Charles Michael Ray grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota on the banks of Boxelder Creek downstream from the town of Nemo.
He began working for SDPB Radio as a reporter in 1992 at the age of 19. He worked his way through college at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and received a degree in Geology in 1997. He then worked as a freelance journalist in the Czech capital of Prague, covering major stories in Central Europe. After a year overseas he returned home to continue his work at SDPB-Radio and to get back to the Black Hills.
Over the years his work has been recognized with numerous awards and fellowships. He's won two national Edward R. Murrow awards and a National Scripps Howard News Service award. In 2006 Ray was a finalist in the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. In 2009 he was selected as a Logan Science Journalist Polar Fellow, he spent three weeks above the Arctic Circle at a scientific research station reporting on the impacts of climate change. He has won 20 regional Murrow Awards since 2004 and over 40 awards from the Associated Press since 1993.
Ray and his wife Andrea live in Rapid City. He still enjoys spending time at the family home in the Black Hills. He's an avid whitewater kayaker and also enjoys ice hockey, mountain unicycling, backpacking, and several other outdoor activities.
Lloyd Schwartz is the classical music critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
In addition to his role on Fresh Air, Schwartz is the classical music editor of The Boston Phoenix. He is the co-editor of the Library of the America's Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters. He is also the author of three volumes of poems: These People, Goodnight, Gracie and Cairo Traffic. He's the editor of the centennial edition of Elizabeth Bishop's Prose, published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2011.
In 1994, Schwartz won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. He is the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
April Fulton is the blog host of The Salt, NPR's Food Blog. As an editor on NPR's Science Desk, she edits and prepares radio and web reports on food topics ranging from raw milk policy to growing African crops.
Fulton, who joined NPR in 2009 as a health editor, worked with NPR's Health Policy Correspondent Julie Rovner and All Things Considered Senior Host Robert Siegel in preparation for their White House meeting with President Barack Obama just before the health care legislation passed in March 2010. In 2009, she helped launch the Shots health blog, just as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic was making headlines. Also that year, Fulton was part of the team developing content for the newly redesigned NPR.org website, which won a George Foster Peabody Award in 2009.
Before coming to NPR, Fulton spent five years as a freelance food writer. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Capitol File Magazine, US Airways Magazine and on NPR.org.
As a legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Richard Durbin from 2004-2005, Fulton took a brief break from journalism to develop food safety legislation.
Covering health care, labor and transportation policy for National Journal, Fulton worked first as a reporter than as an editor from 2000-2004. During that time, she broke a story on a costly trip made by some Congressional staffers, who oversaw pharmaceutical companies, and paid for by a drug company.
Prior to National Journal, Fulton worked her way up from reporter to editor in chief for a Washington, D.C.-based newsletter covering the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In 2010, Fulton was selected as a Knight Foundation Fellow and attended MIT's Medical Evidence Boot Camp. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in political science from the University of Rhode Island.
Trey Graham edits and produces arts and entertainment content for NPR's Digital Media division, where among other things he's helped launch the Monkey See pop-culture blog and NPR's expanded Web-only movies coverage. He also helps manage the Web presence for Fresh Air from WHYY.
Outside NPR, Graham has been a lead theater critic at the Washington City Paper, D.C.'s alternative weekly newspaper, since 1995, which means he's seen a good deal of superb theater and a great deal of schlock. He's still stage-struck enough to believe that the former makes up for the latter.
Graham began his career as a writer and editor at The Washington Blade; his subsequent tenure at USA Today included a stint as the newspaper's music and theater editor. A past fellow at both the O'Neill Critics Institute and the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater, Graham won the George Jean Nathan Award for distinguished drama criticism in December 2004.
Graham is also a regular panelist on Around Town, the venerable arts roundtable program on Washington PBS affiliate WETA-TV, and the author of the theater section of the newest Time Out Guide to the nation's capital. He's written about books, travel, movies and the arts for publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Born in New Orleans (during Mardi Gras, no less) and raised in South Carolina, Graham has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1990 except for a couple of years in Zimbabwe, which turned out to be way more fun than a politically perilous, economically disastrous situation has any right being.