Some come from across the country, others are pure Pittsburgh products.

A few have graduated, while others continue to study.

Their interests range from Spanish to statistics, their hobbies from drawing to unicycling.

In fact, there is little that unites PublicSource’s intern contingent other than the decision each made to spend the summer exploring the Pittsburgh area’s issues and concerns, and sharing the fruits of those journeys with readers.

Interns are critical to PublicSource’s function and its success. Each semester, a team of interns:

  • Fact-checks the work of the reporting team
  • Participates in the ongoing Board Explorer transparency project
  • Writes, co-authors and illustrates stories
  • Adds new perspectives and great questions — many, many questions — to our tight-knit newsroom.

This year’s half-dozen-strong intern team matches in size the largest in PublicSource’s 11-year history. And it takes a back seat to none in terms of its breadth of interests and the variety of its inspirations.

The summer 2023 intern files:

A person with long brown hair stands in front of a bookshelf and indoor plant and they are wearing a orange shirt.

Alexandra Ross

  • PublicSource role: Editorial intern
  • Main focus: Local government, politics
  • From: Philadelphia suburbs
  • Academic status: Recent graduate
  • College: University of Pittsburgh
  • Area(s) of study: English writing, Spanish and education
  • Other notable experience: The Pitt News reporter and assistant news editor, Pittsburgh magazine intern
  • Extracurriculars: Loves discovering new music and is trying to read more books and less Twitter.
  • Fictional character who most resonates, and why: Jo March from “Little Women,” because she’s outspoken, imaginative and independent, a major tomboy during her childhood, and can totally lose herself in reading and writing.

PublicSource photojournalism intern Alexis Wary

Alexis Wary

  • PublicSource role: Photojournalism intern
  • Main focus: Documenting Pittsburgh via images
  • From: Sunbury (Northumberland County)
  • Academic status: Recent graduate
  • College: Point Park University
  • Area(s) of study: Journalism and photography
  • Other notable experience: Point Park Globe photographer and writer, current communications and marketing intern at The Pittsburgh Foundation, studied abroad at the University of Salford in Manchester, UK.
  • Extracurriculars: Enjoys music, analog film photography, finding delicious food spots and reading.
  • Fictional character who most resonates, and why: A cross between Miss Honey from Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” (she’s overly caring and thoughtful) and Kat Stratford from “10 Things I Hate About You” (she loves feminist punk music and doesn’t care what people think about her).

PublicSource intern Elizabeth Szeto

Elizabeth Szeto

  • PublicSource role: Data storytelling intern
  • Main focus: Public safety and anything with data
  • From: Cupertino, Calif.
  • Academic status: Junior
  • College: Carnegie Mellon University
  • Area(s) of study: Statistics, machine learning and human-computer interaction
  • Other notable experience: Researched use of data tools to quantitatively characterize ultrasound images for disease diagnosis at Stanford University.
  • Extracurriculars: Enjoys watching K-dramas, exploring new music and drawing.
  • Fictional character who most resonates, and why: Charlie Brown, for his dedication to what he loves, admirable sense of optimism and persistence as he struggles with anxieties and does the best he can.

PublicSource intern Lucas Dufalla

Lucas Dufalla

  • PublicSource role: Editorial intern
  • Main focus: Economic development, housing
  • From: East Liberty
  • Academic status: Senior
  • College: Bowdoin College
  • Area(s) of study: History
  • Other notable experience: Writes for the school’s student-run The Bowdoin Orient, worked for the Portland Press Herald.
  • Extracurriculars: Runs through Highland Park and takes photos on his camera.
  • Fictional character who most resonates, and why: Tom Haverford from “Parks and Rec,” because he’s goofy but well-meaning, with over-the-top quirks but infectious happiness and passion.

PublicSource intern Riley Green

Riley Green

  • PublicSource role: Audience growth intern
  • Main focus: Building the PublicSource community
  • From: San Francisco
  • Academic status: Junior
  • College: Carnegie Mellon University
  • Area(s) of study: International relations and francophone studies
  • Other notable experience: Research assistant to professor working to compile the first ever database compiling the research of Black academics and creatives.
  • Extracurriculars:  Exploring Pittsburgh on walks with friends and WORDLE aficionado! 
  • Fictional character who most resonates, and why: Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride & Prejudice.” She’s an independent thinker who challenges societal norms, holds strong moral values, and is open-minded.

PublicSource intern Sean Lord portrait

Sean Lord

  • PublicSource role: Volunteer data infrastructure intern
  • Main focus: Building newsgathering tools
  • From: Brookline
  • Academic status: Junior
  • College: University of Pittsburgh
  • Area(s) of study: Computer science and data science
  • Other notable experience: Volunteered for Southwestern Veterans’ Center, previously made a scraping tool for Public Source
  • Extracurriculars:  Unicycling or biking around Pittsburgh and playing online chess.
  • Fictional character who most resonates, and why: Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. Like Dr. Doofenshmirtz, I spend most of my time building -inators, only for them to be deemed unusable by my Perry the Platypus, updated website designs.

Photos by Stephanie Strasburg, except Riley Green, which was provided courtesy of Riley Green.

Rich Lord is PublicSource’s managing editor, and can be reached at

We don't have paywalls — but your support helps us bridge crucial information gaps.

Readers tell us they can't find the information they get from our reporting anywhere else, and we're glad to provide this important service for our community. We work hard to produce accurate, timely, impactful journalism without paywalls that keeps our region informed and moving forward.

However, only about .1% of the people who read our stories contribute to our work financially. Our newsroom depends on the generosity of readers like yourself to make our high-quality local journalism possible, and the costs of the resources it takes to produce it have been rising, so each member means a lot to us.

Your donation to our nonprofit newsroom helps ensure everyone in Allegheny County can stay up-to-date about decisions and events that affect them. Please make your gift of support now.

Rich is the managing editor of PublicSource. He joined the team in 2020, serving as a reporter focused on housing and economic development and an assistant editor. He reported for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette...