Meet the Team

Youth Beat Team

Dr. Kristi Lekies

My Role: Executive Producer

About Me: Dr. Lekies is an associate professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University and state specialist in Leadership Development and Program Evaluation with Ohio State University Extension. She studies children, youth, and environments, including youth involvement in community life and children’s experiences with nature. She has served as a mentor to over 100 undergraduates interested in learning about research and community outreach. Her background includes work with programs and policies affecting young people from childhood through early adulthood. More information on Dr. Lekies can be found on her website.

Nishant Makhija

My Role: Broadcast Producer/Political Reporter

About Me: Nishant Makhija is a Broadcast Producer and Political Reporter for Youth Beat Radio. Nishant graduated from Wittenberg University in 2012. He is from Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Upper Arlington High School. Before joining Youth Beat Radio, Nishant worked for a political campaign and the NBC and ABC affiliates in Columbus. During his free time, Nishant enjoys working out, traveling the country and world, taking swimming classes, doing political activism, and being involved with political organizations. If you have questions or concerns please email our Political Reporter at:

Lyndsi Hersch

My Role: Writer/Editor/Reporter

About Me: As you can see from above I’m a pretty avid history fan! I act, produce and direct historical programming and can turn a Reel better than I can Electric Slide. I’m also a stage actress and my favorite role I’ve ever played is Mildred Z. Maxwell from Done to Death. I admire Helena Bonham Carter, Bernadette Peters and Jack Hanna. Actually, I’d like to do something very similar to Jack Hanna one day! I love working with young people in educational settings and pride myself on 6 years of work at the Cleveland Zoo and my time as an after-school program coordinator with KIDSConnect. My favorite books are The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Death Comes As the End by Agatha Christie and every last book in A Series of Unfortunate Event by Lemony Snicket. And, yes, I do own the complete outfit above!