A photo of the MEJO 584 team

About Us

Shedding light on the unheard stories of the Venezuelan crisis.

We are a team of student videographers, photographers, reporters, designers, developers and faculty dedicated to decoding the political and economic crisis in Venezuela by telling the stories of families who have fled to Medellín, Colombia. It’s easy to get lost in the numbers and policy when covering Venezuela and its intrinsic, historic connection with Colombia. We hope these stories of struggle, resilience, acceptance and tension can provide clarity and encourage people to join the conversation and take action.

Uprooted is an interactive multimedia project of MEJO 584: Documentary Multimedia Storytelling at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism. In past projects, students have reported across five continents and produced award-winning multimedia work. As students, we’re learning the rewards and challenges of reporting on different cultures; as journalists, we are working as a team to tell the stories that are shaping the globe.

Meet the Team

Field Producers
Diane Adame Reporter

Hello! My name is Diane, and I am a senior reporting and public policy student. The thought of my next meal keeps me going and if I had to describe my life in three words, it would be bylines, headlines and deadlines.

Kailyn Akers Designer

Hello! I'm Kailee and a senior MEJO major. Design is my ish. If I had a time machine, I would've done the "tiny kitchen" videos first.

Jason Armond Videographer

Hello, I'm Jason Armond a senior studying media and journalism, with an emphasis in photo and video journalism and graphic design. Creating compelling visual content that is engaging and rooted in storytelling is what drives me. Fun fact about me is I have never had a pet. When I finally get a pet, it will be an English Bulldog.

Abby Cantrell Videographer

I'm Abby, a junior journalism and politcal science double major. I love dogs, naps and pizza.

María AlejandraCardona Aizpurua
María Alejandra Cardona Aizpurua Field Producer

I'm Maria Alejandra Cardona Aizpurúa, a student of journalism and social communication from Medellín. I'm in love with the culture of my country, and I believe in the change. I'm passionate about telling stories with a camara or with written words and I love to learn and know the world by traveling.

Chris Carmichael Photo/Video Coach

I’m a videographer based in Birmingham, Alabama. As a result of a many, many coincidences and just plain good fortune, I’ve been able to work behind a camera all around the world with a lot of wonderful people. When I’m not behind a camera, I’m honing my dad jokes to a captive audience.

Bryan Cereijo Videographer

I'm Bryan Cereijo, a visual communications graduate student. I am a Cuban-American visual storyteller from Miami, FL. I am specifically interested in narratives that relate to sports and culture.

Nash Consing Photographer

I'm a sophomore MEJO and communications double major, Frank Ocean stan and a cuddler of all dogs. Shout out to my goodboys Xavier, Yoda and Jerome.

Brooklynn Cooper Reporter, Translator

I'm Brooklynn, a senior studying journalism with a concentration in reporting and hispanic linguistics. I'm the 6-year reigning president of my personal Justin Bieber stan club and also an Oreo enthusiast.

Landon Cooper Videographer

Hey everybody, I'm Landon, and I'm a photographer and videographer. I have no children, but I'm sublime at dad jokes. I love long walks on the beach, taking portraits and telling stories.

Paul Cuadros Reporting Coach

I am an associate professor, investigative reporter and author with a focus on issues of race and poverty in America. I love fútbol and storytelling.

Pat Davison Executive Producer, Photo/Video Coach

I'm Pat, a professor and the director of documentary projects for the school. This is the 10th international project I've led. I love helping students grow as journalists and as citizens of the world by tackling important issues abroad.

Sally Dillon Designer

I'm Sally, a graphic design and French major. I'm a senior but more of a senior citizen at heart. I am a paper hoarder, and my favorite color is butter yellow.

Catie Dull Photographer

I'm Catie, a senior photo and video journalist. I love my fat cat and my home at Wrightsville Beach. I'm a weirdo who loves to travel with my camera around my neck!

Ashton Eleazer Videographer

I'm Ashton, studying photo and video journalism and dramatic art. I love taking analog photographs, journaling for my future memoir and going on spontaneous trips everywhere from the local farmer's market to the Himalayas.

Brooke Fisher Lead Developer

I’m Brooke, senior interactive multimedia major. When I’m not coding, you can find me writing, cooking or cheering on the UNC basketball team from the band section.

Haley France Videographer

My name is Haley, and I'm studying media and journalism with a social and economic justice minor. I love DJing on our student radio station and am a pro at making annoying puns.

Laura AndreaGarcía Giraldo
Laura Andrea García Giraldo Field Producer

If there were words to describe my contradictory self I would say I’m a passionate about movement (ballet dancer) with some senses for storytelling.

Tenley Garrett Videographer

I'm a senior visual communication major who believes everyone should take time off from school before graduating. Seriously. Just do it. I enjoy solo trips to concerts, napping in the middle of the day and being vulnerable with people.

Xiaoke Ji Designer

I'm Xiaoke, a senior media design student. My nickname is Arya because she's my alter ego in Game of Thrones and also because only Mandarin-speaking people know how to pronouce my name. My favorite job field is animation & game design.

Alex Kormann Lead Photographer

Hey! I'm Alex, a senior photojournalism major and history minor from New Jersey. I love Star Wars, spicy food and dogs. All my work is in memory of my father, Russ.

Lyric Lin Designer

Hi! I'm Lyric, a junior advertising and public relations major. I consider myself a “Type A Granola”: Free-spirited but on a schedule. Lover of pups, the color yellow and cotton candy sunsets.

Patty Matos PR Coordinator, Translator

I'm Patty, a senior public relations and social and economic justice student from Caracas, Venezuela. I'm the team's resident tuitera, a relentless Scorpio, and an avid lover of pop music. Bring me crunchy snacks, please.

Patsy Montesinos Reporter, Translator

I'm Patsy, the girl who straddles the borders but also loves the mix of her culturas. I am a media and journalism major with a minor in Latino/a studies. Painter, dancer, soccer player and Rayo's (AKA my horse) mom.

Peggy Mullin Videographer

Hey! I'm Peggy, a senior environmental science and photo/video nerd. I geek out over many things, including (but not limited to) algae, music, dogs and the unbelievable power of storytelling.

Juan DavidOchoa Jiménez
Juan David Ochoa Jiménez Field Producer

Hey there! I'm Juan, a social communication student. I'm 20 years old, and I'm a politics and history lover. I have three beautiful and fluffy cats (if I had a bigger house, I would have more!) I like to learn about EVERYTHING, and that's why I enjoy meeting people from other countries. I also like dancing, playing video games and walking through the city.

AndreaOrozco Sáenz
Andrea Orozco Sáenz Field Producer

I'm Andrea, a journalism student with a focus on photography and video. I also play rugby and work as a researcher for a TV program.

Sara Pequeño Reporter

My name is Sara, and I'm a senior reporting and political science student. Yes, my last name does mean "small" in Spanish. Yes, I am 4'11".

Andie Rea Videographer

I am a visual media creator inspired by the power of story to shape ideas and create change. I enjoy adventures with my family and trying new foods.

Margarita MaríaRestrepo
Margarita María Restrepo Field Producer

I'm a journalism student in Medellín, Colombia. Deeply passionate about gender studies, you will either find me in the streets speaking to women from different backgrounds, or in my photography studio taking pictures of them and voicing just how beautiful and empowering I believe their stories are.

Tamara Rice Interactive Coach

I'm Tamara, the interactive coach for Uprooted. I love finding ways to tell stories in visual and interactive ways, and I'm always inspired by the energy and commitment my students bring to their work.

Zayrha Rodriguez Videographer, Translator

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and when I was 14 I moved to Miami. I'm currently a junior photo and video journalism major with a history minor. In my free time, I like to dance with Que Rico, pet all the doggos and eat papitas.

Carlos Salas Lead Designer, Translator

Hi I'm Carlos. I'm a UX/UI designer born in San Cristóbal, Venezuela and raised in North Carolina. When I'm not making cool things for the interwebs I'm probably just cuddling with my dog, Jagger. My role model is Danny Phantom.

Kate Sheppard Reporting Coach

I am a teaching associate professor in the School of Media and Journalism and a senior enterprise editor at HuffPost. When I am not wrangling commas, I am wrangling my two small humans.

Amy Townsend Developer

Hey! I'm Amy, a front-end developer studying interactive multimedia and information science. I really enjoy dancing, singing and all kinds of puzzles and games. My happy place is watching Avatar: The Last Airbender with a cozy blanket and my cat Finn asleep in my lap.

LauraTrujillo Arango
Laura Trujillo Arango Field Producer

My name is Laura, I'm a first year social comunication and journalism student at UPB. I really love dogs, and I'm 18 years old (until April, at least). Apart from English and Spanish, I also speak Portuguese. I really love and enjoy writing, reading and learning new things on a daily basis.

MartinVillaneda Gomez
Martin Villaneda Gomez Field Producer

I'm Martín Villaneda, Colombian student of journalism at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín and a photojournalist. I speak four languages: English, French, Italian and Spanish, my native language. I'm 20 years old, and someday I'll win a World Press Photography award.

Maria ElenaVizcaino
Maria Elena Vizcaino Reporter, Translator

I am a journalist born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Sophomore year of high school I moved to Miami, Florida, and now I’ve traded the beach and the heat for the mountains and the chilly breeze of North Carolina. If I'm not asking questions, find me eating arepas or compulsively cleaning my house.

Special thanks to the following: