Board of Directors

Maria Carrillo

Carrillo spent more than 25 years as a journalist in Virginia, leading dozens of projects that won national acclaim. She is now deputy editor/enterprise at the Tampa Bay Times and a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

Chris Tyree

Tyree was born and raised in Virginia. He is an acclaimed investigative multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker who has worked for more than two decades in Virginia. His work at the nonprofit media organization Orb Media led to worldwide reforms of the plastics industry. His innovative style and ability to capture moments of pathos has brought him international recognition.

The board and leadership team also includes a veteran, national-award winning investigative journalist with nearly two decades experience covering Virginia politics, military and criminal justice.

advisory board

Bruce Bradley

Bruce Bradley spent 34 years with Landmark Communications. He is the former publisher of The Virginian-Pilot and one-time president of Landmark's publishing division. He currently serves on the boards of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and ACCESS College Foundation. He is also on the Gordon-Connell Theological Seminary's Board of Trustees and Old Dominion University's Board of Visitors. Bradley is a Navy veteran and graduate of Villanova University. He also received a master's degree from ODU and was an adjunct professor there for almost 10 years.

Katrice Hardy

Hardy, a Baton Rouge, La.-native, is South Region editor for Gannett. She previously served as managing editor of The Virginian-Pilot based in Norfolk, Virginia, where she worked for two decades. During her time in Norfolk, Hardy has served roles on the watchdog and enterprise beats, as well as metro editing positions. Under her leadership, the newspaper won several state and national honors, including state FOIA and Virginia Press Association awards. Other recognition came from the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference and the National Education Writers Association.

Michael Morisy

Morisy is co-founder and chief executive of MuckRock, a collaborative, nonprofit news site focused on bringing transparency to government. Morisy was previously an editor at the Boston Globe, where he launched the paper's technology vertical. He was a 2014-15 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University and a 2012-13 Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Network Fellow at Harvard University. He graduated in 2007 from Cornell University with a degree in English.

Larry “Bud” Meyer

A career editor, newsman and nonprofit leader, he is co-founder and chair of Foothills Forum, a community news organization in Rappahannock County, Va. Bud served as vice president and secretary at the Knight Foundation for 14 years. He spent the previous two decades in Florida print journalism, including 14 years at The Miami Herald as an editor and member of the executive team. A strategic communications consultant for foundations and nonprofits, Bud is also founder of Morningside Press and author of the award-winning environmental novel Mother Fracker.

Carole Tarrant

Carole Tarrant is the former editor of The Roanoke Times (2007-13) and currently coordinator of development at Virginia Western Community College, where she raises money for one of the commonwealth's first "free college" programs. Before moving to Roanoke in 2005, Carole was managing editor of The Forum in Fargo, N.D., and held a variety of news and features editing and reporting roles at The Tampa Tribune. She is a former board member of the Associated Press Managing Editors and in 2011 was given the Mimi Award by the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma in recognition of her editorial leadership at the Times following the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings. Carole also serves on the advisory board of RAMP, Roanoke's first business accelerator, and is board vice president of Blue Ridge Literacy.

Earl Swift

Swift is the author of seven books and hundreds of major features for newspapers and magazines. He was a Fulbright fellow in New Zealand, and since 2012 has been a fellow of Virginia Humanities at the University of Virginia. He lives in the Blue Ridge west of Charlottesville.

Academic advisory board

William (Bill) Kovarik: Radford University

William (Bill) Kovarik, PhD, teaches science journalism, media history, media law, digital imaging and environmental history at Radford University. His research is located at the intersection of history, communications and the environment. Kovarik’s background as a professional journalist has involved reporting positions with The Associated Press, The Baltimore Sun, The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C. and with columnist Jack Anderson. He has also worked as a part-time stringer with The New York Times, Time magazine and Time-Life Books. He also has served in the environmental press, editing publications such as Energy Resources and Technology, Latin American Energy Report, Appropriate Technology Times and Appalachian Voice. Kovarik studied history of media, technology and environment at the University of South Carolina, earning an M.A. in 1983, and the University of Maryland, earning a PhD in 1993. His dissertation involved research into the media coverage of a preventable environmental disaster — the development of Ethyl leaded gasoline and alternative anti-knock additives. Kovarik’s books include: The Forbidden Fuel (1982, republished 2010) with Hal Bernton and Scott Sklar), The Ethyl Controversy (1993); Mass Media and Environmental Conflict (1996, with Mark Neuzil, Sage); Web Design for the Mass Media (2001, Pearson) and Revolutions in Communication (2011, 2016, Bloomsbury).Kovarik has served three decades at Radford University (a public university once part of Virginia Tech) and was an instructor at the University of Maryland and the University of South Carolina. He also has served as a visiting professor at Virginia Tech, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Ljubljana and Unity College. Kovarik has also served on the board of Appalachian Voices and as an academic representative on the board of directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Toni Locy: Washington and Lee University

Toni Locy is a professor of journalism and mass communications at Washington and Lee University. She joined the journalism faculty in 2008 after working as a reporter for some of the nation’s biggest and best news organizations. In 2008 a federal judge in Washington held her in contempt of court for refusing to identify sources for stories she wrote for USA Today about the FBI’s investigation into 2001’s anthrax attack. During a 25-year career in news, Locy covered federal courts for the Washington Post, Philadelphia Daily News and Pittsburgh Press. She also was a member of special projects teams at the Boston Globe and U.S. News & World Report. At USA Today, she was a Justice Department beat reporter, and she covered the U.S. Supreme Court for the Associated Press. Locy earned a master’s degree in the studies of law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2007. She earned a B.S. in journalism from West Virginia University in 1981. She also is the author of Covering America’s Courts: A Clash of Rights (Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 2013)

Gwyneth Mellinger: James Madison University

Gwyneth Mellinger has been director of the School of Media Arts & Design at James Madison University since 2016. Her media history research focuses on the democratic paradox, with a particular focus on racial inequity, and the journalist’s ethical struggle against self-interest. Her book, Chasing Newsroom Diversity: From Jim Crow to Affirmative Action, received Kappa Tau Alpha’s 2013 Frank Luther Mott Book Award. She is coeditor, with John P. Ferre', of Journalism’s Ethical Progression: A Twentieth-Century Journey, a collection of historical essays that will be published in 2020 by Lexington Books. Her research also has been published in several academic journals, including American Journalism, Journalism History, Journal of Communication Inquiry, and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. For an article published in the Journal of Human & Civil Rights, Mellinger received the 2019 Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Award in Media & Civil Rights History from the University of South Carolina. 

Mellinger was a journalist for 16 years, working at newspapers in Kansas, before her academic career. She taught previously at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan. Her doctorate in American Studies is from the University of Kansas.

Tom Mullen: University of Richmond

Tom Mullen is the director of Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Richmond. 

Mullen began his career in journalism by walking into the newsroom at the Kingsport Times-News in Kingsport, TN, to cover the night police beat when he was 19 and refusing to leave for good until he was compelled to graduate from college. He has worked as a reporter, copy editor, assignment editor, night editor, weekend editor, assistant metro editor and photographer at daily and weekly newspapers including the Amelia Bulletin-Monitor, The Newport News Times-Herald, The Richmond News Leader and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. One of his longest assignments was serving as religion reporter for The News Leader, which required travel across the country to follow trends and investigate national stories.

A native of New York City, Mullen holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from East Tennessee and a master's degree in media management from Virginia Commonwealth University. Before moving to the classroom full time, he was an adjunct instructor at VCU and Richmond.

Jeff South: Virginia Commonwealth University

Jeff South is an associate professor and director of the Capital News Service program at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he joined the journalism faculty in 1997 under the mistaken impression he’d have summers off. Before moving into academia, he was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years in Texas, Arizona and Virginia. As both a journalist and a journalism educator, South has carved out a specialty in using technology to find, report and tell powerful news stories. Over the years, his students have won more than 40 awards for political reporting and other coverage

Lynn Waltz: Hampton University

Lynn Waltz is an author, journalist and assistant professor of journalism at The Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University in Hampton, Va. Her book Hog Wild: The Battle for Workers’ Rights at the World’s Largest Slaughterhouse, an expose of Smithfield Foods’ illegal labor practices, was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2018. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by The Virginian-Pilot for her expose of a state legislator's abuse of power and won a national award for her feature on Virginia’s death row chaplain. She is most proud of her stories that helped an innocent man get out of jail. Waltz received a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University in 2011.

Howard Witt: Miller Center at the University of Virginia

Howard Witt is director of communications at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, a think tank that studies the presidency. He directs communications, marketing and publications for the Center. Before joining the Miller Center in September 2015, Witt was the executive editor of the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal & Courier, an award-winning digital and print news operation in northwest Indiana. He also oversaw two other Indiana newspapers, the Muncie Star Press and the Richmond Palladium-Item. From 2009 to 2013, Witt was the senior managing editor of Stars and Stripes, the independent newspaper serving the U.S. military community. Under his leadership, Stars and Stripes won a number of major journalism prizes, including a Polk award and National Headliner award. From 2003 to 2009, Witt was stationed in Texas as the southwest bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune. For his coverage of civil rights issues in 2007, Witt was recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in national reporting, and he also won the Nieman Foundation’s Taylor Award for Fairness in Journalism, the American Judicature Society’s Toni House Journalism Award, the Chicago Bar Association’s Herman Kogan Award and several other major national citations. Witt started at the Tribune as a summer intern in 1982 and during his 25-year career there served as a national correspondent, foreign correspondent and editor. From 1987 to 1994, Witt was stationed in Toronto, Johannesburg and Moscow.