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.



CTO 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 and COO Lauren Whaley manages and mentors our collaborative team of journalists, software engineers and graphic designers. As a journalist and photographer, she covers health care, focusing on perinatal health and mental illness. She once guided five 18-year-old women on a 45-day canoe trip in the Canadian Arctic.



Vidit Chitkara is a second year graduate student at USC’s Viterbi College of Engineering majoring in Computer Science. He likes building software, especially Web Apps and he loves to chat about the latest technologies now and then. He is an ardent follower of Cricket (an extremely popular sport in India from where he originally belongs), and can spend hours talking about it with anyone who holds interest in it!


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.




Ayush Kothari is a computer science grad student at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. He thinks the world around us is a crazy place and every single day we get more of a hang of our existence in such a crazy world. From what he has realized, his existence revolves around writing code, thinking about optimal solutions (or pretending to think about optimal solutions :p), watching good shows, and football. He is a lifelong FC Barcelona fan and someday wishes to be at Camp Nou. He is a huge believer in mental health and thinks we should create a world where we can openly talk about our struggles. He likes reading and writing poems, hiking out in the sun, going for long walks, taking countless sunset and clouds pictures, and making memes on friends.


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.




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.



Audience Development Manager Katherine Vlamis is helping to grow Crosstown’s physical presence in local communities and audience engagement. A USC senior from Kansas City, Missouri (not Kansas!), she is a Music Industry major and Public Relations minor interested in creative digital marketing within the entertainment industry. She still drinks tea in the morning and coffee at night and has an unexplainable obsession with avocados.




Riti Agrawal, Anisha Banerjee, Natalie Bettendorf, Hrushabh Bhadkamkar, Danielle Boyce, Joshua Chang, Devendra Chaudhari, Eileen Chen, Mengting Cheng, 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, Abhilash Kulkarni, Jean-Daniel LeRoy, Minyu Li, Junyu Liu, Kate Lý Johnston, Margaret Lu, Ava Macha, Sarah Martin, Taylor Mills, Abhishek Mitra, 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, Kiera Smith, 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.

Hyperlocal News

Safety Map

Neighborhood Tracker

Crime Tracker