Mariah Thomas covers education and workforce development in Ashland, Ohio, for the Ashland Source. Thomas recently completed her bachelor's in journalism and political science at the University of Montana, where she served on the editorial board of the student newspaper, the Montana Kaimin. At the Kaimin, Thomas focused on gender discrimination lawsuits, sports, budget cuts and the state Legislature's impact on college students. She was part of a team that produced "In the Crosshairs," a project funded by the Poynter Institute to examine a bill in Montana that would have put guns on college campuses. While at the University of Montana, Thomas traveled to Northern Ireland with the school's Journalism Abroad program and reported on domestic violence rates there. She served on her school's Accessibility, Equity and Inclusion Student Council. Thomas completed an internship with her hometown newspaper, the Helena Independent Record, where she covered everything from education to music festivals. That internship also gave Thomas a chance to work with the Montana State News Bureau, one of the leading newsrooms covering Montana politics, where she produced a series looking at the Democratic party's future in the state following its down-ballot losses in the 2020 election. Thomas values community service, and worked as the president of her university's Honors Student Association to coordinate volunteer opportunities for her peers in Missoula.