Principal Investigator Jack Doppelt:

Doppelt-for SJNN

Jack Doppelt is a Medill journalism professor at Northwestern University, publisher of Immigrant Connect (an online storytelling network for immigrants, their families and communities in and around Chicago) and RefugeeLives (depicting the daily lives of refugees and establishing connections between resettled refugees and those abroad), and a faculty associate at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research. During 2014, he’s serving as a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence at Northwestern; an Open Society Fellow, working with Al-Quds University in the West Bank to develop a journalism program; and the principal investigator in a McCormick Foundation-funded project on social justice reporting in Chicago.
He has served as both Acting Dean and Associate Dean, and as director of the Medill global journalism program for 11 years from its inception in 1996 until 2007. He teaches during winter quarters at NU-Q in Doha, Qatar and in 2006-07, he served as visiting professor at Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in France. Doppelt is co-author of Nonvoters: America’s No Shows, about why people don’t vote, and of The Journalism of Outrage: Investigative Reporting and Agenda Building in America, a book on investigative reporting and its influence on public policy. He is working on a project on refugees who return home to homes they’ve never known.


Community Fellowship Director Kari Lydersen:

kari_lydersen_4Kari Lydersen is a Chicago reporter, author and journalism instructor. She wrote for The Washington Post as a staffer in the Midwest Bureau in Chicago until the bureau closed in 2009, and she wrote for the New York Times Chicago edition from 2010 to 2012 with the Chicago News Cooperative. Her work has also appeared in publications including The Economist, People Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Reader and The Chicago Reporter. She currently covers energy stories for Midwest Energy News and labor issues for In These Times magazine’s “Working” blog. She is the author of four books, most recently Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99%. In 2011-2012 she was a Ted Scripps Environmental Journalism fellow at the University of Colorado, focusing on hard rock mining. She has also participated in immigration, environmental and health journalism fellowships with the Institute for Justice and Journalism, the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources and has taught journalism at Columbia College Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and with the youth program We the People Media; and she is a research associate with the Medill Watchdog Project at Northwestern. She received a BSJ from Medill in 1997 and was also on the swim team at Northwestern. Email:


Student Fellowship Director Louise Kiernan:

Louise Kiernan STAFF PHOTOLouise Kiernan is an associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, focusing on narrative, investigative and social issues reporting. She joined the Medill faculty in September 2010 from the Chicago Tribune, where she worked for 18 years as a reporter and editor, most recently as the newspaper’s enterprise editor, managing a team of reporters writing in-depth features and coaching staff throughout the newsroom. During a 10-year stint as a special projects reporter at the Tribune, she won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting as lead writer of a series on problems with air travel and was a Pulitzer finalist in the same category that year for an individual project. Her work has also been recognized with the 2007 Sigma Delta Chi award for feature writing and appears in “Best Newspaper Writing 2008” and “Best Newspaper Writing 1998,” among other awards. Her experience at the paper included working as the editor of the urban affairs team; specializing in writing about social policy, including welfare reform, poverty and juvenile justice; leading the effort to reinvent the paper’s weekly Perspective section; reporting for the Sunday magazine and from abroad; writing a features column; and contributing to the newspaper’s commentary, books and travel sections. She was a 2005 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, has served on the Nieman fellowship selection committee and chaired two Pulitzer Prize juries, for investigative and explanatory reporting. A regular speaker at journalism conferences, including Investigative Reporters & Editors, the Nieman Narrative Conference and the Poynter Institute’s National Writers Workshops, she has also taught and consulted at a number of media organizations, among them the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Dallas Morning News. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Virginia. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oak Park, Illinois.  Email:

Communications and Outreach Coordinator Monica Trinidad:

TrinidadMonicaMonica Trinidad is an artist and organizer currently living in Rogers Park. Heavily involved in racial justice organizing in Chicago, Monica traveled to Geneva, Switzerland in 2014 to present a report on police violence in Chicago to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. As part of a delegation representing We Charge Genocide, a grassroots organization in Chicago, Monica and other activists staged a direct action inside the UN, calling attention to the murder of Dominique Franklin, a 23-year-old Black man tased to death by the Chicago Police Department. Because of We Charge Genocide’s delegation and direct action, the UN Committee Against Torture directly mentioned Chicago police violence against youth of color in their official observations, highlighting police violence in Chicago on an international level. Monica has written for TruthoutRed Wedge Magazine and has created artwork from over a dozen Chicago-based, social justice organizations. Monica received the Windy City Times 30 Under 30 award in 2015, and the CECSCO award from her alma mater in 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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