Staff 2015

School Stories is a publication produced by students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. The site is overseen by  LynNell Hancock and Sarah Carr, who teach a semester-long seminar on education reporting.


Pola Lem is a broadcast journalist and unabashed radio junkie. She studies journalism at Columbia University and is currently embedded at the World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing, Queens. Just before coming to Columbia, Pola lived for a year in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she studied and translated Russian; she is working toward an MA in Russian language and literature at Middlebury College.


1011_nguyenkKay Nguyen is journalist and M.S. student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Nguyen studied political science and journalism at Oakland University, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. After graduating in 2012, she worked as an education reporter at the Aberdeen (South Dakota) American News. An alumna of the Chips Quinn Scholars program, Nguyen is also a member of the Asian American Journalists Association. She is embedded at City-As-School in the West Village. She can be reached at or @kaynguyen.

Jessica Huseman is a Stabile student at the journalism school focusing on education policy. She is embedded at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, and is interested in covering the use of data in the classroom as well as teacher development and training. Prior to coming to the journalism school, she taught high school history and debate in Newark, N.J., where she also coached a competitive debate team. Before teaching, she was a financial journalist in Dallas and graduated from Southern Methodist University with degrees in journalism and political science.


Latena Hazard is currently a student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  Prior to attending Columbia University, she worked as a paralegal for the federal trade commission in Washington, DC and taught at an all-boys school in SE DC.  She received her B.A. in Communications from Howard University in 2012.  In addition, she served in the United States Navy for four years. While in the navy she was a Cryptologic Technician Maintenance worker. She is currently embedded at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. She can be reached by email at or tweet her @LHazard85.



Chia Lun Huang (pronounced ja-luen) is a native of Taiwan though she also grew up in Singapore, China and the U.S. She used to be a corporate executive where she organized events and counsel people on career development but found roaming the world for answers to be a much more inspiring calling. Education is a key area of her interests as she always wonders how people become and identify the way they are. In her free time, she plays the guitar and badminton or spends time speaking to strangers. She is embedded in the Academy for Careers in Television & Film where she hopes to find great friendship and stories. Feel free to email Chia Lun at

_DSC0270Andrew Johnson is a M.S. Candidate at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is from Brooklyn, N.Y. He is a graduate of York College, with a B.A. degree in Journalism and of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School. His reporting primarily focuses on hard news and politics for multiple platforms (broadcast, print, web). His embed school is Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH).



Diana Asatryan is a freelance reporter, currently completing her M.S. degree at Columbia GIMG_7333raduate School of Journalism. Originally from Armenia, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Economics from American University in Bulgaria. Before coming to the Journalism School, Diana taught at an educational centre in her home country. The centre helped students gain access to educational opportunities abroad. Her teaching experience led to a growing interest in covering educational issues. She is embedded in the Bronx International Community High School in Mott Haven, which serves recent immigrants. Reach out to Diana on Twitter @dinka_ny or through e-mail




Arianna Skibell grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and graduated from Emory University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and linguistics. While at Emory, Arianna was the editor-in-chief of the independent student newspaper, the Wheel. Arianna is primarily interested in the balancing act between a student’s social/emotional well-being and his or her academic achievement, and the interplay between the two. She will spend this semester embedded in Lyons Community School in Brooklyn. Find her at or


MayahMayah Collins: Born and raised in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Mayah graduated from Meredith College in 2011 with a degree in mass communications and a minor in sociology. Her journalism career began at The Daily Southerner, where she was a general assignment reporter. Mayah has reported on education, community events, and local government. She is currently a Master’s of Science candidate at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is embedded in The Equity Project Charter School in Washington Heights and find her on Twitter @MayahCollins.


img_6641 Jenny Luna is a current graduate student at Columbia Journalism School, focusing on audio storytelling and long form narrative. She reports on immigration and bilingual education and is embedded with International Community High School in the Bronx. Before graduate school, Luna studied Spanish and Journalism at the University of Nevada and worked in dual language education in Southern Spain. She has written for for various publications in Northern California such as the Lake Tahoe Bonanza, Sierra Sun, TAHOE Magazine and Edible Reno-Tahoe before starting her graduate program. She can be reached at; follow her on Twitter @J2the Luna.


Lou Marillier is a native Parisian currently in a double diploma between the Columbia School of Journalism and the Journalism School of Sciences Po, in Paris. Before that, she studied languages – English and Russian – applied to economics and law and has studied and lived in England, Russia and Sweden. She is particularly interested in the relationship between education and justice, and alternatives to punitive measures in case of violence or drug abuse. She is very excited to be embedded in Lyons Community School in Brooklyn, which uses restorative justice technics with its students. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @loumarillier.

StephaStephanie Ortigoza picnie Ortigoza is currently a graduate student at the Columbia Journalism School. She is a native New Yorker and received a public school education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baruch College in Manhattan. Before coming to the J-School, she wrote for the school newspaper, The Ticker and blogged for several online sites like Travel With Val.  She is interested in race, class, religion, and disabilities within education. She speaks both English and Spanish. She is embedded in the Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. Email here at or follow her on Twitter @StephOrtigoza.

Christian Gollayan is an M.S. candidate at Columbia Journalism School. Born in Manila, Philippines, he graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in news-editorial journalism. Prior toattending Columbia, Christian was an intern at Details magazine and an accessories assistant at American Vogue. Follow him on Twitter at @HeyXtian.

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