What J/MS alumni are doing now…

By Vicki Chen

Frank Sternberg

Frank SternbergS
Frank Sternberg • Photo provided by Frank Sternberg

Sternberg is the senior account executive at the media and strategy-consulting firm of Message & Media in New Brunswick, where he has worked since 1993. After completing his studies, Sternberg served as the director of communications for then Congressman (now U.S. Sen.) Robert Menendez in Union City from 1987 to 1992.
In 1989 he married Douglass College graduate Pegeen Roche Sternberg at Kirkpatrick Chapel. Together they are raising four sons in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. Sternberg is also a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, the Greater Bethlehem Area Soccer League, and the Knights of Columbus.
Bonnie Cohen Lafazan

Lafazan is the Library Director at Berkeley College’s Woodbridge, NJ campus. She lectures and presents at library conferences locally and nationally, focusing on creating library programming, digital and technology literacy and community engagement.
Originally, she had a law career. Following her graduation, Lafazan earned her Juris Doctorate degree in 1996 from New England School of Law in Boston. After a career as a contracts and licensing attorney at several entertainment companies, including ABC News, BMG Entertainment Group, New Line Cinema and MTV Networks, she went on to receive her master’s degree in Library Information Science from Pratt Institute in New York. She has taught Communications Law and Internet Law courses online at New York University and University of Maryland.
Tim Pernetti
Former Rutgers University athletic director forced out last year for his handling of a scandal involving the basketball coach, Pernetti was just appointed chief business officer for the New York City Football Club, a professional soccer team that will start to play in 2015. The expansion team is partly owned by the New York Yankees and the Manchester City (Great Britain) Football Club. The team is currently building a new stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens, on the former World’s Fair site.
Pernetti also sits on the Board of Directors for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
Kelly Waldron

Waldron is currently the afternoon drive anchor at NJ 101.5. She began her career at WSUS in Vernon, NJ, where she served as the morning and afternoon news anchor. From there, she moved on to WCTC/WMGQ in Somerset as a morning and afternoon news anchor and reporter. She then went on to become a national correspondent for Metro Networks, where she covered stories ranging from presidential inaugurations to hurricanes and plane crashes. Waldron then moved to WCBS 880 AM in New York, where she worked as a general assignment reporter for 10 years.
Michael Chodroff

He just moved to a new science teaching position at Far Brook School in Short Hills after teaching several years at The Willow School, an independent school in Peapack. Chodroff is also Far Brook’s director of sustainability.
Ross Bear

Bear is working in sales for Verizon but has just finished his master’s degree in education and will soon be looking for a position teaching secondary social studies. After J/MS he started out working for radio stations and got into software development before transitioning into sales.
Now he looks forward to a full career in education. “I should have gone into teaching a long time ago, but life intervened,” said Bear, who resides with his family in Newtown, PA.
Bear recalled enjoying the classes of Professors Steve Miller and Roger Cohen, yet there was no harder professor than Barbara Reed, in his opinion. “She made me the writer I am today,” noted Bear.
Vivian Salama

Photo provided by Vivian Salma
Vivian Salama • Photo provided by Vivian Salma

Salama is a freelance journalist primarily focusing on the Middle East and North Africa. She just returned from Iraq, Kuwait and Morocco, She has contributed to Newsweek, The Daily Beast, TIME, and The Atlantic.
Salama has also covered South Asia and has traveled on assignment to North Korea, China and other countries in the region. She was also formerly a producer for NBC News in New York and a print and television correspondent in the Middle East for Bloomberg News.
She co-authored a book released in July entitled Radicalization, Terrorism and Conflict, published by Cambridge Scholars.
Jennifer Sneed

Jennifer Sneed • Photo provided by Jennifer Sneed
Jennifer Sneed • Photo provided by Jennifer Sneed

Sneed is looking for a position in public affairs after 10 years of working for U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who died in June. She was deputy director for his New Jersey offices. Sneed spent the time between August, when Lautenberg’s offices closed, until October working as public relations coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Monmouth County. A recipient of funds from President Jimmy Carter’s Habitat for Humanity annual work project, the Monmouth effort rebuilt two homes destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and repaired 14.
Sneed, who serves on the board of the Rutgers University Alumni Association and is a past president of the School of Communication and Information Alumni Association, resides in Newark.
Bryce Beloff

Pic of Bruce Beloff
Bruce Beloff • Photo provided by Bruce Beloff

Beloff just became a sports producer for Al Jazeera America, an American basic cable and satellite news television channel launched in August. He produces the sportscast for the news hours as well as long form pieces. He also covers major sport events such as the American League Championship Series. Beloff formerly worked at MLB Network and is a three-time Emmy winner.

Molly Hurford

Molly Hurford • Photo provided by Molly Hurford
Molly Hurford • Photo provided by Molly Hurford

Hurford, who races on an elite amateur level in cyclocross and triathlon, is the managing editor for Cyclocross Magazine. In addition to being managing editor, she also writes and photographs for the publication. She is a freelance writer, too, and has had her work featured in Dirt Rag Magazine, Switchback Magazine and Triathlete Magazine. In addition, Hurford is the author of Mud, Snow and Cyclocross, published last year with Deed Publishing.
She has a multitude of other projects including 1drifter, a video and photo travel diary, as well as a new project on fitness-oriented gear for the “stylish racer on the go,” called Life Sportive.
Daniel Elghossain

After several years as a broadcast operator for Bloomberg, Elghossain just started at the Al Jazeera media network. An expert videographer, he wants to work his way into doing documentaries. At J/MS and especially in Professor Ronald Miskoff’s Investigative Reporting class, he said, he “learned to keep questioning and digging deeper into a subject to find out the truth/core. That’s a skill I cherish.”
Danny Breslauer

Danny Breslauer • Photo provided by Danny Breslauer
Danny Breslauer • Photo provided by Danny Breslauer

Breslauer is currently the lead play-by-play broadcaster for RVision, the online television network of Rutgers University Athletics. He has served in that capacity since 2009, announcing hundreds of events across Rutgers’ varsity sports. Additionally, Breslauer is a host and sports commentator for WCTC-AM, The Voice of Central Jersey. He also fills in as a host for “Knight Cap,” the postgame show for Rutgers basketball.
In addition to his broadcast work, Breslauer has served as a sports writer for the Highland Park Mirror and is a certified substitute teacher in Highland Park.
Abira Sengupta
Sengupta loves her job at Springer Science + Business Media, located in Soho in New York. She does light editing, has production duties, and writes the back cover copy and “About The Author” for the books and journals Springer publishes. She commutes from Old Bridge.
One of the most important things she learned at J/MS and especially in the Public Relations class of Professor Liz Fuerst, Sengupta said, is to strive for accuracy and “never make a mistake spelling someone’s name.”
Roxanne Belloni

After being at Coyne Public Relations in Parsippany, one of New Jersey’s largest agencies, Belloni just moved to Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey in Newark, where she is a marketing and media specialist.
Adam Helfgott
Helfgott currently works on the assignment desk at MLB Network. This past year he was promoted to associate news producer after working as a broadcast associate. He primarily works on the afternoon show, “The Rundown,” by coordinating live and taped shots of reporters stationed throughout the various major league ballparks.

Helfgott has won three Emmy awards, all for the best daily studio show, “MLB Tonight.”


Cherie-Ann Darby

Cherie Darby • Photo provided by Cherie Darby
Cherie Darby • Photo provided by Cherie Darby

Darby was recently hired as a community engagement producer by NJ.com. She primarily works on projects and posts to impact and interact with the website’s audience. She creates comments, posts poll stories and moderates user comments when necessary. She also answers any questions that users have and makes sure that the commenters are discussing stories in an appropriate, non-offensive way.

Additionally, Darby helps run the site’s social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Amanda Downs

Downs is an editorial beauty assistant at Self Magazine, a Condé Nast publication. Her position began as a two-month project, during which she had to commute four hours each day.

“Especially in this economic and occupational downturn, taking opportunities is the only way to make those connections, even if it means making sacrifices,” she said.

Her sacrifice paid off because at the completion of her contract Downs was asked to stay on full-time. She has interviewed celebrities, met with famous stylists, traveled to other countries, and been backstage at Fashion Week.

CHANCE MEETING: Jim Ornstein, left, J/MS 1993, vice president of the William Morris Endeavor Agency, and Harry Cicma, J/MS 2002, sports reporter for WNBC-4 in New York, at an event in Manhattan honoring Andy Murray, the Wimbledon tennis champion.
CHANCE MEETING: Jim Ornstein, left, J/MS 1993, vice president of the William Morris Endeavor Agency, and Harry Cicma, J/MS 2002, sports reporter for WNBC-4 in New York, at an event in Manhattan honoring Andy Murray, the Wimbledon tennis champion.