Staff Page

Roger Boye

Roger Boye

Program Director
  • Cherub history: Boye has been a part of the cherub program for 46 years. He was the associate director before becoming program director in 1985.
  • Work experience: Boye is an associate professor emeritus at Northwestern University and served as Medill assistant dean and director of the Medill undergraduate program for 18 years. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree and from Medill with a master’s degree.
  • Interesting fact: He raises beefsteak begonias.
  • Frequently says: "Medill, period. As in, end of sentence."
  • Cherub highlight: All moments are equal.
Joe Grimm

Joe Grimm

Head Instructor
  • Cherub history: He has been an instructor since 2009.
  • Work experience: Grimm is the visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism and teaches editing, career branding and reporting, among other things. His students publish “bias busters," a series of guides about cultural confidence. Guides have covered African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, East Asian cultures, veterans, immigrants and more. He worked as a recruiter at the Detroit Free Press for 18 years and recruited for the Freedom Forum and Patch.
  • Interesting fact: He taught in Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  • Frequently says: “Sometimes you have to go against the crowd for what you believe in.”
  • Cherub highlight: Seeing cherubs learn something and apply it in their work. Seeing real growth.
Sarahmaria Gomez

Sarahmaria Gomez

Instructor
  • Cherub history: She has been a cherubs instructor since 2005.
  • Work experience: Gomez is a lecturer at Medill who specializes in multimedia storytelling. She is director of Medill Media Teens, a mentoring program that pairs Medill undergraduates and teenagers interested in producing multimedia journalism. She ran Tu Multimedia for eight years. When she’s not teaching, Gomez creates short documentaries for foundations and non-profit organizations looking to make the world a better place.
  • Interesting fact: Gomez loves Michael Jackson so much that when he died, people sent her condolences.
  • Frequently says: "My precious journalism babies."
  • Cherub highlight: "It was really rewarding to see Hannah Schoenbaum's lip sync video. As a videographer, I know the difficulties of shooting, and it really moved me to see how much they have learned in five weeks."
John Kupetz

John Kupetz

Instructor
  • Cherub history: Kupetz has been a cherubs instructor since the early 1980s. He has taught several staff members, including instructor Cynthia Wang, instructor Sophia Bollag, community associate Kelli Nguyen and guest instructor Bret Begun.
  • Work experience: Kupetz is a professor at the College of Lake County, a Medill adjunct professor and faculty fellow at Northwestern’s Communications Residential College. Previously, he was a placement director and assistant professor at Medill for 10 years. He has two master’s degrees from Medill and Bowling Green State University.
  • Interesting fact: “There’s nothing at all interesting about me. I have no personality."
  • Frequently says: “There is no crying in journalism. We eat our wounded.”
  • Cherub highlight:: “It’s five weeks of perpetual happiness. How am I supposed to pick just one?”
Cynthia Wang

Cynthia Wang

Instructor
  • Cherub history: Wang was a 1988 cherub, a guest instructor for 17 years and has been a full-time instructor since 2012.
  • Work experience: Wang graduated from Medill in 1993. She worked for PEOPLE Magazine for 18 years as an entertainment writer, reporter and editor. She has traveled to five Olympic Games, nine “American Idol” finales and six “Survivor” locations. In 2011, Wang left PEOPLE and moved to Australia where she is now is a staff writer for Who (PEOPLE’s Australian sister magazine).
  • Interesting fact: Wang can draw an object on paper with one hand and use the other hand to control a mouse to draw the same object on a computer.
  • Frequently says: "So imagine you have an aardvark."
  • Cherub highlight: “The first time I ever taught 'Advanced Interview Techniques' with Bret was a revelation. We have honed our handshakes and demos ever since and can't imagine spending our summers without coming back to do the talk together.”
Sophia Bollag

Sophia Bollag

Instructor
  • Cherub history: Bollag was a 2011 cherub, a 2013 community associate and a 2016 instructor.
  • Work experience: Bollag is a 2016 Medill graduate. She has interned with the Boston Globe in Washington D.C. and the Texas Tribune. She also worked with the Medill Justice Project in collaboration with the Washington Post. Bollag was the editor-in-chief of The Daily Northwestern in 2015. She is an intern at the LA Times in 2016.
  • Interesting fact: Bollag studied contemporary dance in high school.
  • Frequently says: “Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions."
  • Cherub highlight:: “Getting to know the students in my group and being inspired by their journalism enthusiasm. It was really nice to work with young people who were so excited about what they are doing."
Haley Hinkle

Haley Hinkle

Instructor
  • Cherub history: Hinkle was a 2011 cherub and a 2016 instructor.
  • Work experience: Hinkle is a 2016 Medill graduate who has written for North by Northwestern. She was a National Security Representative for the Medill D.C. Bureau. She also interned at the Chicago Tribune her senior year for the Blue Sky Initiative and worked as the editorial assistant for the lifestyle section.
  • Interesting fact: Follows cats and dogs on Instagram in her spare time.
  • Frequently says: “Oh dear."
  • Cherub highlight: “Seeing my students learn so much over the past five weeks. It’s amazing see how much their writing and reporting has improved.”
Charles Whitaker

Charles Whitaker

Instructor
  • Cherub history: He has been an instructor since 2012.
  • Work experience: Whitaker earned his bachelor's and master’s degrees from Medill and is the Helen Gurley Brown Research Chair at Northwestern. He was a senior editor at Ebony magazine before he started teaching at Northwestern, and worked as a newspaper reporter for the Miami Herald and Louisville Times. He has written for the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and Essence magazine, among others. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy.
  • Interesting fact: He never went to third grade because he skipped from second grade to fourth grade.
  • Frequently says: “Try not to be so esoteric.”
  • Cherub highlight: Junior Junior Olympics

Steve Ordower

Instructor
  • Cherub history: He is a first-year cherubs instructor.
  • Work experience: Ordower has been an editor in television and film for 15 years and produces independent television, corporate and film projects. He is dedicated to educating people through film, television and music production. He is the founder of the Chicago-based film and video production company Rhythm & Light, and he has taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs at Medill.
  • Interesting fact: He used to gig around Chicago playing Latin rhythms on the congas and owned a jazz club. “It’s intellectually stimulating and moves the soul.”
  • Frequently says: “The importance of being present with an interviewee.”
  • Cherub highlight: Playing Bernie Sanders for a story writing exercise.
Bret Begun

Bret Begun

Guest Instructor
  • Cherub history: He was a cherub in 1993, a community associate in 1995 and has been an instructor for 15 years.
  • Work experience: Begun is an editor at Bloomberg Businessweek. He was the articles editor for Details magazine and previously worked at Newsweek magazine for 13 years, principally as its front-of-the-book editor. He was Newsweek's national affairs editor for the 2008 election and covered the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Olympic Games.
  • Interesting fact: He can juggle.
  • Frequently says: "At your internship, volunteer for the crap jobs and do them with a smile.”
  • Cherub highlight: "Going back to work from an exhausting week at cherubs, missing all cherubs and watching ‘A Fighting Chance.'"
Tom Giratikanon

Tom Giratikanon

Guest Instructor
  • Cherub history: Giratikanon was a 2004 cherub, a 2009 instructor and has been a guest instructor since 2010.
  • Work experience: Giratikanon is a graphics editor for The New York Times, he co-founded Code With Me, coding tutorials to help journalists gain data storytelling skills, with guest instructor Sisi Wei. He previously worked as a newsroom developer for The Boston Globe, from 2010 to 2012.
  • Interesting fact: Giratikanon co-founded a short-lived, deep-frying restaurant at Northwestern for journalism students.
  • Frequently says: "Sup?"
  • Cherub highlight: “Seeing students learn things they never thought they could.”
Lindsey Kratochwill

Lindsey Kratochwill

Guest Instructor
  • Cherub history: She was a 2010 and 2011 community associate, a 2012 instructor and has been a guest instructor since 2013.
  • Work experience: After graduating from Medill in 2012, Kratochwill interned at Fast Company magazine. In 2013, she became an editorial assistant at Popular Science magazine. She was assistant editor at Popular Science, now producing podcasts for The Week magazine. She also was managing editor of the Medill alumni magazine.
  • Interesting fact: The tree frog is her favorite animal.
  • Frequently says: "Lovely."
  • Cherub highlight: Getting to meet with a lot of the cherubs one-on-one and talk to them about their passions.
Mary Lou Song

Mary Lou Song

Guest Instructor
  • Cherub history: She was a cherub in 1986 and has been a cherub instructor for 13 years.
  • Work experience: Song has a bachelor’s degree from Medill and a master’s degree from Stanford. She joined eBay in 1996 and has built internet companies as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur for the past 16 years. She is the founder and CEO of FuelX, an advertising technology company, which will expand into advertising for virtual reality and augmented reality. “I believe that my career in technology and startups began at cherubs. Even though I studied journalism, cherubs prepared me for much, much more. The program teaches students skills, such as writing, editing, interviewing and storytelling. And then it goes even further and gives students the courage to pursue their passions in any field.”
  • Interesting fact: She learned to walk on fire.
  • Frequently says: "Shame."
  • Cherub highlight: "Guest instructor meetings on Saturday and Sunday to get to know the students. Everyone here is so super cool."
Sisi Wei

Sisi Wei

Guest Instructor
  • Cherub history: Wei has been a guest instructor since 2014.
  • Work experience: Wei has been a news applications developer for ProPublica since 2013, and co-founded Code With Me with fellow guest instructor Tom Giratikanon. Previously, Wei was a graphics editor for the Washington Post and interned at the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal. She was the interactive editor at North by Northwestern before graduating from Medill in 2011.
  • Interesting fact: Wei is really good at Argentine tango ballroom dancing.
  • Frequently says: "Interesting."
  • Cherub highlight: “Seeing how genuine, honest and creative the students are in the Write Off, Show Off and Code Off presentations.”
Rishika Dugyala

Rishika Dugyala

Community Associate
  • Cherub history: Dugyala was a 2014 cherub and a 2016 community associate.
  • Work experience: Dugyala worked as a reporter for The Daily Northwestern in the fall of 2015 covering city council and worked as the assistant city editor in the spring of 2016. She currently works as the assistant summer editor. She will be in Washington D.C. for Medill on the Hill in the fall of 2016.
  • Interesting fact: Dugyala dances for a Bollywood dance team that won nationals in 2016, “Netflix and colors” with her adult stress-free coloring book, and cries when she yawns.
  • Frequently says: "Hard pass."
  • Cherub highlight: The night of her cherub prom in 2014.
Kelli Nguyen

Kelli Nguyen

Community Associate
  • Cherub history: She was a cherub in 2014 and a 2016 community associate.
  • Work experience: Nguyen is currently a sophomore at Medill and works at the Medill Office of Student Life. She is a reporter for The Daily Northwestern and has worked as assistant campus editor and assistant design editor. Nguyen will be the Development and Recruitment editor for The Daily in the fall of 2016.
  • Interesting fact: Loves Crocs.
  • Frequently says: "I can't see that far, I don't have my contacts in."
  • Cherub highlight: Filming the second floor "Dynamite" lip dub.
Erica Snow

Erica Snow

Community Associate
  • Cherub history: She was a cherub in 2014 and a 2016 community associate.
  • Work experience: Snow is currently a sophomore at Medill, and worked at the Medill Office of Student Life. She was assistant campus editor and student government reporter for The Daily Northwestern.
  • Interesting fact: She traveled to three foreign countries in 2016.
  • Frequently says: "Interesting."
  • Cherub highlight: When boys on the third floor invited the CAs to judge their self-coordinated lip-sync battle.
Dan Waldman

Dan Waldman

Community Associate
  • Cherub history: Waldman was a 2014 cherub and a 2016 community associate.
  • Work experience: Waldman worked as a reporter for The Daily Northwestern in the fall of 2015 and worked as the assistant sports editor by the spring quarter of 2016. He will be in Washington D.C. for Medill on the Hill in the fall of 2016.
  • Interesting fact: Waldman was named king at his junior prom.
  • Frequently says: "That's just not true."
  • Cherub highlight: Going through the third floor on the first night when all the guys were asleep by 11 p.m. and seeing the shower schedule the boys had written up in the common area.