OLIVIA ARNOLD: Originally from New Jersey, I’m a third-year journalism major with minors in political science and international affairs. I’m currently the editor-in-chief of The Huntington News, Northeastern’s independent student-run newspaper, and a metro correspondent for The Boston Globe. Since coming to Northeastern, I have held various positions on The Huntington News, worked a co-op as a breaking news reporter at The Globe, served as an editor for The Global Journal, Northeastern’s student-run international affairs magazine, contributed to The Northeastern University Political Review and worked as a staff writer for The Odyssey Online. I’m most passionate about covering politics and women’s issues. I also love mentoring elementary-aged girls through Northeastern’s Strong Women Strong Girls, reading good books, visiting art museums and drinking absurd amounts of coffee and tea. I wanted to come on this Dialogue because I love traveling and I am eager to challenge myself in a new environment with global reporting.
SOPHIE CANNON: My name is Sophie Cannon and I have just (miraculously) completed my first year at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. I am a journalism major with proposed minors in international affairs, history and political science. I am from a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and after growing sick of the snow and Midwestern twang, I came out to Boston and have loved every second of it. Before Boston, however, I decided to take a break from the Twin Cities, and spent a semester of my junior year of high school abroad in Israel at the Alexander Muss High School. That trip inspired my passion for travel and embracing culture shock and I have had the travel bug ever since. Aside from Israel, I have visited Poland and most recently India, where I helped film a documentary about feminism. In the past, I have written for publications such as MinnPost out of Minneapolis, the Head of the Charles River regatta website and my high school publication Zephyrus as the culture editor and staff writing manager. I am currently writing for the Huntington News as the deputy arts and entertainment editor. I also work for the New England Newspaper and Press Association e-Bulletin as an editorial assistant. When not writing, editing or hanging out with my Huntington News family, I can be found at Northeastern University’s Hillel, where I am on the executive student leadership board. Any free time is spent watching Netflix series and listening to early 2000s pop music. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to report abroad, especially in a place so global and beautiful as Greece.
BRANDON CARUSILLO: I was born in Boca Raton, Florida, and consider it my home despite being a bit of a nomad throughout my life. A prideful Floridian, with a detour in New Jersey, I now find myself about 500 feet from Fenway Park in Boston. As an undergraduate at the University of Miami, I was the sports and entertainment editor for Distraction Magazine, earning an award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. As an athlete, sports expert, comedy junkie and music connoisseur, I am an experienced writer in the entertainment field. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in public relations at UM, I decided to pursue my master’s in journalism at Northeastern University. I work for Homicide Watch Boston as a court reporter, and also work as a writer for SB Nation: The Phinsider. I provide in-depth scouting information on prospects entering the NFL Draft for the Miami Dolphins’ SB Nation page. I look forward to experiencing a different country in Greece, and writing about a different culture. I look forward to a valuable experience to write and report in an unfamiliar territory. To experience a country as a tourist is easy, but to experience a country as a reporter is challenging. This experience will improve my journalistic craft, allowing me to take one step closer toward my aspirations of becoming a professional sports journalist for a respected publication.
LUCAS DEAN: I am a sophomore journalism major from Las Vegas, Nevada. I attended a performing arts high school, and my interest in the arts has carried over into my college career. I hope to write for the arts and culture section of a newspaper. I began my time at Northeastern in Thessaloniki, Greece, for N.U.IN as an English major, but realized fairly quickly that journalism was a better fit for me. I love traveling, and have visited Stockholm, Amsterdam, London and Japan in the past year, so I jumped at the chance to travel back to Greece this summer, a place I know I love. I am excited to see a few of my Greek friends and pet many of the cute stray dogs, all while producing news reports. Ideally, my first co-op will be at a media organization abroad, such as CNBC in Singapore. I am unsure whether I am more interested in broadcast or print journalism at this point because I thoroughly enjoy both. Whichever field I choose, I hope that my job enables me to travel and report on international conflicts and events. My main interests are music, politics, dogs, food and travel.
BRADLEY FARGO: Born and raised in the St. Louis area (that’s in the Midwest), I study computer science as well as journalism through Northeastern University. A sophomore currently, I am often identifiable by the messiness of my hair. My interests range from playing rock music on the tenor saxophone to thinking about logic in programs – from Ultimate Frisbee to reading fantasy books. During my high school years I was an editor on the school news magazine, The Kirkwood Call, and I worked for The Webster-Kirkwood Times. More recently, I have written for The Huntington News as well as for my personal blog. I enjoy talking to people and writing as well as taking photos. I am adrift in my own plans for the future at the moment, but I will be co-oping for the first time starting in July. This is my second summer-term abroad; my first one was spent learning Mandarin in Kunming. I have also visited France, Scotland and Taiwan at different points in my life. I’m looking forward to learning more about Greece and jumping into a new reporting environment.
ISAAC FELDBERG: Born in England and later raised in a Massachusetts suburb by parents from both sides of the pond, I’m a third-year journalism major with minors in political communication and media/screen studies. Though most of my writing experience is confined to the field of entertainment journalism – including a position in the Living/Arts department of The Boston Globe and freelance gigs with Tastemakers Magazine, Cut.Print.Film. and We Got This Covered, among other outlets – my main passion is for exploring the intersections between media, politics and identity. Outside of journalism, I’m an activist for greater awareness of mental health issues on college campuses through student group Behind the SMILE and localized peer support textline Lean on Me Huntington. And in my off hours, you’ll catch me reading, listening to music, and rock-climbing. Perhaps in part due to the transnational nature of my family tree, I’ve always been fascinated by this big, beautiful world of ours and the vibrant mélange of human beings who call it home. While in Greece, I primarily hope to explore how the country’s current cultural, economic and political conditions are influencing social identity. Concurrently, I hope to dive deeply into Greece’s rich history and gain an appreciation for the complex nature of this country’s past and present.
ISABELLE HAHN: My name is Isabelle Hahn and I am a first-year journalism major with a media and screen studies minor from Southlake, Texas. During my first year at Northeastern, I have been involved with the Huntington News, Artistry Magazine, written for the Head of the Charles Regatta, and joined an a cappella group. I love all forms of written expression, and I am excited to grow as both a writer and a journalist in Greece. I have never been to Greece before, and I am excited to not only immerse myself in a new culture but to report on it as well.
DAVID HARBECK: My name is David Harbeck and I am a sophomore majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. I was born in New Jersey and lived there my whole life. Growing up I loved playing football, basketball, hiking and video games. In the summer I work as a camp counselor at Forest Lake Camp in the Adirondacks. I am very interested in politics, sports and current events in general. I am an editor/writer for a website that my friend started that publishes both creative writing and political op-eds. We now have writers from colleges all over the east coast. I am really excited to learn about politics in Greece and see the country. I am looking forward to the challenge of doing interviews with people who might not speak any English, and just taking risks in general. This will only be my second time travelling to Europe. I am only 20, so I think it’s good I’ll be outside of my comfort zone.
SUMA HUSSIEN: I was born and raised in the Hudson Valley region of New York. I am an undergraduate senior finishing up my bachelor’s in design (graphic and information design). On campus, I have provided video and photography assets for The Huntington News, Woof Magazine, Tastemakers and PROTECT. With graduation in sight, I hope to work on a multimedia team for a news media outlet or spend time working with a humanitarian organization in Nepal. I have worked at The Boston Globe as a multimedia intern. I just completed a global co-op in the Basque Country of Northern Spain where I really got my feet wet in journalism, creating short video narratives depicting the resilience of the political and language movement of the Basque people. I’m stoked to be going to Greece with a group of people so passionate and eager to chase after stories. I believe there are a multitude of important stories that need to be told. I’ll be bringing my Frisbee to Greece if anyone wants to toss.
ALEXA LaVERSA: Raised in Connecticut, I am now a second-year student at Northeastern University after transferring in September. I am pursuing a combined journalism and media screen studies major. I’ve always loved performing ever since I was little and I’ve also loved reading and writing. Recently I’ve been working with NUTV, Northeastern University’s on-campus news show, as both a corresponding reporter, an anchor and in some behind-the-camera work. Journalism, and particularly broadcast media, has become my way of combining my two passions, while also fulfilling my desire to travel. Outside of journalism, I enjoy dancing and spending time with my friends. I am looking forward to immersing myself fully in Greek language and culture. My dream is to one day travel the world and report on what I see and experience, and the people I meet. I hope Greece is the first of many opportunities to work abroad, and I look forward to meeting and working with fellow student journalists.
SYDNE MASS: Born and raised in the sunny south of France, I moved to Boston three years ago to study journalism and photography at Northeastern University. As time passes, I am increasingly certain about wanting to devote my life’s work to storytelling. Whether it’s through writing or images, I want to constantly seek out the unexpected and the curious. This trip will be my first time in Greece, though not my first time in the Balkans. Last year, my first co-op took me to Belgrade, Serbia, where I worked with an activist training group focused on promoting non-violent action against repressive governments. I’ve had the chance to travel around different parts of the world and I have no intention to slow down anytime soon. The idea down the line is to be working as a photojournalist, documenting all facets of life while experiencing as much as I possibly can. I dream of exploring all of Latin and South America, seeing much more of Africa and meeting people in all 50 states. Ultimately, I would be happy to go anywhere as long as I have my camera and a notebook.
CODY MELLO-KLEIN: Born and raised in the Boston area, I’m a journalism graduate student at Northeastern University with a background in anthropology and game design. I attended Northeastern as an undergrad, so I’ve had a long and debatably illustrious career as a double husky. Most of my work prior to entering journalism was based in ethnography and cultural analysis, two skills that have plenty of applications in journalism. My interests lie at the intersection of journalism, interactive storytelling and culture. In the past I’ve written pieces for Storybench, Northeastern’s online space for media innovation stories, and I’ve worked as a narrative designer for the Northeastern Game Studio. I’m currently writing and serving as senior news editor for Two Left Sticks, a small games journalism site that offers unique perspectives on game design and the industry. I’m unsure if my interests in games and pop culture will be relevant during this experience. But I’m always up for experimentation in the ways we tell stories and I’m eager to bring my experience with interactive media and good old-fashioned ethnography with me to Greece. This Dialogue is my trial by fire. It’s a test for me as a journalist and a storyteller. I’m excited to dive in and mix my work with cultural analysis and journalism in exciting new ways.
PAXTYN MERTEN: My name is Paxtyn Merten and I am a first-year student at Northeastern pursuing a degree in journalism and data science. I am currently a staff writer for the Huntington News, the independent student-run newspaper for the Northeastern community. I previously served as the campus editor and deputy city editor. Throughout my journalistic career I have covered breaking news, such as protests and sexual assault, as well as more in-depth features and profiles. I have also done a few data journalism pieces and have a particular interest in focusing on data stories in my career, which led me to take a graduate-level data journalism course last semester.
I am originally from a suburb north of Seattle and served as the editor-in-chief of my high school’s nationally recognized independent, student-run news publication, the Hawkeye. I worked on the online newspaper and newsmagazine for four years in different staff and leadership positions. In Greece, I want to take the opportunity to break out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I want to tell stories that I never would have thought about otherwise and give a new perspective to my reporting. Most of all, I want my experiences in Greece to give me a broader, more personal understanding of worldwide issues than I could ever get sitting behind a desk in Boston.
ASIA PALOMBA: My name is Asia London Palomba and I’m a freshman journalism major and history minor from Rome, Italy. I am particularly fascinated by WW1, WW2 and the dictators that rose to power in the interwar era. I believe that history and journalism are two fields that overlap because both tell stories through different lenses and from different angles. I’ve had some experience with on-the-ground reporting. For two summers I worked as a sort of photojournalist in Key West, Florida, for a vacations home agency. All my writing and pictures were uploaded to the company’s blog as a way to show prospective clients the activities, events and sights available in Key West.
I applied to this dialogue because I wanted to compare and contrast my home to a neighboring country. Greece and Italy are similar in many ways. At the moment, they both accept a large number of refugees, which I know is causing some political tension in Italy. I think that it will be interesting to see if the tensions in Italy are reiterated in Greece. I want to experience first hand how the refugee crisis is affecting Greece’s political, social and economic framework. I have travelled to Greece before but vacationing in a country is completely different from actually trying to immerse and integrate yourself in a country’s culture. By doing so, you gain a certain intimacy with a country, which is what I would like to see happen between myself and Greece. In short, I want to familiarize myself with Greece’s culture, traditions and current crises.
BRIDGET PEERY: My name is Bridget Peery, and I am a first-year journalism graduate student at Northeastern University. My interests lie in domestic politics and foreign correspondence. I previously attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I majored in political science, and accepted an administrative aide position in the office of State Representative Joseph Wagner after graduation. Since then, I’ve worked on committee press releases, policy papers and handled constituent inquiries from the State House office. I have always had a love for photography and a strong interest in photojournalism so I am constantly taking my camera with me where ever I go. Whether it’s through words or images, storytelling has been something I have long had a passion for and traveling the world is at the top of my to-do list. When I’m not writing or photographing I like playing guitar, snowboarding and planning trips to faraway places.
GWENDOLYN SCHANKER: Originally from Saint Joseph, Michigan, I am a rising senior studying journalism and biology at Northeastern. My interest in science journalism began when I composed several creative pieces for my environmental biology course in high school, and has only grown since I have been at Northeastern. I am the president of NU Sci, Northeastern’s student-run, student-written science publication. In the past, I have written a biweekly science column for The Huntington News and completed co-ops in communications at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where I managed the company’s internal newsletter, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where I published feature stories about marine science research in the biannual magazine, Oceanus. As an aspiring science writer passionate about communicating complex topics in a way that anyone with an interest in science would want to read, I am excited to pursue stories that center on science and environmental issues in Greece.
ELLIE WILLIAMS: I’m a fourth-year journalism major with a minor in sociology, and I’m from Maplewood, New Jersey. I’ve been focused on journalism since I was 16, starting with my high school newspaper and then quickly falling in love with broadcast journalism. My hope is to become an investigative reporter and I’m looking forward to honing my reporting and editing skills in the field this summer. While I traveled fairly frequently growing up, I’m excited to have the opportunity to be working in another country instead of just traveling. In the past, I’ve worked for MSNBC and News 12, and my work has been featured in outlets such as The Huffington Post, WGBH and WCVB. When I’m not working on a story, I enjoy cooking, playing rugby and attempting to learn Arabic (with some success!)
Born and raised in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. I am a rising senior majoring in journalism at Northeastern University. I went to Fu Jen Catholic University at New Taipei City in Taiwan for a year, and then transferred to Northeastern three years ago. My native language is Mandarin. I learned English as a child, and I am also learning Japanese recently. I enjoy visiting new places, learning about the history, meeting new people and hearing their personal stories. At Northeastern, I have been involved in both Chinese Student and Scholar Association and Taiwanese Student Association as e-board members. We hold various events for Chinese students on campus. I have also written articles for Woof Magazine and the Huntington News in the arts and entertainment section. Outside journalism, I completed a co-op at Northeastern University as an office assistant at the Residential Safety Department last year. I processed proctors’ applications and the hiring procedures. My interests are photography and swimming. I also traveled frequently with my family mainly in Asia since I was a child. I continue this habit when I’m abroad. I seize every chance to explore the city where I stay. I have visited 15 cities in North America and 8 countries in Europe so far. Greece has always been a country I want to visit. I can’t wait to learn about its rich culture and am looking forward to this amazing adventure!
❧ TEACHING ASSISTANT
DANNY MORTIMER: I graduated from Northeastern in 2015 with a degree in journalism and cinema studies. I’m from the suburbs north of Boston and enjoy traveling, sports and my dog Scout (I’ll miss you). Three years ago I went to Spain on this dialogue as a student and it was a life-changing experience for me. I met some amazing people and reported on a championship soccer match that ended up in the Globe. After graduation I was a teaching assistant for Carlene on another dialogue to Spain. Since then, I have been working as a videographer for the City of Boston cable office. The fact that this is my third dialogue should show how much I love being a part of these programs. I’ll be helping with ideas, edits and hopefully a number of videos for your pieces. I can’t wait to help you all get as much out of this experience as possible.
❧ FACULTY LEADERS