Alex Ptachick

Alex Ptachick - is the audience editor of emerging platforms at USA TODAY. She spends her workdays testing out the best ways to connect with audiences on social media platforms such as IGTV, Facebook groups, YouTube, Reddit, TikTok and messaging apps. She joined the company in June 2014 as a sports digital producer. After a year and a half in that role, she became a social media editor for USA TODAY, focused primarily on sports. She has covered many live sporting events including the 2016 NBA Finals and the Rio Summer Olympic Games, two Super Bowls, the 2017 men’s Final Four and the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. In May 2018, Alex assumed her current role. Alex earned a bachelor’s degree in public communications from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She lives in northwest Washington, D.C. with her dog, Harper. In her free time, Alex teaches English as a Second Language (ESL), bakes for friends and family and enjoys being outdoors.

Taylor Maycan

Taylor Maycan - is a podcast producer for USA TODAY, currently based in Washington D.C. She produces The City, which investigates how power dynamics work in U.S. cities. Her priors include producing and editing pop culture, politics and news podcasts for USA TODAY. She also spent several years as the senior editor of USA TODAY’s news source for college students, powered by college-aged journalists. She was a TV and video producer before that. Taylor earned her degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and has been with USA TODAY since 2014.

Richard Willing

Richard Willing – Freelance reporter and editor who wrote and re-wrote for local, state and national publications for over 25 years. Also served as press secretary for Director of National Intelligence and strategic communications lead for CIA history staff and National Media Exploitation Center. Has taught college application essay writing to high school students from Brooklyn, N.Y., Baltimore and Prince George’s County, MD. Contributor to Washington Post, New York Times, USA TODAY and Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies. Currently, a candidate for M.A. in American history at George Mason University.

Claire Thornton

Claire Thornton - produces USA TODAY 1619 Project audio content and the "For The Win" sports podcast. She also reports original audio news stories for the USA TODAY Network. Her focuses have included addiction, patient safety, and special education. While studying at Princeton University, Claire was a senior editor of The Daily Princetonian, the university’s paper of record. She oversaw everything from digital content, to photo coverage, to the paper’s social media presence. Claire grew up in San Antonio and she comes from a family of native Texans going back generations. She speaks Spanish and is learning Russian. She is working with Urban Health Media Project students on projects related to racial disparities, mental health, and suicide.