NewsDoc: Incoming Class 0f 2011

Cynthia Medina
Cynthia Medina
Cynthia Medina was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, then moved to Florida as a teen. She attended the University of Central Florida and received an English degree. She spent two years as Associate Producer for the morning news at an NBC and CW affiliate in Orlando, FL. She most recently worked at WGN-TV in Chicago where she worked on the national midday show. She also worked as an editor for numerous publications such as The Florida Review and The Cypress Dome. She loves all facets of broadcast journalism, but after all her years working behind the camera, she’s ready to tackle a career in front of the camera. Her goal is to become an on-air reporter, and have the skills necessary to do in-depth investigative pieces. She’s always been in love with New York. She’s also a ’70s fanatic and still collects vinyl records.

Clifton Lee
Clifton spent several years of his life in various cities due to his father’s Naval career. He was born in the country town of Pensacola but spent the majority of his life in New Orleans. After graduating from John Ehret High School in 2005, he enrolled at Louisiana State University and majored in Political Science with a minor in English. During his time at LSU, he began to explore his passion for journalism. He initially wrote for a small apartment newsletter and transitioned on to a local Baton Rouge newspaper called The Tiger Weekly. Returning to New Orleans after graduation, he became an intern/contributing writer for the Offbeat Music Magazine which focuses on Louisiana’s musical culture. His favorite part of the experience was speaking with some of today’s prominent Hip Hop artists. He enjoys various forms of music, and hip hop has always been a steady force in his life, remaining his favorite form of music.

Mallika Aryal
Mallika Aryal grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal, went to high school in India and moved to the US to attend Mount Holyoke College where she studied International Relations with a focus on Environment. During her senior year, Aryal moved to Sri Lanka to study the country’s dry zones. After graduation, she moved back to Nepal where she worked as a print journalist and columnist for English-language paper Nepali Times. As a reporter she covered the ‘People’s War’, the end of monarchy, and writing of the new constitution of the country. She regularly contributes to IPS ( and Himal Southasian magazine ( Since 2006, Aryal has been the co-director of the South Asian documentary film festival Film South Asia. She has traveled in Nepal and South Asia with the films from the festival, opening in some of the most difficult and politically charged places of the region. She believes in making documentaries accessible and has worked with FSA to make that possible. As a filmmaker, she wants to over the transition in Nepal as the country moves to becoming a federal republic, deals with the wounds of the decade-long war and writes a new constitution.

Haya Fatima Iqbal
Haya Fatima Iqbal, 23, hails from Karachi, Pakistan. She completed her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications from Pakistan and is currently reporting on Education at a national daily named Daily Times. She has previously worked as a reporter at the Crime desk at Geo News, a Pakistani TV channel and subbed at the Business pages of Dawn newspaper. Haya is also a passionate public speaker and has trained youth from different socio-economic backgrounds on leadership, life skills, human rights and HIV/AIDS. She loves to direct and act in plays. She is coming to NYU on a Fulbright scholarship with two clear goals: To explore the cultural diversity of NYU in every way and to overcome her complicated relationship with technology, which has helped her earn the title of “Technologically Challenged” among friends.

Geoffrey P. Ingersoll
Geoffrey was born in Ridgewood, NJ, in 1982. He moved to Pennsylvania, where he graduated high school the class of 2000. Attended Penn State University from August 2000 to August 2004. Graduated with a degree in English. Enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005. Graduated recruit training, Parris Island, Sept. 2, 2005. Graduated from the Defense Information School in Maryland June 3, 2006. Worked as a combat correspondent under the I Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, California, from June 2006 to May 2009. Deployed to Iraq twice, first in 2006 and again in 2008. Deployed to Korea once in 2008. Honorably discharged from the Marines as a sergeant in 2009.

Julia Doran
Julia comes from a large family of storytellers and has always been drawn to languages and the power of narrative. A formal interest in journalism developed the summer before she started her degree at The University of Toronto, when she interned with the editorial department at Vanity Fair. A subsequent internship at a small publication from her native Ottawa and part-time work as an editorial clerk for Maclean’s in Toronto further focused this interest in long-form reporting. Since graduating with an English major and Spanish and History minors, she has worked in online advertising and freelanced for a Guatemalan publication and a Canadian snowboard magazine. But after documenting a year of travel in Eastern Europe, India, Northern Africa and Latin America with film, digital photography and video footage, Julia has decided she would also like to pursue long-form reporting in the documentary form. She is now eager to learn how best to capture personal histories using visual narrative at NYU.

Cynthia Ghazali
Cynthia Ghazali is 23 years old. She is Lebanese-American. She moved to New Jersey in middle school. Prior to moving to the States, she lived in Lebanon and Jordan in which she attended an international French school. She graduated from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ in May of 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts. She majored in both Political Science and Spanish and chose to minor in French. She studied abroad in the summer of 2008 at the University of Salamanca in Spain. In addition to taking classes, she got to visit many of Spain’s beautiful cities and even got to travel to Lisbon, Portugal. It was a great learning and cultural experience. She’s currently working at Doherty Enterprises, a franchisee of many chain restaurants as a Human Resources Assistant. During her free time, she likes watching movies, going bowling, reading and enjoying friends’ company.

Sarah Springer
Originally from Bakersfield, California, Sarah Springer set off to Los Angeles after high school where she graduated in 2008 from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She studied Broadcast Journalism, Communications and Law Media Policy. Upon graduation, she took her journalism skills to Africa where she filmed a documentary in Ethiopia surrounding the country’s suffering health care system due in part to so many Ethiopian doctors fleeing the country. She’s now working as a freelance producer, videographer, and editor. She enjoys producing documentaries, oil painting, watching movies, music and traveling. She’s also extremely involved with non-profit organizations that support Ethiopia and other countries in East Africa.

Jane Caffrey
Jane is from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from Carleton College in 2008. Earning a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish, she has studied and lived in Puebla, Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Madrid, Spain. After college, Jane moved to Madrid where she worked as a writing correspondent for Oz World Media, a business media publisher. Additional journalism experience includes internships with a television news station in Minneapolis and a broadcast news network in Brazil, as well as freelance assignments with TV-Globo, ESPN, and NBC Universal. She enjoyed assisting in coverage of the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Obama’s Presidential Inauguration, and the Portuguese Prime Minister elections and 2016 Olympic decision in Europe. Jane hopes to combine her interests in broadcast journalism and Spanish, and strives to ultimately work as a foreign correspondent covering social and political issues.

Joshua Frank
Joshua Frank was born in Montreal, Canada, and went to university there, but spent much of the time in between growing up across Asia—most prominently high school in New Delhi and elementary school in Beijing. His journalistic experience has been in newspaper and cultural reporting. He’s edited and written for a bi-weekly student paper in Montreal and contributed to the L.A. Times from Beijing, on topics ranging from experimental music and Sufism to organic farming and martial arts. After graduating from McGill with a degree in East Asian Studies and English literature, he relocated to Taipei continue to studying Chinese—in between eating voraciously and making music on a beat-up little keyboard. He’s especially excited to be working toward shooting documentaries at NYU.

Bridget Leahy
Bridget Leahy turned 22 years old on May 12th. She is fresh out of college from the University of Delaware in Newark, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and Communications and a minor in Journalism. She is from Shelton, Connecticut (which is about a 70 minute train ride from New York) but spends summers in Ocean City NJ, where she runs a cleaning business called the College Cleaners. She is the middle child, and has a twenty-four year old brother, an eighteen year old sister, and a dog named Patrick. She enjoys traveling (her favorite spot was Istanbul), cooking, sweets & ice-cream, skiing, summertime, nature, and friends and family.

Loretta van der Horst
Loretta van der Horst
Half Puerto Rican, half Dutch, born in the capital of Honduras and having moved across the Atlantic several times, Loretta has not been able to settle in any of those places yet. After completing a degree in Journalism and Psychology in The Netherlands she soon made her first television report about the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Having found her true passion for journalism, and leaving her psychology ambitions behind, she decided to leave for South America. Loretta is now interning at an English language newspaper in Santiago, Chile where she is learning about the country’s tumultuous history and how it affects Chile today. Meanwhile Loretta is making sure to enjoy the country’s beautiful nature.

Laurie Guthmann
Laurie Guthmann Laurie lived in Paris before moving to New York. When she was 14, she spent a year as an exchange student at a Philadelphia high school. She went back to France and pursued a graduate degree in business and mathematics. While in business school, she studied abroad in New York City, Hong Kong, and Cape Town. She traveled throughout southern Africa for several months and used the opportunity to investigate people’s experiences during the cholera crisis that was sweeping through Zimbabwe and the former apartheid system in South Africa. She wrote freelance magazine articles covering international conflicts and politics. She’s involved in a non-profit organization that organizes month-long summer camping trips for children and teenagers. In her spare time, she enjoy painting, reading fiction, photography, and traveling.

Shea Connelly
Shea is originally from Arlington, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in May of 2009 with a degree in English. She currently works for Allworth Press, a Manhattan-based book publishing company, and do some freelance blogging on the side. During college she interned for several different media organizations, such as The Atlantic, AOL, and C-Ville Weekly (a local newspaper in Charlottesville, VA), and spent way too many hours working for University of Virginia’s student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily.

Konstantin Semin
Konstantin was born in Yekaterinburg, Russia. At the age of 21 he graduated from the journalism faculty of the Ural State University, and since then has been working for TV RUSSIA (Russian State Television) as a correspondent, special correspondent, international correspondent, and finally nightly news presenter. His journalistic tenure includes reporting on the war in Macedonia and Kosovo , operation Enduring Freedom, Pakistan , operation Iraqi Freedom aboard US Navy aviation carrier Harry SS Truman . Konstantin also spent 3.5 years in New York as the US based correspondent for TV RUSSIA. He covered Presidential elections in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, while also traveling around Latin America: Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba. Konstantin is an outspoken critic of the current global political and corporate establishment. His sharp commentaries on various political matters not once put him at odds with officials both in Russia, and abroad. In 2010 Konstantin decided to shift his attention to documentary filmmaking as the most effective way to spread his uncomfortable truth. That’s what made him to join NYU NewsDoc. Besides television Konstantin plays guitar in his rock-band, and has some interest in programming music. He is married and raising his 4 year old son.