Program Staff

  • Roger Boye

    Roger Boye

    Program Director
    • Cherub history: Boye has been a part of the cherub program for 44 years. Was associate director before becoming program director in 1985.
    • Work experience: Associate professor emeritus at Northwestern University. Served as Medill assistant dean and director of the Medill undergraduate program for 18 years. Graduated from University of Nebraska with a bachelor's degree and from Medill with a master's degree.
    • Interesting fact: Raises beefsteak begonias.
    • Frequently says: "Medill, period. As in, end of sentence."
  • Joe Grimm

    Joe Grimm

    Head Instructor
    • Cherub history: Instructor since 2009.
    • Work experience: Visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism. Teaches editing, career branding and reporting, among other things. Has written several books including “Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors,” “100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans” and “Coney Detroit.” Worked as a recruiter at the Detroit Free Press for 18 years. Recruited for the Freedom Forum and Patch.
    • Interesting fact: Studied ballet and appeared in "Romeo & Juliet."
    • Frequently says: “Sometimes you have to go against the crowd for what you believe in.”
  • Sarahmaria Gomez

    Sarahmaria Gomez

    • Cherub history: Instructor since 2005.
    • Work experience: 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. 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: Loves Michael Jackson so much that when he died, people sent her condolences.
    • Frequently says: "My glorious journalism babies."
  • Megan Joyce

    Megan Joyce

    • Cherub history: 2014 instructor.
    • Work experience: 2014 Medill graduate. Interned at NBC Bay Area, NBC Chicago, WGN-TV Chicago, and Medill Watchdog. Also at Northwestern, Joyce was a mentor at Medill Media Teens and Vice President of Chi Omega sorority.
    • Interesting fact: Has played the flute since age 9 and was in the marching band at Northwestern.
    • Frequently says: "I’m so proud of you."
  • John Kupetz

    John Kupetz

    • Cherub history: Cherubs instructor since the early 1980s. Has taught several staff members, including instructor Cynthia Wang and guest instructor Bret Begun.
    • Work experience: Assistant professor at the College of Lake County, a Medill adjunct instructor and faculty fellow at Northwestern’s Communications Residential College. Previously, Kupetz was a placement director and assistant professor at Medill for 10 years. Has a 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.”
  • Sara Olstad

    Sara Olstad

    • Cherub history: 2014 instructor.
    • Work experience: Graduated from Northwestern in June 2014. Interned at Trove, a digital innovation team in Washington, D.C., and Teach for America Chicago. Worked as an immigration and demographics reporter for the Medill News Service on Capitol Hill.
    • Interesting fact: Loves Beanie Babies and has collected more than 200 of them.
    • Frequently says: "Show, don’t tell."
  • Sue Ontiveros

    Sue Ontiveros

    • Cherub history: 2014 instructor.
    • Work experience: Worked at The Chicago Sun-Times for 30 years as a copy editor, food editor, and deputy features editor. Still writes a weekly column on social issues for the Sun-Times and writes a blog for the paper, Sue’s Morning Stretch, which focuses on health and fitness.
    • Interesting fact: Got married at Sheil Catholic Center on Northwestern’s campus and was an hour late to her own wedding.
    • Frequently says: "Question authority."
  • Cynthia Wang

    Cynthia Wang

    • Cherub history: 1988 cherub, guest instructor 1994 to 2011 and full-time instructor since 2012.
    • Work experience: Graduated from Medill in 1993. Worked for People magazine for 18 years as an entertainment writer, reporter and editor. Traveled to five Olympic Games, nine "American Idol" finales and six "Survivor" locations. In 2011, left People and moved to Sydney. Now freelances for People and WHO (People’s Australian sister magazine).
    • Interesting fact: 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."
  • Charles Whitaker

    Charles Whitaker

    • Cherub history: Full-time instructor since 2011.
    • Work experience: Earned a bachelor's and master's degree from Medill and is the Helen Gurley Brown Research Chair at Northwestern. Was a senior editor at Ebony magazine before he started teaching at Northwestern. Worked as a newspaper reporter for the Miami Herald and Louisville Times. Has written for the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and Essence magazine, among others. Whitaker is currently a doctoral candidate in the Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy.
    • Interesting fact: Was a Northwestern cheerleader for two years.
    • Frequently says: “Try not to be so esoteric.”
  • Bret Begun

    Bret Begun

    Guest Instructor
    • Cherub history: 1993 cherub, 1995 community associate, instructor for 14 years.
    • Work experience: Articles editor at Details Magazine. Previously, worked at Newsweek Magazine for 13 years, principally as front-of-the-book editor. Was National Affairs editor for the 2008 election. Covered the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Olympic Games.
    • Interesting fact: Can juggle.
    • Frequently says: "At your internship, volunteer for the crap jobs and do them with a smile.”
  • Jazmin Beltran

    Jazmin Beltran

    Guest Instructor
    • Cherub history: 2013 and 2014 guest instructor.
    • Work experience: Earned a bachelor's and master's degree from Medill. Worked as a reporter and editor for the Journal Times. Was assignment editor, writer, online producer and publisher for Univision Chicago. Now is a freelance news reporter for Univision Chicago and adjunct lecturer at Medill.
    • Interesting fact: Considered working for the CIA while attending Northwestern.
    • Frequently says: "You can look at every situation in a positive light or a negative light. Choose positive. You'll always get a better result."
  • Tom Giratikanon

    Tom Giratikanon

    Guest Instructor
    • Cherub history: 2004 cherub, instructor 2009 to 2014.
    • Work experience: 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. Previously, worked as a Newsroom Developer for The Boston Globe, 2010 to 2012.
    • Interesting fact: Co-founded a short-lived, deep-frying restaurant at Northwestern for journalism students.
    • Frequently says: "Sup?"
  • Lindsey Kratochwill

    Lindsey Kratochwill

    Guest Instructor
    • Cherub history: 2010 and 2011 community associate, 2012 instructor, guest instructor since 2013.
    • Work experience: After graduating from Medill in 2012, interned at Fast Company Magazine. In 2013, became an editorial assistant at Popular Science magazine. Now assistant editor at Popular Science.
    • Interesting fact: Tree frogs are her favorite animal.
    • Frequently says: "Lovely."
  • Mary Lou Song

    Mary Lou Song

    Guest Instructor
    • Cherub history: 1986 cherub, cherub instructor for 12 years.
    • Work experience: Has a bachelor’s degree from Medill and a master’s degree from Stanford. Joined eBay in 1996 as its third employee. Has built Internet companies as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur for the past 16 years. Launched Tokoni Inc., a story-sharing site, and Ongo, an aggregated news service. Currently CEO of Fuel451.
    • Interesting fact: Learned to walk on fire.
    • Frequently says: "Shame."
  • Sisi Wei

    Sisi Wei

    Guest Instructor
    • Cherub history: 2014 guest instructor.
    • Work experience: 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 Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal. Interactive Editor at North by Northwestern before graduating from Medill in 2011.
    • Interesting fact: Is really good at Argentine tango ballroom dancing.
    • Frequently says: "Does that make sense?"
  • Aric DiLalla

    Aric DiLalla

    Community Associate
    • Cherub history: 2011 cherub. 2014 community associate.
    • Work experience: Junior at Medill. Former managing editor at (Yahoo! Rivals affiliate). Staff member in Medill Office of Student Life. Editorial intern at Northwestern Magazine. Studying abroad in Qatar in Fall 2014.
    • Interesting fact: Has done interviews for ESPN1110, BuckeyeGrove and Sports Town Chicago.
    • Frequently says: "Hard to say."
  • Tyler Pager

    Tyler Pager

    Community Associate
    • Cherub history: 2012 cherub. 2014 community associate.
    • Work experience: Sophomore at Medill. In Focus editor and Breaking News editor at The Daily Northwestern. Intern at Medill Watchdog. Wildcat Welcome Peer Adviser.
    • Interesting fact: Has been on every continent except Antarctica.
    • Frequently says: "Unclear."
  • Jaclyn Zhou

    Jaclyn Zhou

    Community Associate
    • Cherub history: 2014 community associate.
    • Work experience: Sophomore at Medill. Writer for North by Northwestern. Intern for consulting firms and nonprofits where she has done development and marketing.
    • Interesting fact: Wanted to be a rapper at age 13.
    • Frequently says: "Y’all."