Staff

Helen Alvaré is the President of Reconnect Media (formerly Chiaroscuro Institute). She is Professor of Law at the Scalia Law School at George Mason University (Arlington, Virginia), where she teaches and writes scholarship in the areas of family law and law and religion. She is a consultant for ABCNews and board member of Catholic Relief Services. She has been a consultor to Pope Francis’ and Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontifical Council for the Laity. She is the author of several books including Putting Children’s Interests First in American Family Law: With Power Comes Responsibility (Cambridge Univ. Press). Professor Alvaré received her law degree from Cornell University and her master’s in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America. She founded Reconnect Media in 2012.

Meg McDonnell is the Executive Director of Reconnect Media (formerly Chiaroscuro Institute). Previously she was a journalist, and a recipient of a full time Robert Novak fellowship (2011) for a project titled Marriage and Young Adults: Understanding the Struggle to Get to ‘I Do.’ Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, The Federalist, National Review Online, The Public Discourse, Acculturated.com, MercatorNet, Verily Magazine, and various other outlets. She is an alumna of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN with undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Catholic Studies, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching. She joined Reconnect Media in 2012.

Kat Talalas is Communications Director for Women Speak for Themselves, a project of Reconnect Media. Previously, she has worked in law in New Jersey, as a journalist in Washington DC, and as a legislative assistant in Congress. She graduated with high honors from Rutgers University with a BA in English and received her JD from the College of William and Mary School of Law. Her writing has appeared in a variety of secular and non-secular publications. She joined Reconnect Media in 2016.

Mariana Barillas is Managing Editor of I Believe in Love, a project of Reconnect Media (formerly the Chiaroscuro Institute). She previously worked as a reporter for several publications including The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. For her college education, she completed the four-year Angelicum Academy Great Books Program and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Thomas Edison State University.  She joined Reconnect Media in 2016.

Sara Zeman is the Project Assistant of Reconnect Media (formerly Chiaroscuro Institute). She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Leadership of the New Evangelization through the Augustine Institute. She is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. Previously she worked as an assistant coordinator of teens and youth leaders, particularly she helped produce and host a podcast, plan and facilitate a local mission trip program, and create promotional video materials for youth programs. She joined Reconnect Media in 2017.