Rosalind Arch (above) is a senior at Michigan State University with two majors, one in gender studies and one in philosophy, as well as a minor in peace and justice studies. She's from Okemos, Michigan, and currently resides in East Lansing with three exceptional humans and three pesky felines. Favorite hobbies include binging on pasta at the Brody cafeteria, excessive thrift shopping, and debating feminist philosophy. Rosalind's work for ELi has ranged from reports on JoyRide Pedal Tours to a visit by a Holocaust survivor and author to an exhibit at Saper Galleries.
Charlotte Baykian (above) is a Communications and Humanities major at Michigan State University and life-long resident of East Lansing. She has been writing for East Lansing Info since July of 2015. If you'd like a sense of her work, you can check out her stories on the Flowerpot Neighborhood, on East Lansing High School's Students for Gender Equality club, on Tasty Twist, and on adoption among same-gender couples in East Lansing.
Alice Dreger (above) focuses mostly on Government reporting for ELi, although occasionally you'll find her wandering into Home and Garden reporting. She is also the founder, Publisher, and President of the Board of Directors of ELi. Her work is voluntary (unpaid). A native New Yorker, Alice lives with her life partner Aron Sousa in the Oakwood neighborhood in a house built in 1923 by Charlie Washburn. Her work for ELi includes regular Council Capsules and the investigative series The Mercurial Trail. You can learn more about her non-ELi work at her personal website. Alice is a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Casandra Eriksen (above) is going into her third year at Western Michigan University, double majoring in Psychology and Comparative Religion. She enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, and traveling. She also enjoys swimming, and venturing off the beaten path. She is progressive politically, partially because she is a lesbian. She also cares about the environment and making an economy that works for everyone. In the future she hopes to write a book and go back to school at Michigan State for journalism. Her life goal is to make as much of a positive difference in the world as she can. Casandra has reported for us on a wide variety of topics, including the pace of ticket-writing in East Lansing, the MSU solar array, and the absence of gay bars in East Lansing.
Telaina Eriksen (above) is an assistant professor in creative writing at Michigan State University and the author of the forthcoming book Unconditional: Parenting Your LGBTQ Child (Mango Publishing 2017). Her writing has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Under the Sun, The Fem, The Good Men Project, Role Reboot, ARS Medica, Hospital Drive, Marco Polo Quarterly, The Truth About the Fact, poemmemoirstory, the poetry anthology Mother is a Verb, the anthology By One's Own Hand: Writing About Suicide Loss, and in other online and in-print publications. She was an artist in residence in 2013 for the Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology in East Jordan, Michigan. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry from Antioch University Los Angeles and a BA in journalism from Michigan State University. At ELi, she's reported on the high school boys' water polo team, MSU's annual Day of Percussion, ELHS teacher Dave Rosin receiving a statewide award, a high school student's landscaping business, and on local literary events. Telaina has also contributed an essay on why she writes for ELi. Telaina is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Paige Filice (above) is a native of Lansing, Michigan, and is a Research Assistant in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department at Michigan State University. She graduated from Lake Superior State University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Conservation Leadership. Paige currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Middle Grand River Organization of Watersheds. Her reporting interests for ELi include environmental and water resources issues, gardening, and anything to do with the outdoors. For a sample, check out her story on the Burcham Road rain garden or her answer to a reader's question about where our frogs go in the winter. When she isn’t working or writing, Paige enjoys backpacking, camping, kayaking, mountain bike riding, and playing badminton.
Ian Hoopingarner (above) is interested in policy, the health of the planet, good governance, and a free internet. He writes about local government for ELi, and is a graduate of East Lansing High School and Michigan State University. Ian's reports for ELi have included stories on mistakes made at our water treatment plant, the City's attempt to locate local lead water pipes, and development in the Park District. More of Ian's writing can be found at Solastalgia.
Danny Kaplowitz (above) is a junior at East Lansing High School. He is the president of the school's Gender Equality club and a participant in its student newspaper, among other extracurricular activities. He is interested in politics, history, and American culture. Danny has been working for ELi since fall of 2015 and covers the high school, along with other events happening around town. For a sense of his work, read his report on a #BlackLivesMatter event at the East Lansing Public Library and on a Costa Rica service trip.
Peyton Lombardo (above) is a junior at Michigan State University studying Media and Information. She is currently involved in MSU Athletics, as both a student manager for the women's basketball team and a sales and marketing intern at sporting events. She plans to work in the sports and entertainment industry upon graduation. In her free time, Peyton is a big moviegoer, loves to bake, and tries to stay active through hiking, biking, and golfing. She is an avid traveler after having spent a semester in Europe and hopes to travel to more places soon (South Africa, Dubai, and Tokyo are on the top of her list). Her favorite part about writing for ELi is being able to cover local events and get involved in the East Lansing community outside of MSU. For ELi's readers, Peyton has covered everything from events at Schuler Books to our mounted deputies to a local bee rescue group to the Lansing Area women's soccer league to Art for Charlie.
Coleen Moyerbrailean (above) came to East Lansing in 1986 as a grad student in the MSU College of Education. She and her husband Todd and son Gregory settled in the Bailey neighborhood. (Coleen still misses that first house.) When daughter Anne was on the way, the family moved to a larger home in the Glencairn neighborhood. Greg and Anne attended Glencairn Elementary, MacDonald Middle School, and East Lansing High School. Today, Coleen and Todd are happy empty-nesters! They enjoy biking, skiing, being with friends, and visiting their children. Coleen loves writing for ELi and is also employed by Odd Fellows Contracting in Williamston, Michigan, as a kitchen and bath designer. Coleen has provided many informative reports for ELi's readers, ranging from reports on MSU Police's Anti-Bias and Inclusion Unit, to our district's sex ed curriculum, to the Burcham Road solar project, and beyond. Coleen is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Ann Nichols (above), ELi's Managing Editor, has been a cellist, a lawyer, a soccer mom, a political operative, and a Buddhist cook at a Protestant church. As it turns out, she’s really a writer. Raised in East Lansing, she currently lives in a 102-year-old house near the MSU campus with her husband, her son and an improbable number of animals. Ann has served on the board of the Community Relations Coalition and as President of the Oakwood Neighborhood founded the Brownie Brigade. For her service to East Lansing, she has been given the Crystal Award. Besides all of her professional talents, Ann brings to ELi her love of local food, her talent for meaningful relationships with the MSU students who live all around her, and a pride in living downtown. Her reporting for ELi often draws on her J.D., as with her stories on the legal status of marijuana in East Lansing and on a lawsuit brought against the City by workers for asbestos risk. Check out Ann's terrific place-making column, Ann about Town. Ann is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Heather Paris (above) has been a reporter for ELi since October 2015. Heather considers herself a conduit for bringing information to others. She has a history in the world of words, including editing scripts and stories, writing website content and participating in writing workshops. Paris is a lifelong learner, always interested in learning new things and mastering new skills. A Michigan transplant from Iowa, she earned her B.A. at The University of Iowa in Communication Studies with an emphasis on writing. She produced short films and a TV spot while in college, using now-ancient technology. While putting herself through college, she spent her spare time gleaning inspiration from visiting authors and poets. In recent years, she has been involved in the local art scene, stand-up comedy, and social justice work. She lives with her family in Okemos, determined to survive the Michigan winters in order to enjoy the bounty of Michigan summers and all the outdoor opportunities the state offers. Anywhere near water or books is her happy place. Heather's reporting for ELi includes stories on visiting authors, on East Lansing's intergenerational mural, on the Firecracker Foundation, and on the Potters' Guild. Heather is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Julie Rojewski (above) lives with her family in East Lansing in the Southeast Marble Neighborhood. She has written widely both for work and for fun, and for Eli, she likes writing stories about the people and events that make her appreciate that we live in a great place with incredibly interesting people. In her essay on why she writes for ELi, Julie remembered that she realized when she found ELi that she "no longer had to rely solely on social media to piece together why this particular legislation was pursued, or a neighborhood potluck to help me understand the history behind a different community effort." Her reports for our readers have included everything from benefit concerts at Peoples Church to local "freecyclers" to the story of an East Lansing family that has adopted three children from Haiti. Julie is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Chris Root (above) moved to East Lansing in 1983 from Washington, D.C. Chris registered as a lobbyist at the age of 18, when she began working on anti-apartheid and southern Africa issues for a church- and union-sponsored non-profit, the Washington Office on Africa. After moving to East Lansing, Chris provided staff support for the Democratic caucus of the Michigan House of Representatives on a bill to divest state public employee pension funds from companies operating in South Africa. Chris continues her focus on this movement by helping to build the Africa Activist Archive Project. Chris worked at MSU for 15 years helping faculty obtain grants. She now devotes a lot of her time to monitoring economic development and financial issues in East Lansing, gardening, and spending time with family. She focuses mainly on government reporting for ELi (parking lot sales, City finances, campaign finance analysis--Chris does it all!) but she has also been known to encourage local foraging and to provide tasty recipes for local weeds. Chris is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Aron Sousa (above) is a physician and medical educator in Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine. He has served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for about a decade and for a year as the College's Interim Dean. Aron is known locally for his healthy obsession with redwoods, and at ELi, he mostly writes about the natural world, including local astronomy, hail storms, birds, butterflies, mammary-shaped clouds, and mosquitoes. With twenty-years' experience as a gardener in East Lansing's Oakwood neighborhood, he also occasionally shares his green thumb-wisdom with ELi's readers, as in his article providing conifer sex ed. Aron is the life partner of ELi founder Alice Dreger and volunteers his work at ELi, often getting tapped for seasonal articles like his Thanksgiving report on turkeys and his explanation of our uneven autumnal equinox. His editors sometimes think twice about his proposed headlines, as with "East Lansing Hopes to See Uranus This Week." Aron is also a financial donor to ELi; join him today.
Ken Sperber (above) along with his life partner Valerie Thonger is the ELi Calendar of Events Co-Editor and sometimes also an ELi reporter. His reports for ELi have included topics as diverse as the hiring of election inspectors, replacement of lawns with flowering plants, and the termination of the head of BWL. When they are not correcting each other, Ken and Val also work together as the ELi proofreaders. Ken has worked in a variety of early childhood education and care programs from MSU campus preschools to Head Start and then the Ingham County Office for Young Children and Great Start. Ken says that the best part about working with families with young children was that it helped keep the child inside him always alive. Now retired and with his two grown sons off in Chicago, Ken has turned his attention to eldercare, gardening, soccer, being a fix-it man, and ELi. Ken enjoys working on ELi as it brings back memories of working from the basement of his house with his roommates and friends in the 1970s on Lansing's first underground alternative newspapers, the Joint Issue and then the Lansing Star. Ken is also a financial donor to ELi; join him today.
Samuel Sprague (above) is a multi-instrumentalist and has played in many local groups over the years. He releases solo music under the moniker Morning Mesh via Tape Hiss Music, a DIY cassette label based in East Lansing run by himself and friends. Sam studies Multimedia Arts Technology as well as Philosophy at Western Michigan University. As ELi's roving music scene reporter, Sam has covered events at The Record Lounge, The Whiskey Lounge, and Mac's Bar, to name a few.
Michael Teager (above) is a self-professed political junkie who is happy to exorcise his demons through his reporting for ELi. Outside of ELi, Mike is an at-home dad by day and works remotely for a software firm by night. He has taught music at Michigan State University and Spring Arbor University. As a saxophonist, he performs frequently throughout Michigan and the Midwest, maintains a small private studio, and can regularly be seen and heard with Matt Borghi and various other groups. When time permits, he also writes for and manages MT-Headed Blog. At ELi, Mike has covered a wide variety of stories, including proposed security upgrades for City Hall, the relocation of the Bailey ceramics studio, and the re-hiring of the City Attorney. He has also been one of our core Council Capsule reporters. Mike is also a financial donor to ELi; join him today.
Valerie Thonger (above) moved to Michigan to go to MSU in 1971 and has made East Lansing her home. With her husband and best bud, Ken Sperber, she has two grown sons, who are well-adjusted, smart and self-sufficient (as is true for their soon-to-be daughter-in law). At ELi, Valerie, working with Ken, is the Calendar of Events Co-Editor, proofreader, and occasionally also a reporter. Her stories for ELi have included reports on the hiring of election workers, early childhood programming, and blood donation opportunities. Valerie worked at the non-profit Eastminster Child Development Center for over 31 years in a variety of administrative positions including Assistant Director, Interim Director (several times), Finance Coordinator, and ECDC Board Member. At ECDC, Valerie was responsible for keeping the accounts for the revenues and expenses for what grew to be a million-dollar budget. During her 30+ years there, Val was able to account for all the expenses and revenues down to the last penny. Valerie especially enjoyed building so many relationships with the parents and children for all those years. It is gratifying for her to now see those same parents as grandparents, and the former preschoolers as grown adults and now parents. As a retiree, Val has volunteered at the Marble School library, at Everybody Reads bookstore, and at the East Lansing Public Library. Valerie's hobbies include reading, gardening, biking, walking, soccer, traveling and, of course, ELi. Val is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Karessa Wheeler (above), ELi's chief Schools reporter, has worked in journalism for more than 25 years, earning a master’s degree from the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and anthropology from MSU. She has written for daily newspapers in Michigan and Maryland, as well as political magazines and various publications, including the Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition. She has taught journalism at Spring Arbor University and Jackson College. She currently works as the communications specialist for the Environmental Science and Policy Program at MSU. She lives in the Oakwood neighborhood of East Lansing with her husband, Brian Wheeler, three children--Elliott, Alec and Maggie--and way too many pets. She enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and biking. She also runs but does not enjoy it. In addition to her tireless Schools reporting for ELi, Karessa has brought our readers stories about Foods for Living donating food during an outage, music produced by people on the autism spectrum, and the Art for Charlie Foundation. Karessa is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
To date, ELi has had over 75 citizen reporters! Here is information about some of the other folks who have been reporters for ELi's readers:
Erik Altmann, a professor of psychology at MSU and resident of the Bailey Neighborhood, was elected to East Lansing's City Council in November 2015 and is a past reporter for ELi. He contributed to ELi in its early pre-incorporation years, including on the fireworks ordinance, and after incorporation on issues like the Park District redevelopment. Erik was a donor to East Lansing Info; now that he's on Council he's not allowed to donate. But if you're not a local elected official, you can.
Kristin Beals Bellar is a resident of the Glencairn Neighborhood and reported for ELi on a community garden in her neighborhood.
Ruth Beier is a labor ecoomist for the Michigan Educational Association, a member of the Oakwood Neighborhood, and was elected to East Lansing's City Council in November 2013. She contributed an obituary on her dog Jackson.
Amy Bigman is a rabbi for the Congregation Shaarey Zedek in East Lansing and is also a member of the East Lansing Clergy Association. She has contributed reporting on the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service and a program welcoming Jewish parents of young children.
Bill Castanier is a regular reporter for the Lansing City Pulse where he covers a vareity of topics in Arts and Culture. His story on the history of housing discrimination in East Lansing was reprinted in ELi with permission.
Michael Conlin is a professor of economics at MSU and a resident of the Glencairn Neighborhood. In 2015, helped ELi answer the question of whether voters should cast all three votes in a Council election if they only felt excited about one or two candidates. Mike has been a donor to East Lansing Info; join him today.
Katie Dama-Jaskolski is the co-founder and president of the Life as a Zebra Foundation. She wrote a report for ELi explaining the work of the foundation.
Kepler Domurat-Sousa has lived in East Lansing his whole life and plans to graduate from East Lansing High School in 2018. As a clarinetist, he is a member of the East Lansing Trojan Marching Band and the high school's Symphonic Band. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and plays on the Quidditch team. With interests centered in science and technology, Kepler has reported for ELi on the City's anti-drone ordinance and MSU's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB).
Katie Donovan reported for ELi on the East Lansing Rotary Club's Pancakes in the Park fundraiser.
Sarah Dougherty provided the history of Campbell's Smoke Shop for ELi's Rewind historical series. With Charlotte Baykian, she also co-authored an article on the battles faced by East Lansing same-sex couples seeking to adopt children.
Howard Fooksman, a masters student in MSU's Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, reported for ELi's readers on the first Capital City Comic Con.
John French, MSU Abram's Planetarium Program Assistant, has contributed astronomy reporting for ELi's readers.
Andrew Graham is an Okemos native and graduate of Okemos High School. During his time at OHS, Andrew played baseball, sang for the Someko Singers and wrote for the school newspaper, The OHS Press. Andrew also enjoys cooking and woodworking in his free time and is a NetFlix documentary junkie and sports aficionado. Andrew is attending Syracuse University where he is studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism and hopes to write for The Daily Orange, Syracuse’s student run newspaper. Andrew has reported for us on schools issues and alcohol-law enforcement as well as the descent of Pokemon Go on East Lansing.
Hope Hagan reported for ELi on Red Cedar Spirits, a distillery housed in an old public works building.
Kurt Hankenson, an animal researcher at MSU and resident of the Bailey Neighborhood, reported for us on the Broad Museum's "Re-Envisioning East Lansing" exhibit. Kurt is also a financial donor to ELi; join him today.
Richard Hill-Rowley, a resident of the Chesterfield Hills Neighborhood, reported for ELi on the history of the Sunday Friendly Co-Ed Soccer Group for our Rewind series. Richard is also a financial donor to ELi; join him today.
Charlie Hoogstraten, faculty in MSU's Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department and a resident of the Bailey Neighborhood, has reported for us on the East Lansing Public Schools Board. Charlie is also a financial donor to ELi; join him today.
Ann Kammerer reported for ELi in 2016 on a muscial composition by Billy Childs designed to promote human rights awareness.
John Kloswick, now retired from MSU, can often be found keeping ELi reporters company at City Council meetings on Tuesday nights. He is a steady ELi financial supporter, and reported for us on the rehiring of the City Attorney.
Michael Lawrence is a Law professor at MSU, a member of the Oakwood Neighborhood, and serves on ELi's Board of Directors. He reported for us on the move of his church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansng. Mike is also a financial donor to East Lansing Info; join him today.
Caitlin Leppert has served as an at-large reporter for ELi, reporting on such diverse topics as MSU's ban on tobacco, a stigma-fighting poet's performance at the Art Festival, and post-game problems at Cedar Village, among many others.
Elaine Loomis, a resident of the Whitehills Neighborhood and a student at East Lansing High School, reported on ELHS students raising money for breast cancer awareness for our Random Acts of Kindness series.
Robert Mavrogordato, a nurse who works at Sparrow Hospital, is a resident of the Glencairn Neighborhood and an honorary resident of the Oakwood Neighborhood. He has reported for ELi on the local appearance of entovirus and our new recycling program. He also reported on a long-time resident's legal limbo with regard to immigration. Bobby is also a financial donor to ELi; join him today.
Rebecca McAndrews served as ELi's first Schools reporter. Her numerous reports included stories on the cooperation among our elementary schools, the School Board race of 2014, and fundraising by musical ELHS students.
Andrew Pomerville, pastor of Peoples Church, reported for ELi on local seasonal beer options.
Maureen Rojewski is ELi's youngest reporter so far. As a third-grader at Marble Elementary School, Maureen reported for us on her Girl Scout Troop's fundraiser to help the homeless. (We allowed her more exclamation points than we usually do.)
Ken Rosenman, a physician specializing in occupational and environmental medicine, is faculty at MSU and a member of East Lansing's friendly co-ed soccer group, a group ELi loves to mine for reporters and donors. For ELi's readers, Ken has explained an air quality lawsuit against BWL and why asbestos is a concern for workers, including our City workers.
Tamiko Rothhorn has reported for ELi on Fiddle Scouts, a group that seeks to introduce children to folk music.
Shannon Schmoll is Director of MSU's Abrams Planetarium and a resident of Okemos. She reports for ELi on local astronomical opportunities, including meteor showers and the transit of Mercury. She also provided a special report on East Lansing's astronomical connection to Chile. Shannon is a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Robert Shelton, long-time faculty at MSU's Lyman Briggs College, reported for our readers on Naomi Klein's presentation at the Wharton on climate change.
Sarah Slocum, a head comrade of the Oakwood Neighborhood, has reported for ELi on her neighborhood's assertion of its boundaries.
Dudley "Smitty" Smith was ELi's first Managing Editor. A resident of the Bailey Neighborhood, he is also founder and organizer of the Pump House Concert Series and Pumpstock.He's reported for ELi on many topics, including on the Keys in the City pianos and MSU's protected woodlots. Smitty is also a financial donor to ELi; join him today.
Angela Sorrells was one of ELi's first reporters. She reported for our readers on MSU's Impact Radio, on Dave Rosin's jazz trio, and on Safe Halloween. Angela has also been a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Melissa Sortman works in the field of education and lives in the Glencairn Neighborhood. Melissa reported for ELi on the painting of the Valley Court steps. (See the result.) She has also been a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
John Stauffer, Executive Director of Helping Hands Respite Care, contributed to ELi by explaining his organization's service to the community.
Ruelaine Stokes reported for ELi on the Dead Poets Contest at East Lansing's Dublin Square.
Eliot Singer, a retired folklorist and local politics researcher, reported for ELi on major properties downtown changing hands. A long-time Chesterfield Hills resident, Eliot currently resides in Traverse City.
Sheila Taylor, a well-known and very active member of the East Lansing community, has reported for us on Corey Cafagna Park and on the work of the Friends of the East Lansing Public Library, of which she is a member. Sheila is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Stephen Thomas, faculty at MSU in the natural sciences, is an expert in online education lives with his husband in Chesterfield Hills. Stephen has produced material explaining ELi's mission and methods, including a video explaining why ELi requires money to function. He is currently Vice President of ELi's Board of Directors and has been a steady financial donor to East Lansing Info; join him today.
Alice Fleming Townley lives in Shaw Estates with her family and ministers at the Presbyterian Church of Okemos. She has reported for ELi on the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service and on a local production of "The Giver." Alice is also a financial donor to ELi; join her today.
Michael Townley lives in Shaw Estates with his family and has served on East Lansing's Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. He has reported for ELi's readers on good places to canoe and kayak in the area. Mike is also a financial donor to ELi; join him today
Robert Victor was Staff Astronomer at MSU's Abrams Planetarium and now frequently contributes astronomy news to ELi. He is retired from MSU but still enjoys providing sky watching opportunities for public and school groups. For ELi, he has reported on group viewing activities, unusual planetary alignments, and more.
Ray Vlasin is Co-Chair of the Harrison Meadows Neighborhood Association and has long been active in East Lansing's community. He currently serves on the Financial Health Team for the City. He reported for ELi on deer encroachment into his neighborhood.
Karley Warwick reported for ELi on the Maker Studio at the downtown Marriott Hotel.
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