Class of 2023

Entering Fall 2021

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian is joining the joint Global Journalism and Near Eastern Studies Program. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies, with a concentration in International Human Rights, and a B.A. in Armenian Language and Literature. Since graduating in the spring of 2020, she has worked as a news writer for the historic Armenian Weekly newspaper, providing in-depth coverage of human rights issues in conflict and post-conflict settings and geopolitical developments in the South Caucasus. Lillian is passionate about telling the stories of her diverse and complex global Armenian community and uplifting the narratives of women and LGBTQ+ people from Southwest Asia. As an undergraduate, she interned at Hetq, Armenia’s preeminent investigative newspaper based in Yerevan, and Voice of America in Washington, D.C. She also spent a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile studying human rights and cultural memory. In addition to pursuing human rights journalism, Lillian is an avid feminist poet and published her first poetry collection Journey to Tatev in the spring of 2021 with Girls on Key Press.

Emma Burleigh

Emma Burleigh is joining the joint Global Journalism and East Asian Studies Program. She graduated from The College of William & Mary with a B.A. in International Relations and Chinese in 2021. During her four years, Emma studied abroad at Beijing Normal University, served as the Chinese major peer advisor, was awarded the APIA-AMES Freeman Fellowship award, and defended her thesis investigating how preconceived notions of China influence the longevity of U.S. Confucius Institutes. These experiences strengthened her interest in exploring Chinese and world affairs. Her curiosity with the region began in the seventh grade when she started learning Mandarin; after ten years of practice, Emma maintains her advanced proficiency in the language. As a journalist, she seeks to inform audiences on Chinese affairs in a more approachable and open-minded way. Most of her free time is spent cooking, reading, roller-blading, and exploring sites her city has to offer.

Julianne Chandler

Julianne Chandler is joining the joint Global Journalism and Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program. She is a feminist writer, educator and storyteller based in Cochabamba, Bolivia. She earned an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and a M.A. in Poverty and Development from the Institute of Development Studies in England. Raised in Colorado, Julianne was fortunate to develop a close connection to Latin American cultures and communities from a young age, and has dedicated her life to learning from movements for justice, truth, and liberation across the diverse tapestry of the Andes. Based in Bolivia since 2009, Julianne has spent the past decade leading and overseeing experiential education programs for youth from Guatemala to Patagonia. Inspired by the spectacular people and places she has come to know, she is eager to refocus her attention on documenting the multifaceted stories around her. Julianne is moving to New York with her husband and two bicultural daughters.

Andrés Guerrero

Andrés Guerrero is joining the joint Global Journalism and Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program. He is a photojournalist and artist from Bogotá, Colombia. He has ten years of experience as a U.S. Air Force imagery analyst – and more recently, he interned at Lima Charlie News and Sports Illustrated. Andrés completed his undergraduate degree in photography at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His undergraduate thesis project, Huellas en la Frontera, 2020, is included in the Tisch School of the Arts Senior Show One 2021 exhibition at New York University, New York. The work obtained the Thomas Drysdale Production Fund Award in the Department of Photography & Imaging at Tisch. Andrés body of work looks at diversity in coastal regions, migration, family, community, the environment, surfing, foreign policy, military veterans, human rights, and politics through a socially conscious artistic practice.

Jawad Hossain

Jawad Hossain is joining the joint Global Journalism and International Relations Program. He graduated from Stony Brook University in 2020 with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science. As an undergraduate, Jawad wrote for his school online weekly, The Osprey, covering news and events of the broader Long Island community. He interned at Unbased Media in the summer of 2019, where he wrote for and produced a video series highlighting the proposed policies of each candidate participating in the Democratic presidential primary debates. He found his interest in journalism at a young age, and his interest has grown from experiences in the professional world. He looks forward to writing long-form pieces about women’s and girls’ rights violations, freedom of expression violations, and lack of accountability from the government, in Bangladesh. He studies French and Bengali. Jawad is an avid fan of basketball and football and enjoys playing tennis in his free time. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and visiting zoos.

Yara Hattab is joining the joint Global Journalism and Near Eastern Studies Program.

Rui Johnson Petri

Rui Johnson Petri is joining the joint Global Journalism and International Relations Program. She was raised in Stockholm, Sweden and graduated from Lund University with an LL.M in international human rights law. As a student, she worked at several university newspapers and clerked at the Migration Court in Stockholm. She has also completed an internship at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN. Following her graduation, Rui interned at Human Rights Watch and later joined the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth where she worked with the Europe 2020 strategy. As a burgeoning journalist, Rui hopes to bring her different worlds together — law, human rights, and investigative research – to help hold states accountable by investigating or exposing stories of rights violations worldwide. She is also passionate about art and looks forward to exploring the creative scene in New York City.

Kylie Kirschner is joining the joint Global Journalism and International Relations Program.

Alex Li is joining the joint Global Journalism and East Asian Studies Program.

Mingmei Li

Mingmei Li is joining the joint Global Journalism and International Relations Program. She was born and raised in Beijing, China, and graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Journalism in 2021. In elementary school, she developed an interest and passion in storytelling and photography and decided to be a reporter. She is also passionate about working with social justice issues and helping to protect the rights of minority groups. She works as a photojournalist at the Alligator, the largest student-run newspaper, covering local news and feature stories in Gainesville, Fla. She also worked as a staff photojournalist for Fresh Take Florida, a news agency covering Florida legislation under WUFT. Her dream job is to become a war and conflict photojournalist. She wants to tell real stories and record every moment in life. She is now a rescue diver, and she is planning to get her underwater photography certificate and become an adventurer. Her Shiba Inu dog’s name is Syrup, and they are looking forward to New York life!

Yadira Lopez

Yadira Lopez is joining the joint Global Journalism and French Studies Program. She graduated from New College of Florida in 2016 with a B.A. in French and Spanish. Yadira began her career as a reporter at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune before moving to work for the Teaching Assistant Program in France. She jumped back into journalism as a Report for America corps member covering Latino affairs at the Malheur Enterprise in rural Oregon and most recently as an economic mobility reporter for the business desk at the Miami Herald. She was born in Cuba and grew up in Miami.

Khalea Robertson

Khalea Robertson is joining the joint Global Journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. She graduated from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England in 2019 with a B.A. in Spanish with International Development Studies. Khalea’s studies also took her to Montevideo and Mexico City, where she interned at a community development organization. She returned home to Trinidad and Tobago in 2019 and worked in International Relations while figuring out what she wanted to do with her life. Looking around, she saw a country grappling with the changing dynamics of migration in the region and its enlarged role as a host community. Intrigued by the popular discourse surrounding the new profile of immigrants in her country, Khalea aspires to use journalism to broaden discussions on questions of cross-cultural interactions, migration and development, particularly in places where the English-speaking Caribbean and Latin America meet. Outside of academia, she keenly follows English Premier League football and is an amateur (and extremely rusty) pianist, choral singer and steelpan player.

Mandy Taheri

Mandy Taheri is joining the joint Global Journalism and Near Eastern Studies Program. She graduated with a B.A. in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration from Yale University in 2019. Her senior thesis integrated Sahrawi interviews to explore how various theories of settler colonialism and nationalism are applicable to the Western Sahara/Morocco conflict. After graduation, she interned for an international women’s rights organization led by former Iranian Minister for Women’s Affairs, Mahnaz Afkhami, who helped expose her to the intricacies of pre-Revolution Iranian politics. From there, she interned at the Middle East Institute where she focused on Turkish military operations in Syria and U.S.-Gulf arms sales. Most recently, she worked at National Journal as a political researcher while also serving as an assistant to author Azar Nafisi. She looks forward to writing long-form pieces about Persian culture, human rights, and women’s resistance movements in Iran. She studies French and Farsi. Mandy loves being with animals, traveling, reading, and cooking.


Class of 2022

Entered Fall 2020

Gabriela Del Valle is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program.

Harrison Kass

Harrison Kass is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and International Relations Program. He holds a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law, where he played ice hockey, and a B.A. in History from Lake Forest College. Harrison joined the US Air Force as a pilot but was medically discharged. He is an editor and writer at the New York Transatlantic, covering European affairs, and a contributor at The Debrief, covering aerospace and defense. Harrison was born in New York City and raised in Newtown, CT, but has lived in ten states, plus New Zealand. An electric guitarist, he aspires to lead an eighties renaissance.

Manal Khan

Manal Khan is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and Near Eastern Studies Program. She has been drawn to the mediums of the message since her first job at an advertising firm that would capitalize on human adversity every day. Manal did her Bachelors in Media Studies from Karachi, a city of character and the undisputed food capital of Pakistan. She has been a Caravan Magazine fellow for the Narrative Journalism Bootcamp of 2020, and a She Decides advocate for bodily autonomy from Pakistan. Her short film on menstrual awareness has also been screened in the Women’s Art Festival. Her published work deals with gender, mobility and digital surveillance and the sub-culture of psychedelic drugs in Pakistan. She has done a cover story on harm reduction, substance abuse and the recreational power of mind-altering drugs, for the Herald Magazine and is often found critiquing popular culture through film, music and TV show review essays. Incorporating her photography, video and audio skills, she now plans to make a switch to multimedia storytelling through her interdisciplinary electives on ethnographic filmmaking and documentaries of resistance.

Anna Miller

Anna Miller is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and Near Eastern Studies Program. She graduated from Boston University in 2016 with a B.A. in International Relations and Middle East Studies. Anna worked in political fundraising for several years in Washington, D.C. before moving to Ankara, Turkey. She spent two years there, teaching English as a Fulbright fellow and later working in international education. New to journalism, Anna hopes to build upon her love of writing to tell stories that explore big issues through individual people and their experiences. She is particularly interested in urban development and space-making in Turkey, Kurdish statehood and nationalism, and food culture. Her biggest passion is learning foreign languages. She also loves reading mystery novels and hanging out with her cat, Bumi.

Simon Schatzberg is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program.

Liza Schmidt

Liza Schmidt is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. She holds a B.A. in human development from Brown University. After graduation, Liza moved to Medellín, Colombia, where she spent seven years managing volunteer programs for international education non-profits, working in tourism, and doing freelance content writing and translation work. She also started a weekly news bulletin called “La Vaina” to summarize and contextualize Colombian news. Written in Spanglish, the newsletter included breaking news, political developments, sports updates, and quirky features, exploring topics like the history of the traditional gunpowder-fueled Alborada celebration or the growing orthodox Jewish community in Medellín. Through this personal project, her interest in journalism grew, and her friends often joke that she starts half of her sentences with “I read an interesting article on…” She joined NYU to develop her journalistic skills and promote connection, action, and empathy between people who appear to have little in common, by revealing the parallels in their lived experiences.

Evando Thompson

Evando Thompson is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and European and Mediterranean Studies Program. He recently graduated from Seton Hall University in New Jersey, with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in German. At Seton Hall, Evando was a newscaster at WSOU 89.5 FM, sideline reporter/digital content producer for the university’s Pirates Sports Network and an editor for Seton Hall’s school newspaper. He is very interested in podcasting and has completed a series of podcasts for Seton Hall’s Institute of Communication and Religion, an interest he also pursued during his Masters studies at NYU. In addition to podcasting, he is passionate about writing feature stories or reporting on pressing issues that go overlooked. He plans to focus his graduate research on the changing news industry in Germany and is particularly interested in investigating the financial and emotional impact of socio-economic issues, by examining it through the lens of the unprecedented flood in Western Germany. Outside of academics, Evando is an avid Chelsea fan and loves to play soccer. He is an intermediate German Speaker. Evando is a citizen of Jamaica.

Ben Weiss

Ben Weiss is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and International Relations Program. He grew up outside New York City and now lives in Queens. After he graduated from a small college in Minnesota, he spent a year teaching English in northern China. Once he returned to the States, he moved to New York City and worked the ensuing three years as a waiter, tutor, and curriculum developer. When he finishes his degree in journalism and international relations, he hopes to move back abroad and explore the intersections between technology, the environment, and migration. (He also fantasizes about baking five-tiered entremets on the Great British Bake Off, but alas, realizes that he would crumble like shortbread underneath judge Paul Hollywood’s steely blue gaze.)