Meet The Easterner’s 2019-20 Staff

Get to know the individuals that are responsible for the student-run news-media organization of EWU during the 2019-20 school year.


By The Easterner, 2019-20 Staff

Richard Clark IV – Editor in Chief

Richard Clark is the Editor-in-Chief for The Easterner. He is a senior studying political science and journalism.

Clark is originally from Two Harbors, MN, and attended Robert A. Long High School in Longview, WA. From photography to rafting, backpacking and anything outdoors, Clark’s interests have made him an extremely well-rounded individual.

Clark is always trying to better himself by taking in as much information as he can, often times through audiobooks, documentaries and podcasts.

Those who know Clark best refer to him as passionate and a natural leader. Clark’s reason for leading The Easterner is short and sweet—to save journalism.

Jacie Philips – Ad Director

Jacie Philips is a senior studying accounting from Royal City, WA, is all gas and no breaks. That’s how most of her friends described Philips. With a nickname like Lead foot, it’s hard not to see why.

From being extremely motivated to be successful in life to wanting to help others do the same, Philips strives to be great in all aspects. She spends most of her time working and hanging with friends and family.

Dylan Harris – Managing Editor

Dylan Harris is a senior here at EWU and is a senior member at The Easterner. Harris is a journalism major with a minor in business. Harris was born and raised in Spokane where he went to North Central High School. Harris’s main interests are sports, especially basketball (he is a pre-June 2019 Clipper fan), playing video games, watching movies, hanging out with friends and family and he loves to follow the news.

Words people have used to describe Harris are “funny” and “passionate”. Harris has had a passion for writing since the 4th grade, when one night he told his mom he had a 16-page essay due the next morning. Though now he has gotten much better at not procrastinating.

Since Harris was a child he was also obsessed with reading The-Spokesman-Review, looking at the sports section, reading all the stats. He still to this day reads the physical copy of the Wall Street Journal, though now he tends to read all of it, not just sports. Harris has always been a funny, outgoing guy who loves to write.

In recent years he has directed his writing to be a journalist. Harris would one day like to work at a newspaper or news outlet in the Spokane area.

Malati Powell – Multimedia Director

Malati Powell is a junior from Lakewood, WA, is a Visual Communication and Design major.

Powell is the Multimedia Director, and has always had a passion for art. Her friends describe her as dedicated and passionate individual, who does not let things get in the way of her goals.

Powell enjoys playing the piano, photography and hiking outdoors. Having transferred from another college, Powell has sought after a sense of community and joined The Easterner in order to be a part of something bigger and make some friends a long the way!

Drew Lawson – Sports Editor

When you think of the Easterner, you think of the stories that are told. However, behind each story is a knowledgeable and credible writer. Drew Lawson is our amazing sports editor. Originally from Vancouver Washington, he came to EWU to pursue a double major in Public Relations and News-Editorial Journalism, accompanied by his minor in Technical communication.

For Lawson, it makes perfect sense why he does what he does. He watches lots of sports in his free time, including the NFL and NBA. Outside the realm of sports, he plays the drums and goes hiking. Lawson mentioned how ESPN, KHQ and documentaries are some of his favorite ways to receive his news and information.

When asked why he chose The Easterner, he said he loves telling stories and creating content. It is also another way for him to stay informed.

When talking with his mother, I wanted to know how she thought he wanted to begin a career in journalism. She mentioned as a child he would get very interested in a lot of topics, and would want to learn more. She said it was always fun to see how he would collect data. She also mentioned how he has always been very dependable and reliable. Since this article will be forever imprinted in The Easterner’s records, his mother would like to say she’s extremely proud of him, and says he is setting an example for his sisters and brother.

To fully understand Lawson, I also needed another perspective to get the full picture.  I talked to one of his close friends, who called Lawson loyal, honest, passionate and everything you would want in a friend, co-worker, son and human being. The more you know.

Hamine Mendez – Arts & Features Editor

Hamine Mendez is a junior majoring in news editorial journalism and minoring in film and communication. The Spokane native and Gonzaga Prep alum is the Vice President of Programming for Beta Theta Pi at EWU. Mendez enjoys writing and creating music, hanging out with his fraternity brothers, hiking, cliff jumping and intellectual conversations. His mother, Lynda Booth, said he’s always been a thoughtful person.

“He’s very insightful, appreciative and confident,” Booth said. Booth said her favorite things to do with Mendez are doing whatever he desires to do. “He has a spectacular gift of living in the moment,” Booth said.

Mendez gets most of his news and entertainment from YouTube. He’s working at The Easterner to gain professional, hands-on experience. He also loves creating his own content and sees his position as an opportunity to connect with the campus.

Keri Kelly – Web Editor

Keri Kelly is a current freshman at EWU from Kennewick, WA who is majoring in visual communication design.

Some of the hobbies that Kelly enjoys partaking in would be drawing, playing the harp, color guard, going to church and her most recent activity that has sparked her interest, Dungeons and Dragons. Some of the content that is most frequently consumed by Kelly would be Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube–along  with “master of disguise” which Kelly explained to be her “favorite movie of all time”.

Kelly is working at The Easterner “to help inspire trust in the media again and to help the student body formulate their own opinions through providing facts.”

Kelly’s best friend Anna said that her favorite memory with Kelly would be doing color guard with her–and explained how helpful she was with teaching her some of the essential parts of color guard when she first got into it. Kelly’s sister Abby stated that as “Keri has gotten older, she has found independence in herself, which has allowed her confidence to grow. It’s been a very special thing to watch.”

Keri is a very hardworking individual with massive potential as she begins her journey with The Easterner.

Isiah Gessner – Social Media Editor

Isiah Gessner is The Easterner’s social media editor. He is a freshman at EWU and is studying business.

His favorite movie is “The Dark Knight” and he’s a fan of “How I Met Your Mother” as well. His hobbies include sports, music and hula hooping. In fact, he is so good at hula hooping that he performed next to his cousin in the school talent show!

This man is thoughtful and driven. Gessner likes to make his friends laugh and is very funny. He cares legitimately for everyone that he meets and loves to bring joy to those who encounter him. Those who know him say that he is “this amazing combination of being creative, funny, relatable and a good friend to talk to.”

Gessner’s goal while working at The Easterner is to gain knowledge about journalism and to work together in a community to create a high-quality product consistently. His favorite social media sites are Instagram, Hulu and YouTube.

Mckenzie Ford – Photographer

Mckenzie Ford is the photographer for The Easterner. She is an occupational therapy major and is currently in her junior year.

This year will be Ford’s third year working at The Easterner.

“I love taking pictures. It’s really cool to be able to go to different events on campus that I probably wouldn’t normally go to,” said Ford.

She likes dogs, especially her german shepherd. Mckenzie also enjoys science like chemistry and biology.

“I don’t really have an all time favorite movie,” Ford said. “But I watch ‘This Is Us’ and ‘The Bachelor.’”

Ford’s mother Lisa Evans describes her daughter as a hard worker and ambitious.

“I think she’s adventurous, kind of shy” said Evans. “She has come out of her shell a little bit after being a cheerleader in high school.”