Staff Fall 2009

Class_Photo_resize The Bronx Ink is based at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and provides ongoing coverage of many neighborhoods in the city’s greenest borough, including stories about politics, crime, the economy, education and culture.

Get in touch with all our staff by emailing

Abu Ata_Bio Alexandre Abu Ata covered Mott Haven. He has worked with Wafa News in the West Bank, and with the World Health Organization in Jerusalem. He can be reached at

Badkar_BioMamta Badkar covered Kingsbridge. She is a graduate of St. Xavier’s College with a degree in English and has worked as a cultural reporter for Verve in Mumbai. She can be reached at

Berg_BioAlex Berg covered Mott Haven. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in English and Spanish. She was a senior staff writer and production assistant for The Cornell Daily Sun and has interned at newspapers and magazines in Ithaca, N.Y., and Philadelphia. She has also taught English at a maximum-security prison in Auburn, N.Y., and worked with homeless people in Seville, Spain. She can be reached at

Boals_BioConnor Boals covered Kingsbridge. Originally from Michigan, he graduated from the University of Vermont, where he was the managing editor of his college weekly, The Vermont Cynic, as well as the founding editor of the online lifestyle magazine phoebe. He can be reached at

Dreier_BioFred Dreier covered Fordham. He is from Golden, Colo., and graduated in 2004 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where received a degree in history and also captained the NCAA swim team and managed the school newspaper, City on a Hill Press. Before coming to Columbia, Dreier covered the sport of professional cycling for the magazine VeloNews. He has written about a variety of sporting events, including the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and is a three-time Ironman triathlon finisher. He can be reached at

Efrem_BioMaia Efrem covered Fordham. She graduated from Hunter College with a degree in British literature. She has written for the Russian Jewish Institute and is interested in stories about immigration and women’s issues. She can be reached at

Griffin_BioDonal Griffin covers Hunts Point and Longwood. He is a journalist from Dublin and previously worked for three years for The Phoenix, a financial and political investigative magazine. He can be reached at

Hellmund_BioWanda Hellmund covered Hunts Point. The recent politics graduate from the University of London interned at CNBC and Dow Jones Newswires in London, as well as two major broadcast stations in Germany. She can be reached at

Huisman_BioMatthew Huisman covered the Soundview, Castle Hill, Bronx River, Parkchester and Clason Point neighborhoods. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in print journalism. Before attending Columbia, he worked at community newspaper in northeast Houston. He can be reached at

Johnson_BioAlec Johnson covered Morrisania. He graduated from Dickinson College with a degree in political science. Last year, he was editor-in-chief of The Dickinsonian, a weekly college newspaper. He has interned at the Watertown Daily Times in Watertown, N.Y. He can be reached at

Kulkarni_BioShefali Kulkarni covered Pelham Parkway. She is from Hillsboro, Ore., and has written for newspapers and magazines around the country A graduate of Beloit College, she has a degree in political science and is an active member of the South Asian Journalists Association. She can be reached at


Jose Leyva covered High Bridge. He has a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the Monterrey Insitute of Technology, and worked four years for the print media group REFORMA in Mexico. The last position he held at REFORMA was assistant editor in the Metropolitan Section. He can be reached at

Minora_BioLeslie Minora covered Williamsbridge. Her work has appeared in New York Resident magazine, The Orange County Register, and Nylon magazine’s website, She has interned at Nylon, Shape, and Vogue magazines. She can be reached at

Staab_BioAmanda Staab covered Morrisania. She graduated from Susquehanna University with a double major in communications and Spanish. She has previously reported for the Hudson Reporter newspapers in New Jersey, and her work has appeared in Palisade Magazine and on She can be reached at

Vural_BioMustafa Mehdi Vural covered East Tremont and Belmont. He holds a master’s degree in Israeli and Middle Eastern Studies from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has worked as a TV producer for Reuters in Istanbul. He can be reached at

Wali_BioSarah Wali covered East Tremont. She is an Egyptian native and a graduate of The American University in Cairo with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She has worked and reported for The Daily News Egypt and The Adham Center for Broadcast. She can be reached at

Williams_BioCarmen Williams covered Soundview. She is a graduate of Florida A&M and has worked in the financial services industry in New York. She can be reached at