Meet the Board

Fall 2021 Semester SPJ Board Members

Tanika Dsouza
President
MA Arts & Culture

Contact: tanika.dsouza@columbia.edu

Tanika D’Souza is a Master of Arts Candidate at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Originally from Bangalore, India, and born and raised in Dubai, she has spent the last decade working and living in Melbourne, Australia, where she earned a degree in Psychology and Art History from the University of Melbourne, before going on to work as an analyst in wealth management. A recipient of the Wigram Allen Oratory Award and Leeper Scripture Prize, Tanika has contributed to several publications across the Middle East and Australia, including Harper’s Bazaar Art, Vogue Arabia, and Villa 88.

In her role as SPJ President, Tanika intends to represent the needs of the student body, advocate for change where it is required, and uphold a system of accountability, transparency, and fairness to the best of her ability.

Evelyn Nam
Vice President
Full-time MS ’22

Contact: yn2420@columbia.edu

Evelyn Nam graduated from Cornell University in May 2016 and pursued two master’s degrees at Harvard University before coming to Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She has written and spoken about feminism and women’s liberation movement publicly. At Columbia, she is pursuing criminal justice and policy reporting. As a vice president of SPJ, Evelyn assists the president and the board in advocating for student needs to the adminsitration and establishing a tradition that supports, empowers, and includes all students across race, gender, nationality, and class.

Tavleen Tarrant
Speakers Director
Full-Time M.S. ’22 – Documentary Track

Contact: tat2157@columbia.edu

Tavleen Tarrant (she/her) is a 26-year-old currently pursuing her Master’s in Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, in the documentary specialization. She is also a freelance writer who writes about gender, labor rights, politics, and everything in between. She is passionate about feminism, politics, social justice and activism, international political economy, screenwriting, and documentaries.

She has lived in eight cities in six countries (Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, France, Australia, and the United States). Currently, she lives in New York City.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences in International Relations with first-class honors from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and International Relations from the University of Queensland.

In her free time, she facetimes her cat, Tubby the Tabby.

Teja Pallikonda
Secretary
Full Time M.S. ’22

Contact: trp2135@columbia.edu


Teja Pallikonda is a Master of Science student at Columbia from Boston, Massachusetts. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After graduating college during the COVID-19 pandemic, Teja, along with her college best friends, created the “Three (Un)wise Women” podcast. A society and culture program that discussed topics ranging from racism, sexism, politics, to mental health, “Three (Un)wise Women” was Teja’s first venture into the world of podcasting and journalism. At Columbia, she hopes to specialize in audio storytelling to continue her passion for discussing important topics and narratives not often highlighted in the media.

Emily Dattilo
Student Life Chair
Full-time MS ’22

Contact: ecd2156@columbia.edu

Emily Dattilo is from Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Miami University in May 2021 with degrees in journalism and psychology. She served as a managing editor at her college newspaper and was chapter president of The Society of Professional Journalists. She was the features intern at Cape Cod Times during summer 2020. In her free time, she enjoys working on art projects, walking in Central Park and listening to music.

Cailey Griffin
Community Service Chair
Full-time MS ’22

Contact: cjg2192@columbia.edu

Cailey Griffin is from the South Side of Chicago. She graduated with a B.A degree in Communication from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in May 2020. She has interned at 60 Minutes, NBC News, and most recently Foreign Policy magazine. Outside of Columbia, she can be found watching a theatre performance or practicing yoga. She’s excited to work on events to help our school get involved in the community.

Anastasia Johnson
Deadline Club & Professional Organization Liaison
Full-time MS ’22

Contact: anastasia.johnson@columbia.edu

Born in Toronto and raised in Montreal, Canada, Anastasia Johnson is a Grammy-shortlisted and award-winning writer, singer and actress. Having combined her love of people and the performing arts as a journalist, she has covered Politics at the Senate of Canada, as well as Arts, Culture and Business journalism at the Washington Square News.

Before joining Columbia Journalism’s M.S. program, Anastasia earned a B.A(Hons.) at the University of Toronto, a M.F.A at NYU Tisch and a Professional Certificate in the Performing Arts at AMDA Conservatory. In her free time, she loves listening to podcasts, dancing and traveling. Anastasia looks forward to serving the student body as a connector.

Agha Raza
Webmaster
Full-time MS ’22

Contact: agha.raza@columbia.edu

Agha Raza grew up in Lahore, Pakistan. After graduating from DePaul University, Agha worked with a broadcast news network as the team lead of the digital media department, establishing the organization’s web presence and social media footprint. Agha was also the Diplomatic Affairs beat reporter at the news network. Outside of the media world, Agha also opened a restaurant in his hometown under the name Gully Bites, serving Lahore street food.

Sydney Murphy
Webmaster
Full-time MS ’22

Contact: murphy.sydney@columbia.edu

Sydney Murphy is from Phoenix, Arizona, and earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and German from Wheaton College, MA. She is currently the Senior Editor of an online magazine, BLENDtw, where she manages the editorial team and trains web developers in the beginning stages of their careers. Sydney covers beats in healthcare, scientific research and environmental science.

Hayley Woodin
Chair, Film and Documentary Committee
Full-time MS ’22

Contact: h.woodin@columbia.edu

Prior to Columbia, Hayley Woodin served as the executive editor of Business in Vancouver, a weekly print publication and breaking news website, and the only business-focused newspaper in British Columbia. In this role, she led BIV’s portfolio of more than a dozen magazines, and contributed to the editorial direction of the organization. Hayley has contributed extensively to BIV’s print, digital and broadcast journalism as a reporter and editor since 2016.

Hayley is a New York City correspondent to BBC Radio’s Business Matters program, and currently chairs Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s journalism program advisory committee. She is a former media fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation, and is a regular emcee and moderator at industry, community and charitable functions. Hayley is in the M.S. program at the Columbia University School of Journalism.

Gabriela Aoun
General Board Member, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Rep
Full-time MS ’22

Contact: gia2108@columbia.edu

Gabriela Aoun came to Columbia from Encinitas, California, where she worked as a content director at an adventure sports media group. She has written for several outdoor magazines including Outside, SURFER, Men’s Journal and The Surfer’s Journal. She has also worked as an associate editor at The Huffington Post and as a researcher for a book on nuclear security policy. Gabriela is half Puerto Rican, half Venezuelan, and looks forward to supporting students with any concerns, requests or initiatives surrounding inclusion and accessibility.

Juliette Gaudemer
General Board Member
Full-time MS ’22

Contact: jag2418@columbia.edu

Juliette Gaudemer was born in Texas, but grew up in France where she developed a taste for creative writing and journalism. She graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in journalism, and she currently works as an International Reporter at Modern Treatise to cover geopolitics and cultural news in Latin America. Passionate about Social Issues and American Affairs, Juliette wants to write human-interest books and work freelance while traveling across the states.

Meg Kelly
General Board Member
Part-time MS ’23

Contact: mk4545@columbia.edu

Meg Kelly is from New Jersey and graduated from Lehigh University in 2017. After graduation, she interned at PBS before joining NBC as a Page. Her work in her current role as an anchor producer at MSNBC earned her two Emmy nominations.

Richard Abbey
General Board Member
Full-time MS Data ‘22

Contact: raa2213@columbia.edu

Richard A. Abbey is a Ghanaian award-winning business journalist and an MS Data Journalism candidate at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He’s worked as a journalist in the last decade in his home country, Ghana where he rose to the level of Managing Editor in his last role at the country’s first-ever digital business publication, Business24. He’s passionate about using data to tell stories of underserved and marginalized communities. He’s covered events such as the World Bank/IMF meetings, Mobile World Congress etc. He likes to see new places.

Shakeeb Asrar
General Board Member
Full-time MS ‘22

Contact: ma4211@columbia.edu

Shakeeb Asrar hails from Lahore, Pakistan and has lived in Doha, Qatar for the past eight years. He completed his undergraduate at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and studied at both its campuses in Qatar and Illinois. He has previously worked at Al Jazeera English and USA Today, and received reporting grants from the Pulitzer Center and South Asian Journalists Association. Shakeeb is specializing in documentary filmmaking and is passionate about covering stories from the global South.