The Ink.nyc covers local news and feature stories in and around the New York metropolitan area. Students at Columbia Journalism School produce all of the work. The stories are edited by members of the faculty.
Header photo by Taylor Romine
Our staff, Fall 2017
Tasneem Alghamdi is a well-traveled journalist currently studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, she completed internships at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as a communication associate, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and Today’s Zaman, an English-language daily newspaper based in Turkey. She holds a B.A. in communication and design from Bilkent University in Turkey. Her stories have focused on the Syrian refugees crisis, arts and cultural diplomacy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TasneemAlghamdi.
Si Chen is a visual journalist studying documentary at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She used to work as a production intern for Zhonglan Media Co. in Beijing, producing documentaries that explore the local history and culture of small villages in China. Her work has been broadcast on CCTV Documentary, one of the biggest broadcast companies in China. Chen was born and raised in China. She got her B.A. in journalism from Indiana University in Bloomington. Her stories have focused on human interests, LGBTQIA rights, international affairs and East Asian culture. You can find her via email at email@example.com, or on Instagram @Erin.S.Chen.
Isabela Dias is a Brazilian journalist currently based in New York at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Dias previously worked as a digital content producer for Globo, one of the largest media companies in Latin America, and as a freelance reporter for the digital and print editions of Folha de São Paulo, the largest circulation newspaper in Brazil. Dias covered the 2016 impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, the Rio Olympic Games and numerous local issues in Rio de Janeiro. She has also published academic articles on storytelling and longform, multimedia journalism. Dias received her B.A. in communication and journalism from Rio de Janeiro Federal University and attended the University Sorbonne Nouvelle. You can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter as @isabelaalhadeff.
Bianca Heyward is currently studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to starting at Columbia, she was working as a freelance writer. Her work has been published on various online media outlets including Refinery29, Thrillist, Girlboss, The Huffington Post, Buzzworthy and FabFitFun. Heyward is a Los Angeles native who did her undergraduate studies at Bryn Mawr College, where she got her bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in creative writing. You can email her at email@example.com or find her on Twitter as @biancaheyward.
Zein Jardaneh is a reporter studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, with a strong interest in international affairs and socio-economic development. Previously she worked as a research analyst at a political communications and strategy firm in the United Arab Emirates, where she provided weekly news roundups and analysis for clients. She holds a B.S. in policy analysis and management from Cornell University. You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @zeebeejay.
Joshua Lucas is a journalist studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2003 to 2008, he was on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. His posts included Okinawa, Japan and the American Embassy Moscow. Before studying journalism, he worked as a producer and assistant director for movies, television, commercials and branded content. He holds a B.A. in film studies from Columbia University. He is passionate about covering politics, law enforcement and civil rights. Contact him by email at email@example.com, on find him on Twitter @joshuaklucas and on Instagram @joshuaklucas.
Nicolas Lupo is a Spanish journalist currently studying investigative journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Previously he worked as a reporter in the Middle East for five years, based in Lebanon. He produced stories on the Syrian refugees displacement, political instability in Lebanon and the Syrian conflict. He wrote for Spanish and English language news sites and papers such as Al Jazeera, Al Monitor and El Mundo, and also produced videos on a wide range of topics. In January 2015, he began work as the correspondent for Cadena SER, the biggest national news radio in Spain, in the Middle East. He also learned how to make very good cocktails. You can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @niluso.
Megan Messana is a reporter currently studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She previously worked as a writer and editor for Broken Records Magazine, covering upcoming artists, music festivals and new album releases, and implemented the first science column in Brooklyn College’s newspaper The Excelsior. Messana holds a B.A. from Brooklyn College in journalism and English literature, with concentrations in psychology and Shakespeare. Born and raised in south Brooklyn, she hopes to shine more light on the areas of New York that tend to go unseen. In her free time, you can find her reading Kurt Vonnegut and hanging out with her two cats. She can be reached via email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @megmessatweets and Instagram @_meglovin.
Isabella Rolz is a Guatemalan journalist studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where her focus is to learn how to become a multiplatform reporter. Previously, she worked at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris as a communications specialist for the Permanent Delegation of Guatemala to UNESCO. Her work has been published in The Borgen Project, Elite Daily and on various blogs. She holds a B.A in international affairs and political science from Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City, Guatemala. She’s passionate about education, global poverty, Latin America, women’s rights and international issues. You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taylor Romine is a journalist studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. They have previously worked at KPFA Pacifica Radio, The Daily Californian and Listen Local San Diego, writing about a range of topics from music reviews to city politics. They hold a B.A. in media studies and a B.A. in gender and women’s studies from the University of California at Berkeley. They are passionate about politics, music and investigative reporting. You can reach them by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @apathetic_femme.
Sara Samora is a Texas gal and journalist living her dream in New York City to pursue an M.S. degree at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She joined the Marine Corps at the age of 28 and served from 2009 to 2013. Afterward, she attended the University of Houston and earned a dual B.A. in English literature and print journalism. She also cofounded the Student Veterans of America UH chapter and worked as a peer advisor in the school’s Veteran Service Office. She loves makeup and can talk your ear off about bra fittings. Moreover, she will correct you when you say, “former Marine” or “soldier.” Follow her on Twitter @SaraESamora and Instagram @sarasamora, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juan Torres-Falcon is a reporter studying at Columbia University School of Journalism. For the past decade, Torres-Falcon, has been working as a musical theater performer, appearing in shows such as “Kinky Boots,” “West Side Story,” “A Chorus Line” and “Rent.” Now he is looking forward to telling stories in a new way as a broadcast journalist. You can find more of Torres-Falcon on his digital news show “#InJustJuanMinute” on Facebook, or through his podcast “Thanks For Glistening.” Torres-Falcon is a first generation Cuban-American, born and raised in Miami, Florida, and holds a B.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. You can reach him on Twitter @juanthatyouwant.
Erewa Uku is a bright young reporter focusing on broadcast journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 2016 with a B.A. in peace and conflict studies. During her time there, she worked for the school’s online television network CalTV as a sportscaster, interned for NBCUniversal, ABC News and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. After graduating she worked for the San Francisco Bay Area’s CBS local affiliate as a production assistant where she would write part-time for weekend morning broadcasts. She’s written stories on her passions which include sports, culture and identity, and lifestyle–always with a social justice edge. You can find her on Twitter at @RayRaysofSun or email her at email@example.com.
Angie Wang is an all-formats reporter at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she examines how national legislation impacts individuals. She recently interned with the Associated Press in Phoenix, where she covered breaking news and produced social videos for the AP’s West Region. A California native, Angie graduated from UCLA in 2017 with a B.A. in communication studies and a specialization in computing. She also worked as the Daily Bruin’s reporter, assistant photo editor and news editor. Contact Angie via email firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @byangiewang.
Yiwei Xu is a journalist studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, he worked as an editor intern for China Daily, one of the largest English language news agencies in China, where he covered local technology and education stories. He holds a B.A. in English language and literature from Nanjing University, China and attended University of Sheffield. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter as @Tonyxu2431.
Our staff, Spring 2017
Eva Andersen is a journalist currently specializing in documentary filmmaking at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, she worked as a video correspondent for New York Natives, producing stories that look at the city through the lens of a small town Midwesterner. She holds a B.A. in communication studies from the University of Northern Iowa with a minor in jazz saxophone. Her stories have focused on issues of human interest, arts, culture and disability. You can find her on Twitter at @EvaAndersenNYC.
Bailey Bryant is a multiplatform reporter studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where her focus has been transitioning from print to broadcast storytelling. Bailey currently works as a production intern at CBSN, a 24-hour internet news site run by CBS News, and as a remote copy editor at the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. Her work has been published in Newsweek, TV Guide and CBS Watch! Magazine, among other publications. Bailey was born and bred in rural Illinois and holds a B.S. in journalism from the University of Illinois with a minor in business. She’s passionate about using different mediums to keep everyday people informed – plus, birthdays, lipstick and exercise. You can reach her via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @bailsbryant.
Olivia Chang is a full-time M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Olivia was born and raised in Sydney, Australia but has also lived in Hong Kong and Munich, Germany. Prior to journalism school, she worked as a journalist and newsroom producer for Business Insider Australia where she covered stories on emerging startups, real estate and design. Her work experience also includes short internships at Sky News and Seven Network in Sydney. Olivia’s focus at graduate school has been broadcast journalism but in her spare time, you can find her scouring design blogs and eating sashimi. For story ideas and tips, you can reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter @oliviadchang.
Caroline Coles is a full-time M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and couldn’t be more excited to call New York City her home. Before coming to Columbia, she worked for Ann Curry, MSNBC, The Today Show, and she now works for NBC4. While at NBC she covered everything from international refugee stories to breaking local news stories. Born in Atlanta, Caroline was raised in Columbia, Maryland. A member of Columbia University Association of Black Journalists, Caroline graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in broadcast journalism. She dedicates much of her time to mentoring young girls. In her spare time, Caroline also enjoys spending quality time with her family, trying new things in the kitchen and traveling to warm places. For story tips, and/or to just say hello, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter @caroline_coles2.
Emily Drooby is an M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated from Manhattan College with a B.A. in broadcast journalism and a minor in religion. After graduation she worked as a producer for the national Fox News morning show, Fox & Friends while simultaneously working freelance on-air reporting and hosting jobs. In 2015, she joined ZMG as a multimedia journalist where she produced, hosted and edited short-form digital videos for Time, Hearst, AOL, MSN, Huffington Post and USA Today. In her spare time she does barre, competes in pageants and stays as far away from mint as possible. You can see her work at www.emilydrooby.com or shoot her an email at email@example.com.
Keisha Fleming is a multimedia journalist currently pursuing an M.S. degree at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to attending Columbia, she ran the special education department in a Brooklyn high school. After a number of years teaching, she transitioned into education consulting with the New York City Department of Education, where she worked with school leaders to implement practices to support students in special education. Her areas of interests include, arts and culture, public education, fashion, travel and immigration. Born to Grenadian parents and passionate about her heritage, you can find her enjoying soca and calypso music, perusing the Brooklyn Museum, frantically searching for affordable flights to the Caribbean or on twitter at @i_after_einKeis.
Darius Johnson is a full-time M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Darius was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He is a recent graduate of Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism. Before journalism school, Darius was an intern and a freelance news assistant at CNN Atlanta for the National Content Center. Darius is a general assignment reporter and enjoys covering social justice issues, immigration, health and gun violence. During his spare time he enjoys traveling, listening to music, and new adventures. For story tips and ideas, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay connected follow him on Instagram or Twitter @DariusJReports. See more of his work at, https://vimeo.com/user58722015.
Imran Ahmad Khan is a multimedia journalist currently studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, where he received an undergraduate degree in politics and economics. Before joining Columbia, Imran worked as a marketing, media and PR manager for the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistan Super League. He writes on current affairs and cricket for Dawn, The Express Tribune, The Friday Times, CricViz and AllOutCricket. He also appears on the online cricket show Pace Is Pace Yaar. Say hello on Twitter @imranahmadkh or drop an email at email@example.com. Imran is always up for a discussion on the beautiful game of cricket!
Abhishyant Kidangoor is a full-time student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before moving to New York, he worked at Indian news channel CNN-IBN for two years. He was the producer for the channel’s breakfast news show and his responsibilities included writing and coordinating the bulletin. At Columbia University, Abhishyant produces video and multimedia stories. His love for tennis is only exceeded by his passion for theater. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AbhishyantPK.
Amy Lu is a full-time M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado but left home to pursue her bachelor’s at New York University. She majored in broadcast journalism and politics while interning at many broadcast news organizations, including ABC, NBC and Vice on HBO. She’s interested in covering politics, transit and social justice issues. She especially loves to cover stories related to Asian Americans. For comments and story ideas, contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter @amyelu94
Gabriela Milian is a part-time M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is working for ABC News’ digital team. Born in Albany, New York and raised all across the United States, she has published articles for many online publications on her travels around the world and current events. She recently graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and Spanish. She was the editor of The Tab Rutgers, one of the first U.S. divisions of the UK online publication. For any story tips or comments, please reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter and Instagram. See more of her work at https://gabrielamiliantv.com/
Erica Pishdadian is an M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. After graduating from the University of Rhode Island in 2013 with a B.A. in political science, she lived and studied in New Orleans and Montreal before moving to New York. She served as a news editor at International Business Times for more than a year, and her work has appeared in Marie Claire, Vice and xoJane, among others. Erica is a diehard fan of the New England Patriots, and in her spare time she enjoys movies, backpacking and the tireless pursuit of really good macarons. Follow her on Twitter @ericapishdadian.
Anade Situma is an M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Born in Zimbabwe to a Kenyan father and Tanzanian mother, she lived in South Africa for 19 years. Anade has a B.Com. in politics, philosophy and economics from the University of Cape Town and a background in film production, digital print journalism and urban development. Leading up to her career in journalism, she was focused on architecture and urban development in South Africa. Anade has worked for Monocle Magazine, Monkey Films and Propertuity. Anade’s focus is diversification of the perspectives shaping the global narrative on South and East Africa. You can reach her at email@example.com and @anadesituma or her website anadesitumamsc.squarespace.com.
Kirsten Watson is a full-time M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in anthropology and film. After graduation she worked for the NFL Network producing features for Game Day Morning, and for Spectrum Sportsnet LA, where she worked on the shows Backstage: Dodgers and Dodgers Dugout. Kirsten is a sports reporter and enjoys focusing on stories about the intersection of race and sports. For story tips and ideas, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay connected follow her on Instagram or Twitter @kirsten_watson. You can see more of her work at www.kirsten-watson.com.
Kawala Xie is pursuing her M.S at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Born in Guangzhou, China, she came to the U.S. at 16 and recently graduated from Brandeis University with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and French. Previously she interned at local media in Boston and in France, where she produced a series of news packages on both local and international issues. You can reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter and Instagram @kawalaxl. See more of her work at https://kawalaxl.wixsite.com/journalism.
Our staff, Fall 2016
Santiago J. Arnaiz is a full-time M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Born and raised in the Philippines, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in legal management from the Ateneo de Manila University. While there, he founded the school’s official online magazine, Vantage, and covered a breadth of topics ranging from food and beverage to politics. He worked as an editorial and style intern at Rogue Magazine and credits much of his people skills to his stint as a bartender. He makes a mean whiskey sour. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @TiagoArnaiz.
Devin Briski is pursuing her M.S. at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Previously she served as publishing and marketing associate at Stanford Social Innovation Review, where she produced webinars and conferences for a global audience of social change leaders. She also freelanced for online magazine The Ventured Life where she wrote about Silicon Valley’s start-up culture. She holds a B.A. in sociology from Columbia University. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter/Instagram at @devin0nearth. Read her past work at www.devinbriski.com/clips.
Gabriela Bhaskar is an M.S. student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is a University of California, Davis alumni and holds a diploma from Speos Photographic Institute in Paris, France. She has photographed and reported for publications around the world and aims to continue her photographic work upon graduation focusing on the human experience in disenfranchised populations. You can connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or @GabrielaBhaskar on Twitter. Her photographic work can be seen at www.gabrielabhaskar.com or on Instagram @dontgabalot.
Tiancheng Zhang (Harry Chang) is a journalism and computer science graduate student at Columbia University. A coder who spent too much time on news sites in his former life, he loves technology and he loves stories. He feels that unfortunate as it sounds, human feelings are what makes our world run and be interesting. He doesn’t talk much, but when he does, he doesn’t talk much. He doesn’t write a lot, but when he does, he writes a lot. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Instagram at @harry_chang_tc
Nicole Einbinder is a full-time M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism interested in pursuing human rights, social justice and investigative stories. A Southern California native, she studied journalism and international studies at the University of Washington, where she served as a reporter and editor for her campus newspaper. She was a digital media intern at KING 5, Seattle’s NBC-affiliated station, news intern at the Orange County Register and features intern at the Seattle Times. Nicole is excited to explore her new city and experience East Coast life. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @NicoleEinbinder.
British-Kiwi export Natasha Frost is a full-time MS student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was the BBC’s Paris news intern in 2013, received a B.A. (Hons) from the University of Oxford in English and French in 2014, and has spent the last two years in New Zealand working as a digital journalist and producer for state broadcaster RNZ’s news team. She has also freelanced for a variety of publications including The Wireless (NZ), The Independent (UK) and The New Statesman’s sister site CityMetric (UK). Natasha tweets @natashamfrost and can be reached at email@example.com.
Sarah Gibson is a full-time M.S. candidate at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she is focusing on social justice, environmental and radio reporting. Prior to Columbia, Sarah received an artist residency from the Sitka Fellows Program in Alaska and worked with food justice nonprofits in North Carolina. She earned her B.A. in history from Brown University, with additional work in English and Africana studies. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @schadgibson.
Aditi Hudli is a full time M.S. student at Columbia University’s dual degree computer science and journalism program. She completed her undergraduate degree in June, 2016, from India, where she majored in computer science. She interned at The Hindu, where she reported on arts and culture at a local level. She is interested in interactive and data driven stories and in the general overlap between computer science and journalism. That will be her main focus upon graduating. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @aditihudli. Message her, she always replies.
Rashida Kamal is currently pursuing dual M.S. degrees in journalism and computer science at Columbia University. She completed her undergraduate education at New York University, where she majored in an interdisciplinary program focused on linguistics, cognitive science and philosophy of the mind. After college, she served as a White House Intern and a staffer in the White House Fellows Office. She is interested in covering democracy and governance and would like to engage in work that strives to reimagine the future of journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @just_rashida.
Caitlin “Cat” Kelley is a full-time M.S. candidate at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism whose #personalbrand is cats, K-pop and crying. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Her arts coverage populated the pages of publications like The Daily Californian, The Channels and The Santa Barbara Independent. Her incisive critical eye will penetrate the zeitgeist of the pop culture landscape if she ever gets paid for her work. Please hire her. She begs you. You can find her on Twitter at @catrkelley and on Instagram at @purrmudgeon.
Arijeta Lajka is a full-time M.S student focusing on gender, politics and conflict. She received a B.A. in both English literature and political science at Wagner College. She has worked for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) in Kosovo’s capital Pristina, where she covered politics and culture, and at VICE News where she wrote about police brutality, terrorism and international news. For U.N. Women in New York, Arijeta also wrote and edited news and feature stories concerning violence against women, women in peace and security and covered conferences at the U.N. Headquarters. You can reach her at email@example.com and on Twitter @arijetalajka.
Ravie Lakshmanan is currently pursuing a dual degree master’s at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and School of Engineering and Applied Science. He received his bachelor’s in computer science from Amrita School of Engineering and has previously worked as a software programmer for Infosys Limited and Goldman Sachs & Co. He loves the intersection of journalism and technology and hopes to focus on investigative, data-driven reporting in the world of business and finance. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter/Instagram at @ravielakshmanan.
Tara Law is currently pursuing an M.S. at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She received her B.A. at Connecticut College, where she studied Slavic studies and international politics. She previously worked for human rights nonprofits PROOF: Media for Social Justice in New York and International Center Memorial in Moscow. She speaks Russian and is interested in covering Eastern Europe, in-depth personal stories and human rights news. You can reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter @tara6277.
Navraj Narula is a graduate student at Columbia University studying journalism and computer science. She currently holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Boston University. Narula is passionate about storytelling in numbers and hopes to find a career in which she can work with big data using applications of natural language processing and programming in general. You can follow her on Twitter @NavieRula.
Chuan Tian is studying for his dual M.S. degree in journalism and computer science at Columbia University. He graduated from Southwest University of Political Science and Law, where he majored in journalism. Since then, he has written data-driven stories on various issues for Caixin.com. He is interested in legal issues, politics, quantitative predictive models, cyber-security and everything about China. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and github.com/TianchuanGitHub