Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University

Student Profiles

SHERP has a long tradition of attracting outstanding students, and the program's 32nd class is a typically diverse and accomplished group. Profiles of the 31st, 30th, 29th, 28th, 27th, 26th, 25th and 24th classes are also available for viewing. (Note: All students wrote their profiles before coming to SHERP.) To see what SHERP graduates are doing now, visit the alumni page. You can also read Q & A interviews with recent SHERP graduates and current students on the Scientific American website and also on the Knight Foundation blog and


Becca Cudmore grew up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. A curiosity for all things living has led her to study anthropology and biology at the University of Oregon, chase howler monkeys through the Costa Rican rainforest, and design and conduct research on orangutan gestural communication in Indonesia. Now, she leaves the woods for the city, in hopes of learning how to convey the wonder of our natural world to the public.



Kathryn Free worked in New York as a TV producer before enrolling in SHERP. She enjoyed the storytelling aspect of her job, but she longed for the love affair with science that had sparked when she obtained her B.S. in geobiology at Caltech. When she’s not reading or writing about fossil discoveries, you can find her rock climbing, cooking Tex-Mex or jamming to Willie Nelson classics.



Chelsea Harvey is a recent graduate of Auburn University, where she received a B.S. in zoology, as well as minors in English and Spanish. Unable to choose between her love of science and her love of writing, she spent most of her free time as an undergrad working for her campus newspaper. Her other interests include playing music with friends, traveling, and keeping up with international affairs.



Josh Krisch came to SHERP the frenzied product of ambulance nightshifts, aviation emergencies, long hours in the laboratory, and a burning desire to write about them. While earning his B.A. in biology at Yeshiva University and completing graduate work in health sciences at Cornell, Josh was routinely exposed to the excitement of science and medicine. When not deciphering medical jargon, Josh enjoys bad science fiction, decent coffee and excellent company.



Sarah Lewin enjoys explaining things. She recently graduated from Brown University with an A.B. in mathematics. Her achievements, aside from winning a Pokemon tournament in second grade, center generally around explaining math and science with WGBH's NOVA and Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as through assorted freelance work.



Jillian Lim graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in professional writing and communication. She discovered that she wanted to become a science journalist after writing a story about the stress-resilient impact of physical affection on a rat pup’s genes, based on a McGill University study. Inspired, Jillian wrote on mental health and neuroplasticity for her campus paper and in her book, Resilience and the Brain. Jillian loves to read novels and run.



Claire Maldarelli recently graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavior. Originally an animal science major with ambitions of becoming a veterinarian, she quickly learned she and large animals would never be friends. Instead, she spent her time in college studying science, writing for The California Aggie, and working with military children in Japan, Germany, and Hawaii for Camp Adventure Youth Services.



Liz Newbern hails from the southern climes of Little Rock, Arkansas. Though she earned her B.A. in geology at Bryn Mawr College, she spent the past year exploring her inner writer by working at an independent bookstore and interning at the Oxford American magazine. Now ready to combine her love of rocks and writing, Liz is excited to see what SHERP and New York City have to offer.



Hannah Newman grew up playing board games in her basement on Saturday mornings and running to soccer practices. She just earned her B.A. in neuroscience at Middlebury College, where she played varsity soccer and created an independent project simplifying science’s puzzles through writing. She loves being active and can often be found running while listening to Radiolab. She cannot wait to embrace all that SHERP and the Big Apple have to offer.



Amy Nordrum is a freelance writer previously based in Alaska. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University with a specialization in science and the environment. Amy has contributed writing and photography to Alaska, American Cowboy,, and the Alaska App. She worked as a communications professional and on-air personality while living in the 49th state. Amy loves to hike, bike, and paddle in the great outdoors.



Alex Ossola earned her B.A. from Hamilton College with a concentration in comp lit and a minor in geoscience. Since graduating, she has served as a tutor and mentor at City Year in Washington, D.C. and imbued high schoolers with the transformative power of travel at Putney Student Travel. A lifelong lover of good communication, Alex’s scientific interests range from string theory to Proustian neuroscience. She is thrilled to continue geeking out at SHERP.



Neel Patel recently graduated from Virginia Tech, where he earned his B.S. in biology. Writing has always been his fiercest passion in life, and it was during a brief stint working in an immunology lab that he decided to pursue science writing. Since graduating, he has worked as an editorial intern for The American Horticultural Society. His other interests include metaphysics, pop culture, and everything in between.



Krystnell Storr discovered her passion for science writing after concluding that her conservation biology professor was a human embodiment of “The Lorax”. Inspired by this realization and the science in the class, she started writing a weekly column called "The Starving Scientist" at Earlham College, where she also earned a B.A. in biology and journalism. Hailing from the Bahamas, she enjoys baking, zumba, and all element related chemistry jokes. HeHe.



Sylvia Tippmann always knew she wanted to investigate and set out to study bioinformatics and genetics in Germany and then Australia. Last summer she graduated with a PhD in bioinformatics from the University of Basel, Switzerland. Between differentiating stem cells, swimming in the Rhine and analyzing mouse genomes she found her passion in communicating science through diagrams, sketches and words. Now Sylvia is all in to turn that joy into a profession.



Manasi Vaidya had an early inclination towards writing about life and unraveling the complexities of the biological world. After getting her masters in biotechnology from Dr. D.Y. Patil University in Mumbai, she was pleasantly surprised to learn she could combine both and pursue a career in science writing at BioSpectrum, an Indiabased biosciences magazine. Always up for new experiences, she loves to travel and looks forward to the SHERP adventure.