The CUNY J-School will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, 2017. There are no classes on Nov. 24, but the campus will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Alumni Newsletter, Spring 2017

  • By Bianca Flowers
Photo by Skyler Reid, '13

Class of 2016

Photo by Skyler Reid, ’13

In the three months since commencement, the 79 graduates of the Class of 2016 have been mapping out careers across the country and the globe. A sampling of the full-time jobs, freelance posts, fellowships and internships they’ve landed so far:

Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Bustle, Complex, Essence, FiveThirtyEight, the GroundTruth Project, i24 News (Israel), International Business News, NY1 News, Politico, Quartz, Slate, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, TV2 (Denmark), Univision  . . .  and more.

Below: Student Speaker Gustavo Martinez Contreras (left) and Keynote Speaker Marty Baron, Executive Editor of The Washington Post (right) at the December 2016  commencement ceremony. (Photos: Skyler Reid, ’13)

Fritzie Andrade, '08, Alumni speaker at the Class of 2016's December commencement ceremony
Fritzie Andrade, ’08, Alumni speaker at the Class of 2016’s December commencement ceremony Photo by Skyler Reid, ’13
Keynote Speaker Marty Baron, Executive Editor of The Washington Post at the December 2016  commencement ceremony.
Keynote Speaker Marty Baron, Executive Editor of The Washington Post at the December 2016 commencement ceremony. Photo by Skyler Reid, ’13
Student Speaker Gustavo Martinez Contreras at the December 2016  commencement ceremony.
Student Speaker Gustavo Martinez Contreras at the December 2016 commencement ceremony. Photo by Skyler Reid, ’13

Upcoming Events

Save the Date! 10th Anniversary CUNYJ Alumni Homecoming, Saturday, May 13

Welcome home!

CUNY J’s 10th Anniversary Alumni Homecoming will take place on Saturday, May 13th at the J-School.

Evites coming your way.

Awards for Excellence in Journalism, 10th Anniversary Gala

Join us for the 10th Annual Awards for Excellence in Journalism on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Cipriani 25 Broadway, honoring New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. and U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.

Purchase Awards Dinner Tickets

The Office of Admissions is hosting its annual Admitted-Student Open House on Sunday, April 9, and urges alumni to attend.
Contact the Office of Admissions if you can come to any of the sessions or the reception. (admissions@journalism.cuny.edu; type “Alum RSVP to Open House” in the subject line)
The schedule will be posted online soon.

Please share on social media using the hashtag #CUNYJ18.

event-wheretheline-brown

Where's the Line? (Or Should There Be One?) Journalists and Objectivity in the Age of Trump 

The election of Donald Trump has rekindled debate about the journalist’s place in U.S. society: Are journalists observers who must remain neutral? Should they be able to protest like other citizens? And how do they respond to a president who has called the press “the enemy of the people”? Join us on April 4, 2017, when a panel of journalists will wrestle with these and related questions.

Moderator: Carrie Brown, Director, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Social Journalism Program

Alumni Updates

On the move…over (Roughly) the Past Year

Photo of Simone Sebastian, '10.
Simone Sebastian, ’10,  was promoted to Deputy Editor of The Washington Post’s America team, where she helps lead national coverage — both breaking news and enterprise stories. Previously, she was an assignment editor on the Post’s financial desk. Photo by Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle

Uche Abanobi, ’10, joined MSNBC as an Associate Producer for the network’s Weekend Breaking News Unit.

Anika Anand ’12, launched her startup, The Evergreya daily newsletter that covers events and news in the Seattle area.

Kentaro Aragaki, ’15, is working at the Olympic Channel as a freelance reporter/videographer.

Following a stint as an intern, Kaara Baptiste, ’14,  became an Assistant Copy Editor at Newsday. 

Rebecca Bratek, ’14, is now a Social Media Producer at CBS News.

Laura Bult, ’14, went to Zero Point Zero Production, where she reports for a documentary series on food crimes. Netflix has picked up the show.

After joining Bloomerang Solutions as a web strategist in late 2015, Chris Dell, ’13, was promoted to Digital Director at the Florida-based marketing agency.

Luis Miguel Echegaray, ’15, joined Honeyguide Media as its Engagement Editor, responsible for building the startup’s online presence on all digital platforms.

Tatiana Flowers, ’16, landed a video internship at Slate in February.

Nick Forrester, ’14, is a web producer for the NHL, turning out videos and stories for some of the league’s international sites.

Jessica Glazer, ’13, a Multimedia Producer for NBC, is working on an investigative project involving all 12 NBC-owned stations.

Amy Goldstein, ’09, was promoted to Senior Editor at ESPN.com and ESPN Magazine.

Anna Halkidis, ’12, is now at Long Island Pulse Magazine, where she is a Web Editor. 

In January, Erica Hochstedler, ’13, became the Editorial Content Manager for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Irina Ivanova, ’13, joined CBS MoneyWatch as a Data Editor/Video Producer.

Mariana Keller, ’11, is launching her own production company, Brooklyn Filmworks, to make short, doc-style videos for “brands and organizations with a soul and mission for social good.”

Amy Kraft, ’11,  went to Everyday Health, where she is a Senior Editor.

Valerie Lapinksi, ’09, has joined Vox as Managing Producer.

Jonathan Moffie, ’13, is the new Senior Manager of Video Product and Distribution at Time Inc.’s PeopleEWNetwork.com, which will premiere this fall.

NY1’s Annais Morales, ’11,  is now Senior Producer for “In Focus,” the station’s community affairs show.

TODAY.com promoted Amy Eley Moran,’13, to Editorial Manager.

Kate Nocera, ’09, was promoted to D.C. bureau chief at BuzzFeed. (And in January she married Michael Andrew Case.)

Cathy Rainone, ’07, has become Senior Operations Editor for Digital at NBC Owned Television Stations.

Walter Smith-Randolph, ’10, joined the Investigative Unit at WWMT, a CBS affiliate serving Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo in Michigan.

Michael Russell,’13, is a Medical Editor at the Clinical and Laboratory Institute in Wayne, PA.

Sophia Rosenbaum,’13, has moved to Time Inc. as a News Editor for Time.com and Fortune.com.

Fusion Media Group hired Levi Sharpe, ’15, as a Podcast Producer.

Emily (Stewart) Stoemer, ’07, moved up to Account Supervisor at BackBay Communications, a Boston-based public relations and marketing firm that focuses on financial services.

Jermaine Taylor,’12, was accepted as an MFA candidate in the Creative Writing (Nonfiction) program at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.

Mary Wilson, ’16, went to the “Today” show, where she is a Late Researcher.

Danielle Valente, ’13, joined Elite Daily as a Copy Editor.

Gosia Wojtunik ’11,  is now at Reuters’ Gydnia (Poland) office, where she is a Video Producer.

Career Services

Have a job or internship to offer?
Email Andrea Stone to post openings 

Looking for a new gig?
Check out these listings

giving

Giving @ the J-School

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Innovative | Affordable | Diverse

Since we opened our doors 10 years ago, we’ve provided scholarship support to an average of two-thirds of our students every year. (Maybe one of them was you!) You can help us preserve the opportunities the J-School creates by donating $10 or more to the Future Journalists Fund.

Thank you.

Recent Honors

Photo of Tanzina Vega
Tanzina Vega, ’07, made the list of prominent young Puerto Rican journalists featured in an article published by Hunter College’s Center of Puerto Rican Studies. Vega is a national reporter at CNNMoney, where she covers race and inequality in America. Photo by CNN

The Overseas Press Club Foundation awarded Donna Airoldi, ’16, a fellowship at Reuters.

Tow-Knight Entrepreneurial Fellows Saalim Chowdhury,’12, and Stephen Robert Morse sold their business platform, Skillbridge, to Toptal, a network of top freelance software developers and designers. Skillbridge, which the two founded in 2013, connects top-tier business consultants with jobs. It will now become Toptal Business.

Carmel Delshad, ’11, received a CNN Diversity Fellowship for the 2016 Online News Association (ONA) conference in 2016.

Natalie Fertig, ’14, won a 2017 Honorable Mention in the Documentary category from the White House News Photographers Association. Check out the video published on McClatchy.com.

“The Paris Attacks,” produced by Erin Horan, ’12, an Associate Producer for “60 Minutes,” won an Emmy for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a News Magazine.

Sierra Leone, ’13, a reporter for KTVA CBS 11 in Anchorage, won a “Best Newscast” Goldie Award from the Alaska Broadcasters Association.

NPR’s list of its best visual stories of 2016 included a nod to Jake Naughton, ’14,  whose photography was part of a multimedia piece on Syrian refugees in New Jersey. Jake also received an honorable mention in the French America Foundation’s Immigration Journalism Award competition for a Vice project on LGBT refugees. And he was recently chosen as one of Photo District News‘ new and emerging photographers.

Melissa Noel, ’12,  was one of the winners of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Global Media Competition: “Breaking Stereotypes on Labour Migration.” Her piece, Migration and Separation: Stories of “Barrel Children,” for Voices of NY, was cited for excellence in reporting in the Video/Multimedia category.

María Sánchez Díez,‘15, was among 25 journalists chosen by the Online News Association for the group’s 2017 Women’s Leadership Accelerator. She is part of the Univision News Innovation team in Miami.

Rachel Sapin, ’12, received a fellowship from the Journalism and Women’s Symposium (JAWS) for her work as a city and state government reporter at the Aurora Sentinel in Colorado.

Karen Shakerdge, ’15, a Reporter/Producer at WWXI in Rochester, NY, was chosen, along with two of her colleagues, for NPR’s Second Story Lab Workshop, which was held in early March. Her team’s project: producing first-person stories of people with disabilities navigating the road from childhood to adulthood.

For his photo of a baseball field dugout in Cuba, Joe Swide, ’15, took first place in the Sports Feature category at the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition.

Photo of CUNY J-School's container at Photoville in Brooklyn.
Class of 2015’s Joe Swide (left), and Jessica Bal (middle) at “Photoville” 2016 in Brooklyn, NY. Both contributed photo essays to the annual festival, which exhibits premiere work by visual artists from around the world.

J-School Babies

Roxanna (Asgarian) DeBenedetto ('11) and Paul DeBenedetto ('11)received a special delivery from Santa (sorry, we couldn't resist)— son Rocco, born on Christmas Day.
Roxanna (Asgarian) DeBenedetto (’11) and Paul DeBenedetto (’11)received a special delivery from Santa (sorry, we couldn’t resist)— son Rocco, born on Christmas Day.
Natalia V. Osipova ('12) and husband Richard Copin welcomed daughter Amelia on Nov. 20, 2016.
Natalia V. Osipova (’12) and husband Richard Copin welcomed daughter Amelia on Nov. 20, 2016.
Harper, daughter of Amy Eley Moran ('13) and Jared Moran, arrived on July 13, 2016.
Harper, daughter of Amy Eley Moran (’13) and Jared Moran, arrived on July 13, 2016.

Faculty and Staff News

The Class of 2007’s Sebastian Bednarski, Chika Osaka, Angela Hill and Marlene Peralta present the first Scotti Williston Award ($500) to Lidia HernándezTapia, '17, at Williston's September 2016 retirement party.
The Class of 2007’s Sebastian Bednarski, Chika Osaka, Angela Hill and Marlene Peralta present the first Scotti Williston Award ($500) to Lidia HernándezTapia, ’17, at Williston’s September 2016 retirement party.

Scotti Williston, who retired in September from her post as Senior Producer in Residence at the J-School (see photo), was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the New York Chapter Gold & Silver Circle Ceremony on Dec. 1, 2016. Williston was inducted into the group’s Silver Circle, which celebrates outstanding industry professionals with 25 or more years of experience.

Jeremy Caplan, Director of Education for the Tow Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, won the 2016 “Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century” award for the Newspaper and Online News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

Director of News Products and Projects Jere Hester and Director of Interactive Journalism Sandeep Junnarkar won a $20,000 grant from Verizon and NYC Media Lab for their prototype idea, “You Are Here,” a mobile-based immersive journalism experience that uses photo-rich augmented reality to tell New York stories. They plan to reveal the completed prototype in late April.

Hester (left) and Junnarkar presented their prototype idea at the Verizon Connected Futures II Program Kickoff Luncheon on Jan 25, 2017.
Hester (left) and Junnarkar presented their prototype idea at the Verizon Connected Futures II Program Kickoff Luncheon on Jan 25, 2017.

Sandeep Junnarkar appeared on NY1 on Jan. 10, 2017, to discuss the Hate Index (www.hateindex.com) the J-School’s effort to chronicle post-election hate crimes and incidents of intolerance. Jere Hester presented the index at the Associated Collegiate Press Gathering in San Francisco in March. Junnarkar and Hester have also promoted the project in interviews with WNYC, BuzzFeed and Fox 5 NY.

Director of Admissions Colleen Marshall married David Leigh on July 2, 2016. (Her new email address: colleen.leigh@journalism.cuny.edu)
Director of Admissions Colleen Marshall married David Leigh on July 2, 2016. Her new email address: colleen.leigh@journalism.cuny.edu. Photo by VisualMasters Studio

At the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) in April 2016, Associate Professor Wayne Svoboda chaired a panel on “Experiences in Journalism and Politics,” served on a panel on “Evolution in Military Thought and Popular Portrayals” and observed cadets as they trained in the nearby Camp Buckner woodland. In May 2016, Svoboda, who teaches Conflict Reporting (as well as Craft), spent five days watching Marine recruits learn fundamental skills at Parris Island, SC. In June, 2016, he took part in a weeklong National Security Seminar at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA.

Welcome Back, Marisa Osorio – Formerly the Director of Alumni Services, Osorio left the J-School in August 2015 for a position at the University of Maryland Phillip Merrill College of Journalism. She returned to the J-School in August 2016 to serve as Assistant Director of Admissions. Osorio says she is  thrilled to be back and working with the phenomenal Colleen Leigh, Max Patiño, Steve Dougherty and Lili Grossman.”

Cover of American English for World Media

Now available from CUNY Journalism Press: American English for World Media, by Diane Nottle. Take the J-school’s English-language coaching home with you! A must-have reference book for international alumni — or for anyone working in the media.

CUNY J+ Workshops

Use code ALUM50 to get 50% off our digital skills workshops. The workshops are designed to help communicators and working journalists — including freelancers and photographers — sharpen their skills in social media editing, data visualization, video storytelling for the web and more.

Research Center

Associate Professor and Chief Librarian Barbara Gray reminds alumni to check out the Research Center’s online resources.

Research Center Alumni Resources
http://researchguides.journalism.cuny.edu/FAQ/alumni

Public Research Guides for Reporters
http://researchguides.journalism.cuny.edu/

We Want to Publicize Your Work

Alumni interested in promoting or highlighting their work are strongly encouraged to pitch their stories to Social Media Marketing Manager Ellen Lai, who presides over the J-School's social media accounts.

Send ideas, pitches, videos, photos and links