Spring 2024 Higher Education Media Fellows

New Journalists Named to Seventh Class

April 22, 2024

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars is pleased to announce its seventh class of journalists named to the Higher Education Media Fellowship, supported by ECMC Foundation. The 15 outstanding journalists represent a variety of news outlets, regions, and media.

The Higher Education Media Fellowship aims to increase the number of journalists equipped with tools and networks to provide more comprehensive coverage of postsecondary education, particularly career and technical education (CTE). Postsecondary CTE is a proven approach to increasing postsecondary attainment and empowering learners with skills and competencies that position them for economically mobilizing jobs, yet its impact is rarely highlighted to the general public.

Fellows cover such topics as higher education, politics and policy, community issues, social justice, energy and the environment, and more, and work as newspaper, multimedia, and radio reporters. Fellows have received recognition and fellowships for their work, such as a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, a National Award for Education Reporting, a Sigma Delta Chi investigative award, an American Council for Learned Societies Fellowship, a Mellon Foundation Fellowship, a Eugene Pulliam Fellowship, the Logan Science Journalism Fellowship, a Metcalf Environmental Reporting Fellowship, and a Burns Fellowship.

Get announcements and funding opportunities like this straight to your inbox.

Each ECMC Foundation Fellow receives an award of $10,000—a $5,000 stipend and $5,000 to support a special CTE reporting project. Fellows will attend an in-person symposium this spring focused on topics related to postsecondary CTE and professional development. Following the symposium, Fellows will complete a CTE reporting project, such as a special report or series.

The funding for this program is a part of ECMC Foundation’s CTE Leadership Collaborative, an initiative focused on bringing together diverse perspectives and equipping CTE leaders with the tools, resources, and skills needed to advance postsecondary CTE. The seventh class of Fellows will publish and broadcast their projects throughout 2024.

Meet the Spring 2024 Fellows

Beth Baunoch
Associate Professor and Executive Producer, Community College of Baltimore County

Beth Baunoch has been teaching Media Studies at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) for 12 years and is the current Mark McCulloch Endowed Teaching Chair. She teaches courses like Podcast Journalism, Film History, Fundamentals of Media Production, Digital & Social Media Marketing, and Intro to Mass Media. She has been fundamental in the creation of clubs supporting student journalism and media like the Film Society and the New Media Collective. With the support of a fellowship from the American Council for Learned Societies and the Mellon Foundation, she created a podcast production house in Baltimore called ForReal Media. Through this production house, she executive-produced a journalistic podcast series with CCBC students called Good School., investigating the complexities of higher education from the perspective of community college students.

Tiffany Camhi
Higher Education Reporter, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Tiffany Camhi covers higher education for Oregon Public Broadcasting. She is the former co-host of OPB’s “All Things Considered.” Before OPB, Tiffany worked at KQED public radio in the San Francisco Bay Area where she hosted Weekend Edition, produced and directed The California Report and reported for KQED News. She’s filed stories for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Here and Now as well as Public Radio International’s The World. Tiffany is an alumna of the City University of New York, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.

Sarah Carr
Independent Journalist and Contributing Editor, The Hechinger Report

Sarah Carr is an independent journalist and contributing editor at The Hechinger Report who manages the eight-newsroom Education Reporting Collaborative. She has written for The Washington Post, The Atlantic and Slate, winning several national awards. Carr served as the Ottaway Visiting Professor of Journalism at SUNY New Paltz, and for five years she led Columbia Journalism School’s Teacher Project fellowship, spearheading collaborations with more than 30 editorial partners. Sarah also led an investigative education reporting team at the Boston Globe, The Great Divide. She is the author of “Hope Against Hope” (Bloomsbury, 2013), about New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina.

Samantha Gholar
Social Justice Reporter, USA Today Network-Florida

Samantha J. Gholar covers social justice for USA Today Network-Florida. Prior to that, she worked as an education, local government and general assignment reporter. Samantha was recognized by judges and peers in two categories, breaking news and environmental justice, by the Florida Press Association in 2015 and holds a journalism degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Carly Graf
Education Reporter, Lee Montana

Carly Graf covers education for Lee Montana, which includes papers across the state such as the Missoulian, Billings Gazette and Helena Independent Record. Prior to that, she freelanced in Montana for outlets such as KFF News, Montana Free Press and Grist. She worked as a local news reporter in the Bay Area, and worked at Outside Magazine in Santa Fe. Carly graduated from Georgetown University in 2014 with a degree in International Politics, and she received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2019.

Corbin Hiar
Reporter, POLITICO’S E&E News

Corbin covers corporate climate action at POLITICO’s E&E News. Since joining E&E in 2014, Corbin’s reporting has been honored by the Society of Environmental Journalists, the National Press Club and the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. A former fellow of the National Press Foundation’s Paul Miller program and the University of Rhode Island’s Metcalf Institute, he previously reported on energy and the environment at the Center for Public Integrity and what is now known as S&P Global Market Intelligence. His work has also been published by Scientific American, Science magazine, The Economist and many other outlets. Corbin is a graduate of Bowdoin College, where he majored in environmental studies and international relations.

Piper Hutchinson
Reporter, Louisiana Illuminator

Piper Hutchinson is a higher education reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has reported extensively on the Legislature and state government for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022. She earned a degree in political communication from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication.

Esther Yoon-Ji Kang
Reporter, WBEZ Chicago

Esther Yoon-Ji Kang covers race and class for WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR station. Prior to that, she served as an editor, reporter and producer for various media organizations in Chicago. Esther is a recipient of numerous national and local honors, including a Sigma Delta Chi investigative award from the Society of Professional Journalists, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, and honors from the Asian American Journalists Association and the National Association of Black Journalists. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University.

Karin Klein
Author and Editorial Writer, Los Angeles Times

Karin Klein is the author of Rethinking College: A Guide to Thriving Without a Degree, which will be published by HarperCollins in August 2024. Karin is a longtime editorial writer and member of the editorial board at the Los Angeles Times, covering education, medicine, science and food policy. She previously won the Eugene Pulliam Fellowship for editorial writers, the Logan Science Journalism Fellowship, the Metcalf Environmental Reporting Fellowship, and the Medicine in the Media fellowship, as well as numerous journalism awards. She is the author of the interpretive trail book, 50 Hikes in Orange County (WW Norton). Karin is a graduate of Wellesley College with a BA in linguistics and psychology.

Dylan Peers McCoy
Reporter, WFYI

Dylan Peers McCoy is an investigative education reporter for WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis. Prior to that, she covered education for Chalkbeat Indiana, where she won an EWA award for investigative reporting. Dylan studied documentary radio at Transom Story Workshop, and she graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in Government.

Frances Mize
Reporter, Valley News

Frances Mize is a Reporter for America 2023-2024 corps member at the Valley News, covering the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2022. At the end of her time with Report for America, she will be freelancing in New England.

Ira Porter
Staff Writer, The Christian Science Monitor

Ira Porter covers higher education for the Christian Science Monitor. He started his career as a reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and later worked for The News Journal in New Castle, Delaware. In 2008, Ira was selected as Burns Fellow and spent the summer writing for and helping edit the English edition of Spiegel Online in Berlin.

MJ Slaby
Bureau Chief, Chalkbeat Indiana

MJ Slaby is the bureau chief of Chalkbeat Indiana where she also covers access to higher education. Prior to Chalkbeat, she covered both K-12 and higher education at multiple newspapers, most recently the Indianapolis Star. She is a graduate of Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Ashley Sloboda
Senior Education Reporter, The Journal Gazette

Ashley Sloboda has covered education for The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana, since 2016. She previously reported for newspapers in the Chicago suburbs and Wisconsin. In 2022, she wrote a series about diversity in schools as an Education Writers Association fellow and received first place for her work from the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Ashley graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Travis Weik
Managing Editor, The Courier-Times

Travis Weik is the managing editor of The Courier-Times, a 184-year-old daily newspaper in New Castle, Indiana. He started as the Education Reporter in 2014, covering six local school districts, three public library systems, and the local community college and nearby state university. Travis followed a non-traditional career path before entering journalism; he served 12 years as a medic in the Indiana National Guard and earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from American Military University.

Recent Fellowship Projects

About the Institute for Citizens and Scholars

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars cultivates talent, ideas, and networks that develop young people as effective, lifelong citizens. We unite the left, right, and center to develop breakthrough solutions that create stronger citizens in our country, and we bring these solutions to life by forming strategic partnerships with an intentionally diverse group of young people, scholars and education leaders, and civic and business leaders—including the 27,000 world-leading Fellows in our network. Together, we’re on a mission to ensure that Americans everywhere are civically well-informed, productively engaged, and committed to democracy.

About ECMC Foundation

ECMC Foundation is a national foundation whose North Star goal is to eliminate equity gaps in postsecondary completion by 2040. The Foundation’s mission is to improve higher education for career success among underserved populations through evidence-based innovation. ECMC Foundation makes strategic grants and program-related investments to support both nonprofit and for-profit ventures, guided by a strategic framework which aims to advance systemic change by removing barriers to postsecondary completion; building the capacity of organizations, institutions and systems; and transforming the postsecondary ecosystem. Learn more about ECMC Foundation by visiting www.ecmcfoundation.org and our parent company, ECMC Group, by visiting www.ecmcgroup.org.

Stay Engaged

Get More News

Join our mailing list to get more news like this to your mailbox.

Support Our Work

Help us invest in the talent, ideas, and networks that will develop young people as effective, lifelong citizens.

Ways to Support Us