EMILY ARNTSEN: I grew up in Manchester, Massachusetts, but I now split my time between Boston and Mill Valley, California, where my family lives. I’m a fourth-year journalism and English combined major with a minor in photography. Most recently, I worked in Hanoi, Vietnam, as a staff writer and photographer for a travel and leisure magazine, Word Vietnam. While in Hanoi, I was also an intern at the English radio station, VOV5, working as a scriptwriter and co-host of a weekly music show. I’ve also worked as a staff writer and photographer for two music magazines—Sound of Boston and Northeastern’s Tastemakers Magazine. In the future, I hope to work in audio journalism or podcasting. If I’m reading fiction, it’s probably dystopian literature, a habit that fosters my paranoid, skeptical nature and a weird obsession with censorship.
ZACH BEN-AMOTS: I am a native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a current graduate student at the Northeastern University School of Journalism. As a master’s candidate in the Media Innovation program, I am focusing on video journalism and working toward a career in documentary filmmaking. I am also the managing editor for The Scope, a news platform for neighborhood stories of justice, hope and resilience. I completed my undergraduate studies at Lawrence University (LU), where I majored in film and media studies and minored in religious studies. I spent four years with LU’s student newspaper, where I worked my way from staff writer to editor-in-chief. In the summer following graduation, I was awarded a writing fellowship in Washington, D.C., with The Tower magazine, an online publication focused on news relating to Israel and Judaism. Before beginning my graduate education, I completed a year of AmeriCorps, volunteering at a public school in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. On nights and weekends, I interned for Cambridge Community Television, a landmark public access station and media center. When I am not making movies, I’m watching them. When I’m not watching movies, I’m following the NBA and my beloved San Antonio Spurs.
SOFIA BERGMANN: I’m a first-generation immigrant born in the Bay Area, California, with German and Italian parents. I have always been surrounded by many different cultures and languages having grown up in a diverse community and family. I am pursuing journalism and photography at Northeastern in Boston, focusing on culture, art and social themes. I have done photojournalism and written articles on a range of subjects including current events local and international, profiles, features, issues such as transgender rights, and more recently have covered culture and feminism in the context of art and fashion. With having grown up traveling, in addition to volunteering in places like Peru, studying abroad in London, and now reporting in Cuba, I hope to use journalism in a global context as a way to inspire and enlighten. Through different forms of documentary, combined with art, culture and social justice, I aim to use what I have learned in Cuba and the future, to spread powerful messages.
HANNAH BERNSTEIN: I’m a second-year student at Northeastern pursuing a double major in journalism and environmental science. I am the managing editor of The Huntington News, the independent student-run newspaper for the Northeastern community. I also work as a reporter for NUSci, Northeastern’s science magazine, and a staff writer for New Voices Magazine, a national Jewish magazine written by and for college students in the United States. Beyond that, I am working toward a career in science writing and communication, focusing on scientific literacy, education and environmental justice. Throughout my career, I’ve covered topics such as sexual assault, space technology, gentrification, artificial intelligence, campus activism and more. I’ve always been a writer, but the thing I’m looking forward to the most is the opportunity to explore video and audio storytelling in a new way.
KAITLYN BUDION: I am a second-year journalism major at Northeastern. I am originally from a small town in Minnesota, about an hour north of the cities. In high school I originally became interested in journalism through my school’s live daily news show we did for announcements. Since coming to Northeastern I have been involved with the Huntington News, as well as NUTV News. I am now a copyeditor for Huntington News, but in the past have worked as a staff writer and political columnist as well. At NUTV I am currently the director of the news department, a job I got after working as an executive producer for them as well. I have studied Mandarin for four years and went to China on a Dialogue last summer.
DANIEL ALEJANDRO CASTRO-FERNANDEZ: I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and for the entirety of my life I have lived in the Greater Boston Area, moving to Dedham from Roslindale when I was 2 years old. Both my parents immigrated to the United States from Cali, Colombia. Due to this, I have spent much of my life traveling and exploring the world. Initially, I travelled extensively to Colombia in order to meet family and become familiar with the language and culture; however following this I have continued my travels across the globe, visiting places across North America, South America, Europe and even Australia. Back home in Boston, I decided to attend Northeastern University and major in history with a prospective minor in philosophy. I am currently a first-year student here and hope to extend my education by attending law school following my graduation and becoming involved in politics or legislation at some point in my career. I am an invested sports fan and lover of literature and movies, with my favorite sports teams being Real Madrid and the Bruins and my favorite movie being A Clockwork Orange. I was captain of my high school’s varsity soccer team and served first as editorial editor and then as managing editor of my high school’s newspaper, the Dedham Mirror.
JOSÉ DA SILVA: I am first-year journalism major hoping to minor in Spanish and computer science. I am from a town in rural Massachusetts, Duxbury, just 45 minutes from Boston campus, but I was raised travelling. I lived for a while in England, visiting over 15 countries, and I returned there for my first semester of Northeastern to study abroad. These two trips both helped to spark my passion for learning and a curiosity to learn about different cultures. My grandparents both immigrated to the United States of America when they were 25 from the small mid-Atlantic Portuguese islands, the Açores. They too, since I was a little boy, have been inspiring me to get out and see the world, and take all that it has to offer. In my short time at Northeastern I have joined The Huntington News, Northeastern’s student-run newspaper, as a writer and photographer. I will also be starting work at the Duxbury Clipper, a small local paper in my hometown, in the summer. I am excited to get back out in the world, meet new people, and experience a brand-new culture.
ANNINA HARE: I am originally from Middlebury, Vermont. I am a second-year business marketing major with a minor in video arts. I’m currently a part of the Tastemakers magazine promotions and photography team, a student-run magazine centered around music. I hope to be able to integrate video back into Tastemakers by creating a YouTube channel, which they used to have. I am also a part of NUMA (Northeastern’s marketing club) and currently looking for my first co-op. When I came to Northeastern, I spent my first semester of college abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece, which was amazing and I’m eager to further grow my global experience. I have a passion for video and love to tell people’s stories through this medium. I also have a passion for music, travel and food.
HARSHITA HIMATSINGKA: I was born and brought up in Guwahati, Assam in India. This is my final year at Northeastern University and I will be graduating after this dialogue. Through high school, I’ve been actively involved in my school’s newsletter and magazine. I was editor-in-chief for the same my junior year. I transferred to Northeastern my sophomore year from Syracuse University. I felt that being at NEU and in Boston offered me a lot more opportunities to expand my horizon. Also, I’ve always been a city girl. I need the noise and crowds – they inspire me. While at Northeastern, I was lucky to work as a PR and social media intern for an e-commerce fashion company in New York City. This proved to be one of the best experiences of my life and college career. As a whole, coming to the States for my undergraduate degree has been a whirlwind. I’ve lived in three different cities in four years and now adding one more to the list. I just came across a quote recently that inspired me to be a part of this dialogue: “If it scares you, it’s probably a good idea.”
YSABELLE KEMPE: I am a first-year journalism major from Brookfield, Connecticut, with minors in film production and data science. I am pursuing journalism because I want to tell the stories of those whose voices are most stifled. I believe that creating a global dialogue and fostering empathy is the only way to truly achieve justice in the world. Coming from a small town, I was never exposed to much diversity, in every sense of the word, so going to college in a big city was a culture shock. However, I have fallen in love with Boston and the experience has only solidified my dream to travel the world. Currently, I am the opinions editor for The Huntington News, Northeastern’s independent student-run publication. Although I love journalism, my life isn’t all news, all the time. I have been riding horses for 12 years and am a member of Northeastern’s club equestrian team. After class, you can find me burning off excess energy in the gym or combing through Spotify for new music. The soundtracks to my life range from modern funk to swinging jazz to anything in between.
JONATHAN MEJIA: My name is Jonathan Mejia and I am third-year journalism major with minors in law and public policy and Latino, Latin American and Caribbean studies. My parents are from Honduras, but I was born and raised in Boston. I aspire to be a bilingual (English and Spanish) multimedia journalist; working on the broadcast side, I envision myself as an on-air reporter and anchor. I am enthusiastic about news, sports, entertainment and travel. I have experience in anchoring a live broadcast show, writing, filming and editing. My first co-op at Northeastern was with the broadcast media company CNBC in New York. There I worked with producers from the show “Power Lunch,” went on many shoots, worked on the marketing and social media team and helped edit packages and vo/sots.
PAXTYN MERTEN: I am a second-year student at Northeastern pursuing a degree in journalism and data science. I am the editor-in-chief of the Huntington News, the independent student newspaper of the Northeastern community. I previously served as the campus editor and deputy city editor. Throughout my journalistic career I have covered breaking news, including protests and bomb threats, as well as more in-depth features and profiles. I traveled abroad to Greece last summer to report on the economic and refugee crises while learning about the culture and history of the country. I have also produced a few data stories and have a particular interest in focusing on data journalism in my career. I am originally from a suburb north of Seattle, where I served as the editor-in-chief of my high school’s nationally recognized, independent, student-run news publication, the Hawkeye. In Cuba, I want to build upon the international reporting skills I developed in Greece and use my Spanish language skills on the path to excellent journalism.
TIFFANY MONTAGNE: Born in Queens, New York, and later raised in Jackson, New Jersey, I’m a graduate student in the process of completing my last semester. I earned my bachelor’s of science in psychology at Northeastern while playing Division I basketball for the women’s basketball team. I completed a co-op with the Northeastern’s Athletics Communication as a sports information director assistant. I’ve produced on and off the camera media material involving sports-related news on campus. I’ve also created my own radio segment show with WRBB radio at 104.9 FM, which I co-hosted. My passion for research and my cravings to engage in human interactions has fueled my hunger for reporting.
MILTON POSNER: I’m a sophomore journalism major at Northeastern, with plans to add another major in political science and minors in Spanish and sports communication. I enjoy basketball and baseball, the Lakers and the Dodgers in particular, and almost any subgenre of rock music. I sing and play guitar for excessive amounts of time, to the delight and/or annoyance of those around me. At Northeastern, I am a broadcaster/writer for WRBB Sports and a writer for the Northeastern University Political Review. I’d like a career either in sportscasting or political journalism. For years now, I’ve been lobbing my opinions on both subjects at anyone who’d listen, and even at those who wouldn’t. The idea of getting paid for doing just that is delightful, and that’s what I intend to pursue. I’m a Los Angeles native by birth, a liberal by choice, and me by default.
RILEY ROBINSON: I am originally from southwestern Connecticut, but have fallen thoroughly in love with Boston during my first year at Northeastern. I am pursuing a double major in journalism and international affairs and hope to work in international crisis reporting. This spring, I was the photo editor for The Huntington News, our independent student-run newspaper. I discovered photography while studying ballet at a public arts high school in North Carolina. While recovering from dance-related knee surgery, I brought my camera to document rehearsals. I hope to report on Cuba’s proud artistic tradition while on dialogue. I also like to say yes to as much as I possibly can, which has led to some pretty interesting jobs and adventures. I’ve worked developing film in a print shop, selling plants in a local garden store and as a photographer for ballroom dance competitions. Once, I was an electrician on a feature film set in downtown Manhattan. This March, I bought a flash-sale plane ticket to explore Iceland with a friend, but I’ve also enjoyed exploring Greece, Italy, France and others.
ALEJANDRO SERRANO: I am a third-year journalism major with a minor in English. I am currently a freelance journalist, research assistant and part-time metro correspondent for The Boston Globe. Since transplanting my life to Boston from Long Island in 2015, I held a number of different hats for The Huntington News, Northeastern’s independent student newspaper. As a co-op, I covered communities south of Boston for The Globe’s south section. I am fascinated by how people consume media and the ways technology can help tell a compelling story. I am most passionate about trying to give a voice to the marginalized and under-covered communities of the world. I have written about a number of different subjects – from music and sports to crime and wrongdoings – in an attempt to not limit my ability to (try to) tell a good story. I want to be a foreign correspondent at some point in my life and that is among the reasons why I wanted to travel to Cuba. Chief among the reasons, however, is my desire to go somewhere that will challenge me physically and mentally. When my eyes are not glued to my phone, laptop or notepad, you can catch me reading, running around any body of water or observing people’s fashion decisions. If I am not doing any of those things, chances are I am eating or looking for coffee.
CHRISTIAN TRIUNFO: Born in New Jersey to two Uruguayan immigrants, I am an incoming third-year journalism and English major. I have worked with Tastemakers Magazine, WRBB 104.9, Northeastern University Political Review and the Huntington News, and will be going on my first co-op come July. After 20 years, I have come to realize that storytelling is my passion, and there is no better way to accomplish that dream than through journalism. A native Spanish speaker, this dialogue presents me with an incomparable opportunity. Immersing myself in the culture and life of Cuba will not only broaden my understanding of Latin America, but will also break me out of my comfort zone, and give me the opportunity to tell stories that need to be told. During my free time, I am an avid podcast listener, music nerd and Celtics fan. The need for great journalism has reached unprecedented heights, and there is no better time than now to report on Cuba, and more broadly, the world.
IRVIN ZHANG: My name is Irvin Zhang and I am a second-year journalism major with a minor in political science. I have spent parts of my childhood in New York City, China, but I’m most proud of the 12 years I spent growing up in a suburb outside Seattle, Washington. Although I loved Seattle, I needed a change in scenery, bringing me to Northeastern where I began my time as an NU.in student in Sydney, Australia. I am currently a staff writer for the Huntington News, writing in primarily the campus and sports sections. My passion in journalism began at my high school where I was the sports editor for our local student news publication, the Hawkeye, where I wrote features ranging from sports to sexuality. In the near future, I hope to co-op at one of either Boston Globe, CNBC or the Seattle Times. Whatever field of journalism I choose in the future, I’m hoping to report on news that I feel like matters to the audience. My other interests include sports, politics, dogs, Fortnite (a video game), and traveling.
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 realized how much I loved living and working in another country. Since that trip I have been on two more dialogues as a teaching assistant, another to Spain and one to Greece last summer. I currently work as a videographer for the City of Boston cable office.