2020-21 Workshop Leaders’ and Copy Editor’s Bios

José Bayona is a bilingual communication professional experienced in government affairs and the digital, print, and broadcast media industries. He currently is a spokesperson for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and holds the title of Director of Community and Ethnic Media and Deputy Press Secretary at the NYC Mayor’s Office. Bayona was a reporter and assistant editor at the New York Daily News. He also worked as a writer for NY1 Noticias and as a Digital Metro Editor for ImpreMedia, the publishers of El Diario in New York City, for the NYC Department of Transportation as a press officer, and for the City’s Administration for Children’s Services as a press secretary. He has worked with educational institutions and non-profit organizations in creating their communications and content strategies and as an adjunct professor at Hofstra University and CUNY’s Baruch College. Bayona holds an M.A. in Journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism – Urban and Interactive reporting concentrations. He graduated Cum Laude from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program in Journalism and Political Science at Baruch College.

Professor Geanne Belton, a Baruch College journalism professor and an attorney, teaches media law and ethics and news literacy at Baruch and journalism law and ethics at CUNY’s Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. She directs Baruch’s annual NYC high school journalism conference and public high school journalism “Newsies” awards program to encourage and support NYC student newspapers, student journalists, and newspaper advisors. She has freelanced for The New York Times, the National Law Journal, Columbia Journalism Review, Nieman Journalism Lab, and many other newspapers, magazines, and digital publications and was a columnist for the National Law Journal and a staff writer for Investor’s Business Daily, Investment Dealers’ Digest, and The New Haven Register. Belton is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Law, where she earned Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar status, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and Bryn Mawr College.

Crystal Chunnu is a senior at Baruch College and the Opinions Editor of The Ticker, Baruch College’s independent student newspaper. She is majoring in public affairs and minoring in psychology with aspirations to work as a policy analyst in education and healthcare. Chunnu has been a member of The Ticker since last year and encourages students to become active members of their student newspapers.

Noah Fleischman was born in New York, and never realized that he was a passionate journalist until his second semester in college. As a student journalist, Noah worked his way from copy editor to now Editor-in-Chief of The Ticker, Baruch’s student-run newspaper. Here he focuses on working with his staff to create meaningful stories that impact students and staff. In addition, Noah is currently serving as a Society Columnist for Modern Treatise, an online publication that “expounds upon culture, current affairs and the global economy for the discerning millennial.” Noah has had his work published in community publications, newsletters and has reported on environmental issues, political events and race relations. Noah enjoys sarcastic humor, listening to music on vinyl, and reading.

Professor Emily H. Johnson is an independent multimedia journalist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, PRI’s The World, Agence France-Presse (AFP), and CNN. A former wilderness guide, Emily graduated from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in 2010, after which she moved to Indonesia to work for the English-language newspaper The Jakarta Globe. From 2014 to 2016, she was based in Nairobi, Kenya, where she covered breaking news and produced features on topics as far-ranging as mental health, technology, extremism, climate change, and human rights. She continues to cover East Africa and Asia from her current home in New York, where she is an assistant professor of journalism at Baruch College. Her body of work includes photography, radio, video, and writing.

Yasmeen A. Persaud is a News Assistant at Spectrum News NY1 and Editor/Contributor for Dollars And Sense Magazine of Baruch College. Persaud is a graduate of Francis Lewis High School and a junior at Baruch College pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Creative Writing with a minor in Political Science. Persaud was the editor-in-chief and founder of FLHS News and served as copy editor, opinions editor, news anchor, and writer of The Ticker, Baruch College’s independent college newspaper. Her local coverage of news propelled her to write for other publications such as The Queens Daily Eagle. Persaud also interned at Spectrum News NY1 for the Live at Noon News Show. Her love for passionate stories influenced her to participate in special projects, collaborating with The Trace and The Miami Herald to publish the award-winning sinceparkland.org, dedicated to victims of the Parkland School Shooting. In addition to journalistic pursuits, Persaud also writes poetry, with two poems published in Baruch College’s Encounters Magazine. Persaud is also a lover of science, and co-authored a paper and presentation on electron spin resonance dating, seen in ResearchGate and at the Geological Society of America Conference.

Professor Gisele Regatao is an assistant professor of journalism at Baruch College and a former executive producer and editor for the public radio stations WNYC in New York and KCRW in Los Angeles. She has reported for national shows on topics including Latino vote, COVID in Brazil, a blues legend and fake art. Gisele also created the fiction podcast series Celestial Blood, which was released in English and Spanish.

Amanda Salazar is a junior at Baruch College and the managing editor of The Ticker. She is a double major in journalism and political science and a double minor in environmental sustainability and communication studies. Salazar has been a member of The Ticker since her first semester at Baruch and strongly encourages all attendees to consider joining their future college newspaper.

Eisa Nefertari Ulen (she/her) is author of the novel Crystelle Mourning (Atria). Her essays exploring African American culture have been widely anthologized, most recently in Who Do You Serve? Who Do You Protect? (Haymarket), which won the Social Justice/Advocacy Award for 2017 from the School Library Journal’s In the Margins Book Committee. Eisa has contributed to ReadersDigest.com, TheHollywoodReporter.com, Essence, Parents, The Washington Post, Ms., Health, Ebony, The Huffington Post, Pen.org, Los Angeles Review of Books, TheRoot.com, Truthout.org, TheDefendersOnline.com, TheGrio.com, and CreativeNonfiction.org. A Pulitzer Center grantee, she is also the recipient of awards from the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the National Association of Black Journalists.