Introducing our New Program Director

Gina Garcia Program Director

Gina Garcia

We are excited to feature Gina Garcia our new Journalism Program Director. Gina joins us as an Emmy nominated Producer from the CBS This Morning, a national morning news program. For nearly 15 years, she’s been producing daily hard news and feature stories, field producing and booking guests for national network morning news programs in the Washington DC Bureau.

MPS JO: Tell us about your previous experience in Journalism.

Gina Garcia: For the past six years at CBS, I’ve crafted and shared stories covering the Washington DC region and beyond such as election coverage, congressional legislation, undercover consumer, medical and feature stories. Some of my favorite segments featured the ordinary people with extraordinary experiences. Before CBS News, I spent five years with NBC’s Today Show, where I field produced and booked exclusive segments during the Virginia Tech Massacre, Amish school shootings, Sago Mine Tragedy, hurricanes affecting the gulf coast and the campaign leading up to President Barack Obama’s election, among others. I also, had the opportunity to travel to Cuba to report on the conditions of the people and government.

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Faculty member Natalie Hopkinson moderates a citywide forum on education

Faculty member Natalie Hopkinson was the moderator at the Oct. 22 Mayoral Forum for Education, where she questioned three candidates running for mayor in the District about their policies regarding public and charter schools in the city.

Opening with comments about her firsthand experience as a D.C. parent, Hopkinson asked candidates Muriel Bowser, David Catania and Carol Schwartz about coordination between the city’s public schools and charter schools and whether the growth of charter schools in the District is sustainable.

The forum can be viewed online here.

Hopkinson has taught Culture Reporting and worked with Capstone students.

Faculty member Derek Willis in the news

Congratulations to faculty member Derek Willis for being featured in two recent interviews about his work with The New York Times’ The Upshot.

Capital New York asked Willis about his role at The Upshot, how the team decides what stories to visualize and his thoughts on data journalism: “We can’t afford to treat data as some kind of specialty in the newsroom, especially when it can be such a valuable part of reporting. There’s no way I’d be at The New York Times if I didn’t have these skills, and I’m glad that more organizations are putting greater value on them,” he said.

Huffington Post Live interviewed Willis about tech firms failing to disclose their political donations, based on a story he co-wrote about an index created by the Center for Political Accountability.

Willis also recently took a trip to South Africa for his work on Open Elections and wrote about his experiences on Medium.

He teaches Data Reporting, which will be offered again this spring.

Five new faculty members join the MPS Journalism team

Our fall faculty met for orientation on Aug. 25 to get ready for the new semester. (Credit: Stephanie Melson)

Our fall faculty met for orientation on Aug. 25 to get ready for the new semester. (A few folks are missing!) / Credit: Stephanie Melson


The Journalism program ​is pleased to welcome five new faculty members for the fall term: Jeremy Bowers, Adam Goldman, Zan Gillies, Julie Moos and Robyn Tomlin:

Derek Willis joins The New York Times’ The Upshot

Faculty member Derek Willis ​has​ join​ed​ The New York Times’ The Upshot. Willis previous worked for The Times as an interactive developer, ​focusing​ mainly on political and election-related applications.

Willis ​is part of a team of ​more than​ 15 journalists creating content for The Upshot, a new politics and policy website launched by The Times in April.

“We created The Upshot to serve as a destination for readers who want to deepen their understanding of the issues and policies that influence their daily lives,” said the site’s editor, David Leonhardt, in a statement. “Using a conversational tone and a rich stream of graphics and interactives, The Upshot will build on what the Times already does so well — provide analysis of the news happening all around us.”

Willis teaches Data Reporting in the Journalism program.​

Five new faculty members join the MPS Journalism team

The Journalism program ​is pleased to welcome five new faculty members for the summer term: J. Michael Falgoust of CSN Washington, Elise Hu of NPR, ​Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker and Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal.

Elise Hu covers technology and culture for NPR’s on-air, online and multimedia platforms. Hu will co-teach Digital Essentials for Journalists.

Ryan Lizza is the Washington ​c​orrespondent for the New Yorker, covering the White House, presidential campaigns, Congress and national politics. Lizza will teach Feature Writing.

Gregg Leslie, Legal Defense Director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, will be co-teaching Media Law.

J. Michael Falgoust leads digital media coverage of the Washington Wizards for Comcast SportsNet, contributing to its news, entertainment and live-game programming. Falgoust will co-teach Sports Journalism.

Sudeep Reddy is an economics editor in The Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau. In this position, he directs economics reporters in every Journal platform, including its newswires, website, print editions, video channel and radio service. Reddy will co-teach Digital Essentials for Journalists.

​We also want to welcome back our returning faculty members: Cindy BorenBruce Brown, ​Ben de la CruzJon DeNunzioLinda Kramer Jenning and Doug Mitchell.

Check out faculty member Natalie Hopkinson’s latest book Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City

Join us for a book signing:
July 16 at Busboys & Poets
July 30 at Politics & Prose
September 18 at Martin Luther King Library


Advance review from Publisher’s Weekly: Go-go music and its performers (Chuck Brown, Big G, Anthony “Little Benny” Harley) may have little cachet among a general audience, but Hopkinson, journalist and devotee, makes a persuasive case that “go-go serves as a metaphor for the black urban experience in the second half of the twentieth century.” Most deeply rooted in Washington, D.C., the heavily percussive, call-and-response dance music reflects the links between West Africa and the black diaspora, even as its content is centered on contemporary themes. As Hopkinson traces the music’s trajectory—particularly the rise and demise of Club U (by day a municipal center, by night a dance club) and of the curatorial entrepreneur Nico Holson—she delineates the divisions between “white federal Washington and black local D.C.” epitomized by the destruction of the once vibrant local go-go economy along the U Street, N.W., and H Street, N.E., corridors. Part history of, part elegy for, “the displacement of black communities and a slow death of the Chocolate City,” the text is supplemented by a rich photo insert documenting both dance floor and street. Across the world and throughout history, Hopkinson says, “black music has been the primary medium to deliver news.” Her assessment of a local phenomenon offers a glimpse of a culture off the mainstream’s radar.

The First Amendment Center, Writer

The First Amendment Center in Nashville is looking to hire someone to develop a guide for high school teachers to help students use social media in connection with any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press and assembly, etc.). The guide would be around 20 pages, and the deadline would be in late November. The Center is looking for a writer with teaching experience in civics, government, journalism or history, considerable familiarity with social media and experience putting together a curriculum. There will be a reasonable reimbursement.
For more information, please contact Charlie Nutt with Annlo Communications, L.L.C. at or 856-641-2136.


Faculty Member Alan Bjerga’s Book Launch

Bloomberg Press and Wiley invite you to attend a reception and book launch for Alan Bjerga’s book, “Endless Appetites: How the Commodities Casino Creates Hunger and Unrest”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
5:30pm – 7:30pm

Bloomberg LP
731 Lexington Ave, 28th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Click invitation link below for further details