About Us

Northwestern University Knight Lab is a community of designers, developers, students, and educators working on experiments designed to push journalism into new spaces.

Zach Wise
The Podcast Discoverability group present their findings to the rest of the Knight Lab Studio class.

The Lab provides an open, collaborative environment for interdisciplinary exploration and conversation, where students and professionals learn together and from one another. In short, we’re energized by hard questions worth answering; we believe in the process as much as the product.

We’re probably best known for our innovative suite of open-source, adaptable, and lightweight tools for media makers. The most popular, TimelineJS, has been used by more than 250,000 people to tell stories seen hundreds of millions of times, and is available in more than sixty languages. We also develop prototypes of tools for reporting, data management, research, and storytelling, often in connection with Northwestern classes. Students from our community have gone on to work at the New York Times, Vox Media, NPR, Medium, FiveThirtyEight, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and more.

Faculty & Staff

Joe Germuska

Chief Nerd

Joe runs Knight Lab’s technology, professional staff and student fellows. Before joining us, Joe was on the Chicago Tribune News Apps team. Also, he hosts a weekly radio show on WNUR-FM – Conference of the Birds.

Rebecca Poulson

Engineer

Rebecca leads AR/VR projects at Knight Lab. In addition to being a software developer and playwright, Rebecca is an Oculus Launchpad Fellow and Mozilla Tech Speaker. She has taught WebVR workshops on three continents.

Scott Bradley

Senior Engineer

Mercurial technologist currently focused on electronics and natural language processing.

Zach Wise

Associate Professor

Emmy winning interactive producer & Associate Professor @NorthwesternU, @KnightLab. Formerly of The New York Times. Creator of TimelineJS & StoryMapJS

Student Fellows

Akhil Kambhammettu

Device Lab Fellow

Hey there! My name is Akhil Kambhammettu and I’m a sophomore studying journalism and computer science. I’m from Portland, OR so I love all things Pacific Northwest (Except coffee I’m not huge on that)! Talk to me about music, psychological thrillers, virtual and augmented reality, Nietzsche, and your favorite podcasts!

Audrey Valbuena

Community Coordinator

Audrey is a third year from the Los Angeles area studying journalism, international studies and design. She seeks to tell interesting stories – whether that be with interactives, graphics or audio. Catch her sipping on boba or listening to Discover Weekly in her free time.

Avriana Allen

Fellow

A second year journalism and statistics double-major from Southern California. Fluentish in HTML and CSS. Interested in data journalism and interactive storytelling.

Cathy He

Fellow

Kinsey Erickson

Device Lab Fellow

Kinsey is a senior studying psychology and game design. She loves all things video games and is happy to talk about how to start making games of your own! When she's not working, Kinsey can be found at cafes camping out to finish her capstone or playing D&D.

Mary Truong

Device Lab Fellow

Mary is an artist who likes to use weird tech to build installations.

Montserrat Vazquez-Posada

Device Lab Fellow

Nia Adurogbola

Device Lab Fellow

Nia is a junior studying journalism from the Bronx, New York. She is currently a Device Lab Fellow who is trying to learn as much as she can about how AR/VR can be used to enhance journalism pieces. Outside of the Knight Lab she can be found working on photography and missing New York City's thin crust pizza.

Rhiannon O'Berry

Device Lab Fellow

Sam Bernitz

Device Lab Fellow

Sam is a third year student from Anchorage, Alaska. He studies journalism with minors in Film, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. He has little to no experience coding but still got a job at the Knight Lab! He spends most of his time in the lab illustrating and modeling in virtual reality, but also is passionate about audio and documentary journalism. His other interests include looking at plants, talking about penguins, and wondering what alternate universe versions of Sam are up to.

Whitney Pow

Device Lab Fellow

Whitney is a PhD Candidate, graphic designer, and game designer who makes educational STEM board games and digital games. Their games have been exhibited at the Adler Planetarium, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Play Make Learn in Madison, WI, and JASON's National Educators Conference.

Alumni

Faculty Collaborations

Emily Withrow

Assistant Professor

Story mechanic - maintaining the engines of great storytelling across platforms. Current research focus - voice user interfaces. Past life - @TheAVClub, @McKinsey.

Jeremy Gilbert

Assistant Professor for Media Product Design, Medill

Owen Youngman

Knight Professor of Digital Media Strategy

Professor and Knight Chair in Digital Media Strategy, Medill. In pursuit of the next miracle

Rich Gordon

Professor and Director of Digital Innovation

Journalism/tech intersection, my passion for 25 years, data journalism, Miami Herald web director, now hacker journalism.

Professional Staff

Divya Sasidharan

Engineer, 2016-2017

Island/City girl living in small town O Hi O. Tea drinker in a coffee drinking world.

Heather Billings

Designer / Developer, 2014-2016

Jordan Young

Operations and Project Manager, 2011-2015

Matt Mills

Software Director, Interim, 2012

Mike Silver

Executive Director, 2011-2012

Miranda Mulligan

Executive Director, 2012-2014

Ryan Graff

Communications and Outreach Manager, 2011-2016

Journalism, revenue, whitewater, former carny. Recently loving some quality time @KelloggSchool.

Professional Fellows

Aaron U. Salmon

Design Fellow

Manuel Aristarán

International Fellow

Steve Tarzia

Professional Fellow

Sr. Computational Research Consultant at @GunMemorial.

Ph.D. Students

Fellows

Aditi Bhandari

Student Fellow

Alex Duner

Student Fellow

Allen Zeng

Undergraduate Fellow

Alma Bahman

Graduate Fellow

Anne Li

Undergraduate Fellow

Anne is something between an audio reporter and a numbers snoop. Her spirit emoji is a frog sipping tea.

Anushka Patil

Undergraduate Fellow

Arjuna Soriano

Graduate Fellow

Ashesha Mehrotra

Graduate Fellow

Ashley Wu

Undergraduate Fellow

Designing, developing and studying journalism at Northwestern. Also constantly scouting the campus for free food.

Ben Singer

Device Lab Fellow

Benjamin Din

Student Fellow

Bomani McClendon

Student Fellow

Cary Lee

Undergraduate Fellow

Chris Alan Williams

Graduate Fellow

Dan Keemahill

Undergraduate Fellow

Dhrumil Mehta

Undergraduate Fellow

Emily Chow

Undergraduate Fellow

Emily Ferber

Undergraduate Fellow

Eunice Lee

Student Fellow

Farah Mohammed

Graduate Fellow

Gloria Oh

Undergraduate Fellow

Gus Wezerek

Undergraduate Fellow

Hilary Fung

Undergraduate Fellow

Hilary Sharp

Undergraduate Fellow

Isabella Jiao

Device Lab Fellow

J Kyle White-Sullivan

Device Lab Fellow

Jeff Birori

Device Lab Fellow

Jessica Soberman

Graduate Fellow

Joon Park

Fellow

Josh Shi

Student Fellow

Katherine Nagasawa

Undergraduate Fellow

Katie Park

Undergraduate Fellow

Katie Zhu

Undergraduate Fellow

Kimberly Lee

Undergraduate Fellow

KK Rebecca Lai

Undergraduate Fellow

Lingwei Cheng

Graduate Fellow

Luke Rague

Graduate Fellow

Mallory Busch

Undergraduate Fellow

Marguerite McNeal

Graduate Fellow

Matt Gelfand

Graduate Fellow

Matt Hong

Undergraduate Fellow

Michael Martinez

Student Fellow

Neil Holt

Graduate Fellow

Nicole Zhu

Undergraduate Fellow

Interested in visual storytelling and building products for news. Studying computer science and English at Northwestern.

Nikhil Pai

Undergraduate Fellow

Patricia Gomes Lima

Graduate Fellow

Priya Krishnakumar

Undergraduate Fellow

Rosalie Chan

Student Fellow

Ryan McAfee

Undergraduate Fellow

Sarah Adler

Undergraduate Fellow

Shelly Tan

Undergraduate Fellow

Shikhar Mohan

Undergraduate Fellow

Stephen Autar

Undergraduate Fellow

Suyeon Son

Undergraduate Fellow

Tanveer Ali

Graduate Fellow

Tyler Fisher

Undergraduate Fellow