NCDJ Staff

Kristin Gilger, Director

Kristin Gilger, Associate Dean, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Gilger helped bring the NCDJ to the Cronkite School and provides administrative oversight for the organization. As associate dean, she directs the school’s 50-plus part-time faculty members and oversees the school’s professional programs. She also serves as executive editor of the national News21 program, headquartered at the Cronkite School. She was director of Student Media at ASU from 2002-2007. She spent 21 years in various reporting and editing roles at newspapers across the country, including the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, La., the Salem Statesman Journal in Oregon and The Arizona Republic. She conducts training at newspapers and for newspaper associations nationally and internationally.

She can be reached at

Rachel Konieczny, Graduate Assistant

Rachel Konieczny is a graduate student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication studying investigative journalism. She recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law and hopes to apply her legal knowledge to the world of investigative reporting. Previously, she reported on water quality across the U.S. as a fellow in the national Carnegie-Knight News21 multimedia reporting program for college students.

She can be reached at

Jake Geller, Inaugural Director

Jake GellerJake Geller completed his Masters of Mass Communication with an emphasis in print journalism and public relations at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in May 2010.

Geller received his undergraduate degree from the Cronkite School in broadcasting in 2002 and worked professionally in television news writing and production before going back to school for his graduate degree. Among his positions were those of freelance assistant producer at KTVK-TV and video editor with the city of Phoenix.

Geller’s own disability has motivated his academic research, which focuses on how the media cover people with disabilities and disability issues. He has been active in the disability community and adaptive sports for people with disabilities. Geller is co-founder and head coach of the ASU Sailing Club and has led the club for the past four years. One of the club’s missions is to bring together people with and without disabilities to sail together on an even playing field.

Geller helped launch the National Center on Disability and Journalism at the Cronkite School and continues to serve in an advisory role. He can be reached at

Cronkite student Annie Woods has a profile of Geller and his experience with muscular dystrophy.

Below is a video of Geller talking about the changes wrought by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the challenges he and others with disabilities still face.