About Our Staff
Maria Amasanti: Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and raised within the global community that is Buenos Aires’ international school, I am no stranger to different cultures, languages and backgrounds. Due to my diverse background, I am able to adapt and mold myself to different situations, and find acceptance and tolerance to be one of my stronger characteristics. I’ve traveled all over the Western world, from Brazil to Europe, to, most recently, Israel, and I am fluent in Spanish and English, and conversational in Italian and Portuguese. I recently finished working as the photography co-op at the Boston Globe. In my co-op, I assisted editors with licensing and helped photographers with shoots. My time at the Globe helped solidify my desire to become a photojournalist. I am particularly attracted to the simplicity of telling a story without the need for words. One of the downsides of learning two languages at the same time is that, after a while, they become muddled into one (which most people refer to as Spanglish). With photography, I don’t have to worry about this limitation as much. I am interested in telling stories through the lens of my camera, in portraying the emotion felt in one-thousandth of a second and in capturing everything and everyone in which words would’ve otherwise failed me. I am interested in political, economical, social, and cultural issues. I do not shy away from coving political rallies, just like I do not shy away from covering a simple cultural or social event. Whether it is photographing fútbol fans getting ready for the World Cup, with their team defending last year’s victory, or detailing the distress – and resulting protests – sparked by high youth unemployment, I believe Spain will allow me to grow as a photographer and journalist.
Ian Debevoise: I’m 19 years old and a second-year journalism major born in Randolph, Vt. I grew up on a farm in South Woodstock, Vt., and I attended school in nearby Woodstock. My main interest is sports journalism but I am also interested in international politics. Throughout the courses I have taken, I have written a wide array of articles including pieces covering speeches, papers with quotes from experts and papers I have to pitch. Included in this is the Journalism 1 lab with Link McKie where my article was printed in the Watertown Tab. I’m very interested in this trip because I hope to increase my Spanish speaking skills and comprehension as well as travel and see a beautiful country.
Caroline Edwards: I am from Charlotte, NC – a true southerner at heart. I am a fourth-year journalism student with a communications minor. I have worked with NUTV and I have written for the Fenway News, a community newspaper nearby. I also attended a journalism dialogue with Carlene in Amman, Jordan. I enjoy swimming, eating, fitness classes (I know those two are contradictory), wakeboarding and exploring new cities. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone in Madrid and Salamanca!
Nicole Esan: Nicole Esan is a third-year journalism student at Northeastern University in Boston. She is set to graduate in May 2016 with hopes of also completing a minor in public relations. She has participated in Northeastern’s television station and radio station as well as her school’s newspaper, The Huntington News, as a news correspondent. Nicole graduated Commack High School in June of 2011 with all intentions of pursuing a journalism career. Nicole has loved to write since she learned how to. Her 11th-grade English teacher, Mr. Dineen, was the one who pushed her to realize the journalism path was for her. Nicole strives to one day become an international news reporter. When she isn’t trying to finish her schoolwork or her latest newspaper article, Nicole loves to sightsee around Boston and try new restaurants. She also loves dancing, hiking, traveling and reading Mitch Albom novels.
Gina-Maria Garcia: My name is Gina-Maria Garcia (a.k.a. Gina the Latina). I am a fourth-year journalism student at Northeastern University, and I was born and raised in Southern California in a town called Orange. I have many hobbies and interests, such as hiking, journaling, dreams, fashion and fat cats, but I have to say, my absolute favorite hobby is traveling… heck I’m writing this paragraph to you right now from Central London! As you can tell by my name, I come from a Spanish family, one side Puerto Rican, and the other side Honduran. Besides my love for exploring new countries and passion for journalism, I chose to go on this Spain dialogue because it’s extremely embarrassing how poorly I speak Spanish, and my personal goal is to get better at it so that my abuelita can finally stop bullying me, and I can (hopefully) revoke my title as the “gringa” of the family. I have both written and video journalism experience under my belt because of my past two co-ops along with other extracurricular and course activities. In the summer of 2012, I reported in Amman, Jordan with the journalism program and wrote three articles about fashion, media and music. Later that fall I was hired at a start-up online magazine, called 2Sense-Los Angeles, where I was their very first intern and learned lots about creating and seeking content for an entertainment magazine. After joining NUTV and anchoring the NUTV News Show, I decided to get my feet wet in video journalism, and in the fall of 2013, I took my second co-op at New England Conservatory. At NEC, I was a videographer on the marketing team and I was able to pitch, film and edit promotional videos that included footage and/or interviews I conducted on camera. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up (assuming 22 isn’t a grown-up age), but I do know I love journalism, have a passion for storytelling and can see myself working in the media world, specifically the entertainment industry.
Amanda Hoover: My name is Amanda Hoover and I’m a sophomore journalism major from Philadelphia. I began writing mostly in high school when I worked for the high school newspaper, and eventually became editor-in-chief during my senior year. Since coming to Northeastern, I have worked as a staff writer for Tastemakers Magazine, writing features as well as album and show reviews. I have also interned at the Massachusetts State House, working for Governor Patrick’s press secretary. Two of my main interests are arts and politics, and these are also topics that I generally choose to write about.
Bryan King: My name is Bryan King and I’m from Fayetteville, NC. I was born June 2, 1980, at Womack Army Hospital on Fort Bragg to John and Eunice King. In 1982, we moved to Schweinfurt, Germany and lived there for the next three years. The King family returned to Fort Bragg in 1985 for three more years and then moved into Fayetteville in the summer of 1988, where I resided until I was 18. I have lived in eight cities in five different states since I moved from Fayetteville in 1998, most notably Memphis, Tenn. and Raleigh, NC. I came to Northeastern via Piedmont Virginia Community College located in Charlottesville, Va. and moved to the Boston area this past June. I took Journalism 1 and 2 at PVCC as well as an independent study in journalism. While at PVCC, I participated as a staff writer for three semesters (Fall 2010, Spring 2011 and 2013) and was a senior staff member/editor for one semester (Fall 2011) for the Forum, a student-run publication. I have also taken Journalism 2 at Northeastern. Within the media field, I appeared as a local guest chef on the television show Good Morning Memphis. I would participate in small demonstrations on how to cook different food items. I also served as a media runner for the Boston Red Sox during the 2013 postseason, which allowed me to gain exposure to the press for a major sporting event. After that experience, I knew I made the right decision to become a radio/TV personality in the sports field. I’m really big into athletics and played several sports when I was younger. It’s always been a passion of mine. So, now I aspire to work for a major sports network such as Fox Sports or NBC Sports. Football and basketball are my favorite to watch, so those would be my first preference to cover but I enjoy soccer as well. This trip to Spain will give me an opportunity to further my soccer knowledge with first-hand experiences in a country where soccer is the main focus in their sports world. I’m going to pursue coverage while there with the Portuguese and Spanish national teams in their preparation for the World Cup this summer in Brazil.
Dylan Lewis (teaching assistant): I am a 23-year-old finance major, journalism minor, from Allendale, NJ. Most of my professional experience is in the investment industry; my most recent co-ops were at Wellington Management and Longfellow Investment Management. Not surprisingly, I am a data-driven writer that nerds out on economic releases and SEC filings. My analytical side also shines through in the sports column I write for The Huntington News, where I’ve written pieces contextualizing the accuracy of sports pundits and examining the statistical relationship between team payroll and winning percentage across the major professional sports. In addition to working for our student-run paper, I also covered my hometown team, the New York Jets, as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report in 2012. For my senior year, in lieu of taking another finance elective, I developed an independent study taking the form of a blog covering the economy and financial markets. It’s called “Bulls, Bears, People from Connecticut” – a reference hardcore Seinfeld fans might appreciate. My hope is that I can find someone to pay me to do the same kind of writing after I graduate in May. When I’m not at my desk working, I’m probably at a public park in Boston with my ultimate frisbee teammates throwing a disc.
Kelsey Luing: I grew up in Ridgewood, N.J., a mid-sized suburb of New York City. When I was 18, I packed up my belongings and headed to Washington, D.C., for my freshman year of college at The George Washington University. It was then that I bid my small-town life goodbye and left the comforts of home for a bustling new life in the city. I’ve since encountered countless faces and places that have shaped me on my journey – and have been experiencing a recent compulsion to write about them all. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in writing. When I was a child, I would scribble down stories on scraps of computer paper and staple them together to create my own “books.” In high school, I had my first experience with journalism when I became news editor of my school’s student-run newspaper. Though I wrote a fair amount in college – freelancing here and there for the university newspaper, dabbling in GW’s creative writing club – it wasn’t until after I graduated and began working in publishing that I realized I wanted to incorporate writing into my career. During my first semester at Northeastern, I had seven stories published – four on Boston.com, two on the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s website and one on a site called Homicide Watch Boston (a sister site to Homicide Watch D.C.). In college, I majored in psychology. I’ve always been interested in the complexities of human interaction and discovering what makes people tick. I would love to find a way to blend my psychology background into my reporting projects abroad. I am also interested in writing human-interest stories about the arts and culture of the city (and especially the music). I’ve never written about food before – but love trying different types of cuisines – and think it would be fun to try my hand at food writing as well.
Jessica Mendoza: I was born and raised in Quezon City, in Metro Manila in the Philippines. I studied in private Catholic schools for most of my life, except for a brief period (1999-2001) when I lived in Cupertino, Calif. with my mom and brother. My interest in journalism began as an interest in writing. As a child I loved books, read everything that came my way and wrote short stories that I would illustrate (badly) myself. In college I majored in communication, receiving my bachelor’s degree with honors in 2010. I was a full scholar on merit for all four years. During that time I took courses in radio broadcasting, video production, news and feature writing and investigative reporting. I was still in college when I landed my first job: radio DJ at a local station, co-anchoring a three-hour program called “The Top 5 @ 5.” Four times a week, my partner and I would talk about music and entertainment and play pop songs. As a result of the radio show, companies began asking me to host events – everything from pep rallies to press launches, Christmas parties to concerts. In 2009 I became a college reporter for a local university sports league. I covered televised games for two seasons, reporting for various varsity teams for my school, Ateneo de Manila University, but focusing on the basketball team. In 2011, the network in charge of broadcasting games for the Philippine Basketball Association (the country’s professional league) hired me as a reporter. I worked two to three times a week, manning the sidelines of basketball games in different venues across the city and interviewing players, officials and celebrities. At the same time, I freelanced for a monthly magazine called Candy, writing feature articles on issues such as bullying and discrimination, as well as on relationships and other teenage interests. Last year, I decided to go back to school to focus on my writing and reporting. I applied to several universities in the United States and was accepted into Northeastern. Here I hope to learn more about interviewing, tracking down information and feature writing. I’m most interested in travel writing, but I’m open to tackling – and learning about – a wide range of subjects, including politics, food, culture, music and the arts. So far I’ve taken Enterprise Reporting, Online Newsroom and Writing for Your Town. By the time we leave for Spain, I will also have finished Research Methods and Investigative Reporting.
Carly Metz: I hail from Poway, Calif., a suburb in San Diego. I loved it and am so happy to have grown up there, and I’m equally happy that I chose to come across the country to Boston for school. I feel that I may end up staying on the east coast after college. Regarding the journalism experience I’ve had, I was on the school paper my senior year of high school, which is the first time it was able to fit into my schedule. I’m a journalism major, so freshman year I took Interpreting the Days News and Journalism 1, and wrote a bit for the Haute Fashion blog and Hercampus. Last semester I took Journalism 2, and this semester I am in Journalism 3 and Magazine Writing. My first co-op will be in the fall. My personal interests include a variety of things—music, movies, culture, human-interest stories, fashion, politics, different religions, philosophy, fitness, reading and writing (of course) to name a few.
Danny Mortimer: I’m Danny Mortimer. I’m a dual major of journalism and cinema studies. I’m from Reading, Mass., which is about 20 minutes north of Boston. I haven’t had too much journalism experience outside of work for journalism classes, with the exception being a few articles for The Huntington News. I have created some videos that have a storytelling aspect to them for my previous co-ops at New England Conservatory and Boston Neighborhood Network. I love traveling, I can sort of speak Spanish but I’ve never been to Spain. My interests include movies, TV shows and sports, especially football and hockey.
Julia Moss: My name is Julia Moss, and I was born in Manhattan, so I continue to think of myself as a ‘city’ girl, despite leaving at a young age. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time growing up in the Boston area (Brookline, to be precise), and attended middle school and high school in Princeton, NJ. I’m a journalism and international affairs double major, with minors in sociology and Portuguese. Most of my first-hand, journalism-specific knowledge has come from my journalism classes at Northeastern–specifically my Journalism 1 and 2 classes. I was able to exercise some of the things I’d learned in my classes during my co-op at T. Rowe Price during the fall of 2013. At T. Rowe, I worked with the Brand+Creative group, as well as the Internal Communications group, which was where I was most able to put my journalist skills to use. Working in Internal Communications was somewhat like working for a community newspaper, but obviously with a corporate touch. I love spending time with my friends and family (which includes my adorable Shiba Inu, Nike). I’m a huge cinephile, and will never say no to a good movie. I’m also a huge Patriots fan, despite yet another disappointment from Tom Brady this year–I’ve missed Welker from the first day of the season! I love trying new things, and am trying to travel to as many new places as possible while I’m able to do so. This will be my second dialogue, but my first that specifically focuses on journalism. My first was to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which was focused on the Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. I’m looking forward to combining my journalism and international affairs majors, improving my writing, meeting some new people and having lots of fun!
Shandana Mufti: Hi! My name is Shandana Mufti, and I’m in my third year at Northeastern. I’m originally from Pakistan, but I came to Boston via Denmark, Switzerland, and a couple of other places. If I had to pinpoint a country as home, it would be Denmark, where my family has lived for the past seven years. I spent the fall co-oping at the Globe, and before that, I interned at The Copenhagen Post. In my free time, I run www.abscreammedia.com, which involves a lot of work, a lot of fun and a lot of exciting interviews (like Frank Iero, for all you My Chemical Romance fans – I hope there’s at least one of you in this group). I’m personally interested in writing about music, social justice and the intersection between the two – think Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! as a transgender punk rock icon – and I hope to figure out a way to explore that in Spain.
Mackenzie Nichols: My name is Mackenzie Nichols and I am a middler journalism/music industry double major from Alexandria, Va. I am passionate about reporting and playing/listening to music, but I also enjoy reading, traveling, watching movies and going to museums. I wrote articles and was co-editor of the Arts section for my high school newspaper, The Chronicle. At Northeastern I am a staff writer for Tastemakers Music Magazine and I have contributed to Woof Magazine. I completed my first co-op as a booking intern for MSNBC in New York City last spring and I plan to start my next co-op in July.
Emily Pollak: Currently, I am a junior communications studies major with double minors in media production and business administration. My hometown is Wayne, NJ, but one of my aspirations is to move to Los Angeles, Calif. upon the completion of my senior year here in Boston. Some of my interests include music, theater, film and the entertainment industry. My third co-op will occur in the fall of 2014 and is going to be at ID-Public Relations with their talent division. My dream has always been to work in personal/celebrity public relations so I am looking for this Dialogue to help me sharpen my journalistic writing skills. At Northeastern, despite not having taken journalism classes, I have taken many writing courses in addition to presently writing for The Huntington News. And, at my first co-op, I was assigned to write screening reports about upcoming films for major studios including Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Universal and Fox Searchlight.
Olivia Sears: My name is Olivia and I’m from Kingston, Mass. I am a sophomore behavioral neuroscience and marine biology student, with a pre-health concentration. In the future, I want to (hopefully) continue my education at medical school and specialize in neurosurgery. As far as my experience in journalism, I have worked as a staff writer for my high school paper, as well as written for scientific journals. I’m very involved on campus with NEURONS and HEAT (Husky Environmental Action Team). I currently work on research that investigates the connection between pharmaceuticals and aggression. I also intern at the Aquarium and bartend at Our House East. In my free time I enjoy SCUBA diving, hiking and everything outdoors.