Meet the 2013 Board of Directors

Meet the 2013 Rio Grande Chapter Board of Directors! We will miss those who termed out, including Julie Ann Grimm, Staci Matlock, and Gwyneth Doland. And we definitely appreciate Henry Lopez and Chris Ortiz, both of whom stepped earlier this year but decided not to run for 2013. Looking forward to a great year!

Elaine Baumgartel is KUNM’s Morning Edition host and reporter. Elaine volunteered to answer phones during a KUNM pledge drive in 2003 and she’s been unable to drag herself away from public radio ever since. And why would she want to? As a graduate student in the Communication and Journalism MA program at the University of New Mexico, she also worked at KUNM in the operations, programming, and news departments. For her MA Thesis, she examined patterns in coverage of violence against women and produced a three-part radio documentary series on the West Mesa murders in Albuquerque, NM. She’s been hosting NPR’s Morning Edition since the fall of 2007 and is enjoying the new task of hosting the KUNM Call In Show Thursday mornings at 8am. In her spare time, Elaine likes to garden and work with ceramics in addition to spending time with her family.

Bryant Furlow is an Albuquerque-based freelancer, working with The Guadalupe County Communicator, New Mexico In Depth, and several medical journals. His reporting has appeared in The New Mexico Independent, Rio Grande SUN, Santa Fe Reporter, New Mexico Business Weekly, New Scientist magazine, <> , and elsewhere. His reporting for the Rio Grande SUN on the off-label sedation of jail inmates with dangerous and habit-forming prescription drugs, and the street trade, overdoses and deaths that followed, won a First Place award for investigative reporting from the N.M. Press Association & Associated Press Managing Editors. Bryant helps run the Corrales International School’s student CIS Edge newspaper, where students’ public records requests-based reporting was recognized with a NMFOG William S. Dixon award in 2011. He got his own start in journalism as a student reporter at The Daily Lobo.

Robert Galin has 30 years of experience in print, broadcast and e-media. He is assistant professor of English and communications for the University of New Mexico’s Gallup campus where he teaches media writing, among other subjects. He taught professional copyediting for a California university and English and journalism for a Colorado community college. He is also the weekend reporter at The Durango Herald.

Matt Grubs is the producer of and sometime correspondent for New Mexico in Focus on KNME-TV. He also spent six years as the Santa Fe bureau chief for KOAT-TV. Prior to his work at New Mexico PBS, Matt was a reporter for the FOX affiliate in Dallas. He has worked for network affiliates in Orlando, Minneapolis, and Grand Junction, Colorado. Matt has also published freelance music reviews for the Albuquerque Journal. In his spare time, he enjoys mountain biking, eating, quasi-successful auto repair and playing with his adopted pit bull, Ivy. Matt and his wife, Bonnie, live in Santa Fe.

Megan Kamerick has been a journalist for 20 years. She worked at business weeklies in San Antonio, New Orleans and most recently at the New Mexico Business Weekly. She has also been a volunteer at KUNM radio for eight years hosting news and music programs. Earlier this year she left the New Mexico Business Weekly to produce and host Public Square, a monthly television show on New Mexico PBS that focuses on healthy youth and families. She is also an independent producer at KUNM radio. Megan’s TEDx Albuquerque talk on women and media recently went national on <> that has had more than 122,000 views and prompted a spirited, and contentious, online discussion. (VP of Communications)

Andy Lyman is a fourth-year journalism student at the University of New Mexico. His work has been published in the New Mexico Daily Lobo and aired on KUNM-FM. As an intern, he helped produce the KUNM Call-In Show. He is currently an intern with the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.


Elva Osterriech spent 14 years at the Alamogordo Daily News and recently moved on to the Socorro, as editor of El Defensor Chieftain. She has covered everything from education, to water issues and is especially interested in environmental happenings around the state. Her goal is, and has always been, to keep learning. At the University of New Mexico she received her BA in photography and creative writing. (Secretary)

Laura Paskus has been on the board of the Rio Grande Chapter for two years and was VP of Communications this year. She lives near Albuquerque and is an independent writer, editor, and radio reporter who focuses mostly on the environment. Paskus has worked as a journalist for more than a decade. She is obsessed with muckraking and good storytelling, and she is committed to the role of the journalist as a watchdog for the public. (President)

Alexa Schirtzinger is the editor of the Santa Fe Reporter, the only weekly newspaper based in New Mexico’s capital city, where she worked as a staff writer covering drugs, politics, crime, cocktails, energy, immigration and everything else scandalous or interesting. Now, she works with a fantastic team to write and edit for the paper she loves. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Columbia University School of Journalism.

Diane Schmidt is an independent journalist and photojournalist based in Albuquerque, NM and covers social and environmental issues in the Southwest. She has written on everything from the politics of water and uranium to hate crimes, veterans, psychology, finance, animal rights, and Native issues for the Gallup Independent, the Navajo Times, The NM Jewish Link, and other regional and national publications. Before moving to the Southwest she was a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune. Her articles and radio commentaries are archived online at The Albuquerque Judaism Examiner.<>

Peter St. Cyr has been the chapter’s money man, tracking expenses, recording income, generating a monthly financial statement, and complying with a mandatory annual audit report. In 2011, Peter helped the chapter raise more than $1,600 with a silent auction connected to a very special media program in Albuquerque, “An Evening with Eric Draper.” (Treasurer)

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