Natalia Ryzak

Natalia Ryzak

President
Natalia is a native New Yorker with a passion for storytelling. Her passion actually began while acting in her high school’s theatre and it wasn’t until college where she found a deep love for journalism. At the University of Miami, Natalia studied broadcast and was an active member with the university’s tv show, UMTV, where she even hosted a segment for the entertainment show, Pulse. Now, she is so excited to be at the J School and can’t wait to see what this year brings. Some of her hopes as VP include creating stronger networks not only within the J school community but also among the other graduate programs. Natalia can’t wait to meet all of you this year (if she hasn’t already) so feel free to say hello in the halls! (And if you know the best sushi spots, also definitely reach out!)
Jonathan Ng

Jonathan Ng

Secretary

Jonathan Ng is an M.S. student and the Columbia SPJ Class Secretary. Before coming to Columbia, Jonathan was a business reporter at the Boston Herald, covering real estate, casinos and gambling, legal affairs and the Massachusetts economy. He also covers the intersection of business and politics at the newspaper’s City Hall bureau. Several of his news stories were syndicated in The Mercury News, The Denver Post, Military.com, Stars and Stripes, and The Associated Press. 

In 2018, Jonathan’s reporting on pay disparity at several top newsrooms across the U.S. reverberated on social media and was featured in the Columbia Journalism Review magazine later that month.

Previously, Jonathan covered community and breaking news for the Dorchester Reporter and The Boston Globe. He currently manages SPJ’s website and social media presence.

Reed Alexander

Reed Alexander

Speaker Director

Reed Alexander is a journalist, author, and former star of Nickelodeon’s no. 1 rated, Emmy-nominated sitcom “iCarly.” A graduate of New York University, Reed is now a student at Columbia Journalism School working toward his master’s of science in journalism. At Columbia, Reed serves as Speaker’s Director on the Society of Professional Journalists. 

Prior to beginning his studies, Reed was Managing Editor of a healthcare-focused trade publication, covering the opioid crisis and mental healthcare in America. Previously, he was a reporter for Dow Jones Media Group’s “Wall Street Journal” digital network in New York, and for CNN International, based at the network’s bureau in Hong Kong. 

Rachel Pilgrim

Rachel Pilgrim

Publicity Director

The Lady, Rachel J. Pilgrim. First of her name (debatable). Ruler of the Cat Ladies, Pizza Lovers, Theater Geeks, and Green Thumbs. 

From her throne in Mount Vernon, New York, Rachel considers herself the life of the party when she’s not tending to her 5 month old kitten, Zora. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University in May of 2019, with a degree in English, Business, and Social Inequality Studies. Her most memorable experience happened while working as an Editor-At-Large for Huffington Post, during which she had the chance to interview Rev. Al Sharpton. Some other experience includes writing for Varsity Newspaper in Cape Town, South Africa, being the lead host for Black Students United Radio Station and working on the Public Relations team for the political journalist, Angela Rye, who you can watch on CNN.

Laura Garcell Nimylowycz

Laura Garcell Nimylowycz

Part-time Representative

Laura is a first-year part-time student in the M.S. program from Havana, Cuba. She majored in Political Science and History at Columbia College and intends to cover political stories in the future. Her favorite  Columbia spot is Butler Library, where she has lived for the past four years. As the part-time students representative she hopes to develop a better link between part-timers and student life at the J-school.

Brett Forrest

Brett Forrest

DC/PO Liaison

Brett was born and raised in the vast expanses of beautiful Colorado. As such, he’s a self-proclaimed “Mountain Man,” a far cry from the offerings of New York City. He studied film and anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. After college, he worked at an adventure documentary company called Sender Films, which produced docs about renowned climbers Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, and Sasha DiGiulian to name a few.

In 2012, Brett moved to Denver and launched into the world of broadcast news, first working at FOX31 Denver in morning news production before being promoted to the marketing department. As a commercial and promotions producer, Brett wrote, shot, edited, and produced commercials and promotions for the news station and its clients. After four years, he migrated to Denver’s TEGNA news station and helped launch a national TV show called Daily Blast LIVE as an editor and social media producer. One day, he was thrown on camera, didn’t crash and burn, and went on to write and report hundreds of news stories on air over the course of the show’s first season. He won a national Telly Award for one of his pieces. Outside of work and school, Brett loves photography, beer, travel, movies, and climbing mountains. He’s climbed 46 of Colorado’s 53 highest peaks.

Anya Schultz

Anya Schultz

Student Life Chair

Anya Schultz grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and studied history at UC Berkeley. Before coming to Columbia Journalism School, she was an editor at The Daily Californian and interned at Slate and KQED. Anya has spent the past six summers working in a kitchen at a summer camp near Yosemite National Park. She loves backpacking trips, weird science facts, and really good burritos.

Chaveli Guzman

Chaveli Guzman

Events Director

Chaveli Guzman is the Event Director of SPJ. She’s an M.S. Full Time Student in the Visual Craft Track pursuing a career as a Visual Journalist. A fun fact about Chaveli is that she has an undying love for Chipotle and even took her college graduation pictures with a burrito bowl in hand. 

Abbie Schull

Abbie Schull

Film/Doc Coordinator

Abbie Shull is a Master of Science student in the documentary film concentration of the J-School. Abbie is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is a proud graduate of Louisiana State University and the Manship School of Mass Communication. 

Her hobbies include going to the cinema, complaining about how Northerners don’t know how to make gumbo, and hanging out with her cat, Phoebe. 

Abbie’s byline can be seen in NOLA.com and The Times Picayune (RIP), USA Today, The Advocate, 225 Magazine, WAFB-TV, Louisiana Public Broadcasting and The Daily Reveille.