Dana Coester is director/producer for Raised by Wolves. She is also the editor in chief for the digital media outlet 100 Days in Appalachia. Coester grew up in the Ozarks in southern Missouri and earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Coester’s work has long focused on the intersection of technology, media and community. In addition to looking at youth risks online, Coester works with a team of researchers and journalists investigating the intersection of adult organized white supremacists across the globe and networks of mis/disinformation in rural communities.
Joel Beeson is co-producer and editor of Raised by Wolves. Beeson’s current research investigates the unique risks that rural youth face online, including youth data privacy risks, mis/disinformation targeting, and risks for radicalization to extremist ideologies. Beeson previously published the VR documentary WWI Through the Eyes of the Chicago Centennial based on more than a decade of research in WWI and WWII Black veterans. Previously Beeson directed the award-winning 360° documentary Fractured Tour and Soldiers of the Coalfields. In addition, Beeson produced and directed the award-winning 2008 documentary, Fighting on Two Fronts: the Untold Stories of African American WWII Veterans. Beeson has M.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and received his doctorate in American Studies at the Union Institute and University.
Saba Ashfaq grew up in rural West Virginia and lives in northern West Virginia with husband Imam Kip and two beautiful and inquisitive toddlers. As an America Indivisible fellow she traveled to the Midwest, the deep South, and rural Appalachia to document the unique experiences of rural Muslims and to build solidarity among diverse rural communities. She spoke at the 2019 Rural Women’s Summit event and is an associate producer for the documentary project Muslim in Appalachia. She has a Masters in Public Health specializing in Social and Behavioral Sciences and works to build inclusion among minorities affected by bigotry and Islamophobia. Saba is a producer and researcher for Raised by Wolves and community outreach director for the Rural Digital Youth Resiliency Project.
Emily Pelland is an award-winning storyteller who uses traditional and new media to share stories of the human experience through photography, video, virtual reality and audio. Her reporting focuses on commmunity-centered, collaborative long-form, non-fiction storytelling. Pelland completed her Masters in Journalism from the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University, and her Bachelors in Journalism from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Tyler Channel is an editor and photographer on Raised by Wolves. He has won multiple awards for his social justice film For Good, which was featured in the Accolade Global Film Competition. Tyler has worked in reality TV production for History Channel’s “Hatfields & McCoys: White Lightning” and “Billion Dollar Wreck,” Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0,” and MTV’s “Teen Mom 2.” He recently founded the startup PaywallProject designed to make it more affordable for local news publishers to create digital membership platforms. Born and raised in Mingo County, West Virginia, Tyler has filmed extensively in the region and is a founding member of the startup 100 Days in Appalachia.
P. Nick Curran is a filmmaker from New York and owner of Loroto Productions. Nick has worked in Documentary and commercial film over ten years and his credits include the New York Times, The Intercept, Teen Vogue, Democracy Now!, MeansTV, PBS and others. He recently contributed second unit cinematography to the Oscar-short listed short documentary “Sustained Outrage” and was a camera operator for Spike Lee’s upcoming “Epicenter New York” docu-series for HBO, specifically for the episode about the BLM protests in NYC and the Chauvin verdict in Minneapolis.
Chip Hitchcock is a West Virginia filmmaker. For over 25 years he has produced, photographed and edited programs for both West Virginia Public Broadcasting and for independent projects. In 2013 he won a regional Emmy as a producer for Frank Kearns: American Correspondent. Other highlights include making the two-hour documentary series “Bridgeport to Baghdad” and the one-hour documentary “Farmer” for WV Public Broadcasting, serving as Director of Photography for the nationally televised 8-part high definition concert series “Mountain Stage,” and photographing the documentaries “The Hurting Church” and “Ted and Sarah” for world-wide distribution by the BBC. He has produced and photographed numerous other documentary and dramatic shorts and features, including “The Man Who Stole the Moon,” a drama based on a Davis Grubb short story and funded by the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
Chris Jones is a United States Marine Corps veteran, who served four years in the infantry and as a machine gun squad leader in Afghanistan, Jones was also an EMT in Pittsburgh. A freelance photojournalist most recently based in Brooklyn, New York, since 2015 he’s covered the war in Afghanistan as well as political and breaking news coverage in the U.S. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and The Village Voice. In 2019 he worked as a monthly contributor for Pacific Standard magazine. He is a currently Reporter for America corps member leading investigative coverage at the digital outlet 100 Days in Appalachia.
Brad Stalnaker was inspired by his grandfather and started drawing at the age of 4. He is a native of Elkins, WV and he has long worked and taught in animation and motion graphics in Appalachia, including at WVPB and West Virginia University. In 2001, Stalnaker animated and co-produced the award winning The Griffon and The Minor Canon for WVPBS. Stalnaker illustrated the weekly web comic Rope & Boney with childhood friend Ron Nash from 2011-1013.
Kid Kadian (Shaun Vendryes) is a video artist who divides his time between West Virginia and Miami, Florida. Specializing in Vj’ing and interactive experiences, he holds a BA in Digital Media and a Masters of Music Technology. Having worked extensively in live music production and touring now he currently works on developing new types of interactive media experiences and new media theory.
Kristen Uppercue has conducted research, investigative reporting and worked as lead production coordinator for the documentary Raised by Wolves, assisting with behind-the-scenes research, data analysis and team management. She is currently a graduate student at West Virginia University where she serves as graduate assistant and student editor of digital publication 100 Days in Appalachia. She earned a bachelor of science in journalism from the University in May 2019. She is passionate about combatting stereotypes perpetuated by elite media, mis- and disinformation on social media, as well researching online culture including influencers, platforms and current trends.
Jeffrey Boggess is a 2020 graduate of the Reed College of Media. An aspiring filmmaker with a passion for Appalachia, Jeffrey has spent time as a student working with West Virginia communities through grant projects like BrandJRNY to amplify the voices hidden in the hollows. He’s served on sets behind the camera from feature film productions to simple 30-second ad spot shoots and has encouraged creative students at WVU as the Film Club President for over two years. In his free time, Jeffrey cooks, jogs, samples coffee, and writes to his mother back in Hurricane, WV.