Staff 2016

KonstantinovicHeadshotAleksandra Konstantinovic
is a journalist and M.S. student at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. She got her degree in English and Political Science from the University of California, San Diego where she was Editor-in-Chief of the campus paper. She has also covered news in San Diego for NBC 7 and the Times of San Diego. For Spring 2016, she will be working with the Queens High School for Information, Research and Technology. To contact Aleksandra, send an email to or tweet @aleksandrasks.

IMG_5154Anjali Tsui is a multimedia journalist and fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. She began her career as a producer at CNN International’s Asia headquarters in Hong Kong. She received a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Pennsylvania and served as an editor at The Daily Pennsylvanian. Anjali lives in Harlem and volunteers with the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program. She’s curious about ways we can build better neighborhoods and communities in an interconnected world. She is embedded at International Community High School in the Bronx. Shoot her an email at or tweet @anjalitsui.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetCassandra Giraldo is a photojournalist and Stabile fellow for investigative journalism at Columbia. She received a BA in International Affairs and French at Skidmore College after which she went on to pursue a career in photojournalism in New York City. Cassandra freelances for local news outlets photographing almost every corner of the city on various news and feature assignments. When she’s not on assignment or in school, you’ll most likely find her on the streets of Downtown Brooklyn documenting youth after school for her Instagram project @afterschoolproject.  This semester she’ll be working with Park Slope Collegiate in public school District 15. To contact Cassandra, send an email to or tweet @cassgiraldo.

Twitter HeadshotLisa Herndon is a documentary filmmaker, producer, photographer, social content creator and writer. Her first film “A Map Of My Heart,” which she produced, filmed and edited with a classmate, tells the story of Ayesha, a 25-year-old Bengali-American Muslim who is torn between her traditional family and her American boyfriend. It was screened at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival and Roma Cine Festival in Italy. Lisa received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Virginia. This spring, she will be working with World Journalism Preparatory School. You can email her at or tweet her @thestandouters. To see more of her work, visit her website at

Pete Vernon is a journalist and graduate student at Columbia Journalism School.  Before coming to Columbia, he spent three years teaching high school in Gaborone, Botswana. He has also taught here in New York at the Hunts Point Middle School in the South Bronx. Vernon received a B.A. in History and English from the College of William & Mary and a M.S. in Secondary Education from Lehman College. He writes on urban education policy, charter schools, and anything else that affects New York City schools. A native of Philadelphia, he is currently trusting the process. You can reach him at or on Twitter @petevernon7.

jayaram Prarthana Jayaram is a writer and editor studying data journalism at Columbia this year. She holds a B.A. in English from Haverford College. Prior to graduate school, Prarthana worked in the nonprofit sector in Philadelphia, integrating her communications skills and passion for social justice with a focus on public education. She grew up on the West Coast – and misses it. Until May, you can find Prarthana taking dutiful notes at her embed school, Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Crown Heights. Or, you can find her online at and @notpiranha.

171597_496254941314_8188200_o Jamie Martines is a journalist and graduate student at Columbia Journalism School. She focuses on education reporting and foreign policy reporting. Martines is embedded at P.S. 446 in Brownsville. Prior to coming to Columbia, she spent two years teaching in Yunnan, China. The New York native holds a B.S. from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and speaks Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. Reach her at or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.


IMG_2864 Fatima Sugapong is a graduate student at Columbia Journalism School. Her passions lay everywhere from education reporting to fashion and music. Sugapong uses journalism as an avenue to call attention to racial and economic injustices in the education system and beyond. She is embedded in the World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing, Queens. In May of 2015, Sugapong earned her B.A. in English, Creative Writing from Mills College in Oakland, California. She speaks three languages: English, French, and Tagalog. You could follow her at @fsugapong on Twitter and Instagram or go to her website.

ILGIN PHOTOIlgin Yorulmaz is a multimedia journalist reporting on politics, education, social justice, religion, and women’s and children’s rights. She has spent twenty-two years as a researcher and magazine correspondent in Tokyo, London and Istanbul before moving to  New York. Ilgin speaks Turkish, Japanese and French. Her two kids went through school choice process 2015-2016 school year while she attempted to “un”covering mysteries around it by immersing herself in covering education class at Columbia Journalism School. Her master’s project is about transformation of a Catholic school in South Bronx.  When she’s not following Schools Chancellor from town hall to town hall and tweeting at @ilginyorulmaz, she’s leading her local Boy Scout troop.

Lucia HoffmanLUCIA SARAMELLO HOFFMAN, a native from Brazil, is multilingual in Spanish, French, Portuguese and English. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2016 with a masters degree in Digital Media. She is passionate about digital journalism and began her career as a sports journalist covering the ATP and WTA tennis tour worldwide. She was a web curator for Sports Illustrated,, during The Masters 2015. Ms. Hoffman became an influential voice in sports — and she did it all on social media.  In 2012, she was one of the first 10 web journalists invited to cover Wimbledon, one of the most prestigious tennis events in the world. In 2014 she received honors on her Audience and Engagement class at Columbia Journalism School. In 2015 she was chosen by The New York Times to be part of their journalism institute, where she was a visual producer, web editor working on audience development. In 2016, she was embedded at The Enterprise School, a charter school in the Bronx, and also worked on investigative and data driven projects including Russian sanctions and the influence of social media in the US Presidential Elections, with SIPA. She can be reached at or Twitter @luciahoff.