Team Bios

Publisher and Editor Gabriel Kahn is a professor of professional practice at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. His research focus is around the economics of the media industry and he teaches classes on business reporting, economics and innovation. He drives an electric car, which he’s always eager to talk about, usually, for much too long.

 

Jake de Grazia a software product manager, research project manager, and editor. Past and present clients include AP Stylebook, the Norman Lear Center, Trueey, the National Football League, and RUST, LTD. He has a master’s degree in journalism from USC’s Annenberg School.


 

Designer Danielle Boyce is a junior in the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy where she studies the relationship between a brand and a community. Her passions include visual identity, female entrepreneurship and big earrings.

 

Reporter Joshua Chang, or Jaeha Chang, is a junior majoring in journalism at USC Annenberg. He breaks down LAPD hate crime reports and loses his faith in humanity every day. He was born in Korea and spent his entire life in Beijing, China, but don’t be fooled: he is fluent in California English.

 

Engineer George Constantinou, is a Ph.D student in Computer Science and is affiliated with the Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. At Crosstown he manages the crime and air quality data collection, and develops tools and products for their analysis and visualization. His research focuses on spatio-temporal location popularity, to identify the hotspots in Los Angeles. You might be wondering where his accent comes from. That’s because he is from Cyprus!

 

Designer Amanda Curtis is a recent graduate of the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy, where she studied the relationships between interactive media and human behavior. She comes from the East Coast, so don’t talk about LA bagels around her.

 

Designer Racquel Fygenson is a recent graduate of the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy, where she studied the Arts, Technology, and Business of Innovation. Racquel is especially interested in visualizing data to make it understandable and engaging. She is committed to making data-based information about civic safety and the effects of policy more accessible to the public.

 

Designer Andrew Hulin is a junior in the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy studying multidisciplinary design. He is particularly interested in the intersection between storytelling and technology and how to use design thinking to impact how people interact with and understand their environments.

 

Reporter Kate Lý Johnston is a journalism student at USC Annenberg, minoring in Cinematic Arts and Data Analytics. She’s from the superior city of New York, but appreciates Los Angeles and its charms (and good Vietnamese food) nonetheless.

 

Engineer product manager Junyu Liu, is a graduate student at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering for Data Informatics. He manages the priority of the products in the engineering team and helps the products development. He loves making bridges between engineering and the rest of the world.

 

Reporter Ava Macha is a recent alumna of USC Annenberg and graduated with a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in International Relations. During her time at USC, she developed multimedia projects spanning web, audio and video and also worked with multiple startup media production companies. She comes from Boise Idaho, which is in Canada.

 

Outreach Coordinator Sarah Martin is a senior at USC Annenberg majoring in Public Relations. Her specialties are strategic planning and social media outreach. A Los Angeles native, her knowledge of the culture and atmosphere attracts her to meaningful local PR work. She is also passionate about political campaigning and your dog. You can find her at Tito’s Tacos on Washington and Sepulveda.

 

Reporter Nisha Venkat is a junior studying journalism at USC Annenberg. She’s from Dubai, which is always hot and not full of flying cars (a surprisingly common misconception among Americans). Her interests include creative writing, watching Planet Earth, and exploring every brand and flavor of instant ramen there is.

 

Reporter Ethan Ward is a senior majoring in journalism at USC Annenberg. He prefers writing about crimes rather than committing them. He’s originally from Washington, DC and loves everything Beyoncé.

 

When she’s not working on Crosstown stories, Managing Editor Lauren M. Whaley is a health care reporter specializing in maternal health and mental illness. She’s also a childbirth photographer, and she once took five 18-year-olds on a 45-day canoe trip in the Canadian Arctic. 

 

Engineer Xinyi Xu, from Hangzhou, China, is a masters student in Data Informatics at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. She is passionate about data mining and manages the crime data collection in Crosstown.

 

Engineer Mingxuan Yue, from Shenyang, China, is a Ph.D student in computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. His research interest focuses on spatial-temporal data mining, which means he knows the precise moment when the traffic will clear up.

 

Alumni:

Shirsho Dasgupta, Darrell Florence, Lorraine Ge, Shirley Huang, Erick Moen, Naylee Nagda, Mara Pometti, Cyrus Shahabi, Heet Sheeth, Dan Toomey, Sihan Wu, Zhuxin Xiong.

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