Meet Your Keynote Speakers
Daisy Chung is an award-winning science illustrator originally from Taiwan and New Zealand. She currently works as a Graphics Journalist at Reuters Graphics creating original graphics-first stories and infographic designs, with a focused interest in environmental and biological topics.
Previously, she was the Data Visual Designer at Surgo Ventures creating data-driven visual stories addressing global health and social issues. She is a former Graphics Editor at National Geographic Magazine, where she worked with a collaborative team to engage the public through powerful visual storytelling.
In 2020, She and fellow Taiwanese, Julia Janicki, initiated the “Taiwan data stories”, a collaborative using multimedia to engage the global audience with Taiwan culture that is often overlooked in a more Western-dominated media landscape.
Daisy holds a Graduate Certificate in Science Illustration from California State University, Monterey Bay (2015), and a BA in Biological Sciences and Visual Arts at Rice University, Houston TX. Daisy aims to make science information more accessible by creating engaging visuals and works directly with experts to communicate their research. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Scientific American, National Geographic, Rice Magazine, Cell Press, The Journal of Neuroscience, and various science and educational platforms.
Her graphics have won awards including the Society for News Design, Malofiej, and the Information is Beautiful. When not drawing, you can find Daisy hiking, climbing rocks, harness-training her cat, and finding different uses for sourdough starters. She is currently based in Sunnyvale, CA.
Elly Fishman is a journalist whose work chronicles stories of struggle and resilience inside American cities. Her first book “Refugee High: Coming of Age in America” follows the students and faculty at Chicago’s Roger C. Sullivan High School. The book won the prestigious Studs and Ida Terkel Prize for a first book in the public interest. A Chicago native and graduate of The University of Chicago, Fishman currently lives in Milwaukee with her husband and their daughter.
Chicago-based documentary photographer and director Alex Garcia's storytelling career has included working on staff for more than 20 years at the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, where he was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting. He left the Tribune to start Three Story Media, and soon after was part of a team that won a Titanium Lion at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
Alex has been published in several book projects and has been called by HarperCollins "one of the world's leading photojournalists." His documentary background continues to inform his work and approach to subjects both in still and film projects.
He has served on the board of the National Press Photographers Association and as an adjunct professor at the Northwestern University Medill Journalism program and the School of Visual Arts - NY.
Having traveled to Cuba for 20 years as a Tribune foreign correspondent, New York Times Journeys tour leader and family member, Alex started Cuba Workshops, LLC which brings visitors to the island on authorized trips to photograph and build bridges across cultures.
Tramble is an award-winning communication and marketing professional who has served in a series of leadership positions at both Georgetown University and Michigan State University. He is an adjunct professor and currently serves as the Vice President of Communications and Chief Communications Officer (CCO) at Howard University.
In his current role, he is responsible for refining and executing Howard’s communications strategy and overseeing marketing, brand, media relations, crisis communications, and reputation management. He is also responsible for overseeing the office of University Communications (OUC).
Beyond his role as a communications leader, Tramble is also the founder, lead coach, and chief marketing officer of DC Run Crew, a community-based organization that is designed to motivate people to excel in their daily life through the sport of running. Since its founding in 2017, DC Run Crew’s public relations marketing campaigns have garnered attention from major athletic brands such as Lululemon, New Balance, and Nike. Tramble also created local partnerships to support fellow black-owned businesses and organizations in DC and has amassed support from thousands in the running community both locally and globally.
Tramble received his bachelor’s degree in advertising management from Michigan State University and his master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Georgetown University. He also completed a certificate program in executive business leadership from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.
Charles Whitaker is Dean and professor at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, where he previously served as the Helen Gurley Brown Professor, Associate Dean of Journalism, and a member of the faculty since 1992. Whitaker, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Medill, is the first alumnus to serve as dean of the school.
Before joining the Medill faculty, Whitaker was a senior editor at Ebony magazine, where he covered a wide range of cultural, social, and political issues and events on four continents, including two U.S. presidential campaigns and the installation of the first black members of the British Parliament. Whitaker has led a prolific journalism career, working with institutions such as the Miami Herald and the Louisville (Ky.) Times, and contributing articles to the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Magazine, Jet Magazine, Essence Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Saturday Evening Post, Chicago Parent magazine, and Folio, the magazine of the magazine industry.
Among Whitaker’s many notable roles and endeavors, he has authored four statistical analyses of the hiring of women and minorities in the magazine industry, co-directed Project Masthead (a program designed to encourage students of color to consider careers in the magazine industry), advised on diversity issues for the Magazine Publishers of America. He serves on the board of directors for numerous professional organizations, including the American Society of Magazine Editors, the Center for Public Integrity, the Prison Journalism Project, The Evanston RoundTable, and Block Club Chicago.
Rin-rin Yu is the editor-in-chief of publications at Howard University in Washington, D.C., including Howard Magazine, Bison Beat (the president's monthly newsletter) and the Dig (the news and information website). She has a diverse background in web, print, and television journalism, as well as marketing and business development. Previous places of employment include Washingtonian, where she led the custom division's editorial; the National Association of Home Builders, where she led digital communications strategy; Hanley Wood Business Media (now Zonda) where she was editor and reporter for the swimming pool industry (yes, pools!); and WHDH-TV (Boston), where she was the field producer for politics. For the past six years, she managed Silver Media Group, a strategic communications consultancy that she co-founded and where she worked with several universities including University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, University of Richmond and Georgetown University. She also has a photography business on the side (Red Kite Studios) where, pre-pandemic, she photographed bar/ bat mitzvahs. She has a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Ben Y. Zhao, PhD
Ben Zhao is Neubauer Professor of Computer Science at University of Chicago. Prior to joining UChicago, he held the position of Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara. He completed his Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley (2004), and B.S. from Yale (1997). He is a Fellow of the ACM, and a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, MIT Technology Review's TR-35 Award (Young Innovators Under 35), ComputerWorld Magazine's Top 40 Technology Innovators award, IEEE ITC Early Career Award, and Google Faculty awards. His work has been covered by media outlets such as New York Times, Boston Globe, LA Times, MIT Tech Review, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, MSNBC, New Scientist, and Slashdot. He has published over 180 articles in areas of security and privacy, biometrics, machine learning, networking, and HCI (H-index 74). He served as TPC (co-)chair for the World Wide Web conference (WWW 2016) and ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC 2018). He also serves on the steering committee for HotNets, and was general co-chair for HotNets 2020.