Team Bios

Publisher and Editor Gabriel Kahn is a professor of professional practice at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. His research focuses on the economics of the media industry. 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.



Luciano Nocera is a computer scientist and Associate Director at the USC Integrated Media System Center where his research focuses on data analytics with applications in health, transportation and social media. He also teaches data visualization and develops educational games for various online programs. He is an avid rock climber, an activity that seem to consume too much of his time.


Former Crosstown managing editor turned Senior Project Manager Lauren Whaley manages and mentors our collaborative team of journalists, software engineers and graphic designers. As a journalist, she covers health care, focusing on maternal health and mental illness. She once guided five 18-year-old women on a 45-day canoe trip in the Canadian Arctic.



Riti Agrawal is pursing her Masters in Computer Science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Before coming to USC she completed her Bachelors in computer science from University of Pune, India, and worked as an application developer at Citibank. She believes there is no shortcut to hard work and lives by the motto “Hard work can beat talent if talent fails to work hard.” She is an enthusiastic soul who loves watching cricket, exploring new places and trying new adventure sports.


Devendra Chaudhari is a Computer Science graduate student at USC. He has worked as a software developer at Nomura Holdings and Morgan Stanley in the past. He loves hackathons and has participated in many. He loves to solve problems and debug the code (He doesn’t know why!). He is foodie person and likes to try different kinds. Also, he loves cycling and driving. And he is a big Harry Potter fan (Potterhead).



Zhichao Guan is a master’s student at USC Viterbi School of Engineering, concentrating on AI topics. Previously, he worked at a tech giant and later joined a startup team where he enjoyed his various roles. He loves traveling and reading in his leisure time, which helps him learn about cultures and think from different perspectives.



Carter Hyde is a USC Annenberg sophomore from Nashville, Tennessee. She is a Journalism and Psychology double major interested in mental health advocacy and writing. She enjoys playing the piano and exploring all that Los Angeles has to offer.



Ellie Paik is a designer at Crosstown and a student at USC’s Iovine and Young Academy. She is a military child and has lived across multiple states in the US as well as Japan and Germany. She has an unusual love for plants (although she can’t keep them alive), caffeine and Trader Joe’s.



Jon Regardie is a veteran Los Angeles journalist who has contributed news, politics, business and entertainment stories to dozens of print and online publications. A recipient of the L.A. Press Club’s 2020 Journalist of the Year award, he also regularly comments on civic matters on local radio stations. He plays basketball frequently, albeit poorly.



Kiera Smith is a designer at Crosstown and is a student at the USC Iovine and Young Academy. She focuses on illustrations for stories’ cover art. She is a native to Los Angeles County, as she was born and raised in Pasadena, California. She enjoys roaming around Downtown Los Angeles’ different districts.



Cari Spencer is a reporter at Crosstown studying journalism and sociology at USC Annenberg School for Journalism. Previously, she served as a news editor at the Daily Trojan and interned for Spectrum News 1 SoCal. Having spent most of her life in freezing Minnesota, she now spends her free time hiking around sunny L.A.



Social Media Editor Katherine Vlamis is helping to grow Crosstown’s social media presence and online engagement. A USC sophomore from Kansas City, Missouri (not Kansas!), she is a Music Industry major and Public Relations minor interested in all things music and social media. She drinks tea in the morning and coffee at night, and has an unexplainable obsession with avocados.




Anisha Banerjee, Natalie Bettendorf, Hrushabh Bhadkamkar, Danielle Boyce, Joshua Chang, Eileen Chen, Mengting Cheng, Vidit Chitkara, George Constantinou, Amanda Curtis, Shirsho Dasgupta, Aditya Dave, Jake de Grazia, Darrell Florence, Racquel Fygenson, Lorraine Ge, Shideh Ghandeharizadeh, Coco Huang, Shirley Huang, Andrew Hulin, George Joseph, Hanna Kang, Simon Khan, Vaishnavi Kotawar, Ayush Kothari, Jean-Daniel LeRoy, Minyu Li, Junyu Liu, Kate Lý Johnston, Margaret Lu, Ava Macha, Sarah Martin, Taylor Mills, Erick Moen, Naylee Nagda, Onur Orhan, Catherine Orihuela, Roy Pankey, Jaimin Patel, Mara Pometti, Sai Prasad, Ayushi Purohit, Bulbul Rajagopal, Sami Sanchez, Cyrus Shahabi, Heet Sheeth, Emily Stone, Kylie Storm, Jiao Sun, Dan Toomey, Ivy Tsang, Phoenix Tso, Nisha Venkat, Ethan Ward, Sihan Wu, Zhuxin Xiong, Xinyi Xu, Juefei Yan, Jiefan Yang, Ngai Yeung, Mingxuan Yue, Isabella Zavarise, Lillian Zeng, Ashley Zhang and Lijie Zhao.

Portrait illustrations by Racquel Fygenson.

Coronavirus Map

Safety Map

Neighborhood Tracker

Crime Tracker