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2012 Staff

J. Ben Bradford is the former press secretary to U.S. Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo. He covers technology for Uptown Radio and interns at WNYC’s the Takeaway. Bradford graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a degree in theater. He likes journalism better than politics. Contact him @jbenbradford or jbp2138@columbia.edu.

Russ Finkelstein is a filmmaker and journalist from California.  After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, he opened and ran a backpacker’s hostel in Chile for a few years before moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina where he began his career in film and television production. He has since worked as an independent producer for Al Jazeera, Current TV and VPro and has directed several TV commercials, short films and music videos. Finkelstein reports on policing for Uptown Radio.  He tweets as @russfinkelstein and can be reached via email at russfinkelstein@gmail.com.

Jacqueline Guzman covers science for Uptown Radio. Born and raised in northern California’s wine country, she 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. She moved to New York after spending three years teaching English in Madrid, Spain. She speaks English and Spanish and is a multimedia journalist. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @jackguzman or email her at jmg2255@columbia.edu.

Nathaniel Herz comes from a journalistic family. His grandmother, Josephine Herz, graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in 1930, and his mother runs an investigative reporting project in Maine. After graduating from college in 2009, Nat worked for two years for FasterSkier.com, a website that covers winter sports like cross-country skiing and biathlon. He covers politics and government for Uptown Radio. He tweets as @Nat_Herz and emails from nbh2112@columbia.edu.

Mackenzie Issler covers human rights for Uptown Radio.  Issler is a former newspaper reporter, where she covered education, health and human services in western Massachusetts. She has reported on Haiti, travelling there three times in the last year. She can be reached at mackissler@gmail.com and on Twitter (@mackenzieissler).

Sarah Laing covers the Culture beat for Uptown Radio. She’s a fan of both ends of the cultural spectrum, having in the past curated a fiction anthology while simultaneously hosting a breakfast radio show. A Canadian recently returned to the hemisphere from four years in Australia, she loves trashy television almost as much as she loves early modern poetry. She tweets @sarahjanelaing, and answers emails at sjl2170@columbia.edu.

John Light is originally from rural New Jersey, which is, in fact, a thing that exists. He covers the transportation issues for Uptown Radio. Through Columbia, John is also working on a video documentary about the effects of the foreclosure crisis on New York City’s renters. Outside of Columbia, John interns for WNYC’s the Takeaway. He has contributed to PBS’s Need to Know, NOVA, Great Performances and Reel 13, and authored articles for newspapers and websites in Boston, Cleveland and New York City. He’s a recent graduate of Oberlin College, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the college paper and an a.m. host on the college’s radio station. Find him at jal2249@columbia.edu, or @lighttweeting.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen is a freelance writer and M.S. candidate in digital media at Columbia Journalism School. She covers criminal justice for Uptown Radio and has previously covered the South Bronx for Bronxink.org. Before coming to Columbia, Celia worked as a journalist in Taiwan and for the writers’ association International PEN in Sweden. She has a master’s in linguistics from Stockholm University. Celia writes in English and Chinese at celiallopis.wordpress.com. You can follow her on Twitter (Celia_LJ) or email her at cl2990@columbia.edu.

Jackie Mader covers education for Uptown Radio. She spent the last two years working as a middle school special education teacher with Teach For America in Charlotte, North Carolina, which inspired her to report on schools. Originally from Seattle, she studied screenwriting and elementary education at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Follow her on twitter @jackiemader or email at mader.jackie@gmail.com.

Leanna Orr is a radio and print reporter. She currently covers small business for Uptown Radio, interns at WNYC for The Takeaway, and blogs about music for Virgin.com. Since her first byline in 2007 (“Gang Violence”–the band, not the social ill), Leanna has also interned at the BBC and Western Living magazine, volunteered with broadcasters at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and written for indie music magazines. Find her at @LeannaO and lco2108@columbia.edu.

Andrew Parsons is an independent radio producer and multimedia reporter. He currently covers national business for Uptown Radio.  Andrew came to New York City through Teach For America where he taught kindergarten and first grade in East New York and Bed-stuy, Brooklyn before entering the world of journalism. He’s worked at WNYC, On The Media and Murray Street Productions. His  stories have been broadcast on NPR’s Snap Judgment, WGBH Boston, KUT Austin and Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio, among others. Tweet at him at @andrewjparsons  or email him at ajp2187@columbia.edu.

Rachel Rogers found herself while teaching Middle School English on Yap, Micronesia, when she realized she wanted to be a journalist. During her time on Yap she also worked at KUTE 88.1FM, covering anything from sports to education, and fueling her love of radio. A Pennsylvania native, she graduated from Penn State University in 2006 with degrees in English and Italian. Rogers covers politics for Uptown Radio. Follow her on Twitter @RKRogers1 or email her at rr2501@columbia.edu.

Annie Russell is a radio producer and multimedia journalist living in Brooklyn. She is currently covering city services for Uptown Radio. She can also be heard weekly at Breakthruradio.com covering new music from the U.K.  In past lives she has been a social worker, music director and filmmaker. You can email her at amr2231@columbia.edu or find her in short form @anniemrussell.

Will Sloan was born and raised in Toronto and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. He was Arts and Entertainment Editor at The Varsity, Canada?s highest-circulated student newspaper, and has worked as a film critic and entertainment reporter for numerous Toronto publications. He once made Korean pop star Rain laugh, although it may have been a fake laugh.

Jason Slotkin covers health for Uptown Radio.  He graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA where he was editor of the school’s weekly newspaper.  After college, he spent a year living in Portland, Oregon, and briefly interned at Willamette Week while also working at a high-volume restaurant. Jason credits restaurant work as the source of his skills as a multi-tasker. His work has appeared in Willamette Week and on the New York Times City Room blog. Find him on twitter @jasonslotkin or email him jbs2199@columbia.edu.

Paul Smith reports on intellectual and street culture for Uptown Radio. He was born in Derry, Nor
thern Ireland, and graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2011 with a degree in English. He has written for the Observer (the Guardian), NME, the Times and Sunday Times of London, and is currently a production intern at WNYC’s the Takeaway. Email: paulrichardsmith48@gmail.com Twitter: @hellopaulsmith.

Acacia Squires reports on real estate for Uptown Radio. Last year she took a leap of faith and left her career in non-profit housing to pursue public radio journalism. Acacia remembers that she first learned about the Internet listening to public radio as a child, “Dad, what is a www?” Now she can credit it with helping her to her realize that change can be a good thing. Originally from Colorado, she attended high school in San Diego, and college at the University of California Santa Cruz. She holds her real estate license in New York. You can email her aws2143@columbia.edu or Tweet at her @AcaciaSquires.

Hristina Tisheva is from Bulgaria but her favorite language is Italian. Her favorite city is Amsterdam. She hungers to visit Singapore, and dreams of living in Sidney. For two years she hosted a four-hour morning talk show. Before that, she worked at the radio station at the American University in Bulgaria, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. She cover sports for Uptown Radio. You can follow her on Twitter @soddisfazione or email her at ht2316@columbia.edu.