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Alumni Newsletter, Fall 2019

  • By Maritza Villela
Jessica Bal

Shepard Prize

Stephen B. Shepard Prize for Investigative Reporting

The Stephen B. Shepard Prize for Investigative Reporting will be awarded to the alum who produced the best investigative work in 2019. Nominations should be submitted using this form. They’re due by midnight on Dec. 31, 2019.

Any alum who graduated from the Classes of 2007 to 2018 is eligible to self-nominate or propose a classmate for the $5,000 prize. The winner will be recognized at the Awards for Excellence in Journalism Gala on May 19, 2020 at Cipriani 25 Broadway.

Established in 2016, the prize is named for Founding Dean Steve Shepard. For more information, visit this page on our website.

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January Academy

Alumni are invited to take courses in January Academy 2020 at discounted rates. The enrichment series, which runs from January 6-24, will start accepting alumni registrations on Monday, Dec. 9. Alumni will get a special discount access code early that day. Once the code is entered in the registration box, alums will see the discounted price.

This year, we’re offering a number of exciting new workshops, including How to Write About Fashion, Reporting on the 2020 Census and Beyond, Improv for Journalists, Covering the Business of Everything, Launching Your Own Paid Newsletter, Building Community for Your Newsroom, The Anatomy of a Newscast, and Archives and the Visual Journalist.

We hope you take advantage of this opportunity to polish your skills or learn more about topics that interest you or can advance your career.

Alumni On the Move

Chauncey Alcorn, ’15, was hired as a staff writer/general assignment reporter for CNN Digital’s business vertical.

Deonna Anderson, ’16, joined GreenBiz  as associate editor,  where she reports about environmental sustainability and business.

After working as an editor at Bauer Xcel Media for the past four years, Jaclyn Anglis, ’14, was hired in October as a managing editor for the website All That’s Interesting .

After working as a graphics editor in The Wall Street Journal’s London bureau for three years, Martin Burch, ’12, moved to Barcelona, Spain, to be the data strategist for Dow Jones Newswires.

After working for almost two years as the European correspondent for Borsen, the largest Danish business daily,  Morten Buttler, ’16, joined Bloomberg in August as a reporter in Copenhagen covering governments and politics.

Melissa DiPento, Social Journalism, ’17, is working at the J-School as the program administrator for the News Innovation and Leadership and Social Journalism programs.

Last summer, Rob Dozier, ’18, started working as an associate producer on the current season of the “Juan Ep” podcast.

Anastasia Economides, ’09, was promoted to copy desk chief for LendingTree.

Previously a senior writer for Departures Magazine, Sean Flynn, ’12, was promoted to deputy digital editor.

Craig Giammona, ’13, was promoted to the finance team’s real estate leader at Bloomberg after being part of the consumer team since 2014.

Tsering Gurung, ’17, joined Amnesty International Nepal as media and communications coordinator.

Rebecca Harris, ’15,  joined The Infatuation‘s product and engineering team to run the membership program and manage Text Rex, a text messaging-based restaurant recommendation service.

In June, Kyle Kucharski, ’18, was hired at Indagare to write travel and culture-related features, photograph hotels and restaurants, and manage content.

Dorien Luyckx, Tow-Knight ’18, is working at the University of Antwerp on a project focused on developing innovating marketing strategies for the news industry.

Samantha Maldonado, ’18, joined POLITICO on October 1 as New Jersey’s energy and environment reporter.

Sarah Matusek, ’18, was hired as a staff writer and editor at The Christian Science Monitor.

In September, Brianna McGurran, ’14, moved to Berlin, Germany, where she is a freelance writer and editor for various finance outlets. She also plans to teach business English and public speaking at German companies.

In addition to her current role as the weekend morning producer at WCBS-TV, Annais Morales, ’11, teaches News Video Reporting as part of the journalism program at CUNY Hunter College.

Maddy Perkins, ’14, was promoted to managing editor, operations and innovation from assistant management editor at SourceMedia.

Gabrielle Sierra, ’13, is the host and a producer of  “Why It Matters,” a new podcast presented by the Council on Foreign Relations that aims to delve into foreign policy topics in an approachable way.

In June, Roxanne L. Scott, ’14, participated in the RIAS Journalist exchange, a two-week program with trips to Berlin, Prague, and the NATO headquarters in Brussels to learn about European media, politics, and history.

Andee Tagle, ’18, joined NPR’s Life Kit series as a news assistant on November 1.

Elly Wong Yu, ’13, was hired as an investigative reporter at KPCC, an NPR affiliate in Los Angeles.


NYCity News Service was named Best College/University Website in the country for the fourth consecutive year and the fifth time since 2013 in Editor & Publisher’s national EPPY awards contest.  “Climate Countdown,” which explores how global warming is affecting New York City’s infrastructure, also won an EPPY award in the Best College/University News Feature category.


Zainab Akande, ’14, senior editorial manager of The Dodo’s Snapchat, received The Dodo’s Best Use of Snapchat award at the Digiday’s 2019 Publishing Awards.

Ariam Alula, Social Journalism ‘19, was featured in Black Youth Project with her essay, “I worry about how to care for my brother with autism and his mental health when my parents are gone.”

Allen Arthur, Social Journalism ‘16, was named a Livingston Award Finalist for his work with The Marshall Project and USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee.

Lena Camilletti, Social Journalism ‘19, was highlighted by Buzzfeed for her work at the Vermont-based newsweekly Seven Days. She helped develop the All Our Hearts project that features her sister’s memorial and shows the human cost of the opioid epidemic.

Simon Galperin, Social Journalism ‘16, was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss a solution for communities underserved by local news: newsroom and library collaborations.

In August 2019, Tow-Knight alum Emiliana Garcia‘s project CLIP (Centro Latinoamericano de Investigación Periodística) successfully launched the website and its first collaborative cross-border investigation, “Transnacionales de la Fe.”

Rachel Glickhouse, Social Journalism ‘15, an adjunct professor, is part of the ProPublica team that won a News & Documentary Emmy for their work on “Documenting Hate,” the two-part investigative series with PBS Frontline.

Angela Hill, ’07, co-reported and co-produced “A Broken Trust,” a documentary about sexual assault on Indian reservations.

Last summer, Anna Limontas-Salisbury, ’08, received a fellowship with Kettle Pond Writer’s Retreat and performed in three showcases with Roots, Wounds, Words, a creative non-fiction workshop for writers and storytellers.

Thiago Medaglia, Tow-Knight ’16, is a  Knight Fellow at MIT in Cambridge, MA.

Class of 2016 alum Barbara Marcolini’s New York Times team received the News and Documentary Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches: Current News for the piece One Building, One Bomb: How Assad Gassed His Own People.

Left to right: The New York Times team of Malachy Browne, senior producer; Barbara Marcolini, ’16, producer; and Christoph Koettl, producer, received the News and Documentary Emmy award for Outstanding New Approaches: Current News.

A video Heather Martino, ’13, pitched, scripted, and produced for UNICEF was seen on taxi cabs during the United Nations General Assembly and used to kick off the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the U.N.

Oliver Morrison, ’14, won a Golden Quill Award for a collaboration between PublicsSource and Pittsburgh Magazine on the state of the green energy industry in Western Pennsylvania.

On October 6, Paula Moura, ’18, got her first producer byline for The New York Times, “The Amazon Is Still Burning. Blame Beef”. 

Hersh Patel, Tow-Knight ’18, won a NYC Media Lab Award for his company Hindsight, a smart-tagging predictive technology that pre-identifies search terms in an article and attaches related content and targets advertising.

Sofia Perpetua, ’13, wrote about indigenous motherhood in “A child raised by many mothers: What we can learn about parenthood from an indigenous group in Brazil” for The Washington Post.

Nesh Pillay, ’14, the founder of Press Pillay, a digital communications agency on a social mission, was featured in Canadian SME magazine.

In September Tiziana Rinaldi, Social Journalism ‘19, moderated a panel on “Effective Models of Immigrant Workforce Integration in New York and Across the U.S.” at the annual workforce conference organized by the NYCETC. She was also featured by World Education Services (WES), alongside six other immigrants, in a video exhibit that WES produced: “Living The Mission: Stories of Immigrants Project.”

Annie Shreffler, ’08, and her colleague Laura Colarusso were featured in an article about their work at WGBH’s Forum Network. 

Walter Smith-Randolph, ’10, will be the alumni speaker at the Class of 2019’s commencement ceremony on Dec. 13, 2019 at TheTimesCenter. Walter is a reporter for WKRC, Cincinnati’s CBS station.

Diara Townes, Social Journalism ‘19, was selected for the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship program at MIT. 

Steve Trader, ’14, launched the podcast “Law360 Explores – Legalization” about the legal tensions of launching a marijuana business when the federal government still views it as illegal.

Kristine Villanueva, Social Journalism, ‘17, an audience engagement editor at the Center for Public Integrity, partnered with the Roosie Report in Jackson Heights, Queens to crowdsource a data project on complaints about child separation at the border.


Left to right: Laura Duclos, ’18, audience development associate; Ghita Benslimane, Social J ’17, video producer; and Frances Sola-Santiago, ’17, supervising producer, shared their experiences working for Brut Media at the Career Services first Friday info session on October 11.
Rolling Stone Digital Director Jerry Portwood and Alexa Pipia, ’15, the magazine’s social media editor, spoke to students about their careers.
Class of 2014 alums Max Willens and Zainab Akande reunited at Digiday’s 2019 Publishing Awards.
Melissa Cooper, ’10, posed with pups while on assignment covering the Dog Halloween Costume Parade in Fairfield, CT.
2013 alums did a powerhouse panel for Tim Harper’s Craft 1 class. Left to right: Mary Croke, lead producer for The Brian Lehrer Show at WNYC; Amy Eley, managing editor of The Today Show; Sophia Rosenbaum, northeast regional editor for The Associated Press; and Jessica Glazer, senior producer for TED’s podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant.
In October, the Social Journalism Class of 2017 gathered at Printers Alley to catch up and celebrate. Left to right: Program Director Carrie Brown, Viktoria Muench, Charlie Turner, Sebastián Auyanet, Max Resnik, Kristine Villanueva, Jennifer Deseo, Alyxaundria Sanford, Angelo Paura, and Melissa DiPento.
Daniel Macht, ‘08, managing editor for digital at NBCUniversal’s Owned Television Stations; Nicole Rothwell, ‘17, producer, In The Thick (Futuro Media Group); and Maggie Freleng, ‘15, producer at Futuro Media Group, were part of the Latino Media Job Fair on November 7. (Photo: Jessica Bal, ‘15)
Natasha Madov, ‘15, associate editor at Brightwire, returned to the J-School on November 7 for the Latino Media Job Fair to recruit for her technology and information company. (Photo: Jessica Bal, ‘15)
Newmark J-School alums offered career advice and shared their job search experiences with members of the 2019 and 2020 classes in November. Left to right: Jillian Eugenios, ’14, senior producer at Great Big Story; Natasha Madov, ’15, associate editor, Brightwire; Kellie Ell, ’17, reporter at WWD; Talib Visram, ’18, editorial assistant/reporter at Fast Company; Max Zahn, ’18, reporter at Yahoo Finance. (Photo: Alexa Maurer)


Rheaa Rao, ’16, married John Carlo Bond on October 10 in New York’s City Hall.
Michael Paterakis, ’13, and Kimberly Chin, ’17, tied the knot on July 27 in Athens, Greece.

J-School Babies

Malorie J. Reid, ’14, and husband Ronald welcomed their second child Eva on July 11. She joins big brother Everett, now two.
On September 14, Joel Schectman, ’09, and his wife Rachael welcomed baby Ori.
Andrew Welsch, ’13, and his wife Annie are proud parents of Eleanor, born on September 16.


Food writer Lauren Rothman, ’13, has been an enthusiastic cook since she was a young girl growing up in Brooklyn. She spent much of her childhood shadowing her mother in the kitchen and would get upset if she wasn’t included in the daily cooking. Lauren, always passionate about reading and writing, realized she could incorporate cooking into a career and joined the Arts & Culture Concentration at the J-School. Since graduating she has been working as a freelance journalist focusing on food, health, and wellness. She’s excited to welcome Thanksgiving, her favorite holiday, and has shared a festive recipe and tips for preparing one of the most wonderful meals of the year.

Writing about food has given me the chance to think critically about the foundational role food plays in culture and in many of our most cherished societal traditions. My favorite food stories are the ones that go deeper than how something tastes, to examine how it forms a part of people’s lives.

Faculty and Staff News

Kalli Anderson, who’s been teaching at Ryerson University in Toronto for the last four years, will be joining the J-School next spring as director of the audio program.

Social Journalism Director Carrie Brown was quoted in a piece by Insight into Diversity about empathy in journalism. The headline said, “Journalism Schools Find New Approaches to Covering Underrepresented Audiences.”

Daniel Kaminski has been promoted to Manager of IT Services and Support after working as an IT specialist at the school since 2012. “Those of you who have experienced his support over the last seven years – and that is probably just about everyone – know how smart he is about fixing our problems and how patient he is with our endless questions,” Dean Sarah Bartlett said in her announcement to the J-School community. “Please join me in congratulating Danny on his well-deserved promotion. We are excited to see how he builds the department. ”

With more than 30 years of experience raising millions of dollars for institutions such as NYU’s Stern School of Business, Rutgers University, and the Pratt Institute, Joan McCormick joined the Newmark J-School as executive director of development on November 18.

After teaching a research class at the J-School in 2011, Lisa Tradup-Flom is back as the Center for Community and Ethnic Media’s  general manager.

Career Services

Have a job or internship to offer?
Email Michelle Higgins to post openings 

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J+ Workshops

Take our FREE online journalism course taught by Errol Louis. He shares career advice and inspiration for journalists interested in covering local politics with a particular emphasis on TV news, live interviews and commentary. Enroll now:

Research Center

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

Research Center Alumni Resources

Public Research Guides for Reporters

We Want to Publicize Your Work

Alumni interested in promoting their work should notify Social Media Marketing Manager Alyxaundria Sanford. Please send ideas, pitches, videos, photos and links to And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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