Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Miriam Datskovsky was a writer for the series Speechless (ABC Television) and writers' assistant for The Carrie Diaries (The CW). She developed the original pilot Hacked for Bluegrass FanFare at ABC Studios, and worked as a development associate for Silver and Gold Productions. Her pilot Missed Connections made Amazon's Consider List, and other original pilots have been finalists for the Creative World Awards and the Screencraft Pilot Launch awards. Her journalism and essays have appeared in Los Angeles magazine, New York magazine, Condé Nast Portfolio, Brides magazine, and Ravishly, among many others. She has taught at the Posse Foundation and volunteered with WriteGirl. She holds a BA from Columbia University. 

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.

Lara Ewen is the U.S. market report columnist for Rapaport Magazine, a regular contributor to Newsday, and the author of The Girlshop Guide to NYC Shopping (Shecky’s Media). Her nonfiction has appeared in American Libraries magazine, the Boston Phoenix, Budget Living, the Kansas City Star, the New York Times, NYC&G, PBS, Retail Dive, Slate, Teen magazine, and Zagat, among many others. She is a former digital editorial consultant at Rolling Stone, former consulting editor at Women’s Wear Daily, and former editor-in-chief of Sportswear International magazine. She has taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is the Free Music Fridays Coordinator for the American Folk Art Museum. She holds a BA from Boston University.

Britt Gambino has published poetry in Armchair/Shotgunanderbo, The Boiler, decomP, and Springgun Press, among others. She previously served as a contributing writer at The Sexy Feminist blog and as an Associate Poetry Editor at The Doctor T.J. Eckleberg Review. She has taught at Education Unlimited, Brooklyn Brainery, and 826NYC. She holds a BA from Drew University and an MFA in Poetry from The New School.

Pete Jensen has developed original TV series for diverse production companies and he wrote the feature screenplay Derwin's Shadow, which won a development grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He wrote and directed the award-winning short film "Charlie Primitive," which screened at over twenty festivals across the U.S. and Europe. His prose has been published in such literary magazines as Swink. He holds an MFA in Screenwriting and Directing from Columbia 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. 

Melissa Petro has published essays, articles, and criticism in Allure, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, the Guardian, InStyle, the Kitchn, Marie Claire, Narratively, New York Magazine, Pacific Standard magazine, Real Simple, Salon, the Washington Post, and the Writer magazine, among many others. She is the editor of two anthologies: Pros(e): Writings by Individuals with Experiences in the Sex Industries and Corner Stories: Writings by the Washington Heights CORNER Project Community. She has been a finalist for the PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize. She holds a BA from Antioch and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the New School.

Divya Sood is the author of the novels Find Someone to Love and Nights Like This (both Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have won the New Jersey Arts and Letters First Prize for Short Fiction, and appeared in The Masters Review. She has taught at Rutgers University and Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA from Rutgers University and an MA in English from New York University. 

Steph Spector is a copyeditor for business, PR, real estate, technology, communications, finance, and coaching articles on Forbes.com. She is the former director of contests and conferences at Gotham and previously served as managing editor of the national literary magazine the Roanoke Review. She holds a BA from Roanoke College.

Nelsie Spencer is the author of the novel The Playgroup, (St. Martin’s Press), and the feature screenplay A Girl's Best Friend. She co-wrote the feature film Valley Inn, which debuted at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. She wrote, produced, and co-hosted the radio show The Radio Ritas, (Greenstone Media) and hosts the podcast Losing It. She co-wrote and starred in the play My Heart Belongs To Daddy, produced at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Dorothy Lyman’s A Director’s Theater in Los Angeles, and at Duke University’s Pre-Broadway series, and her one-woman show Goodbye Cream played at the When I’m 34 Festival in Los Angeles. She studied dance and theater at Orange Coast College, and fiction at The New School.