Staff and contributing instructors

Program Founder

Jayne O’Donnell

Jayne O’Donnell - Co-Founder and CEO was USA TODAY’s healthcare policy reporter from September 2013 to March 2021, when she took a buyout after more than 28 years with the company. An author, TV contributor and freelance writer, Jayne has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and C-Span and been published in Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping and Parents. She covered the implementation of the Affordable Care Act beginning in September 2013 and later shifted focus on mental health, addiction, and childhood trauma. Her articles on midlife alcohol deaths among women and marijuana's link to psychosis and schizophrenia were read online by more than one million readers each, numbers usually only achieved for breaking news - or former President Trump stories.

She has also won several awards for her work, most notably for her 1996 articles in USA TODAY on the dangers air bags posed to children. That reporting prompted many government actions including the “smart" air bags and warning labels in every new vehicle.

A graduate of University of Maryland’s College of Journalism, Jayne did graduate work at George Washington University’s School of Business. She lives in McLean, Va. with her husband and their daughter, 20. Jayne co-founded the Urban Health Media Project, now Youthcast Media Group, in 2017 with Dr. Reed Tuckson, former D.C. public health commissioner and a longtime health care senior executive, with initial funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Faculty and Staff


Brie Zeltner

Brie Zeltner - YMG Director, Content and Programs is a health journalist with 15 years of experience at The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer covering public health, with a particular focus on health disparities and the impact of poverty on the health of the city’s children. Her years-long reporting on lead poisoning in Cleveland with Rachel Dissell recently led to the passage of a law that will, for the first time, protect children in rental housing in the city from exposure to lead.  She is the winner of the New York Academy of Medicine's 2015 inaugural Urban Journalism Award, a USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism national fellow, and Association of Healthcare Journalists regional fellow. Zeltner lives in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is gradually turning the backyard into an organic garden.


Julianne Hill

Julianne Hill - Managing Editor, Content and Programs is a Chicago-based reporter and producer focused on mental health. Her award-winning work has appeared in outlets including NPR’s “This American Life” and “Morning Edition,” Chicago Public Radio, PBS and ABA Journal. Hill was a 2006 Rosalynn Carter Fellow in mental health journalism and a National Press Foundation Fellow for reporting on HIV-AIDS. Her award-winning 2019 investigation into New Hampshire’s policy of sending mental health patients who have not committed crimes to state prison prompted the governor to change the state budget to build a new psychiatric hospital. She launched one of the first college-level courses in reporting on mental health in the US at Loyola University Chicago, and has taught at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Ohio University and the University of Chicago.


Cynthia Robinson


Cynthia Robinson

Cynthia Robinson - Development and Partnerships Manager supports the development team with strategy, grant writing research and development work to identify key funding sources and help conceive and submit grant proposals for funding under the supervision of the CEO and the Editorial Partnership and Strategy Consultant. She also assists with administrative and operational functions of the organization. She has over 30 years of experience in editorial operations and news production, online communications, public relations and communications channels at USA TODAY and customer relations experience with Marriott and Crate & Barrel.

She obtained her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Communications from Bowie State University, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. Cynthia lives in Clinton, Md. with her husband and has two grown sons and one granddaughter.


Carey Johnson

Carey Johnson - Operations Manager is responsible for the daily operations of YMG. She has almost 20 years of experience in business development and operations for companies including Wachovia Bank and Homewood Suites by Hilton. She brings to the Youthcast Media Group expertise in organizational branding, improving the customer experience, and operational activities and initiatives associated with making organizations better. Carey Johnson is an avid hiker and hobbyist photographer, born and raised in Arlington, Virginia.

William Cummings

William Cummings - Social Platforms Manager - comes to YMG after 8 years working at USA TODAY, where he helped manage the national newspaper's social media platforms and website as a digital editor, bolstering and expanding its online audience of millions, while also helping to cover breaking news. He shifted to political coverage during the 2016 campaign and that year he was the recipient of an International Center for Journalists fellowship, which sent him to Guatemala City as part of the center's Digital Path to Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Latin America program. He moved to USA TODAY's Washington, D.C., bureau in 2018 where he worked as a political reporter and editor. Prior to joining USA TODAY, Cummings worked as a freelance journalist in Latin America, and as a reporter and researcher on three projects for PBS Frontline, conducted in partnership with American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop. Cummings lives in suburban Maryland with his wife and three children, where he enjoys watching baseball, eating crabs and getting out on the water whenever possible.


Teresa Redd, Ph.D.

Teresa Redd, Ph.D. - Evaluation and Curriculum Consultant is a former Writer-Editor for Time-Life Books. Dr. Teresa Redd earned a Phi Beta Kappa key from Princeton University, an M.A. in English, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park. For more than 30 years, she taught writing at Howard University, where she attained the rank of Full Professor in the Department of English. During her tenure at Howard, she also directed Howard’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Assessment and its Writing Across the Curriculum Program. After retiring from Howard, she founded Redd Ed Consulting, LLC to assist educational programs and institutions with curriculum development, faculty development, online course design, and assessment. It is in this capacity that she has served Youthcast Media Group, first, as a program evaluator and, now, as a curriculum developer.


Alan Gomez

Alan Gomez - Mentor- Editor is a Miami-based writer who worked in newspapers for 20 years, 14 of those at USA Today. Over his career, he was a foreign correspondent traveling throughout the Middle East and Latin America, covered Congress and politics in Washington, D.C., and later served as USA Today's Miami Bureau Chief covering Cuba and national immigration issues.



Pooja Singh

Pooja Singh - Digital Editor has an associate's degree in pre-medicine, a bachelor's degree in global studies with a focus on health, development and environment, and a minor in biology.  During her internship at the Comprehensive Rural Health Project, she was deeply inspired by their holistic approach to developing health in multiple communities. She hopes to continue working with communities in need to help build such a comprehensive and sustainable health system. Pooja is currently pursuing a master’s of science degree in Global Health at Duke University. Outside her class, she is also a freelance artist and an avid gardener.

Alex Connor

Alex Connor - Mentor- Editor is an audience editor at The Associated Press. She previously worked at USA TODAY. Alex graduated from Iowa State University in journalism and political science. She's currently based out of Washington, D.C. 


Sarah Meehan

Sarah Meehan - Mentor- Editor is a content writer and freelance journalist based in Golden, Colo. A Maryland native and University of Maryland graduate, Sarah spent seven years reporting in Baltimore—first at the Baltimore Business Journal and then at The Baltimore Sun—where she covered beats including breaking news, health and food. When she's not writing, she enjoys teaching yoga, climbing rocks and experimenting in the kitchen.


Angela Townsend

Angela Townsend - Mentor- Editor is a native of Milwaukee, a graduate of Northwestern University and Marquette University, and a former print journalist. She spent 20 years in newspapers, including The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was on the health reporting team for seven years. She is currently on the communications team at The MetroHealth System, the safety-net health system for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.



Mindy Fetterman

Mindy Fetterman - Editorial Advisor is executive vice president of Burson Cohn & Wolfe in Washington, D.C., and editorial lead for a major government agency. She spent more than 35 years in newsrooms across the country, including as Managing Editor of Content Strategy for USA TODAY, and Deputy Managing Editor of both the News and Money sections of USA TODAY. She’s a long-time reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas. She lives in Alexandria, Va., and has a daughter who lives in Austin, Texas.

Josephine Chu

Josephine Chu - Digital Editor is a video journalist at the Wall Street Journal. She received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University. She has worked for NBC News NOW, USA Today and Agence France-Presse.