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.
Edgar Mendez is a beat reporter for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, covering Clarke Square, the neighborhood in which he lives. Prior to joining the team at NNS he was a feature writer for El Conquistador Newspaper in Milwaukee, and a web writer/reporter for Scene262.com 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 2014 award from the Milwaukee Press Club for his article headlined “Black men bear the brunt of unequal enforcement of marijuana laws.” In 2008, he won a Society of Professional Journalists’ regional award for social columns dealing with diverse issues such as poverty, homelessness and racism.
His interests include scholastic research, social networking and the Green Bay Packers.
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.
Elizabeth Baker is the Public Policy Reporting Fellow for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, covering issues related to local public policy and government.
She is a communications graduate student at Marquette University, where she received her undergraduate degree in journalism and Spanish in May 2017. Baker is also an intern at the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Office of Communications and previously worked for the Marquette Wire and copy desks and as an intern at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Originally from Wauwatosa, Baker is eager to explore and report on how local government and policy affect individuals and communities.
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.
Dean Bibens is a reporting intern for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. He is majoring in journalism with a minor in digital media at Marquette University. Bibens was previously an intern at WISN 12 News, ESPN Milwaukee and currently works as a sports producer for the Marquette Wire. He is originally from Milford, Connecticut. In his free time Bibens enjoys watching sports and spending time with family.
Margaret Cannon is a reporting intern for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Born and raised in Long Beach, Indiana, she is now a junior at Marquette University studying journalism and digital media. Cannon was an assistant editor for the Marquette Tribune as well as a volunteer for MUTV and MURadio. She was also the recipient of the Diedrich College of Communication Scholars Award. Cannon is a tour guide at Marquette and has enjoyed sharing her enthusiasm for the Milwaukee community. She hopes to continue supporting the Milwaukee community by reporting stories that will incite positive change.
Rachel Kubik is a reporting intern for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She is working towards a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and writing intensive English at Marquette University. She has worked for the Marquette Wire as a reporter as well as assistant editor for arts & entertainment and news desks. She is originally from Woodridge, Illinois but has loved living in Milwaukee for the past three years. She hopes to continue getting closer to the city through Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.
Talis Shelbourne is a reporting intern for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. Shelbourne is a Milwaukee native and member of UWM’s Honors College. In 2015, she worked for Western Illinois University’s Western Courier during a freshman stint in Macomb, Illinois, before transferring home to Milwaukee. Shelbourne also works with autistic children as a behavioral therapist, and as an IT supervisor and research assistant at UWM.
Abigail Wesley is the social media intern at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. A junior at Marquette University, she is pursuing a major in corporate communication and a minor in marketing. After living in Milwaukee for 12 years, she has grown to love the city and all that it has to offer. Wesley enjoys being involved with Marquette Dance Marathon as an executive board member working to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In the future, Wesley hopes to apply her skills in a position that allows her to continue making a difference.