2019 Staff


Sara Toth – Editor

Sara Toth serves as editor of the Daily, and works year-round for Chautauqua Institution in the Department of Education. Previously, she served for four years as the Daily’s assistant and then managing editor. An alum of the Daily internship program herself, she is a native of Pittsburgh(ish), attended Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, and worked for nearly four years as a reporter in the Baltimore Sun Media Group.

José Valle – Assistant Editor 

José Valle is a class of 2018 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in journalism with a concentration in editing and graphic design. He is excited to spend another summer at Chautauqua, during which he is most looking forward to bringing back his seven-year “bowtie Wednesday” tradition to the grounds.


Dave Munch – Photo Editor

Dave Munch is the photo editor of the Daily and serves year-round as multimedia producer for Chautauqua Institution. A Cincinnati native, Munch graduated from Ohio University and has worked as a staff photographer for the Baltimore Sun Media Group and the Erie Times-News. Munch’s work has been featured in publications across the country. He lives in Westfield with his partner.

Copy Editors

Ellis Giacomelli – Copy Editor

Ellis Giacomelli is a copy editor for the Daily and recent graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and minored in journalism in the public interest. She reported on Meadville municipal water as part of her senior thesis. A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Ellis has extensive equestrian experience, teaching and mentoring all ages in equitation and trail riding.  

Matthew Steinberg – Copy Editor 

Matthew Steinberg is a rising senior at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, studying communication arts, journalism, and Spanish. He will be copy editing for the Daily this summer, and in his free time enjoys spending way too much money at TJ Maxx, longboarding on roads that he shouldn’t and ranting about politics.

Digital Editors

Layne Dowdall – Digital Editor

This is Layne Dowdall’s first summer with the Daily and she is serving on the digital editing team. She is a rising senior at St. Bonaventure University, where she double majors in journalism and environmental studies. Layne is from Cattaraugus, New York, and loves watching “Schitt’s Creek” on Netflix.


William T. Carter – Digital Editor 

William Carter is a Baltimore, Maryland, native, and a current graduate student at Morgan State University. This is his first summer at the Institution, and he is on the Daily’s digital team. William’s interests include music, entertainment and culture. He received his undergraduate degree in music-business & journalism at Albright College, and has been performing music since the age of 10.

Design Editors

Jela Latham – Design Editor

Jela Latham is a design editor at the Daily and is currently studying publications design and social media at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. On campus she is a designer for The Post Newspaper as well as social media content specialist for “Gridiron Glory.” When she is not sketching, she is binge watching Netflix or shopping — there is no in between.


Meredith Lehman – Design Editor 

Meredith Lehman is from St. Louis, Missouri, and is studying journalism with an emphasis in publication design at the University of Missouri. Meredith worked as a designer for the Columbia Missourian and will be working as a design editor for the Daily this 2019 season. She is a lifelong Chautauquan, but in the off-season you can find her either watching “Frasier” or eating at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers.


Yumeng Ren – Design Editor 

Yumeng Ren is a class of 2019 graduate of Northeastern University in Boston. Yumeng majored in journalism and is passionate about graphic design. She is a design editor at the Daily, where she seeks to combine Oriental aesthetics with Western design philosophies. Originally from China, she enjoys traditional Chinese calligraphy and playing the Zheng.


Elin Smith – Design Editor 

Elin Smith is a design editor at the Daily and a recent graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology where she studied visual media. Elin received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences and earned minors in business management and American politics. She was a graphic designer for RIT’s Reporter Magazine for two years. Elin grew up in both Warren, Pennsylvania, and Hong Kong.


Vishakha Gupta – Photographer

A development communicator and visual storyteller from India, Vishakha Gupta is studying documentary filmmaking at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Vishakha is a history buff and loves to travel. As a photographer for the Daily, she is looking forward to feeding her love of art and culture.


Mhari Shaw – Photographer

Mhari Shaw is a photographer for the Daily. She is a recent graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she majored in photojournalism and minored in digital advertising. She has been a visual editing intern for a nonprofit  in Louisville, Kentucky, and has worked in a newsroom for the past three years as a photo and multimedia editor. When she is not taking photos, Mhari enjoys rewatching old “Criminal Minds” episodes and lounging with her dog.

Alexander Wadley – Photographer 

Alexander Wadley is a photojournalism student at Kent State University. He worked for his school’s newspaper, The Kent Stater, for three years as a photographer, photo editor and photo director. After school he plans to work as a freelance photojournalist covering cultural and social documentary. Alexander looks forward to learning a lot from his time with the Daily, as well as connecting with the community and its history.


Sarah Yenesel – Photographer

Sarah Yenesel is a New Jersey native, and this is her first season at Chautauqua Institution. She graduated from Seton Hall University in May with a degree in journalism and a minor in visual and sound media. She was photo editor at The Setonian and has freelanced for various publications in New Jersey. Sarah firmly believes that local newspapers are an important staple in any community and is excited to be part of this one.


Julia Arwine – School of Music, Chautauqua Chamber Music

Julia Arwine is a rising junior at Miami University in Ohio, where she studies journalism and interactive media studies. She will be covering the School of Music this summer. Julia’s three main ambitions in life are to write for National Geographic, to be a chef and to own a sheep farm in Scotland — not necessarily in that order.


Eleanor Bishop – Visual Arts, bookstore, library

Eleanor Bishop covers visual arts for the Daily. She is a Cincinnati native and rising junior studying journalism at Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. Next year she will serve as web editor for Backdrop Magazine, a student-run lifestyle magazine. You can also find her work in Cincinnati Magazine. When she’s not writing, Eleanor enjoys comedy, folk music and reading the menus of restaurants she can’t afford.

Chris Clements – Religion: Interfaith Lecture Previews, Sacred Song Services, choir, organs  

Chris Clements is reporting on the interfaith lecture previews and Sacred Song Services. He is in his second year at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix. This is his first summer at the Daily. When he’s not rereading White Noise by Don DeLillo, he’s listening to his favorite jazz vocalist, Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Evan Dean – Recreation, Boys’ and Girls’ Club, Children’s School, CLSC Young Readers

Evan Dean is originally from West Orange, New Jersey, but now spends most of his time in St. Petersburg, Florida, studying at Eckerd College. Currently majoring in communications with a minor in journalism, he covers recreation for the Daily. An avid canoe voyager and Eagle Scout, Evan loves spending time outdoors and is ready for his first summer at Chautauqua.


Tina Giuliano – Opera, special programs

Tina Giuliano is a rising junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix, where she studies broadcast journalism and Spanish. She serves as the multimedia managing editor at her school’s paper, The State Press. She is excited to begin covering opera for the Daily. When she’s not diving into her journalism career, she’s probably rewatching “The Office,” at a soccer game or figuring out which flavor of ice cream to eat.


Amy Guay – Literary Arts

Hailing from coastal Sarasota, Florida, and Nantucket, Massachusetts, Amy Guay is excited to live near yet another significant body of water while she spends her summer as the Daily’s literary arts reporter. A fresh Georgetown University graduate, Amy has an extensive background in absorbing free or discounted art and then writing about it. Her favorite book is Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.


Duard Headley – Theater, Family Entertainment Series

Duard Headley is from tiny Yellow Springs, Ohio, and studies journalism and American studies at Miami University in Ohio. Coming hot off the heels of performing in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream last summer, he is excited to cover theater at Chautauqua, merging his love for writing and theater into one experience. In his free time, he enjoys acting, reading, and staring wistfully into the distance as though he were deep in thought (He usually isn’t).


Jamie Landers – Morning Lectures

Jamie Landers is a rising junior and journalism major at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix. She is excited to be spending her second summer at Chautauqua covering the 10:45 a.m. Lecture Series. Hailed as the DIY queen, she spends her off-seasons working at Michaels. You can find her on Twitter or front and center at the Amp.


AnaBella Lassiter – Religion: Interfaith Lectures, Mystic Heart Meditation Program, Abrahamic Program for Young Adults

AnaBella Lassiter is a rising senior at Penn State Behrend in Erie, where she’s studying English with a focus in professional writing and history. She also serve as the Arts & Entertainment editor of her school’s paper, the Behrend Beacon. She is eager to report on the afternoon lectures for The Chautauquan Daily. When she’s not writing, she is walking her dachshund or rereading Wuthering Heights for the 30th time.

Val Lick – Symphony, Chautauqua Chamber Music

Val Lick, this summer’s orchestra reporter, is a born-and-raised Appalachian from eastern Tennessee. She is a rising senior at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she studies literature and journalism, competes in mock trial, writes for the Daily Beacon and frequently considers buzzing her hair. To contact her, look for a tall, tired-looking redhead. Or mispronounce Appalachia. She’ll find you.


Marianna Moore – Development, special programs

Marianna Moore is a rising senior at the University of Missouri. She is studying journalism with a concentration in strategic communication. She interns as a writer for the university’s Office of Student Affairs and previously interned as a social media manager with Mizzou International Experience. In her free time, Marianna likes to volunteer at the Central Missouri Humane Society and enjoys writing poetry.


Julia Preszler – Environmental issues, Bird, Tree & Garden Club 

Julia Preszler covers the environmental beat for the Daily. She is a journalism student at Northeastern University in Boston. Julia has previously interned at The Boston Globe and two community newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, photography and watching stand-up comedy. This is her first season at Chautauqua.


Maggie Prosser – Dance, Institution administration, board of trustees, property owners association, Chautauqua Conversations 

Maggie Prosser will be covering the dance programs, Institution administration, the board of trustees and the CPOA for her second summer at the Daily. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, she is a rising junior studying journalism at Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. Outside of her studies, she serves as the editor-in-chief of The New Political, an award-winning political publication at OU, and loves eating gluten-free bread.

Mary Lee Talbot – Religion: Morning Worship 

Mary Lee Talbot writes the morning worship column. This past winter she made her acting debut as Miss Maudy in To Kill A Mockingbird at the Lucille Ball Little Theater in Jamestown. She edited the forthcoming history of the Jewish presence at Chautauqua and wrote the history of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd for its 125th anniversary this summer. She is a member of the Chautauqua Lake Central School Board and lives year-round in Chautauqua with her dog, Max.


Deborah Trefts – Chautauqua Women’s Club, Contemporary Issues Forum 

Deb Trefts is a policy scientist with extensive United States, Canadian and additional international experience in conservation. She focuses on the resolution of ocean and freshwater-related challenges and the art and science of deciphering and developing public policy at all levels from global to local.


Meg Viehe – Interfaith News 

Meg Viehe is a retired teacher living in Newport Beach, California, during the off-season. She is happiest when she and her husband Rich are surrounded by grandchildren and their parents, the extended Viehe clan and friends at Chautauqua. Her advice to her grandchildren and others: “Be nice to everyone at Chautauqua. You never know who will be part of your future family.”


Editorial Office

Cloey Olkowski – Office Manager 

Birkenstock enthusiast Cloey Olkowski is the office manager at the Daily. This will be Cloey’s third season at the Daily and 19th season at Chautauqua. A native of Buffalo, New York, she currently attends SUNY Oswego, where she is a rising senior majoring in public relations and double minoring in graphic design and psychology. Two seasons ago she placed second in the Old First Night Run/Walk and hopes to take home the gold this season.