Knight CUNYJ Summer 2017 Fellows
Kiara Alfonseca is a rising senior at the State University of New York’s College at Brockport, where she will graduate in May 2018 with a double major in Journalism and English. Her Knight CUNYJ internship is with ProPublica.
Alfonseca started on the copy desk and climbed the ladder of her college’s award-winning weekly newspaper, The Stylus, to become the editor in chief. She has interned across all media platforms: as a reporting intern at W-ROC Channel 8 in Rochester, N.Y., where she went out with photographers to interview, report and script her stories; a social media intern at the Office of College Communications in Brockport, where she monitored content and posted on the college’s official accounts; and an editorial intern for CITY, an Rochester alternative newsweekly where she wrote feature articles and event previews.
Alfonseca is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalist and the National Association of Black Journalists. In August 2016, she participated in the NABJ/NAHJ Student Multimedia Projects, where she helped design the three newspapers, wrote and edited articles, as well as produced and reported on the “Reportedly Black” podcast with fellow team members during the NABJ/NAHJ Joint Conference.
Cindy Arboleda is a bilingual multimedia journalist who graduated cum laude from Florida International University, where she majored in Broadcast Media and Journalism. During Knight CUNYJ fellowship this summer, she will join Yahoo! as a Style and Beauty editorial intern.
For the past year, Arboleda has been published weekly in the Miami Herald. Writing her articles for the Herald made her passion grow stronger for sharing stories of ordinary people extraordinary things.
Arboleda has worked at the Nickelodeon Studios at Downtown Miami in the Multiplatform Digital Content Department. She was also a staff writer at South Florida News Service and worked as the Entertainment Director at FIU’s Student Media. She is from Bogotá, Colombia.
Tatyana Bellamy-Walker is a rising senior at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College, where in 2018 she plans to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Her Knight CUNYJ internship is with DNAinfo.
Bellamy-Walker kicked off her journalism career at the age of 9 as a reporter for Children’s PressLine, a youth news agency affiliated with the New York Daily News and the New York Amsterdam News, and reported on hyper-local news for more than 10 years. Her work has also appeared in the Daily Beast, the Queens Tribune and Women’s eNews.
She previously attended the State University of New York at Oswego, where in 2016, the Journalism Department awarded her first place in Investigative Reporting and second place in Sports Feature.
Bellamy-Walker currently is the LGBT beat reporter for the Brooklyn College campus publication, The Kingsman. An investigative piece published in March 2017 on how a CUNY database network “outs” trans and non-binary students led the college to implement changes to its internal internet portal systems. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Yunuen Bonaparte received her bachelor’s degree in Communications at the California State University, Fullerton in 2016. Her Knight CUNYJ internship is with Narratively.
Bonaparte was born and raised in Michoacán, Mexico. She moved to the United States at the age of 12 as an undocumented immigrant. She creates compelling photographs to tell the stories of those who are marginalized by society from a perspective that shows the beauty of life despite the struggle.
When she was an undergraduate, Bonaparte was president of the Latino Journalists of CSUF club, photo editor for newspaper the Daily Titan and photo director for Tusk magazine. During the summer of 2016, she participated in the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Student Projects, where she covered the joint national conferences of the NAHJ and the National Association of Black Journalists in Washington D.C.
Bonaparte is a freelance photographer in Southern California. Her work has been published by the newspapers El Universal (Mexico), The Press Enterprise (California), La Prensa (California), Excélsior (California), and the Americas Quarterly magazine.
Avery Braxton is a rising senior earning his bachelor’s in Journalism in the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University, where he will graduate in May 2018. His Knight CUNYJ internship is with NY1, where he will be working on the Politics desk.
He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Peachtree City, Ga. Braxton has worked in print, radio and television and has interned and freelanced for The Telegraph, Georgia’s third-largest daily newspaper, and for 41NBC/WMGT in Macon, Ga.
He also participated in NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project, covering the #ATLisReady social grassroots movement and highlighting the amorphously led organization that looks to amplify marginalized Black voices in the city of Atlanta. His piece aired on 90.1 WABE, Atlanta’s NPR station. Braxton also writes for his campus newspaper, The Cluster, and acts as graphic coordinator, student producer and on-air talent for his campus’ ESPN3 program. He is the only student sideline talent for Mercer University and began his own halftime highlight show that aired on Mercer’s ESPN3 home broadcasts.
He has twice been named a John M. Couric Fellow, which places journalism students in summer jobs at leading media organizations throughout the country. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Kara Jillian Brown is a rising senior at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where she is majoring in English with a concentration in rhetoric, and double minoring in health and wellness studies and Africana studies. She graduates in May 2018. Her Knight CUNYJ internship is with NewBeauty magazine.
Brown is currently an assistant editor for the Arts and Culture section of Binghamton University’s student-run newspaper, Pipe Dream. She has interned at Harpur Perspective, an on-campus magazine at which she recently received a promotion to student editor.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Brown discovered her love and talent for writing when she won an essay contest in high school. Ever since, writing has been one of her primary means of expression.
In addition to writing, Brown also has a love for fitness and serves as a group exercise instructor at her university. She loves being able to work with her peers to a promote positive body image that prioritizes health over aesthetics.
Brown’s journalistic interests range from the arts, to beauty and health, but her favorite articles to write are feature stories. She strives to educate and inspire her readers by sharing stories that highlight the phenomenal feats of others. Brown is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Nothing gets Mankaprr Conteh more excited than a good conversation or a good concert. She is a multimedia journalist who is interested in the ways education, culture and the arts interact with social issues. This summer, during the Knight CUNYJ program, she is interning with WNYC Public Radio.
Conteh recently graduated from Wake Forest University in North Carolina with a B.A in Politics and International Affairs and a minor in journalism. She earned membership to Pi Sigma Alpha national political science honor society for her achievement in her major.
At Wake Forest, Conteh was the inaugural ELLE.com Scholar, creating content for the Hearst Digital Media outlet ELLE.com. She has covered cultural events, like the Essence Festival, an has also reported hard news, such as the extrajudicial killings of black citizens. Conteh was also a communication intern who co-managed social media channels and contributed to external-affairs strategy at the Anna Julia Cooper Center, an institute supporting research and media that investigate race, gender, and place with an eye to justice. She was a news intern at 88.5 WFDD, an NPR member station where she committed to telling stories about inequity in education. Between her sophomore and junior years, Conteh completed a year of public service through the AmeriCorps program City Year, where she served as a mentor and English/social studies tutor to students in a high-need school in Washington, D.C. Conteh is a first-generation American.
Conteh’s parents, from Sierra Leone, inspire her to commit to service, ask tough questions and seize opportunity. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Juan Carlos Corredor
Juan Carlos Corredor was raised between Queens, N.Y., and Orlando, Fla. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in May. This summer, he will be a Knight CUNYJ intern at The Nation Institute.
Through his studies in the Writing and New Arts Journalism departments, Corredor has been inspired by the mechanisms of poetic language entering journalism to create a harmony between straight-forward facts and storytelling.
Today, he is a poet-critic attempting to marry the pedestals of institutions with the overshadowed niches of the streets. His criticism strives to illuminate the cross sections of art, social issues and identity.
Through his internships at journalism non-profit organizations such as Creative Time Reports, Bad at Sports Contemporary Art Talk and In These Times Magazine, Corredor has been drawn to arts reporting from early on. Other internships at organizations such as The Council on American-Islamic Relations and ART WORKS Projects have allowed him to witness the impactful effects of civil and human rights work. Corredor is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Courtney Davis, originally from the Bronx, recently earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Photography from Howard University in Washington D.C. Her Knight CUNYJ internship is with WNYC Public Radio.
While studying at Howard, Davis worked as a staff writer for both the Hilltop, the student-run campus newspaper, and the Howard University News Service, a wire service delivering news stories to newspapers around the nation. She was a staff writer for three years, which strengthened her ability to “get the scoop” and develop a story. Davis has also spent a year as an intern for WHUR-FM 96.3, a Howard-owned radio station serving the Metro D.C. area.
Being a reporter in the nation’s capital has also given Davis first-hand experience with public-affairs journalism. Once, on the same day, she was in the White House covering two news stories, one on President Barack Obama and the other on first lady Michelle Obama.
Davis is skilled with production, whether scriptwriting, interviewing, recording or editing. She won two audio production awards at Howard University’s School of Communications. Her greatest passion is cultural diversity. She continues to grow as a writer and producer and hopes to analyze and redefine the notions of diversity in media. Courtney plans on pursuing a master’s degree in journalism and also hopes to start her own children’s news magazine. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Jessy Diamba is earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas, majoring in journalism and triple-minoring in Spanish, Chinese, and Political Science. This summer, he is a Knight CUNYJ intern at USA Today.
Born and raised in Paris, France, he moved to the U.S. at 8 years old and quickly adapted to American — and Texan — culture. Although French is his native language, the 21-year-old is also fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese and is learning more languages in his free time.
Diamba has radio, print and TV experience under his belt. Prior to his Knight CUNYJ internship, he interned at Cumulus Media’s 99.5 The Wolf (KPLX-FM), Dallas-Fort Worth’s No. 1 country music station, in the nation’s fifth-largest media market. He has also enhanced his print and storytelling skills working as an editorial intern for Fort Worth, Texas Magazine.
Jessy was a news anchor for UNT’s student-run television station, North Texas Television, where he anchored the Spanish-language news program, NTTV Noticias — the first non-native Spanish speaker to do so at UNT. In addition, in April 2016, Jessy went to the White House and participated in College Reporter Day, where he asked one question to Press Secretary Josh Earnest and two additional questions to President Barack Obama. Diamba is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Reggianie Francois is a native New Yorker with a hunger to tell stories through words and moving images. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh with a TV-Video Production and Print Journalism double major. This summer, she is a Knight CUNYJ intern at the Norwood News.
At SUNY Plattsburgh, she was a staff writer, videographer and online editor for Cardinal Points, the student-run, award-winning newspaper. She was also a staff writer for DoNorth, a student-run, North Country tourism magazine.
Reggianie is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a recipient of the The Bahia & Raghida Dergham Scholarship for Journalism. Some of her favorite hobbies include writing, cooking and traveling.
Jazmin Goodwin is a rising senior studying journalism and graphic design at Howard University’s Cathy Hughes School of Communications. Her Knight CUNYJ internship is at SheKnows, a women’s lifestyle digital media company.
Born in Germany and raised in Columbia, S.C., Jazmin has an affinity for culture, race and politics. She values the importance of concise, objective storytelling to serve as a voice for underrepresented minorities. She has gained experience in writing and digital content from her contributions to various media outlets, including USA TODAY College, CRWN Mag and Technical.ly DC. In 2015 and 2016, she served as the senior campus editor of The Hilltop newspaper, an award-winning student-run newspaper with a 10,000 circulation. Jazmin was honored as a 2016 White House Correspondent Association Scholarship recipient and serves as the 2017-2018 editor-in-chief of The Hilltop.
Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Jazmin plans to attend graduate school to earn a Master of Science in Journalism. She also plans to attend law school to further develop competencies to complement her journalistic acumen. Goodwin wants to merge her passion for storytelling, entrepreneurship and social justice as an investigative journalist and content creator.
DaLyah Jones is an East Texas native, born and raised in Lufkin, Texas. She graduated with a degree in Electronic Media and a minor in Communication Studies from Texas State University. This summer, she is a Knight CUNYJ intern at WNYC Public Radio.
While attending Texas State, she worked as an assistant news director for the university’s radio station KTSW 89.9 FM. She has won several intercollegiate awards, including 2nd place for Radio Spot News from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association for her coverage of the Central Texas floods.
She was also a co-host for the award-winning “In the Public Interest,” which is a KTSW specialty show dedicated to telling in-depth stories affecting the Central Texas area. As co-host, Jones’s topic coverage included the LGBTQIA community and Arab American heritage.
Jones was a part of NPR’s Next Generation Project in Austin. She produced a non-narrative story about 18Below, a group dedicated to grooming the next generation of Austin musicians. She interned for Austin’s NPR Station, KUT 90.5, and the national daily news show of Texas, Texas Standard. During her time with the Texas Standard, she produced stories about the hidden Black women in country music and the decreasing HBCU population.
Prior to her Knight CUNYJ internship, Jones was a part-time host and reporter for KUT. Her work focused on the Black perspective in Texas. One day she hopes to produce a top public media news show and create a news organization that is dedicated to teaching journalistic skills to children of color, especially in rural areas.
Crystal Lambert was born in Danbury, Conn., and raised in Montgomery County, Md. She graduated in the top 15 percent of her class from Bowie State University in May 2017. This summer, she is a Knight CUNYJ fellow and an editorial intern at Sonder Blu, a start-up dedicated to providing a voice and establishing a community for those marginally represented in cinema.
Lambert has written for Prince George’s Community College student newspaper, The Owl, and for Bowie State University’s student magazine, Flow Magazine.
Determined to help inspire people to live better lives, Lambert taught herself and created her own website, www.Dulcetluv.com, which contains blog posts focusing on health, fitness and overall well-being. In 2016, Lambert taught herself how to use iMovie and created her own YouTube channel to produce corresponding videos with her blog entries.
In 2017, she interned for the DC based blog, DCWKLY, writing for the arts and culture section. Lambert’s goal is to make a meaningful career in journalism by being a voice for underprivileged communities. Her favorite writer is Ta-Nehisi Coates, and she aspires to become as influential of a writer as he is.
Jaime Longoria was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas on the U.S.-México border. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a concentration in International Systems and World Order & Africa and the Middle East from Boston University and a certificate in Social Sciences and Humanities from l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (SciencesPo). This summer, he is a Knight CUNYJ reporter for the Mott Havel Herald in the South Bronx.
He is a research fellow at The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund, a non-profit investigative newsroom for freelance journalists. Longoria is also editor and co-founder of -ismo Magazine, a quarterly, online publication which aims to embody a space for radical, creative and analytical thought by featuring the art, writing, and photography of marginalized people. He also served as research and editorial intern for Political Research Associates’ Economic Justice Team in Somerville, Mass.
Throughout his time at Boston University, where he taught adult basic education and high school equivalency courses in Spanish, Longoria tutored immigrant and refugee learners in Chelsea, Mass., with the Intergenerational Literacy Program.
Longoria’s research and reporting contributions have appeared in The Public Eye, the Chicago Reader and Mother Jones. His work spans coverage on alleged collaboration between the Corporate and Religious Right, prolonged and excessive pre-trial detention in Cook County, Ill., and Sidney Award-winning reporting on Donald Trump’s links to far right extremists. Jaime is also a novelist and a poet and a recipient of a Catapult writing scholarship from Electric Literature.
Dominic McKenzie graduated from Oakwood University – a historically Black university in Huntsville, Ala. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Media with emphases in Broadcast Journalism and Communication Arts. This summer, McKenzie is interning with Starfish Media Group.
Born and raised in Jamaica, McKenzie began his broadcast career at the age of 14. Before relocating to the U.S., he served as news and programming producer/presenter at the Northern Caribbean University Media Group for about 5 years. In 2011, he was a member of the media group’s first team to cover a Jamaican National General Election – gaining the first interview with the then prime minister.
In 2015, McKenzie was appointed HBCU all-star ambassador to Oakwood University by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities within the Education Department. That year, he began his tenure as chief executive officer for Three Oaks Studios, a student-led campus production company. In 2016, he was named recipient of the Broadcast Journalism and Male Communication Student of the Year awards by the Department of Communication.
Most recently, he served as Public Relations Coordinator for the Graduating Class of 2017 and is a “Who’s Who Among Students at American Colleges and Universities” honoree. McKenzie is a recipient of the John Lennon Endowed Scholarship, Michael Jackson Scholarship and the Atlanta Jamaican Scholarship for Excellence.
McKenzie has been accepted into the Master of Arts in Journalism program (Class of 2018) at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. His career interests include investigative journalism, political reporting and on-air presentation.
Zila Renfro earned her bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism in May 2017 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This summer, she is interning with Starfish Media Group, a media production company founded by journalist Soledad O’Brien.
Renfro began her journalism career in the video department of the Daily Illini, where she worked for three years and later became the video editor. She has been involved in a multitude of projects including #BlackScienceMatters, a multimedia series about the critical underrepresentation of Black students in STEM higher education and careers.
She spent two semesters doing research in collaboration with students from the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, completing a cross-cultural study on gender-based violence of women of color on college campuses. Through this research, she worked on a digital storytelling portion that gave space for women of color survivors to share and document their experiences.
In her last undergraduate year, she produced several stories on issues of community activism in the Champaign-Urbana area. She is the recipient of awards from both Students in Illinois News Broadcasters Association and Society of Professional Journalists. As an LGBT Black-filipina woman, she hopes to use her multimedia journalism skills to make a difference by amplifying and giving agency to those in marginalized communities. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Gabriella Robles is a multimedia and social journalist from Kearny, N.J. She is a rising senior at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City who is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a minor in Journalism. Her Knight CUNYJ intership this summer is with The Marshall Project.
At St. Peter’s University, Robles has held multiple positions within the Pauw Wow Newspaper, including staff writer, social media editor and chief copy editor.
Robles spent two semesters at Wiley Publishing, interning for its business-to-business magazine department covering five special interest health magazines. At Wiley, she was responsible for developing social media content and editing monthly publications, which allowed her to strengthen skills on both a print and digital platform.
She has also interned as media coordinator for Hudson County CASA, a nonprofit organization committed to advocating the best interests of abused and neglected foster children in North Jersey. Her interest in philanthropy has sparked multiple advocacy journalism pieces including her multimedia work on autism awareness that recently earned an award from the Golden Door Film Festival. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National English Literature Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta.
Gabriel Sandoval is a rising senior, earning his bachelor’s at California State University, Chico, majoring in journalism and minoring in economics. This summer, his Knight CUNYJ internship is with WNYC Public Radio.
Before transferring to Chico, he attended Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, Calif. In 2013, he joined the college’s student newspaper, The Sun. As editor of the arts section, he covered a play inside a maximum-security prison, wrote a feature on conceptual artist John Baldessari and exposed unsavory links between a dean, an agitprop pamphlet and a former Sun staffer who impersonated the campus police chief.
In 2015, ProPublica selected him for its Emerging Reporters Program, which seeks to improve diversity in newsrooms. With ProPublica, Sandoval began filing public records requests, conducting background checks on subjects and aggressively pursuing stories in the public interest. In Chico, he’s written for the university’s independent student newspaper, The Orion; freelanced for the daily newspaper, the Chico Enterprise-Record; and interned for the alternative weekly newspaper, the Chico News & Review.
Last summer, he interned at The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington, D.C., where he reported on a range of higher education issues, including Title IX, Pokémon Go and active-shooter trainings.
Sandoval’s work has been recognized by the Sacramento Press Club, Journalism Association of Community Colleges and Associated Collegiate Press, among other esteemed journalism organizations. He is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. His byline has also appeared in Esquire, ChicoReport and the East County Californian of El Cajon.
Devin Tucker was born and raised in Baltimore, Md. He has a deep passion for sports writing and social media, which ultimately led to his earning his bachelor’s degree in Multiplatform Journalism with a minor in African American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. His Knight CUNYJ internship this summer is with the Norwood News in the Bronx.
Tucker has been an intern at the Prince George’s County Sentinel Newspaper, just outside of Washington D.C. He has been a contributor to the nationally renowned SB Nation.
While an undergrad, he wrote and edited for numerous on-campus publications, as well as landing a brief featured writing internship at Maryland Athletics. Tucker also has strong skills in social media and multimedia journalism, giving him a wide range of ability and interest within this evolving digital field. Tucker has managed multiple social media accounts and with his creativity has created a following.
Tucker’s is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. He is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and serves as the organization’s Director of Social Action and Public Relations Chair.