Journalism Program Board Members
Linda J. Coombs
Linda J. Coombs is the Operations Manager for CBS News, Radio. Coombs started as a per diem writer for CBS News, Radio in 1982. During her time there, she has worked as a copy editor, on the assignment desk and produced special events coverage. Before joining CBS, Coombs spent several years in local radio at WFAS, WDRC, WVOS & WSOC doing everything from street reporting and anchoring to producing morning drive and coordinating station contests. Coombs is a Bronx native who graduated from Emerson College in Boston.
Stephen Dougherty serves as Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions and Student Affairs for the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.
Steve began his career in higher education as Director of University Health Services for Syracuse University. Following a five year tenure with SU,
Steve was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow with the Rural Practice Project, based out of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill. Upon returning to his home state of New York, Steve joined the Office of Admissions team of Adelphi University for two years, them moved on to become Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management, and ultimately Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services at Dowling College on Long Island. In his work for Dowling College, and subsequently for Long Island University, Steve became actively interested in International Student Recruitment and Global Education Partnerships, visiting People's Republic of China eight times, as well as Turkey, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Spain, France and England. Steve earned his Bachelor's degree from University of Dayton in Ohio and took Graduate work at the State University of New York at Oswego.
Dan Jacobson is the News Director at NY1 News. Jacobson was promoted to the position in the spring of 2012 after serving as the 24-hour news channel's assistant news director since 2003, responsible for the daily editorial coverage of both NY1 and its Spanish language channel, NY1 Noticias. Jacobson started at NY1 in 1992 before the channel's launch. During his long tenure at NY1, Jacobson was the cable channel's first planning editor. From there, he moved on to political producer, launching the nightly Road to City Hall program in 1993 to provide unique coverage of that year's mayoral race. After the election, the program was re-named Inside City Hall and has become a staple of New York City politics. Jacobson received a promotion to executive producer of politics and later became NY1's managing editor.
Prior ro joining NY1, Jacobson was a longtime reporter for United Press International, where he was the City Hall bureau chief covering the administrations of Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins. Before UPI, Jacobson helped launch The City Sun, where he was editor and reporter, and was a reporter for its predecessor, the Brooklyn-based Trans-Urban News Service.
Roz Liston is the editor of the TimesLedger Newspapers, a chain of 12 weeklies covering neighborhoods in Queens. Editions tailored to specific neighborhoods range from the Jamaica Times to the Bayside Times to the Forest Hills Ledger.
Before joining the TimesLedger, she worked at United Press, where she was a reporter assigned to both domestic and international beats. In the last five years she was the worldwide business editor.
Provides business news updates on Imus in the Morning and co-hosts a daily Fox Business Network show with Dagen McDowell that can be seen weekdays at 11amET.
Since joining Fox Business for its launch in 2007, Connell has spent time covering the financial crisis, providing live reports from the scene when Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers collapsed. He's also reported on the rise of China from Shanghai and Beijing, and covered the European debt crisis from Dublin, Ireland.
Prior to FBN, Connell worked at Bloomberg Television where he served as a news reporter and an anchor. Before that, he co-anchored the syndicated morning show The First Word on Bloomberg Radio.
A graduate of Fordham University, Connell began his career in sports broadcasting. He served as the play-by-play voice of minor league baseball’s Pittsfield Mets during the 1998 season.
Is the executive editor of The Network Journal, a New York-based business magazine for Black professionals and entrepreneurs. She is the author of the award-winning non-fiction title, Africa: Strictly Business, The Steady March to Prosperity (TNJ, 2009), and the groundbreaking novel, Middle Ground (Beckham, 2006). She is also a partner in McLymont, Kunda & Co., an international trade and business development strategy firm serving clients in the United States, Africa and the Caribbean.
McLymont has more than 25 years’ experience as a journalist, writer, speaker and adviser to small and medium-sized companies on global business and entrepreneurship. She was an international trade reporter and ultimately managing editor at The Journal of Commerce, one of the United States’ oldest daily newspapers, which specialized in international shipping and trade. Her coverage earned her critical acclaim in the annualMedia Guide to America’s top financial writers, frequent appearances on CNNfn to comment on the impact of global events on U.S. trade, a guest column in America Economía, a leading business magazine in Latin America; and guest lectures at New York University’s graduate program in Latin America and Caribbean studies. Her articles on international business appeared in such publications asThe Journal of Commerce, World Trade, Business Standards, Minority Business Entrepreneur, Transport Topics, Quality Digest, and Shipping Digest. She has also appeared on ABC’s “Like It Is,” hosted by Gil Noble; GRITtv with guest host Esther Armah; and at The Brecht Forum. She was a Literary Leader on the radio show “Off The Page,” WBAI 99.5 FM, New York.
An authority on emerging markets and entrepreneurship development, McLymont provided entrepreneurship training for African women entrepreneurs through the United Nations Development Program’s Gender Program, and for women in Russia through the Alliance of Russian and American Women. She provided expertise on accessing U.S. markets for the American and African Business Women's Alliance conference in Botswana in 2002, and was an adviser to the Institute on African Affairs, an executive board member of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, and a volunteer mentor at New York Women’s Foundation’s Girls Leadership Day.
Prior to becoming a journalist, McLymont taught English and French in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a past fellow of the European Community Visitors Program, was named a "Woman History Maker" by the Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and has received awards from the New York Association of Black Journalists, the International Black Women’s Congress, the CEJJES Institute, the National Minority Business Council, the New York Regional Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives, and the Office of the Comptroller of New York City.
McLymont was born in Guyana and speaks French and Spanish. She has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, a bachelor’s degree in French from The City College of New York, and a Certificate in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Madrid. She has a Black Belt in T’ai Chi, which she teaches in New York, and is a certified Zumba™ fitness instructor.
Dr. Panayiotis Meleties is Acting Provost at York College of The City University of New York. He also holds the rank of Professor of Chemistry with research interests in aromatic and carbohydrate chemistry, and the synthesis and study of novel molecular entities with potential biological activity. Dr. Meleties and his students presented and published their research at local, regional and national conferences. In addition to his research interests Dr. Meleties has been instrumental in promoting, designing and developing educational and academic programs including programs in pharmaceutical sciences and earth sciences. Supporting his research and educational interests and efforts are several grant awards from the City University of New York, the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Program, and the US Department of Education.
Dr. Meleties holds a Diploma in Chemistry from the University of Athens, Greece, a Master of Philosophy and the Ph.D. in Chemistry from the City University of New York. He began his faculty tenure at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, where he served also as department chair. His faculty appointments include the Department of Chemistry at York College and the City University Graduate School. His service to the university continued with his appointment as acting dean at York College in 2006, dean of Mathematics and Sciences (2007) and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences (since 2008). In addition to his faculty and administrative appointments, Dr. Meleties has served on various university wide committees, mentored and participated on many Ph.D. student thesis committees.
Daniel Reshef is the Director of Information Technology at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
He's been with the School since its inception helping to build the technology department from scratch into what it is today. Previously he was the manager of technology at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism.
As a self described "journalists best friend", Daniel's dedicated to researching and implementing the newest tech tools and gadgets availablethat serve as beneficial mechanisms for the ever-evolving realm of journalism. He's currently pursuing solutions for content creation and wireless delivery, especially on the mobile platform (i.e. smartphones & tablets) where it's possible to capture, edit, and deliver news content from a single portable device.
In his spare time, Daniel enjoys training in CrossFit, photography, and a pursuit of knowledge -- especially in the areas of science, philosophy, and mathematics.
Gail Robinson is a freelance writer, specializing largely in education and other public policy issues. She is a regular contributor to Inside Schools, the Huffington Post, Great Schools and other publications.
For more than 10-years, Robinson was with Gotham Gazette, an an-award winning publication on New York City politics and policy that pioneered the use of the on-line media to cover local issues. During her time as editor of Gotham Gazette -- from 2007 to 2011 -- the publication won two Knight News Challenge awards and on Online Journalism Award for general excellence. It was also honored for its in-depth issue-oriented coverage of the 2009 New York mayoral race.
Before joining Gotham Gazette in 1999 -- at the very dawn of the on-line journalism age - Robinson held a number of reporting and editing jobs in journalism, including covering education for a suburban daily, editing a magazine on environmental issues and being in charge of political coverage for a major national newspaper feature syndicate.
A not-quite native New Yorker, Robinson attended Barnard College and served as first woman editor of the Columbia University student daily. She has two children (who are native Brooklynites) and lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
Walter H. Sanchez
Walter Sanchez purchased the Queens Ledger and Glendale Register weekly newspapers in 1986 – and has been publisher & editor since. The company now includes eight weekly community newspapers covering neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens. The Queens Ledger (established as the Newtown Register in 1873) and The Leader/Observer of Woodhaven (established in 1911) are two of the oldest continuously published weekly newspapers in New York. The Greenpoint Star, Brooklyn Downtown Star, Queens Examiner, Forest Hills Times, Glendale Register and LIC/Astoria Journal are also part of the media group.
Mr. Sanchez currently serves as a director for the New York Press Service and had been a member of the board of directors of the NY Press Association from 1988 through 1994.
With a company motto; “We’re not just newspapers anymore,” Mr. Sanchez frequently runs seminars and forums on how his company realized early on that the internet has actually helped local newspapers by leveling the playing field in the news world. “In fact,” as he now puts it, “it is apparent that advertisers want local news organizations ahead of regional and city news, so we are growing.”
An early advocate of user generated content for news web sites, the Queens Ledger web sites have won first place awards from New York Press Association as the top income generating community newspaper web site in New York State in 2008 and in 2009.
His news organization has been on the cutting edge of digital innovation for local news companies … launching web sites with business directory income portals in 2008, dynamic digital magazines in early 2009, mobile web sites in late 2009, a subscription based short-text neighborhood news text alert system in early 2010 and QR bar code integration linking to videos, web sites and mobile signup urls within his newspapers and magazines since mid 2010. Readers now consume the paper with mobile device nearby for an enhanced experience.
Mr. Sanchez lives in Maspeth, Queens with his wife Tammy, sons John 22 and Thomas 15 and daughter Caitlyn 20. He is an FAA licensed pilot and serves on numerous organization boards throughout Brooklyn and Queens including the YMCA, Boys & Girl’s Club, Boy Scouts, Community Board #5 and Kiwanis.
Jose Santiago is News Director at WBAI radio in New York, one of five radio stations owned by The Pacifica Foundation. Before coming to WBAI in the early 1990’s, Santiago worked as a reporter at KYW Television in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and WFSB TV in Hartford, Connecticut, where he did stints as the New Haven and Western Massachusetts Bureau Chief.
His stories have aired on The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and The NBC Nightly News. Santiago covered aspects of The Accident at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant in Pennsylvania and the taking of U.S. hostages by Iran in the late 1970’s, amongother national stories.
Investigative work included a 57-million-dollar scandal at SEPTA, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, as well as a series of stories that led to major changes in the treatment of State Prison Inmates across Pennsylvania.
At WBAI, Santiago has led a news team that has garnered numerous local and national reporting awards. His work at WBAI includes the training of community residents to produce news stories. Participants in the WBAI training program have gone on to work at news outlets including WNBC TV, The Boston Globe, WNYC Radio, New Jersey Nightly News and The New York Post. Santiago won two national awards from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for his coverage of the case of Anthony Baez, a young Bronx man killed by an NYPD police officer. He was also the recipient of a Friends of the South Bronx, Community Pulitzer award and has been cited for his reportage on issues related to the Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Puerto Rican Political Prisoners. Santiago was Story Editor for “Palante, Siempre Palante,” a documentary on The Young Lords Party produced by Iris Morales that has aired on PBS.
Jose Santiago was born in Puerto Rico and raised in The Bronx, a few doors away from the notorious 41st Police Precinct, often referred to as Fort Apache. He was an undergraduate student at Columbia University and graduated from the Michelle Clarke Minority Journalists Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1973, the same program that produced Geraldo Rivera and CBS Senior Correspondent Randall Pinkston, among others.
Former Senior Executive Editor, New York Daily News.
I was born and spent most of my life living in Queens. Over 40 years ago I took a summer job at the Daily News, promising myself to only stay long enough to get money to go to college. I stayed for 40 summers. Eventually I got a bachelor’s degree in physical anthropology from Queens College.
I believe I was the 1979 Hortense Powdermaker Award Winner for something to do with being promising in the field of anthropology.
Instead of graduate school, though, I stayed at the paper and rose from the stock room to the News Desk over a number of years.
The pressure of deadlines, copy, layout and tabloid front pages kept me at the paper to this day.
Eventually I became managing editor, executive editor, and now today senior executive editor. I’ve done countless front pages.
Proud of many, ashamed of a few.
For more than 30 years, Michael Schenkler has been a major figure in community journalism in New York. Since 1980 he has been at the helm of the QueensTribune, Queens County’s largest weekly newspaper serving as a weekly columnist, its Publisher and Editor In Chief. He built the Tribune into the nine weekly editions, which dominate community journalism in Queens today. Mr. Schenkler was also the visionary behind the PRESS of Southeast Queens, the newspaper of Queens’ predominantly middle class African American community. Additionally, for the past five years, he has served as Publisher of Long Islander Newspapers, a group four weeklies started by America’s poet, Walt Whitman in 1838. He also publishes five monthlies which serve the New York metro legal community.
Schenkler has served as President and a director of News Communications (NCOM:Nasdaq), a publicly-traded media company. He has been involved in the successful direction, acquisition or start-up of approximately a dozen newspaper groups including Dan’s Papers in the Hamptons, and The Hill in Washington, DC.
In 1999, Schenkler developed a strategic partnership resulting in the construction of the first regional online e-mall on the east coast. In 2009, he created, Huntington Restaurant Week and its online engine, DineHuntington.
He serves as CEO and Chairman of New York Strategies, public relations, government relations and strategic planning consultants and of Multi Media, a full service printing company.
In addition, Schenkler is an award-winning columnist and, in recognition of his service to Queens, is the recipient of thefollowing awards: “Man of the Year,” Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts; Best News Column Award, New York Press Association; the first “Businessman of the Year,” Queens Chamber of Commerce; honored for service to the Queens Cultural Community by the Queens Council on the Arts; the Salvation Army Community Service Award; and the B’nai B'rith Housing Foundation Humanitarian Award. For the past five years, he has served as Deputy Mayor of the Village of Port Washington North in Nassau County. He serves as Treasurer and Trustee of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association.
Schenkler’s leadership, political savvy and strategic planning ability have established him as a central figure in New York’s political, civic and journalistic communities.
As founder in 1985 of Schneps Communications, Victoria Schneps is Publisher/CEO of The Queens Courier group of weekly community newspapers. El Correo de Queens, and monthly pubs including Queens Business, the Long Island City Courier, North Shore Towers Courier, and Le Havre Courier. She recently acquired a group of weeklies in Brooklyn
Inspired by the power of the press during her advocacy work on behalf of her daughter with special needs, Ms. Schneps pursued her dream of being in the news business. She started in her Bayside living room, a neighborhood newspaper with a partner and a $250 investment.
Today, Schneps Communications over 25 years has evolved from one publication to 14. The Queens Courier was chosen as one of the top 10 newspapers in New York State and their website as #1 in New York State for two years running by their New York Press Association.
Additionally, WORC, the group she founded, has grown to serve over 1000 individuals and is a 43 million dollar not-for-profit organization, operating 36 group homes and 19 day programs. Ms. Schneps continues to volunteer as a member of the board.
Ms. Schneps is the recipient of numerous awards for her dedicated community service, having been chosen to carry the Olympic Torch in 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She has received awards as Business Person of the Year to being recognized by the Hispanic, Hindi and Muslim community as well.
She serves on the boards of the Queens Museum of Art, Life’s WORC, South Boys and Girls Club, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and Flushing Bank.
She received her BS from New York University and her MS from City University, Brooklyn College. Married to Stuart Yunis she is the proud mother of three surviving children, 4 step children and twelve grandchildren. She is passionate about her family, friends and community.
Elinor Ruth Tatum
Elinor Tatum is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of the New York Amsterdam News, the oldest and Largest Black Newspaper in the City of New York, and one of the oldest ethnic papers in the Country.
Ms. Tatum was appointed to her position in 1997, and became one of the youngest publishers in the history of the Black Press. As editor and publisher
Ms. Tatum oversees a staff of twenty-five full time employees. Under her watch, the newspaper was modernized, and changes have included: a new layout for the paper, and refocusing content to emphasize more current issues facing Harlem and the wider African American community in New York and the Nation. Under her leadership, The Amsterdam News has also gone online and is seen nationally as part of the Black Press USA Network.
Elinor Tatum also produces and co-hosts a weekly segment of Al Sharpton’s Weekly Radio Show “Keep’in It Real”-- inviting members of the Black Press to discuss national issues facing the African American community. She has guest hosted the WWRL Radio morning and afternoon drive programs. Ms. Tatum has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, 20/20, New York 1, CUNY TV, The Today Show, and NBC Nightly News.
Ms. Tatum was born and raised in New York City. She studied Government at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York where she graduated in 1993. She continued her education at Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden. While abroad, she studied International relations and the Swedish model of government.
In 1994, Ms. Tatum returned to New York to join her father at the New York Amsterdam News. She accepted a position as Assistant to the Publisher and also reported for the paper. While reporting, she filed stories on topics ranging from the Million Man March, to Boxing and a student strike at the City University of New York.
In 1996, Ms. Tatum was promoted to Associate Publisher and Chief Operating Officer of the newspaper. That fall, she entered New York University working toward her Master’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, while continuing to work full time at the Amsterdam News. In December 1997, she completed the course work for her Master’s Degree and was promoted to Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.
In addition to her career in journalism, Ms. Tatum is also an active member of the greater New York community. She is currently, a member of the Board of Trustees of her college alma mater, St. Lawrence University. In addition she sits on the Board of the New York Urban League, The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, The Chinatown YMCA, Manhattan Community Board 3 and until recently served on the Board of Inner City Broadcasting, The South Street Seaport Museum, and The New York Press Association. She is also the former Secretary of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
Ms. Tatum has been received numerous honors for her work including: inclusion in Who’s Who of American Women (the Millennium Edition and subsequent editions), a Doctor Of Humane Letters Honorus Causae from Metropolitan College (New York City) Manhattan Borough Presidents’ Women’s History Month Award, Public Advocates Award, Women Who Make A Difference, Outstanding Business Empowerment from the New York Chapter of Black Business and Professional Women, Award, Standing On their Shoulders Award from the National Action Network, and the Good Scout Award.
Starting his career as an intern for VIBE Magazine, Mr. Thomas later made his way to XXLMagazine. After laying a solid foundation as an accomplished music editor for XXL, Mr. Thomas moved on to become the Founder and Editorial Director of KING Magazine, the fastest growing men’s lifestyle magazine in the country. In addition, he was Editorial Director of RIDES Magazine, the fastest growing urban- market car magazine in the country and was the Editor-in-Chief of XXL Magazine, the number one newsstand music magazine in the country. These information outlets (and many others that he created) were trendsetting and trend-spotting staples that boasted a collective circulation that climbed into the millions.
With his career riding the wave of success, Mr. Thomas has added television commentator to his list of talents as an entertainment, music and lifestyle expert on VH1, BET and various MTV specials and numerous radio appearances.
In classic full circle style, after being the COO/EIC of Russell Simmons’ multicultural entertainment website, GlobalGrind.com, Mr. Thomas is now the Editorial Director at the very place that introduced him to the entertainment industry, Vibe Magazine. With the brand on the come back trail and Mr. Thomas on board; the future is bright for both entities.
Mr. Thomas, a Brooklyn, New York native, is an ex-Air Force brat who has lived in Tokyo, Japan and New Mexico. He believes his many travels abroad have helped shape his rounded perspective on urban/ pop culture. The oldest of seven siblings, Mr. Thomas resides in Queens, NY, with his wife and three young daughters. He graduated from Sarah J. Hale high school in Brooklyn, attended Baruch College and NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies for journalism.
Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush is Senior Editor of Fox News Latino foxnewslatino.com- an English-language news site for Latinos living in the United States. Prior to Fox News Latino, he was Corporate Executive Editor for impreMedia, the number one Spanish-language news and informationsource for Latinos in the United States and Executive Editor of El Diario/La Prensa, the nation's oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper. Vourvoulias entered journalism at Time Magazine, where he was Deputy Editor of the Latin American edition of Time. He helped plan and execute the launch of Time Americas, Time Magazine's Spanish and Portuguese language weekly supplements. Vourvoulias was also managing editor of ArtNews and directed a special project for Poder, a Spanish-language business publication.
Comcast Sports Group’s Ray Warren, is responsible for the sponsorship and ad sales revenue, including sales strategy development and research, for the rapidly growing Comcast Sports Group family of networks. Mr. Warren, a veteran sales and media executive, joined Comcast Sports Group in January 2008.
Warren’s thirty-plus year career includes senior-level positions at leading advertising and media companies, including serving as president of Carat Media Group Americas, managing director of OMD USA, New York, and president and CEO of Raycom Sports. He also held several senior sales positions at ABC Television Network. He serves on the board of Citizens Through Sports Alliance.
Warren received his bachelor’s degree in communications from York College of The City University of New York. He is a resident of Port Washington, NY and has three children.
Comcast Sports Group’s ten channels deliver more than 2,400 live games to nearly 40 million sports fans in leading markets around the country, including seven of the top ten television markets. Comcast Sports Group’s channels combine live game coverage with entertaining sports news, talk, analysis, features and other original programming. Comcast Sports Group’s networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, SNY, The Mtn. – MountainWest Sports Network, and CSS. Comcast Sports Group also manages The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.
Mark Weidler is President and Publisher of the Queens Chronicle, a chain of 8 weekly newspapers and companion websites. In that role he oversees a staff of over 40 journalists, artists and salespeople. He has been working at the newspaper since graduating from Florida State University in 1990. Mark is on the board of directors of the New York Press Association as well as various other boards in New York City. He lives in Irvington, New York with his wife Kim and children Matthew and Samantha. Mark enjoys playing golf, exercising and coaching his sons sports teams.
Weitzner graduated York College magna cum laude in 1972 with a BA in English and was that year’s “English Major of the Year.” He went on to earn his Masters in English, specializing in medieval literature, at SUNY Stony Brook. Steve resides in Huntington NY with his wife, Beverly, their daughter Alexis, aged 16, and their son, Sam, aged 12. He also has two grown sons, Josh and Adam.