MarisaKwiatkowski.jpg

Marisa Kwiatkowski

Marisa Kwiatkowski is an investigative reporter with The Indianapolis Star.

She handles investigations relating to social services-related issues, such as child abuse and neglect, elder abuse, poverty, homelessness and sex trafficking.

Marisa has earned more than 40 journalism awards throughout her career, including Indiana Journalist of the Year and the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award.

Prior to IndyStar, Marisa worked for The Times of Northwest Indiana and media outlets in South Carolina and Michigan.

In 2013, Marisa received two national awards, as well as state and regional awards, for her coverage of the difficulties of children with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities to receive appropriate mental health services. She found parents falsely admitting to neglect in order to secure services for their children. After Marisa's series published, state officials pledged up to $25 million per year to close the funding gap.

One of her narrative pieces, “The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons,” became the most-read article in IndyStar’s history.

In 2016, state officials immediately allocated more money to Indiana Adult Protective Services after Marisa’s investigation revealed serious deficiencies with the program meant to protect vulnerable adults.

And later that year, Marisa was part of a reporting team that revealed USA Gymnastics’ failure to report many allegations of sexual abuse to authorities. The team’s investigation into the national governing body garnered national attention.

Marisa serves as president of the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and vice president of Girls on the Run of Central Indiana.

ElviaMalagon.jpg

Elvia malagon

Elvia Malagon first became passionate about journalism after reading in local newspapers about the corruption plaguing her hometown. She studied journalism at Indiana University where she first joined the Society of Professional Journalists. After graduating in 2011, she chased breaking news and crime for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida. 

She has since moved back to Northwest Indiana where she was born and raised. She writes about crime and justice for The Times of Northwest Indiana. She has written about everything from a suspected serial killer to families coping with the grief of losing a family member in a homicide. In January, Elvia joined the board for the Indy Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

JohnRussell.jpg

John Russell

John Russell is an investigative reporter at the Indianapolis Business Journal, focusing on health care, energy and utilities. He previously worked at the Chicago Tribune and the Indianapolis Star. He has won more than 50 national and statewide awards in the past decade.

His investigation into conflicts of interest between Duke Energy and Indiana regulators resulted in indictments, firings, resignations, government hearings and savings of $300 million to customers. His investigation into operators of a proposed $500 million medical complex resulted in the cancellation of the project within weeks. He was named SPJ Indiana Journalist of the Year in 2011. He has been a panelist or guest speaker at numerous conferences, journalism schools and workshops.

KaraKenney.jpg

Kara Kenney

Kara Kenney is an investigative reporter with WRTV.

In April 2012, she was named Journalist of the Year by the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists. Her investigations into government fraud and waste have earned her the Richard Dreihaus Investigative Award from the Better Government Association, two Emmys, an Edward R. Murrow award, and numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Her coverage of the former MSD of Wayne Township school superintendent's retirement payout earned 1st Place from the Associated Press in Community Impact, and resulted in a new state law that calls for more transparency in superintendent contracts.

Before joining RTV6, Kenney worked as an Investigative Reporter for WBBH-TV in Fort Myers, Florida where she worked on a series called "Tracking Your Tax Dollars". Before that, she worked for WSJV-TV in South Bend, IN and WAOW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Kenney is a 2001 graduate of Indiana University's School of Journalism.

She loves spending time with her husband and two daughters.

LoniBlanford.jpg

Loni BlanDford

Loni Blandford is in her second year of serving on the board of the Indy Pro SPJ. She brings more than 10 years in the television news industry to the table. Currently, she’s the Managing Editor at WISH – TV in Indianapolis. She joined WISH in November 2013 as Executive Producer of Investigations before being promoted to her current role. From field producing during a presidential visit, to continuous coverage of the Virginia Tech Massacre in Blacksburg, Virginia and the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, her career has taken her coast to coast.

Before joining WISH, Blandford led the Special Projects unit at KTNV in Las Vegas. Prior to moving into management, she produced newscasts at stations in Nashville and Greenville, North Carolina.  Originally from Buffalo, it was an internship during high school at WIVB that solidified her path into the industry.

LoniMcKown.jpg

Loni McKown

Loni Smith McKown is professional practice faculty at Butler University's Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism. McKown helped modernize Butler’s journalism curriculum to provide more rigorous research and off-campus field reporting experiences, incorporate multimedia storytelling, and culminate in long-form storytelling.

McKown served as adviser to The Butler Collegian from fall 2010 until she was fired as adviser in fall 2015. The Collegian has been honored with the 2011 Pacemaker Award, 2012 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award for small newspapers, 2013 IRE Award for student investigation, and 2014 CMA Pinnacle Award for sports investigation, as well as regional and state awards.

McKown has a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She worked at newspapers for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor, and more recently spent five years producing for the investigative team at Indianapolis' former CBS affiliate. The most gratifying of all her journalistic endeavors: teaching and inspiring future journalists.

ScottUecker.jpg

Scott Uecker

Scott has more than 30 years of wide-ranging experience in the radio and television industries including on-air work in radio news and sports to management positions in broadcast news, programming, engineering, and station operations. He is currently a faculty member at the University of Indianapolis and the general manager of WICR-FM/HD Radio and UIndy TV.

Scott has worked for a number of Indiana radio stations, but is probably best known for his time with Wabash Valley Broadcasting as the director of news, operations, and programming for Network Indiana. Under his direction, the network grew from 35 affiliates in 1990 to more than 100 stations in 1997. He is the creator of the Network Indiana Wire Service and the widely acclaimed Indiana Sports Talk which has been in radio syndication for more than 20 years.

In 1997, Scott left commercial broadcasting and the journalism profession to become Chief Engineer and Operator for WICR-FM 88.7, the public radio station owned by the University of Indianapolis. After designing and building new radio/TV facilities, he was named the station’s general manager in 2002. In that role, Scott led efforts to make WICR the first public station in Indiana to offer HD radio service and secured funding for launching a campus cable TV channel.

As a faculty member, Scott supervises student internships in the communication field and teaches a number of courses including: Introduction to Applied Radio and Television, Applied Radio, Communication Technology, Media Management, Media Programming, Media Sales and Marketing, Communication Law, and Investigative News Reporting. He was a finalist for the university’s Teacher of the Year award in 2005 and 2016.

Scott has had a distinguished sports play-by-play career which includes calling more than 30 Indiana high school state championship games on radio and television, many at the network level. Currently, he is in his twelfth season as the radio play-by-play voice of Indianapolis Cathedral “Fighting Irish” football on Fox Sports 97.5, iHeart Media’s all-sports station in Indianapolis.

The Indiana Broadcasters Association (IBA) recognized his work in 2009 and 2010 by awarding him the prestigious Spectrum Award for Best Large Market Radio Sports Program. The Broadcast Education Association (BEA) presented him with a Faculty Award of Excellence for sports radio in 2011.

Scott is a board member and past-president of the IndyPro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the executive director and a past president of the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters and a board member of the Indiana Broadcasters Association. In the past, he has served on the boards of directors of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, the Indiana Associated Press, the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation, and the National Association of State Radio Networks News Directors Association.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio-Television from Butler University and a Master’s degree in Information and Communication Science from Ball State University.

Of a more personal nature, Scott and his wife Lee Ann, an elementary school teacher and library media specialist, have a 17-year-old son, Nathaniel, and a 14-year-old daughter, Marissa.

ShainaCavazos.jpg

Shaina Cavazos

Shaina Cavazos is a staff reporter for Chalkbeat Indiana. She holds a master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and graduated magna cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in economics and journalism from the University of Missouri. Shaina has worked as a K-12 education reporter for the Columbia Missourian and a business reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. At the Missourian, she wrote about Common Core and literacy, among other education topics. For Chalkbeat Shaina covers the Indiana General Assembly, state education policy, state standards, testing, teaching and other issues.

ShandraChapman.jpg

Sandra Chapman

Emmy Award winning Investigative reporter Sandra Chapman joined the Eyewitness News Investigators in December of 2003, where she has earned national, regional, and state awards for her reporting.

Sandra has earned honors from the National Headliner Awards covering topics in public safety, education, medical science and the environment. The most recent Headliner award came from her investigation into the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. The State Fair reports also resulted in awards from the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, and Sandra being named an IRE Finalist. IRE (Investigators Reporters Editors) previously named Sandra a finalist for her report entitled "Ghost Drivers," that uncovered the use of social security numbers from the deceased to get fake licenses.

Sandra is a two-time recipient of the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Allen Award. She earned accolades for her post-9/11 reports documenting the struggle of a local Hoosier who narrowly escaped the North Tower of the World Trade Center and for her work into the 1968 Carol Jenkins murder case, which prompted a witness to come forward in the 34-year-old murder mystery. In May 2012, Sandra became the published author of "The Girl in the Yellow Scarf," detailing the break in the case that led to the only arrest in the Carol Jenkins murder investigation.

In 2012, Sandra won two regional Emmy Awards for Research and for Best Investigative story. "Busted in Byrdstown" uncovered a government employee taking a city vehicle on vacation to a fishing hole in Tennessee on the taxpayer's dime. "Risky Call" uncovered an Ambulance Company putting business above patient safety. Extensive research uncovered a policy that did not require the company to call the closest ambulance during a life and death emergency.

Sandra has several other Emmy Awards including one that exposed credit checks costing federal employees their jobs at the Defense Finance & Accounting Service at Fort Benjamin Harrison, and another in 2014 that exposed an insurance company reducing insurance coverage for severely autistic children.

In addition, Sandra was named Best Metro Reporter in 2012 by the Indiana Associated Press and Journalist of the Year by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. Sandra's investigative reporting has also led to many changes throughout the state. Her work led to legislative changes with Indiana's Zachary's Law, and at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Sandra came to WTHR after a ten year stint at WISH-TV in Indianapolis. While at WISH, Sandra was an investigative reporter and a weekend anchor. Before that she worked at WICD in Champaign, IL where she was an anchor, reporter, and producer.

A native Hoosier, Sandra is originally from Fort Wayne. Sandra graduated from Ball State University where she earned her degree in Telecommunications, and was named the Outstanding Black Alumni in 2005.

Sandra is active in her community, serving on the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist. She has also served on the Board of Directors of Dress for Success, Indianapolis. She is a member of the Indianapolis Association of Black Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Indianapolis Church of Christ and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.