Andy Hall, executive director
Andy 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. Since the Center’s launch in 2009, he has been responsible for the Center’s journalistic and financial operations. Hall 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 serves on the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council Board of Directors, Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism Board of Directors, and Indiana University Media School’s Journalism Alumni Board, of which he is president. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and, in 2016, received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the IU Media School. He also serves as a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News membership task force to create and uphold high industry standards.
Dee J. Hall, managing editor
Dee J. Hall, a co-founder of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, joined the staff as managing editor in June 2015. She is responsible for the Center’s daily news operations. She 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 35-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
Lauren Fuhrmann joined the Center in 2011 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. At the Center, Fuhrmann leads revenue development efforts as well as public engagement initiatives, including events, social media, newsletter and promotional materials; 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. A Wisconsin native, her reporting 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. Fuhrmann is vice president and treasurer 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 and a member of the inaugural Emerging Leaders Council recognized by the Institute for Nonprofit News. In 2017, Fuhrmann became a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional.
Jay Burseth, development director
Jay Burseth joined the Center in April 2020 as the Development Director. His role includes setting the organization’s vision for fundraising growth; building and executing a development plan; working directly with donors and other supporters to further the Center’s mission; managing grant proposals and reports; and leading the development team and interns to meet fundraising goals. Prior to joining the Center, Burseth led fundraising for the Milwaukee County Parks and was the Development Director for the Milwaukee-based public radio music station, WMSE 91.7. Burseth holds a Master’s in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from UW-Milwaukee, where he focused on fundraising and marketing in public media, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History, also from UWM.
Coburn Dukehart, digital and multimedia director
Coburn Dukehart joined the Center in 2016 as digital and multimedia director. Her role includes directing the Center’s visual strategy, creating visual and audio content, managing digital assets and training student and professional journalists. Dukehart previously was a senior photo editor at National Geographic, the picture and multimedia editor at NPR, a photo editor at USATODAY.com and washingtonpost.com, interned in the White House photo department, and worked for a London-based publishing group. She has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year International and the White House News Photographers Association. Her multimedia and photography work has been honored with a Webby, a Gracie, a Murrow, a duPont, and Milwaukee Press Club awards, and she was nominated for a national Emmy. Dukehart received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Jim Malewitz, investigations editor
Jim Malewitz joined the Center in 2019 as investigations editor. His role includes editing, managing fellows and interns, facilitating cross-newsroom collaborations and investigative reporting. Malewitz has worked almost exclusively in nonprofit, public affairs journalism. He most recently reported on the environment for Bridge Magazine in his home state of Michigan, following four years as an energy and investigative reporter for the Texas Tribune. Malewitz previously covered energy and the environment for Stateline, a nonprofit news service in Washington, D.C. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, POLITICO Magazine and newspapers across the country. Malewitz majored in political science at Grinnell College in Iowa and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. There, he was a founding staff member of the nonprofit Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, where he serves on the board of directors.
Emily Neinfeldt, membership director
Emily Neinfeldt joined the Center in September 2017 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in journalism and political science. She started as a public engagement and marketing intern before becoming membership manager in 2019 and membership director in 2021. Her role includes maintaining and improving the digital infrastructure and operations developed under the Facebook Local News Membership Accelerator program and recommending and leading implementation of audience-growth efforts including marketing initiatives. Before working at the Center, she was a news intern at Wispolitics.com. She has also worked as associate news editor, features editor and managing editor at The Badger Herald, an independent student newspaper. Neinfeldt is secretary of the Madison Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Bram Sable-Smith, WPR Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow
Bram Sable-Smith joined the Center in 2019 as the Wisconsin Public Radio Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow. Before moving to Wisconsin he spent five years reporting on health care at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and as a founding reporter of Side Effects Public Media, a public media reporting collaborative in the Midwest. He also taught radio journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Sable-Smith’s contributed stories to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, American Public Media’s Marketplace and Kaiser Health News. His reporting has received two national Edward R. Murrow awards, two national Sigma Delta Chi awards, a health policy award from the Association of Health Care Journalists among others. Sable-Smith is a proficient Spanish speaker and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.
Phoebe Petrovic, Criminal Justice Reporting Project Manager
Phoebe Petrovic joined Wisconsin Watch in 2019 as a Report for America corps member. She is leading creation of an investigative podcast examining police and prosecutorial misconduct in Wisconsin. She formerly served as a general assignment reporter at Wisconsin Public Radio through the Lee Ester News Fellowship and, prior to that, was an editorial radio intern at “Reveal” from the Center for Investigative Reporting. She also worked as a producer for NPR’s “Here & Now” and a reporter for WCPN ideastream, Northeast Ohio’s NPR member station. Petrovic earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Yale University, where she founded and led audio projects including Herald Audio, the first-ever audio section of an undergraduate publication, and “Small-Great Objects,” the first-ever podcast series installed at Yale University Art Gallery.
Vanessa Swales, investigative reporter
Vanessa Swales joined the Center as an investigative reporter in 2020. Swales is a multilingual British-American-Iranian reporter who has worked in London, New York, San Francisco and Málaga, Spain. She most recently completed a reporting fellowship at the New York Times. Swales is a graduate of the Spanish-language journalism program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in investigative and data journalism. She previously worked for NBC Investigations, Reveal, Diario SUR and SUR in English. She speaks fluent Spanish, and intermediate French, and basic Italian and Farsi.
Howard Hardee, election integrity reporter
Howard Hardee is the election integrity reporter at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and a local fellow with the international journalism nonprofit First Draft News. He most recently was a reporter at the Wisconsin State Journal. He has written extensively about government, natural disasters and forest health in Northern California, and was a 2017 Environmental Reportage fellow at the Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Alberta.
Sharon McGowan, Votebeat project editor
Sharon McGowan joined the Center in October 2020 as the editor for Wisconsin Watch’s Votebeat project — a pop-up nonprofit newsroom covering local election administration and voting in six states, created by Chalkbeat. She also works part-time as the Amplify Collaborations Leader at the Institute for Nonprofit News. McGowan was the founding editor of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, an award-winning nonprofit news organization that has covered low-income, minority communities in Milwaukee’s central city since 2011. McGowan started her career as a reporter and then managing editor at The Chicago Reporter, which covers race and poverty. McGowan was assistant news director/managing editor at WBBM-AM Radio and later became Assignment Manager at WBBM-TV, both in Chicago.She was an adjunct faculty member in journalism at Northwestern University for more than 20 years and was most recently on the journalism faculty at the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University.McGowan earned her bachelor’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis and her master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Nora Eckert, Votebeat project reporter
Nora Eckert joined the Center in October 2020 as a reporter for Wisconsin Watch’s Votebeat project — a pop-up nonprofit newsroom covering local election administration and voting in six states, created by Chalkbeat. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and undergraduate degree from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. She previously worked with NPR, The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal. She’s reported on national investigations into jail suicides, how climate change disproportionately affects the urban poor, the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes and the race for artificial blood. While reporting in Washington, she covered the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump and funeral of Rep. Elijah Cummings. Before diving into the journalism world, she worked as a marketing and communications specialist at a Minnesota biotech company.
Anya van Wagtendonk, Votebeat project reporter
Anya van Wagtendonk joined the Center in 2020 as a reporter with Wisconsin Watch’s Votebeat collaboration — a pop-up nonprofit newsroom covering local election administration and voting in six states, created by Chalkbeat. Most recently, she covered local business and government in west Michigan at the Muskegon Chronicle and MLive. She is a former politics reporter and producer at the PBS NewsHour and regular politics and policy contributor at Vox.com, and has also worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer. A proud graduate of the the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in political reporting and documentary filmmaking, her freelance work has appeared in POLITICO Magazine, the Washington Post, Village Voice and elsewhere, and has been supported with grants from the Solutions Journalism Network, the New York National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and ACES: The Society for Editing.
Allison Dikanovic, engagement reporting fellow
Allison Dikanovic joined the Center as an engagement reporting fellow working on News414, a collaboration between Wisconsin Watch, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier media, in May 2020. Her role includes reporting building off of questions texted in to News414, and finding new ways to fill information gaps and involve community members in the reporting process. Dikanovic is pursuing a master’s in social journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Prior to the Center, she served as an engagement fellow at THE CITY, a nonprofit newsroom covering New York City, where she worked on projects to make local news more collaborative. A Wisconsin native with so much love for Milwaukee, Dikanovic previously reported for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Her work has been published by the Associated Press, THE CITY, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Urban Milwaukee and On Milwaukee, and has been awarded a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network and a regional Murrow Award. During her favorite summer, she worked with students to create Youth Rise MKE, a youth-led digital magazine project. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and journalism from Marquette University.
Matt Whitney, engagement manager
Matt Whitney joined the Center in 2019 as a public engagement and marketing intern. He was promoted to engagement manager in 2020. He received UW-Madison bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Environmental Studies. He has interned in various marketing and communications roles at the Nature Conservancy, Filene Research Institute, and for State Representative Katrina Shankland. He gained journalistic experience from the Daily Cardinal, a UW-Madison student newspaper, and from volunteering at Simpson Street Free Press. Whitney is very excited to further develop his passions for marketing, engagement, digital media, and nonprofit work at Wisconsin Watch.
Bevin Christie, Project Manager, News414
Bevin Christie joined News414, a collaboration between Wisconsin Watch, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier Media, in August 2020. Christie is a social entrepreneur and community organizer, with a background in education reform and workforce development. Throughout her career, Christie has partnered with a variety of industries, public/private schools, community based organizations, and the Milwaukee community to build upon a belief that a culture healing, equity, and inclusion is key to Milwaukee being a better place to thrive not just survive. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Zeidler Group for Public Discussion, is a board member and on planning committees for Youth Frontiers Ethical Leadership Luncheon, Latino and Black Male Achievement Summit, Alverno Summit for Women and Girls, City of Milwaukee’s Black Male Achievement Council Education/Workforce Development Committee, and Milwaukee’s Boys and Men of Color Week. She also serves as a program committee member for Employee Milwaukee’s Board of Directors, and Milwaukee County’s Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Learning Community.
Claire DeRosa, graphic designer & animator
Claire DeRosa graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in journalism and political science in 2020. As graphic designer, she is responsible for creating project series graphics, logos, ads, page layouts and social media content for the Center. DeRosa serves as lead designer for Wisconsin Watch’s collaborative text-based service journalism project with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier Media, News 414. She also serves as lead designer for the Center’s collaborative Election Integrity project with the Center for Journalism Ethics and First Draft covering disinformation in the 2020 presidential election. DeRosa studied 3D animation at the School of Motion during quarantine learning how to model, light, color and animate in Cinema 4D. Claire enjoys deejaying and producing electronic music in her free time.
Enjoyiana Nururdin, production assistant, investigative podcast
Enjoyiana Nururdin joined the Center in October 2019 as a reporting intern. She was promoted in March 2020 to the position of production assistant on the Center’s investigative podcast, which is examining police and prosecutorial misconduct in Wisconsin. Nururdin began her journalism career in middle school, working for the nonprofit Simpson Street Free Press. She currently is a junior studying Reporting and Strategic Communication and Political Economy, Philosophy and Politics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has interned for the Cap Times, WORT Radio and The Weekend Today Show at NBC in New York City.
Will Cioci, multimedia intern
Will Cioci joined Wisconsin Watch in 2020 as a multimedia journalism intern. He is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, pursuing a degree in Journalism, Environmental Studies, and Political Science. He has interned for state and local government in the past and works as a photographer and occasional reporter for the Daily Cardinal student newspaper at UW-Madison.
Clara Neupert, News414 reporting intern
Clara Neupert joined the Center as a News414 intern in June 2020. Previously, Clara was the Ann Devroy fellow at The Washington Post and the Sally Webb Journalism intern at Wisconsin Public Radio. Clara holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UW-Eau Claire, where they reported for the student newspaper and student radio station.
Barbara Johnson, senior strategic adviser
Barbara Johnson joined the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism in 2016. A volunteer at the Center, Johnson draws upon her professional experience and contacts to strengthen the Center’s operations, with a special focus on the development of the Center’s business model. She was CEO and COO of four media companies in New York and Madison before her retirement in 2015. Johnson was a reporter and editor for 15 years before moving into business roles, winning national and state awards for her investigative stories. She has served on the boards of public and private companies and as an operating partner of a private equity firm. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Christopher J. Glueck, development consultant
Christopher Glueck joined the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism in 2015, shortly after retiring from his position as a senior director of development at the University of Wisconsin Foundation. In his 12 years there, Glueck worked with alumni and friends of UW-Madison, primarily on behalf of the College of Letters & Science. Glueck had a broad focus, traveling throughout the nation and succeeding in helping a significant number of people realize their interests in supporting the university in a variety of ways, ranging from annual gifts to scholarships to chairs and professorships. Prior to that, Glueck spent 30 years in the high-tech field working in sales, product management, marketing and management positions, primarily with Wang Laboratories, Inc. and NCR Corporation. He earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from UW-Madison and a master’s in business administration from Rivier College (now Rivier University) in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Gail Kohl, development consultant
Gail Kohl came to the Center in 2010 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.
Christa Westerberg, counsel
Christa Westerberg is an attorney at Pines Bach LLP 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.