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Staff bios

Learn more about the University of Chicago Magazine staff, Learn more about the University of Chicago Magazine staff, led by Mary Ruth Yoe, Amy M. Braverman, Lydialyle Gibson, Allen Carroll, Ruth E. Kott, David Duncil, and Chris Wilczak.

Mary Ruth Yoe, Editor
Mary Ruth Yoe became editor of the Magazine in July 1989. With a B.A. in American studies from Washington College (1973), she earned her M.Litt. from the University of Edinburgh (1976) for her thesis, "The Fairy Tale in Post-modern American Fiction." From 1977 on, she has helped edit alumni magazines for a baker's dozen of institutions, including Grinnell College and Johns Hopkins University (where she headed the Alumni Magazine Consortium). She enjoys writing headlines that include lyrics from her favorite songwriter, and no doubt her epitaph will contain a typo.

Amy Braverman Puma, Managing Editor
Amy Braverman Puma joined the Magazine in June 2002, returning to her native Chicagoland from Washington, D.C., where she worked as deputy editor for She earned a master's degree from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism in 1999 and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois in 1998. She writes features, acts as issue editor once a year, manages the staff interns, and edits the Magazine's Chicago Journal and College Report sections.

Lydialyle Gibson, Associate Editor
Lydialyle Gibson came to the Magazine in August 2005, after one year as a magazine and newspaper freelancer and four years as staff writer for a weekly newspaper, the Chicago Journal. She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1998 from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a master’s degree in 1999 from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. She contributes features to the Magazine and edits its Investigations department.

Zak Stambor, Associate Editor
Zak Stambor joined the Magazine in September 2007. He previously served as senior editor of a daily trade e-newsletter, wrote a weekly column for the alt-weekly Washington City Paper, and spent two years as a staff writer for the magazines Monitor on Psychology and gradPSYCH. Zak earned a masterís degree in journalism from the University of Illinois in 2004 and a bachelorís degree in psychology from the University of Illinois in 2003. He contributes features and edits the Magazineís Chicago Journal section.

Allen Carroll, Art Director
Allen Carroll has designed the Magazine on a freelance basis since 1990. By day, he is chief cartographer at National Geographic Maps. A graduate of Connecticut College, he has worked for the National Geographic Society since 1983, including positions as art director of the Historical Atlas of the United States and director of design for the Society's Cartographic Division. From 1991 to 1995, he was art director of National Geographic Magazine. Prior to joining the Society, Carroll was a free-lance illustrator and designer in Washington, DC, serving clients such as the Washington Post, Smithsonian Institution, the New Republic, and Johns Hopkins University. He loves birding and canoeing.

Ruth E. Kott, Alumni News Editor
Ruthie Kott joined the Magazine as a student assistant in September 2006. When the Alumni News Editor position opened up, she jumped at the chance to stay. Ruthie earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Colgate University in 2005 and a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago in 2007. She spent the 2005–06 school year teaching English to seventh graders just outside of Boston, where she had the opportunity to develop a serious eye for spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, and sentence fragments. Ruthie edits the “back of the book” section, including Alumni News and Deaths.

David Duncil, Graphic Designer
David Duncil helps with all aspects of the Magazine's graphic design, laying out the departments and answering any and all design questions from the text-fixated editors.

Chris Wilczak, Web Developer
Chris has fifteen years experience in graphic design, printmaking and illustration. He works with both traditional and digital media. He received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he focused on multi-media and visual communication.