Mary Auld


Mary Auld (she/her) is a teacher and journalist in Missoula. She makes radio stories about human-environment interactions. Her work has been featured on public radio stations and in newspapers around Alaska and Montana. Mary has a master’s in environmental journalism from the University of Montana. You can reach her at [email protected]

Mary’s first pets were worms in the compost bin.

JoVonne Wagner

Youth Voices Instructor

JoVonne (she/her) is from the Blackfeet Nation and a senior at the University of Montana’s School of Journalism. She focuses on reporting on Indigenous affairs in Montana and for Buffalo’s Fire, an online Native news site. One time it took her about 12 tries to correctly spell out “Indigenous,” but practice makes perfect! She’s ready and excited to work with Montana Media Lab! 

Kathleen Shannon

Youth Voices Instructor

Kathleen (she/her) is a freelance journalist and radio producer who believes storytelling can help change the world. She’s especially attuned to climate and social justice stories across the West, where she also earned a master’s degree in environmental journalism from the University of Montana in 2023. Catch her stories on NPR, in High Country News and elsewhere.

Elinor Smith

Youth Voices Instructor

Elinor (she/her) is a senior at the University of Montana studying journalism. She is originally from Boise, Idaho but moved to Missoula to pursue a career in writing. She’s spent the last few years writing and producing radio stories at the University of Montana and at the Montana Legislature for platforms across the state. 

Elinor has a cat named Barbara–a name she chose so they would both have “matching old lady names.” And she used to DJ a show called “Cheaper than Therapy” on the UM college radio station, KBGA.

Past Instructors

Lotus Porte-Moyel

Youth Voices Instructor

Lotus (she/her) is a first-year student at the University of Montana studying journalism, musical theatre, and sustainable agriculture. Last year she created and produced the podcast Dually Enrolled: College as a High Schooler as an intern with Helena College’s dual enrollment program. She is also a Student Emmy-winning director and writer of No Ordinary Time, a documentary on the nuances between COVID-19 and the 1918 Flu in Montana, with Helena College’s Humanities Through Film Summer Bridge Program. Lotus enjoyed continuing her journalism work with Montana Media Lab!