Sarah Gustavus, President
Sarah is the producer of New Mexico In Focus on New Mexico PBS/KNME-TV. Previously she was the executive producer of national programs for Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, where she oversaw production of Native America Calling, National Native News and Earthsongs. She has worked for public radio stations in Washington State and New Mexico and her stories have aired nationally on All Things Considered, Latino USA, Weekend America, Making Contact, Tell Me More, the NPR newscast and various documentary specials. She earned an M.A. in Media from City University London and a B.S. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
Megan Kamerick, VP for Development
Megan 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 (now Albuquerque Business First). She is also an independent radio producer at KUNM and has done stories for NPR and Latino USA. She is currently a producer at KNME/New Mexico PBS for New Mexico in Focus and Public Square. She also does freelance radio production and writing. Megan is also the former president of the Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS) and has special interest in women and media, a topic she addressed in two TED talks.
Marie C. Baca, VP for Communications
Marie is an award-winning business journalist and investigative reporter. Before joining the Albuquerque Journal to cover the economy and healthcare, Marie wrote for the Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, and Salon, among other publications. Though she is a new SPJ member, she is a longtime supporter of IRE, NAHJ, and other journalism causes. In her spare time, Marie enjoys spending time with her two young sons and wearing her First Amendment shirt on long walks through the Bosque.
Karen Coates, Secretary
Karen is an independent journalist, editor, and media trainer. She is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, an International Women’s Media Foundation fellow, and the author of four books. She reports primarily on science, environment, food, health, and human rights around the world. Karen and her husband, visual journalist Jerry Redfern, lived in Asia for several years before moving to Bosque Farms. The two collaborate on many projects, and they are currently finishing their first full-length documentary film, The Only American. Karen’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Undark, Archaeology, The American Scholar, and many more. She also works as a mentor and consultant to journalists, and she is eager to help expand funding and educational opportunities for Rio Grande journalists, freelancers, and science writers. Karen joined the SPJ Rio Grande board in 2017.
Michael Marcotte, Treasurer
Michael is a Professor of Practice in Journalism at UNM. His career includes 25 years in public media news, and he has an active news consulting and training business. Mike has been a member of SPJ chapters in the Pacific Northwest, in San Diego and now in New Mexico. He became an officer with the Rio Grande Chapter in 2013, and was elected treasurer in 2014. Mike is running for re-election as chapter treasurer.
Geoff is a sports reporter for the Albuquerque Journal, primarily covering the University of New Mexico Lobos men’s basketball team and the business operations of the UNM athletics department. He’s had numerous battles with the university’s administration in recent years over transparency and the release of records concerning the use of public money in the athletics department. He’s been at the Journal since August 2012.
Prior to that, Geoff was the Digital News Editor at the Santa Fe New Mexican where he also served in two stints over five total years as a crime and courts reporter, where he received state and regional awards for his reporting and led a team of reporters on a DWI package that received a national award in 2004. Geoff has also been the sports editor at the Las Cruces Sun-News, a sports reporter at the now shuttered Tucson Citizen, has worked with MLB.com and multiple websites and magazines as a freelance journalist over the past decade. He is a New Mexico State University graduate where he held several roles working at The Round Up student newspaper, including editor when it was named the SPJ best non-daily college newspaper for the 2000-2001 school year.
Heath has worked to strengthen journalism in New Mexico throughout his career. In addition to working for newspapers and online media outlets, he has started two award-winning news organizations — NMPolitics.net and New Mexico In Depth. Heath is a vocal advocate for government transparency and ethics. He values hard-hitting investigative reporting and in-depth feature writing. As the editor and publisher of NMPolitics.net he seeks to facilitate thoughtful, bridge-building conversations that cut through partisan and other divides. Heath is a native New Mexican who grew up in Santa Fe and now lives with his daughter in Las Cruces. He’s a 2003 graduate of New Mexico State University. He’s an avid photographer and loves to lose himself in stories through books, movies and television shows. He enjoys spending time in nature and unplugging from technology. He has many interests, including religion, politics and philosophy.
Jessica is the Managing Editor of the Carlsbad Current-Argus in Carlsbad, NM. She was previously the senior reporter at the daily newspaper which serves southeastern New Mexico.
She has a master’s degree in digital communication from American University in Washington, D.C. and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM.
Jessica is a returned Peace Corp Volunteer. She was stationed in the small town of Vice in northern Peru where she taught small business practices as an Economic Development Volunteer from 2011-2013. She also served as an executive assistant for former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici in his Washington, D.C. office, and upon his retirement during his tenure at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Jeff is an investigative reporter with New Mexico InDepth. Previously, he was a an investigative reporter/producer for KRQE-TV, the CBS affiliate in Albuquerque. Previously, he was the justice system reporter for the Albuquerque Journal. Jeff’s work has received numerous local, state and regional awards. In 2013, he was a finalist for the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for his reporting on systemic civil rights abuses by the Albuquerque Police Department. And in 2012, Jeff received the William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award from the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government for advancing transparency in the state. Jeff is a member of the chapter’s Freedom of Information Committee and has been a board member since 2013.
John R. Roby
John is data editor for Searchlight New Mexico. Previously an award-winning investigative reporter with the USA Today Network in Upstate New York, he has also worked for the Baltimore Sun and CNN.com. During a detour out of journalism, he earned a doctoral degree in anthropology and taught at four universities, including New Mexico State. In the little spare time two young children leave, he enjoys cooking, reading and the outdoors.
Sylvia most recently was managing editor of the Las Cruces Sun-News in the agricultural Mesilla Valley in southern New Mexico. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Jose State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, respectively. Sylvia brings extensive experience in multi-media reporting and building engagement opportunities. She’ll be instrumental in deepening New Mexico In Depth’s community engagement program going forward, and we are looking forward to on-the-ground reporting from southern New Mexico.