Sharon McGowan, editor-in-chief of the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, is a reporter, writer, editor and teacher. She has a master’s degree from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and started her career as an investigative reporter and managing editor of The Chicago Reporter, a monthly publication covering race relations and poverty issues. She later was managing editor/assistant news director at all-news WBBM-AM, and then assignment manager for WBBM-TV, both CBS stations in Chicago.
McGowan and her husband, Jim, founded Complete Communications, Inc. in 1986. She is currently a faculty member at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication. McGowan directed the graduate Introduction to Journalism program at Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University and was an adjunct lecturer for more than 20 years. She has received awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television News Directors Association, Women in Communications and others.
The McGowans have two adult children. Their daughter, Jennifer, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is the associate director of NAMI Chicago. Their son, Joshua, graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and works for the Circle of Service Foundation.
Dwayne Burtin is a web coordinator at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.
A native Milwaukeean, he began his career in online communication in 2001 as web designer/ creative director at Homeboyz Interactive,and has a wealth of experience in online journalism and social media, as well as other interactive and digital media.
Burtin has participated several times in the Fight for Air Climb at the U.S. Bank Center, climbing 47 floors, or 1,034 steps, to benefit the American Lung Association.
Adam Carr is a web coordinator at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, as well as a freelance media producer. A proud product of Milwaukee Public Schools, he worked between 2008-2011 at 88Nine RadioMilwaukee as the community initiative producer, producing nearly 1,000 short-form audio stories on different facets of the Milwaukee community.
His work has received numerous local broadcasting awards, including the Milwaukee Press Club and Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards for Excellence.
He continues to find new directions for his passion for and love of Milwaukee.
Ryeshia Farmer is a staff reporter at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She has experience in print and online journalism through blogging and reporting for The Current at Carthage College, and The Chicago Monitor. Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in political science and returning to her hometown of Milwaukee, Ryeshia was eager to bring her experience and curiosity home as well.
Ryeshia is also a facilitator, a community organizer, a policy analysis enthusiast and is freelance DJ Ryot.
Ana Martinez-Ortiz is a staff reporter for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. As a multimedia journalist, she has experience with online news, print journalism, video, photography and audio. Some of her work is featured on the Milwaukee Courier, the UWM Post and Media Milwaukee. She also has a food blog, Just A Pinch, dedicated to her adventures in the kitchen (some more successful than others.) As a Milwaukee native, Ana attended UW-Milwaukee where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish. She’s eager to shine a light on Milwaukee’s potential and report on its setbacks.
When she’s not working, Ana enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and yoga.
Edgar Mendez is a staff reporter for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Prior to joining the team at NNS he was a feature writer for El Conquistador Newspaper in Milwaukee, and a web writer/blogger in Racine.
Mendez, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, earned his undergraduate degree from UW-Milwaukee, with a double major in Journalism and Media Communications and Sociology, and his master’s degree in Communication from Marquette University. He won a 2018 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award and a 2017 Milwaukee Press Club Gold Award for his reporting on South Side taverns. He also won a 2014 award from the Milwaukee Press Club for his article on unequal enforcement of marijuana laws. In 2008, he won a Society of Professional Journalists’ regional award for columns dealing with issues such as poverty, homelessness and racism.
His writing has been published by the Associated Press, Reuters, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other media. He has also co-authored three articles published in scholarly journals.
His interests include scholastic research, the Green Bay Packers and being a father.
Andrea Waxman is a staff reporter at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. A professional writer, she completed a graduate certificate in Digital Storytelling at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor for a community newspaper and taught English and Japanese in several area middle and high schools.
Waxman has lived in Milwaukee since 1981, but spent most of her early years living in Tokyo, where her father was stationed at the American embassy. She returned to Japan in 1986 and again in 1993 when her husband was there as a Fulbright scholar.
In her free time, Waxman enjoys theater, movies, music, ethnic food, cities, travel, reading — especially the news of the day — and all kinds of people. She is interested in working for social justice and contributing to the vitality of the city.
Analise Pruni is the Wisconsin Policy Forum reporting fellow at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She received her B.A. in journalism from UW-Milwaukee and is working on her master’s in media studies there with a focus on teen television representations.
Learning the city from the ground up in the five years she has lived here has influenced her writing interests toward local narratives and community involvement. She is also a teaching assistant and instructs UWM students in media writing and media studies. When she is not writing or teaching, she enjoys riding her bicycle everywhere, working on her adventure blog and playing music in her band, Rough Waters.
Sue Vliet is a volunteer photographer for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She attended Beloit College and UW-Madison, where she earned a B.A. in art history.
Vliet works as a freelance photographer specializing in portraits, especially of children and families, locations and art. She owns a small art card business featuring her photos of Milwaukee scenes, which are sold in area stores.
Vliet volunteers for a number of local organizations including Arts@Large; Riveredge Nature Center; MPS; Penfield Children’s Center; Schlitz Audubon Nature Center; and Extreme Moms Milwaukee.
Vliet and her husband have two adult children, Sally and Connor. Vliet is an avid gardener, reader, runner, cook and baker and also enjoys travel and her pets. She loves and is fascinated by the city of Milwaukee and is committed to working to support it.
Grace Connatser is a reporting intern for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She is a junior at Marquette University studying journalism and digital media. Connatser is also the MUTV Executive News Producer with Marquette’s television station, and is a former news reporter for the Marquette Wire.
Connatser is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, and loves to explore new places. She is an animal lover, as she has nine dogs at home. She hopes to become more deeply involved in the Milwaukee community through her position with NNS.
Sarah Lipo is a reporting intern for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She is a sophomore at Marquette University, and is majoring in journalism and social welfare and justice. Lipo is also an assistant news editor for the Marquette Tribune and a part of the honor’s program.
In her free time, Lipo is an active member of Midnight Run, and enjoys exploring Milwaukee and running along the lakefront. By interning at Neighborhood News Service, she hopes to address and investigate some of the less known issues in Milwaukee’s many neighborhoods.
Madison Marx is the social media intern at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Originally from Barrington, Illinois, she is now a senior at Marquette University studying journalism and marketing. Marx has worked for the Marquette Wire as a reporter and is looking forward to working with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service because of its positive presence in the community.
Max Nawara is a reporting intern for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. He is a senior at Marquette studying journalism and digital media. Nawara is from Naperville, Illinois, and loved visiting Milwaukee with his family while growing up.
Nawara has previously worked on stories with Marquette Television as a photojournalist, reporter and news anchor. He has also worked as an audio/visual technician with Marquette and is now looking forward to working with Milwaukee Neighborhood News service because NNS gives a voice to those that are often voiceless.