Andy Hall, executive director
Hall, a co-founder of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and a former Investigative Reporters and Editors board member, won dozens of awards for his reporting in 26 years at the Wisconsin State Journal and The Arizona Republic. He began his career in 1982 as a copyboy at The New York Times. At The Republic, Hall helped break the “Keating Five” scandal involving Sen. John McCain. At the State Journal, Hall’s stories held government and the powerful accountable and protected the vulnerable through coverage that addressed the racial achievement gap in public schools and helped spark the creation of the nationally noted Schools of Hope volunteer tutoring program, revealed NCAA violations by University of Wisconsin athletes, and exposed appalling conditions in neglected neighborhoods such as Allied Drive and Worthington Park. Hall won a first-place award in 2008 for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association. He also has received National Headliner, Gerald Loeb, James K. Batten and Inland Press Association awards for investigative, financial, deadline and civic journalism coverage. Hall has served as a mentor to the staff of La Comunidad, a Spanish-language newspaper in Madison, and has taught numerous courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication. He currently serves on the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council Board of Directors, Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism Board of Directors, and Indiana University Journalism Alumni Advisory Board. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.
Dee Hall, managing editor
Hall, a co-founder of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, will join the staff as managing editor June 8, 2015. She has worked at the Wisconsin State Journal for 24 years as an editor and reporter focusing on projects and investigations. A 1982 graduate of Indiana University’s journalism school, Hall served reporting internships at the weekly Lake County Star in Crown Point, Ind., The Gary (Ind.) Post-Tribune, The Louisville (Ky.) Times and The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. Prior to returning to her hometown of Madison in 1990, she was a reporter for eight years at The Arizona Republic newspaper in Phoenix, where she covered city government, schools and the environment. During her 32-year journalism career, Hall has won more than three dozen local, state and national awards for her work, including the 2001 State Journal investigation that uncovered a $4 million-a-year secret campaign machine operated by Wisconsin’s top legislative leaders.
Lauren Fuhrmann, associate director
Fuhrmann joined the Center in 2011 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. A Wisconsin native, her reporting has focused on environmental and health issues. Fuhrmann previously researched audience engagement as a social media intern for Harvest Public Media and spent two years as a multimedia reporter for KBIA 91.3 FM and the Columbia Missourian. At WCIJ, Fuhrmann leads WCIJ’s public engagement efforts, including events, social media, newsletter and promotional materials; is co-director of the website; tracks the distribution and assesses the impact of WCIJ’s news stories; assists with development of donors and writing of grant reports; handles bookkeeping duties; produces photos, audio and video content; and copyedits stories. Fuhrmann is vice president of the Madison Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She was among five young leaders in the inaugural group of “Future Headliners” honored in 2014 by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.
Kate Golden, multimedia director and reporter
Golden specializes in environmental stories and data visualizations, and is handy in print, radio, video, photo and online media. She came to the Center in 2010 from Alaska, where she reported on natural resources and business for the Juneau Empire. Before she got into journalism, Golden spent a year studying lowland gorillas in central Africa and collected oral histories in Zanzibar; she has also worked as a photographer. Her work has appeared in Marketplace, washingtonpost.com, and many an Alaska news outlet. Golden has degrees from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Gail Kohl, development consultant
Kohl comes to the Center with more than 30 years of fundraising experience for both statewide and local organizations, including American Players Theatre, Taliesin Preservation Commission, Frank Lloyd Wright Heritage Tourism Program, United Cerebral Palsy, Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy and Big Top Chautauqua. From 1993 until 2010, Kohl was development director of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Over her career, Kohl has been responsible for major gifts, project and operations funding, membership development and enhancement, strategic partnerships and alliances, event planning and coordination, special projects, proposal and grant writing.
Ron Seely, reporter and editor
Ron Seely joined the Center as a part-time reporter, editor and student mentor in June 2013 after nearly 35 years as an award-winning reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. For the past two decades, Seely covered science and environment for the State Journal. Seely is also a senior lecturer on the faculty of the Life Sciences Communication Department in UW-Madison’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where he has taught science writing for 20 years. Seely has won numerous awards for his newspaper work. Most recently he was named a winner of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ national investigative reporting award for a series on Wisconsin’s failure to adequately regulate factory farms. The series was cited for a third place award behind projects by the New York Times and ProPublica. Seely was the 2010 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s national science writing award, the prestigious James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award. In 2008, he won the Inland Press Association Award for investigative reporting for the series on problems at the Madison Water Utility. And he is a three-time winner of the Wisconsin Press Association’s award for environmental reporting. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.
Christa Westerberg, counsel
Westerberg is a shareholder at McGillivray Westerberg & Bender, LLC, in Madison, Wisconsin, where she practices environmental, civil rights, and open government law. Since 2008, Westerberg has served as the vice president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.
Madeleine Behr, reporter
Behr joined the Center in June 2014 as a summer reporting intern. Before joining the Center, the Chicago native worked as a research intern for the Center for Media and Democracy on its ALEC Exposed and SourceWatch projects, in addition to serving as state news editor for The Badger Herald, one of UW-Madison student newspapers. She will graduate in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and legal studies.
Taylor Chase, reporter
Chase joined the Center as an intern in the spring of 2014. Before working at the Center she interned with Madison’s ABC affiliate, WKOW, where she wrote, edited and produced broadcast news stories. Chase has also worked at WSUM Madison Student Radio co-hosting a music/talk show weekly, and spent a short amount of time interning at Wisconsin’s Capitol under various legislators. She will be graduating from UW-Madison in May of 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science.
Sean Kirkby, reporter
Kirkby joined the Center as an intern in summer 2014, after completing his bachelor’s degree in journalism, English and history at UW-Madison. Previously, he reported and edited for The Badger Herald, one of UW-Madison’s student newspapers, and worked for the university’s writing center as a Writing Fellow, helping students revise their course papers. His work has appeared in Wisconsin Health News, a news service focusing on health care policy in the state; on the university’s home page; and in Madison Commons, a hyperlocal blog supported by UW-Madison’s journalism school.