About Us


Michael O'Connell


Michael is a field editor with in the Washington, D.C. area. He is also the host and producer of the It’s All Journalism podcast and produces the Better News podcast for the American Press Institute. For three years, Michael taught podcasting in the American University School of Communication’s Masters in Digital Storytelling program and wrote the book, Turn Up the Volume: A Down and Dirty Guide to Podcasting. In 2018, the U.S. State Department invited Michael to travel to Tajikistan to teach young Tajik journalists how to podcast — really. When he’s not podcasting or working, Michael writes about old comic strips and enjoys the occasional West Coast IPA. He also prefers pie to cake but agrees that both are good.

Nicole Ogrysko

Audio Editor/Producer

Nicole got her start working the 4 a.m. modern rock shift for her college radio station. Today, she’s a news reporter at Maine Public, where she’s covered lobster, logging a few seemingly atypical Maine topics as well. Before moving to the Pine Tree state, she spent eight years covering the federal workforce for Federal News Network, an online and radio outlet based in Washington, D.C. Nicole graduated from Ithaca College with a journalism and politics degree. She grew up outside Baltimore, Maryland, and is (at this moment, anyway) an optimistic Orioles fan.

Amber Healy

WEbsite Editor/Producer

A native of Western New York, Amber is a longtime writer working in news and health care communications in addition to providing the weekly write-ups for It’s All Journalism. She can be found pontificating about the glory of Canadian music, thinking about her book on the same topic (coming in 2025, hopefully) and hoping the Buffalo Sabres finally get it together. 

Amelia Brust

Booking Producer

Amelia has been a local news reporter and editor, a digital news writer and copy editor, and a writer for federal health publications. She also volunteers with the League of Women Voters and the DC Abortion Fund. She is passionate about press independence and diverse representation in media, voting access, government transparency, reproductive justice and health care equity, and still believes government’s role is to provide public services and protections for the public’s and environment’s well-being. She also prefers cake over pie.

Steff IAJ (1)

Steff Thomas

Social Media Manager

Steff is currently an Associate Editor at The Hill, covering all things politics and policy. Raised by two legally blind parents, she’s always been curious, which naturally led her into the field of journalism. With more than 12 years of experience in different areas — including reporting, editing, podcasting, graphic design, engagement, and social media — her future goals include starting her own podcast with the aim to make news and politics easier to understand for the average listener.

Carolyn Belefski

IAJ Logo Designer

Carolyn is a creative entrepreneur, cartoonist, designer, and illustrator whose credits include work for The Obama Administration White House, Clorox, United States National Archives, among many others. Carolyn creates the comic strip, Curls, and is chair of the National Cartoonists Society Washington, DC chapter. In addition to her commercial work, she designs wearable art such as enamel pins and surface pattern design for items such as bandanas and pencil cases. Her diverse range of expertise includes over a decade of professional experience with print and interactive design, illustration, storyboards, publications, and visual communications in agency, studio, and in-house setting.

Washington, DC - May 03, 2016: Nick DePrey

CREDIT: Matt Roth

Nick DePrey

IAJ Theme Composer

Nick is a composer and producer specializing in bringing audio storytelling to life, based in Washington, D.C. He has scored pieces for audio powerhouses like NPR, Gimlet Media, and KQED. He composed the It’s All Journalism podcast theme as well.

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