The Data Institute

Meet the Class of 2023

We’re thrilled to announce the 15 outstanding journalists who will be joining us for the Data Institute.

Grace Asiegbu is a reporter for Injustice Watch, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in Chicago that investigates issues of equity and justice in the courts. Grace's beat is housing, and she's written largely about evictions in Cook County and prison conditions throughout the state. A Chicago native, Grace has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a master's in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.

Moe K. Clark is a Denver-based independent journalist who reports on how public policies impact marginalized communities, with a particular focus on the criminal justice system, housing/homelessness, and environmental issues. Previously, Moe was a beat reporter for Colorado Newsline and covered the state legislature for The Colorado Sun. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Maine and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Isabela Dias is a reporter for Mother Jones in Washington, D.C., where she writes about immigration and education. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, the Nation, the Marshall Project, and elsewhere. Originally from Brazil, she holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Anissa Durham is the health data reporter at Word In Black, where she covers healthcare inequities and mental health in the Black community. Her work aims to center the voices of those in the community at the heart of her reporting.

Stephanie García is a bilingual journalist, crafting stories in English and Spanish through audio, data, video, and the written word. Stephanie is a Report for America alum and Fulbright scholar. Most recently, she produced audio and video documentaries on criminal justice, gentrification, and retaining Native educators.

Daja E. Henry is a multimedia journalist with a focus on race and equity. She is a Frances Ellen Watkins Harper editorial fellow at The 19th and previously worked as an education and neighborhoods reporter at The Daily Memphian. She has degrees in journalism from Howard University and Arizona State University.

Julia James is a K-12 education reporter at Mississippi Today, a nonprofit paper based in Jackson, Mississippi. Her work covers local districts as well as state politics and policy. Julia is a native of Louisiana and a graduate of the University of Mississippi, where she studied public policy and journalism.

Diti Kohli is a business reporter for The Boston Globe, where she write about housing, labor, and retail. She also advises up-and-coming reporters at the New England High School Journalism Collaborative. Previously, Diti worked at the Tampa Bay Times and BostInno. She graduated from Emerson College in 2021.

Tigist Layne is the North San Diego County reporter for Voice of San Diego, a digital nonprofit news organization in San Diego, California. She writes about homelessness, housing, city government, and city policy. Tigist has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Point Loma Nazarene University.

P.R. Lockhart is an economic development reporter for Mountain State Spotlight, an investigative nonprofit newsroom based in Charleston, West Virginia. She has also reported on race and policy for Vox and Mother Jones and spent time as a freelancer for NBC News. P.R. received a bachelor's in psychology from Duke University.

A’Deja McElroy (@deyoshique) is a Clark Atlanta University Junior majoring in mass media arts with a concentration in journalism. She is the president of the Clark Atlanta University NABJ chapter and uses her platform to help peers in and out of her field. Currently, she is a NBCU Program Scholarship recipient working on research for food insecurity in low-income households in her community of Atlanta.

C. Zawadi Morris is the founder and publisher of BK Reader, a digital daily news source that covers Brooklyn, New York. A Chicago native, Morris is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Morris is also the founder of The New York City Association of Local and Ethnic Media.

Ivy Scott is a criminal justice reporter at the Boston Globe focusing on Massachusetts state courts, district attorneys, and the state Attorney General's office. Prior to this position, she worked with the Globe's criminal justice team covering the Boston Police Department. She previously freelanced for the Providence Journal, and her work in a yearlong investigation into Rhode Island's opioid epidemic was featured on The Public's Radio.

Ingrid Sturgis is chair and an associate professor in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Howard University. She has worked as an editor and reporter for newspapers and magazines, and online since 2001. Sturgis’s research focuses on digital media. She has an M.A. in journalism from N.Y.U. and a B.A. in art from City College of NY. She is currently a doctoral student in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies.

Colleen Wright covers the government and people of St. Petersburg for the Tampa Bay Times. A Florida native, Colleen graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. She is proud of her career in her home state, previously covering education at the Times and the Miami Herald.

Meet the instructors

Sophie Chou is a data reporter at ProPublica. She uses data science and statistics to investigate stories. Prior to working at ProPublica, she was a fellow at the Pew Research Center and a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab, where she focused on machine learning and media analysis.

Troy Griggs is a deputy editor and the director of visuals for the Graphics department at The New York Times. He previously worked as a special projects editor for The Guardian’s visual team in London. Before that, he worked at The Times in a number of roles, including as a designer and developer on the digital news design team, and as a special projects editor in the print design department.

Lena Groeger is the Graphics Director at ProPublica and one of the co-founders of the Data Institute. She loves visual journalism that combines design, data and code, and has worked in that venn diagram for the last decade. She lives in the Bay Area and when not thinking about charts is probably running after one of her two toddlers.

Brittany Mayes is the engineering lead for Election Features at The Washington Post. She's been at The Post for five years, where she held newsroom positions in graphics and local before moving to the engineering department at the end of 2021. She calls herself a romance novel connoisseur—her qualifications include reading about 100 of them a year—and when she's not reading, she's probably at her local climbing gym.

Katie Park is a developer and data journalist who creates data visualizations and digital features at The Marshall Project. They were part of a team awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for an investigative series on the brutal injuries inflicted by police dogs. Katie is based in Washington, D.C., and previously worked at NPR and The Washington Post.

Ken Schwenke is the editor of ProPublica's News Applications team, a group of journalists who report out and publish interactive stories and databases.

Ellis Simani is a data journalist at ProPublica, where he pairs quantitative analysis with traditional investigative reporting techniques to expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust. His recent work has revealed the ways that the wealthiest Americans use the stock market to further enrich themselves, and also helped expose systemic inequities in the U.S. tax code that enable these individuals to avoid paying federal income taxes. As part of a team of reporters behind “The Secret IRS Files,” his work helped spark a national conversation on taxes and led multiple U.S. senators and representatives to call for an overhaul of the tax system.

Sisi Wei is the Editor-in-Chief of The Markup and one of the co-founders of the Data Institute. Her path through journalism started with using self-taught coding skills to do interactive, visual storytelling and graphics. Sisi has worked at The Washington Post, ProPublica, and OpenNews.

Derek Willis is a lecturer in data and computational journalism at the University of Maryland, where he teaches students how to interview data and tell stories with it. He has worked at ProPublica, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and began his journalism career at The Palm Beach Post.