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Melanie Zanona


Melanie joined Roll Call in May 2010 and currently writes the paperís Hill Climbers column. In addition to covering Congressional staffers, she also contributes book and museum reviews to the features section. Melanie grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she wrote for the school newspaper. In November 2009, she received the William F. Buckley Award for excellence in investigative campus journalism.

Zanona no longer works at Roll Call.

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Stories by Melanie Zanona:

Hill Climbers: Flick Got His Start in Politics Early — Very Early

March 15, 2011

Unlike most Capitol Hill staffers, Jim Costa's new press secretary and legislative assistant started dabbling in politics as a kid following a friend’s father around the neighborhood.

Hill Climbers: Military Family Shaped Marchand’s Future

March 11, 2011

Moving around and an appreciation for all things military brought Amber Marchand to her new post as communications director for freshman Sen. Roy Blunt.

Hill Climbers: Thornberry Staffers Ditch Business for Politics

March 8, 2011

It may be business as usual in the office of Rep. Mac Thornberry, but for two new hires and one recently promoted staffer, an aversion to a business career is what led them to Capitol Hill in the first place.

Hill Climbers: Capito’s Legislative Director Has Political Past

March 4, 2011

Most new staffers on Capitol Hill lament the loss of their free time and say that work now consumes their entire lives. But newcomer Dan Casto is finding the opposite to be true.

Easy Transitions for Matsui’s Office Staff

March 1, 2011

Joel Bailey is a new hire in Rep. Doris Matsui’s office, and Matsui's staffers Mara Lee and Kyle Victor are taking on new positions.

Hill Climbers: Sanity Comes With a Personal Life

Feb. 25, 2011

Sen. Jay Rockefeller's Communications Director Vince Morris can dish valuable advice on working in Washington, D.C., a place he has called home for almost 15 years. The 44-year-old started with Rockefeller in January, but it’s hardly his first press gig.

Hill Climbers: Aides See Opportunity In New GOP Majority

Feb. 15, 2011

Communications director Izzy Santa, legislative correspondent Jason Isakovic and legislative assistant Shane Skelton are new staffers in the office of Rep. Bob Latta this year.

Hill Climbers: Coons Media Director Took Roundabout Path

Feb. 11, 2011

The Republican nomination of Christine O’Donnell in Delaware for Senate changed everything for Ian Koski, new media director for her Democratic opponent, now-freshman Sen. Chris Coons.

Hill Climbers: Campaign Junkie Joins Portman’s Press Shop

Feb. 8, 2011

Jeff Sadosky has always loved being on the ground while he was campaigning and working in politics. His new job as communications director for freshman Sen. Rob Portman is no exception.

Hill Climbers: Staffer Takes Atypical Path to D.C.

Feb. 4, 2011

Josh Drobnyk, the new communications director for Rep. Sander Levin, has a résumé that proves his experience is all over the map — literally.

Hill Climbers: Aide’s Career Follows Revolving-Door Path

Feb. 1, 2011

Joshua Shields, Rep. Kristi Noem's communication director, knows the grass always seems greener on the other side, but that hasn’t stopped him from bouncing between campaign trails and Capitol Hill for the past seven years.

‘Colonel’ Examines Roosevelt’s Last Years

Jan. 28, 2011

“Colonel” chronicles President Theodore Roosevelt's life from 1910 to 1920 like an adventure book, highlighting his unsuccessful bid for a second term, conflict with and contempt for his successors, and several assassination attempts.

Hill Climbers: Press Aide Finds It’s a Small World on the Hill

Jan. 25, 2011

Faryl Ury, press secretary and new media director for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, draws from her past experiences in journalism for her Capitol Hill job.

GOP Aide Comes Home to the Hill

Jan. 21, 2011

The new communications director for Rep. Sandy Adams has been training for her press gig for several years.

Hill Climbers: Grimm Staff Strives to Make Boss Top of Class

Jan. 18, 2011

Freshman Rep. Michael Grimm's seven-person staff has been working around the clock to jump-start the new office. But despite the pressures of starting from scratch, none of the staffers — all of whom have some sort of experience under their belts — reported any anxiety before starting with the Congressman on Jan. 3.

Hill Climbers: Hoosier Steps Up From State Politics

Jan. 7, 2011

Trevor Foughty, 27, started as communications director for freshman Rep. Todd Young this January and is still working on the basics: launching social media, getting the Congressional website up and running and moving into a new office.

Hill Climbers: Veterans Tours an Honor for Staffer

Jan. 4, 2011

Hill staffer Kate Thompson went from giving tours to World War II veterans during her stint with Rep. Louie Gohmert to taking on the position of communications director for Rep. Frank Lucas.

Hill Climbers: House Staffer Makes Safe Landing in Senate

Dec. 14, 2010

After his boss lost her race, Jonathan Lippman found a new job on the Hill with some help from his father.

Ex-Staffers Say ‘I Do’ to Blogging

Dec. 10, 2010

After juggling planning weddings with working on the Hill, two staffers leave their jobs to start a wedding blog.

Beltran Heads From Soccer to House

Dec. 10, 2010

For press secretary David Beltran, doing public relations for a sports team is a little like doing public relations for a Member of Congress: The goal is to help your employer win and hope that they don’t stir up too much controversy along the way.

Hill Climbers: Politics Has Been a Lifelong Passion for Staffer

Dec. 7, 2010

Adam Hodge once was a kid wearing a political T-shirt while riding on a campaign float. So it’s not surprising that today, he’s Majority Whip James Clyburn’s new press secretary.

Hill Climbers: From Intern to Walk-In Privilege in Two Months

Dec. 3, 2010

Kelly Drennon, a scheduler and assistant to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, has found that she loves the administrative side of politics.

Hill Climbers: Berman Staffer Bridges Message, Constituents

Nov. 30, 2010

Staffer Gil Landau, who is fluent in American Sign Language and grew up with two deaf parents, may have been one of the few people able to bridge the gap between the deaf and campaigners when he was deputy finance director for the campaign of Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.)

Hill Climbers: Staffer Goes from O-Line to Online

Nov. 19, 2010

Michael Babyak, a Kernersville, N.C., native, started as press secretary for the North Carolina Republican in early November and has donned myriad hats as legislative correspondent, deputy press secretary and new media director, a role he essentially created for himself.

Hill Climbers: Staffers’ Routes Differ In Path to Ga. Office

Nov. 16, 2010

Opposite approaches land two people jobs on Rep. Lynn Westmoreland's staff.

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