Miami’s sweltering summer heat and humidity could not keep our alumni from attending this year’s National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) conference in August to take part in professional development sessions and network with fellow journalists. They were rewarded with appearances from presidential hopefuls U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, IN),U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld (R-MA).
Despite a torrential downpour, about 20 alums showed up at our Newmark J-School reception for faculty, staff, students, incoming students, and prospective applicants.Congratulations to Priscilla Alabi, ’17 for winninga raffle for a Newmark J-School tote bag, T-shirt, and coffee mug. If you couldn’t make it to NABJ, perhaps you can join us for one of the receptions we will be hosting at other conferences throughout the next year. We’ll be sure to let you know where and when they are.
I’d like to remind you that for regular Newmark J-School updates and opportunities to interact with your fellow alums, please join our closed Alumni Facebook group. I also encourage you to keep me informed of your latest job and personal news and to contact me if you need resume help or career guidance.
Top image: Newmark J-School alums and students gather at Consumer Reports headquarters in Yonkers, NY for our mugshot series. Left to right: Derek Scancarelli, ’15; Lauren Friedman, ’11; Perry Santanachote, ’10; Maggie Veatch, ’19; Althea Chang, ’12; Josefina Bruni Celli, ’19; Catherine Roberts, ’15; Kevin Loria, ’12; and Octavio Blanco, Tow-Knight ’19 (Photo: Artur Pietruch/Consumer Reports)
2019 Alumni Homecoming
(Photos: Frida Sterenberg, ’19)
Peter Mackler Award for Courageous Journalism
Italian journalist Paolo Borrometi, an expert on the Sicilian mafia, will receive the 2019 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism at a ceremony at the Newmark J-School on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Alumni are invited to attend for free with the code: newmarkjschool
The award presentation will be followed by a panel discussion about the challenges reporters like Borrometi face in pursuing their stories.
Aisha Al-Muslim, ’09, who joined The Wall Street Journal in November 2017 as a breaking news reporter, is now working on their Pro Bankruptcy team.
After working as a data and interactive graphics journalist for NJ.com and The Star-Ledger for six years, Carla Astudillo, ’12, moved to Austin in June where she is now a data news apps developer at the Texas Tribune.
Previously an associate producer for NowThis World, Kimberly Avalos, ’16, was promoted to producer for the NowThis News Originals team.
After freelancing as a podcast producer since December, Matthew Cutler, ’18, was hired as a research associate at PEI Media.
Allyson Escobar, ’18, was hired as a reporter for The Tablet, a newspaper that covers the Catholic community in Brooklyn and Queens and the Catholic Church in New York.
After freelancing for five months, Natalie Fertig, ’14, joined POLITICO as a federal cannabis policy reporter in Washington, D.C.
In June, Bianca Flowers, ’14, was hired at MarketWatch as a video journalist.
From July through November 2019, Alva French, ’11, will be producing videos related to women’s health and family planning as a bilingual video and digital producer for the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C.
Derek Scancarelli, ’15, was hired as a producer for Consumer Reports‘ show “Consumer 101” in Yonkers, NY, where he is writing, shooting, and editing consumer-based news stories that are distributed to over 100 TV stations nationwide.
In May, Minda Smiley, ’14, was hired as an agencies reporter covering the advertising industry for Adweek.
–Miguel Dobrich will showcase Amenaza Roboto, a platform that provides Latin American and global tech news, podcasts, and videos for technologists and business people in Spanish.
–Hersh Patel will present Hindsight, a tool that helps news organizations show readers related content from their archives. Hindsight has already begun partnering with Forbes, The Virginian-Pilot, and other news organizations around the world.
Meral Agish, ’14, was part of the team behind “Operation Ceasefire,” which was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Editing: News category.
Andrea Gonzalez-Ramirez, ’15, was one of the recipients of the 2019 Ida B. Wells Fellowship. As a fellow, she will receive $16,000, editorial feedback, legal counsel, research resources, and mentoring while covering an investigation on women’s rights in Puerto Rico.
Caroline Lewis, ’14, helped launch the NYC Media + Social Justice Collaborative, a network that aims to make it easier for journalists to reach out to social workers about stories they’re working on and for social workers to alert journalists to issues they think they should cover.
Mariya Moseley, ’16, (seated in orange) was named co-director for the First Take Journalism workshop hosted by The New York Association of Black Journalists. She will oversee the six-week program for high school students at the Newmark J-School, creating their curriculum while preparing interactive activities, field trips, and introductions to industry professionals.
Christina Thornell, ’16, just finished producing the fourth season of Vox Borders.
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT - Deron Dalton, ’15
When Deron Dalton joined the Newmark J-School’s first Social Journalism class in 2015, he knew where he wanted it to take him. He chose a career in journalism combining both of his passions: pop culture/nostalgia and under-reported news. Currently, he is not only working as Senior Fandom Engagement Editor for The Tylt, but he also co-hosts one of Radio Free Brooklyn’s top five talk shows, “Queer State of Mind.” Through his work, he’s able to raise awareness about issues and experiences impacting black and queer identities, something he strongly believes in.
1. What does covering the LGBTQ community mean to you?
I’ve been lucky to cover a varietyof beats throughout my career. I always look for those narratives that are more intersectional, complex, and lacking coverage in mainstream media. As a gay black man, I think about the experiences that impact me. I think about the importance of representation, visibility, education,and advocacy. I think about providingjournalism that’s a service to underrepresented communities and has a direct impact or causes change.
2. What are your thoughts on Pride Month?
Pride Month is a time for celebration, but it’s also a time to remember and uplift the transgender women of color who were at the forefront of the Stonewall riots. It’s a time to access how far we have come, how far we have to go, and the debate on the commercialization of Pride Month. Many companies are jumping on the queer bandwagon and some would argue that’s giving LGBTQ rights more visibility. But are all of these companies actually raising awareness and putting money towards the LGBTQ organizations once Pride Month ends?
3. Describe your show "Queer State of Mind."
The show was created by my fellow alum and friend Orie Givens, ’13, and I co-host with Micah Peterson and Saidue Karmo. It has been a blessing to do the show because it’s for us, by us. We have autonomy over the topics we discuss. We get to talk about what’s happening in the world through our diverse perspectives as queer men of color, and we also get to discuss our individual experiences as gay black men navigating our way through our lives.
4. How did being part of the J-School's first Social Journalism class influence you?
I learned so much from the professors of the Social Journalism Program, the Research Center, Career Services, Admissions, and Student Life. It really does take a village! I made myself known and got advice whereever I could. Being taught how to immerse myself in the program helped me to succeed and I use those pillars of social journalism in my career daily. The processes behind serving communities have not only stuck with me but have also helped me to succeed at my job at The Tylt and throughout my career. I’ve been able to put into practice listening, engaging, building relationships, and collaborating with social communities while telling stories that directly impact or resonate with them.
Faculty and Staff News
Lindsey Allen started as our new assistant director of student affairs on July 15 after serving as assistant director of graduate programs at the NYU School of Professional Studies.
Geraldine Baum, assistant dean for external affairs, has launched a quarterly newsletter to share the latest J-School happenings with “Friends of Newmark” and members of the public.
Jeremy Caplan, who has been the Tow-Knight Center’s director of education since 2010, will take on the new position of director of teaching, learning, and assessment. He will support Associate Dean Andy Mendelson by serving as the school’s adjunct coordinator, implementing new faculty development programs, strengthening the school’s outcomes and assessment process, and developing new learning opportunities for students.
Yahaira Castro,who started working in admissions in 2005 and served as director of student affairs starting in 2015, has been promoted to assistant dean for student experience.In her new role, Yahaira oversees Admissions, Student Services, Career Services, and Alumni Affairs.
Marie Gilot, director of professional development, launched a new series of free video classes taught by Washington Post reporter David Farenthold and Hearken CEO Jennifer Brandel. Coming soon is a course taught by NY1 political anchor and Newmark J-School adjunct professor Errol Louis.
After teaching as a Craft adjunct professor for the past two years, journalist and educator Michelle Higginswas hired as the new Director of Career Services.
Yoruba Richen, director of the Documentary Program, received the Henry Hampton Award For Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking by the Roxbury Film Festival for her documentary, “The Green Book: Guide to Freedom.”
Anthony LaViscount,who spent more than 17 years in student activities and residence life at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, SUNY’s Stony Brook University, and Monmouth University, was hired as Interim Director of Student Affairs.
Colleen Leigh, who joined the school in 2007 as an admissions/outreach counselor and served as director of admissions starting in 2014, has been promoted to assistant dean for administration.She oversees Public Safety, Facilities, Technology, Human Resources, and Academic Operations.
International students’ coach Diane Nottlemet up with Tow-Knight Fellows, Masa Oga, ’18; Hisashi Ayuzawa, ’18; Michiko Kuriyama, ’13; Miyuki Inoue, ’14; and Katsu Ishii, ’16, after teaching at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China.
Maximo Patiñowho joined the admissions team in 2014 and most recently served as associate director of multicultural recruitment, has been promoted to director of admissions.
Distinguished Lecturer Miguel Paz left the J-School to return to his home country of Chile, where he will continue to teach and work with a startup business.
Please join us on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the annual job & internship fair. As the fair approaches, the Office of Career Services will share a Google sheet with the companies and recruiters who have registered.
Our Latino Media Fair will take place on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 12-3 p.m.
As always, alumni are welcome to attend both events.