Taylor Beck is a scientist-traveler turned journalist from Richmond, Virginia, whose family hails from the lumber town of Chapman, Alabama. Taylor has worked as a teacher in rural Japan, a dream researcher and translator in Kyoto, a memory researcher in St. Louis and Princeton, a science reporter for the Harvard Gazette, a park maintenance tech on the James River, and a house painter in Richmond. He has just completed a one-year masters of science degree in Science Writing at MIT, and is keen now to turn his writer’s eye to topics beyond the lab.
Johnny Bontemps holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA. He was born in Besançon, France, and grew up in the nearby small town of Pontarlier. He moved to the US at age 17, and has since worked a variety of jobs--in several research labs, in a health food store, as a behavior therapist for children with autism, among others. While at NYU he will be writing about science and culture. One topic he’d like to explore in depth is the biological phenomenon dubbed the "season-of-birth effect"--or the idea that the season in which we're born may influence our health and behavior later in life.
Though Kelsey Kudak is a Minnesota native, she has a Guatemalan heart. She began translating for medical missions in the Guatemalan highlands at age seventeen, and after more than fifteen teams, decided to call the country home in 2010. Since then, she has taught high school English, ballet, and contemporary dance in Guatemala City. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota in 2009 with a B.A. in English and dance, and minors in mass communication and art. During college, she was an opinion columnist for the Minnesota Daily and completed a book-length thesis examining the intricacies of the coffee supply chain. Using grants, she met coffee producers along the Guatemalan-Mexican border, picked and processed coffee by hand, and witnessed the enthusiasm of traders and graders. Inspired by her undergraduate research and her life in Guatemala, Kelsey plans to focus her writing on issues of immigration while at NYU. When she isn’t writing or grading papers, she does her crosswords in black ink, and enjoys salsa dancing, the smell of fall air, and a good cup of sustainably grown coffee.
Corrie Mitchell is a recent graduate from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA where she earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in journalism. She served as the news editor for the university’s official student-run weekly newspaper, The Captain’s Log, in which she published articles of interest to student readers. Examples of her work include an investigation of students’ illegal sale and use of Adderall during exams and a profile of one Lost Boy of Sudan who fled his war-torn country to the United States where he enrolled as a student at CNU. During her time at NYU, Corrie plans to write on the topic of religious life in the city.
Nicole Pasulka grew up just outside Chicago, lived in Brooklyn for about a decade, and drove across the US two and a half times last year. She's the 2012 recipient of the Nation Institute's I.F. Stone Award and a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Her most recent project investigates police harassment of transgender women. Her work has been published in The Believer, Mother Jones, The Globe and Mail, The Rumpus, and Salon. Most recently, she was the Social Media Fellow at Mother Jones magazine.
Nandini Ramachandran is fondest of books and puns. She grew up in Bangalore and graduated law school in 2009. Since then, she has been a copywriter, a consultant, a researcher, a blogger and an occasional essayist. One day she hopes to add ‘novelist’ to that ragtag résumé. While at NYU she will be writing about the varieties of urban experience. She can be found online as chaosbogey.
Amelia Schonbek has written about the Quebec student movement, the Harper government's cuts to First Nations programs, and poverty among elderly artists. Until recently she lived in Montreal, where she was an editor at Maisonneuve, an award-winning general-interest quarterly. While at NYU she will be writing about policing.
After graduating from the University of Dayton with dual degrees in English and Adolescent to Young Adult Education, Molly Socha has held an array of occupations. She worked in the REO management division of a law firm in Chicago, Illinois; coached and taught high school English and language arts to urban, low-income students in a rural environment outside of Houston, Texas; and filled the role of grant writer, teacher, recruiter, and event planner for a Catholic, all-girls school in Chicago, Illinois. Along with these various jobs, she has written irregularly for Examiner.com as the Chicago, Post-College life Examiner. Molly looks forward to advancing her career as a writer through her studies at NYU and will be focusing her writing on literature of the past and present and the human response to it.
Aaron Woerner started his fieldwork in 2008 in the valley of Lo in Upper Mustang, Nepal, researching pre-Buddhist mythology surrounding anthropomorphized geography. Shortly thereafter, he spent a summer following the trail of Drukpa nomads in Sichuan Province, PRC while outrunning police on the high mountain roads. After graduating from Guilford College with a BA in Religious Studies and English Literature, he spent two months in West Africa, starting in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and ending in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. During this time, he lived with the former child soldiers of Charles Taylor's defeated army, and witnessed the early stages of the AQIM takeover of Timbuktu and northern Mali. During his time at NYU, Aaron hopes to advance his writing ability, while maintaining a heavy focus on field-work, both in the city and internationally.
Amanda Waldroupe is an award-winning journalist and writer from Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in the Oregonian, The Lund Report, the city’s street newspaper, Street Root, and a variety of other weeklies and monthlies. She’s watched a heroin addict shoot up, sat through a cheese making class, covered the 2011 and 2012 Oregon legislative sessions and has written about state Medicaid reforms and the development of the state’s health insurance exchange, but has never written about coffee or bikes. She studied documentary writing at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and has a B.A. in philosophy from Reed College.
Sean Patrick Cooper will be writing about the New York music business and urban tennis communities while at NYU. His work has appeared in The Millions, The Rumpus, 3 Quarks Daily, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Pop Matters, & other places too. He is online @ Seanpatrickcooper.com
Michelle Dean is a recovering attorney whose wrting has appeared at The Awl, Bitch, The American Prospect and The Rumpus. A Canadian Air Force brat, she moved a lot and doesn’t really feel like she’s “from” anywhere too specific. But she has most recently called Montréal, Toronto, and Brooklyn home. Michelle holds undergraduate and law degrees from McGill University. She will soon also hold an L.L.M. from the University of Toronto. While at NYU she plans to produce a series of reported pieces about the sordid business of lawyering.
Will Hunt is writing about humanity’s deep-rooted, irrational relationship with caves, catacombs, tunnels and other mysterious spaces underground and out of sight. The project is based on a year-long Thomas J. Watson Fellowship during which he traveled to 13 countries around the world, exploring subterranean spaces and documenting the myths and legends attached to them. He has contributed to DISCOVER, Outside, Men's Journal and Rolling Stone. Born in Providence, RI, he has a B.A. in English and Portuguese from Middlebury College. He lives aboveground in Brooklyn. Find him online at willhunt.net.
Aaron Labaree studied English at Oberlin College. Since then, he has worked in publishing, editing, and politics. He plans to write about education reform while at NYU.
Natalie Levine, originally from a small mining town in northern Ontario, currently lives in Toronto. Although she left the Canadian North for Toronto before she was a year old, she still contends that the snow, the cold, and the hockey games played on the frozen lake behind her house (watched from her crib, of course), left a permanent imprint on her life. She’s not yet sure whether it was the early thrust out of, and into, two very different landscapes, or the more likely culprit of being raised with the neuroticism inherent in any Jewish upbringing, that forged her fascination with the forces that shape us and the means by which we come to terms with the decisions we make. Either way, it was that very fascination that led her to NYU, where she intends to write about the lengths and risks we all seem willing to take when finding (or creating) meaning in our lives is involved.
Per Liljas has for the past four years only been back in his native Sweden during the light, (comparatively) warm summers. The rest of this time, when not daydreaming about pickled herring, he has spent freelancing for Swedish publications from Latin America, South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. During his time at NYU he will be writing about poverty reduction programs in New York. He has a B.A. in Social Anthropology and can be found online at www.perliljas.net.
Simen Saetre is a citizen of Oslo, Norway. He has worked for several Norwegian newspapers, but has since 2004 been a staff reporter at the cultural weekly Morgenbladet. He holds a B.A. in International Studies from the City College of New York, and a M.A. in European Journalism Studies from Cardiff University. He has written three nonfiction books: Den lille stygge sjokoladeboka (2004), Hugo (2006) and Petromania (2009).
Cody Upton has written about banned art, wastewater treatment in north Brooklyn, and land-use disputes in the coastal ranges of Santa Barbara, California, where he grew up. He studied history and architecture at Columbia University, and has lived in New York since 2001. At NYU he hopes to explore the interface between nature and the city.
Matthew Wolfe will be writing about deviance and its correction, with a particular focus on inmate re-entry . He recently moved back to New York after spending 18 months in Detroit. He has B.A. in art history from Columbia University and has worked as a reporter for a weekly newspaper in Brooklyn; an associate editor for a federal policy newsletter in Washington, DC; an copy editor for a oil and gas trade publication; and a video store clerk. His writing has appeared in The Nation, the Detroit Metrotimes, In These Times and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.
Shawn Nicole Wong is from Los Angeles, California where she most recently worked as an urban planning consultant and film/video producer. In 2009, she graduated from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Urban Studies. She has written for Venice Magazine and interned at Community Redevelopment Agency – Los Angeles and ABC News 20/20 and Primetime. Shawn is also a board member of the Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles.
Khristopher J. Brooks is a veteran education journalist from Wayne County, Michigan who began his journalism career in 2000. Voted as one of the nation's best beat bloggers, Brooks is a former Associated Press writer, and has had his byline published in newspapers and magazines across the country. Before entering graduate school, Brooks worked as the state higher education reporter for the Omaha World-Herald and the higher education reporter for the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier. Brooks has received countless hours of training in education writing, research and policy analysis from the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media and the Education Writers Association. He holds a B.S. in News/Editorial Journalism and General Political Science from Central Michigan University. For fun, he likes to travel, exercise, toy with small electronics and pretend he's a page designer.
Jessica Campbell has been reliving the traumas of adolescence for the past five years as a middle school and high school English teacher in Brooklyn, NY. She entered the New York City Teaching Fellows in 2005 and subsequently earned her MS in Teaching from Pace University. Jessica loves her students and the art of education; but, in the process of helping her students craft their writing, she realized she was sacrificing her own. Ergo, the full-time pursuit of journalism. Jessica graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a dual BA degree in Creative Writing and Classical Studies. During her years as an undergraduate, she wrote for The Daily Pennsylvanian, 34th Street Magazine, Merrick Life, and interned at Harper's Bazaar. In her non-existent free time she cooks large batches of vegetarian food, fashions intricate itineraries for trips to Acadia, Varenna, and Sedona, and ponders the significance of New York's ubiquitous psychics.
Kristi Goldade spent the past two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in eastern Ukraine. She taught English and started a journalism center, but mostly, survived cold weather in her dacha. Kristi earned a B.A. in English and a concentration in social justice from the University of Minnesota. While there, she wrote stories for the university's web and print publications, as well as grants for an avant-garde space, Bedlam Theatre. She grew up in the Red River Valley and still has a soft spot for small towns. This summer she's a janitor for a local technical college. When she's not shampooing carpets, she's outside on a bike.
Dan Kedmey graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Economics. Since then, he has worked as a research analyst at a consulting firm in Washington D.C., and then as Director of Assignment Strategy at Teach For America, a not-for-profit organization based in New York. No one ever fully understood what he did for a living, despite his best efforts to explain it to them. Their attention would wander as soon as he mentioned the word "data." While he is proud of the skills he has developed in Excel over the past four years, he looks forward to closing the spreadsheets this summer and enrolling in the literary reportage program at NYU. When Dan isn't crunching numbers, he enjoys walking through Manhattan, thirty blocks at a time, and searching for restaurants that can satisfy his cravings for certain kinds of junk food.
Allyson Polsky McCabe comes to Literary Reportage from a Lectureship in the English Department at Yale University. Allyson's background is in cultural theory and rhetoric and she has published broadly in scholarly venues. However, over time she has gravitated toward narrative nonfiction and she's interested in covering the academic world from this perspective. While many aspiring writers hang up their quills to become English professors, Allyson is experiencing this process in reverse!
Andrea Muñoz lived in Santiago until she moved to California in mid 2008. She holds a B.A. on Philosophy from Universidad Católica de Chile and worked on David Hume's epistemology for her thesis project. A contributor for El Sábado, a supplement to the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, she gravitates toward stories about immigration. She enjoys German boardgames and is currently trying to convince her neighbors of uniting efforts on buying a cow so she can learn how to make her own cheese.
Nathaniel Page grew up in a salty village on the north coast of California. His formative experiences include an angry and drunken adolescence, the death of his father in a freak saw mill accident, two frustrating interactions with women, several years spent maundering across the globe, and a lifelong struggle with his neurons. He earned a degree in philosophy from UC Santa Barbara and briefly worked as a stringer for a Los Angeles newspaper. Last year he embarked upon a spiritual journey that changed his perspective of life. He values courage, honesty, openness, and forceful resolve, and would like to be a net asset to humanity by the time he dies.
Heather Rogers grew up in the border town of El Paso, Texas, where she developed the nerve she'd need to be a freelance journalist. She earned a degree in studio art and went on to day jobs in construction and with homeless youth. Teaching herself how to use a video camera she made a short documentary on garbage in 2002. Much to her surprise the project expanded into a book, Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage (The New Press 2005). Her second book, Green Gone Wrong (Scribner 2010), takes on the myth that we can buy our way out of environmental crisis. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, the American Prospect, and The Nation. Her reporting has taken her everywhere from organic farms and eco-villages to dusty rural India and the rainforest on Borneo. On days off she can be found wandering through museums, watching films, and cooking with friends.
Elaine Stuart was most recently the senior associate features/travel editor at Modern Bride, enjoying far-flung assignments in Tahiti and Turkey until Condé Nast closed the magazine last fall. Before that she worked at Child and interned at New York. As a freelancer, she has contributed to a number of national, regional and digital publications. She holds a B.A. in English and Psychology from Georgetown University, where she was a member and co-director of the student dance company and wrote her honors thesis on contemporary dance criticism. Prior to college, she attended high school for ballet at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and danced with the Charleston Ballet Theatre and Richmond Ballet.
Patrick Arden just left a job as a senior reporter at Metro New York. For nearly a decade, he was the managing editor of the Chicago Reader, a pioneer of the alternative-newsweekly movement. He's also been the editor-in-chief of Illinois Times, a winner of a general excellence award from the Illinois Press Association. He has published stories at Salon.com, the Chicago Sun-Times, the New York Post, and other places.
Mark Byrne graduated from Columbia College in Chicago, where he was an editor of the college newspaper. While in school, he contributed to a number of local magazines, including Chicago Magazine, where he also interned. He was the associate editor at Featherproof Books, a small literary press, and an intern at New York Magazine, in which he still enjoys an occasional byline. Most recently, he worked as a freelance editor at Popular Science. Mark grew up primarily in Wisconsin, where he successfully avoided picking up an accent.
Alexandra Cardia graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Art History and English. She did her Honors work on Spanish regionalist architecture, specifically on public spaces that are both geographically rooted and globally relevant. For the past year she has worked as an editorial assistant at Cabinet, a Brooklyn-based quarterly magazine of art and culture.
Marianne Do was born in Melbourne, Australia, and raised in Saudi Arabia until she moved to Houston, Texas at the age of eleven. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Architecture, and dedicated a couple of summers to teach high school students how to design buildings (not that she really had the credentials to do so). She has a weakness for makeshift shelters, hand-crafted signs, and odd renovation projects.
Katherine Don holds a B.A. in biological anthropology from Northwestern University. After graduation she meandered about in indecision, initiated short-lived careers in publishing, nonprofit management, and social work, and freelance wrote for books published by such houses as Publications International and St. Martin's Press. She believes that effective journalism must always couple with compelling narrative, and looks forward to the opportunity to prove this premise through her own writing. She is easily and overly amused by phenomena such as the triple consecutive appearance of "in," sentence two above.
Clara Kim graduated from Columbia College, with B.A. in English literature and a visual art minor. After college, she went back to Korea, the country she grew up in, and spent the past two years traveling around the coastal villages, teaching English at a North Korean refugee school, and working as a freelance translator. Curious about the way people dress and write, she is also loves drawing out the natural storyteller in others.
Andrew Marantz tried a bit of everything at Brown. His interest in philosophy led him to India, where he learned Vedic epistemology and how to eat with his hands. His interest in cognitive science led him to Nepal, where he worked on a hypoxia study at Everest Base Camp. His interest in the politics of mass incarceration led him to an upstate New York prison town, which then became the subject of his undergraduate thesis. After college, he followed the herd to Brooklyn, where he worked as a freelance journalist, researcher, and conversation starter, writing for such places as Slate, Heeb, and Time Out New York. Andrew thinks the four most overrated things in life are bars, World War II movies, Sonic Youth, and home fries.
Marta Martínez-Martínez studied Journalism at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona because she wanted to write. Thanks to New Journalism she discovered that literary techniques were a great tool to explain our complex world. Unfortunately, Spain offers few opportunities for in-depth reporting, not even in important media such as El País, where she interned. Not wishing to stay in the same place for a long time, she went to live in Berlin and travelled constantly because of her work at a tourism magazine. New York is her new boot camp, where she will look for stories about immigration and generational conflicts, especially between women.
Robert Moor completed his B.A. in Literary Arts at Brown University. Though his studies mostly consisted of writing strange, genre-bending fiction (with literary revolutionaries like Robert Coover and Thalia Field) and fiery, student-activist journalism (contributing to and editing the College Hill Independent, the weekly Brown/RISD student newspaper), his best work strives to combine the experimental spirit of postmodern literature with the factual constraints of journalism. He is currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva betrayed her Midwestern roots by moving to New York to attend Barnard College. She has a master's degree in teaching, which she used while teaching social studies to junior high students in New York City and English to adult immigrants in the Twin Cities. Her transition from teaching to writing landed her in the field of citizen journalism, where she developed a passion for subduing rancor about its validity. She has published work in various Minnesota publications including the Twin Cities Daily Planet, the MN Women's Press, the Rake, and KFAI radio.
Carrie Rothburd earned a B.A. in fine arts/photography in her native NY before moving to Wisconsin, where she completed an M.A. in educational policy studies, interned at The Progressive Magazine (where she also worked as art assistant), and worked with community-based nonprofits. During subsequent stops in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon, she finished an M.A. in fiction, began to ride dressage, and adopted two dogs, three cats, and a horse. Carrie earns her living as a freelance grant-writing consultant and writes company histories for a business encyclopedia.
Jenell Schwab holds a B.S. in anthropology from the University of California at Riverside. A natural wanderer, she adopted the high Sierra Nevada as a home where she wrote furiously for a ski town press. Life was copasetic until she happened upon a rabbit hole that led her to trade the "landlubbing" lifestyle for a whirlwind tour of the domestic, offshore oil industry. She has been occupied recently by road trips, sailing in Puget Sound and dodging cacti in the Sonoran Desert.