Happy summer, CUNY-J alums! Our first digital alumni newsletter was a huge hit this past spring. In this summer edition, we’ll update you on what’s been happening at–and outside of–the J-School. That includes news about May’s 10th anniversary homecoming celebration, alumni career moves and honors, staff and faculty, our newest alumni babies and four weddings. Plus a feature on Kiratiana Freelon, ‘14, and her reporting overseas. There’s also information on our upcoming job fairs and a major discount offer for those looking to sharpen their skills at CUNY J+.
I enjoyed celebrating our 10th anniversary this May! Another invitation–from the Student Services folks and me: Join us on August 22nd at Printers Alley for a CUNY-J happy hour mixer. Eat and drink with the Class of ’17 and incoming students from the Class of 2018.
A special thanks to amazing alum Bianca Flowers, ‘14, for curating our newsletters and to CUNY-J writing coach Deborah Stead for editing them.
Top image: The Class of 2007’s Matt Sollars, Kate Pastor, Jacci Leslie, Joseph Gargiulo, Emily Stoermer, Founding Dean Emeritus Steve Shepard, Angela Hill and Ben Levisohn celebrate CUNY-J’s 10th anniversary. Photo: Julius Motal, ’14
Celebrating the J-School's 10th Anniversary
(Photos: Julius Motal, ’14, and Marco Poggio, ’16)
Aisha Al-Muslim,’09, was promoted to special writer for Newsday’s business section.
Joe Amditis,’16, founded the NJ Mobile News Lab to help local news publishers in New Jersey adapt to the changes in the mobile journalism landscape. He’s currently working as the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media.
Fritzie Andrade, ’08, formerly Gizmodo Media Group’s executive video director, has joined New York Media, parent company of New York magazine, as director of video. Responsible for the strategic direction of the company’s video programming, Andrade will lead a team of 10 producers to develop series for the company’s brands–including Vulture, the Cut, Daily Intelligencer, Select All, and Grub Street–with an eye toward social-media distribution and on-site views.
Allen Arthur,’16, is working on an investigation into Tennessee prisons for The Marshall Project. His reporting appears on The Crime Report and on Greylined, a Medium publication he created about incarceration in New York City.
Suman Bhattacharyya,’16, joined Digiday as a reporter for the site’s financial technology vertical.
Morten Buttler,’16, is now a reporter for Nordiske Medier, a magazine based in Copenhagen, Denmark where he covers architecture, construction, politics and the economy.
Kathryn Casteel,’16, is a reporter for FiveThirtyEight, where she writes about economic and policy issues.
Megan Cerullo,’16, is now a reporter for the New York Daily News.
After coming on board as a freelance digital producer, Aliza Chasan,’15, was promoted to a full-time role at PIX11 news in New York.
Kara Chin,’16, has been hired at Business Insider as a producer on Henry Blodget’s show, “The Bottom Line.”
Eli Chen,’12, is a science and environment reporter for St. Louis Public Radio. She is also a producer for the local version of “The Story Collider,” a national science storytelling podcast.
Camila Cibils,’16, joined El Observador in Montevideo (Uruguay) as a multimedia reporter. She covers performing arts and fashion.
Terence Cullen,’14, is now a breaking-news reporter for the New York Daily News.
Jessica Dailey,’10, started as the digital editorial director at Domino magazine.
Shane English,’16, is working as an assistant editor at M. Shanken Communications.
In May, Elis Estrada, ’11, became the director for the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs.
Last month Luis Miguel Echegaray,’15, joined Sports Illustrated as the head of Latino/Spanish-speaking content.
Mark Fahey,’14, moved from the data unit at CNBC to Scripps Howard in Washington D.C, where he’ll be working as a data specialist.
After 2 years covering politics for McClatchy’s video team, Natalie Fertig,’14, will be joining Circa’s Washington D.C. bureau as a video journalist in September.
Tatiana Flowers,’16, will be working as a multimedia reporter at the Associated Press Denver Bureau for six months.
Maggie Freleng,’15, joined The Guardian as a podcast producer. She also landed a temporary assignment with NBCUniversal as an investigative journalist. She’ll host an upcoming documentary series.
Simon Galperin,’16, is now head of growth (U.S.) for Opinary, a German audience-engagement startup.
Damian Geminder,’15, is working as the communications coordinator and editor at Feminists for Life.
George Goss,’16, is interning for the National Catholic Reporter.
In June 2016, Orie Givens,’13,became the first race-and-ethnicity correspondent for TheAdvocate.com. He’s currently a freelance video producer/correspondent on the same beat. In January of this year, he joined FactSet Research Systems as the internal marketing communications manager.
Nico Grant,’16, is now a reporter for Bloomberg News, where he covers technology.
Colby Hamilton,’10, has moved to the Law Journal, where he covers national litigation.
Mary Hanbury,’16, and Paul Hernandez,’16, landed internships with Business Insider.
Anthony Izaguirre,’16, has joined the Associated Press Philadelphia Bureau after covering the Alabama legislature for the AP earlier this year.
Joseph Darius Jaafari,’16, screened his new film, “WOOF: A Barkumentary,” across the country in July. You can get more information at www.woofthedoc.com.
Josh Keefe,’16, is reporting for the International Business Times, where he covers money in politics.
Dmitry Kiper,’07, was hired as an adjunct lecturer at CUNY’s Lehman College, where he’ll teach an English class starting in the fall. He’s been teaching at CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College for nearly two years.
Olivia Leach,’15, has joined ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” as an assistant to the executive producer.
Sierra Leone,’13, joined KSBW-TV, an NBC affiliate serving Monterey and Salinas in California. Her story on a local surf legend received national recognition and aired on CNN.
Kathryn Long,’15, joined Mental Floss as a staff editor.
Guglielmo Mattioli,’16, will be interning for five months in the Virtual Reality unit at The New York Times.
Zameena Mejia,’16, joined the CNBC Make It vertical at CNBC.com, where she will report, write and produce digital content on entrepreneurship.
Jacob Passy,’14, is now a personal finance reporter at “Marketplace.”
Nick Perez,’16, got an internship with the Sacramento Bee as a video and graphics producer.
Alexa Pipia,’15, is working as an assistant social media editor at Rolling Stone.
Rheaa Rao,’16, landed an internship with The Wall Street Journal’s CFO vertical.
Noa Radosh,’16, co-founded Forus Sifer Kilometer, a platform designed to help young Palestinians find freelance work.
Ana Maria Rodriguez,’15, joined the Univision Noticias digital video unit in Miami as a health journalist.
Daisy Rosario,’12, moved to the D.C area and is now the managing producer for WAMU’s 88.5 podcast “The Big Listen.”
In April, Bianca Silva,’15, joined the Bleacher Report as a digital producer.
Nico Grant,’16, won the most recent CUNY-J Frederic Wiegold Prize for Business Reporting.
Amital Isaac,’12, a producer for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” took home an Emmy for Outstanding Morning Program.
Nicole Lewis,’16, won the most recent CUNY-J Newsweek Alumni Prize. A fellow for the GroundTruth reporting project, she is currently interning for the Washington Post’s national desk.
Kathryn Long,’15, was chosen as a fellow for the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources’ Great Bear Institute. She will be reporting on conservation issues, sustainable industry and coastal science.
Musikilu Mojeed,’09, managing editor at Nigeria’s multimedia newspaper, Premium Times, and Alcione Gonzalez,’11, an investigative journalist for Fusion, were part of the Panama Papers consortium, which won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.
Annais Morales,’11, and her team at NY1 won the New York Press Club’s TV Spot News award for the station’s coverage of the 2016 Chelsea bombing–news coverage for which Morales was executive producer. Earlier this year, she helped launch NY1’s “In Focus with Cheryl Wills,” a 30-minute weekly public affairs program.
Acclaimed Netflix documentary “Amanda Knox,” which was produced by Stephen Robert Morse,’12, is up for an Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special category.
Barry Paddock,’08, a writer for the New York Daily News, worked on the Daily News/ProPublica in-depth series on the NYPD’s use of the nuisance abatement law to evict business owners and residents. The story won a Pulitzer in the Public Service Journalism category.
Mariya Pylayev,’12, won a James Beard awardfor video storytelling for her data/video piece “Thrill Ride.”
Mike Reicher,’09, who now reports for The Tennessean, is the winner of the Stephen B. Shepard Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Nadia Rose,’15, along with a fellow writer, won third place for spot news coverage from the New York Press Association.
Taylor Tepper,’12, won the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for “The High Cost of Coping” in Money Magazine. He also received the Best in Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) and a Deadline Club SPJ Chapter award.
Almudena Toral,’10,video/animation story for Univision Noticias,“Crimes on Cruise Ships: Impunity on the High Seas,” won a 2017 Photo District News Press Award. She also worked with her colleagues on two Emmy-nominated stories for Outstanding Features in Spanish.
Tanzina Vega,’10, was featured in HerAgenda, a weekly Power Agenda series. The digital platform aims to bridge the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women.
Emily Feldman,’09, coverage on the future of children exposed to the violence of Jihad insurgents was the cover story for Newsweek.
Rosa Goldensohn, ’14, now a researcher at The New York Times, published an investigative piece on the close ties between New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and a major developer for affordable housing, a story that received significant recognition after it ran in CrainsNY.
Beyond Borders with Kiratiana Freelon
1. Why Brazil? What are you doing now?
I moved to Brazil in April of 2015 because I wanted to launch my career as an international reporter, and at the time Brazil was a “hot” place for news. Rio would be hosting the Olympic Games in 2016 and the country was undergoing significant political changes. It was a good market to start a career. I also love Afro-Brazilian culture, so I knew it would be an easy place to adjust to. Right now I’m freelancing in Brazil, based in Rio de Janeiro. My work has appeared in The Washington Post, Fusion, New York magazine, The Root, Shadow and Act, among others.
2. You covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Tell us about your experience.
I covered the build up to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Until April 2016, I wrote about the effect of the Games on Brazil. During the Games I worked for the organizing committee, managing the English-language social media platforms: These were entirely different experiences; one was journalism, the other was public relations and communications.
3. Any parallels or difficulties that exist in reporting abroad vs. reporting in the U.S.?
The good thing about Brazilian people is that they are very open people, so finding stories and reporting them isn’t entirely difficult. It just takes time and effort.
4. Advice for current students/alums who are thinking about reporting overseas?
As a student, I would try to use the summer to report in the country you are interested in moving to. This will give you a head start in adjusting to and reporting in a new country, I wish I had known that. Join every facebook group related to your region and reporting. I manage a Facebook group for women international reporters. Send me an email if you want to join at Kiratiana@gmail.com.
CUNY Graduate Center features J-School photos
The first decade of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism generated a range of visual reporting that challenges conventional ideas about New York City. Focusing on overlooked neighborhoods and subjects, the work produced by our students reveals a complex, lively and often unseen version of the city and its environs.
Left: Class of 2013’s Skyler Reid hangs a photo at the Grad Center.
Faculty and Staff News
Lisa Armstrong, who has served with distinction as a Craft, Narrative, and International Reporting professor since she started working at the J-School eight years ago, has been appointed to the full-time faculty as an associate professor, effective in the fall 2017 semester.
Adjunct professor and Social-J alum,’15, Sabrina Gordon,along with her colleagues, was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentaries category for “BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez,” which chronicles the life of the famous poet.
Miguel Paz, distinguished lecturer in data journalism, went to Chile in June for a reporting trip, during which he also gave presentations about fake news in electoral processes in the National Congress and at the Journalism School of Concepción University.
CUNY J+ Workshops
Need to update your video skills? Curious about bots? Hungry to learn investigative tricks from a Pulitzer Prize winner?
CUNY-J alumni get 50% off on most of our CUNY J+ digital skills workshops. Use the code ALUM50