Meet the 20-21 Arts Journalists

Natasha Breu

Natasha Breu—Art/Contemporary Art

Natasha is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where majored in journalism with a minor in art history. She was involved with the university newspaper as a reporter and editor. She studied abroad in Italy and later reported on art and culture for the study abroad website. Natasha plans to continue pursuing her passion for art, specifically contemporary art, in the Goldring program.

Sarah Connor

Sarah Connor—Music

Sarah Connor is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied English and communication. Although her most recent gig was writing for Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering Magazine, her passion as a journalist lies with music, specifically rock n’ roll. Sarah’s love for music journalism began while she was the culture editor at the student paper, Pitt News. From there, she earned arts and entertainment writing internships at Pittsburgh Magazine and Pittsburgh CityPaper. Her ultimate goal as an arts journalist is to improve the visibility of women in the music industry.

Emily Ehle

Emily Ehle—Film

Emily graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in marketing. During her time at Georgetown, she played lacrosse and worked various jobs but eventually found her passion while working for Fine Films, an Academy Award-winning film production company based in Washington, D.C. It was during this experience that she realized storytelling is one of the most powerful tools in the pursuit of forming connections. She is driven to immerse herself in the world of cinema and plans to do so through pen and paper.

Patrick Henkels

Patrick Henkels—Music

Patrick Henkels graduated from Newhouse with a bachelor’s degree in newspaper and online journalism. As an undergraduate, he served as the entertainment lead producer for TheNewsHouse.com, contributing 14 stories. He specializes in music journalism, with stories ranging from event coverage to artist profiles. Outside Newhouse, Patrick gained professional experience as an intern for Zumic Entertainment, a music journalism website based in Brooklyn, where he published several reviews on new music and trending artists.

Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson—Theater

Emily Johnson is a graduate of SUNY Oswego, where she majored in English and journalism. Her academic success during her final semester—despite the pandemic—led her to discover how well she works under pressure, a necessary trait for any journalist. In the summer of 2019, she was an intern at The Palladium-Times in Oswego, where she learned more about herself as a journalist in a real-world setting.

Cydney Lee

Cydney Lee—Music and Culture

Hailing from Philadelphia, Cydney is an emerging culture writer and journalist. A freelancer, she has written for Nylon, VICE and Okayplayer. During her undergraduate career at Syracuse University, she took on roles as a music columnist and staff writer for The Daily Orange. Last summer, she interned at Nylon in New York City, where she was able to network and grow both professionally and personally. Cydney is fully immersed in Black popular culture, and while her passion is music, she is looking forward to diversifying her writing portfolio to include TV, film, fashion and sports.

Veronica Maldonado

Veronica Maldonado—Music

A classically trained violinist, metalhead, occasional music teacher and Lincoln Center regular, Veronica is also a contributor to Dwell Magazine and writes about music for Salon Du Mal, a culture blog she runs with friends and former classmates. Her arts background fuels her passion for cultural criticism, specifically applying it to classical music, opera and avant-garde metal. Veronica earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Bryn Mawr College and holds a master’s degree in design history and theory from Parsons School of Art.

Matthew Nerber

Matthew Nerber—Film

Matthew is a freelance arts writer and a 2019 fellow at the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, with bylines in the Buffalo News, Berkshire Fine Arts and Third Coast Review. He earned a B.F.A. in theatre performance from the University at Buffalo, is a graduate of Shattered Globe Theatre Company’s Protege Program and was a proud ensemble member of Interrobang Theatre Project in Chicago. At Newhouse, Matthew concentrates on film writing, and hopes to bring the perspective of an artist to the craft of arts journalism. 

Samantha Savery

Samantha Savery—Film and Television

Samantha graduated from the University of North Carolina – Asheville with a degree in mass communication. She served as a copy editor and opinion editor for The Blue Banner, the university’s student-led newspaper, where she improved her editorial, interview and leadership skills. As a reporter with aspirations to cover film and television, Samantha plans to hone her craft during her time in the Goldring program. She ultimately hopes to showcase the voices and visions of those who are often unheard, while inspiring herself and others with their stories.

JD Scribner

JD Scribner—Music and Culture

JD is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he studied business and global politics. Upon graduation, he began working in the music industry, both as an event specialist, managing traffic and camping at music festivals, and as a marketing intern at a radio station. JD is also a DJ, releasing monthly mixes that allow him to share his music taste while also constantly digging for new music. At Newhouse he hopes to sharpen his writing skills and deepen his knowledge of digital media.

Mackenzie Snell

Mackenzie Snell—Art and Theater

Mackenzie is a graduate of the University of Toronto, with degrees in art history and history. Recently, Mackenzie was the social media coordinator for the university’s Festival of Dance. Her community work also includes theater and performance, both behind the scenes and on stage. Spending a semester at the University of Glasgow inspired her to explore and embrace a more global perspective on cultural and societal issues within the arts. She has a particular interest in the areas of art repatriation, equal access and technological innovation.

Jerald Raymond Pierce G’18

Jerald Raymond Pierce graduated from Newhouse’s Goldring Arts Journalism program in 2018. While at Newhouse, he worked as a marketing department intern at Syracuse Stage and an editorial intern at American Theatre magazine. Pierce currently works as associate editor for American Theatreand as a freelance theatre critic for the Chicago Tribune.

“Newhouse gave me the groundwork in what it means to be a journalist.”

Jerald Raymond Pierce, G’18

How did you obtain your current position?

I was an intern for American Theatre while at Newhouse and when Diep Tran (another Goldring alum) left her position with the magazine, I jumped at the chance to join the team full-time. Before that, I was freelancing, mostly writing about television, plus an occasional feature for American Theatre.

What’s an average day like for you on the job?

An average day typically involves bouncing between tracking press releases as they come in for any newsworthy items for the magazine’s website, writing or interviewing for any feature stories I have in the works, and copy editing, fact checking, and proofing articles for the print magazine.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

Well, I came into Newhouse with absolutely no journalism in my background, I was just a theatre person who enjoyed writing reviews for fun who took a leap at going to school for it. Newhouse gave me the groundwork in what it means to be a journalist. Newhouse gave structure to my interest in writing. Then, working with TheNewsHouse allowed me to take a stab at being an editor both in terms of overseeing copy, but also working with a variety of journalists to cover news and events. Most importantly though, the program introduced me to so many fantastic editors and journalists working in the field, both alums and friends of the program, who have helped me get where I am today.

Did Newhouse open your eyes to new professions or aspect of your field you may have not considered when applying?

When I started at Newhouse, I had my mind pretty set on wanting to be a theatre critic. It wasn’t until I was going through Newhouse that I realized I enjoyed the other parts of journalism—the interviews, the research, the actual reporting—in addition to spouting my opinions for hundreds of words on end.

What unique features of your graduate program drew you to it in the first place?

The Goldring program was appealing both because it was only one year, and it was the only journalism program around that allowed me to focus on writing about theatre and the arts specifically. Since I was 27 and had been working a steady job for three years before starting Newhouse, I was looking for a program that could give me the skills and education (especially the basics) I needed while not keeping me out of the workforce too long. Not to mention, it’s really hard to say no to a program that takes you to places like the Toronto International Film Festival and Spoleto Festival USA down in Charleston, S.C.

What are some obstacles or misconceptions about your field that students ought to be aware of?

The obstacles of writing about the arts have been covered ad nauseum of late. Publications, in efforts to cut down on costs, have been eliminating or severely reducing their arts coverage and arts staffs. I would say that the misconception is that this all means there are absolutely no jobs to be had. The reality is, they’re difficult to find, but they’re out there. It goes back to the old saying that luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Newhouse and the Goldring program provided the preparation and, considering all of the chances to meet and talk to people in my field of interest, they also provided the opportunity. The Goldring program gave me a chance to be a little lucky.

What moments in your career have been most exciting or defining thus far?

This is tough, since it still feels like I’m so early on. The two that spring to mind are seeing the announcement go out on Twitter that I was joining American Theatre – I knew I was, but seeing it on Twitter made it somehow feel even more official – and having two of my reviews on the front page of the Chicago Tribune’s Thanksgiving Day Arts & Entertainment section. Both were just really cool moments of feeling like I’m actually doing this for real.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

I would just say to not be afraid – or too ingrained in your vision for your time at Newhouse – to try new things, skills or classes. For every class I loved, there was another I wish I had also been able to take.

Follow Pierce:

Distinguished Goldring Scholarships

Thanks to a generous gift from program founder and Syracuse University Trustee Lola Goldring and her husband, Allen, financial aid is available for highly qualified students.

Above: Goldring students at the Glimmerglass festival in 2010.

This includes five competitive Distinguished Goldring Scholarships, comprising $20,000 awards for talented emerging journalists in the fields of:

Who is eligible for the Distiguished Goldring Scholarships?

All Goldring program applicants are eligible upon completion of the application process. Be sure to indicate your wish to be considered for financial aid, and remember that you must submit a special scholarship application essay in order to be considered.

How are applicants chosen for the scholarships?

The Goldring Scholarship Committee will read all applications, including the required scholarship application essay. The director will interview the candidates and make recommendations to the committee. The program reserves the right to not award all five Distinguished Scholarships in a given year.

When will I be notified if I’ve received the Distinguished Goldring Scholarship or other financial aid?

Admittance notification is sent to applicants on March 1. Financial aid offers and scholarship notifications are sent on April 1.

How do I apply for the Distinguished Goldring Scholarship?

Please write a 1,000-word essay about the state of your field of cultural concentration (film/television; theater; visual arts/architecture; music/dance; or the politics of culture) and analyze the writers and publications that have informed your perspective. Tell us your career goals and what you will bring to your field of endeavor in the future.

Goldring Advisory Board

Dante Ciampaglia ’07, director, digital editorial strategy, College Board

Nick DeSantis ’13, editorial graphics producer, Forbes

Lola Goldring ’51, founder of the Goldring program

Logan Hill, film and pop culture writer

Patrick Hosken ’15, music editor, MTV News

PennyMaria Jackson ’09, marketing director, Apollo Theatre

Raquel Laneri ’07, contributing writer, New York Post

Arielle Tepper Madover ’94, broadway producer

Jack Myers ’69, media ecologist and chairman, MyersBixNet

Howard Polskin ’73, president, Polskin Media

Joyce Tudryn ’81, president and CEO, International Radio & Television Society Foundation

Tamara Vallejos ’10, director of marketing and communications, Ars Nova

Rob Weinert-Kendt, editor-in-chief, American Theatre

Stephen Wilkes ’80, photographer, Stephen Wilkes Photography

Laurie Wolfert ’76, travel manager, Overseas Military Sales Corporation

Andrea Henderson G’18

In 2018, Andrea Henderson graduated from the Newhouse School with a master’s in arts journalism. Before attending Syracuse, she worked for local newspapers, websites and magazines in Houston, Texas. While at Newhouse, Henderson was a digital communications intern at Light Work Gallery and a graduate assistant for the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship. Post-graduation, she worked as a podcast intern and then production/news assistant at the National Public Radio (NPR) office in Washington, D.C. Currently, Henderson is a full time reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

“Newhouse opened my eyes to other areas of journalism.”

Andrea Henderson G’18

How did you obtain your current position, and what positions did you hold before it?

A couple of months after I graduated from Syracuse, I accepted a podcast internship with National Public Radio (NPR). The internship taught me podcast production, how to report for a national audience and how to edit and produce for radio under tight deadlines. Once the internship was over, I accepted temporary positions within the company to learn more about audio editing and reporting. Since I knew I wanted to continue on as an audio reporter, I began looking for audio reporting positions across the states and, shortly after, I found out about a grant-funded reporting position. I applied for the job, and here I am today.

What’s an average day like for you on the job?

Andrea Henderson G'18
Andrea Henderson

Each day is different, especially if I am working on a feature audio story. However, I try to start the day at 7 a.m. I check in on news that happened overnight, nationally and locally. While reading the news, I look for a potential story to run a radio spot on that day. I try to make it into the office between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. and work until about 5 p.m., but that is not an everyday occurrence. If there is a spot that my editor wants me to work on for the day, then I will report it out in the morning, have two radio scripts ready for edit by 1 p.m., and a short web post for edit by 4 p.m. If I do not have a story to cover, then I use the day to work on scripts, edit audio, research and take meetings with potential sources. I am pretty new to the city, so I use every free moment as a networking opportunity. At my job, I am required to produce two features a month, so when I am light on work, I am in the field collecting sound, interviewing subjects and taking pictures for my next feature. Some days I work until the wee hours (at home of course) and some days I am able to leave the office around 4 p.m. The early days are rare, but they do happen.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

I really believe it was, first and foremost, the connections I made within Newhouse. All of my professors left a lasting impression on me in some form. Most of them are still in the industry today, which gave me an insider’s look at the area of journalism I wanted to pursue.

A couple of skills that took my career to the next level was learning video and audio editing. Although, I do not use video at my current job, it is still a skill I keep up with for future opportunities. I came into the arts journalism program with long form writing skills, and the AJ courses helped me learn how to say more with less words. 

What are some obstacles or misconceptions about your field that students ought to be aware of?

Please note that, in media, there is no one path to your career. There will be some disappointments when it comes to the job market, so don’t get discouraged if you do not land a job right out of graduate school. You have to continue to apply for jobs, take freelance gigs and temporary work until you receive the job of your dreams. Also, invest in yourself, because the media landscape is everchanging. Do not depend on any one media outlet to be around forever because most likely they will not. Start brainstorming ideas now so that you can be a media entrepreneur in the future.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

Over the course of your time at Newhouse, be prepared to work and never sleep. However, just know those sleepless nights will pay off in the end. Come in with a plan or at least an outline of what you want to accomplish while in graduate school and make it your goal to complete every line on your list.  Be sure to audit as many classes as you can because you can learn valuable skills without having to pay for the courses. Lastly, get comfortable with networking because you will have to do this for the rest of your career.

When looking for courses, you won’t go wrong with classes offered by Corey TakahashiSean BranaganAileen GallagherJon GlassJim Shahin and any professor in the arts journalism program.

Andrea’s work:

Careers

When it comes to looking for a job, Goldring graduates have an edge.

While studying at Newhouse, they gain real-world experience through internships and professional freelance work, and enter the job market with well-developed professional portfolios.

Here are what some Goldring Arts Journalism graduates are doing now:

Patrick Hosken G’15

Music Editor
MTV News

Suzanne Schaffer G’07

Senior Producer, Performance Today
American Public Media

Nigel M. Smith G’10

News Editor (Movies)
PEOPLE Magazine

Diep Tran G’11

Features Editor
Broadway.com

Featured Alumni

Newhouse arts journalism alumni are reporting on arts and culture in cities around the country. Some write for digital publications and television networks. Others use their skills at arts organizations.

Faculty

Goldring faculty members represent multiple Syracuse University schools and colleges and are joined by guest faculty from the arts world.

Master’s

Traditionally, arts journalists have started out either as artists who learned to write or as writers who became passionately interested in writing about an art form.

The Goldring arts journalism and communications program offers a uniquely flexible combination of courses designed to meet the educational objectives of each student while also providing training in multimedia communications

Curriculum

Working closely with two advisers, the program director and a faculty member specializing in a key area of arts and culture, you identify your educational goals and shape your own unique curriculum of journalism, communications and arts courses.

Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications Master’s Schedule

Total credits: 36

Summer Session II – 6 credits (July)

AJC 602Arts Reporting3 credits
MND 605News Writing and Reporting*3 credits

Fall Semester – 14 credits

AJC 606Feature & Critical Writing3 credits
AJC 615Cultural Issues I1 credits
AJC 616Cultural Issues II1 credits
COM 698Media Law3 credits
Electives**6 credits

Spring Semester – 10 credits

AJC 611Literature of Arts Journalism3 credits
AJC 621Practicum: NYC Arts1 credits
AJC 636Culture Media Practicum***3 credits
Elective**3 credits

Summer Session I – 6 credits

AJC 631Capstone Arts Writing Workshop6 credits

* Students with substantial journalism background may petition to substitute a suitable elective.

** Additional graduate courses in architecture, film, fine arts, music or theater, as well as journalism, communications and writing courses.

***AJC 636 can be repeated once. Students who wish to take this class as an elective in the fall semester in addition to the required spring section, may do so with permission of their advisor.