Student Bios

Meet the student journalists who researched, reported, and wrote all the stories in the “Poisonous Ponds: Tackling Toxic Coal Ash” project, a collaboration between Great Lakes Now, the Energy News Network and students at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

Find all the students’ articles and the Great Lakes Now monthly show based on their reporting HERE.

Sarah Aie

Undergraduate Student, Journalism
Walnut, California

Sarah Aie is an undergraduate student studying journalism and environmental policy and culture. She’s been the video editor at The Daily Northwestern and has previously written for the city and campus desks. She is currently interning at Circle of Blue, focusing on multimedia production. Outside of the newsroom, she enjoys reading about and watching all things film and TV. 

Felix Beilin

Undergraduate Student, Journalism
Madison, Wisconsin

Felix Beilin is an undergraduate student studying journalism and political science at Northwestern University. He has previously written for North By Northwestern magazine, and was the founder of the online policy debate blog at Northwestern University Political Union. During breaks from playing tennis and going on long bike rides, Felix is conducting research on political communication and is preparing for graduate school in political science.

Gina Castro

Master’s Student, Journalism
Pensacola, Florida

Gina Castro is based in Chicago, IL. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative reporting. She is currently a Pulitzer Center fellow and a racial justice fellow for the Evanston RoundTable Media. When Gina’s not reporting, you can find her reading the latest science fiction novel.

Mrinali Dhembla

@mdhembla                                                                              Master’s Student, Journalism
New Delhi, India

Mrinali Dhembla is a freelance journalist based in Chicago/New Delhi. She graduated with a master of science in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2022. She has previously written for various publications such as The Slate, Chicago Reader, Block Club Chicago among many others.

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan

Master’s Student, Journalism
Coimbatore, India

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan graduated from Northwestern University with a master’s degree in journalism with a focus in investigative reporting. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering. She is always exploring ways to integrate her technical abilities into her stories to present data innovatively. Her work has appeared in Prism Reports, Crain’s Chicago Business and The Hindu. When not reporting, you can find her playing with dogs.

Chloe Hilles

Undergraduate Student, Journalism
Ventura, California

Chloe Hilles graduated from Medill School of Journalism with degrees in Journalism and Political Science in June 2022. She focused on investigative, social justice and digital storytelling during her four years of school. Previous, Chloe has reported on prisons, criminal justice and Covid-19 for Injustice Watch, The Washington Post and Redacted Magazine. When not reporting, you can find her boxing at the heavy-weight bag or playing with her extra-large dog. Learn more about Chloe at www.chloehilles.com.

Joshua Irvine

Undergraduate Student, Journalism
Arlington Heights, Illinois

Josh Irvine graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism in 2022. He currently reports on poverty for the Telegraph Herald of Dubuque, Iowa, as a Report for America corps member.

Diana Leane

Master’s Student, Journalism
Mount Prospect, IL

Diana Leane graduated from Northwestern University with a master’s degree in journalism with a focus in investigative reporting in June. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. She’s interned at the Daily Herald and worked for BU’s student newspaper, The Daily Free Press. When not reporting, she enjoys gardening and baking.

Tom Quinn

Undergraduate Student, Journalism
Summit, New Jersey

Tom Quinn graduated from Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He spent much of his college sailing career on Lake Michigan as a skipper for the Northwestern Sailing Team. He is now in New York City exploring a passion for law and listening to podcasts while walking along the Hudson River.

Hayley Starshak

Master’s Student, Journalism
Glenview, Illinois

Hayley Starshak graduated from Northwestern University with a master’s degree in journalism, specializing in investigative reporting. She went to undergrad at the University of Denver, majoring in Strategic Communications and Spanish. She has a passion for storytelling, local news, and defending the Oxford comma.

Kelsey Turner

Undergraduate Student, Journalism
New Providence, New Jersey

Kelsey Turner is a recent Medill School of Journalism graduate whose writing focuses on social justice issues facing minority communities. Kelsey has written for publications including Native News Online, South Side Weekly and Restoration Magazine. She now reports on affordable housing and homelessness for The Columbian, a local newspaper in Vancouver, Washington.

Peter Winslow

Master’s Student, Journalism
Evanston, Illinois

Peter Winslow is based in Chicago, IL. He recently graduated with a master’s degree in Editorial Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where he focused on investigative reporting. He was a former investigative intern for the Better Government Association and his work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Belt Magazine and South Side Weekly. Peter enjoys reading fiction, cooking and is currently training for a half marathon.