Irena Hwang MEng '12, SB '11,
Graduate Student in Journalism
- Stanford University
I am a graduate student in the Master of Journalism program at Stanford University. I am also a data journalist with Stanford University’s Big Local News team, and produce the MIT Club of Northern California’s podcast, MIT Catalysts. Previously, I was a reporter at The Dallas Morning News.
In 2019, I completed my doctorate in electrical engineering at Stanford University, where my research centered around bioinformatics, image compression and science communication.
I began working on data journalism with Big Local News in 2018 under a Brown Institute for Media Innovation grant. My data-driven investigative work, like this piece about the rising costs of California’s wildfires, is centered around using computational tools to do watchdog reporting.
After I complete my master’s degree, I plan to integrate my expertise in data analysis with my skills in written and audio storytelling through investigative journalism.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the MITCNC?
I was looking for a way to stay in touch with the MIT alumni community and put my newfound audio editing skills to good use.
Tell us a bit about your role with the MITCNC. What are your responsibilities in this position?
As the producer of MIT Catalysts, I get to edit the raw audio that our amazing podcast host Julia Yoo records, as well as write and record introductions and credits for our episodes. I particularly enjoy picking out favorite clips for cold openings to each episode!
What exciting things can we expect to see from your area of focus in the coming months? (e.g., social events, speakers, etc.)
We’ve been thinking a lot about how to best tell the stories of MIT alumni community members during these difficult times. Stay tuned for the final episode of our first season in the coming weeks!
Describe one of your most memorable MIT moments.
I still remember attending one of the annual Integration Bees—I think it was in 2011. The Integration Bee is such a quintessentially MIT event! It’s hard to explain to non-MIT people why a large crowd would voluntarily walk to a lecture hall on a cold winter evening and cheer on people scribbling on a chalkboard as fast as they can. And yet, MIT students continue to do it year after year.