Our Fresh Take Georgia team

Gary Green, executive director, Center for Sustainable Journalism, publisher of Fresh Take Georgia

Gary Green headshot: Man with short dark hair, salt and pepper beard wearing a navy suit and white shirt.

Green is executive director for the Center for Sustainable Journalism, publisher of the news sites Fresh Take Georgia, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Youth Today, the Bokeh Focus photography platform and multiple digital magazine projects. He is a senior lecturer of communication at the Kennesaw State University School of Communication and Media.

In August 2020, Green started the Fresh Take Georgia project as part of his vision to grow the Center for Sustainable Journalism and develop dynamic collaborations with funding partners, KSU’s journalism faculty and KSU students. He sees FTG filling critical gaps in the existing journalism landscape while offering students opportunities to expand their skills and abilities for the evolving journalism industry.

Green joined the CSJ in 2020 from the University of Florida where he served as digital director of the Innovation News Center and deputy news editor for WUFT News, the NPR and PBS affiliates for north-central Florida. Prior to UF, he worked as a photojournalist and multimedia producer for newspapers and wire services in Ohio and Florida including the Akron Beacon Journal, Orlando Sentinel and Knight Ridder/McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

Green received a master’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Florida in Gainsville and his bachelor’s degree from the School of Visual Communications at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Read more about Green here.

Dr. Carolyn S. Carlson, editor

Carlson is a retired Associate Professor of Communication and director of the KSU Journalism and Emerging Media. She was a reporter for 23 years with two newspapers and the Associated Press. She is a past national president of the Society of Professional Journalists. She has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists National Freedom of Information Committee for 30 years and helped found the Georgia First Amendment Foundation 25 years ago. She is formerly chair of the SPJ Ethics Committee and its Diversity Committee.

Currently retired in Waynesville, North Carolina, Carlson still teaches online journalism and media law courses for Kennesaw State University. She also is a consultant on public relations and journalism issues for several clients, including staff of the local newspaper, The Mountaineer. And she serves as secretary of the Property Owners Association of Utah Mountain Estates.

Carlson holds a doctorate in Political Science, with a focus on American Government and Political Communication, from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Her master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration is also from Georgia State University and her bachelor’s degree in Journalism is from the University of Georgia in Athens.

Meris Lutz, editor

Meris Lutz headshot woman with long, dark, curly hair and dark-framed glasses wearing a light blur shirt with navy jacket

Lutz is an editor for the Center for Sustainable Journalism’s Fresh Take Georgia, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and Youth Today news sites.

Previously, she covered local government for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Middle East for The Daily Star, the Los Angeles Times and others.

Lutz holds a bachelor’s degree in history and Arabic from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2011, she was a Fulbright scholar to the Sultanate of Oman, where she studied gothic themes in contemporary Arabic literature. 

Molly Bloom, editor, Center for Sustainable Journalism

Bloom is an editor for the Center for Sustainable Journalism’s Fresh Take Georgia, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and Youth Today news sites.

An award-winning journalist with experience in communications and community engagement, Bloom worked as a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she covered Atlanta Public Schools in the aftermath of one of the nation’s biggest cheating scandals. She previously helped launch a groundbreaking collaboration among NPR and local member stations, serving as the first digital reporter for NPR’s StateImpact Ohio.

Bloom lives in Atlanta and holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University.

Dr. Josh Azriel, podcast news editor

Josh Azriel headshot: Smiling bald man wearing dark blue shirt is in front of a dark wood bookcase.

Azriel is the Associate Director, Graduate Studies, and a Professor of Communication at the KSU School of Communication and Media.

Azriel holds a doctorate in Journalism and Communications from the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he also earned his master’s degree in Political Science. His bachelor’s degree in Political Science is from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He pursued his doctorate in Journalism and Communications because he was interested in studying media law, specifically how the First Amendment’s freedom of speech clause applies to the Internet.

Dr. Burton Speakman, faculty advisor

Burton Speakman headshot: SOlomn man with darkblonde hair wearing a light grey shirt and dark tie.

Speakman is an Associate Professor of Communication at the KSU School of Communication and Media.  

Speakman holds a doctorate in Journalism with a focus on Online and Community Journalism from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, a master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a bachlor’s degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Kelly Audette, audience engagement editor

Audette is the audience engagement lead for FTG producing social media content, training audience engagement interns and publishing wire stories to FTG. She is also the digital coach for Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Previously she was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Florida managing a class of 32 students publishing social media and daily reporting content for WUFT-FM News.

Audette holds a masters in Mass Communication from the University of Florida in Gainesville and a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism.

Chelsey Tabakian Odom, manager, strategic initiatives and operations

FTG Team: Chelsey Tabakian Odom headshot woman with long dark hair wering mint green suit jacket and white blouse smilin into camera on white background

Odom is strategic initiatives and operations manager for the Center for Sustainable Journalism, publisher of the news sites Fresh Take Georgia, JJIEYouth Today, the Bokeh Focus photography platform and multiple digital magazine projects. Starting as an intern at CSJ in 2015, Odom responsibilities now include subscription and advertising sales, marketing, financials, developing strategic initiatives and coordinating the CSJ intern program. She handles marketing for Cyndy’s Southern Pound Cakes and volunteers as a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. She is also a member of the BBBSMA Young Leaders Council and serves as its board chair.

Odom holds a BBA in marketing with a Management Development Certificate from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Gwenette Writer Sinclair, web designer and producer

Sinclair manages editorial and advertising content for all CSJ websites including Youth Today, Fresh Take Georgia, JJIEYouth Today, the Bokeh Focus photography platform and multiple digital magazine projects. She designs websites, maintains the websites’ hosting servers, writes content for the websites, trains WordPress editor interns and contributes to social media strategy. Sinclair also develops 3D immersive virtual experiences/events for Ph.D. candidates, universities and corporations (see CSJ’s virtual world project: VirtualWorld.jjie.org and Bokeh Focus: Our 3D Virtual Galleries). Her background includes teaching, corporate training, XReality mixed-media event production, video production, nonprofit administration, magazine/newspaper publishing, advertising sales and graphic design.


Our publisher, Center for Sustainable Journalism

The Center for Sustainable Journalism aims to discover innovative ways to produce financially sustainable, high quality and ethically sound journalism via applied research, collaborations and advancing innovative projects. 

The Center for Sustainable Journalism publishes multiple projects including Fresh Take Georgia, Youth Today, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and Bokeh Focus.

Click here to learn more.