Elise Plunk

Elise Plunk

Before joining Louisiana Illuminator, Plunk earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida, where she worked as editor-in-chief of Atrium magazine, a narrative nonfiction outlet on campus. She also worked as an environmental communications intern for the Thompson Earth Systems Institute, where she wrote feature stories and produced social media content on environmental topics relevant to Floridians, and as a climate journalist fellow at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Plunk's favorite class in college was environmental journalism, where she learned to connect her passion for the natural world with her studies in reporting. When she isn't working, she loves making art from upcycled materials.

Jack Brook

Before joining The Associated Press, Brook lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for three and a half years, initially arriving as a Henry Luce Scholar. He has since worked as a freelance journalist covering Southeast Asia with a focus on human rights and environmental issues. His reporting has appeared in a range of publications, including The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Nikkei Asia, Mongabay and Vice World News. He also served as an editor with CamboJA News, one of Cambodia's last independent media outlets at the time. He grew up in Palo Alto, California, and graduated from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in history. He speaks conversational Khmer and Spanish and once attended an elephant’s wedding.

Louisiana Illuminator

The Louisiana Illuminator is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization driven by its mission to cast light on how decisions are made in Baton Rouge and how they affect the lives of everyday Louisianians, particularly those who are poor or otherwise marginalized. Here readers will find in-depth investigations and news stories, news briefs and commentary, all of which is intended to help them make sense of how state policy is crafted, how it helps or hurts them and how it helps or hurts their neighbors across the state.

The Associated Press – Louisiana

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate and unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day.

Delaney Dryfoos

Delaney Dryfoos covers environmental news in New Orleans, Louisiana for The Lens, a nonprofit digital newsroom. Prior to joining The Lens, Dryfoos reported on climate change resiliency in New York City for Inside Climate News. She holds a master's degree in science, health and environmental journalism from New York University, where she worked as the managing editor for Scienceline and an editorial intern at Living on Earth. As a college intern for NJ Advance Media, Dryfoos covered news across New Jersey and their story about South Orange's rainbow lampposts was republished by U.S. News and World Report. She is passionate about reporting on the intersection of health and the environment as well as working to make journalism more inclusive of disabled and LGBTQ+ sources and reporters. She studied biology, global health, policy journalism and media studies at Duke University.

The Lens

The Lens is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public-interest digital newsroom, dedicated to investigative and explanatory journalism. Its mission is to educate, engage and empower the people of New Orleans by providing the information and analysis necessary to advocate for more accountable and just governance. The Lens grew out of a citizen journalist’s drive to track demolitions after Hurricane Katrina.

Stephen Marcantel

Stephen Marcantel works at the Acadiana Advocate in Lafayette, Louisiana, covering the news coverage gaps facing rural Acadiana, the surrounding parishes of Lafayette. He graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2022 with a bachelor's in mass communications. Since then, he has worked as a freelancer at the Acadiana Advocate covering various business and life stories. He also freelanced for the nonprofit online newspaper The Current in Lafayette. Marcantel has covered stories of mothers losing their children to fentanyl and fighting for change, food insecurity facing the poorest in our community, the lack of shelter space for those experiencing homelessness in Lafayette, and Lafayette's struggle to clean up the Vermilion River.

The Acadiana Advocate

The Advocate is Louisiana's largest daily newspaper, serving the cities of Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette with an average daily circulation of just under 100,000 and an online audience of 20 million page views per month. In 2019, the Lafayette staff was expanded, doubling in size, to reflect the company’s commitment to local journalism in South Louisiana. Our newsroom covers the parishes of Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia, Vermilion, Acadia and Evangeline.

Joni Hess

Joni Hess covers the quickly developing communities of St. Tammany Parish for The Times- Picayune and The Advocate, a news organization in New Orleans. Hess is a native of New Orleans, which sits on the south shore of St. Tammany. Previously, she was a U.S. reporting fellow for a global media organization, openDemocracy, where she covered the imprisonment of Cameroon asylum seekers, discrepancies in Black maternal health care, and infringements on women and LGBTQI rights. As a freelancer, Hess received a reporting grant from New America to cover the lack of access to paid leave policies for families. Her feature appeared in The Lily, a publication of The Washington Post. Hess graduated from Xavier University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and went on to earn a master’s in social work.

Joshua Rosenberg

Joshua Rosenberg covers the environmental beat for The Lens, a nonprofit digital newsroom based in New Orleans, where he reports on storm surges, hurricanes, and the continuing disappearance of wetlands. Prior to joining The Lens, Rosenberg reported on federal tax policy for the legal newswire Law360, tracking down stories in the halls of Congress before moving into a more features-oriented role. As a 2014 Teach For America corps member, he taught high school history in Indianapolis. Rosenberg hails from Roxbury, New Jersey, and he earned his undergraduate degree in history and secondary education from William Paterson University, and holds a master’s degree in public affairs from Brown University.