Dr. Seth Ashley, Co-founder
Dr. Seth Ashley, co-founder, is an assistant professor of journalism and media studies in the Department of Communication at Boise State University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Dr. Ashley’s research and teaching center on the role and impact of media in democratic society. He explores the functions and effects of media in society as well as the social forces and economic realities that shape journalism as an institution and as a practice. His academic work has been published in the Journal of Media Literacy Education, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Journalism: Theory, Practice, & Criticism, and Communication Law & Policy. Prior to completing his Ph.D., Dr. Ashley worked as a staff writer for the Columbia (Missouri) Daily Tribune and a writer/editor for the University of Missouri Publications Department. He has also worked as a video producer, audio technician and production designer for live music, including touring work in 25 U.S. cities and 10 countries. Today, Dr. Ashley’s broad aim is to help facilitate and preserve vibrant journalism and to educate and empower individuals in becoming engaged as news consumers and democratic citizens.
Carissa Wolf, Co-founder
Carissa Wolf realized the power of the press as a high school sophomore when her principal censored the critical and often controversial articles she wrote for her student newspaper. She fought the censorship with a team of ACLU attorneys and lobbied the Idaho legislature to pass legislation that restricted administrative oversight of student publications. The bill didn’t pass but by the time Wolf graduated from Meridian High School, she and her classmates published the news as they saw fit. Wolf interned with Idaho Public Television and later worked in every news medium including stints as a researcher for The Wall Street Journal and producer for Boise State Radio. She trained at Sonoma State University’s Project Censored Institute of Investigative Journalism and earned degrees in Mass Communication and Sociology from Boise State University. She went on to win dozens of journalism awards for her enterprise reports and investigations including a prestigious Livingston Award nomination for her work at the Idaho Statesman. She reports for magazines and wire services as a freelance journalist and her articles and investigations regularly appear in the Boise Weekly. Wolf teaches sociology, journalism and civics courses at Boise State University where she co-founded The Idaho Media Initiative.
Zach Hagadone, Board Member
Zach Hagadone began his career in journalism as a weekend staffer at the Boise bureau of the Associated Press shortly after graduating from then-Albertson College of Idaho in 2003. He left the AP and Boise for a short stint as an advertising sales representative at the Bonner County Daily Bee in his hometown of Sandpoint, and, in 2004, founded the Sandpoint Reader independent newspaper with two former ACI classmates.
The Reader published weekly until 2012, when it was shuttered because Hagadone and his partners had somehow turned into adults and needed to start making a livable wage. During that time, Hagadone moved back to Boise where he worked as a staff writer at the Idaho Business Review from 2008-2010. He was hired away to the Boise Weekly, where he served briefly as business editor.
After returning to Sandpoint to manage the Reader in 2010, Hagadone continued to freelance for Boise Weekly, contributing regular features on politics, business, the environment and technology. Following the closure of the Reader, he worked as copy editor for the Pacific Northwest Inlander in Spokane, Wash., and in late 2012 was asked take over the position as editor-in-chief of Boise Weekly. Since taking the job as BW editor, Hagadone’s focus has been on revamping the newsroom with an emphasis on long-form, investigative journalism. During his tenure, Boise Weekly has also undergone a redesign and renewed its commitment to its online product. In the meantime, the Sandpoint Reader has been revived and Hagadone remains on the masthead as editor emeritus.
His reporting has earned numerous Idaho Press Club awards, as well as an award for election coverage from the national Association of Alternative Newsmedia. His work for Boise Weekly and AAN has been republished in nearly a dozen newspapers around the West. He lives on the Boise Bench with his wife—a Boise State University adjunct professor—and their two young children.
Greg Hahn, Board Member
Greg Hahn is the associate vice president for communications and marketing at Boise State, overseeing public and media relations, digital and traditional marketing and advertising, communications, branding, social media and design. He spent more than 15 years in the Idaho news media, working as a host and producer at Idaho Public Television and as a reporter and editor at the Twin Falls Times-News and the Idaho Statesman, where he spent the bulk of his journalism career as a political and special projects reporter. He is a founding organizer of the Hackfort tech conference that is part of Boise’s annual Treefort Music Fest, and has taught media law and ethics and “Politics of the Extreme” at Boise State, taught writing and sausage-making at The Atlanta School and led fiction and non-fiction workshops at The Cabin literary center. Along with the Idaho Media Initiative board, Greg serves on boards for The Blue Review journal of popular scholarship and the City Club of Boise.
Scott Ki, Board Member
Scott Ki is a freelance journalist and writer. He is a former staff writer for the Idaho Business Review and news reporter for Boise State Public Radio. His award-winning stories have ranged from death row executions to pole dancing for a great workout to traveling in circles on local buses during the holidays. He enjoys exploring Idaho and hiking, mountain biking, camping, floating, fly-fishing, and cross-country skiing with his wife, Suzanne.
Prior to his move to Idaho, he worked as a stringer for public radio station KUNM in Albuquerque and as a volunteer reporter for community radio station KSFR in Santa Fe. Before journalism, Scott worked on international trade policy in Washington, D.C. He helped negotiate the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Trade and Investment Framework Agreements with Taiwan and Mongolia, and the World Trade Organization accessions of China and Taiwan. He has negotiated issues as diverse as rice quotas, automobile safeguards, whiskey standards, and intellectual property rights.
Scott has also part-timed at REI, worked in the technology industry as a sales and marketing consultant in Seattle, conducted research on companies for labor unions, assisted in an antitrust lawsuit regarding diaper companies, conducted legal research for a prominent sex therapist in Los Angeles, and pumped gasoline at his parent’s business as a teenager. He is a graduate of Brown University with a B.A. in political science and the University of California, San Diego with an M.A. in international affairs.
Dr. Carrie Semmelroth, Board Member
Dr. Carrie Semmelroth is the Director of Assessment and Communication in the College of Education at Boise State University. She earned her BA in Sociology with minors in Japanese Studies and Women’s Studies, an MA in Special Education, and an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University. She is an advocate for public education, and is committed to working for Idaho’s public schools to improve outcomes for all students. Prior to her current position, Carrie worked as a project coordinator on teacher preparation and research grants in the Department of Early and Special Education at Boise State University, and as a special education teacher in the Nampa School District.
Yvette Harper, Social Media Coordinator
Yvette Harper earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology from Boise State University and started as an intern with the IMI in 2016. She is a veteran of the United States Air Force and gained her presentation skills from being a “road warrior” in her 10 years in the technological sales industry. She is an emcee and actress but enjoys consulting behind the scenes with producers, entertainment professionals, and other social media gurus. Yvette is locally recognized for her light-hearted presentation at “Ignite Boise” discussing online dating. Through the IMI Yvette has gained additional skills in journalism, media literacy, reporting and interviewing.