About Made in Chicago

Made in Chicago is a mosaic of stories by graduate students at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University showing what makes this city unlike any other. We strived to capture the good, the bad and the Malört. After hours of reporting, transcribing, writing and coding, we present to you a collection of what’s been created, grown, enacted and built in Chicago.

Reporters

Meg Anderson

@meg_anders

Meg is a born and raised Wisconsin Badger and adopted Minnesotan. After graduating from UW-Madison, she dabbled in various endeavors - first becoming a third grade teacher and then mentoring AmeriCorps members as they ran an after-school program. These experiences helped her see how storytelling builds empathy and can make the world a better place. When she's done at Medill, Meg has high hopes that people will keep letting her do this journalism stuff.

Adriana Cargill

@AdrianaC204

Adriana Cargill is a graduate student and Bloomberg Scholar at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She mainly reports video and audio stories and works part time for StoryCorps. Before moving to Chicago in 2012, she also co-directed the start-up documentary project Fortnight Journal in New York City.

Stephanie Choporis

@StephChoporis

Stephanie Choporis is a native Chicagoan and graduate student at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, where she has spent much of her time reporting on education and housing stories. Prior to Medill, she studied journalism at DePaul University and worked as a freelance writer and reporter on the city's Northwest Side. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing her bowling game and hopes to once again score a 243.

Siyuan Du

@Sydu93

Siyuan Du is a business reporter and videographer with Medill News Service. She covers retails and produces videos focusing arts and business.

Lizz Giordano

@lizzgior

Lizz Giordano is a Master's candidate at the Medill School of Journalism and covers environmental issues in Chicago and around the state. Prior to this, Giordano was a freelance photographer in the Chicagoland area, where she photographed weddings, portraits and commercial projects. Taking advantage of the slow season, Lizz has spent the last few winters traveling. India and Peru were two of her favorite destinations. After graduating Giordano hopes to travel aboard reporting on global environmental issues.

Bryce Gray

@BryceGray2015

Bryce Gray is focused on coverage of environmental issues and has worked on multiple stories about oil trains during his time at Medill. Before moving to Chicago, he served as a reporter and then editor at a weekly newspaper in Polson, Montana. Gray is a 2011 graduate of Carleton College, where he majored in environmental studies, played on the baseball team and wrote for the school paper under the anagram pen name, Cy Grearby. In his spare time he enjoys playing pick-up basketball and is the proud owner of a 4-2 career record at New York City's legendary Rucker Park. If he had to choose, however, he'd rather play streetball on the courts of his hometown in Voorheesville, New York.

Bethel Habte

@bethel_habte

Bethel Habte is a Texas-born, Virginia-raised, Eritrean-American. Along with reporting stories at Medill, she writes and curates stories at Rivet News Radio. Before relocating to Chicago, Bethel edited the news section of the University of Virginia's student newspaper, dabbled in non-profit communications and traveled in Ecuador and Peru. She managed to take a selfie with a llama.

Ezra Kaplan

@kaplanezra

Ezra Kaplan, a former high school chemistry teacher, is a graduate student at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. As a journalist, Kaplan has freelanced from the West Bank, worked with the Associated Press and published several articles with The Youth Project. Kaplan has a global interest and is pursuing a video broadcast track at Medill. After Medill, he hopes to travel to under-reported regions to bring the world into news consumers' hands through video, written content and interactive story telling mediums.

Sarah Kramer

@sarahkramer2015

Sarah Kramer is graduate journalism student and Comer Scholar at Northwestern University. An alumna of the University of B.C. with a degree in political science and English, she came to Medill after working as an award-winning freelance reporter covering everything from polygamy in Canada to nuclear power in central Utah. Her current work focuses on environmental justice issues in Chicago. This summer, she will join a team from Columbia University to report on cutting-edge climate change research in rural Mongolia.

Christine Smith

@crsmith1126

Christine Smith writes primarily about international issues, U.S. immigrant and ethnic communities, and U.S. politics. Prior to moving to Chicago to study at Medill, she completed a Masters in African studies at UCLA and interned as an editor at the university's foreign affairs journal. Smith is also a 2012 graduate of Boston University, where she received her Bachelors in political science and double minored in African studies and anthropology. Outside of school, she loves to travel; reconnect with her southern roots in her hometown of Windermere, Florida; fanatically follow Florida State football; and cook enormous meals from scratch. She is also the middle child in a family of seven.

Phoebe Tollefsonn

@PhoebeTollefson

Phoebe is a graduate student at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, where she is honing her news-chasing and storytelling skills. She was awarded a scholarship to pursue social justice reporting. Phoebe studied political science and Spanish at Willamette University and spent a semester abroad in Quito, Ecuador. She has worked in public affairs event planning, state government and adult basic education.

Lucy Vernasco

@lucevern

Lucy Vernasco is a multimedia technology and heath journalist and resident of the Internet. She contributes to Vice, The Daily Beast, Bitch Media, Ms. Magazine, Alternet and 3D Printing Industry. Vernasco is a soon-to-be Brooklyn resident and News and Content Associate for LinkedIn Pulse.

Meredith Wilson

@meredithmaida

Meredith Wilson writes about the intersection of money and culture. She is a Bloomberg Scholar, a Master's candidate at the Medill School of Journalism, a freelance art critic and former content producer for the Chicago Tribune. She's planning to head west after graduation, where she wants to write, paint, hike and wear really thick wool socks.

Web Producers

Alysha Khan

@journokhan

Alysha Khan is a graduate student and Bloomberg Scholar at the Medill School of Journalism, concentrating in interactive storytelling and business journalism. She is interested in telling visually compelling and data driven business stories. She is also a freelancer in graphic designer and web production. Alysha grew up in sunny South Florida and routinely questions why she moved to the Windy City.

Kate Morrissey

@bgirledukate

Kate Morrissey's passion lies at the intersection of community, art and social justice. She studied literary translation as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, where she translated a book of French poetry into English. She then worked in user experience and user testing in the Quality Assurance department at a software company for several years before coming to Medill to study journalism. When she's not chasing around a protest with her DSLR or interviewing a community activist, she trains as a bgirl, capoerista and DJ.

Lee Won Park

@lwp1201

Lee Won was born and raised in Korea until she flew over to Michigan to study film in high school.So far she has been unsuccessful in escaping the midwest, but she enjoys Chicago and what it has to offer. She has yet to try Garrett Popcorn. She is interested in documentary video production, and is continuously trying to learn how to code.

Yasufumi Saito

@YasufumiSaito

Yasufumi Saito is a former reporter at Japanese daily and currently a graduate student at Northwestern University, where he studies interactive and business reporting. "From print to digital" is his motto, as he believes the future of media will lie at the intersection of web technology and conventional reporitng skills.

Jasmine Sanborn

@jassanborn

Jasmine Sanborn is a graduate student at Northwestern University concentrating on interactive storytelling and environmental journalism. Prior to Medill, she received a dual B.A. in Digital and Visual Journalism and Environmental Studies from Loyola Chicago. Beyond journalism, she loves cake, comic books and conservation.

Jin Wu

@jwf825

Jin Wu is a graduate student at Northwestern University, concentrating in interactive storytelling and business reporting. She has a passion in data journalism, making numbers less "scary." Jin studied advertising at University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to Medill, she worked as a consumer insight researcher in advertising agencies.

Faculty

Jill Blackman

@nwblackman64

Jill Blackman is a morning news editor at Yahoo working on their recently launched Yahoo News Digest Mobile app. She previously worked as a reporter, producer and special project editor for the Chicago Tribune's web site. Jill won several awards from the Society for Professional Journalists for her work producing multimedia presentations for the Chicago Tribune. She formerly served on the board of the Online News Association.

Abigail M. Foerstner

Foerstner's 34-year career as a journalist began when she initiated science and environmental coverage as a staff reporter for the Suburban Trib sections of the Chicago Tribune and received awards for investigative and environmental reporting. She later wrote weekly photography articles and reviews as a freelance art critic for the Chicago Tribune. Covering the visual arts and the sciences offers her two parallel visions for approaching the truths of the universe