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The Team

Columbia News Tonight Staff 2013: Mea Ashley, Kimberly Brooks, Evan Burgos, Ernest Chi Cho, Sanjana Chowhan, Ines de la Cuetara, William Denselow, Jay Devineni, Reena Diamante, Stephon Dingle, Emma Elbuzedi, Nina Ene, Shayna Estulin, Shaukat Hamdani, Nia Hamm, Madeline Hunt, Stephen Jiwanmall, Alexandra Katsoulis, Amelia Martyn-Hemphill, Michael Orr, MaryAlice Parks, Nia Phillips, Steve Silva, Katherine Theofanous


Mea Ashley
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, she is a self-proclaimed true “Southern Belle.” Mea graduated from Jackson State University, in 2012, magna cum laude with a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Mea has interned for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and Channel 16 WAPT News, an ABC affiliate. She has also done work for TV23 in Jackson, hosting the television show “Community Focus,” anchoring news updates, and editing video. In addition to being a journalist, Mea hopes to become an author and motivational speaker. She enjoys encouraging teens not to lose that childlike imagination they had about their dreams when they were in kindergarten.




Kimberly Brooks
Kimberly Brooks received a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. Originally passionate about science and medicine, Kimberly succumbed to her love of storytelling and moved into television production. She began working as an assistant at the Oprah Winfrey Show including a freelance project at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa. Later, she joined NBC and worked almost four years as a Segment Producer for their lifestyle brand. Kimberly is now is a full-time M.S student concentrating in Broadcast.





Evan Burgos
Evan Burgos is a graduate student at Columbia University, pursuing a Master’s degree in journalism with a focus in broadcast news.  He spent two years as a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer covering high school sports in Southeastern Pennsylvania. He has also worked at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia on the web team, where he produced content for CSNPhilly.com. He is a proud native of Philadelphia, Pa. and attended the University of Pittsburgh. Follow Evan on Twitter @evanburgos





Ernest Chi Cho
Ernest Chi Cho is a native of Cameroon.  He has a degree in Political Science from the University of Buea.  Before moving to New York in 2009, he worked as a news anchor and deputy editor-in-chief at Equinoxe Television, a privately owned television station in Douala.  Ernest participated in the Entrepreneurial Journalism Program at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism before joining the Columbia community where he is currently a graduate student in Broadcast Journalism at the Journalism School.  He is bilingual in English and French and is interested in international reporting.  You can contact him at erniechicho@yahoo.com




Ines de la Cuetara
Ines was born in Nice, France, but also spent several years living in Miami and Malaga, Spain before heading to Montreal for college. Before coming to Columbia, Ines studied Political Science at McGill University, and it was there, at TVMcGill, that Ines first dabbled with cameras. She first experimented with journalism by reporting for the McGill Daily, and then interning at Transcontinental, where she wrote for eight regional French weekly newspapers. Ines eventually went on to intern at CTV News Montreal, and also worked as a production assistant for CNN’s Paris bureau.




William Denselow
Hails from London, England. He graduated from Leeds University with degrees in both Politics and Middle Eastern Studies and spent six months studying Arabic and politics in Lebanon at the American University of Beirut. He had stints at the House of Commons, Sky News, and Sky Sports, where he helped out at the tennis desk. He also worked for the African politics publication Africa Confidential as a writer and researcher. A keen sportsman, he played cricket and soccer in England and since moving to New York, has become a diehard Jets fan. Follow him on twitter: @willdenze.




Jay Devineni
Jay Devineni was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.  He earned degrees in Chemistry, Communication Studies (with a film emphasis), and Liberal Arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) in 2012. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is in the broadcast concentration.  Jay fell in love with journalism while taking writing and reporting classes during his undergraduate education and became interested in broadcast work through his film background.  While in college, he served as UMKC’s Student Body President and ran Division I Cross Country and Track.  He is also a proud alumnus of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Follow him @JayDevineni



Reena Diamante
Reena Diamante was born in Davao City, Philippines and grew up in northern New Jersey. She graduated last May with Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and political science from Rutgers University-New Brunswick.  For more than two and half years at Rutgers, Diamante was a writer and editor for the independent, student-run daily newspaper, The Daily Targum. Prior to attending the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism School, she interned at United Nations Radio, Condé Nast Publications and BBC Worldwide Americas. Follow her on Twitter @reenajade.




Stephon Dingle
Stephon Dingle is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2012 with a B.A. in history and African Diaspora Studies. Upon graduating, he participated in the New York Times Student Journalism Institute in New Orleans, and interned at NBC’s Today Show in New York City. Currently, he is a Master of Science candidate at Columbia University, where he studies broadcast journalism, and expects to graduate in May 2013. He enjoys eating, live tweeting and sports





Emma Elbuzedi
Hailing from the East Coast of Scotland, Elbuzedi holds a master’s degree with joint honors in international relations and Arabic from the University of Saint Andrews as well as an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, where she studied on a competitive scholarship from the Carnegie Trust. She has worked at Al Jazeera English, Radio Sawa and MBC. Elbuzedi has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, where she studied Arabic at the Bourguiba Institute in Tunis, read political science at the American University in Cairo and worked with Palestinian and Iraqi refugees for the UN in Damascus. Elbuzedi is fluent in Arabic and proficient in French. She aspires to become an on-air Middle East correspondent. Follow her on Twitter@Emmoushe.



Nina Ene
Nina started out with a Bachelors degree in International Relations from Covenant University back home but after two years of exploring other interests, decided her real passion was storytelling.She is a bilingual reporter interested in local and international stories concerning business, entertainment, fashion and social issues bordering race and poverty. In Nigeria, she worked for the defunct News Network 24 (NN24) as an Anchor/Producer where she reported on several entertainment and lifestyle stories including the Mtv Africa Music Awards and the Arise Fashion Week. She also worked as Reporter/Presenter for a magazine show on air travel and business technology, called “The Aviator.” In New York, she has worked as a reporter and contributor to NYCityLens.com, where she has filed several stories ranging from elections and disaster recovery to unemployment in the tri-state area. Follow Nina on twitter @ninaene or shoot her an email enenina@ymail.com


Shayna Estulin
Shayna Estulin is currently a broadcast student at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. A Los Angeles native, she began her journalism career when she moved to Israel and served in the Israel Defense Forces press unit, covering military events. She later interned at the Center of Jewish Arab Economic development, an Israeli NGO that works to build ties between the two communities and graduated with Honors from IDC Herzliya with a degree in International Affairs and Middle East Studies. She has since moved to New York and worked on stories for MSNBC and CNN.  Shayna is most interested in the visual storytelling and is passionate about covering national and international stories,whether hard news or features.  Follow her on Twitter @Sestulin.



Shaukat Hamdani
Shaukat Hamdani is a journalist from Lahore, where he worked 3 years for Express 24/7 news channel. He did his Bsc (hons) in Social Sciences from LUMS in Lahore Pakistan.  Now he is a M.S Journalism candidate from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York City #cuj13. He tweets @Shaukii and his official website is www.shaukii.com






Nia Hamm
Nia Hamm is a New Jersey native and currently resides in New York City. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2008 with a double major in Journalism and Media Studies as well as Africana studies and a minor in Environmental Policies, Institutions and Behaviors. Nia is a broadcast journalism student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She works as a Regional Producer for Fox News in New York City, where she produces national and international news for more than 150 Fox affiliates across the country. Nia also works as a package producer covering national and international breaking news. Outside of her fulltime job, Nia freelances as a writer for several online magazines and reports about topics ranging from health to entertainment. She is passionate about news and plans to work as a multimedia journalist when she graduates from Columbia. Follow Nia on Twitter @niaahamm or email her at nh2402@columbia.edu


Madeline Hunt
A California girl at heart, Madeline was born and raised in Santa Barbara and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies.  Prior to Columbia, she was the Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA branch of Her Campus Magazine and also interned for Ken Baker at E! News.  Madeline wants to pursue a career in broadcast, more specifically as an on-air entertainment and lifestyle reporter.  She loves playing tennis, practicing her Spanish, hitting the beach, eating Mexican food, and traveling.  So far, Maddie finds the fast-paced nature and eccentricity of the city extremely thrilling, however, this California native has yet to experience a “real” winter.



Stephen Jiwanmall
Stephen Jiwanmall is a proud Philadelphia native. He graduated from La Salle University in May and interned at several Philly-area media outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer and the city’s FOX and PBS affiliates. Last semester, Stephen served as a web editor and West Indian beat reporter for the New York Torch, a student-operated website focusing on the city’s ethnic communities.Proud of his Indian and Pakistani heritage, Stephen looks for ways to learn more about his culture. He is a lead coordinator of Columbia’s chapter of the South Asian Journalists Association, and he was a member of a South Asian dance team at La Salle for four years. He also casually plays an instrument called the harmonium and sings in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi for his church’s choir and worship team



Alexandra Katsoulis
Alexandra is pursuing her master’s degree in broadcast at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. An aspiring foreign correspondent, Alexandra has previously interned for Kathimerini, the Greek International Herald Tribute affiliate, where she covered street violence between the far right and migrants, anti-austerity riots and illegal mosques in Athens. She graduated New York University in May 2012 with a BA in print journalism. Alexandra is a dual citizen of the European Union and the United States, and speaks Greek and Spanish fluently.




Amelia Martyn-Hemphill
Originally from London, Amelia studied English at Oxford University. Since graduating she has worked for Scott Free Films on the release of their critically acclaimed documentary ‘Life In A Day’ and the YouTube/Scott Free ‘Your Film Festival’ as part of the industry judging panel. She has interned as a broadcast journalist for Russia Today (RT) in Moscow and has also worked as a runner for The BBC, The Weinstein Company, Anonymous Content and Working Title in London. Her journalistic interests include breaking news, business, arts and culture. Follow her on Twitter @ameliamhemphill or send her an email at arm2186@columbia.edu





Michael Orr
Michael Orr is from Fairfax, Virginia and is a news junkie at heart.  Michael worked as an associate producer at MSNBC. Prior to that, Michael worked at the Weekend Today Show and CNBC’s Mad Money as an NBC East Coast Page. He enjoys covering politics and business.Michael Orr is perusing a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications and International Studies from the University of Miami.





MaryAlice Parks
MaryAlice is studying broadcast journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and was selected for a third semester documentary film program. Originally from Tacoma, Washington, MaryAlice earned her bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Columbia University in 2009.While a student at Columbia, she wrote a column for the campus newspaper, the Spectator, and directed several student theater and film productions. After graduating MaryAlice worked for the U.S. Justice Department in Washington D.C., assisting attorneys in white-collar criminal investigations. She then moved to Capitol Hill and worked Member of Congress as a legislative assistant and director of new media. She managed the senior health care portfolio, drafting bills on Alzheimer’s disease and at-home care. She managed the office’s online presence, produced daily videos for the website, and wrote speeches on various issues. Since coming to Columbia’s Journalism School, MaryAlice has covered the Syrian-American community in New York City. Follow her on twitter at @maryaliceparks


Nia Phillips
Nia K. Phillips is from Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2012 with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. She worked at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a multimedia journalism intern. Nia is studying broadcast journalism at Columbia University. Last semester, she covered New York City’s Brazilian community for the New York Torch and managed the website’s social media. Nia is a Pittsburgher in every sense and enjoys stressing about the Steelers and Pirates. She has also become a big soccer fan, and likes watching La Liga matches after studying abroad in Spain in 2011. Nia also plays jazz piano, likes discovering new cupcake shops, drawing cartoon people, and British culture. Her journalistic interests include sports, politics, entertainment, and arts and culture. Follow her on Twitter @Nia_Official


Steve Silva
When it comes to video journalism, Steve Silva wants to do it all; report, tweet, shoot, edit — you name it. This Canuck expat hopes his time pursuing a master’s degree (broadcast concentration) at the Graduate School of Journalism will refine his reporting abilities and challenge his current skills. Born and raised in Toronto, where he attained his bachelor’s degree from Ryerson University, Silva is used to the hustle-bustle of a big city. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his photography skills, stumbling upon random horror movies on TV, and staring out the window longingly, wishing he could put his open water diver certification to the test. Have a story idea? Tweet or email him at: @SteveCSilva or Steve[at]SteveSilva.ca 



Katherine Theofanous
A native Chicagoan, Katherine graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked in television production for several well-known production companies in Chicago, including Harpo Studios. Katherine loves adventure and serving abroad. Prior to attending Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Katherine took a four-month journey to South America where a volunteer experience at a Bolivian orphanage sparked her passion for journalism. As a first generation Greek-Cypriot American, Katherine is fluent in Modern Greek and is passionate about reporting both international and local news stories. When she is not working, Katherine enjoys time with family, friends and a delicious cup of coffee. Follow her on twitter @katherinetheofa | Kat2154@columbia.edu


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