Class of 2012

 

Jaslee Carayol covers the Filipino community for the New York Torch. Jaslee graduated from Hunter College with a degree in media studies and Asian American studies.  She worked as a production intern at Dan Rather Reports.  She currently studies broadcast journalism at Columbia University.

email: jlc2222@columbia.edu

 

 

 

Lesley Dong covers the Chinese community for the New York Torch. Lesley is originally from Beijing, China; she came to Nebraska six years ago and attended Creighton University, where she earned a BA in accounting. Lesley has interned with Nebraska ABC affiliate KETV, and with a talk show in China. After seeing the different news systems in China and America, Lesley became interested in bridging the divide. She is most interested in covering international issues and business — especially between China and America. Currently, Lesley is studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: xld2000@columbia.edu

 

Salim Essaid reports on the Lebanese and Syrian communities for the New York Torch. Salim earned his undergraduate degree in Japanese and Arabic from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has worked as an associate producer at the Japanese television channel NHK World in California. Salim is co-president of the Arab-Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA) – the Columbia University chapter and has written for the Jordan Times, MigrantRights.org and broadcast for Pacifica Radio and NHK World. Currently, he is pursuing his graduate degree at the Columbia Journalism School, specializing in broadcast journalism. He can be reached at se2298@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter @SalimEssaid.

email: se2298@columbia.edu

 

Brandon L. Gates is a native of Charleston, SC and covers the Dominican community for the New York Torch. Brandon earned his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina. He is the social media coordinator for the Torch.

Brandon’s interned at KVVU in Las Vegas and worked as a campus correspondent for CNN University. He co-hosted Your New Nation, a nationally-syndicated radio show where he and his co-hosts engaged in weekly debates ranging from politics to social issues.

Brandon is a self-proclaimed news junkie and enjoys all kinds of music, especially 1930s & 40s jazz. He is a fan of the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Pittsburgh Steelers, and of course the Gamecocks football team.

Currently. Brandon’s pursuing an MS in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. You can contact him at blg2125@columbia.edu, and follow him on Twitter: @TheBGates.

email: blg2125@columbia.edu

Sergey Gordeev covers New York’s Russian-speaking community for the New York Torch.  He was born in Moscow and has studied English at Moscow State University before moving to the United States at the age of 15.  He also graduated with a B.A. in Communication from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX and studied dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York.

Sergey’s articles about arts and culture have been published in the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia.  His Russian translations of Sam Shepard’s Ages of the Moon and Curse of the Starving Class have been published and produced in Russia.  Sergey is currently working on the English translation of a stage adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot.

Sergey is an accomplished jazz pianist and composer.  His music compositions for ballet and modern dance have been performed in the U.S. and abroad, and he has performed regularly as a jazz pianist in New York City.  He has also appeared as an actor in several productions in NYC and has appeared on Sex And The City, CSI: NY, and One Life To Live.

As a PR specialist, Sergey has worked with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, DanceBrazil, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, among others.  In 1999, together with Larissa Saveliev, Sergey co-founded Youth America Grand Prix, which has become the world’s largest international student ballet scholarship competition recognized by UNESCO for its contributions to international dance education.

Sergey currently studies Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: sg2937@columbia.edu

Eléonore Hamelin covers the Senegalese community for the New York Torch. She has interned at Radio France Internationale, a French public radio network, and has worked on the night shift for public television in Paris, at France Télévisions. She interned in Cairo, Egypt, last summer, for the English-speaking Al-Ahram weekly. Before coming to Columbia University, Eléonore was shooting a web-documentary in Morocco, about the influence of the Arab Spring on young filmmakers.

Eléonore has a very international background: She was born in France and grew up in Brazil and in Thailand; she recently lived in Mexico City and Hong Kong. She studied at Sciences-Po University in Paris as an undergrad, and has a masters degree from Sciences-Po School of Journalism. Eléonore is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: esh2140@columbia.edu

Jake Heller covers New York’s Liberian community for the New York Torch. He is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Jake has worked at the British daily newspaper The Independent, has produced and hosted a debate for Intelligence Squared, and has documented the lives of immigrants displaced by genocide and other human rights violations for the Life Stories Project. In the non-journalism world, Jake has worked as a soccer and hockey referee, at a summer camp in upstate New York, at the Clinton Global Initiative, and in the British House of Commons. He is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: jgh2128@columbia.edu

 

 

Jackie Kostek covers the Puerto Rican community for the New York Torch.  She lives for a good story, a good conversation, or a good laugh.  Before Columbia Journalism School, she was teaching three- and four-year-olds in Washington, D.C with Teach For America.  If you’ve got an education story, send it her way.  Her dream is to host NBC’s Today or have her own show on Travel Channel. Jackie is studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: jck2155@columbia.edu

 

John Light covers New York’s Bangladeshi community for the New York Torch. Before coming to Columbia’s journalism school, John was a freelance writer and editor, contributing regularly to Need to Know on PBS. He’s also had quite a few internships including one at NOVA, the science documentary television program. John has a BA from Oberlin College, where he found his calling while editing the student newspaper and hosting shows on the college radio station. He likes to drive, and appreciates good food and drink. John is the Managing Editor of the Torch’s website. He is studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: jal2249@columbia.edu

 

 

Leisha Marie covers the Greek community for the New York Torch. She is originally from Little Falls, NY and recently graduated from Emerson College. Leisha’s journalistic work has afforded her the opportunity to interview many different people–from witches in Salem to Victoria Kennedy. Leisha would love to work for the Today Show someday and really wants to go on an African safari. She is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: lmm2248@columbia.edu

 

Neha Tara Mehta is covering the Egyptian community in New York in a bid to understand the revolution unfolding not just in Egypt but throughout the Middle East, and to chronicle history as it unfolds in front of her.

She discovered her passion for storytelling when she stumbled upon dog-eared books in her elder sister’s bookshelf as an 8-year-old. A few years later, a piece she wrote on the Gulf war won her a Royal Commonwealth Society award. Her love for writing led her to a career in journalism, and she has interned and worked in leading national dailies in India for the last seven years, including The Hindu, The Times of India, the Hindustan Times and The Pioneer. 

Neha enjoys long-form journalism and going behind the headlines, and gravitated towards Sunday newspapers early in her career. In her last assignment, she was a special correspondent at Mail Today. She steered the paper’s literary coverage as the Books editor, and also anchored the Sunday news and analysis section. She has reported from Australia on violence against Indian students studying there and from Karachi on the shrinking liberal space in Pakistan following Governor Salman Taseer’s assassination.

She is at Columbia on a Fulbright fellowship for a dual degree at the Graduate School of Journalism and the School of International and Public Affairs. She is a student of broadcast journalism this year, and will study international affairs the following year. In her free time, Neha explores the streets with her SLR camera. Black and white is her preferred medium, and wishes she could see the world through Henri Cartier-Bresson’s eye. View her photos on http://nehataramehta.wordpress.com/ and follow her tweets @nehataramehta.

 

 

Ines Novacic is a Yugoslavian-Irish journalist who covers the Irish ethnic beat for the New York Torch. Ines has worked for a magazine in Dublin, and co-edited three college newspapers at her alma mater, Trinity College Dublin. She is interested in religion, politics, and current affairs, and she plans to work in television after she graduates. Ines is currently studying Broadcast Journalism and Documentary at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: in2173@columbia.edu

 

 

Linda Ong covers the Burmese community for the New York Torch. Prior to coming to New York to study at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Linda interned for CBS5 News and AsianWeek in San Francisco. She is interested in immigration, education, and health reporting.

email: lo2230@columbia.edu

 

 

Andrew Parsons covers the Jamaican diaspora for the New York Torch.

Andrew is originally from outside Scranton, PA and went to Syracuse University before joining Teach For America in 2006. While teaching, Andrew began to make radio documentaries. He launched a storytelling podcast, Radio Waves, which gained a solid following and has been featured on Remix Radio and KUT Texas among others. He’s reported for public radio journalist Sally Herships, Murray Street Productions and WNYC’s On The Media and has been broadcast on WGBH Boston’s Arts & Ideas, Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio’s JazzStories and NPR’s Snap Judgment. In 2010, Andrew co-produced an animated oral history of Los Sures, Brooklyn at the UnionDocs Documentary Collaborative.

He is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: ajp2187@columbia.edu

 

 

Olivia Smith is covering New York’s Italian Community for the New York Torch. She started her journalism career at age fifteen with an exposé for her local town newspaper. A California native, she earned her bachelor’s degree from NYU and is currently attending Columbia University’s J-School, where she is studying Broadcast Journalism. She has worked on stories for 60 Minutes, CNN and multiple newspapers, websites and magazines around the world. Olivia is most interested in science, investigative and culture reporting.

email: oms2109@columbia.edu

 

 

 

Elaisha Stokes covers the Haitian beat for the New York Torch. She has previously written for Canadian Geographic and This Magazine. Her films have appeared in film festivals across North America. Elaisha has traveled to 25 countries, including Haiti in the spring of 2010. Elaisha is studying Broadcast Journalism and Documentary at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: ecs2170@columbia.edu

 

 

 

Nathan Vickers covers the Peruvian community for the New York Torch. Vickers has reported for KTVO television in Kirksville Mo, and his writing has appeared in the Truman Index, the Latin American News Dispatch, and on eHow.com. He’s always looking for new, creative story ideas, but his favorite thing to cover is food. He is studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

email: nav2112@columbia.edu

 

 

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