CONTENTS: Contact Us  |  Anonymous Tips  |  Staff Directory  |  Contributing Writers  |  Interns

Contact Us

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 10020, Santa Ana, CA 92711

Phone: (714) 558-8642

Emailadmin@voiceofoc.org


Anonymous Tips

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Postal Mail

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Staff Directory

NORBERTO SANTANA, Jr., Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

TRACY WOOD, Civic Editor (Emerita)

VIK JOLLY, Civic Editor

SONYA QUICK, Digital Editor

MEG WATERS, Development Director

THERESA SEARS, Involvement Editor

RICHARD CHANG, Arts & Culture Senior Editor

HEIDE JANSSEN, Arts & Culture Managing Editor

PAUL HODGINS, Arts & Culture Founding Editor

AMY DEPAUL, Healthy Communities Editor

JULIE LEOPO, Director of Photography

ANNE MARIE PANORINGAN, Food Columnist

NICK GERDA, Reporter

SPENCER CUSTODIO, Reporter

BRANDON PHO, Reporter

JOSE HERNANDEZ, Contributing Visual Journalist

OMAR SANCHEZ, Contributing Photo Journalist

NOAH BIESIADA, Reporting Fellow

HOSAM ELATTAR, Reporting Fellow

KRISTINA GARCIA, Reporting Fellow

KIM PHAM, Reporting Fellow

JILLIE HERROLD, Reporting Fellow

ANGELINA HICKS, Reporting Fellow

TERRY FRANCKE, Open Government & Public Records Consultant

KELLY AVILES, Litigator

KARLENE GOLLER, Media Law Attorney

“Voice of OC journalists work as quality of life mechanics, empowered and encouraged to dive daily into the civic trenches of Orange County’s cities and government agencies as well as the region’s arts and cultural institutions, engaging on stories that affect real people and hold powerful interests accountable.”

NORBERTO SANTANA, JR.
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Voice of OC

NORBERTO SANTANA, JR.

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Norberto Santana, Jr. is an award-winning investigative reporter with nearly two decades reporting experience, most recently engaging Orange County government institutions and decision makers as the founding publisher of the nonprofit digital newsroom, Voice of OC.

As publisher and editor in chief, Santana oversees all newsroom, engagement and fundraising operations and also writes a weekly Opinion column about Orange County government.

In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the Orange County Press Club recognized Santana as Orange County’s best columnist.

In 2018, the Los Angeles Press Club named Santana as Online Journalist of the Year.

In 2018, the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recognized Santana as a “Distinguished Journalist.”

And in 2013, the California Chicano News Media Association honored Santana with a lifetime achievement award.

Santana also serves on the board of directors for the national trade group for nonprofit newsrooms, the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), the national nonprofit advocating investigative journalism, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the California First Amendment advocacy group, CalAware.

In addition to journalism, Santana also teaches public affairs and investigative journalism as an adjunct faculty professor at Chapman University.

Before founding Voice of OC in 2009, Santana was a lead investigative reporter for the Orange County Register from 2004-2009, focusing on county government. He’s spent nearly two decades just focusing on local governments across Southern California, previously as a staff writer with outlets such as the San Diego Union Tribune and the San Bernardino County Sun.

Santana began his journalistic career in the early 1990s as an apprentice reporter with Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. covering daily floor action in the U.S. Congress and followed that up with a stint covering the territorial Senate for the U.S. Virgin Islands Daily News.

In addition to his experience as a journalist, the Southern California native has a master’s in Latin American Studies, has worked as an elections analyst on National Endowment for Democracy programs across Latin America and was one of the founders of CubaNet.org, a website featuring the work of dissident journalists inside Cuba that has operated since 1995.

Languages spoken: English and Spanish

Areas of expertise: Orange County, southern California, investigations, politics, elections, government transparency, Congress, Cuba, Caribbean, Latin America, local government, civic education and reporting education.

Contact: nsantana@voiceofoc.org


TRACY WOOD

Civic Editor (Emerita)

Tracy Wood oversees Voice of OC’s civics reporting, including county and city government, the Orange County Transportation Authority, CalOptima, Anaheim, Santa Ana and other community coverage.

Tracy is a former government reporter, foreign correspondent in Asia, and California investigative reporter and editor. She has covered the California legislature and governor’s office for both United Press International and the Los Angeles Times. As a UPI reporter, she was one of the few women combat correspondents during the Vietnam War. She joined the Los Angeles Times in California where she was an investigative reporter for 17 years, covering political and government corruption. Later she became the Orange County Register’s Investigations Editor, leading the paper’s investigations team when it broke the story of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona’s ties to Nationwide Auction Systems founder and former Assistant Sheriff Donald G. Haidl.

She has won numerous awards for investigative reporting and in 2001 was named Los Angeles Print Journalist of the Year by Sigma Delta Chi, the professional journalism association.

Wood and eight other women reporters from Vietnam co-authored “War Torn, Stories of War from the Women Reporters who Covered Vietnam” (2002 Random House). She was also part of the Los Angeles Times staff team that won the 1993 Pulitzer for coverage of the Rodney King riots. The Pulitzer was for spot news coverage for balanced, comprehensive, penetrating coverage under deadline pressure of the second, most destructive day of the Los Angeles riots.


VIK JOLLY

Civic Editor

Vik Jolly is a part-time Civic Editor at Voice of OC. He has three decades of daily journalism experience, having worked at the Orange County Register, the Associated Press and newspapers in Hawaii and Palm Springs.

Vik served as investigations editor at The Desert Sun and as the editor-in-chief of the San Diego Business Journal. Vik is passionate about public service journalism and is a full-time journalism professor at Chapman University, which has a youth media partnership with Voice of OC. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cal State Fullerton, where he has been an adjunct professor for more than a decade.

Vik has been editor and a part of teams on projects for which his reporters won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, including for best enterprise, best agricultural and best investigative reporting. He also edited a three-part series on the gaps in the continuum of care in San Diego’s mental health system, for which his reporter in 2019 was awarded the Best in Show in the non-daily newspaper category by the San Diego Press Club.

Languages spoken: English. Conversational in Spanish and Hindi.

Areas of expertise: Courts, public affairs, international affairs.


SONYA QUICK

Digital Editor

Sonya Quick is digital editor for Voice of OC overseeing civic engagement (social media, email and civic engagement), digital fundraising, marketing and design (across-device user experience and digital storytelling).

Quick joined Voice of OC in November 2016 and has since managed the first #NewsMatch fundraising drive, re-imagined the Voice of OC logo and visual brand and launched a website redesign. In June 2017, Voice of OC was awarded top news website design by the Los Angeles Press Club.

Prior to Voice of OC, Quick worked for eight years at the Orange County Register in a variety of roles including: the organization’s first mobile editor, social media manager, web and blog editor, infographics reporter and reporter. During that time, Quick helped create a mobile strategy for Freedom Communications, launched the first Register mobile apps, helped re-imagine the Register’s disaster plan for the digital age, helped transform community coverage, managed the Register’s 50+ blogs, developed a trial Register community wiki, covered Irvine and launched a mobile apps technology blog a year before the iTunes App Store was unveiled.

Quick has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since 2003. She served as region 11 director in 2008 and as national student representative in 2004. Quick graduated from Cal State Long Beach in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in English literature

Languages spoken: English

Areas of expertise: Digital storytelling, social media, infographics, data reporting, mobile and web design, news marketing, non-profit fundraising.

Contact: squick@voiceofoc.org, 714-701-6472 or @sonyanews


MEG WATERS

Development Director

Meg McCarthy Waters is development director for the Voice of OC and works to develop multiple funding streams to support the news agency’s continued growth.

During her lengthy career, she has earned the reputation as one of the top Orange County-based public relations and outreach strategists having served many of the region’s most prominent corporations, public agencies and non-profit organizations. She has a deep commitment to open government, quality journalism, free speech and civic involvement.

She is best known for her work as a spokesperson for the 10 south county cities concerning the reuse of the former MCAS/El Toro. Over the years, she has worked with nearly all of the cities in Orange County, the County Auditor-Controller and the Transportation Corridor Agencies. In the private sector, she has represented several the county’s largest corporations.

She also has considerable expertise working with nonprofits and education including the Orangewood Children’s Foundation, UCI, Concordia University, Santa Ana Unified School District, Catholic Charities, the Alzheimer’s Association and many others.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from UC Riverside. She has taught public relations at the community college level and is a frequent guest speaker.

Contact: mwaters@voiceofoc.org or 949-584-4977


THERESA SEARS

Involvement Editor

Theresa Sears is Involvement Editor for Voice of OC and works with active residents throughout Orange County helping to lift their voices by facilitating the publication of daily Op-eds from a broad array of perspectives.

Theresa also handles office administration and works to help organize Voice of OC civic training programs and policy events.

With an intimate knowledge of Orange County civic issues, Theresa has worked as an active grassroots community leader on a host of public land use and regional public-benefit issues across the region for the past three decades.

As a solutions oriented activist, she has taken a leadership role in grass roots efforts supporting the public’s right to know and petition their government, community engagement, legal remedies and direct democracy.

Her efforts have preserved Orange County’s fairgrounds, Barham Ranch which is now part of Santiago Oak Regional Park, as well critical open space in East Orange. She’s also led efforts to protect Orange County’s regional park system as a leader with the Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks

Languages spoken: English and some Spanish

Areas of expertise: Community organizing, direct democracy, open government – public oversight, land use, civic engagement and protecting public assets.

Contact: tsears@voiceofoc.org


RICHARD CHANG

Arts & Culture Senior Editor

Richard Chang is Voice of OC’s Arts & Culture Senior Editor. He is an arts, entertainment and news writer and editor, and a college educator.
Chang worked as an arts and entertainment reporter and critic for The Orange County Register for more than 14 years.

He has also taught at Cal State Long Beach, UCLA, Cal Poly Pomona, Orange Coast College, Cal State Fullerton and Glendale Community College, and served from 2018-2020 as faculty advisor to The Poly Post, the award-winning student newspaper at Cal Poly Pomona.

Chang has contributed to the Los Angeles Times (Orange County edition), ARTnews, Modern Painters, Art + Auction, artinfo.com, Art Ltd., Montage Magazine, UCI’s Connect magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian and Laguna Beach Magazine.

Previously, Chang served as arts and culture editor for L.A. Weekly; associate editor of T.H.E. Journal, a national education technology magazine and website; and editor-in-chief of Premiere OC, a biannual performing and visual arts magazine.

Chang has also worked as an arts, culture and entertainment reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican and The Bakersfield Californian. He is a member of the Orange County Press Club and the Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles chapter. Richard obtained an honors degree in English and American Literature from Brown University and received a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley.

Languages spoken: English, Spanish and Korean

Contact: rchang@voiceofoc.org


HEIDE JANSSEN

Arts & Culture Managing Editor

Heide Janssen most recently worked for almost five years at the Orange County Register where she was recruited to develop and curate their Varsity Arts section. Varsity Arts was dedicated to weekly stories and news about high school arts programs and students, giving arts students the same recognition that student athletes long enjoyed. The Varsity Arts section was the first of its kind in the nation and has since inspired similar sections in other regional newspapers. She also developed and continues to produce the Artist of the Year program which honors the top theater, dance, instrumental and vocal music, 2D and 3D visual arts, and film/animation students in Orange County.

Prior to joining the Register, she worked in administrative and producing capacities at major regional theater companies including South Coast Repertory, Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Stage in Los Angeles, The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Court Theater in Chicago, and Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven. She has also produced smaller independent projects with Snehal Desai (artistic director at East West Players in Los Angeles) and Adam O’Byrne (producer with New Neighborhood, a multi-media production company) among others. In the world of education, she helped to establish the Orange County Cappies and created the RoleAbout Theatre Festival, programs for high school theater students which she ran for over 10 years. She also taught theater and English at Mission Viejo High School early in her career.

She has been honored by the California Educational Theatre Association for Outstanding Contributions to Educational Theatre for her work with Varsity Arts and The Orange County Register, and by the Orange County Department of Education for Outstanding Contributions to Education for her work with the Orange County Cappies.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota and a master of fine arts in theater management from the Yale School of Drama, Yale University.

Languages spoken:English

Areas of expertise: Orange County, arts and culture, and arts education.

Contact: hjanssen@voiceofoc.org


PAUL HODGINS

Arts & Culture Founding Editor

Paul Hodgins was born in Canada, where he studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music and became a professional accompanist by the age of 20. Hodgins worked widely in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. as an accompanist and music professor at Simon Fraser University, the Banff Centre for the Arts, Eastern Michigan University, and many festivals. He moved to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies in the 1980s and has lived here ever since, completing his doctorate in musical composition at the University of Southern California.

Hodgins was a professor of music at the University of California Irvine from 1985 to 1992, where he served as music director of the dance department and founding director of the Gassman Electronic Music Studio. After freelancing as a classical music critic at the San Diego Union-Tribune, he became an arts journalist and critic for The Orange County Register, where he wrote principally about theater and later about dance and classical music.

In addition to his expertise in the performing arts, Hodgins has written extensively about wine, jazz, architecture, interior design and urban planning. His honors include a 2019 National Arts Journalism Award.

Hodgins has written two books. Music, Movement and Metaphor, a study of dance-music relationships in 20th-century choreography, was published in 1992. The Winemakers of Paso Robles came out in 2017.

Hodgins remains active as an educator. He currently teaches at the University of Southern California and California State University, Fullerton.

Paul Hodgins was born in Canada, where he studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music and became a professional accompanist by the age of 20. Hodgins worked widely in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. as an accompanist and music professor at Simon Fraser University, the Banff Centre for the Arts, Eastern Michigan University, and many festivals. He moved to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies in the 1980s and has lived here ever since, completing his doctorate in musical composition at the University of Southern California.

Hodgins was a professor of music at the University of California Irvine from 1985 to 1992, where he served as music director of the dance department and founding director of the Gassman Electronic Music Studio. After freelancing as a classical music critic at the San Diego Union-Tribune, he became an arts journalist and critic for The Orange County Register, where he wrote principally about theater and later about dance and classical music.

In addition to his expertise in the performing arts, Hodgins has written extensively about wine, jazz, architecture, interior design and urban planning. His honors include a 2019 National Arts Journalism Award.

Hodgins has written two books. Music, Movement and Metaphor, a study of dance-music relationships in 20th-century choreography, was published in 1992. The Winemakers of Paso Robles came out in 2017.

Hodgins remains active as an educator. He currently teaches at the University of Southern California and California State University, Fullerton.

Areas of expertise: Orange County, theater, dance, music and arts issues.

Contact: phodgins@voiceofoc.org


AMY DEPAUL

Healthy Communities Editor

Amy DePaul is community health editor at Voice of OC with a focus on lower-income neighborhoods since 2011. Many of her stories unfold in the county’s growing immigrant communities, including Santa Ana, such as this series revealing that city’s high rate of domestic violence or coverage of trauma in Vietnamese-American communities.

Her reporting on public health issues at Voice has won numerous awards from the Orange County and Los Angeles press clubs in recent years for multimedia projects on the “immigrant health paradox” and unhealthy and unstable apartment living.

DePaul recently told the story of a homeless man who was reunited with his family after 18 years; his family found him because DePaul had featured him in an earlier story about policy innovations for housing the chronically homeless. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her reporting, as well as a health journalism fellowship from the California Endowment and the University of Southern California. Her work has been published in a variety of digital and print publications including NBC.com, the Washington Post and ESPN’s The Undefeated. She teaches reporting in UC Irvine’s Literary Journalism program

Languages spoken: English, conversational Spanish

Areas of expertise: Irvine, Orange County, public health, occupational health, poverty and homelessness.

Contact: adepaul@voiceofoc.org


JULIE LEOPO

Director of Photography

Julie Leopo is an award-winning photojournalist. Her first photo essay was published with Voice of OC in 2015 and she has been working as a photographer with the publication ever since.

Julie has freelanced for OC Weekly, KCET, Mitú, The California Endowment, Ed Source and Vice. She has won awards for her photo essays featured in Voice of OC, and recognition for her Santa Ana photo essay, “ Lost in the City,” in Berlin, Germany. This particular photo essay also won awards for best photo essay in the 2016 OC Press Awards.

Leopo went to the Orange Coast College Community college where she was enrolled in their photo program. During her studies, she was awarded two scholarships to continue her photo work with a concentration on Social Justice. Her work has been shown on USC’s website and exhibited in a Yale photo-program show.

Languages spoken: Fluent in English and Spanish.

Areas of expertise: For three years Julie has covered all areas surrounding social issues in Orange County, Mexico, and other counties in California.

Contact: jleopo@voiceofoc.org


ANNE MARIE PANORINGAN

Food Columnist

Anne Marie Panoringan is the food columnist for Voice of OC, reporting on industry news, current events and trends within the realm of hospitality.

Panoringan joined Voice of OC in January of 2020 to launch their food section. Prior to Voice, she was a food writer with OC Weekly for eight years. In addition to communicating culinary news, Anne Marie interviewed over 330 chefs, restaurateurs and industry professionals for her weekly On the Line column.

Anne Marie received her first two journalism awards in 2019 from the Orange County Press Club. She earned Best Travel Story for her piece, “A Trip Through the Santa Ynez Backroads”, and a third place Marjorie Freeman Award for Humorous Story, “Del Frisco’s Grille’s Updated Brunch is a John Hughes Movie”.

In addition to Voice of OC, Panoringan contributes to KUDOS Newport Beach’s Chef’s Corner column. She is also a recurring guest on AM 830’s SoCal Restaurant Show. Anne Marie has written for COAST Magazine, Westways, Modern Luxury, South Coast Plaza’s TASTE, Where Traveler, Orange Coast Magazine and Sauté. She’s on Instagram (and IG Stories) as @brekkiefan.

Anne Marie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona.

Languages spoken: English

Areas of expertise: Orange County dining and travel.

Contact: ampanoringan@voiceofoc.org


NICK GERDA

Reporter

Nick covers the city of Santa Ana, as well as the County of Orange, often reporting on issues like homelessness, public safety, mental health, and the role of money in politics.

Since joining Voice of OC in 2011, Nick has regularly shed light on topics that are often kept in the shadows. He’s reported on systemic problems in the county’s mental health system. He also led a reporting team that produced sophisticated looks at how the Disney corporation campaign contributions influenced recent elections in Anaheim.

Nick also revealed evidenceof elected leaders using their official powers to apparently pressure government contractors into donating to their election campaigns, in an article that was awarded best news story of the year by the Orange County Press Club. He firmly believes journalism should inform the public and help hold the powerful accountable.

An Orange County native, Nick first started covering local government in his mid-teens, before attending Santa Ana College, the American University in Cairo, and UC Irvine, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Languages spoken:English, elementary Spanish, minimal Arabic and minimal Japanese

Areas of expertise: Local government, local politics, homelessness, mental health policy, campaign finance, California Public Records Act, Ralph M. Brown Act, County of Orange government, Santa Ana city government and municipal finance.

Contact: ngerda@voiceofoc.org


SPENCER CUSTODIO

Reporter

Spencer Custodio joined Voice of OC as a full-time reporter covering south Orange County and Fullerton in August 2017. Previously, he worked as one of Voice of OC’s first interns starting in 2010, covering Fullerton and general assignment stories.

During his time with Voice of OC, Custodio covered the Joe Felz election night car crashthat lead to him being charged with a DUI (the case is ongoing). He also has been covering the Irvine Veteran’s Cemetery, a first for Orange County, that led to a land swap with a developer that divided many veterans and residents. Recently, he covered the sudden resignationof former Laguna Niguel Mayor Jerry Slusiewicz over claims of bullying and intimidation that started when Slusiewicz found a tree trimming contract that was overpaid by $410,000.

Custodio graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with extensive education in Constitutional law, public policy, economics and international law. He worked as the news editor at the student newspaper, The Daily Titan, during his last semester.

Languages spoken:English

Areas of expertise: Voter registration and turnout, data analysis, homelessness, Irvine and Fullerton.

Contact: scustodio@voiceofoc.org


BRANDON PHO

Reporter

Brandon Pho is a Voice of OC reporter covering north/central Orange County, as well as broader regional issues around law enforcement, transportation, the environment, the OC Fair, and Little Saigon.

He joined in 2018 as an intern, shedding light on turmoil and corruption claims in Westminster and uncovering a now-fired OC Fair executive’s suspect fundraising relationship with a nearby, private Christian college that the Fair had sponsored with public money.

More recently, he put out a number of investigative stories on local law enforcement agencies; detailed political jockeyingaround a controversial seawater desalting plant proposal in Huntington beach; narrated a racial reckoning inside one of the county’s largest school districts; and tracked variousquality of life issues across the region

Before Voice of OC, Brandon worked as a reporter and editor at Cal State Fullerton’s independent student newspaper, the Daily Titan, and won a number of accolades for his reporting in 2018, including a 1st and 2nd place Los Angeles Press Club award and 1st place national College Media Association award.

Brandon is currently a member of Report for America, a national network of local reporters committed to bolstering democracy throughout the U.S. 

Languages spoken: English, intermediate French and minimal Vietnamese.

Areas of expertise: North Orange County, public lands, law enforcement and public safety.

Contact: bpho@voiceofoc.org


JOSE HERNANDEZ

Contributing Visual Journalist

A contributing videographer to Voice of OC and a freelance journalist. Although I have been taking photographs for more than nine years my professional experience comes mainly from shooting events such as weddings, one on one photoshoots, and personal projects. I was working for Canon USA but later left to pursue more creative endeavors.

Languages spoken: Fluent in English and Spanish.

Areas of expertise:Photography and videography (including drone videos).

Contact: jose.hernandez1641@yahoo.com


NOAH BIESIADA

Reporting Fellow

Noah Biesiada is a reporting fellow covering city government, wildfires, investigations and education.  

Since he joined as an intern in the summer of 2019, Noah has helped launch Voice of OC’s disaster reporting page and reported on a variety of issues, including a controversial asphalt plant located near homes in the city of Irvine, the debate over when students should return to schools during the Covid-19 pandemic and an investigative series detailing the funding mechanisms for the Orange County Great Park, Orange County’s largest civic construction project. 

Before coming to Voice of OC, Noah worked as a news editor at Cal State Fullerton’s student newspaper The Daily Titan. He won multiple awards, including a 1st place award for Best Breaking News Story covering the on campus killing of CSUF employee Steven Chan. 

Noah is currently a senior at Cal State Fullerton.

Languages spoken:  English

Areas of expertise: Irvine, San Clemente, Orange County Great Park, Mello-Roos taxes, municipal finance, education and wildfires.

Contact:  nbiesiada@voiceofoc.org


HOSAM ELATTAR

Reporting Fellow

Hosam Elattar is a reporting fellow covering the City of Newport Beach and the City of Costa Mesa who wrote his first article for the Voice of OC in January, 2020.

Hosam has written articles about curriculum changes at school districts in the County, homelessness and affordable housing as well as local food pantries and volunteer efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Elattar graduated from Cal State Fullerton where he worked as a reporter and editor at the University’s independent student newspaper, the Daily Titan. During his senior year, he was one of the lead reporters with Voice of OC fellow Noah Biesiada uncovering the posting of a flier on social media with a racist watermark by a fraternity as well as covering the killing and stabbing of Steven Chan, a former CSUF administrator on campus and the trial of Chris Chuyen Vo, the CSUF employee arrested for the killing for the student paper. 

The two reporters received first place for the best breaking news story in the 2020 California College Media Awards for uncovering that Vo had returned to campus following the stabbing death.

Languages spoken: English, Arabic and Spanish.

Areas of expertise: Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and food insecurity in Orange County.

Contact: helattar@voiceofoc.org


KRISTINA GARCIA

Reporting Fellow

Kristina Garcia is a contributing writer covering communities in and around Orange County regarding arts and culture.  

Starting as an intern for the Voice of OC in January 2020, Garcia has written multiple stories that garnered much interest and impact such as her profile of Sandra de Anda, a Santa Ana resident, activist and comedian, and profile of Garden Grove High School’s Black Student Union. 

Prior to writing for the Voice of OC, Garcia worked as a reporter at the Daily Titan, Cal State Fullerton’s award-winning student-run newspaper. She also held several editorial positions including lifestyle editor, copy editor and senior editor. 

Garcia is currently a senior at Cal State Fullerton who is majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in American studies. 

Languages spoken: English and some Spanish

Areas of expertise: Latino communities, cultural events, women studies


KIM PHAM

Reporting Fellow

Kim Pham is a reporting fellow for Voice of OC, covering topics connected to Asian American communities, communities of color, downtown scenes, and local art and artists’ followings. Prior to becoming a fellow, she had been interning for Voice since 2019.

In past couple years, Pham has covered influential culture stories, such as bringing awareness to Blackout Tuesday or remembering Juneteenth amid America’s civil unrest. Pham has also collaborated on a major profile featuring barrier breaking artist, Kurt To, a Vietnamese American Violinist who is also a proud mariachi musician.

Before coming to Voice, Pham started out as a journalist for Cal State Fullerton’s student newspaper, the Daily Titan. On the staff, Pham has served as an assistant editor, editor and distribution manager, while having contributed to the lifestyle, sports, opinion, news, copy and layout desks during her three year run.

Pham is now in her senior year at Cal State Fullerton double majoring in Journalism and Asian American Studies. She has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalist since 2019 and is currently co-President of the Asian American Journalists Association chapter at CSUF.

Languages spoken: English, Conversational Vietnamese

Areas of expertise: Vietnamese American communities, Asian American communities, communities of color, Orange County downtown scenes, local art and artists


TERRY FRANCKE

Open Government & Public Records Consultant

Terry Francke has a 30-year history of helping journalists, citizens, public officials and ordinary government workers understand and use their First Amendment and public information rights.

Most recently, Francke founded Californians Aware, which is dedicated to the idea that journalists working with both the public and public officials at the same time could effect a change in the overall transparency landscape.

Francke previously served 14 years as general counsel to the California First Amendment Coalition, after a 10-year post as legal counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association.


KELLY AVILES

Litigator

Ms. Aviles, daughter of the late renowned open government activist Richard P. McKee, is an attorney who specializes in the California Public Records Act, the Ralph M. Brown Act, and the Bagley-Keene Act, and serves as litigation counsel for Californians Aware. She attended the University of La Verne College of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2006. She has successfully assisted numerous clients in obtaining legal orders interpreting California’s open government laws and securing the release of important government records.

In 2012, she successfully represented Californians Aware when it teamed up with the Los Angeles Times to force the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission to comply with the Brown Act and turn over wrongfully withheld public records. In 2010, she won a case against California State University Stanislaus, obtaining an order requiring the University to disclose its foundation’s speaking appearance contract with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Ms. Aviles has also served as outside counsel for the San Diego County Water Authority, successfully litigating two high profile public records cases against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Eastern Municipal Water District.


KARLENE GOLLER

Media Law Attorney

Karlene Goller is one of the nation’s most recognized First Amendment lawyers. In 25 years at the Los Angeles Times, mostly as the paper’s newsroom counsel, Goller successfully fought for open records and proceedings, and counseled reporters and editors at the Los Angeles Times Media Group’s daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, digital properties, and new media.

She is now a sole practitioner at The Law Office of Karlene Goller PC and Of Counsel at Jassy Vick Carolan advising news organizations, authors and others on issues ranging from access to libel. Goller teaches media law at UCI Law.

Contributing Writers

Voice of OC is honored to include writing by numerous award-winning journalists. Here are their biographies, alphabetical by last name.

Joel Beers is a contributing writer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC, focusing on theater and cultural events in and around Orange County. He was the OC Weekly theater critic for the full life of that publication.  He has also written for the LA Weekly, American Theatre, and the Fullerton Observer, and currently is the advisor for the student newspaper at Cal State Dominguez Hills. He is also a playwright and his work has been produced by local Orange County theaters.  You can read more of his work at muckrack.com/jobeers. He can be reached at jobeers@hotmail.com.

Ron Gonzales is a contributing writer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC, focusing on the literary scene and cultural events in and around Orange County. He was an editor and staff writer for The Orange County Register and has also written for the San Jose Mercury-News and the Riverside Press-Enterprise. He can be reached at ronsgonzales@gmail.com.

Peter Lefevre is a contributing writer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC, focusing on classical music and opera. He has also written for the Orange County Register and Opera News, as well as program notes for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Pasadena Symphony. He may be reached at palefevre@gmail.com.

Timothy Mangan is a contributing writer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC, focusing on classical music. He served as The Orange County Register’s classical music critic from 1998-2016, and has also written for Opera News, The Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Musical America and Gramophone, among other publications. Stories written by Mangan for Voice of OC have been chosen to be included in the archives at the Library of Congress.  He can be reached at timothymangan5@gmail.com.

Eric Marchese is a contributing writer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC, focusing on theater, performing arts and cultural events in and around Orange County. For more than three decades, he amassed a total of more than 2,000 articles – reviews, features, news stories and profiles – for the Orange County Register’s Arts & Entertainment, Show, Life and Saturday features sections and covering multiple topics for many of the paper’s Advertising Special Sections projects. He has worked as a theater critic for the trade paper Back Stage and as a news and features writer for a wide variety of local news organizations. His broad-based background encompasses writing, editing, copy editing and proofreading for numerous Southern California-based trade magazines, newspapers and newsletters. Since 2019 he’s been the editor of Art Highlights Magazine, a quarterly dedicated to covering visual and performing arts in Southern California. You can read more of his work at muckrack.com/eric-marchese. He can be reached at emarchesewriter@gmail.com.

Andrea Nieto is a contributing writer and photographer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC. Together with Emilianna Vazquez, she uses her work as a photographer to discover untold stories in and around Orange county, focusing on cultural intimacies and dynamics with a current concentration on food. She can be reached at nietodrea@gmail.com.

Shawn Price is a contributing writer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC, focusing on arts, culture and the environment in and around Orange County. He has also written for the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, United Press International (UPI), Orange County Register, Marijuana.com, KBTX-TV (Bryan, TX) and The Gary/Chicago Crusader. He currently runs the website halloweeneverynight.com. You can read more of his work at muckrack.com/shawn-price-2.  He can be reached at nounsverbsetc@yahoo.com.

Emilianna Vazquez is a contributing writer and photographer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC. Together with Andrea Nieto, she uses her work as a photographer to discover untold stories in and around Orange county, focusing on cultural intimacies and dynamics with a current concentration on food She can be reached at emiliannavazquez@gmail.com.

Kaitlin Wright is a contributing writer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC, focusing on dance, performing arts and cultural events in and around Orange County. She has also written for The Orange County Register and OC Home magazine. Having studied dance and literary journalism at the University of California, Irvine, she was lucky to combine both interests in her coverage of professional dance in Southern California. She teaches and performs dance locally. She can be reached at  kaitline13@gmail.com.

Current Interns

Crystal Henriquez is an arts and culture reporting intern in spring 2021. She is a senior journalism student at Cal State Fullerton. She has experience on her school student newspaper, the Daily Titan. She can be reached at crystalh774@gmail.com.