NY City Lens illuminates the rich and varied life of New York City—borough by borough, neighborhood by neighborhood, one good story at a time. It is produced by students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. The Spring 2017 site is staffed by students in the City Newsroom class taught by professors Dody Tsiantar, Mike Hoyt, Simon Surowicz with teaching assistants Edward Robbins and Christine McKenna. In Fall 2017, contributors are in the Reporting course taught by June Cross and Kim Kleman.
Meet the Reporters of Spring 2017
Anya Chapman covers Manhattan for NY City Lens. She came to the U.S. 13 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Finance and worked as a financial analyst for five years for several Fortune 500 companies. Aside from English, Anya also speaks Russian, Ukrainian, and Spanish.
Keenan Chen covers Queens for NY City Lens and is a social media editor for the site. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015, where he studied journalism and political science, and wrote for the nonprofit investigative news site, CU-CitizenAccess.
Adriana Loureiro Fernandez covers Brooklyn for NY City Lens and is a photo editor for the site. She was born and raised in Venezuela, where she earned a B.A. in Media Studies at Andres Bello Catholic University. Adriana has worked as a freelance multimedia journalist in Venezuela for the last three years, covering human rights issues, violence, and social unrest.
Natasha Frost covers the Bronx for NY City News and is an assistant editor for the site. She was the BBC’s Paris news intern in 2013. She received a B.A. with Honors 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 the public broadcaster RNZ’s news team and evening news show, Checkpoint.
Cale Holmes covers the Bronx for NY City Lens and is a social media editor for the site. Based in Washington, D.C., he graduated from Randolph College in 2016 with a degree in Global Studies. He was a reporter at his college newspaper, The Sundial, covering campus politics. Before coming to Columbia, Cale interned for Washington’s We Act Radio and free-lanced for online publications, covering labor issues in the South as well as U.S. foreign policy.
Allison Lau covers the Bronx for NY City Lens and is a photo editor for the site. She is a multimedia journalist from California specializing in video journalism. She received her bachelor’s degree in literary journalism at the University of California, Irvine and wrote breaking news and feature stories for outlets in Los Angeles and San Francisco counties.
Nafisa Masud covers Manhattan for NY City Lens. Originally from Salt Lake City, Nafisa received her B.A. in English, International Relations, and Spanish from the University of Utah. During this time she worked as a columnist for the Daily Utah Chronicle, contributor and editor for HerCampus Utah, and post-commencement as a content writer, Spanish/Arabic teacher, and interpreter for the Refugee Association of Utah. Her interest is in print and video feature journalism, and she’s pursuing a thesis on progressive millennial Muslim-Americans.
Danish Mehboob covers Brooklyn for NY City Lens and is a web editor for the site. He graduated from the University of Washington with focuses in economics, mathematics, and journalism. While studying in Seattle, he free-lanced for publications including the International Examiner and South Seattle Emerald. His reporting interest is in American-Islamic relations.
Katryna Perera covers Queens for NY City Lens. She is from Washington D.C. and received her B.A. from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where she majored in communications and political science. During her undergraduate career she was the news editor for her campus newspaper, The Hawk. She is interested in topics ranging from American politics to international social justice.
Nadeem Shad covers Brooklyn for the NY City Lens and is a social media editor for the site. A graduate of the London School of Economics. Nadeem has worked as a producer for a wire service in London as well as brief stints at the BBC World Service and Sky News.
Patrick Ralph covers the Bronx for NY City Lens and is a web editor for the site. Patrick is from New Jersey and graduated from Villanova University in 2016, where he was a sports reporter for The Villanovan. Patrick has also written for Bloomberg News and AOL Sports.
Tenzin Sangmo covers Queens for NY City Lens and is photo editor for the site. She is a Tibetan, born and brought up in India. She studied media technologies and worked as a travel blogger before joining Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Preeti Singh covers Queens for NY City Lens and is an assistant editor for the site. She has an MBA and worked in pharmaceuticals, publishing, and executive search before venturing into journalism. Preeti has a guest column with the Scarsdale Inquirer, and contributes features to talkingcranes.com, Mid-day, The Quint, DailyO, and The Wire. Her interests range from healthcare and business reporting to human interest and general assignments.
Belén Smole covers Manhattan for NY City Lens. She graduated in 2012 from Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her experience in journalism has been all digital, ranging from writing and editing a blog on disabilities, to producing, shooting, and editing video pieces for international news organizations as a “one-man-band.”
Quincey Trigillo covers Manhattan for NY City Lens and is an assistant editor for the site. She has a B.A. from UCLA and previously taught high school English in Southern California. She recently completed an internship with Scholastic’s The New York Times Upfront, a news magazine for teens.
Elizabeth VanMetre covers Brooklyn for NY City Lens and is a social media editor for the site. She moved to New York after graduating from Western Carolina University in 2013. She began her career as an entertainment reporter for InTouch Magazine before joining the New York Daily News as an evening entertainment editor. Before coming to Columbia she worked at a reporter for Entertainment Tonight. She also has freelanced for YahooTravel.
Manuel Villa covers Queens for NY City Lens and is a fellow of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. Originally from Mexico, he spent six years in Japan, first as a student and later working there in the financial industry, where he remained for 11 years. He was transferred to NYC in 2007, just as the financial crisis exploded. This experience contributed to his interest in investigative journalism.
Courtney Vinopal covers the Bronx for NY City Lens. She graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and French from Denison University in 2013 before moving to Cluses, France to work as an English teaching assistant. From 2014-2016, she worked as a press attaché for the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw the embassy’s English publications and social media accounts, and advised the press office on its digital communication strategy.
Zhiming Zhang covers Queens for NY City Lens and is an assistant editor for the site. He graduated in 2016 with a degree in journalism and a minor in communication studies from the University of Florida. While in Florida, he became first international student to serve as an intern at the Gainesville Sun.