Francesca Block (host + reporter, Episode 3; guest reporter, Episode 5; series assistant producer; mixer)

Francesca “Frannie” Block is a senior studying public policy, Chinese, and journalism at Princeton. She spent 2017 in China as part of Princeton’s Novogratz Bridge Year Program and speaks Mandarin. She also spent a summer in Japan during high school. Frannie is passionate about storytelling; she works as associate podcast editor at the Daily Princetonian and as a writer for TOTI Media Magazines in southwest Florida. For most of her life (since the age of 2), she was a competitive figure skater. She still loves skating for fun and as a part of the skating club at Princeton. Frannie’s favorite podcasts are NPR’s Throughline and Rough Translation.

Srishti Ghosh (co-host + co-reporter, Episode 1)

Srishti is a junior studying politics, finance and ethics at Princeton. She is from Kolkata in India, but was born and raised in Dubai, a city she now calls home. She’s a fraternal twin and foodie with a special love for baking. Though a passionate traveller (she’s been to 18 countries), Srishti is especially intrigued by the Arab culture she grew up around and enjoys exploring it through an academic lens. She has been interested in pursuing a career in law since attending a legal studies course at Stanford University when she was in high school. She savours a good debate and treasures exploring the different perspectives of world issues. On campus, she writes for the Princeton Legal Journal and competes on the Princeton Debate Panel. Srishti’s favorite podcasts are Criminal and NPR’s Rough Translation.

Sam Harshbarger (co-host + co-reporter Episode 5)

Sam is a sophomore at Princeton. He was born in Chicago and grew up in central New Jersey. An indefatigable traveler, he spent last fall working and studying in Turkey, which he describes as “a country I love more than anywhere else I’ve ever been in the world.” He has also lived in Moscow in summer 2017 as part of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth and has traveled extensively in central and eastern Europe. Sam co-hosts the Princeton Foreign Policy Podcast and listens to many podcasts as well. His favorites are The Russia Guy and Revolutions.

Dev Jaiswal (co-host + co-reporter, Episode 4)

Dev Jaiswal is a junior at Princeton studying psychology and journalism. A native of Louisville, Mississippi, he calls himself a proud Indian-American and proud “Louisvillian.” Dev is a huge fan of Mississippi, which he describes as “a land of rolling hills, warm weather, flat river deltas, charming rural towns, gentle breezes aloft with singing birds, general peace and serene quietude.” He loves reading (a favorite is The Sorcerer’s Stone), especially while sipping a cup of chai tea. He has been spotted tearing up the dance floor and, according to his friends, playing like “Mamba” in basketball. Dev says he wasn’t into podcasts before this class but is now a convert. In class, he liked NPR’s Rough Translation, especially an episode called The Refugee’s Dating Coach.

Regina Lankenau (co-host and co-reporter, Episode 1)

Regina graduated in 2021 from Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs with certificates in Latin American Studies and Journalism. Her thesis focused on analyzing U.S. and Mexican public policy regarding climate migration from Central America. A native of Monterrey, Mexico, Regina speaks Spanish and English, plus French and Italian. She has also lived in Vienna, Warsaw, Aix-en-Provence, France, and Texas (Laredo and Houston). She likes cooking for friends; her specialty is chilaquiles, a traditional Mexican dish consisting of tortilla chips drenched in tomatillo sauce, with eggs, shredded chicken, crema and queso fresco. Her favourite podcasts are NPR’s Short Wave (“quick, funny science”), Radio Ambulante (“fantastic storytelling”), and Da Costa A Costa (U.S. tour from 2016-2021 through an Italian’s eyes, “10/10 recommend!”)

Anna Lyubarskaja (co-host and co-reporter, Episode 2)

Anna is a senior at Princeton pursuing a degree in mathematics but is also interested in computer science, journalism and economics. Raised in a Russian speaking home in Trondheim, Norway, Anna grew up in a lively college city bordered by a fjord and mountains with dark but cozy winters and beautiful skies in the summers. Anna is passionate about understanding new concepts, whether mathematical or cultural, and loves travelling and comparing worldviews. Over the pandemic, Anna has started cycling and cooking – she loves trying to fit as many ingredients as possible into one dish! Anna’s favorite podcast is The Daily by The New York Times.

Luc Maurer (Series host)

Luc is a junior studying neuroscience at Princeton and hoping to explore “the generation and qualification of consciousness.” He was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, near a temperate rainforest and the coastline and a couple of hours from “a really wonderful set of ski mountains.” He is active in theater; just before the pandemic hit, he was about to regale audiences at the Hamilton Murray Theater in Princeton in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a tongue-in-cheek comedy inspired by Anton Chekhov. (Luc was set to play Vanya, a middle-aged, aspiring writer who longs for an era when children knew how to use typewriters.) He also has an avid interest in film, television, literature and writing. Luc’s favorite podcasts are Heavyweight and the first season of Crimetown.

Esha Mittal (co-host and co-reporter, Episode 4)

Esha is a junior who studies computer science at Princeton and is spending summer 2021 working at a major tech company in California. A native of Montgomery County in Maryland, Esha is an Indian-American who enjoys watching South Asian films with her mother and loves embroidery, dance, and knitting. On campus, Esha’s a graphic designer on the Daily Princetonian newspaper and a member of Naacho, Princeton’s South Asian dance company. While new to podcasts, Esha has been recently trying out NPR’s How I Built This.

Sophie Singletary (co-host + co-reporter, Episode 1)

Sophie is a junior at Princeton studying public policy and international affairs with plans to pursue certificates in American Studies and Journalism. A native of Atlanta, she grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and Alexandria, Virginia. Before starting classes at Princeton, she spent a year living in Senegal as part of the university’s Novogratz Bridge Year Program. She speaks Wolof, a main local language in Senegal, and Spanish. Sophie is a self-proclaimed podcast fanatic who loves This American Life, Hidden Brain and NPR’s Rough Translation. She also never misses a day of NPR’s Up First.

Sophia Winograd (co-host + co-reporter, Episode 5; guest expert, Episode 1; violinist, Episode 3)

Sophia graduated from Princeton in spring 2021 with a degree in politics and certificates in German, Contemporary European Politics and Society and European Cultural Studies. She was something of a resident expert on European nationalism for this class; her senior thesis on the far-right in Europe is titled “How United is Europe’s Far Right? Far-Right Political Group Membership in the European Parliament.” Sophia grew up in an old farmhouse in Nyack, a suburb of New York City, and is an accomplished violinist, like both of her parents. Sophia is fluent in German and was awarded a Fulbright to do research on nationalism and study in Austria this fall. Her favorite podcast is The Daily by The New York Times. She’s now getting into Day X, the NYT podcast series about a plot by German neo-fascists to bring down the government.

Joanna Kakissis (supervising producer and editor; Ferris Professor of Journalism in international reporting, Spring 2021)

Joanna is a contributing international correspondent for NPR and a contributor to This American Life. Based in Athens, she files dispatches from all over Europe on the forces straining European unity. She has also filled in for NPR bureau chiefs in Berlin, Istanbul, Jerusalem, London and Paris, and has also reported from Afghanistan and Bangladesh for NPR, The New York Times and TIME. Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker online, Foreign Policy, Politico and The Financial Times Magazine. She began her career at the News & Observer, a newspaper in Raleigh, North Carolina.