Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Bruce Cherry is a writer and performer for The Final Edition/The Final Edition Radio Hour and has been a producer, staff writer, or contributing writer for the Late Late Show on CBS, Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn, The Randi Rhodes Show, Air America Radio, and Jest Magazine. He is a contributor to Air America: The Playbook (Rodale Books) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jokes (Alpha Books/Penguin), and was a featured columnist for City Scoops magazine. He has written humor for celebrities and politicians, including a U.S. President. He has also written for several animated web series, including The God & Devil Show. He holds a BA from Penn State University.

Jolie DeFeis is director of marketing and public relations for the Greater Hudson Valley Health System and was founder of marketing/communications firm Energy Garden Inc. and co-founder of Sugartown Creative. She has also served as director of integrated services at Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners, senior account director at J. Walter Thompson, management supervisor at Wells Rich Greene BDDP and account executive at BBDO—leading such global clients as Citibank, Procter & Gamble, McGraw-Hill, and Hearst. She has taught at Brooklyn College and lectured at Pace University. She holds a BS from Brooklyn College.

Mary Donnelly has managed, produced and/or edited video, print, and digital projects for such companies and organizations as Arts & Entertainment, Ovation, iNEXT TV, and The Rockefeller University Press, as well as various non-profit clients through Generation Branding and Communication. Her poetry has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, The Literary Review and The Yale Review, and she published the chapbook Mad World Colored Oil (Dancing Girl Press). She is an editor for DMQ Review. She is a visiting faculty member for Sierra Nevada College’s low-residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. She holds a BA in English literature from Columbia University and an MFA in Poetry from Bennington College.

Peter Finch is a contributing editor for Golf Digest, where he writes the “Golf and Business” column and where he has also served as a senior editor. He is the co-author of the books The SmartMoney Guide to Long-Term Investing, The SmartMoney Stockpicker’s Bible (both John Wiley & Sons), and How to Raise Kids Without Going Broke (Avon Books). He has served as an editor at SmartMoney magazine and BusinessWeek, and written for The Wall Street Journal, The San Jose Mercury News, and Art Direction magazine, among many others. He has taught at the University of Tennessee, and holds a BA from Stanford University.

Masha Hamilton is the author of the novels 31 Hours, What Changes Everything, and The Distance Between Us (all Unbridled Books), The Camel Bookmobile (HarperCollins), and Staircase of a Thousand Steps (BlueHen/Penguin Putnam Publishing Group). As a journalist, she worked for the AP in Israel, as the Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and she wrote a column on Moscow for U.S. newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Dallas Morning News and the Miami Herald. She is the founder of the Afghan Women Writer's Project. She served as director of communications and public diplomacy for the US Embassy in Afghanistan and vice president of communications for the international NGO Concern Worldwide. She holds a BA from Brown University.

Corie Hengst has served as a contributing copy editor for Adweek and Penguin Random House, and has written business and finance content for Bankrate, Chief Investment Officer magazine and ShoeFitts Marketing, among others.  She has held editor positions with the magazines Plan Adviser, Plan Sponsor, and American Salon. She has also written white papers, newsletters and blogs, and has ghostwritten and edited business books. Corie holds a BA from Missouri State University.

Mo Krochmal is the executive editor and founder of Social Media News NY. He was a founding producer for The New York Times website, senior editor of GenomeWeb, executive producer of Nassau News Live and New York editor for TechWeb. He has written for United Press International, The New York Times, the Danbury News-Times, the Wilson Daily Times, and the Washington Daily News, among others. He is the vice president of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.  He has taught for Hofstra University and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He holds a BA from North Carolina State University and an MS from Columbia University. 

Dana Miller is the dean of students at Gotham Writers Workshop, which encompasses supervising staff interactions with students and acting as point person for Gotham’s email communications. She is the director of Gotham’s One-on-One Services and serves as liaison to such Business Writing corporate clients as NASCAR, Indiana University, Ogilvy & Mather, and the UN Development Program. She also owns Stay @ Om Yoga and has served as a copywriter for BBDO Advertising. She holds a BA from Haverford College.

Dominic Preziosi has held senior editorial and management positions with Commonweal, McGraw-Hill, Forbes, CMP/TechWeb, STV Inc., and the Forsite Group. He has written newsletters, blogs, video scripts, tech tutorials, and a range of other materials for numerous clients and publishers, and he has published fiction, articles, and essays in Avery, Descant, Front Porch, Beloit Fiction Journal, Brooklyn Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Storyglossia, and The Writer Magazine. He has taught at CUNY. He holds a BA from Fordham, an MA in Liberal Studies from CUNY, and an MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College.

Jon Reiner is the author of the memoir The Man Who Couldn’t Eat (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster), based on his Esquire story. His nonfiction has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Creative Nonfiction, The Huffington Post, Graze, Slice, and on NPR, and his humor has been published by The New York Times, The Satirist, and Medium. He also co-wrote and directed the documentary film Tree Man, which was a selection of the Doc NYC, St. Lawrence, and World film festivals and which is now available on Netflix. He served as a communications executive for Sony, American Express, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and several global public relations and marketing agencies. He has taught at the University of Maryland and Rutgers University. He holds a BA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MA in English from the University of Maryland.

Josh Sippie is Gotham’s director of contests and conferences, as well as a teacher. His creative writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Hobart and Robot Butt. He has also spent time as an editor and a literary assistant, and is a part-time sports writer, with work appearing in the Guardian, CBS, Fox Sports and FourFourTwo. He holds a BA in History and English from the University of Central Missouri.

Steph Spector is founder of the Karuna Writer’s Residency and Indraloka Animal Sanctuary’s communications specialist. She has served as managing editor of the Roanoke Review and director of contests and conferences at Gotham. She has led workshops at Harbor House, Trust House, and the O, Miami Poetry Festival. She holds a BA from Roanoke College.

Alexander Steele is the president at Gotham Writers Workshop. He is the editor of the Gotham books Writing Fiction, Fiction Gallery, and Writing Movies (all Bloomsbury USA). He is the author of numerous children's books, including titles in the Wishbone series (Lyrick Publishing) and the Hardy Boys series (Pocket Books). His plays include One Glorious Afternoon, Lightning and Frenzy, and King of Ragtime, and he scripted the documentary World War II: It Happened in Color. He holds a BA from Vanderbilt University.