The Independent Editorial & Writing Team

Spring 2024

Managing Editor

Natia Kirvalidze

Section Editors

Minna Abdel Gawad

Gigi Sipiora

Hailey Akau

News Editors

Grace Rubin

Sara Crepeau

Copy Chiefs

Sophie Hartstein

Caitlin McKeown


Hannah Mourousias

Social Media

Kei’Aria Gillard

Sara Crepeau

Media Managers

Gigi Sipiora

Hannah Mourousias

Lead Editor John Rodzvilla is an Assistant Professor at Emerson College where he teaches Digital Publishing in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department.

Editor-at-Large Tim Riley is an NPR critic, Emerson College Professor of Journalism, and reviewer for the Los Angeles Review of Books and many other publications. His biography of John Ono Lennon (Hyperion, 2011) won praise from the New York Times as “a critical tour-de-force.” For a schedule of current appearances see

Publisher Emeritus Michele Meek, PhD is a writer, filmmaker, professor, founder, and a former publisher of The Independent. Her most recent books include Independent Female Filmmakers: A Chronicle through Interviews, Profiles and Manifestos (2019) and The Mastermind Failure Club (2020). For more information, visit

Editor Emeritus Evan Crean is a film critic in Boston co-chair of the Boston Online Film Critics Association (BOFCA). He is co-author of the book Your ‘80s Movie Guide to Better Living and co-host of the weekly movie podcast Spoilerpiece Theatre. Evan has written as a Contributing Editor for and contributed hundreds of movie reviews and celebrity interviews to He has a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Emerson College and an M.S. in advertising from Boston University. You can learn more about him and his work at Reach him at

Editor Emeritus Rachel Boccio is Assistant Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. She served as editor of The Independent from 2017-2019.

Editor Emeritus Erin Trahan’s background in film includes producing, programming, and multi-platform film journalism. She served as Editor of The Independent from 2009-2017. In addition, she has written about film for WBUR—Boston’s NPR News Station, The Boston Globe,, and several other publications. Erin has served as series moderator for The DocYard and led film discussions for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston Public Library, and several film festivals. She oversaw distribution of the documentary Love and Other Anxieties and recently finished her fourth Frommer’s Guide to Montréal and Quebec City. 

Film Studies Guest Editor Emeritus Jayson Baker produces The Global Screen series for The Independent. Jayson thinks, writes, teaches, and develops curricula across the humanities and arts with special attention to American cultural studies in different eras of internationalization.  Jayson’s work explores themes of community, citizenship, and identity in film, literature, and popular culture with the aim of intervening and interpreting representations of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality and voices of mis/under-represented groups. He currently serves as Honors Program Director at Curry College (Milton, MA).

Senior Producer Maddy Kadish manages and directs the 10 Filmmakers to Watch series at The Independent. In addition, as both writer and producer, she contributes to MovieMaker MagazineIndieWire, and No Film School, profiling festivals, filmmakers, and new technologies. She worked as a consultant for the Boston Jewish Film Festival and Glovebox Short Film & Animation Festival. Maddy spent 10 years as a film, video, and multimedia producer in NYC, Boston, and London, specializing in educational media. She currently works in Washington DC developing instructional media for George Washington University. She holds a B.S. from Cornell and an Ed.M. from Harvard. Reach her at

Senior Film Critic Kurt Brokaw reviews New York’s six major film festivals plus individual features and shorts of merit.  He’s taught film noir, early lesbian fiction, plus Jewish-themed dramas and docs at The 92nd Street Y for 15 years. Kurt was a “Mad Man” on Madison Avenue from the 60s-90s and was an advertising and literature professor at The New School for 33 years. On nice weekends he becomes Manhattan’s one sidewalk vendor of rare vintage paperbacks and pulp magazines. Reach him at

Magazine Contributors: See a complete list