Meet the Student Press Law Center Staff

How to Contact Us


Gary Green headshot

Gary Green joined SPLC as executive director in April 2023 after leading the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University in metropolitan Atlanta since 2020. In that role, Green served as executive director and publisher of Youth Today and the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and launched in 2021 Fresh Take Georgia, a student-driven, digital news service that covers the Georgia Legislature and other issues of statewide, regional and national interest. For six years prior, Green served as digital director of University of Florida’s student-driven Innovation News Center and deputy news director for WUFT, the NPR and PBS affiliate for north central Florida. Learn more about Gary


headshot of Josh Moore

Josh Moore rejoined SPLC in 2022 after twice serving as an intern in 2010 and 2015. Josh previously spent five years at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, where he helped launch several new programs, oversaw the organization’s data efforts, and worked with journalists as an attorney. Earlier in his career, he was a newspaper copy desk chief. Josh’s passion for journalism began in the fifth grade when he published a family newsletter, and it was cemented as a high school junior when he started a student newspaper. During college, he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, and he led an effort — with SPLC’s support — that advocated for legislation protecting the free press rights of student journalists in Kentucky. As a first-generation college student, Josh earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Western Kentucky University and his J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. Josh lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his husband, dog and two cats.

Headshot of Mike Hiestand

Mike Hiestand has been integral to SPLC’s success since 1989. He was an SPLC intern, its first legal fellow and then served as full-time staff attorney from 1991-2003. Over the years, he has assisted over 18,000 student journalists and advisers. As the SPLC’s Senior Legal Counsel, he currently works from the west coast on the SPLC hotline and related projects. In 2013-14, Hiestand traveled around the country with free speech icon Mary Beth Tinker, teaching and speaking out on behalf of student press rights and free expression. “Tinker Tour USA” kicked off on Constitution Day at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and logged just under 25,000 miles while speaking at schools, colleges, churches, a youth detention facility, courts and several national conventions. Hiestand, who grew up in Alaska, graduated from Bartlett High School in Anchorage and went on to Marquette University’s College of Journalism and Cornell Law School.


Headshot of Jonathan Gaston-Falk

Jonathan Falk is an Education Law attorney with broad experience spanning almost a decade representing both school district and student clients. Jonathan was a high school student journalist for the inaugural class of contributors for the York High School newspaper The Talon in Yorktown, Virginia. He subsequently earned a Bachelor’s from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctor and Master of Urban Planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Jonathan joined SPLC in March 2022 following a five year tenure with the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, New York as Program Director of the Education Law Unit, during which time he advocated for the free speech rights of students before countless boards of education and the Commissioner of Education in Albany.


Sommer Ingram Dean, who joined the staff in 2018, is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center who has long been an advocate for students’ speech and press rights. Sommer was a student journalist at the Tiger Times at Texas High School and The Baylor Lariat in college.  After college, she was a legislative and legal reporter for The Associated Press and Dallas Morning News. She is also a former SPLC intern (2010) and legal fellow (2015-16). Sommer has worked for NPR’s legal affairs correspondent, The Washington Post, and served as a law clerk for a federal judge.


Alexis Mason joined the SPLC staff in April 2019 from the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County in Fayetteville, N.C.  Mason interned at Action for Children, where she designed and developed a newsletter for the AFC’s community engagement initiative in North Carolina, and lobbied to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 16 to 18. Mason has a paralegal certificate from Meredith College, and volunteered for Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Lawyer on the Line program. A journalism graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Mason was the wires editor of the A&T Register and has written for Carolina Peacemaker, Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles and Care Guide, and the Urban Call.


Headshot of Grayson Marlow

Grayson graduated with a BA from NYU Gallatin, studying journalistic ethics and minoring in Law and Society. While in college, he joined SPLC as the advocacy intern, helping to develop new resources for the New Voices program. After graduating, Grayson rejoined the staff as SPLC’s first Advocacy Associate in June 2023.


Ellen Goodrich is a graduate of Duke Law School. In high school, she served as the editor of her high school yearbook and studied investigative journalism at the University of Missouri, where she helped create stories for a variety of news outlets. In law school, she produced a podcast for the Duke Law Innocence Project.