Hometown Pittsburgh, PA
Birthday October 4, 1985
In late 2008, as Zak was winding down degrees in political science, biology and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, he recognized that a career in any single one of those areas wouldn’t completely satisfy his curiosity.
Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, a desire to continue learning new and different things every day, and a passion for providing a service to his community, Zak decided journalism might be the best way for him to square that circle.
At the Post-Gazette, Zak covered borough government and wrote weekly features for the neighborhood zone sections. For the Sports Report and its child-centric companion, KidSports, he developed feature stories on local high school, college and professional sports.
In January 2010, Zak enrolled in a yearlong journalism graduate program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
At Medill, Zak covered education and diversity in the Chicago area, and later health, science and technology out of the school’s Washington, D.C. bureau.
Between Chicago and Washington, Zak produced a collection of print, audio and video stories for clients that included The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, the McClatchy Newspaper chain, AOL Politics Daily and NPR’s WAMU radio.
Aside from journalism, Zak is a die-hard Pittsburgh Pirates fan (yes, we exist), an old-school rap karaoke legend and a craft beer lover.
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My personal inclinations are liberal, but I don’t align myself with any political party. I enjoy hearing and considering all sides of an argument (especially opposing views) and remain a healthy skeptic of all politicians, absolutists and fundamentalists of any ilk.
I was raised Catholic, but while the topic of religion is of great interest to me, I’m not personally religious.