Alumni on the Move: Columbia Journalism Graduates Publish New Works, Receive Industry Promotions and Attend Academy Awards

CJS alumni have proven themselves to be more than masters of their craft — they are trailblazers in the field.

March 21, 2024

Read on to see a handful of highlights.

Photo of Aronson-Rath and others in the Oscars Press Room.

Raney Aronson-Rath, ’95 M.S., won an Oscar for producing the first-person narrative "20 Days in Mariupol," which documented the beginning stages of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Read her describing the journey to this accolade in an op-ed for FRONTLINE. 

llyssa Daly, ’22 M.S. Stabile, and Nate Rosenfield, '23 M.S. Stabile, were selected as Goldsmith Prize finalists in 2024 and worked with Jerry Mitchell of Mississippi Today and The New York Times to reveal abuse and corruption in Mississippi's sheriff agencies. Their work, which has received support from the Pulitzer Center and Big Local News, has brought attention to systemic problems and prompted federal action against the accused authorities.

Laurence Leamer, ’69 M.S., already saw success for his acclaimed book "Capote's Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era" — and on January 31, 2024, FX & Hulu premiered the original series, Feud: Capote vs. the Swans, based on Leamer's bestseller.

Headshot of Omokha with her book "Resist"

Rita Omokha, ‘20 M.S., announced her upcoming new book “Resist.” The book describes how young Black activists have been at the forefront of the fight against injustice from the 1920s to today. “The inspiration and initial reporting for the book were made possible by the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship I received at graduation in 2020,” Omokha explained. Read more about how she spent her fellowship here.  

Karen Petersen, ’00 M.S., won the 2022 National Wil Mills Prize for her poetry chapbook, "Trembling." Her varied experiences have influenced her widely read writing, which has earned her recognition as a significant voice in contemporary literature and five Pushcart Prize nominations in 2019, in addition to a spot on the Bridport Prize list in 2021. Most recently, in 2023, Petersen's poem "My Long Island" was long-listed for the Peter Porter Prize.

Alexis Sobel Fitts

Alexis Sobel Fitts, ’13 M.A. Science, was promoted to Technology Editor at the Washington Post, and recognized for impactful coverage of the tech industry's political and cultural impact. Fitts will now lead coverage on the global regulation of technology, the influence of AI, and the dynamics of Silicon Valley in collaboration with Yun-Hee Kim '00 to enhance the Post's technology reporting.

Cassandra Vinograd, ’07 M.S., recently became a senior news editor for the New York Times International desk in London, bringing two decades of Middle Eastern, African, and European reporting expertise. Having previously worked for The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, CBS's "60 Minutes," and NBC News Digital, Vinograd has received recognition for her coverage of significant international events, such as the Gaza War and the Ukraine Conflict. 

Celebrate these community members, Alumni Award winners and more at the 2024 Alumni Weekend. Learn more and get your all-access pass today.