Meet the Board

Chris Riotta
Part-time MS '21

Chris Riotta is a Master’s Candidate at Columbia Journalism School and currently works as a U.S. correspondent for The Independent. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where he was also a member of the SPJ chapter. An award-winning journalist, Riotta has covered beats as diverse as breaking news, culture, immigration and politics for a variety of new media and legacy news outlets. 

Liann Herder
Vice President/Academic Affairs Chair
Part-time MS '21

A native of Texas, Liann graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, and spent her years after graduation working in education as a teacher and an administrator. Since joining Columbia, she has been published in the Brooklyn Eagle and received honors on her Master's Thesis about the effects on the mental health of healthcare workers during the pandemic. She specializes in culture, gender, education, and mental health.

Arooba Kazmi
University Senate Representative
Part-time MS '21

Hey all, I'm a second-year part-time M.S. journalism student at Columbia University. I chose to join SPJ this year to effectively represent the entire student body and to assist with tuition reimbursement following the pandemic as well as entry level jobs and internships for early career journalists and any concerns regarding the journalism department. If you have any questions or concerns or simply just want to do a quick zoom call, please feel free to reach out to me at any time!

Katherine 'Tori' Lutz
Secretary/Part-time Rep.
Part-time MS '21

Tori Lutz graduated from Florida State University, where she served as president of a prominent poetry organization. She is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn.

Remmy Bahati
Deadline Club/Professional Organizations Liaison
Full-time MS '21

Remmy Bahati graduated from Ndejje University and has worked as a journalist for nine years in the US and abroad with NBS Television. A recipient of the Deadline Club Scholarship herself, she is deeply involved with the organization. As liaison between the Deadline Club and other professional organizations, Bahati works to coordinate events and opportunities for journalism school students with these groups.

Griselda 'Gris' Lopez
Social Media Manager/Part-Time Representative
Part-time MS '21


Jasmine Fernandez
Community Service Chair
Part-time MS '22


Shanna Kelly
Student Life Chair
Full-time MS '21

Shanna Kelly, a New Jersey native, is a full-time Columbia Journalism School graduate student. She graduated from James Madison University’s Honors College where she studied journalism, Spanish, translation and interpretation, and was managing editor of The Breeze. She’s also the founder of the news site Seven Mile Satellite. As the student life chair Shanna is working to make this year the best it can be, hybrid or not.


Kate Stockrahm
Speakers Director
Full-time MS '21

Kate is originally from Dearborn, Michigan—yes, she's happy to show you where that is when you hold a hand out in a mitten shape—and found her way to journalism school after seven years in the bustling events & hospitality industry of Washington, DC. As Speakers Director, Kate is charged with bringing dynamic and engaging journalists, editors, and creators to campus (or your computer screen) to talk shop and share their professional insights.


Megan Zerez
Webmaster/Part-time Rep.
Part-time Stabile MS '21
Twitter: @meganzerez

Megan Zerez came to the journalism school from Dallas, Texas, where she worked in bioengineering before the "side-gig" as a local freelance writer eclipsed her work in the lab. Her award-winning work can be found on The Texas Standard, WNYC, KERA, and The West Side Rag, amongst others. As webmaster, she handles the day-to-day function of this site (and welcomes any feedback.)

Andrew Little
Part-time Rep.
Part-time MS '22


Lindsey Case
Board Member
Part-time MS '22

Eli Rallo
Board Member
Full-time MS '21