Once again, we have an impressive lineup of speakers for commencement, which will take place on December 17 for the Class of 2021 at The Times Center on West 41st Street.
Danielle Belton, named editor-in-chief of the Huffpost earlier this year after serving for more than five years as lead editor of The Root, will deliver the keynote address. Prior to her time at The Root, the nation’s leading Black news website, Belton produced her own blog, was a writer for late-night television, and freelanced for news organizations such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Essence, The Guardian, and The American Prospect. She has lectured on race and journalism on college campuses, appeared as a political observer and cultural critic on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, Good Morning America, and ABC’s Nightline, and been a regular contributor to NPR’s “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin. In July, Editor & Publisher named her one of “10 Women to Watch.”
Samantha Stark ’10, a director/producer for “The New York Times Presents” on FX and Hulu whose new documentary “Controlling Britney Spears” just came out on the heels of her widely acclaimed film “Framing Britney Spears,” will be our alumni speaker. Following her graduation, Stark worked as an associate producer on Documentary Program Director Yoruba Richen’s award-winning film, “The New Black,” and as a video journalist for The New York Times. On the strength of her video skills, Stark taught as an adjunct at the J-School for four years in our Video Storytelling course.
Angela Palumbo, a business and economics concentration student interested in audio reporting, was selected by her 2021 classmates to represent them as the student speaker. Palumbo, who hails from Long Island, graduated in May 2020 with a B.A. in Communications from SUNY Cortland, where she worked on the college newspaper for two of her four years. A 2021 summer intern for WBAI and co-founder of the Women in Media club at the J-School, she has distinguished herself with her strong, positive spirit during this past difficult year. Less well known is that she is trained in martial arts and has a second degree black belt in Jeet Kune Do.