Winter/Spring 2024 MIL Team

Haajrah Gilani

Haajrah Gilani is a graduate student in Northwestern University’s Medill Investigate Lab. She has a B.A. from Temple University in her native Philadelphia. Haajrah has interned with The Buffalo News, 6abc, reported on Capitol Hill and has received national recognition for her work. She is especially interested in the crossover between crime, public policy and social impact.

Casey He

Casey He is a sophomore at Northwestern Medill studying journalism and political science. He most recently covered technology for Medill News Service, with a focus on artificial intelligence, social media regulation and semiconductor manufacturing. On campus, Casey reports on the Evanston City Council and local politics for The Daily Northwestern and serves as a print managing editor. He also writes and edits for nuAZN, Northwestern’s Asian-interest magazine.

Emma McNamee

Emma McNamee is a graduate student in Northwestern Medill’s Investigate Lab Specialization. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in Journalism, Emma joined a local newspaper in Southern Minnesota. Covering crime, courts, city government, and politics she gained experience and accolades as a reporter. She was accepted into Medill in 2023, and during her time at their D.C. campus, she has reported on matters of national importance from Capitol Hill, published with ProPublica, and traveled internationally for reporting. Emma hopes to continue working as an investigative reporter post-graduation.

Gideon Pardo

Gideon Pardo is a junior at Northwestern majoring in journalism with a minor in comparative literature. On campus is a managing editor at North by Northwestern with a focus on both campus related news and national politics. Last summer, through a Northwestern Summer Undergraduate Research Grant, he spent a month in Rwanda investigating how the country prioritizes STEM talent development as a strategy to maintain one of Africa’s highest rates of economic growth. 

Isabela C. Lisco

Isabela Lisco is a third-year undergraduate in the Medill Investigative Lab. In addition to her interest in broadcast and multimedia journalism, she has a second major in Middle East North African Studies and a minor in Arabic language. Isabela won an SPJ award for a deep dive into foster care inequalityin Chicago, and she enjoys the challenge of reporting in other languages (she speaks fluent Spanish and German, as well as some Arabic). Last summer, Isabela was an on-air reporter for NBC’s Newswatch 12 in Northern Wisconsin, and at Northwestern, she is a reporter and anchor for the Northwestern News Network. 

Julian Andreone

Julian Andreone is a second-year undergraduate student at Northwestern, studying U.S. History and Journalism. The Los Angeles native has experience covering money in politics on Capitol Hill for Medill News Service and reports on a wide range of news in the greater Chicago area as a reporter for The Evanston RoundTable, and formerly The Daily Northwestern. Andreone has also worked as a legal research intern for Bird Marella P.C. in LA, gathering evidence and producing memos to help prepare lawyers for trial in civil litigation cases. 

Read more of Julian’s work at and follow him on Twitter @JulianAndreone

Phillip Powell

Phillip Powell is a graduate student in the Medill Investigative Lab, with a special interest in reporting on politics, public policy, and foreign affairs. He graduated from Hendrix College in Arkansas with a major in political science in 2023. At Hendrix, Phillip worked in student government, edited the award-winning literary magazine, and wrote features for the student magazine. He has bylines in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Al-Monitor, Arkansas Times, and other outlets. Starting in July, Phillip will work as the Report for America fellow for the Arkansas Times covering the environment and agriculture.

Twitter: @ByPhillipPowell

Yiqing Wang

Yiqing Wang is a graduate student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in the Investigative Lab program. Before Medill, she received a B.A. in Political Science and French from Bryn Mawr College. Yiqing has previously freelanced for different news outlets such as Texas Monthly and Michigan Advance, and she is currently contributing to multiple investigative projects at ProPublica and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. You can follow her on twitter and read more of her work here.

Debbie Cenziper

Debbie Cenziper is an associate professor and the director of investigative reporting at Medill. She also oversees the Medill Investigative Lab. Besides teaching, Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and nonfiction author who writes for The Washington Post. She spent three years at The George Washington University before joining the faculty of Medill.

Over the years, Cenziper’s investigative stories have exposed wrongdoing, prompted Congressional hearings and led to changes in federal and local laws. In her classes at Medill, Cenziper and her students focus on social justice investigative reporting.

Cenziper has won dozens of awards in American print journalism, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award for reporting about human rights and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from Harvard University. She received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 at The Miami Herald for a series of stories about corrupt affordable housing developers who were stealing from the poor. A year before that, she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for stories about dangerous breakdowns in the nation’s hurricane-tracking system.

Cenziper is a frequent speaker at universities, writing conferences and book events. Her first book, “Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality,” (William Morrow, 2016) was named one of the most notable books of the year by The Washington Post. Her second book, “Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America,” was released by Hachette Books in November 2019.

Cenziper is based on Medill’s Washington, D.C. campus, working with undergraduate and graduate students on investigative stories.