Bios — 2017

Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca will keynote the 2017 conference. (Photo by Damon Dahlen)

Photo by Damon Dahlen

Keynote Speaker Lauren Duca
Teen Vogue

Lauren Duca is an award-winning and -losing freelance journalist best known for her viral piece “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America” and calling Tucker Carlson a “partisan hack” on national television. In addition to working on her Thigh-High Politics column for Teen Vogue, Lauren’s work can be found in / on New York magazine, the New Yorker, The New Inquiry, The Nation, Pacific Standard, Cosmopolitan, and Complex, among other publications. She’s mostly just trying to get you to follow her on Twitter (@laurenduca).

Workshop Presenters

Dan Adkison got his start as the photo editor of his high school newspaper. Since then, he has been the copy chief of the Village Voice and TIME magazine and has also been a copy editor at Condé Nast Portfolio, City Limits and Eight by Eight. Dan has a B.S. in journalism from Boston University and is currently a staff editor for the business section of the New York Times.

Mehrose Ahmad
currently is a freshman at Barnard College of Columbia University on the pre-health track. She plans to major in Neuroscience with a Behavioral Concentration. She graduated from Townsend Harris in 2017, during which she and her partner, Sumaita Hasan earned much recognition for their journalistic work regarding a controversial interim acting principal. For the future, she wishes to go to medical school, but she also wishes to delve deeper into the humanities and further explore the liberal arts.

Geanne Belton (@geanne), a journalist and attorney, is a full professor at Baruch College of the City University of New York, a faculty associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and an innovator in hybrid, online, classroom and workshop-based educational programs relating to finding and verifying quality online information, responsible and empowering use of social media, and media law and ethics. Geanne serves as vice chair and a member of the Board of Directors of the Student Press Law Center, a national organization devoted to supporting high school and college journalists and news producers with legal resources and education. She also is a consortial faculty member at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism where she created and is piloting a hybrid online-classroom-based media law and ethics course for journalism graduate students. Geanne is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Columbia University’s Schools of Journalism and Law and is a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

img_7715Carl Bialik (@CarlBialik) is the data science editor for Yelp. Before that, he was the lead writer for news and the quantitative editor at the ESPN website Earlier he wrote the Numbers Guy column for the Wall Street Journal for nine years. He has written regularly about sports analytics for FiveThirtyEight and, previously, the Journal, since 2009. He has been recognized for his work by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

screenshot_2016-10-18-15-40-49-1Christina Carrega (@ChrisCarrega)is an award-winning journalist who works as the Kings County Criminal/Supreme courts reporter for the New York Daily News. She has covered wrongful conviction cases and has thoroughly reported on high-profile trials including the People V. Peter Liang. After Liang’s conviction, Carrega exclusively uncovered information about a juror’s past that could have caused a new trial. Carrega’s professional journalism career began as a freelancer with the Canarsie Courier and the New York Post as well as working as the Newspaper Director for The Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, a non-profit after-school program, located in Ridgewood, Queens. The New York Association of Black Journalists  awarded her first place for 2014’s Best Spot News and in 2013 was a finalist for the National Association of Black Journalists’  Best Single News Story. Carrega volunteers as the co-director of FIRST TAKE: NYABJ’s High School Journalism Workshop. Carrega graduated from St. John’s University in 2007 where she majored in Journalism and minored in International Studies.

Charlotte Cooper (@CTrouper) is the Audience Conversion Manager at New York Public Radio building relationships with WNYC listeners on podcasts, in email and on social media to draw them closer to shows and build membership. In her previous position at Show of Force, a New York-based Peabody and Emmy award winning company, she oversaw digital strategy as well as development and execution of social impact and education campaigns. She designed and executed the digital outreach and education campaign for We the Voters, an award-winning collection of digital shorts, providing educators with critical materials to discuss US governance in the election year. Cooper also developed the international digital strategy for the Soundbreaking, an eight-part series on the history of recorded sound which aired on PBS in 2016. Previously, she created the digital content and action campaign for the award-winning documentary series A Path Appears, based on the work of Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times raising over a million dollars for NGOs serving the needs of women and girls.​

Ilsa CowenIlsa Cowen has recently retired after having taught journalism and English at Townsend Harris High School in Queens and serving as advisor of the school’s award-winning newspaper, The Classic, for over 20 years.  Together with student editors, she developed a First Amendment charter for the paper that declares it to be “an open forum for the expression of student views.”  Since the charter was signed by the school’s principal in 2000, the school and the paper have won many national and state First Amendment awards.  In 2002, the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center selected Ms. Cowen as a Newsweek/First Amendment Schools mentor teacher and she frequently conducts First Amendment and other workshops at journalism conferences for New York City high school students. She has served as Vice President and Acting President of the New York City Scholastic Press Association, remains a member of NYCSPA’s Executive Board, and is an active participant in the NYC High School Journalism Collaborative at Baruch College.

Beth Daley (@BethBDaley) is the director of strategic development at InsideClimate News, where she works to grow and diversify sources of revenue for the organization. Before joining ICN she spent three years at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting in Boston, covering genetics and the environment and as director of partnerships. Daley also spent more than two decades at the Boston Globe, her last 12 years there as the environment reporter. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for her work on climate change, Daley has won numerous national journalism awards for her reporting at the Globe and NECIR. Daley spent the 2011-2012 academic year as a Knight fellow at Stanford University.

Jeanmarie Evelly (@Jeanmarieevelly) is a reporter at New York, a neighborhood-focused news site where she’s covered Astoria and Long Island City since 2012. She previously reported for community newspapers in the Bronx, including the award-winning Norwood News. She is a former contributing editor at City Limits magazine, where she covered the criminal justice system. She holds a B.A. in English from SUNY New Paltz and a master’s degree from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Astoria, Queens.

Photo credit: Alex Johnson, WNYC

Rafer Guzman (@raferguzman) is the film critic for Newsday and a former rock critic for the paper. He is also a regular guest film critic on “The Takeaway,” a nationally-syndicated news show from WNYC. He was previously a staff writer at The Wall Street Journal. His work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Blender, The San Francisco Bay Guardian and the late, great Option magazine. Recently, Rafer won first place for arts writing from the New York State AP Association for his look at the effects of Sept. 11th on the movies. He is the founder and co-host of “Movie Date,” a podcast through WNYC.

Tedpic-4-15Theodore (Ted) Hamm (@HammerDaily) is chair of journalism and new media studies at St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn. He was a co-founder of The Brooklyn Rail and editor from 2000-2013. Over the past year he’s written for publications including Vice News, NY Daily News, the Columbia Journalism Review, City Limits and Gotham Gazette. His books include “Rebel and a Cause” (2001), “The New Blue Media” (2008), and “Pieces of a Decade” (co-edited with Williams Cole, 2010). His current projects include a history of freedom of the press.

Sumaita Hasan is a freshman at the Macaulay Honors Program at Hunter College. She intends to double major in English Literature and Film and minor in Music. In high school, she served as Editor-in-Chief of Townsend Harris’ award winning newspaper, The Classic, for two years. Her reporting on the controversies surrounding Townsend Harris’ former interim acting principal gained national recognition, with coverage by The New York Times, Teen Vogue and The Village Voice, among others.

Jere HesterJere Hester (@jere_hester) is Director of News Products and Projects at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where he started the award-winning NYCity News Service, which feeds student-produced stories about New York neighborhoods to news organizations. Hester was previously City Editor of theNew York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Hester received his BA in journalism and politics from New York University in 1988. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, he began his journalism career as an intern at the Downtown Express, a lower Manhattan weekly, eventually rising to editor. He currently writes about pop culture for NBC Local Integrated Media, and is the author of “Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family.”

10997993_10101765433294597_5058790579139204220_nKatie Honan (@katie_honan) is a reporter with DNAinfo New York, the city’s leading online news site, where she covers neighborhoods in Queens. She joined DNAinfo from NBC 4 New York in 2013, where she was the TV station’s first social media editor and also worked as a web editor. While at NBC 4 she won two local Emmy awards, one national Emmy award and an Edward R. Murrow Award for team coverage of the shooting at the Empire State Building and Hurricane Sandy. She is a graduate of St. John’s University and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. In another life she worked in film and television production.

Lonnie IsabelLonnie Isabel (@lonniei) is a special lecturer at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.  He is the former deputy managing editor of Newsday, and was responsible for supervising the national, foreign, state, Washington, health and science staffs. During his 16-year career at the newspaper, Isabel also served as assistant managing editor, overseeing coverage of the September 11th aftermath and the Iraq War, and as national editor, covering the 2000 presidential campaign and the Oklahoma City bombing. Earlier in his career, Isabel worked as a reporter and assistant city editor at the Oakland Tribune, and as a political reporter at the Boston Globe. He was appointed a Poynter Ethics Fellow in 2006. He has taught news writing at Hofstra and San Francisco State universities. He received a B.A. in African Studies from Amherst College.

Sandeep Junnarkar (@sandeep_nyc) is an Associate Professor at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the former New York bureau chief of CNET, and has specialized in writing about technologies used in different industries. In April 2003, his three-part report on the security risks of online banking was named “Best in Business Projects among Real-Time Publications” by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Junnarkar helped to create online editions of The New York Times, working as breaking news editor, writer, and web producer when the paper went live on the Internet as The New York Times on the Web. Junnarkar is founder and editorial director of, a multimedia web site that features stories on underreported issues. The site received a New Voices grant for 2008-2010 from J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. He received a B.A. in Social Science from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

CathyKCathy Kaczmarek has been teaching at Midwood High School in Brooklyn for 28 years and the adviser of Argus for 25 years. She teachers a yearlong journalism class. Students who complete the course then choose to become editors to work on the newspaper as seniors. The paper is published nine times a year and online. In 2011 Argus was the Newsies! winner for Best Overall Newspaper. She is a 20-year veteran of the New York City Scholastic Press Association, where she is currently president.  She inspires students to be good consumers of news and to take an active role in reporting the news at Midwood by embracing the First Amendment.

Michael Lydon (@franklinstpress), known to millions as “The Handsomest Man in the World” is a writer and musician who lives in New York City. A founding editor of “Rolling Stone” and author of Rock Folk, Boogie Lightning, Ray Charles: Man and Music, Writing and Life, Lydon has written for many periodicals as well, the Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Village Voice and others. He is also a songwriter and playwright and, with Ellen Mandel, has composed an opera, Passion in Pigskin. A Yale graduate, Lydon is a member of ASCAP, AFofM local 802, and on the faculty of St. John’s University.

Kristen Meinzer (@kristenmeinzer ‏)is co-host of Panoply’s By The Book, along with comedian and Moth StorySlam winner Jolenta Greenberg. By The Book is a reality show in audio form, where Jolenta and Kristen live religiously by a different self-help book in each episode. When she’s not hosting, Kristen’s producing shows for Panoply, most notably, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Before Panoply, Kristen was culture producer for PRI/WNYC’s daily national radio show, The Takeaway and co-hosted its weekly spinoff podcast Movie Date. She also served as the launch producer of The Sporkful podcast, and was a regular culture commentator on Soundcheck, the Brian Lehrer Show, and the New York broadcasts of All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Kristen holds a BA in cultural studies from the University of Minnesota, an MA in public history and consumer culture from New York University, and an MFA in fiction writing from Brooklyn College.

Maria Milekhina is a senior at Hunter College High School, and the cofounder of Highly Indy Project, a student-run site for NYC teen opinion and voice. Her passions lie in journalism, political science, social justice,  civil rights causes and technology.

Myles Miller (@MylesMill) is a law enforcement reporter for WPIX-TV and a correspondent for CBS Radio News (WCBS-AM.) He’s covered the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, 2016 Democratic National Convention, the visit of Pope Francis to New York and the Chelsea bombing among other major events since joining in 2015. He was a White House correspondent for The Daily, where he traveled across the country with President Barack Obama, covering landmark stories including the death of Osama bin Laden, the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act and the 2012 Presidential campaign. In 2012, he reported for and helped launch “Chasing News” for Fox TV Stations. In 2015, he helped the New York Times launch their breaking news video desk. He’s written for Reuters, New York Post,, The Daily Caller and Womens Wear Daily. He is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, National Association of Black Journalists, New York Press Club and the National Forensics League. He started his reporting career at age 12.

Joshua Mills worked as an editor and writer at The New York Times for a decade and as a reporter or editor at The Associated Press; The New York Post, the New York Daily News, Newsday, Bloomberg News and The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.). He has written on a wide variety of subjects for magazines ranging from Playboy to Boys’ Life. He continues to do occasional editing for The Times, as well as on book projects. Professor Mills has long been involved in training journalists. He served as chair of the training committee of Society of American Business Editors and Writers, as well as a board member. He also was on the Board of Academic Advisers of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and has led Reynolds workshops in cities around the country. Co-author (with Peter Fornatale) of Radio in the Television Age, Mills has written frequently about broadcast ownership and regulation. He has also worked as a writer and editor for several radio and television documentaries. Before joining the Baruch faculty, Professor Mills taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, N.Y.U. and Pace University. He earned a B.A. and an M.A. at City College of New York.

Katina Paron (@katinaparon) is a journalism educator with 20+ years of youth media experience. She is the director of the NYC High School Journalism Collaborative at Baruch College and the editor of Dateline: CUNY. As the founding editor at Teen Voices, a global girl news site at Women’s eNews and former managing director of the youth news agency, Children’s PressLine, she has worked with thousands of students to develop professional quality media that has been published in the Daily News, Newsday, Metro, Ebony, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and, among other places. She has written about youth journalism for The New York Times,  The Daily NewsWNYC SchoolBook,  and more. She is the author of the forthcoming comic book-style high school textbook, “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism.”  Ms. Paron received her B.S. in journalism from Boston University.

Credit Mark Scheffler

Gisele Regatao (@Gregatao) decided she wanted to be a journalist when she was a teenager growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has since worked for newspapers, magazines, websites and public radio stations in Mumbai, Mexico City, Los Angeles, New York, and some smaller cities. She is now a professor of journalism at Baruch College, but she is also a huge fan of telenovelas and theater. So she created and produced Celestial Blood, a radionovela podcast that was released both in English and Spanish, in partnership with KCRW public radio in Los Angeles. She says one of the highlights of her career was to direct Mexican star Kate del Castillo and chat with her about El Chapo and her dating life.

Dave Roush (@dlr213) is a teacher of broadcast journalism and media communications at the Harry S Truman High School in the Bronx. He is in his 10th year working for News 12 the Bronx and News 12 Brooklyn as an anchor, reporter and assignment editor. Before coming New York City, Roush spent three years as a regional bureau chief reporter at WJAC-TV in Johnstown, PA. He received a William Randolph Hearst Journalism Award for his radio feature storytelling while a student at Penn State University, and his high school students were nominated for a New York Emmy Award for their work on a local public access television show. Roush also has five years experience as a freelance correspondent writer for a local newspaper in his hometown of DuBois, Penn.

Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) is the senior opinion editor at The Daily Beast, a columnist at the Daily News, and an adjunct professor of journalism. You name it, and odds are that he worked there, wrote something there, or at least read it and scowled at some point. is the senior opinion editor at The Daily Beast, a columnist at the Daily News, and an adjunct professor of journalism. You name it, and odds are that he worked there, wrote something there, or at least read it and scowled at some point.