Staff

Mila Sanina
Executive Director
412.515.0061

Mila was previously the deputy managing editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where she led innovation in storytelling and integration of print and online operations. Before joining the Post-Gazette, Mila worked at The PBS Newshour and CNN International.

Mila is originally from Almaty, Kazakhstan, but Pittsburgh owns her heart.

She has a master's degree from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.


Halle Stockton
Managing Editor
412.515.0065
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Halle was a reporter for the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune for four years before joining PublicSource in February 2012. She became PublicSource’s managing editor in 2015. The Erie, Pa., native is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and a proud Daily Collegian alumna. Halle has won several awards for her journalism; most notably, she was named a 2016 finalist for the prestigious Livingston Awards for Young Journalists for a series on psychotropic drugs prescribed to juvenile offenders. She was honored in 2015 with a national Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a story about a couple with disabilities.

Some of her favorite activities include fishing, hiking, cuddling with her standard schnauzer, Dexter, and watching Star Trek. She is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News’ Emerging Leaders Council and is also a graduate of the Leadership Development Initiative, a program of Leadership Pittsburgh. In 2017, the Institute for Nonprofit News selected Halle as one of 10 Emerging Leaders in U.S. nonprofit journalism.

Feel free to contact Halle with story tips and ideas, questions or concerns.


Natasha Vicens
Interactives & Design Editor
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Natasha edits and produces interactive graphics, data visualizations and web packages for PublicSource. She manages the website and works with PublicSource's team of reporters, editors, videographers, photographers and freelancers to make stories more engaging for readers. She previously worked as PublicSource's environmental reporter for three years. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, she graduated with a master's degree from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Phoenix where she specialized in multimedia coverage of border issues and politics.


Jeffrey Benzing
Reporter
Beats: Criminal justice, public safety

412.515.0062
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Jeff previously covered foreign bribery and corporate crime at Main Justice in Washington, D.C. Originally from Texas, he reported on local politics, public safety and business in the Texas Hill Country for the Fredericksburg Standard Radio-Post. His writing and photography earned him first-place honors from the West Texas Press Association.

As a journalism graduate student at the University of Maryland, he covered the state’s congressional delegation, examined juvenile justice in Baltimore and helped report and write an award-winning package on salmonella in poultry that appeared in The Washington Post.

In his down time, Jeff enjoys playing and listening to music (and finding old records), reading fiction and exploring the city.


Mary Niederberger
Reporter
Beat: Education

412.515.0064

Mary is a longtime Pittsburgh-area journalist who started
her career with a decade at The Pittsburgh Press. After freelancing and teaching at local universities for several years, she joined the staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where she spent 18 years covering community news, general assignment and education. Her work has taken her to nearly every community in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, and her stories in recent years have focused on education issues, specifically under-resourced schools and the students they serve.

She received the Golden Quill Award for education coverage from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She is also the recipient of the Robert L. Vann Award of Excellence for investigative/enterprise reporting from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation in 2011 and 2015. Also in 2015, Mary and a colleague from the Post-Gazette received first place in the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists' Spotlight Awards for their coverage of the ghost job held by the state's special adviser on higher education. Mary holds a bachelor's degree from Duquesne University and is a lifelong Pittsburgh-area resident.


J. Dale Shoemaker
Reporter
Beats: City government, data

412.515.0069
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Prior to joining the PublicSource team, Dale covered local and breaking news in Bethlehem and Allentown, Pa., as an intern for The Morning Call. Originally from Duncansville, Pa., he also covered environmental news as an intern for The Allegheny Front and was the managing editor of The Pitt News, Pitt’s daily and independent student newspaper. While writing for The Pitt News, he earned a Student Keystone Press Award for his profile of Ophelia Ferguson, a popular cashier on campus. And in May 2015, he was awarded a Heinz Endowments' Grant to pursue his internship at The Allegheny Front.


Jourdan Hicks
Community Correspondent

Previous to PublicSource, Jourdan was engaged as a community-based educator in the Hazelwood section of the city. A lifelong Pittsburgh resident, she’s received formal training and degrees from both Penn State and Duquesne University (B.A Communications Arts & Sciences,
M.S.Ed Educational Studies). In addition to her community correspondent work with PublicSource, Jourdan cultivates ideas as a freelance media-communications and education adviser. In her leisure, Jourdan enjoys traveling, discovering new music and watching (mostly critiquing) contemporary film.

Preferred pronouns: She/Her/Herself


Oliver Morrison
Reporter
Beats: Health, environment

412.515.0063
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Prior to PublicSource, Oliver won regional press awards for his environment and health reporting at The Wichita Eagle, including his coverage of wildfires, which led the state of Kansas to launch an audit of its wildfire fighting system. He also led the paper’s coverage of immigration, race and criminal justice reform among other topics.

Before the Eagle, he freelanced in New York for publications such as The Atlantic, Education Week and City Limits. He earned his Master’s in multimedia journalism from The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism after working for seven years as a teacher, coach, theater director and administrator in the Arkansas Delta. He is a Seattle native and a graduate of Deep Springs College and the University of Oxford.


Ryan Loew
Visual storyteller/producer

Ryan joined PublicSource after being a freelance producer of news features and documentary stories in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. His work appeared on PBS NewsHour, WQED and Keystone Crossroads, among other news organizations.Prior to that, Ryan served as multimedia editor at 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR member station. Before moving to Pittsburgh, he worked as a multimedia producer for The Roanoke Times in Virginia. His journalism career started in Michigan, where he was covering breaking news as a mobile journalist at the Lansing State Journal. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Ryan studied journalism at Kent State University.

Ryan’s primary interest is in how individuals' stories can shed light on complex news topics, social issues and communities. He believes visual journalism is a powerful way to tell such stories.

Ryan and his family live in Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood.


Chrystal Walsh
Development Director
412.515.0060

Chrystal is focused on building the financial sustainability of the news group from foundation grants to membership and individual gifts, to corporate support and sponsorships. A fundraising professional with 15 years of nonprofit experience, she previously worked at Family Services of Western Pennsylvania. Chrystal fundraised for the statewide chapter of Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania during the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. She lived for a decade in California and worked for Venice Family Clinic, KQED Public Broadcasting and Mother Jones Magazine.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Health Management & Policy from the University of New Hampshire, Durham. Originally from Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, Chrystal spends her free time with her husband, a native of Ligonier, Pa., and their two children. She enjoys time outdoors and volunteers with R.K. Mellon Elementary School Parent Teacher Association.


Kat Procyk
Editorial Intern

Kat is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University. She is focused on visual storytelling. For her work, she has been named a finalist in Hearst Journalism Awards and the Adobe Awards. Her past internships include Pittsburgh Magazine and WTAJ-TV in Altoona.


Our Board of Directors

James N. Crutchfield, President
James is a long time newspaper editor and publisher who started his career at the Pittsburgh Press. He is also a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation board.

Josie Cellone, Secretary
Josie is a former journalist, newly minted entrepreneur and multimedia producer.

Zak Thomas, Treasurer
Zak is Senior Program Officer for Community Development and Lending for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. He is also an attorney and the co-founder of The Chuck Cooper Foundation.

Andrew Conte serves as founding director of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University.

Charles Kelly is a partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP.

Jennie Liska is a Senior Manager in Accenture's Management Consulting practice.

Maggie Patterson is a tenured professor of journalism at Duquesne University and the author of several books.

LaShawna Russ is a Clairton Economic Development coordinator at Economic Development South.

Guhan Venkatu is vice president and senior regional officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Sharon Walsh is the retired founding editor of PublicSource.