ELi's Board of Directors

ELi's Board of Directors:

  • Sam Hosey Jr., President

  • Jiquanda Johnson, Vice President 

  • Raymond D. Vlasin, Treasurer

  • Alice Dreger, Secretary

  • Ann G. Nichols, Public Editor

  • Anaiis Rios-Kasoga, At-Large Member

  • Maysa Sitar, At-Large Member

Sam Hosey Jr. (above) is President of the ELi board. Sam is a native of East Lansing and graduate of East Lansing High School, and brings to the ELi Board of Directors valuable professional experience and a long record of public service. Sam currently works as a Business Systems Analyst at AFGroup, with 20 years’ experience as an IT professional in areas including multi-million-dollar software development projects, project management, and system administration. Sam earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwood University in Business Administration/Management after earning his Associates Degree from Lansing Community College, and he comes to ELi with serious journalistic chops. He worked as a freelance sports writer and as a radio and television personality covering high school, Michigan State, and Big Ten sports for over a decade. His reporting and analysis appeared in the Lansing State Journal, Detroit News, on WLNS TV-6, and elsewhere. Sam’s work in sports culminated with him serving as Sports Director for Life In Lansing. Passionate about supporting young people, Sam volunteers as a youth basketball coach, mentors young people, and is an ardent advocate for youth education. He serves on the board of the Edja Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping orphaned girls in Uganda who have been sexually assaulted and infected with HIV. A classically-trained pianist, Sam has performed at Common Ground, the Loft, and NAACP fund-raising events. Those experiences have lead him to start his own production company Play It Again Sam Productions, LLC. Sam currently plays at local churches and other special events. Sam and his wife have five sons, three of whom are currently enrolled in East Lansing Public Schools (ELPS). He agreed to serve on the board because he believes in working to promote unbiased journalism and the sharing of fact-based information in the community. Sam’s professional and personal experiences, his commitment to public service, and his leadership in local affairs makes him a true asset to this organization.

Jiquanda Johnson (above) is Vice President of the ELi board. Jiquanda is founder of Brown Impact Media Group, an independent publishing company focused on developing media products in underserved and marginalized communities. Jiquanda has nearly 20 years’ experience in journalism, including working for MLive Media Group, Fox 46 in North Carolina, NBC25's affiliate station in the Flint area, The Detroit News, Pull Magazine, and Tween Girl Style Magazine. In addition, her work has appeared in Belt Magazine, National Geographic, and Spotlight on Poverty. Her company, Brown Impact Media Group, kicked off their efforts in 2017 with FlintBeat.com, a news website focused solely on Flint, Mich., where Jiquanda grew up. The hyperlocal news site covers everything Flint, including city hall, neighborhoods, community movers and shakers, and public health issues. This year her team is focused on solutions journalism, the restorative narrative, and government transparency. Jiquanda’s efforts also include launching News Movement, a youth journalism program. News Movement teaches Flint-area youth various newsroom skills, including writing, graphic design, photography, and videography. Jiquanda has served on many panels focused on local journalism in underserved and marginalized communities and discussions related to media startups for many events and organizations including LION Publishers, Solutions Journalism Network, the National Association of Black Journalists, Online News Association, ONA Local, the John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford's journalism series, the Chautauqua Institute, and the Society of Environmental Journalists. She joined ELi’s board in Fall 2019.

Dr. Raymond D. Vlasin (above) serves as treasurer of the ELi board. Ray has served in various roles at Michigan State University since 1971, including Dean, Department Chair, Professor, Extension Specialist, and Extension Program Leader. In these roles he has served as designer, leader, coach and mentor to various professional teams. His research on high-performance teams included the co-authorship of the book “Increasing the Odds for High-Performance Teams—Lessons Learned”, January 2006, with Dr. Arlen Leholm based on research of high-performance teams. He also is an experienced facilitator for public, private and not-for-profit sector groups, and is skilled in group-dynamics processes. His professional specialties include land/resource economics, community and economic development, institutional design, and team and organizational development. As a long-time resident of East Lansing, he has volunteered his time in local and state venues. He has served as chair or co-chair of his neighborhood association, and E.L.’s Financial Health Team. Ray served on the Executive Committee of the Rural Development Council of Michigan; helped design and create the Victor Institute at MSU, emphasizing reuse of “brownfields” and protection of agricultural lands. He served as Chair of the Education Committee for the Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA), redesigning and implementing its professional certification program and directing its operation for nearly a decade. Ray was designated “Life Member” by MEDA. He also co-authored with Professor Ken VerBurg the book “Pursuing What Is Best for the World: 150 Years of Teaching, Research and Extension—Stories of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources” at Michigan State University, July 2006. Currently he is assisting the Port of Monroe in Michigan with legal and economic development analyses.

Alice Dreger (above), founder and Publisher of ELi and secretary of the ELi Board, is a native New Yorker but has been proud to live in East Lansing longer than anywhere else. In 1996 she and her husband moved to East Lansing to take positions at Michigan State University. In 1998, they bought a house in the Oakwood neighborhood built in 1923 by Charlie Washburn, and there they have raised a son (now in East Lansing High School) and helped to create the vibrant Oakwood neighborhood collective. Alice is a Ph.D. historian of medicine and science and a mainstream writer whose research has been funded by numerous organizations, including the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Arcus Foundation. Her essays on science, medicine, and life have been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, WIRED, Slate, New Statesman, and numerous other venues. Her media appearances have included Good Morning America, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” CNN, Discovery Health, A&E Biography, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. She has also served as an editor for various books and journals and has also taught writing for many years, at Michigan State receiving nine teaching awards including the university's highest teaching honor, the Teacher-Scholar Award. In 2004, she gave up tenure to lead a more interesting life and be a more available mother, and she taught history of medicine and mainstream writing from 2005-2015 at Northwestern University's medical school in Chicago. She brings to ELi a grateful devotion to the community of East Lansing, expertise as a writer and editor, and a long background in non-profit service. In addition to being a Board member and donor to ELi, Alice regularly contributes reporting and editing to ELi. (Board members are never paid for their contributions.) If you donate generously to ELi, you are liable to be invited to one of her famous house parties! Read more about Alice at her personal website.

Ann Graham Nichols (above), Eli's Public Editor, joined ELi’s Board of Directors in Fall 2019 but has been with ELi since it started. In fact, our first published article in August 2014 was Ann’s report on the bells starting to ring again at Peoples Church. A Buddhist, Ann lives just north of Peoples Church in the Oakwood Historic Neighborhood in a historic house, where she and her husband Rob raised their son. Ann herself she grew up in a portion of the eastern edge of East Lansing that put her in Okemos Public Schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and her law degree from Suffolk University Law School and she now works at the law firm of Willingham & Cote, PC. (That puts her in downtown East Lansing, where she keeps an eye out for subjects for her beloved Ann about Town placemaking column.) Ann’s community leadership bringing together student residents and long-term residents of East Lansing earned her the Crystal Award, East Lansing’s highest award for public service. She has had a rich professional life, working as a professional writer and editor, a professional cook, and as ELi’s Managing Editor form 2015-2019, a critical period of ELi’s growth. She continues to help ELi out with reporting and behind-the-scenes guidance because she strongly believes in the importance of a free and responsible press.

Anaiis Rios-Kasoga (above) is a Junior at East Lansing High School. She is active in her school community as co-president of the ELHS Black Student Union, school board liaison to the student council, and a member of the Encore Strings as well as symphonic orchestra program as a violinist. Her sophomore year she helped to organize professional development for teachers at ELHS consisting of student led small groups covering content such as race and mental health. Her main passion is writing. As a graduate of MSU’s ISHALL program she completed all the high school English necessary to graduate when she was a freshman. She now continues her English education through classes at MSU and LCC. Anaiis has been with ELi since graduating the 2019 ELi Youth Journalism camp. After graduating from ELHS she plans to continue her education and expand her literary voice at a liberal arts school in the East. What Anaiis brings to ELi is a valuable perspective as a current student at East Lansing High School. Outside of academic extracurriculars she enjoys making music, making clothes, reading, and writing.

Maysa Sitar (above) is currently completing her third year as a political science major at Michigan State University. She worked for East Lansing info this past summer, writing articles. Currently, she works on campus in the student government and as a student researcher. In the future, she intends to pursue a career in election law. Originally from a small town in the Upper Peninsula, she now lives in the Bailey neighborhood. Her favorite East Lansing event is the Art Festival in May. In her free time, you can probably find her writing mediocre poetry in the park, eating pasta in any restaurant that serves it, or attending the latest city council meeting. She’s excited to serve on ELi’s board of directors, learn more about sustaining local journalism, and provide insight as a young member of the community.

Our Board of Director's Conflict of Interest Policy: The main thing you need to know about potential financial conflicts of interest is that members of the ELi Board and their immediate household and family members are prohibited from profiting from ELi. So if you see our board members functioning as editors, reporters, technical advisors, or in any other staff role, rest assured they are doing that work voluntarily. We also maintain the formal Conflict of Interest Policy recommended by the IRS for non-profits. You can read that by clicking here.

 

Previous ELi Boards of Directors:

 2018-2019:

  • Alice Dreger, President
  • Stephen Thomas, Vice President and Secretary
  • Travis Stoliker, Treasurer
  • Sam Hosey, At-Large Member
  • Michael Lawrence, At-Large Member

May 2018-August 2018:

  • Alice Dreger, President
  • Stephen Thomas, Vice President and Secretary
  • Travis Stoliker, Treasurer
  • Michael Lawrence, At-Large Member

 

June 2017-May 2018:

  • Alice Dreger, President
  • Stephen Thomas, Vice President and Secretary
  • Travis Stoliker, Treasurer
  • Merem Frierson, At-Large Member
  • Michael Lawrence, At-Large Member

 

August 2016-June 2017:

  • Alice Dreger, President
  • Stephen Thomas, Vice President and Secretary
  • Michael Lawrence, Treasurer
  • Travis Stoliker, At-Large Member

 

April 2016-August 2016:

  • Alice Dreger, President and Secretary
  • Stephen Thomas, Vice President
  • Michael Lawrence, Treasurer
  • Travis Stoliker, At-Large Member

 

2014-April 2016:

  • Alice Dreger, President and Secretary
  • Vic Loomis, Vice President
  • Michael Lawrence, Treasurer
  • Stephen Thomas, At-Large Member

 

 

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