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Our Team

Michelle Levander

Michelle Levander is the founding director of the Center for Health Journalism and editor-in-chief of its online community. She also co-teaches a graduate course in health journalism at the Annenberg School. Since she launched the Center in 2004, its journalism fellows have published more than 1,800 articles. Fellows’ stories have won distinction and changed laws, reinvigorated policy discussions and provoked new community discussions across the country. Under her leadership, the Center has launched initiatives that nurture collaborative reporting projects and community engagement, building an interdisciplinary online community of practice. Michelle launched the Center after more than 15 years as a staff reporter and editor in New York, California, Hong Kong and Mexico, working for Time Magazine Asia, the Asian Wall Street Journal and the San Jose Mercury News. She has received journalism awards from the Overseas Press Club of America (Best Reporting in Latin America), the Inter American Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists L.A. (Distinguished Work in New Media 2015). As a former Inter American Press Association fellow, she spent a year in Mexico, studying at Mexico City's El Colegio de Mexico and researching and writing about migrant culture from rural Mexico. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and literature from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. 

Andrew Gabriel Perez serves as project specialist for the Center for Health Journalism team. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Southern California after transferring from El Camino College in Torrance, California. He has a background in theater costuming and fashion and was involved in LGBTQ+ student leadership during his time at USC.



Harold Pierce

Harold Pierce serves as the Learning & Development Specialist at USC Center for Health Journalism. Before joining the Center, Harold was an award-winning journalist reporting throughout Southern California. He started his professional career at the Santa Maria Times covering the Danish tourist town of Solvang before heading to The Bakersfield Californian. While there, he covered education and health. He reported extensively for The Center for Health Journalism's "Reporting on Health Collaborative," which brought together journalists from across two states to cover Valley fever, a little-known respiratory disease. The project led to greater awareness, legislative reforms and funding for research. He is also a former fellow, reporting on life expectancies and Adverse Childhood Experiences throughout the southern San Joaquin Valley. In 2018, Harold left The Californian to become the communication manager at Adventist Health, where he served on the leadership team opening a 25-bed critical access hospital in a rural part of Kern County. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in literature and studied journalism at Santa Ana College, where he worked for the award-winning el Don newspaper staff. He lives in Southern California with his rescue dog, a Queensland Heeler, named Frisbee.  

Shelly Wang

Shelly Wang, manager of operations, joined CHJ in 2015 after seven years in accounting and financial analytics in several industries. She received a bachelor’s degree in applied math and a bachelor of science degree in management science, with a minor in Chinese study, from UC San Diego.



Ryan White
Ryan White is content editor of Center for Health Journalism Digital and helps plan our Health Matters webinars. Ryan has a decade of reporting, writing and editing experience for newspapers in California and national magazines.  Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2003, Ryan has reported widely on the environment, local politics, urban planning, affordable housing and public health issues throughout the Bay Area and Los Angeles. In the past, he’s worked on KQED’s public television program “This Week in Northern California,” served as the editor of the Alameda Sun, worked as a reporter and editor for Marinscope Community Newspapers and freelanced for a long list of outlets. He is a former Center for Health Journalism Fellow and a graduate of UC Berkeley.




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