This spring, excellence is in full bloom within our CUNY J-School community garden.
Our latest newsletter is filled with fresh alumni and faculty/staff news, including the recent Awards for Excellence. In April, I was fortunate enough to attend the J-School’s annual fundraising gala for the first time and spent time interacting with the 20 grads at our two alumni tables and others who were guests of their various companies. The highlight of the evening was the moving awards acceptance speeches from our five talented graduates, along with impassioned addresses from journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates and Charles H. Revson Foundation President Julie Sandorf. Congratulations to Development’s Cathy Harding and Gogie Padilla for their hard work in making this annual event successful, and thank you to all alumni who attended.
If you were unable to score a coveted ticket to the gala, you still have a chance to reunite with your fellow alums and beloved J-School faculty and staff on Saturday, May 19th at Alumni Homecoming 2018. We’ve planned an afternoon packed with excitement, featuring special guest, investigative journalist and CUNY J-School adjunct professor Azmat Khan, a panel of radio alums and our alumni awards. All of this plus great food and fun.
Top image: Three Class of 2017 alumni and two Class of 2010 grads were honored at the CUNY J-School’s Awards for Excellence on Wednesday, April 11. Left to right: Joy Notoma, ’17; Mallory Moench, ’17; Will Mathis, ’17; Dean Sarah Bartlett; Hannah Rappleye, ’10; and Lisa Riordan Seville, ’10.Photo: Jessica Bal, ’15
CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Awards for Excellence
The 11th annual Awards for Excellence brought together and honored media, public service leaders and CUNY-J alumni. The fundraising event was held on Wednesday, April 11, at Cipriani 25 Broadway. Proceeds enable our school to provide scholarships and stipends to students with unpaid summer internships. This year, donors could allocate a portion of scholarship proceeds to members of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which was created in 2015 to increase the ranks of investigative reporters of color.
Three Class of 2017 alumni, Mallory Moench, Joy Notoma, and Will Mathis, and two Class of 2010 grads, Hannah Rappleye and Lisa Riordan Seville, were honored at the CUNY J-School’s Awards for Excellence.
This summer, CNBC is hosting three interactive workshops for aspiring and professional journalists at the 2018 NAHJ, NABJ and AAJA Conventions. The workshops are: Business Reporting, Business Producing and Business News Associate.
Alyxaundria Sanford, ’17, landed a gig as a reporter/moderator at Spaceship Media. She’ll be working on their new project, The Many, which will bring together people from different political, social and cultural beliefs and backgrounds for productive and informed conversations.
This semester, Angela Hill, ’07, is teaching a reporting and news writing class at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies in the Master’s in Journalism program. Georgetown is her undergraduate alma mater and she says it’s an honor to be back at the school as an instructor.
At the end of March, Anthony Falco, ’16, started his new position as video producer at the NY Daily News. He was previously at Vocativ until November and then freelanced at various places before getting his new job.
Former Fulbright Scholar, Chau Ngo, ’14, returned to Vietnam and now works for the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, where she helps arrange trainings that help local journalists cope with the difficulties of practicing their profession in Vietnam.
Estefania Hernandez, ’17, who was one of the pioneers of the J-School’s Spanish-Language Program, started in March as a news assistant at NY1.
For the past six months, Heather Appel, ’07, has been working as a communications director at the Partnership for Working Families, based in Oakland, CA. Before that, she was a communications director at the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare.
This spring, City Limits hired Jeanmarie Evelly, ’09, as its youth program manager/reporter. She will be running the youth-training program called CLARIFY (City Limits Accountability Reporting Initiative for Youth), which provides paid internships to high-school students who learn the basics of public-interest and investigative reporting. Evelly’s reporting will supplement and extend the work that the teen reporters contribute. Most recently, Evelly served as a reporter/producer at DNAinfo.com New York covering Astoria and Long Island City.
Spanish-Language Program alumna, Jesenia De Moya Correa, ’17, became one of the six emerging journalists of color selected from more than 130 applicants by Philadelphia Media Network for its inaugural class of the Lenfest Journalism Fellowships. During the two-year reporting fellowship based in Philadelphia, PA, she will work as a full-time bilingual reporter on Latino communities starting June 18, 2018.
Since February, Justin Joffe, ’15, has been enjoying his new gig as content manager at PRNews, where he is writing stories on the communications business. He is also recruiting speakers for events and workshops and programming presentations with them across the country.
Kristine Villanueva, ’17, is working part-time with Spaceship Media, which uses journalism to support meaningful communication between communities at odds.
Mariya Moseley, ’16, joined the PIX11 News team in April as a production assistant. She writes broadcast scripts, edits footage and field-produces stories for morning, evening and weekend newscasts. Previously, she was working at PEOPLE producing entertainment videos.
Martika Wilson, ’16, is starting an internship at Norwood News in the Bronx.
After interning at Popular Science and Audubon Magazine, Meaghan Callaghan, ’16, is now associate editor of custom media at McMahon, which makes customized publications for hospitals and health systems. She works with two other alums, Michael Depeau-Wilson, ’16, and Paul Bufano, ’11.
Nick Perez, ’16, moved to California where he is a multimedia producer at The Daily Journal, a Los Angeles-based publication that covers law in the state. He’s producing podcasts, doing web production, designing artwork and soon will be making videos.
Noah Caldwell, ’16, was hired as a producer at NPR’s All Things Considered in Washington, D.C., where he will be working on breaking news interviews and long-term feature stories with the hosts of the show, mixing NPR reporters’ pieces and occasionally writing digital copy for NPR.org. He had been working as a temporary producer there since August.
Patrick Gillespie, ’14, who has been an economics reporter at CNNMoney since graduating, is leaving to join Bloomberg as an economics/policy reporter posted in Argentina.
Philip Clapham, ’16, got what he describes as his “dream job” as a senior communications officer at the International AIDS Society in Switzerland.
The Real Deal is extending its reach to the Midwest with the launch of TRD Chicago. Senior reporter Scott Klocksin, ’14, who joined on March 5, will spearhead coverage on the ground, working with a New York-based data journalism team to break news through public records. He’ll also gather sources on both the residential and commercial sides of the real estate industry and write feature and breaking news stories. Klocksin had been working from Chicago on freelance projects for Bisnow Media.
Susie Armitage, ’13, started working in December as an editor at a nonprofit called Youth Communication, which publishes two magazines written by teens and youth in foster care. Previously, she was at Buzzfeed working as global managing editor.
Tanzina Vega, ‘07, has been named host of “The Takeaway,” a syndicated public radio news affairs show. She is replacing John Hockenberry, who resigned last year after being accused of sexual harassment. Vega, who will begin working on the radio program on May 7, has contributed to CNN, WNYC Radio, Reuters, and The New York Times, where she won an Emmy in 2010 in the “new approaches to documentary” category.
Tatiana Flowers, ’16, started a job at the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, a newspaper located about 60 miles from Aspen. She will be covering health, education, crime, courts and cops, among other assignments.
Sarah Barrett, ’14, moved to Mexico City and is a 2018 International Reporting Project grantee working on a series of stories about changing laws for the transgender community in Latin America.
Sarah Khuwaja, ’13, started her creative marketing role on Twitter’s emerging content products team, based in New York City. Her last job was on the content partnerships team at Great Big Story (CNN).
Sharif Hassan, ’17, has returned to his post with The Washington Post in Kabul, where he has covered the most serious outbreak of violence in the capital in many years.
Thomas Vineeth, ’10, started in February as deputy digital media editor at Deccan Herald newspaper in Bengaluru, India. Previously, he was working as senior web editor at WRNN-TV/Verizon FiOS1 News in Rye Brook, NY.
Zach Williams, ’16, has been working as a reporter at New York Nonprofit Media, where he has also modernized the website and developed a video brand.
The Sidney Hillman Foundation announced winners of the 68th Annual Hillman Prizes, which included Almudena Toral, ’10, from Univision and El Faro for her reporting on the Central American refugee crisis, “From Migrants to Refugees: The New Plight of Central Americans.” This is the first time Spanish-language outlets have won the award.
Anuz Thapa, ’17; Alexandra Boothe, ’17; Kayla Rivera, ’17; Katherine Lavacca,’17; and Robert Exley,’17, showcased their films in this year’s CUNY Film Fest.
Congratulations to Cherise Butler, ’17; Lizeth Beltran, ’17; and Mariana Keller, ’11, who are all Deadline Club Award finalists in the Digital Reporting category for their NBC News story, “Watch This Son’s Harrowing Account of Caring For His Mom’s Sudden Dementia.”
Claire Molloy, ’17, and Micah Danney, ’17, received Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholar Awards at a luncheon held at the Yale Club in New York City. Micah and Claire were among 16 aspiring foreign correspondents selected by leading journalists from a pool of 175 applicants from 50 colleges and universities.
*Allen Alter, former CBS News reporter and producer, presented Micah with the Theo Wilson Scholarship. As a multimedia journalist, Micah’s main focus is the Middle East. He has an OPC Foundation fellowship with the GroundTruth Project in Jerusalem.
*Claire won the N.S. Beinstock Scholarship. Her presenter was Steve Sacadario from the United Talent Agency. As a video journalist, Claire’s focus now is Southeast Asia, where she interned last summer in Jakarta for VICE Indonesia.
Jeanne Pinder, ’11, worked on “Cracking the Code” & “Medical Waste” for WVUE-TV, NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune, which was was nominated for a Peabody Award. The Peabody Awards honor “the most compelling and empowering stories” in electronic media.
Jessica Bal, ’15, was accepted to a reporting fellowship with the International Women’s Media Foundation in Rwanda this May/June along with seven other female journalists. She will be covering stories that she pitched on agriculture and climate change.
Joel Schectman, ’09, won Reuters Scoop of the Year for 2017 for his series on the Russian government’s demands for source code from Western tech companies. The stories spurred tech companies to change their policies. Check out this article from the series: “NSIGHT-Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets.”
Joel Wolfram, ’16, won a Pennsylvania Associated Press Media Award for his reporting on Philadelphia’s efforts to help drug users displaced by the cleanup of a decades-old heroin encampment along a stretch of railroad tracks. He captured second place for “Best Continuing Coverage” in the Radio I category, along with WHYY reporter Elana Gordon, for a series of reports for NPR affiliate WHYY on the issue.
Karen Shakerdge’s, ’15, podcast,Exited, was recognized by the New York State Broadcasters Association with an award for “Outstanding Use of Digital Platforms.” The series is also a finalist in the New York State Associated Press Association’s podcast category.
Kyle Mackie, ’17, and Robert Exley, ’17, won fellowships with the Jerusalem Press Club and will report with Haaretz newspaper and another in Jerusalem.
Levi Sharpe, ’15, produced the podcast , The Upgrade by Lifehacker, which was nominated for a Webby award in the lifestyle category. The other two podcasts he produced for Jezebel, DirtCast and Big Time Dicks got honorable mentions in the Webby categories of pop culture and politics.
From his summer internship at the St. Lake City Tribune , Will Mathis, ’17, won first place in two business reporting categories at the regional SPJ awards, Top of the Rockies, which include news organizations from Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. He won in the Business: Enterprise Reporting category with his story on Amazon expansion and in the Business: General Reporting category for a story on rural jobs.
Ken is currently an international freelance journalist. Masa is in his second semester and upon graduation, he wants to work as a videographer in Africa covering poverty and conflict.
1. How were you able to market your video to sell to ABC?
Ken: I attended a panel discussion about the future of TV news at CUNY-J last year, where I met a VP of ABC News. After the event, I introduced myself to her and we agreed to set up a telephone conference. That phone conference didn’t happen until five months after, but she then introduced me to ABC News’ foreign desk editor. I pitched our Fukushima story to him and ABC News Digital was interested in taking both the video and VR story.
2. How did you start working together?
Ken: I had always wanted to go to Fukushima and see what was going on with my own eyes. Since I was in New York at that time, I had asked Masa, who was working in Tokyo, to find senior evacuees still living at local temporary housing. After finding good sources, Masa and I decided to go to Fukushima together and shoot VR as well as video.
Masa: At this time I hadn’t enrolled in CUNY yet. It was a great relationship. I could help Ken by finding sources and he taught me shooting skills that he learned at CUNY.
3. Did Ken have any influence in Masa choosing CUNY for graduate journalism school?
Ken: I hope so.
Masa: Yes. I learned a lot from Ken about the classes, and he made me more interested in CUNY. I think matching alumni and potential students before the application process is really great, especially when it comes to international students.
4. How has CUNY-J inspired you or helped you in your career?
Ken: In every way. I had been working as a news producer for a Japanese TV network over eight years before joining CUNY J-School, but I had always wanted to work as a one-man-band journalist. After completing CUNY’s program, I feel confident enough to travel and work by myself as a video journalist.
Masa: First, I’m learning video skills and that’s awesome. Before I enrolled in CUNY, I had no skills on video production, but working with Ken and taking some classes has allowed me to enjoy this great ability.
Faculty and Staff News
Adjunct professor and 2018 homecoming guest speaker Azmat Khan won a Hillman Prize in the magazine category for her New York Times Magazine story, The Uncounted.
Director of the M.A. in Social Journalism program Dr. Carrie Brown is serving on the advisory board of Your Voice Ohio.
Professor Margot Mifflin will take a 2018-19 sabbatical to work on a new book, “Looking for Miss America,” about the cultural history of the Miss America Pageant. It will be published by Counterpoint Press in 2020.