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, works in the field of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). 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 and manager of the NNS Lindsay Heights Community Page. 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.
Jabril Faraj is a staff reporter for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Raised in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, he is a graduate of MPS Riverside University High School and alumnus of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Prior to joining the NNS staff, Faraj wrote and reported for the Boulder Daily Camera, Colorado’s second-largest daily publication. He has also been published in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Milwaukee BizTimes.
Since June 2014 he has explored the streets and neighborhoods of Milwaukee, meeting people and sharing their personal stories via milwaukeestories.org.
In 2013, he led a team in documenting Milwaukee’s street festivals, culminating in the launch of milwaukeestreetfestivals.com, the city’s first one-stop resource for summer culture and festival information.
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.
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.
Naomi Waxman is the 2016-17 Public Policy Forum reporting fellow at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She is an alumnus of Lawrence University and is a current M.A. candidate at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication.
Waxman has previously worked as a social media intern and freelance reporter for NNS, completed a year of service as a 2011-12 New York corps member with AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, and worked as a paralegal in the family law unit with the New York Legal Assistance Group. She is pleased to be reporting on important policy issues in her hometown.
Brittany Carloni is a reporting intern for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She is a senior at Marquette University pursuing a major in journalism and a double minor in corporate communication and Spanish. In the future she hopes to work in journalism or communication for nonprofits.
Carloni previously was an intern for the O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism. She also worked for the Marquette Wire as a general assignment news reporter and this year she is a projects reporter. Carloni previously interned for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service in summer 2014 and is excited to return to NNS.
Carloni is from Greendale, Wisconsin. In her free time she plays the cello and enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Clara Hatcher is a reporting intern for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She is a junior at Marquette University pursuing a major in journalism and a minor in international affairs.
After working as a reporting intern for the Duluth Budgeteer News in 2013, Hatcher completed 10 months of service with AmeriCorps NCCC in the southwest region. At Marquette, Hatcher spent her sophomore year reporting for the Marquette Wire.
Hatcher is from Duluth, Minnesota. She enjoys rock climbing, hiking, reading, yoga and warm summer days in Milwaukee.
Thomas Salinas is a social media intern for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. He is a senior at Marquette University studying journalism and digital media. He is originally from San Antonio, Texas. He hopes to eventually work in the marketing or social media field.
He has worked as news reporter for the Marquette Wire and is a member of the sports department this year.
In his free time Thomas loves to play or watch sports and hang out with friends.
Allison Steines is a reporting intern for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee majoring in media studies and minoring in psychology.
She hopes to one day work as a travel writer or photojournalist, combining her passion for people and places.
Steines is originally from Roscoe, Illinois. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, photography, music and hiking with her dog.