Tony Bartelme was awarded Columbia Journalism School’s prestigious 2021 John Chancellor Award. Judges cited a career of ground-breaking environmental and investigative stories that stretched the limits of what local newspapers offer their readers. He is senior project reporter for The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina.
Benoit Denizet-Lewis, an associate professor at Emerson College and a longtime contributing writer with The New York Times Magazine, was awarded a 2022 New America fellowship. He will work on a new book, “We Don’t Know You Anymore,” about people who experience significant shifts to an identity or belief system.
Juliana Tafur was selected as a Obama Foundation Scholar for the 2021-2022 academic year at Columbia University. She will join 11 other rising leaders from the United States and around the world who are already making a difference in their communities.
Juliana was chosen for designing and implementing a listening methodology to inspire positive dialogue across differences and foster human connection, following the production of her award-winning documentary List(e)n.
Her film brings together Americans with opposing viewpoints and facilitates opportunities for them to connect across their differences. Inspired by the documentary, she created Listen Courageously, a workshop series providing tools for participants to engage in heart-centered dialogue.
She runs Story Powerhouse, a professional and social development organization that uses film to cultivate understanding. Her workshops have built bridges at corporate settings, academic institutions and non-profit organizations, guiding participants in empathic listening.
Lori Montgomery was named Business Editor of The Washington Post, leading a rapidly expanding staff that covers the national economy, economic policy and the tech industry. Lori joined The Post in 2000, and most recently served as deputy National Editor.
Gregor Gilliom (MSJ ’90) is owner and editorial director of Versatile Words (www.versatilewords.com), a writing and content strategy practice that serves countless regional and national brands, including NetJets, Nationwide, JPMorganChase, and Target. Founded in 2005, Versatile Words has won dozens of awards for copywriting and creative collaboration, and Gregor recently received the Ed Grauer Leadership Award, the highest honor given by Columbus Society of Communication Arts, the region’s leading creative industry organization.
Prior to his work with Versatile Words, he worked for eight years in magazine editorial, including titles based in Chicago, San Francisco, Madison, and Columbus, Ohio, where he served as founding editor of Columbus CEO magazine. He and his family live in Upper Arlington, a suburb of Columbus.
Debbie Cassell is senior associate director of marketing and communications for alumni relations and development at Northwestern University. In her spare time, she is president of the Evanston Community Tennis Association. Debbie also was producer of the Woman’s Club of Evanston’s 68th Annual Revue, “Singin’ in the Game,” an evening of musical comedy that raised funds for Girls Play Sports, a local nonprofit; Debbie wrote several song parodies—on topics such as commonly mispronounced words, sports bras and presidential tweets—for the benefit show, in addition to directing and performing.
Meribah Knight won a 2021 Peabody award for the second season of her podcast, The Promise. The series, reported and hosted by Meribah, tells the story of two neighborhood schools divided by race and economics: one almost entirely Black and low-income, the other almost all white and well off.
Meribah is a senior reporter/producer of special projects with Nashville Public Radio. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a photojournalist at the Tennessean, their 2-year-old son and the family’s five cats.
Joanne C. Gerstner was elected to the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, for its 2021 class. She joins the two other female sports media already elected to the Hall, and she is the first female sports writer. She is being honored for her award-winning career and leadership to advocate and promote women in sports media.
After starting her career (post-IMC) as the Director of Strategy for Canada’s most awarded technology agency, Parisa Durrani is now the President of BASMA Beauty. BASMA Beauty launched this spring and their first product – The Foundation Stick – has been dubbed a “game-changer” by Beyonce’s makeup artist. It has also been featured in NYLON Magazine, Byrdie, Refiner29 and Bustle.
Cate was recently promoted to Director of Integrated Marketing overseeing all Beauty, Wellness and Luxury partnerships at Vice Media Group (which includes VICE, ViceTV, Refinery29, i-D, Garage, Pulse Films and Virtue Worldwide). Her experiences also includes being a Lead Strategist at Byte New York, a digital innovation agency, where she worked on accounts such as UGG, Johnson & Johnson and Ariana Grande.