About The Staff


Abbey Adkison is a first year graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, working toward her MA in photojournalism. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in international studies and a minor in Spanish. Adkison freelances as a photographer and hopes to include her love of travel in a career as a documentarian and storyteller, working in stills and video.

Dewi Cooke is an Australian multimedia journalist. A graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, she's also been a newspaper reporter in Melbourne, Australia, covering issues from welfare and housing to urban planning and natural disasters. Cooke is interested in combining interactivity with online video journalism and recently put the finishing touches on a documentary about friendship and table tennis, "Double Happiness."

Farhod Family is a multimedia journalist living in Brooklyn. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, where he majored in history and French. After completing graduate coursework in international affairs at Boston University, he moved to Iran, where he covered the 2009 presidential elections in a blog for Press TV. Since returning, he has written for Tehran Bureau, a division of PBS Frontline. He received a Master of Science in digital media from the Columbia University Graduate Journalism School.

Michael Keller Having spent last year living in Marseille, France, Keller just graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in digital media. While in France, he researched the effectiveness of treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder at the Centre National d'Études Scientifique. As a journalist, he is interested in combining narrative writing and interactive storytelling. He graduated magna cum laude as a double major in Comparative Literature and Psychology from Georgetown University in 2009. Keller is a native of Los Angeles.

Emily Liedelis originally from Portland, Ore., and was an English teacher in Spain and a tour guide in New York before earning a master's from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she wrote about food, housing issues and cultural events. She speaks French, German, Russian and Spanish, in addition to English. Her lifelong goal is to become fluent in all six official languages of the United Nations; she is learning Mandarin and plans to tackle Arabic next. Next fall she will complete a second master's degree through Columbia's dual degree program with the journalism school at SciencesPo in Paris.

Nick Pandolfo grew up in New York City and majored in education at Eugene Lang College. He taught English as a Second Language for four years in New York, China and South Korea. On a yearlong backpack across Asia and Australia before entering Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, he wrote and photographed stories about ferry travel to China and roadtripping across an Australian desert. Pandolfo has since covered education as an intern for City Hall News/The Capitol.

Saskia de Rothschild is a French and Italian journalist living in New York and has just received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She earlier lived in India, earning a dual master's in economics of emerging countries from HEC Paris and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. Fluent in Spanish, she was a cultural journalist at La Nación in Buenos Aires. She hopes to focus on documentary filmmaking and long-form writing.

Jason Alcorn is a multimedia journalist with a healthy appetite for data sets, government documents and his Canon 60D. He recently completed a digital reporting project on immigrant delivery workers caught up in New York City bike politics, with News21 colleague Jason Tomassini. A graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and School of International and Public Affairs, Alcorn has more than six years' experience leading technology projects and online strategy for a list of clients that includes UNICEF, eBay and Americas Quarterly.

Tamir Elterman was born in Berkeley, California as a first-generation American to Mexican-Jewish parents. After producing a feature documentary on foreigners in the Israeli Army, Tamir attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, graduating in June of 2011. Tamir is a co-founder of Three Cities Productions – a video production company – and his most recent work has appeared on NYTimes.com, the Jerusalem Post, the Huffington Post, AOLnews and Mashable. He is interested in developing online content, and offline content as well.

Melissa Galvez is a public policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School. Before graduate school, she was a reporter at KUHF Houston Public Radio, the NPR affiliate in Houston. As the NewsLab reporter, Galvez wrote on topics from politics to transportation, community events to health. She has won awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, Texas Associated Press, and Houston Press Club. She has also taught 8th grade language arts with Teach for America in Houston. Galvez graduated from Princeton University in 2005 with a degree in history, and is originally from New York City.

Lea Khayata is a French-Lebanese multimedia journalist who graduated with a dual degree in journalism from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and SciencesPo Paris. She lived in Paris for five years before moving to New York City last August. She has interned at KQED radio in San Francisco and The Huffington Post Investigative Fund, as well as almost every English or French newspaper in Lebanon.

Niharika Mandhana, a multimedia journalist living in New York, has a law degree from Bangalore, India, and a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before moving to the United States, she was a student reporter for the English language daily Bangalore Mirror. Her work has appeared on New America Media, twincities.com and citybeats.info and in the Queens Chronicle. In March, she traveled to Israel and the West Bank, where she reported on the March 15 Palestinian movement and Tel Aviv's African refugees.

Jason Tomassini is a multimedia journalist based in New York City, by way of Philadelphia and Maryland. His work has appeared in The New York Times, NYTimes.com, The Washington Post, the Wilmington News Journal, Philadelphia City Paper and other publications. Before attending Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, he worked as a staff writer at The Gazette newspaper chain in Silver Spring, Md., and as a freelance journalist. Currently, his professional passions involve new ways to present long-form journalism online, while his personal passions involve the National Basketball Association.

Editoral Staff and Advisors

Executive Editor Paula Span spent much of her career at the Washington Post and has contributed to many newspapers and magazines. Her book, "When the Time Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions," was published in 2009.

She now writes the New Old Age blog on the New York Times website and teaches at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Web Editor Alan Haburchak has an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is in his second year supporting News21 projects at Columbia as a digital media coordinator/consultant and web developer.

Having worked as a video and web producer in New York for a while, he's soon leaving to try it out in Beijing.

Editor Carla Baranauckas is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a director of Round Earth Media and a freelance writer and editor. Previously, she has been an editor at Politics Daily, The New York Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and the Edwardsville Intelligencer in Illinois.

Multimedia Editor Duy Linh Tu heads the Digital Media Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he earned a master's degree and is now an assistant professor of professional practice.  

He is also a co-founder and the creative director of Resolution Seven, a video and web production studio. He is a writer, photographer and videographer.

Editor Merrill Perlman is a consultant offering freelance editing services and training in journalism, grammar and usage. She is an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and writes the "Language Corner" column and blog for Columbia Journalism Review. She spent 25 years at The New York Times, most recently as director of copy desks with responsibility for managing 150 copy editors.

Managing Editor A. Adam Glenn is an award-winning journalist, digital media consultant and journalism educator who has reported, edited and managed in newsrooms in Washington, D.C. and New York for 30 years. He has served as Columbia News21 managing editor since the project's inception in 2006. Adam taught as an adjunct at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism from 2007-2009 before joining the full-time faculty of the Graduate Journalism School at City University of New York in 2010.