Medical Journalism Students
Graduating class of:
Since starting the medical and science journalism master's program at UNC-Chapel Hill, Kopietz has reported for stemwire.org through the Journalism School’s Reese Digital News Lab. She’s produced health and science reports for the campus television news program, Carolina Week. Kopietz is also doing communication work for the N.C. Foundation for Advanced Health Programs in Cary, N.C.
Kopietz received a B.S. in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She originally planned to attend medical school and studied courses in pre-medical sciences while obtaining her journalism degree. After doing communication work with the Alzheimer’s Association of the Midlands and the University of Nebraska Medical Center for Advanced Surgical Technology, Kopietz realized that she wanted to promote health news, report on scientific advancements and inform the public via the mass media. She’s interested in translating research and scientific language for the lay audience and in analyzing the most effective media to communicate health information.
Lane comes to the program directly from an undergraduate career in chemistry at the University of Rochester. His experience in science communication comes mainly from work as a teaching assistant for general chemistry at Rochester. He also took part in the Take 5 Scholars program at Rochester, which allows students to write and pursue their own curriculum for a fifth year, to study fiction and storytelling. Lane enters the program to combine his interests in science and storytelling.
His interests in the field are varied. He would like to use the long form narrative style to tell stories about science, specifically environmental and pharmaceutical issues. He also is interested in how sound and images can be used to more effectively communicate science messages to a broad audience.
After graduating from NC State University with a B.S. in zoology and a minor in English, Taylor completed an internship abroad in a neurobiology lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. She returned to the U.S. and did diagnostic testing in the virology department of the North Carolina State Labs of Public Health. She then worked for five years in a fast-paced microbiology lab at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute helping to develop a combined vaccine for HIV and Tuberculosis.
For fun, she started taking evening classes at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies and recognized a passion for finding and conveying the inherent drama within the field of science. She is interested in creatively explaining complex scientific topics and informing people about their fundamental involvement in such issues. Taylor's also interested in the ways people interact with and learn from museums.
After spending four years in the U.S. Navy, Patrick went back to his hometown to complete an undergraduate degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then moved to beautiful Minneapolis to work on a master’s degree from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. In 2011 he entered the medical and science journalism program after his first semester at UNC. Throughout this time he has worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor and health consultant.
Mustain is especially interested in how commercialization shapes the way people think about and pursue health, especially in the fitness, nutrition and weight-loss realms. His other areas of interest include food advertising and policy, obesity prevention, health promotion, the effects of media consumption on health, consumer advocacy, outdoor recreation and fitness, parks, environmental determinants of health behavior, biking, climbing, snowboarding and food.
Kelly Izlar, a North Carolina native, earned a B.S. in applied physics from Appalachian State University in 2008. As an undergraduate, she spent two summers researching young solar analogue stars and exoplanet host stars at the Dark Sky Observatory on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Before she was accepted into the medical and science journalism master's program at UNC, she worked as an assistant in the University Writing Center at Appalachian State, took some engineering courses, and wandered around the country with a journal and a pair of hiking boots.
As a Carolina student, Izlar is enjoying integrating her love of writing and her interest in science. This past summer she received a graduate research fellowship from North Carolina Space Grant to work with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to develop a Multimedia Bootcamp for Science Communicators.
She is looking forward to pursuing a career in scientific communication and public outreach through words, videos, pictures, games and much, much more.
Stephanie Soucheray-Grell 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.
Soucheray-Grell has a love of long-form storytelling and hopes her years at Carolina allow her to grow as a freelance medical and science writer. She looks forward to specializing within journalism and hopes to bring her curious eye to the health stories that matter most to readers.
Carrie Gann is a production assistant for the medical unit at ABC News in New York. She writes stories for the health section of ABCNews.com and develops other digital content for the medical team. Before she graduated from Carolina, Gann worked for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Washington, D.C. writing for the membership magazine and assisting with the website.
Gann earned her undergraduate degree from Emory University in 2006, double-majoring in neuroscience/behavioral biology and journalism. As a student at Carolina, Gann worked as an intern for "The Story with Dick Gordon" at WUNC-FM and for CNN's medical bureau in Atlanta.
Anne Frances Johnson is a freelance science communicator specializing in translating complex scientific information into user-friendly formats for the general public. She enjoys developing articles, web content, videos and other creative products to engage and communicate with readers about topics ranging from basic research to public health.
Anne previously worked as a communications officer at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. She earned her M.A. in medical and science journalism as a Roy H. Park Fellow at UNC and received her B.A. in biology from Smith College. She is a member of the Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism National Honor Society and was awarded the Maxwell Graduate Scholarship and the Peter Lars Jacobson Award in Medical Journalism.
Prashant Nair is a science writer 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 medical and science 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.
Nair’s published articles:
'Walk again' drugs to be tested on people, New Scientist, February 2006
Cocaine-triggered brain changes reversed in rodents, New Scientist, April 2006
Julia Connors Soplop was a Roy H. Park Fellow and graduated from the Medical Journalism Program at UNC in May 2008.
Soplop is now a marketing specialist for RTI International, where she develops marketing materials and feature articles, conducts market research and coordinates journal publications for the organization's international development group. Her work focuses on international health, particularly in Africa.
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 other publications, including Skiing Magazine and The Chapel Hill News.
Soplop also holds an interest in environmental issues and animal behavior. 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, where she managed grants, wrote features on grantee organizations and photographed Komen's New York City Race for the Cure.
At UNC, Soplop focused on maternal and child health, writing her master's thesis on the medical and ethical issues surrounding preterm birth and low birth weight.
Maggie De Pano is a communications specialist at the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C. As part of the web services team, she provides a variety of writing, editing, design and Web site maintenance functions for enterprise, scientific and community audiences.
De Pano 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.
A native of the Philippines, De Pano received her bachelor's degree in Communications Technology Management from Ateneo de Manila University in 2001. She has held writing and communications planning jobs at Macare Medicals, Inc., a major national distributor of laboratory and medical devices in the Philippines; Ayala Life Assurance, a leading life and health insurance provider; BusinessWorld Online, a business newspaper; and various publications where she freelanced for more than eight years.
De Pano 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.
Maggie resides in Graham, N.C., with her husband Lester and stepson Naji.
She was a Roy H. Park Fellow and graduated from the medical journalism program in May 2008. Her master’s thesis explored the psychology of the simple living movement.
In her first year in the program, Kelly was science writing fellow with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. At the planetarium, she wrote and edited text for a new science exhibit for children, called "Zoom In," about the size of science from cells to space. In the summer of 2007 after her first year in the program, she was a reporting intern with The Scientist, a life sciences trade magazine based in Philadelphia.
Kelly received a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology and physiology from Purdue University in 2003. At Purdue, she worked in a research lab where she helped develop new methods to assess feeding behavior in mice.
After graduation from Purdue, Kelly attended graduate school at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she received a master’s degree in biology. Her master’s project examined the brain’s role in detecting hypoglycemia in rats. While at Illinois, she began writing for the student-run newspaper, The Daily Illini, and discovered her passion to write about science.
Kelly resides in Garner, N.C., with her husband and three cats.
Some of Chi's published articles:
“Experimental Prosthetic Surgery to Help One Dog Get a Leg Up,” Scientific American, August 2008
“The Year of Sequencing,” special feature in Nature Methods, January 2008
"Zoom In," Morehead Planetarium
Sarah Whitmarsh was a Roy H. Park Fellow and graduated from the UNC medical journalism program in May 2008.
She is now a communication specialist at University Research Co., LLC in Bethesda, Md., where she writes reports and articles and develops marketing materials. URC is an international development company whose work focuses on global health issues such as maternal, newborn and child health, reproductive health and family planning, nutrition, tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS.
After graduation, Whitmarsh lived in London for two years, working in a research center associated with the School of Pharmacy, University of London and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) in The Hague, Netherlands. The FIP Collaborating Centre works to improve pharmacy education and development in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Whitmarsh wrote communication materials, planned events and edited research studies and reports for the Centre.
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 Washington, D.C.
Whitmarsh's published articles in Endeavors magazine:
Molly Davis was a Roy H. Park Fellow who received her master's degree from the medical journalism program in May 2007.
In December 2003, Molly received her B.S. through an interdisciplinary program at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Her depth study was Scientific Writing and Philosophy of Science. Her degree combined the core biology coursework with additional emphases on environmental science, the philosophy of science, bioethics and non-fiction writing.
In order to broaden her experience in environmental policy and research, she traveled extensively between semesters. In Australia, she lived at a field station in the rainforest, where she participated in a tropical reforestation project that intensely examined the local ecology and climate, as well as the resultant conflicts over land usage..
After receiving her undergraduate degree, she entered the Americorps program as a construction crew leader in the Habitat for Humanity affiliate that serves Chapel Hill. She worked with a wide range of community members, from college-aged to retired volunteers, from homeowners whose families had occupied the same Chapel Hill neighborhood for generations to those who had recently immigrated from all over the world. Her experience at Habitat helped inform her desire to learn more languages and to bring attention to the efforts of international humanitarian non-profits.
Yasmeen Khan writes for WNYC in New York.
Before her move to New York, she was a producer for the "All Things Considered" broadcast at North Carolina Public Radio — WUNC. She also helped WUNC's news department start Public Insight Network, a project devoted to bringing more citizen voices into reporting.
Khan graduated from the medical journalism program in 2007 as the second recipient of the Pfizer Minority Medical Journalism Scholarship.
While a medical journalism master's student, Khan completed a health reporting internship in the WUNC news department. During her internship she covered a domestic violence story that won an award from the Public Radio News Directors competition in the category of student newscast spot reporting.
Khan received a B.A. in sociology from Brandeis University in 2001. She continued her interest in international health by working for Pathfinder International, a Boston-based health organization focusing on reproductive and maternal and child health programs abroad.
In 2003, Khan moved to Lima to work for the Pathfinder, Peru field office. For one year she assisted in managing local projects and initiated a pilot program for health interventions of gender-based violence. Khan has also held jobs as a bartender, toll collector and dish washer.
Kate Vidinsky is currently a senior public information representative at the University of California, San Francisco. There she handles media relations and communications for UCSF Children's Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics. Vidinsky works closely with major regional and national news outlets to inform the public about new research and clinical advances in pediatric care.
Previously, Vidinsky worked in communications at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif., a national health philanthropy dedicated to providing information and analysis on health issues to policymakers, the media and the general public. Her work at Kaiser focused on communications related to HIV/AIDS, women's health policy and public opinion research.
She was a Roy H. Park Fellow who received a master's degree from the medical journalism program in May 2007.
A native Hoosier, Vidinsky received her bachelor's degree in clinical and experimental psychology from Indiana University in 2003. During her years at IU, she conducted independent research on the behavioral and social impairments related to the onset and persistent use of marital violence.
After graduation Vidinsky moved to New Haven, Conn., where she worked as a research assistant at the John B. Pierce Laboratory and Yale University School of Medicine. There she conducted psychophysical sensory neuroscience research, specifically focused on the brain mechanisms responsible for perceiving sensations of temperature and pain. She has presented her findings at an international conference of the Society for Neuroscience and co-authored papers in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Behavioural Brain Research.
It was Vidinsky's interest in communicating about science and medicine through the mass media that brought her to UNC. She says that she hopes her work will contribute to a greater understanding of current scientific research and an increased awareness of important medical issues.
Subhashni D. Singh Joy is proposal writer for PRA International in Raleigh, N.C.
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 fo r AlphaMed Press as the production coordinator for the peer-reviewed journal, Stem Cells.
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.
Joy's professional interests include improving health communication in minority and disadvantaged populations, particularly in relation to preventive medicine and holistic approaches to health. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and is an amateur photographer.
Will Alexander is a writer and editor based in Chapel Hill. He graduated from the medical journalism program in 2006. Since graduation, Alexander has 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 was a Roy H. Park Fellow who graduated in May 2005 from UNC’s medical journalism program.
Since November 2008, Ashton has worked in the Office of Communications for the South Florida Water Management District, a regional government agency that oversees water resources in the southern portion of Florida. The District’s mission includes managing the water supply and flood control system for 7.7 million people and partnering with the federal government to restore America’s Everglades, the largest environmental restoration project in the United States’ history. Ashton’s current responsibilities with the District range from writing content for the agency’s website to helping manage its social media initiative on 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 attending UNC. After successfully completing the medical journalism 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.
Ashton currently lives in Wellington, Fla., with his wife, Jennie, and their two Boston terriers.
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 the content of the HPDP website and social media outlets, publicity for HPDP activities and all internal communications activities for HPDP researchers. She also helps to coordinate the campus-wide Engaged Scholarship Seminar Series and manages the CBPR Training Core of the Carolina Community Network (CCN), a project focused on reducing health disparities in prostate, breast and colorectal cancers.
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 in Research Triangle Park, 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 health communications, online communications, health literacy, preventive medicine and evidence-based practices.
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 an associate in the litigation department of WilmerHale. She joined the firm in 2004.
Davant focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on intellectual property disputes, including trademark, trade dress, patent, copyright and trade secret claims. She has been involved in nearly all facets of litigation, including discovery, settlement and alternative dispute resolution, and has represented clients in jury and bench trials in both state and federal courts, and before the US International Trade Commission. Davant also has an active pro bono practice.
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. At UNC, Davant also served as a teaching assistant for various courses, including courses focusing on the First Amendment and the intersections between journalism and law. Davant received her B.A. from Princeton University.
Before attending law school, Davant was an associate producer with CBS News Productions in New York City, where she produced news segments for the CBS Nightly News, as well as political and historical documentaries for the History Channel’s 20th Century with Mike Wallace, and medical and science documentaries for the Discovery Channel.
Davant is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia, and before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Davant is a member of the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar Association.
- Defended a membership association comprised of schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations in a putative class action pending in Minnesota federal district court arising out of a scanning problem on a college entrance exam.
- Represented semiconductor manufacturer in a Section 337 proceeding in the ITC.
- Represented IT management software provider in breach of contract jury trial, resulting in unanimous favorable verdict and damages award.
Anton Zuiker is a journalist, blogger and community builder living in Durham, N.C. He is currently manager of internal communications for Duke Medicine.
Anton earned a master’s degree in medical journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where his thesis reporting project was a 12,000-word narrative magazine feature on a rise in HIV among college students in North Carolina.
Anton’s interests include infectious diseases, genetic technology, urban design and online communities. Formerly editor of Northern Ohio Live Magazine, Anton wrote the “Inventing the Future” column about innovation for that magazine.
He organized the “Weblogs and Journalism” seminar for N.C. journalists in March 2004, the UNC “Narratives of HIV” series of media awareness events in Spring 2004, the Triangle Bloggers Conference in February 2005 and the North Carolina Science Blogging Conference in January 2007. He is also organizing the second annual science blogging conference for January 2008.
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. Anton administers multiple Web sites and blogs, including a personal blog at www.mistersugar.com and a N.C. blogger community site at www.blogtogether.org.
Learn more about Anton at mistersugar.com/about.
Joy Buchanan is managing editor at Millmark Education where she oversees the content production and digital delivery of science education materials for grades three through eight.
Prior to Millmark, she was managing editor for HealthCentral.com, managing the development and delivery of content for more than 30 websites on chronic health conditions. Buchanan was the consumer health reporter and columnist at The Tennessean in Nashville, Tenn. 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 health care being more expensive for poor people and for those who lacked insurance.
Buchanan got her B.A. in English from Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Gretchen Decker is managing editor for the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, a quarterly academic journal published by the American Sociological Association.
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.
Steve Baragona currently reports on food and agriculture for a developing-world audience of approximately 120 million at the Voice of America in Washington, D.C.
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.
Photo courtesy of ABC News
Dan Childs is managing editor for health and medical coverage for ABC News in New York City. Prior to this, he led 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 more than a decade of work as a medical journalist, Childs has 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. This summer job paved the way for his current position at 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 Manhattan.
Her undergraduate degrees in bacteriology and science communication gave Zeigler strong research skills and a keen sense of how to craft messages so that viewers and listeners can understand even the most complex topics. Over the years, she has developed a talent for translating sophisticated concepts into bite-sized morsels of useful information.
As a magazine editor for two years, she learned to spot newsworthy and attention-grabbing stories and to flush out story angles that work. As Miss Wisconsin in 1994, Zeigler developed a confident and mature presentation in front of the camera.
Before she moved to Colorado, Zeigler was a medical reporter and editor for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders in Bethesda, Md., and assisted the Medical Director for the Discovery Health Channel in Silver Spring, Md. Previously, Zeigler was a radio health reporter in Durham, N.C., and a medical reporting intern at NBC News Channel National Medical Bureau and NBC-17 in Raleigh in 2001.
Zeigler was also the producer of two documentaries that each aired as part of a series on North Carolina public television in 2001. She notes that producing documentaries helped her to learn the art of choosing the right expert and searching for details and natural sound that can make a story memorable.
Zeigler is an avid marathoner and has volunteered as a mentor for disadvantaged children for more than nine years. She has played classical violin since she was four and has performed for many of her friends' weddings.