master’s program, she was awarded the Maxwell Graduate Scholarship in Medical Journalism. Then, in the summer Soucheray-Grell worked as the writing intern at the Yale School of Medicine. She lives with her two daughters in St. Paul, MN.
Graduating Class of 2011
Carrie earned her undergraduate degree from Emory University in 2006, double-majoring in neuroscience/behavioral biology and journalism. As a student at Carolina, she worked as an intern for WUNC-FM and for CNN’s medical bureau in Atlanta. After graduation, Carrie worked as a health reporter for ABCNews.com, then as a communications manager at the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Anne Frances Johnson
Anne Frances Johnson is Founder and Lead Science Writer at Creative Science Writing (CreativeScienceWriting.com). With more than 12 years of experience translating complex scientific information into clear and engaging stories, Anne delights in finding creative ways to get other people as excited about science as she is. The Creative Science Writing team provides content and strategic guidance for clients including academic and research institutions, professional societies, research funders, healthcare organizations and biotech companies. Projects have included the award-winning educational game Extreme Event, leading media outreach activities for several large annual meetings and regularly engaging public audiences through newsletters, articles and reports. Anne holds a Master’s in Science and Medical Journalism from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s in Biology from Smith College.
Graduating Class of 2009
Prashant Nair is Media and Communications Manager at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Signed into existence by President Lincoln in 1863, the National Academies are today comprised of four organizations that advise the federal government and the public on matters related to science, engineering and medicine. One of the world’s most-cited scientific journals, PNAS publishes research articles, commentaries, reviews and perspectives on a raft of topics.
Nair was a Pfizer Minority Medical Journalism Scholar and graduated from the science and medical journalism program in May 2009. His writing has appeared in a range of publications, including Nature Medicine, New Scientist, Science and local newspapers and magazines in Chapel Hill. During the summer of 2008, Nair was a science writing intern at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a teaching affiliate of Harvard University, Boston, Mass. He also completed a health reporting internship with North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC in Durham, N.C.
In addition to a Master of Arts degree in medical journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Nair holds a Master of Sciences degree in life sciences from Bharathidasan University, India, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Basel, Switzerland.
Graduating Class of 2008
Kelly Rae Chi
Kelly Rae Chi is a proposal writer at PRA Health Sciences, a global clinical research company headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. She works with a team of experts to gain new business from biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, by developing strategic documents that describe the operational and scientific approaches underlying clinical trial conduct. Before working at PRA, she spent 10 years as a freelance science writer. Kelly’s work has appeared in Scientific American, The Scientist, Nature journals, and other publications, and she has worked with university press offices, foundations, advertising agencies and other types of clients to develop clear, engaging stories about science. Kelly graduated from the Medical Journalism Program in 2008 and was science writing fellow at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and a Roy H. Park Fellow. She also has a master’s degree in biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she studied the brain’s role in detecting hypoglycemia. Kelly resides in Cary, N.C., with her husband, two children, dog, and two cats.
Maggie David Holley
Maggie David Holley is the owner and founder of Maven Science and Medical Communications, a content strategy and development business that helps life sciences companies tell stories that sell their science.
A native of the Philippines, Holley graduated in May 2008 from the UNC medical journalism program. She was the third recipient of the Pfizer Minority Medical Journalism Scholarship and the first international student to enter the program.
Holley worked previously as a science writer for the Duke Clinical Research Institute, a science writer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and a freelance writer for several business and consumer publications. She now manages the efforts of a team of science writers with complementary expertise who collaborate on projects.
Holley holds a special interest in public health issues involving women, minorities, and the mentally ill. In 2004, a piece she wrote on cervical cancer incidence among Filipinos earned her a travel grant from the Australian Embassy, which sent her on a trip to Sydney so she could learn more about developments in the field of women’s health.
She resides in Chapel Hill, N.C., with her husband Lester and stepson Naji.
Julia Connors Soplop
Julia Connors Soplop is a writer and documentary-style photographer. She owns Calm Cradle Photo & Design and is the author of the children’s curriculum, Documenting Your World Through Photography. Her forthcoming book, Equus Rising: How the Horse Shaped U.S. History, is due out in mid-2020.
Soplop was a Roy H. Park Fellow and graduated from the Medical Journalism Program at UNC in May 2008. She focused on maternal and child health, writing her master’s thesis on the medical and ethical issues surrounding preterm birth and low birth weight.
A Minnesota native, Soplop received her B.A. in French Studies in 2004 from Duke University. She has held internships at National Geographic, Duke Magazine and the Summit Daily News, and her writing and photos have appeared in several additional publications, including Skiing Magazine and The Chapel Hill News. Soplop also has an interest in animal behavior and environmental issues. She has conducted primate behavioral research in Madagascar and studied sea turtle conservation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Soplop moved to Chapel Hill after spending two years in New York City working for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Following graduate school, Soplop worked as a market analyst for RTI International, where her writing focused on global health, particularly in Africa.
Soplop lives in the woods outside Chapel Hill with her husband and three young daughters.
Sarah Whitmarsh is the Communication Manager for Advance Family Planning (AFP), an advocacy initiative that works to improve access to contraceptives for women and girls in developing countries. She leads internal and external communications for AFP, which is part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her work supports the efforts of family planning advocates in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.
After graduating from the Medical Journalism program as a Roy H. Park Fellow in 2008, Whitmarsh lived in London for two years, working in an education-focused research center associated with the School of Pharmacy, University of London and the International Pharmaceutical Federation in The Hague, Netherlands. There she developed an interest in international health, returning to the U.S. in 2010 to pursue a career in global health writing in Washington, DC.
A native of Savannah, Ga., Whitmarsh attended the University of Georgia in Athens, where she received her bachelor’s of science in microbiology in 2006. She currently resides in Baltimore.
Graduating Class of 2007
Yasmeen Khan is a reporter covering education and youth for WNYC in New York, the nation’s largest public radio station. Her work has focused on deep-dive, immersive storytelling, including covering school segregation in New York City, transgender children, students at risk of dropping out of high school and gender equity issues for teenage girls. Her work has won awards from the National Headliner Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Awards and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated.
She is a North Carolina native and got her start in public radio at WUNC. Yasmeen has also held jobs as a bartender, toll collector and dish washer.
Molly Kramer is the Founder & Creative Director of Model Content, a boutique content marketing firm focused on science, healthcare, tech, and policy. Molly also serves as serve as an Industry Mentor for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program and an Economic Development Ambassador for the New Orleans Business Alliance.
Molly received a B.S. from New College at the University of Alabama, designing a depth study in Scientific Writing & Philosophy of Science. As a Roy H. Park Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill, she worked at Park Library while completing her M.A. in Medical Journalism. She focused on healthcare administration and policy, writing her thesis on immigration and hospital funding in post-Katrina Louisiana.
After graduation, she covered environmental policy under the Bush and Obama administrations as an associate editor for Inside Washington Publishers. She specialized in Superfund clean-ups, Clean Air Act policy, and climate change. She then worked as a freelance reporter and copy editor for clients such as the AP, AFP, and Congressional Quarterly.
Since transitioning to communications, Molly has served as head writer for a Medicare Advantage company, then communications manager for a good-government think tank, before starting her own firm. She serves as a reviewer for the APHA’s Global Public Health Film Festival. She lives in New Orleans with her family and marches in a Mardi Gras krewe.
Kate Schoen Vidinsky
Kate Vidinsky is a health writer and communications consultant for the University of California, San Francisco and UCSF Health. She previously oversaw media relations for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, before transitioning into working as a freelancer. Her work spans a wide range of health and science issues, from the nation’s sugar and obesity epidemic, to the first randomized controlled study of fetal surgery for spina bifida treatment, to an Emergency Trauma Unit’s response following a plane crash in San Francisco.
A self-professed “wearer of many hats,” Vidinsky also helped develop and co-found with her husband Nick (a fellow JOMC graduate) the app Tales Untold, a collection of audio podcasts for young children. She also serves on the board of the YES Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to bolstering art and music education in community public schools. An avid health and fitness junkie, Vidinsky fills any spare time teaching classes at The Dailey Method barre studio.
Vidinsky received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Indiana University in 2003. She went on to work as a researcher at the John B. Pierce Laboratory/Yale Medical School before beginning her graduate work as a Roy H. Park Fellow at UNC.
She currently resides alongside the redwoods in Fairfax, CA, with her husband and their two magical children.
Graduating Class of 2006
Subhashni Singh Joy
Subhashni D. Singh Joy is an Associate Director for PRA Health Sciences in Raleigh, N.C. She manages a team of 13 writers who develop documents outlining study-specific strategies for clinical trial execution.
Joy was the first recipient of the Pfizer Minority Medical Journalism Scholarship. She graduated from the medical journalism program in May 2006. During her second year at UNC, she worked in the communications department at the UNC School of Public Health as well as at AlphaMed Press, which publishes two journals. After graduation, she continued working for AlphaMed Press as the production coordinator for the peer-reviewed journal, Stem Cells. She also worked as a freelance writer for a variety of clients, including the American Journal of Nursing.
Joy received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia in 2001. After graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for the Cosmetic Ingredient Review as a scientific analyst/writer. There, she compiled research and wrote safety assessments on ingredients in cosmetics, which were used to make recommendations to the cosmetic industry.
Graduating Class of 2005
Will Alexander is currently the director of communications for the Duke Department of Neurology. Alexander has previously worked as a writer and editor for a Chapel Hill-based nonprofit specializing in reproductive health, and as a medical writer for a medical-education startup in Cary. He is also the co-author of a best-selling women’s health textbook.
Alexander earned his bachelor’s degree in English in 2000. His interests and areas of expertise include women’s health, how and why people smoke cigarettes, epidemiology, and infectious diseases. He also enjoys traveling, cooking and film. He lives with his wife Jessica and dog Clara.
Jeremy Ashton has worked in the Office of Communications for the South Florida Water Management District since November 2008. The regional government agency operates the flood control system and manages water supply for more than 8 million people from Orlando to the Florida Keys. The District is also partnering with the federal government to restore America’s Everglades, the largest environmental restoration project in U.S. history. Ashton has a wide range of writing responsibilities with the District, including writing content for the agency’s website and managing its social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter.
A native of Edenton, N.C., Ashton graduated in 1997 from the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics. In 2002, he received a B.S. in biochemistry from N.C. State University, where he also minored in journalism and covered sports for the student newspaper, Technician.
Ashton was a reporter for the Lincoln Times-News in Lincolnton, N.C., for a year before being accepted to UNC’s medical journalism program and being named a Roy H. Park Fellow. After successfully completing the program, he spent three years primarily as a government reporter for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, based in Stuart, Fla. His work experience also includes a two-month health reporting internship at WUNC-FM in 2005.
Sonya Sutton is the communications specialist for the UNC Center of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP). She completed the medical journalism program in May 2005. She was a Roy H. Park Fellow and graduate research assistant on the Teen Media project for both years of the program.
Sutton coordinates all external and internal communication activities for HPDP, which includes creating a communications and marketing plan for the Center, as well as creating digital and print content, a quarterly newsletter and tracking researchers’ accomplishments and activities for reporting to stakeholders. She also works to create engaging marketing materials to share with policymakers and research audiences. She also coordinates all webinar and distance learning activities for the Center and supervises several student interns each year.
Sutton received a BSPH in health policy and administration (now health policy and management) from UNC in May 2000. After graduation, she worked at RTI International, where she served as project manager for the RTI-UNC Evidence-based Practice Center. She co-authored several evidence reviews for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, as well as reports on determining disability in speech and language disorders, management of bronchiolitis, CBPR, health literacy, and rating the strength and quality of scientific evidence.
Her interests include knowledge management in research settings, community-engaged research and developing stories that help people better understand health research.
Graduating Class of 2004
Amanda Crowe, M.A., M.P.H., runs IMPACT Health Communications, LLC. Throughout her career, she has gained practical expertise in strategic health communications, material and program development that aims to educate and impact consumer health behavior and perceptions, media advocacy, coalition building, health messaging and market research. She is also contributing writer or editor for a number of online health toolkits, newsletters and print publications.
Crowe earned her M.A. in medical journalism as a Park Fellow in 2004 and an M.P.H. in 2005, both at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been retained by a number of organizations to develop educational materials, conduct market research (e.g., focus groups, field-testing of materials), provide counsel on programming and media outreach, and advance the visibility of key health issues and initiatives. Her interests are in maternal and child health, infectious diseases, oncology, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, pain management and preventive medicine. Her client base predominantly comprises non-profit health organizations and associations.
Before attending UNC, Crowe worked at Cooney Waters Group, a medical/health marketing communications firm based in New York City. In this capacity, she handled such issues as patient-physician communications, HIV drug resistance, disparities in childhood immunizations, meningitis on college campuses, data publicity, primary nocturnal enuresis and influenza and tetanus vaccine shortages. Through her work, Crowe secured important media placements and built alliances with nonprofit health organizations, government agencies and pharmaceutical companies.
Previously, Crowe served as a communications director for the American Cancer Society New England Division where she managed and executed all internal and external communications, including extensive media relations, large-scale public awareness campaigns and crisis communications efforts for the state of Connecticut. In addition, she managed all content and material development including patient education brochures, Web site copy, speeches, presentations, as well as the launch of two targeted newsletters.
Crowe is a member of the American Public Health Association, the National Association of Medical Communicators and the Health Care Marketing and Communications Council. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a bachelor of arts in Psychology and concentrations in Markets & Management and Television & Film Studies.
She is based outside of New York City.
Meaghan Hannan Davant is Counsel at Hilgers Graben PLLC, where she practices litigation with a focus on intellectual property and complex commercial disputes. She has also served as Deputy General Counsel for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). She began her career at WilmerHale LLP. She also writes freelance articles and has been published in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to DC Theatre Scene.
In her previous career, Davant was an Associate Producer with CBS News Productions in New York City, where she produced news segments for the CBS Nightly News, 48 Hours and 60 Minutes, as well as political and historical documentaries for the History Channel’s 20th Century with Mike Wallace.
Davant received her law degree, cum laude, from Duke University School of Law, where she served as the notes editor for the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law. She was also a Roy H. Park Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she earned a master’s degree in medical journalism. Davant received her B.A. from Princeton University. Davant lives on Capitol Hill with her husband, two children, and goldendoodle “Leo.”
Zuiker earned his master’s degree in medical journalism at UNC, where his thesis reporting project was a 12,000-word narrative magazine feature on a rise in HIV among college students in North Carolina.
A longtime blogger and an early adopter of social media, Zuiker was co-founder of ScienceOnline, an organization that gathered scientists, journalists, and others for demonstrations, discussions and debates about science on the Web. During his graduate studies, he organized a “Weblogs and Journalism” seminar for N.C. journalists, the UNC “Narratives of HIV” series of media awareness events, and the Triangle Bloggers Conference. He also has organized events around food blogging, storytelling, and community building. His current project is Voices of Duke Health, a podcast project that was selected by the ABIM Foundation as one of eight Trust Practice Challenge winners.
Anton spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, where he organized a multi-island solar electrification project.
Learn more about Anton at antonzuiker.com.
Graduating Class of 2003
Joy Harrington (née Buchanan) is vice president at Knighten Health, a medical education company, where she manages all operations and develops digital content and CME products for health care professionals including mobile apps. Prior to Knighten, she was vice president, editorial operations at Millmark Education, where she oversaw the content production and digital delivery of science education materials for grades three through eight.
She was managing editor for HealthCentral.com, managing the development and delivery of content for more than 30 websites on chronic health conditions. Harrington was the consumer health reporter and columnist at The Tennessean in Nashville. Shortly after graduating from UNC, she was the health and health care business reporter for the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., where she won an Excel award for her reporting on the rising rates of HIV among young, black women in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. She also was part of the team that won a Virginia Press Association award for its reporting on the cost of being poor in Hampton Roads. Buchanan reported and wrote the piece about the cost of health care for poor people and for those who lacked insurance.
Harrington got her B.A. in English from Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Decker graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2003 with a master’s degree in medical journalism. She was a Park Fellow and received the Kathryn M. Cronin Academic Scholarship in Medical Journalism while at UNC.
Decker produced, wrote and edited a 30-minute documentary on mental health care reform in North Carolina for her master’s thesis. The project looked at the history of mental health reform in the United States and the potential drawbacks to a plan for state reform that calls for the privatization of the mental health care system in North Carolina. The documentary aired in three parts on North Carolina public television.
While an intern, Decker produced two mini-documentaries for statewide public television. The second looked at new research out of UNC that linked where people live to how healthful their eating habits are. The piece won first place for in-depth reporting in the student competition of the southeastern chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
One week after graduating from UNC, Decker started working as an associate producer at WCNC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Charlotte. WCNC-TV is a top-30 market station that brings the best local news to the Charlotte area. The station’s fast-paced newscasts emphasize breaking news and have won numerous journalism awards.
Decker is a graduate of Carleton College, where she received a bachelor of arts in history in 1995.
Graduating Class of 2002
Steve Baragona is an award-winning multimedia journalist covering science, environment and health for Voice of America in Washington, DC. VOA is the largest U.S. international broadcaster, providing news and information in more than 40 languages on TV, radio and online to an audience of more than 200 million people.
He began his career as a lab rat. After almost eight years working in biotechnology and basic research labs, Baragona discovered writing about science was much more satisfying than doing it. He enrolled in the inaugural class of UNC’s master’s program in medical journalism and graduated in May 2002.
While in graduate school, Baragona caught the radio bug working at North Carolina Public Radio WUNC. He won awards from Public Radio News Directors and the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication for pieces that aired on WUNC.
He also spent four and a half years as communications and public affairs officer for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, a professional organization representing physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases.
Prior to this, he was managing editor for health and medical coverage for ABC News in New York City – a position he took on after leading the ABC News digital health team as health editor of ABCNews.com. He completed the UNC master’s program in medical journalism in 2002. In 1999 he received a B.S. in biology with a minor in journalism from Wake Forest University.
In his more than 15-year career as a medical journalist, Childs produced medical news for print, broadcast and Internet venues. During his two years in the medical journalism program, Childs wrote medical news reports for MedMinute, a Duke University radio program, and assisted with Carolina Week, the UNC-Chapel Hill student-run television news program. Thanks to the medical journalism program, he was able to secure a summer position with the ABC News Medical Unit as a medical news researcher, gathering content for ABC’s World News Tonight and Good Morning America – an opportunity that paved the way for his future work with ABC News.
Prior to joining ABC News, Childs was based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as editor and host of Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty, a tripartite media effort comprising a magazine, television program and website. The magazine and television show, which were the first of their kind in Asia, aimed to educate and inform Asian audiences on trends, issues and techniques in aesthetic surgery.
Before entering the medical journalism program at UNC-Chapel Hill, Childs was staff writer for The Daily Courier, a 12,000-circulation daily newspaper in Rutherford County, N.C. During his tenure as a Courier reporter, he covered the health, hospital and environmental beats; reported on city and county government; wrote a weekly column; and produced photos for the Courier as part-time photographer.
Childs resides with his wife Rina in Hoboken, NJ.
Tania Zeigler is the director of Digital Planning for Kaiser Permanente’s Digital Experience Center. In her role, Zeigler works to create highly engaging and personalized experiences for healthcare consumers in Colorado and Hawaii. As a leader, Zeigler is highly attuned to the needs and concerns of her colleagues, team members and customers. She is a coach and mentor who listens intently and helps people tap into and unleash their purpose and potential.
Zeigler was appointed by the Governor of Colorado to serve on the State’s e-Health Commission, a team of leaders charged with developing and leading the execution of a 5-year Health IT Roadmap, which will advance health information technology in the State of Colorado.
Prior to her current role, Zeigler was the senior director of Customer Experience for Kaiser Permanente Colorado, where she led customer experience strategy, analytics and operations for 7 years. Zeigler also served in a variety of other roles, in Service Quality, Corporate Communications, Public Relations and Member Communications. Before joining Kaiser Permanente, Zeigler was a media relations specialist for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Zeigler is a lifelong consumer advocate and works tirelessly to ensure patients and their families feel cared for when they are not well, and to simplify people’s experiences with getting the care and coverage they need.
Zeigler has a master’s in medical journalism and a bachelor’s in bacteriology and violin performance. She was honored by the Denver Business Journal as one of the Outstanding 2015 40 Under 40 Leaders. Zeigler enjoys volunteering and supporting her community, serving on the boards for Colorado Public Radio and Metro Volunteers. Zeigler’s favorite pastimes are yoga, gabbing with friends, and family ski days with her husband, Kenneth, and sons Phoenix and Griffin.