Amy Morona

Hi! I'm currently the higher education reporter for Crain's Cleveland Business. I'm also part of the Open Campus network of local reporters. Open Campus is a national nonprofit news organization focused on strengthening higher education reporting in local markets.

Before returning to my adopted hometown of Cleveland (go Browns!), I spent several years in Washington, D.C., including stints as a reporter/producer for the cable channel Newsy and as a producer for the roundtable show Washington Week.

I’m a curious person by nature. Just ask my husband, who pre-pandemic frequently had to pull me away from conversations I started with strangers at the grocery store or on the subway. I also enjoy training for half marathons, reading, and spending time with the people in my life who make me laugh the most.

Want to chat about the latest Real Housewives news, hear me gush about our one-year-old rescue beagle Marley, or share a story idea? Hit me up:


Take a look at some of my clips from Crain's Cleveland Business / Open Campus, Newsy, Washington Week, and other outlets. 

How the college ‘transcript trap’ impacts Ohioans

The country’s student loan debt crisis earns a lot of attention. But there’s also another type of college bill that can get in the way. About 222,000 people have unpaid bills totaling $556 million to colleges across the state for things such as unpaid tuition, parking tickets, library fines, or other outstanding fees or charges, according to an October 2020 report from education consulting company Ithaka S+R.

What it's like to be a university's point person on pandemic logistics

For many years, Eric Green’s family vacations kicked off a routine. Arrive at the hotel, jump in the elevator, go to the room, turn around, leave again. Back in the hallway, he’d instruct his daughter and son, young at that time, to look for the stairwells. They needed to know where the emergency exits were located before the fun began. After all, he said, it’s good to have a plan. You never know when you’ll need it. That still rings true for Green, 50, today. In fact, it’s part of his job. H

How higher education is failing Black Americans in the Midwest

Roughly 17,500 students enrolled at the University of Chicago this past fall. Eight hundred and twenty eight of that group, just 4.7% of its total population, are Black, including Claire Shackleford. The 21-year-old detailed an experience where required reading lists lean heavily into works by white male authors. There are fewer professors of color, so students instead befriend Black cafeteria workers or custodians for support. It’s common, she said, to be the only Black student in a classroom.

College career services look different for Cleveland State during pandemic

Another semester at Cleveland State was winding down for the executive director of the university’s career services office. Her team’s calendars were packed with more virtual office hours and weekly events with employers. Some staff had Google phone numbers, allowing students to text or call them directly. “We really had turned ourselves inside out to make sure we were just absolutely, completely available to students,” she said. “But it was almost too much.” College career services profession

Ashland University's prison program at the center of national controversy

As Ashland University’s traditional enrollment has decreased, the number of students in its prison education program has been on a steady rise. Kristen Haley Theriot made her first and only visit to the campus of Ashland University in December 2018. She left with a purple blanket, a portfolio with the school’s logo and an associate’s degree. The 33-year-old’s classes were completed far from the small campus, though. Theriot took them from a Louisiana prison, where she was serving time for arme

Ohio colleges and universities receive $13.5 million to offer more mental health support for students

Baldwin Wallace University‘s counseling center added a new line to the paperwork students are tasked with filling out ahead of their initial sessions this year, asking students how COVID-19 has impacted them. Nearly 75% of the students completing the forms noted the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health, said the university’s counseling center director, Sophia Kallergis. Students also reported feeling like they’ve missed experiences, are more isolated, or that their academics hav

Schools Push For Removing Names Of Confederate Leaders On Buildings

An Education Week tally found at least 193 schools in 18 states named after Confederate leaders. As America faces a reckoning on race, more people are pushing to rename school buildings honoring members of the Confederacy. “When we have institutions, not just schools, that are named after Confederate leaders or those who perpetuated racism and lynchings and hate, that exacerbates feelings of race in our schools," Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, said at a J

Minneapolis' Schools Ended Their Police Contract. Will Others Follow?

Minneapolis Public Schools recently ended their contract with local police following the death of George Floyd. And now some in other cities want their own districts to follow suit. “We are seeing more of our students being ticketed at such a young age," Denver School Board member Tay Anderson recently told our sister station Denver7 . "Our schools cannot be ground zero for the school-to-prison pipeline.” He said he’d like to see money redirected to mental health counselors, and still wants sc

Will The Child Care Industry Survive COVID-19?

Experts say the livelihood of an already fragile industry is now at stake due to the pandemic. Earlier this year, Tricia Peterson says her child care center in Wisconsin was earning about $6,000 a week in tuition fees. As enrollment dropped, so did her weekly income — to about $2,500. Peterson says she’s cut costs, stopped taking a paycheck and laid off four employees to remain afloat. “If our doors weren't open, we would not be servicing our families, and it would be that ripple effect of wh

America's opioid crisis means many grandparents are now raising their grandchildren

Kathleen Johnson said her late son Zak didn’t just walk. His stride was so distinctive, people used to call him Tigger. “When he walked, everyone knew him,” she said. Zak was fun, compassionate, and kind, his mom said, racking up friends in activities like the local 4-H Club and wrestling. He lived large. But like the more than 19 million people dealing with a substance abuse issue across the country, Zak was addicted to drugs. He got hooked after high school. Run-ins with the law followed.