Former Staff 2011-12

Find information about the current Uptowner staff here.

Myeisha Essex received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies from Bennett College for Women, where she served as creative director and co-founder of Belle Magazine. The Los Angeles native lives in upper Manhattan and is pursuing a master’s degree at Columbia University with a specialization in magazine reporting. Before coming to the journalism school, Essex worked as an intern at KJLH Radio, Malibu Magazine, Sister 2 Sister and the New York Times Student Journalism Institute. She serves as treasurer of the Columbia University chapter of the Association of Black Journalists. @MyeishaEssex
Jacqueline Guzman was born and raised in northern California’s wine country and holds a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She discovered her love for news while interning at KTVU Fox 2 in San Francisco. After spending three years teaching English in Spain, she is pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University. She speaks English and Spanish and her interests include traveling and writing. @jackguzman
Elizabeth Harball grew up in Kalispell, Mont. She received a B.A. in liberal arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM, then taught English in Kirishima, Japan, through the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. She works as an editorial assistant for THE magazine, a contemporary arts periodical based in Santa Fe. @ElizHarball
Sandra Ifraimova was born in Moscow but grew up in Cologne, Germany and Paris, where she graduated from a French-American bilingual high school. Sandra earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature with film studies from King’s College University London. She interned at the New York Daily News, publishing and contributing to many stories. She is fluent in Russian, English, French and speaks Spanish, German and Polish. @SandraIfraimova
Chris Le has an English degree from the University of California, Irvine. He has written for, Salon, CBS News, The Thought Catalog, 7×7 and AsianWeek. He’s from San Jose, Calif., and lives in New York. @cple
Ali Leskowitz grew up in suburban Philadelphia. She graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in English and a secondary in dramatic arts. She enjoys writing about and watching theater and spends much of her time discussing entertainment, the arts and pop culture. She gets her heart broken yearly by her beloved Philly sports teams. @aleskowitz
Marina Lopes grew up in the concrete jungle of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She earned a degree in international relations from Boston College, where she was news editor of the progressive student newspaper The Gavel. Marina has covered ethnic and religious tension in Paris for the Boston Globe’s Passport Blog and is fluent in French, Spanish and Portuguese. She hopes to cover nation building in southern Africa next year. @marinalopes331
Paolo Lorenzana was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. He began his publishing career as an editorial associate for Manual magazine, then the only cultivated Filipino men’s magazine. Beginning with a cover story on national prizefighting hero Manny Pacquiao, he became a serial profiler of local personalities and contributor to Maxim Philippines, Men’s Health Philippines and various lifestyle publications. He was editor-in-chief of Status, a free urban youth magazine, and a columnist for Supreme, a weekly pop culture section of The Philippine Star. He has also been a chicken farmer. @paolorenzana
Sarah McNaughton has dreamed of being a writer in New York City since age 6, when she founded The Sarah News in her home in Denver. She moved to Eugene, Ore., to pursue dual degrees in magazine and news/editorial journalism and a minor in multimedia at the University of Oregon. Published in the Oregon Daily Emerald, Ethos magazine, Cara magazine and Flux Magazine, she has a love for the unusual long-form narrative. She is now a writer in New York City. @junemcnaughton
Yumna Mohamed earned both her undergraduate degree in political science and international relations and her postgraduate degree in development studies at Wits University in her hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa. She is most interested in magazine journalism and multimedia. She speaks Urdu, Zulu, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, and enjoys travel, comic books and stand-up comedy. @yumzazzle
Lucy Pawle is a born-and-bred Londoner who graduated from the University of St. Andrews with a degree in modern history. She wrote for her university newspaper, has interned at the Daily Telegraph and has a freelance contract with The Wall Street Journal Europe, where she also interned. @lucypawle
Ines Perez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra. She worked for more than three years at the Dominican Ministry of Finance before deciding to take the plunge into journalism. A native Spanish speaker, she is also fluent in English and Italian. @InesPrz
Nat Rudarakanchana grew up in Hong Kong, though he comes from a Thai family. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with both an undergraduate philosophy degree and some editorial experience with The Cambridge Student, a student newspaper. He has also interned at Hong Kong Tatler, The New Paper and the Bangkok Post Sunday. A resident of West Harlem, his interests include political, investigative and daily news journalism. @natrudy
Paul Smith was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in English. He is a freelance arts and culture journalist and has published in the Observer, The Times of London and NME. A freelance photographer, he is learning to produce audio reports. @hellopaulsmith
Gabriel Stargardter was born in London. After studying English literature at Oxford University, he worked in the film industry before moving to Berlin to work at the German tabloid Bild. He then moved to Barranquilla, Colombia, where he worked for El Heraldo, covering the 2010 presidential elections, before returning to freelance in Berlin. He has also written for The Observer, The Wire and Resident Advisor. He speaks fluent Spanish, French and German. @gabstargardter
Sarah Tan grew up in New York but has spent the last four years in Baltimore where she attended Johns Hopkins University and served as editor-in-chief of her campus paper. She also wrote for The Baltimore Sun, where she got her first real taste of city reporting. @sarahjtan
Lindsey Wagner, a Chicago native, attended Columbia College and studied broadcast journalism. She interned at various newsrooms, discovering her niche in investigative journalism. A competitive ice-skater for 15 years, Lindsey also has a love for sports. She currently lives in Midtown. @lindsey_wagner
Lina Zeldovich, born in Russia, holds a B.S. in computer science from Brooklyn Polytechnic University. Her work has appeared in Our Town, New York Press, the West Side Spirit, the Chelsea Clinton News,, and other publications. She has also worked for McKinsey & Company and has won three Writer’s Digest Awards. When she is not reporting for the Uptowner, she writes fiction and theater reviews. @linazeldovich
The Uptowner’s editors are Paula Span and Carla Baranauckas.


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