Reporting Staff 2019

Kate Cammell writes about gender and sexuality, religion and the literary arts. Before attending Columbia, she studied creative writing at the University of Michigan and worked in publishing. She’s currently interning at PEN America. In her free time, she loves practicing yoga or reading. She covers Progressive Evangelicals.

Zoé Chevalier is a French reporter who graduated from Williams College with a degree in political science and Spanish. Previously, she wrote for U.S. News and World Report and The Buffalo News. She covers Pentecostals.

Zoe Chiriseri is a lawyer by profession and before coming to Columbia Journalism School she was a filmmaker and advocate for women’s rights in the South African film industry. She produces visual and print stories on issues of race and gender, mental health and poverty. She covers Hispanic Christians.

Kelly Davis received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA, where she studied communication and African American studies. She wrote for the UCLA Daily Bruin newspaper and was an intern at C-SPAN. She covers mainline churches.

Meenketan Jha, an Indian journalist who lived in Hong Kong for 10 years, is a broadcast student at Columbia Journalism School. His reporting interests are South Asian politics, religion, and sports. He is an ardent football follower and Liverpool FC is his favorite club. He covers Dharmic religions. 

Annick Laurent is a journalist and photographer from New York. Before studying documentary filmmaking at Columbia Journalism School, she earned a degree in Biology from Spelman College. Laurent’s interests include race and gender relations, culture, politics and the environment. She covers African American churches.

Rita Omokha graduated from Northeastern University and has worked for CNN, NBC and Viacom in sales and marketing. Before coming to Columbia Journalism School, she was an independent public relations consultant. She covers Native American traditions.

Esohe Osabuohien graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in Spanish and Communication Studies. Before Columbia Journalism School, she reported from Havana, Cuba courtesy of a Pulitzer on Crisis Reporting Fellowship. She is passionate about topics at the intersection of race and culture. She covers Voodoo.

Kaitlyn Martin is a journalist from Brooklyn. A Bachelor of Arts graduate from Stony Brook University, where she studied journalism and public affairs, her reporting interests include politics, social justice, and arts and culture. She covers Judaism.

Neha Mehrotra studied literature at Ashoka University in India and has covered religious and casteist violence around New Delhi. She interned at various nonprofits and newspapers, including the Wire and Indian Express before coming to Columbia Journalism School. She covers Islam.

Ricardo da Silva, S.J., was born in Portugal and raised in South Africa. He studied theology at Faculdade Jesuíta, Brazil and philosophy at Heythrop College, London. A Jesuit and ordained deacon of the Roman Catholic church, he was acting editor of before Columbia Journalism School. He covers Roman Catholicism. 

Madeline Simpson graduated from Bethel University (MN) with degrees in journalism and finance. She is a proud Minnesotan native and loves anything deep-fried. Before journalism school, where her reporting focus is on religion, she worked at a consulting firm as a financial analyst. She covers Conservative Evangelicals.


Professor Ari L. Goldman, a former religion correspondent for The New York Times, has been teaching the “Covering Religion” seminar at Columbia since 1993. This year’s study-tour is the 18th he’s led with Columbia students. In past years, the class has gone to Russia, Ukraine, Italy, India, Ireland, Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. Professor Goldman was born in Hartford, Conn., and was educated at Yeshiva University, Columbia and Harvard.  He is the author of four books, including the best-selling The Search for God at Harvard. His new book, The Late Starters Orchestra, was published in June 2014.

Gregory Khalil is the co-founder and President of Telos, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit that equips American leaders and their communities to better engage seemingly intractable conflict. Much of Telos’ work has centered on the role of faith leaders and culture shapers in  America’s relationship to Israel/Palestine and the broader Middle East. Prior to founding Telos, Greg was a legal and communications adviser to Palestinian leaders on peace negotiations with Israel. Greg is also a founding member and chair of the board of directors of Narrative 4, a global non-profit that seeks to use story and media to cultivate empathy across divides. He has lectured internationally and his writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Review of Faith & International Affairs. Greg is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and Yale Law School. He co-teaches “Covering Religion” with Professor Ari Goldman.

Melanie Huff is the Associate Dean of Students at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. This is her fourth time accompanying the Covering Religion class on its annual study tour. She has been to India, Ireland, Jordan, Israel and Palestine with the class.  Dean Huff has degrees from Barnard College and Teachers College, both of Columbia University.

Professor Duy Linh Tu is a journalist and documentary filmmaker, focusing on education, science, and social justice. His work has appeared in print, online, on television, and in theaters. He is also the author of “Narrative Storytelling for Multimedia Journalists” (Focal Press). Professor Tu is also a graduate of the Journalism program.

Cynthia Betubiza, this year’s teaching assistant, is a Ugandan-American journalist and writer. She’s a Columbia Journalism School graduation specializing in the audio and radio fields and writes across many subjects. She has worked with NPR, Marketplace, Vox, TED and more. Outside interests include film, world cultures, and socioeconomics.