2011 Staff

Linda Abi Assi holds both Lebanese and French citizenship. She has a B.A in political studies from the American University of Beirut, and a master’s degree from the Journalism School of Sciences Po in Paris. Before joining Columbia University, Linda interned at L’Orient Le Jour, Radio France Internationale, AP Television News and TV channel France 2. She covers health for Uptown Radio.

Alex Alper is a dual-degree candidate in international affairs and journalism at Columbia. A Maryland native, she worked as a print intern for the Associated Press’ Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok, Thailand, last summer. As a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa from 2006–2009, she created and produced 20-minute weekly Portuguese language radio shows on local energy and environmental issues.

Jacob Anderson grew up near Houston, Texas. He was a school teacher for several years, and considers it a major accomplishment to have taught every grade from pre-kindergarten to high school. Jacob left teaching in 2008 to begin reporting for Chicago Public Radio. He produced radio documentaries from Pakistan and Italy, and in 2010 he worked on Re:sound, a documentary radio show from the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago.

Willow Belden is a native New Yorker and a graduate of Kenyon College. She spent a year in the Middle East on a Fulbright grant, conducting research in a Palestinian refugee camp, and writing for the Jordan Times and JO Magazine. Upon returning to the U.S., Willow became an editor at the Queens Chronicle and received the Rookie Reporter of the Year award from the New York Press Association.

Jonah Comstock comes from a print background, but has recently discovered a love for radio.  He worked on features for his high school newspaper and magazine in Indianapolis, Indiana and served as editor in chief for The Wooster Voice, one of the nation’s oldest college papers.  He’s currently  studying journalism at Columbia University. Jonah covers science for Uptown Radio.

Joe Danielewicz is a reporter / producer for Uptown Radio.  He’s worked in local, national and international news – covering city council meetings to presidential inaugurations.   His experience includes work as a newscast producer in Ohio and news producer with Fox and NBC News in Washington DC.   Prior to television, Joe was a student reporter at WMUB-FM and had an internship with NPR News.

Sandhya Dirks covers crime and justice issues for Uptown Radio. She has spent a lot of time working on related topics for 91.7 KALW Public Radio where she reported and produced radio documentaries about failing public schools and violence in Oakland. For her work she has recieved SPJ’s prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award. But mostly, she is a lifelong, unrepentant radio nerd.

Anna Maria (Ania) Jakubek covers food and nutrition for Uptown Radio. She was born in Rzeszow, Poland and grew up in Canada, Japan and the U.S. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Princeton University and has reported for the New York Post, blogged for Popular Science Online and ghostwritten for behavioral economist Dan Ariely. She is never bored.

Linette Lopez has lived in New York for the past 7 years. She moved to the city from Pennsylvania to attend Columbia University as an undergraduate. There, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and History. After school she worked in New York State politics, where she found respite from the political muck through blogging. Now she attends Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and hopes to work in a variety of mediums from audio to social media.

Gianna Palmer, born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut with majors in English and sociology. At Wesleyan, she was an online editor of the student newspaper, The Argus. She has written for the Wall Street Journal’s Hire Education blog, the New York Daily News, and Preservation Magazine. At Columbia, Gianna is concentrating in digital media.

Juliana Schatz covers immigration and Latin American affairs for Uptown Radio.  Prior to her studies at Columbia, she was the associate producer for Kirk Documentary Group, an independent documentary film production company based in Boston. Her team’s PBS FRONTLINE productions received multiple honors, including the Peabody and Emmy Awards. She especially enjoyed the chocolate Peabody medallion.

Derek Simons worked as a comedian and host on national TV for 20 years in Italy and other European countries. As a music journalist for the Italian TV network “Videomusic,” he served as presenter, producer, director, editor and author. He also produced a weekly news magazine for public radio station KKFI in Kansas City. He covers transportation for Uptown Radio.

Larry Tung covers education for Uptown Radio. A native of Taiwan, Tung has been covering the immigrant communities in New York City since 2002.  His documentary films have been shown in numerous film festivals in North America and Europe. Currently he teaches video production at Kean University, and is a contributor to Gotham Gazette and Feet In Two Worlds.

Kaitlin Ugolik covers small business for Uptown Radio. Before coming to Columbia, she worked at several daily newspapers and radio stations in North Carolina. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from Elon University, where her passion for both print and radio reporting blossomed. She loves cooking and eating, writing and reading and using multimedia elements to tell stories.

Karla Zabludovsky comes to New York from Mexico City, where she worked as a reporter for Canal 40, a TV channel operated by TV Azteca, covering domestic and foreign news. She obtained her B.A. in history and international relations from Boston College, and focused her studies on Latin America and the Middle East. She has worked at The Economist and freelanced for PODER magazine.