Currently, Laura Paskus is the environment reporter at New Mexico Political Report. She has worked as a journalist since 2002, as a radio producer at KUNM, an assistant editor at High Country News, managing editor of Tribal College Journal, and a freelancer for a variety of publications, including the Santa Fe Reporter, Indian Country Today, Al Jazeera America, The Progressive, and other regional and national magazines. Paskus is passionate about ensuring access to public records, holding public officials accountable, and engaging in — and encouraging — lively and spirited journalism performed in service to the public.
Andrew Oxford, Secretary
Andrew Oxford is a reporter at The Taos News, the Río Grande chapter’s current secretary and a member of the board since 2014. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, he previously freelanced for the San Antonio Current, American Public Media’s Marketplace and Pacifica’s Free Speech Radio News. Since joining The Taos News in April 2013, he has won a National Newspaper Association award and several New Mexico Press Association awards. Andrew is a strong believer in the importance of quality journalism in rural communities as well as an advocate for open records and accessible data.
Michael V. Marcotte 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.
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 (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.
Sarah Gustavus 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.
Karen Coates is an independent journalist, author, editor and media trainer. She is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and reports primarily on science, environment, food, health and human rights in developing societies. Karen and her husband, Jerry Redfern, lived in Southeast Asia for several years before moving near the Rio Grande in Bosque Farms. Together, they run a small multimedia company called Redcoates Studios. Their first full-length documentary film, currently in post-production, is based on their latest book: Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos. Karen is also a fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation, which allows her to pursue stories on hunger and human rights in Africa and Latin America. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR.org, UN Dispatch, Yahoo News, Undark, Archaeology, The American Scholar and many more.
Marisa Demarco is a journalist, musician and event curator based in Albuquerque, N.M. She’s a web author and reporter for the Public Health New Mexico project at KUNM Radio. In December 2012, she co-founded the New Mexico Compass online news outlet with Margaret Wright. She’s helped build and launch several websites. Demarco’s spent more than a decade in journalism, editing and writing for the Weekly Alibi, the Albuquerque Tribune and UNM’s Daily Lobo. Find Demarco in the desert Southwest crusading for journalism, modern media, and radical, D.I.Y. art and music.
Matt Grubs is a reporter with KRQE’s Special Assignment investigative team. He’s also been the producer of KNME’s “New Mexico in Focus” and a political reporter with KOAT-TV. Since joining KRQE, Matt has helped expose serious problems with the Bernalillo County Treasurer’s investment strategy, tracked down film production companies that have skipped out on New Mexico contractors and dug deep into the Justice Department’s report on the Albuquerque Police Department to raise important questions about the people chosen to lead APD out of its use-of-force quagmire. Matt grew up in Minnesota, graduated from Colorado College and has worked in Dallas, Orlando, Minneapolis and Grand Junction, Colorado. Matt, his wife and his adopted pit bull, Ivy, enjoy tromping along trails throughout New Mexico. He enjoys mountain biking, church, semi-successful home improvement projects and is a lifelong fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Heath Haussamen 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.
Jeff Proctor 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.
Rachel Sams is editor-in-chief of Albuquerque Business First, where she manages newsroom strategy and has the privilege of helping amazing journalists do their best work online every day and in print once a week. Since January 2014, she has served as the vice president of membership development for the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter. She joined ABF in 2009 as associate editor for special sections and publications. Previously, she was a reporter at the Baltimore Business Journal and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. While at the BBJ, her reporting on the disciplinary records of Maryland stockbrokers received a first-place investigative reporting award from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association. She fell irrevocably in love with journalism as an intern at her hometown paper, the Greenwood Commonwealth of Greenwood, Miss..