Northattan.com covers Manhattan’s northern neighborhoods from Inwood to the Upper West Side and everything in between. Multimedia reporters from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism are on the ground scouring for stories from the top of the city. Meet the reporters:
Amber Binion covers Hamilton Heights in West Harlem. A Georgia native, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Spelman College in Atlanta, where she also hosted and produced an online radio show that reached hundreds of college-aged listeners every week. Binion has experience in advertising and marketing from Starcom Media Group, as well as corporate public relations experience as a communications coordinator at Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. Now earning her Master of Science in journalism at Columbia University, she hopes to work as an on-air journalist specializing in art and culture. Follow her @AmberBinion.
Turner G. Cowles reports about Spanish Harlem for Northattan. Originally from Fairhope, Ala., Cowles was raised in Naples, Fla., and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University in Tallahassee; he minored in broadcast journalism at Florida A&M University. He was the vice president and co-founder of the FSU chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists. Cowles led most of the major collegiate news outlets in Tallahassee simultaneously, serving as assignments editor for V89 News, news editor for the FSView & Florida Flambeau and live newscast anchor for the FAMU “News 20 at 5” newscast. He also interned for the local ABC affiliate. Follow him on Twitter @turnercowles, his website and on Facebook.
Richard Dinardo covers East Harlem. He is a former combat correspondent and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. During his time at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, he contributed to the live broadcasts of reconnaissance satellite launches and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile tests on the NASA channel. He documented and produced news packages of prominent mission activities used for the base’s website and Armed Forces Network. While deployed in the Middle East, he documented and uploaded daily combat mission highlights to the Pentagon, where officials used the information to make mission-critical decisions. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from New School this past May. Follow him on Twitter @Dinardo743
Emma Elbuzedi reports on South Harlem. Hailing from the East Coast of Scotland, Elbuzedi holds a master’s degree with joint honors in international relations and Arabic from the University of Saint Andrews as well as an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, where she studied on a competitive scholarship from the Carnegie Trust. She has worked at Al Jazeera English, Radio Sawa and MBC. Elbuzedi has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, where she studied Arabic at the Bourguiba Institute in Tunis, read political science at the American University in Cairo and worked with Palestinian and Iraqi refugees for the UN in Damascus. Her reporting interests are eclectic, from social justice and Middle Eastern politics and culture to music, fashion and entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @Emmoushe.
Jon Gerberg covers culture, race, communities and power; and their various intersections on the streets of Harlem. He has worked as a video journalist in New York for a number of years, mainly as a video producer for the TV and radio world news hour “Democracy Now!” Currently pursuing a master’s in broadcast journalism at Columbia University, he has also contributed to The Guardian, Brooklyn Independent Television, Free Speech Radio News and New York City’s Indypendent. Follow him on Twitter @JonGerberg.
Mustafa Hameed covers Hamilton Heights. He was born in Pakistan and completed high school in Indianapolis before getting his Bachelor of Arts at Columbia University. After working for PBS in Indianapolis as a writer and producer, Hameed returned to New York to study political science before beginning his master’s program at the Graduate School of Journalism. As an undergraduate, Hameed was president of CIRCA, the international relations organization at Columbia, and managing editor of the Journal of Politics & Society. He has also directed a number of short films and is in the documentary program at the Journalism School. Follow him on Twitter @mustafahameed.
Gayatri Kaul was born and raised in Kolkata, India. She has a thirst for learning and a dream of becoming a journalist that have propelled her all the way to New York. She has a background in political science from St. Xavier’s College and is currently reporting on Inwood. With a love for film, music, travel and mayhem, she hopes to make documentaries and report on the world in a period of transition. You can find her at a Coldplay concert or on Facebook and Twitter @ViolentSpring.
Xiaoran Liu covers Morningside Heights and Manhattanville. She was born and raised in China. She graduated from Renmin University with a B.A. in journalism and new media design, and then studied at Tsinghua University in journalism and communication. Now she is studying broadcast journalism in Columbia University. She worked in Phoenix TV’s Beijing office as a program director and editor, responsible for over 150 episodes. Liu had a personal exhibition in Beijing in 2011, combining traditional Chinese art with modern art and video installations. She produced a short documentary film, “No Sound,” in 2012. @NycRita.
Cherlynn Low covers Inwood. Originally from Singapore, she is new to beat reporting, and is finding it to be rewarding. She enjoys getting to know the neighborhood and is passionate about reporting on social issues that affect the community. She hopes that through her reporting, she may improve the lives of the people around her. In her free time, Low enjoys singing, shopping and sleeping. @CherlynnLow.
Elizabeth Murray covers Fort George. She comes to Northattan after working in television publicity for a year. Previously, she worked as a sports reporter/Web producer for Youth1, an online startup that covers youth sports. Murray graduated from Lehigh University in 2010 with majors in journalism and international relations. She was a member of the Lehigh University Swim Team and interned at United Nations Television. Her journalism interests include politics and environmental issues. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabthMurray.
Luisa Navarro covers Washington Heights. Mexican-American and originally from Dallas, Navarro graduated from Boston College in 2012 with a B.A. in communications, with English and Italian concentrations. She has interned for Univision and Fox 4 in Dallas, Newton News, Fox 25 and New England Cable News in Boston, as well as “Happening Now” on the Fox News Channel in New York City. Navarro studied in Florence, Italy, in 2011. She speaks Spanish and Italian and hopes to do international reporting and wants to reach out to these audiences through social media. Her favorite part of storytelling is knowing that even through the most adverse moments in life, there’s always an opportunity to grow and learn by sharing perspectives. Facebook and Twitter @LuisaFNavarro.
Lorena O’Neil covers Washington Heights. She has worked as a journalist for five years, for publications including the New York Post, PopSugar, HollywoodLife, NewNowNext, OK! Magazine Australia and Diario ABC. She has reported from New York City, Los Angeles, Sydney and Asuncion, Paraguay. O’Neil graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both English and Spanish literature. Her journalistic interests include social justice issues, particularly LGBT and women’s rights. Follow her on Twitter @LorenaONeil.
Kristen Reed reports on news in Manhattanville and Morningside Heights. She received a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication with concentrations in broadcast, public relations and corporate communication from Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga. Her passion for journalism grows out of her desire to tell stories about the interesting and true. Reed is a native of LaGrange, Ga., and aspires to be an entertainment producer and social secretary of the United States. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in journalism at Columbia University. You can follow her blog and her Twitter @KristenBReed.
Tenzin Shakya covers Manhattan Valley and Riverside. Shakya has more than four years of experience producing news stories in private and nonprofit journalism. She’s a second-generation Tibetan, born in Nepal and raised in San Francisco Bay Area. Before becoming a journalist, Shakya worked for Rethink Media, a nonprofit organization working to shift the public discussion on issues related to peace and security, national security, and human rights. Shakya believes journalism provides a platform for the public to be informed about their community, an essential part of a democratic society. Her work has been published in San Mateo County Times, San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, and the Oakland Tribune. Follow her on Twitter @tenzinshakya, her website or connect on LinkedIn.
Stuart Sia covers Central Harlem. He grew up in Los Angeles, graduating from UCLA with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in urban planning. Sia has extensive experience in public health with Planned Parenthood and most recently with the New York City Mayor’s Office. He served with the Peace Corps in Botswana, where he taught health and HIV/AIDS education. He wants to cover health, humanitarian and human rights stories around the world and is pursuing his Master of Public Health degree in population and family health and M.S. in broadcast journalism at Columbia to prepare himself for this work. Sia speaks German, Setswana and some Swahili. Follow him on Twitter @stuartjsia.
Surabhi Vaya covers East Harlem. She worked as a crime/court reporter at the Hindustan Times in Mumbai and previously interned twice at The Times of India,. Born and raised in Ahmedabad, India, she graduated from Christ College, Bangalore, in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology and literature. She is pursuing a master’s degree in broadcast journalism and hopes to go into legal reporting. Follow her on Twitter @SurabhiVaya.
Natasha Verma reports on Spanish Harlem. From Texas, Verma created the University of Texas at Austin’s first award-winning morning news talk show, “Good Morning Texas,” where she was the executive producer and host. She was named Texas Student Media’s Producer of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year. Verma graduated with bachelor degrees in broadcast journalism and biology, and at 18, was accepted to pursue her M.S. at Columbia University Journalism with a specialization in documentary filmmaking. In 2012, Verma traveled to India and visited Janta Adarsh Andh Vidyalaya, a school for visually challenged children in India, and is working with the school to raise donations. You can follow her at natashaverma.com and @NATASHA_VERMA.
Northattan.com is edited by Professors Betsy West and Edward Schumacher-Matos, with adjuncts Alan Haberchak, Brad Klein, Marianne McCunez, Merrill Perlman, Ed Robbins and Simon Surowic, and Digital Media Fellow Carmel DeAmicis. Disclaimer: Northattan reserves the right to edit comments