Open Campus is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigating and elevating higher education. It is working to transform local reporting on college by combining the sophistication of a national newsroom that knows a topic very deeply with the engagement of a community newsroom that knows a place very deeply.

Open Campus embeds reporters in local newsrooms, supported by a team of national editors. Through a higher-education lens, reporters in the Local Network cover a range of critically important issues, such as: social mobility, racial equity, the changing workforce, and generational divides in economic opportunity.

With support from the American Journalism Project, Open Campus will build a team to build local support for higher education reporting, expand its Local Network and scale their new collaborative model for doing important public-policy journalism.


  • The former managing editor and director of digital products at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Scott Smallwood has nearly twenty years of experience covering higher education and leading award-winning journalism. He’s led teams of developers and worked closely with sales staff to shape new products. He started his career as a local government reporter in South Carolina and New Mexico.
  • A former assistant managing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sara Hebel has more than two decades of experience as a newsroom leader and higher-education journalist. She’s steered award-winning enterprise journalism, set newsroom coverage agendas, and created national reporting workshops for college journalists. In her first reporting jobs, Sara covered public policy in Congress and the states.
  • An experienced nonprofit news leader and team builder, Maria Archangelo was previously vice president of partnerships at Chalkbeat. A long-time leader of high-performing revenue, fundraising, sales, and membership teams, Maria was previously executive director for the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a nonprofit news organization, and held leadership roles at other media groups, including the Stowe Reporter/Waterbury Record and the Rutland Herald/Times Argus, both in Vermont, and at The Baltimore Sun Media Group. She’s a graduate of Temple University and lives in Philadelphia.