Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. For more information about our organization and our activities, please email spjsandiego@gmail.com. You can write to us at:  San Diego SPJ, P.O. Box 880482, San Diego, CA  92168.

The SPJ San Diego Pro Chapter Board meets on the first Tuesday of each month. SPJ members and guests are welcome to attend.

The 2022-23 SPJ San Diego Pro Chapter Board of Directors:

President
Lisa Halverstadt
Senior Investigative Reporter, Voice of San Diego
lisa@vosd.org
@LisaHalverstadt
Lisa Halverstadt is a senior investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego. She covers local governments and has written extensively about the region’s homelessness crisis, city real estate debacles and more. Lisa joined VOSD in 2012 after four years at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix. She first joined SPJ as a college student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She’s been hooked ever since.

Vice President
Kristy Totten
Opinion editor and producer, The San Diego Union-Tribune
kristy.totten@sduniontribune.com
@kristy_tea
Kristy Totten is an opinion editor and producer at The San Diego Union-Tribune where she hosts the San Diego News Fix podcast and serves on the newspaper’s editorial board. She moved to San Diego in 2019 from Las Vegas, where she worked as a producer at Nevada Public Radio, a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, a reporter at the Las Vegas Review-Journal and an editor at the now-defunct but still beloved Las Vegas CityLife. She’s an Emmy winner, a Mizzou grad and has bylines at NPR, Rolling Stone, Artsy, Thrillist and Vice. Her dog is very cute but will bite you.

Secretary
Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Editor, PB Monthly
ehimchak@utcommunitypress.com
@EMHimchak
Elizabeth Marie Himchak is the editor of PB Monthly and former editor of the Rancho Bernardo News Journal and Poway News Chieftain, all part of U-T Community Press. She has also been the staff reporter for the Rancho Bernardo News Journal since 2006. Her articles occasionally appear in The San Diego Union-Tribune and other U-T Community Press newspapers. Elizabeth has covered community news and events, politics, community government, schools, crime and the Palomar Health district. She also has written features, theater reviews and entertainment stories. The University of San Diego graduate started in journalism at The Vista, USD’s campus newspaper. Her professional career began as a freelance writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Southern Cross and Pomerado Newspapers.

Treasurer
Arthur Santana
Associate Professor of Journalism, San Diego State University
asantana@sdsu.edu
@arthursantana
Arthur Santana is an associate professor of journalism at San Diego State University. Prior to joining SDSU in 2015, he was a journalism professor at the University of Houston. His published research focuses on participatory media, user-generated content and the intersection of journalism, politics and social media. Prior to joining academia, Arthur was a reporter and editor for 14 years, including at the San Antonio Express-News, The Seattle Times and The Washington Post. He’s been the recipient of journalism awards from the D.C. Press Association, SPJ and NAHJ. At the Post, he was part of a team of reporters who were nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. Arthur earned a B.A. from the Univ. of Texas at Austin, an M.S. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the Univ. of Oregon.

Board Members

Bianca Bruno
Editor, Beer Business Daily
bianca@beernet.com
@BiancaDBruno
Bianca Bruno is an editor for Beer Business Daily, a b2b trade publication. She covers the in’s and out’s of the beer business including litigation, legislation and lobbying efforts. She landed the role after working for more than six years as the San Diego reporter and podcast host for legal news outlet Courthouse News. There, she covered dozens of high-profile cases and trials including a trademark fight between San Diego craft brewer Stone Brewing and beer conglomerate Molson Coors. Bianca attended the University of San Diego. She has worked for multiple San Diego news outlets including Voice of San Diego, KPBS and City News Service.

Jill Castellano
Investigative Data Reporter, inewsource
jillcastellano@inewsource.org
@Jill_Castellano
Jill Castellano is an investigative data reporter at inewsource. She has worked in New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Palm Springs before moving to San Diego. Her work focuses on using data to tell in-depth stories that expose wrongdoing and hold institutions accountable. Castellano was part of a team from the USA TODAY Network that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for a project on the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Kelly Davis
Freelance investigative reporter
2kellydavis@gmail.com
@kellylynndavis
Kelly has been a journalist in San Diego for nearly two decades, first as associate editor at San Diego CityBeat, which she helped start in 2002, then as an independent investigative reporter. Her work has included investigations into the high rate of deaths in San Diego County jails, conditions at county juvenile detention facilities and the city of San Diego’s ongoing efforts to address homelessness. Her reporting has been honored by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement

Cody Dulaney
Investigative Reporter, inewsource
codydulaney@inewsource.org
@dulaneycd
Cody Dulaney is an investigative reporter with inewsource. His focus is on social impact and government accountability, with an emphasis on housing, homelessness and law enforcement. Cody’s work revealed mismanagement and neglect in COVID-19 hotel shelters run by San Diego County, and exposed half of the county’s local police agencies for breaking state law by sharing drivers’ location data across the nation. Prior to moving to San Diego, he worked on investigative teams with newspapers in Florida and South Carolina.

Lauren J. Mapp
Reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune
lauren@offthemappblog.com
@LaurenJMapp
Lauren J. Mapp is the caregiving reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune. Over the years, Mapp has covered a variety of topics from public transportation and education to sustainability and the local food scene in San Diego. She previously wrote for inewsource, North Coast Current, Times of San Diego, The Daily Aztec at SDSU and was the editor in chief of The Mesa Press. Mapp was also a staff writer at Indian Time and The People’s Voice on the Akwesasne Kanien’kehá ka (Mohawk) Reservation before moving to San Diego in 2005. During her time as an SPJ San Diego board member, Mapp aims to increase newsroom diversity and work to help increase equitable coverage of underrepresented communities.

Jakob McWhinney
Reporter, Voice of San Diego
Jakob@vosd.org
@JakobMcwhinney
Jakob McWhinney is a multimedia journalist born and raised in San Diego. He returned to community college during the COVID-19 pandemic and discovered a passion for journalism. By his second semester with City College’s City Times Media, he was appointed Operations Manager of the entire student news organization, which includes a digital news site, a radio station and a weekly TV news show. During that semester he was also hired as an intern at Voice of San Diego, where he wrote stories about homelessness, COVID-19 testing operations and COVID-era right-wing organizing. He was subsequently hired as Voice’s Education Reporter.
He strives to communicate to audiences why – in this most convoluted and apathetic of times – they should care about the world around them and the people who inhabit it. He hopes to use journalism to uplift and empower his hometown by communicating complex issues in digestible ways.

Adam Racusin
Reporter, Channel 10 News
Adam.Racusin@10news.com
@AdamRacusin
Adam Racusin is part of the investigative team at ABC 10News in San Diego. He covers everything from the courts and politics to consumer issues across San Diego County. His reporting has led to getting people their money back, sending bad actors behind bars, new policies at government agencies, and encouraging lawmakers to promise new legislation. Adam is also a watchdog over the child welfare system in San Diego County. Since joining 10News, Adam’s work has been honored by the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the San Diego Press Club, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Pacific Southwest Chapter, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and the National Headliner Awards. He has reported in television markets from Montana to Texas and several spots in between.

Bella Ross
Community Engagement Specialist, The San Diego Union-Tribune
bellaross87@gmail.com
@bellamayaross
Bella Ross is a community engagement specialist for The San Diego Union-Tribune’s opinion section and member of the Editorial Board, a role she started in November 2021. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona and also lived in North Carolina before moving to north San Diego County in 2015. She previously worked as a web producer for inewsource, managing social media content and newsletters, and also freelanced covering local government, schools and equity issues for publications such as Voice of San Diego, CalMatters, North Coast Current and Scripps Ranch News. She graduated from San Diego State University with degrees in journalism and political science in May 2020. She also served as the editor in chief of the campus newspaper, The Daily Aztec.

Steve Walsh
Reporter, KPBS
swalsh@kpbs.org
@stevewalsh
Steve Walsh is the military and veterans reporter at KPBS. He works with American Homefront, a national collaboration between public media stations and NPR, which looks at military and vet issues. Before KPBS, Walsh worked for Lakeshore Public Radio in Gary, Ind., and Chicago Public Radio, where he was a host producer with Vocalo, a project to open public media to diverse audiences. As a print reporter for the Post-Tribune, Walsh covered the Indiana statehouse and was embedded twice with U.S. troops during the Iraq War.