Frank LoMonte joined SPLC in January 2008 after practicing law with Atlanta-based Sutherland LLP and clerking for federal judges on the Northern District of Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Before law school, LoMonte was an award-winning investigative journalist and political columnist for daily newspapers in Florida and Georgia. LoMonte graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was a senior editor of the Georgia Law Review. His articles about the First Amendment and media-law topics have been widely published in Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the American University Law Review, the University of North Carolina First Amendment Law Review, and in many other outlets.
Diana Mitsu Klos is a former executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association/Associated Collegiate Press, as well as a longtime staff member with the American Society of News Editors, where her portfolio included running the ASNE's journalism-education programming. As executive director of the NSPA/ACP from 2013-16, Klos oversaw eight national high school and collegiate conventions annually, plus several other training and recognition programs. While with ASNE from 1996-2012, Klos launched the High School Journalism Initiative. With support from the Knight and Reynolds foundations, the initiative included a two-week training program for more than 2,300 media advisers; the first, free national website hosting service for student publications; an educational website and a national online advertising network. Klos grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., graduated from the City College of New York, and worked as an award-winning reporter, city editor and managing editor for news organizations in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.
Mike Hiestand grew up in Alaska and is a graduate of Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Marquette University's College of Journalism and Cornell Law School. Hiestand was the Student Press Law Center's staff attorney from 1991-2003. Over the years, he has assisted nearly 15,000 student journalists and advisers. He now works from the West Coast on occasional projects for the SPLC.
Karin Flom grew up in North Dakota and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2010. For three and a half years in high school she worked on a student publication which drew her to the SPLC's job posting for an Outreach and Development Associate. Before joining SPLC in August 2014 she had two positions in development focusing on the day to day operations of fundraising. She has also spent a year in South Korea as an ESL teacher.
Roxann Elliott is a recent graduate from the journalism master’s program at the University of Colorado – Boulder. During her graduate career, she worked on the documentary, “Taking the Lede” as a student producer. The film focused on the exemplary journalism done by Colorado students in the 25 years since that state passed its Student Free Expression Law. This was her first introduction to the challenges facing student press around the country, and to the Student Press Law Center. After filming wrapped, she continued working to promote the film and grew increasingly impassioned around the topic of student free expression, which led her to apply for the Fellowship at SPLC. She grew up in Montana, and holds a B.A. in criminal justice from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Stephanie Leibert has made it her life’s mission to empower young women and ensure their voices are heard. She is excited to be joining Active Voice after years of mentoring current college students and young alum of her alma mater, Barnard College of Columbia University in New York. Leibert graduated Magna Cum Laude with from Barnard in 2004 with honors in Political Science. After graduation, Leibert accepted a full-tuition Fellowship to Hofstra Law School where she graduated Cum Laude and served as editor of the Family Law Review, and graduated with the prestigious honor as Distinguished Scholar in the Field of Constitutional Law. After three years practicing corporate litigation, Leibert enrolled in a Masters of Teaching Program where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and first in her class. With three years of litigation experience and over six years working in public high school education, she is thrilled to be a part of Active Voice's pilot program.
Shine Cho is a junior majoring in political science at the University of California-San Diego, where she has served as news editor of the Triton student newspaper. She has been a contributor at inewssource, an investigative reporting agency, and an intern with the investigative unit of CBS News in Los Angeles. During 2016-17, Shine was part of the inaugural fellowship class of The Active Voice, a project developed by the Student Press Law Center to address the censorship issues afflicting teen girls in high schools. This fall, she will begin work as Community Manager for the Active Voice program, helping coordinate the work of the 2017-18 fellows.
Sophie Gordon is a rising-senior at Ball State University, studying journalism and philosophy. She serves as a copy editor for the undergraduate international philosophy journal, Stance, and works as the contest coordinator for BSU Journalism Workshops. Her work at the SPLC is a precursor to what will hopefully be a career working to protect students' First Amendment rights long into the future. When she's out of the office, Sophie spends her time studying for the LSAT and trying all of the food D.C. has to offer.
Lindsie is a rising fourth-year student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is jointly pursuing a J.D. and a master’s degree in mass communication. Her master's research employs social science approaches to explore issues of censorship of college newspapers, including why some newsrooms are more resilient to censorship than others. She currently serves as a symposium editor for the First Amendment Law Review and has previously served as outreach coordinator for UNC's Center for Media Law & Policy. Lindsie is a native of Washington State and holds a B.A. in English and journalism from Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash.
Marjorie Kirk's preparation for working at the law center was being sued by her school, the University of Kentucky, for her newspaper's investigation of sexual assault on campus. As a former editor-in-chief and dual degree graduate of the international studies and journalism programs, she loves hiking to escape her responsibilities, meeting cute puppies (all puppies), and watching anything in her crime/drama Netflix queue. Look for her next fall rejoicing over tacos and sunshine in her home state of California, where she'll be beginning a new and treacherous journey: U.C. Davis School of Law, year one.