Our interns, fellows and staff produce critical work while working at Wisconsin Watch. After they leave our offices on the University of Madison-Wisconsin campus, they move on to jobs in journalism and other fields, where they put the skills they learned at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism to use by holding the powerful to account, creating innovative ways of engaging with the public and sustaining high-quality journalism, and strengthening our society. That work, which will continue for decades after their work with us has been completed, may provide the Center’s greatest legacy. We’re thrilled to watch the story of our former interns, fellows, and staff members unfold.

If you’re a student interested in an internship or fellowship at the Center, learn more here.

See our current staff members, fellows and interns here.

Former staff and contributors

Howard Hardee

election integrity reporter

Howard Hardee was the election integrity reporter at Wisconsin Watch and a local fellow with the international journalism nonprofit First Draft News. Previously he was a reporter at the Wisconsin State Journal, and has written extensively about government, natural disasters and forest health.

Where he is now: Freelance reporter based in Madison, Wis.

Nora Eckert

Votebeat project reporter, OCT. 2020-JAN. 2021

Nora Eckert was 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.

Where she is now: Reporter at the Rochester Post Bulletin.

Anya van Wagtendonk

Votebeat project reporter, OCt. 2020-Jan. 2021

Anya van Wagtendonk was 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.

Where she is now: Freelance reporter based in Milwaukee.

Sharon McGowan

Votebeat project editor, OCT. 2020-JAN. 2021

Sharon McGowan was the editor for Wisconsin Watch’s Votebeat collaboration — a pop-up nonprofit newsroom covering local election administration and voting in six states, created by Chalkbeat.

Where she is now: Amplify Collaborations Leader at the Institute for Nonprofit News.

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.

Where he is now: Graduate from UW-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication seeking marketing, communications and engagement position in the nonprofit sector.

Jimmy Gutierrez

Engagement manager, News414

Jimmy Gutierrez helped address the information needs of Milwaukee residents and generate news coverage that addressed their concerns through the News414 initiative.

Where he is now: John S. Knight Journalism community impact fellow helping to fill Milwaukee information needs.

Jeff Roman

Project Manager, News414

Jeff Roman is an organizer, consultant and community strategist serving diverse groups of Milwaukee residents, and was a project manager for the News414 initiative.

Where he is now: Executive Director of the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs



Katie Scheidt

public engagement and marketing assistant, 2018

Where she is now: Business analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and working towards a Master’s degree in computer information systems at Northwestern University.

Mia Sato

public engagement and marketing assistant, 2017

Where she is now: Audience engagement editor at The Markup. Former engagement editor at Better Government Association, a nonpartisan watchdog in Chicago.

Louisa Lincoln

public engagement and marketing assistant, 2017

Where she is now: Development Specialist at PRX in Minneapolis. Former Sponsorship Marketing Intern at NPR.

Mara Jezior

public engagement and marketing Assistant, 2015-2016

Where she is now: Membership and development coordinator at the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Former fellows

Allison Dikanovic

ENGAGEMENT REPORTING FELLOW, 2020

Allison Dikanovic reported for the News414 initiative, a collaboration between Wisconsin Watch, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier media.

Where she is now: Dikanovic is pursuing a master’s in social journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Wisconsin Public Radio Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow, 2019

Sarah Whites-Koditschek was the third WPR Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow. Previously she worked as a Little Rock-based reporter covering healthcare, education, and politics for Arkansas Public Media.

Where she is now: Investigative reporter for Alabama Media Group.

Alisa Ivanitskaya

multimedia fellow, 2019

Alisa Ivanitskaya worked the Center while she was a Fulbright master’s degree candidate at the University of Arizona.

Where she is now: Journalist based in Moscow, Russia.

Grigor Atanesian

reporting fellow, 2018


Grigor Atanesian was an Edmund S. Muskie fellow at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. He is a former editor and deputy editor-in-chief of Esquire Russia. 

Where he is now: Journalist at BBC News Russian Service

Belle Lin

reporting fellow, 2018

Belle Lin was an investigative reporting fellow from the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia Journalism School.

Where she is now: Senior tech reporter at Business Insider.

Mukhtar Ibrahim

investigative reporting fellow from Columbia University, 2017

Mukhtar Ibrahim was an investigative reporting fellow from the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia Journalism School.

Where he is now: Executive Editor @SahanJournal, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to covering Minnesota’s immigrant communities.

Katherine Proctor

reporting fellow, 2017

Katherine Proctor was an investigative reporting fellow from the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia Journalism School.

Where she is now: Writer and reporter for Continuing Education for the Bar-California.

Alexandra Hall

Wisconsin Public Radio Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow, 2017

Hall joined the Center in January 2017 as the second Wisconsin Public Radio Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow. Hall focused on creating investigative stories that were broadcast on WPR and distributed by the Center. She speaks fluent Spanish and English.

Where she is now: Central Valley reporter at KQED public radio in Fresno, California.

Bridgit Bowden

Wisconsin Public Radio Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow, 2016

Bowden joined the Center in 2016 as the first Wisconsin Public Radio Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow.

Where she is now: Project reporter, Wisconsin Public Radio.

Former interns

Clara Neupert

News414 reporting intern, 2020

Neupert joined the Center as a News414 intern in June 2020. Previously, they were 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.

Where they are now: Host of “The West Side” on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Parker Schorr

reporting intern, 2019-2020

Where he is now: Freelance reporter looking to relocate to the Portland, Ore., area.

Anna Hansen

reporting intern, 2020

Where she is now: Edgewood College student

Brooke Hollingsworth

public engagement and marketing intern, 2019-2020

Where she is now: L2T Media

Alyssa Allemand

digital and multimedia intern, 2020

Where she is now: Digital editor at Wisconsin Public Radio

Francisco Velazquez

reporting intern, 2019-2020

Where he is now: Graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Journalism and Anthropology.

Erica Jones

reporting intern, 2019

Where she is now: Midwest Family Broadcasting in Eau Claire, Wis.

Izabela Zaluska

reporting intern, 2019

Where she is now: Staff writer at Little Village Magazine, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Natalie Yahr

public engagement and marketing intern, 2019

Where she is now: Reporter at the Cap Times newspaper in Madison, Wis.

Kynala Phillips

public engagement and marketing intern, 2019

Engagement journalism M.A. candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

Emily Hamer

reporting intern, 2018-2019

Where she is now: Reporter at the Wisconsin State Journal.

Madeline Heim

reporting intern, 2018

Where she is now: Health and science reporter at the Appleton Post-Crescent. Former reporter at the Winona Daily News.

Riley Vetterkind

reporting intern, 2017

Where he is now: Reporter at Wisconsin State Journal.

Andrew Hahn

reporting intern, 2017

Where he is now: Communications Specialist at University Health Services – Madison

Hayley Sperling

public engagement and marketing intern, 2016

Where she is now: Marketing communications coordinator at Fetch Rewards. Former engagement editor at WisContext. Former editorial operations intern at Vox.

Alexandra Arriaga

Reporting Intern, 2016

Where she is now: Recently completed a resident program with City Bureau where she reported on the census, elections and civic participation in Chicago’s immigrant communities, as well as how those communities are navigating vulnerable situations during the pandemic. Formerly a digital media specialist at the Chicago Sun-Times and reporting fellow at the Texas Tribune.

Cara Lombardo

reporting intern, 2016

Where she is now: Reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Former legislative relief reporter for the Associated Press.

Abigail Becker

reporting intern, 2015-2016

Where she is now: City and county government reporter at The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. Former education reporter for Madison Commons.

Haley Henschel

reporting intern, 2015-2016

Where she is now: Freelance writer whose work has appeared on the USA TODAY Network, Us Weekly, Mashable, PC Mag, Gothamist, Culture Trip, LittleThings and Entrepreneur Magazine.

Tara Golshan

Reporting intern, 2015

Where she is now: Working at HuffPost covering the Biden administration and Congress. Formerly on the Policy and Politics team at Vox.com in Washington D.C. Former investigative reporting intern at USA TODAY.

Sean Kirkby

Reporting intern, 2014-2015

Where he is now: Assistant editor at Wisconsin Health News.

Madeleine Behr

Reporting Intern, 2014-2015

Where she is now: Policy associate at Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. Formerly worked as a government reporter the Appleton Post-Crescent, a subsidiary of USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

Taylor Chase

Reporting intern, 2014-2015

Where she is now: News anchor, reporter and producer at KFBB-TV in Great Falls, Montana. Formerly worked as an intern at WKOW in Madison.

Tegan Wendland

reporting intern, 2012-2014

Where she is now: News director and reporter, New Orleans Public Radio. Previously worked for Wisconsin Public Radio, WRKF-FM in Baton Rouge and WVIK-FM in Rock Island, Illinois.

Rory Linnane

reporting intern, 2012-2013

Where she is now: Reporter at USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, based in Milwaukee, formerly based at the Appleton Post-Crescent. Former reporter, NOW Newspapers, suburban Milwaukee and Waukesha County. Former editor and reporter for the Patch news websites in the Milwaukee area.

Nora Hertel

reporting intern, 2013-2014

Where she is now: Watchdog reporter, St. Cloud Times. Formerly worked as a watchdog reporter for the Wausau Herald Media. Former relief legislative reporter for The Associated Press in Pierre, South Dakota.

Alison Dirr

Reporting intern, 2013-2014

Where she is now: Reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Former crime and justice reporter at the Appleton (Wis.) Post-Crescent. Former reporter, Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald.

Matt Barnidge

Reporting Intern, 2013

Where he is now: Assistant professor in the Department of Journalism & Creative Media at the University of Alabama. Awarded Ph.D. in mass communication at UW-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication.

Kate Prengaman

reporting intern, 2012-2013

Where she is now: Associate editor, Good Fruit Grower. Former reporter, Yakima (Wash.) Herald Republic covering natural resources issues. Former research assistant, UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Mario Koran

reporting intern, 2012-2013

Where he is now: West Coast correspondent for Guardian U.S. Former reporter for the Voice of San Diego investigative news website. Former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel intern and New York Times/National Association of Hispanic Journalists fellow.

Sarah Karon

reporting intern, 2011-2013

Where she is now: Interior designer at ai3 in Atlanta. Formerly studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design and was a writer based in Atlanta. Former spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and columnist for Madison Magazine.

Amy Karon

Reporting Intern, 2011-2012

Where she is now: Running a successful medical writing firm, Karon Medical Writing LLC. Former epidemiologist and veterinarian.

Lukas Keapproth

Reporting and Photography Intern, 2012

Where he is now: Photographer, Loyola University in Chicago. Former professional photographer and graduate student at the University of Texas-Austin. Former staff photographer, Green Bay Press-Gazette.


Julie Strupp

Reporting intern, 2011-2012

Where she is now: Lead editor at Greater Greater Washington. Formerly worked in Togo for the Peace Corps teaching gender education and journalism. Formerly worked for AllAfrica Global Media, PolicyMic and Amnesty International.

Jason Smathers

Reporting intern, 2011

Where he is now: Student, University of Iowa Law School. Executive editor at the Journal of Corporation Law. Former editor for the Sheboygan (Wis.) Press. Former reporter for WisPolitics.com covering the state government and politics. Former relief legislative reporter, The Associated Press in Madison.

Allie Tempus

Reporting intern, 2010

Where she is now: Staff writer at FairWarning. Former associate editor, The Progressive magazine in Madison, Wis. Former independent journalist in New York. Research assistant for writer Naomi Klein at The Nation Institute. Researcher for Rolling Stone. Former intern at The Nation and former relief legislative reporter, The Associated Press, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sara Jerving

reporting intern, 2010

Where she is now: East Africa correspondent at Devex. Former reporter for VICE on HBO. Former fellow and reporter (in partnership with the LA Times) at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Former GlobalPost Fellow in Africa; former reporter for Bloomberg LP, Tanzania.

Nick Penzenstadler

Reporting intern, 2010

Where he is now: Denver-based investigative reporter, USA TODAY NETWORK. Formerly Appleton-based reporter for the Gannett Wisconsin Media investigative team. Former reporter for the Rapid City ( S.D.) Journal.

Alex Luhn

Reporting intern, 2009

Where he is now: Russia correspondent based in Moscow for The Telegraph. Former freelance reporter working in Russia and Ukraine. His work has appeared in publications including The Guardian, The Nation, Foreign Policy, GlobalPost, VICE News, Politico, The Independent, Slate and the New York Times. Former editor and reporter for the Moscow Times

Jacob Kushner

Reporting intern, 2009

Where he is now: Foreign correspondent reporting from East Africa, the Caribbean and Germany, Jacob’s work has appeared in Foreign Policy, National Geographic, the Nation, the ICIJ, VICE Magazine and NewYorker.com. His book about corruption in Congo was reviewed in the New York Review of Books. Former Fulbright Fellow in Berlin. Former Overseas Press Club Fellow for the APin Nairobi. 2018 finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for Excellence in International Reporting.

Alex Morell

Reporting intern, 2009

Where he is now: Senior finance reporter at Business Insider. Former wealth reporter for Forbes magazine in New York. Former relief legislative reporter for The Associated Press in Boise, Idaho, and former reporter, Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Lexie Clinton

Reporting intern, 2009

Where she is now: Senior producer, Salon Media Group. Independent documentary producer in New York. Former director of communications, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York City. Former video producer for NBC’s The Morning Joe in New York.