Annie Bergeron-Oliver


Ottawa, Ontario; Canada Annie1crp

Annie Bergeron-Oliver is a videographer and national parliamentary reporter for iPolitics in Canada. Prior to tackling Parliament Hill, Annie was on the evening news desk at CityNews in Toronto. The Canuck found herself wandering through New York City last year while completing a master’s degree in broadcast journalism at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.  While in Manhattan, Annie worked in Sports Illustrated’s video and social media department, creating content for She also interned at the CBC’s New York bureau, where she helped produce stories for The National, and contributed radio reports to The World This Weekend. Annie is participating in this program to gain a deeper understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the nuances of international reporting.


Bianca Britton

BIO PHOTOBrisbane, Queensland; Australia

Bianca Britton is entering her final semester of journalism at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). With a Radio, Television and Print Journalism Practice Minor, Bianca hopes working in Israel gives her the insight and experience needed to one day reach her dream of becoming a TV foreign correspondent. In the past she has been part of the QUT News team, where she has worked as a reporter and newsreader for their TV and radio segments. In addition to this, she has interned at Quest Newspapers, part of the News Limited corporation. This is the first time she’s travelled to the Middle East, and she’s certain it won’t be the last due to her strong interest in covering both conflict and post-conflict zones. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @biancabritton to see updates of the news she covers wherever she travels.


Beth Carlson

BethPortland, Oregon, USA

Beth Carlson is a student of journalism and international relations at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., where she has reported for the semi-weekly student paper The Western Front. In addition, she is a programmer for KUGS.FM, Western’s radio station. In the fall of 2013, she will be writing for The Planet, a magazine that focuses on environmental issues. Working in Israel has pushed her boundaries as a journalist by providing eye-opening experiences and testing the limit of how much falafel she can bear to eat in one day.

Emily Cohen

ecocrpPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, USA

Emily Cohen has been working as a freelance photojournalist since 2007. She is currently enrolled at the Corcoran College of Art + Design where she is studying for her BFA in photojournalism and is due to graduate May 2014. Emily is based in Washington, DC; Philadelphia; and Jerusalem. Emily’s main passion as a photojournalist is that of a story teller, sharing the stories of culture and of the people within it. She plans on moving to the Middle East in 2014 to pursue her goal of becoming a conflict photojournalist, depicting the lives of those affected by conflict and strife. She hopes her photographs will speak for those whose voices aren’t loud enough to tell the world their stories.


Sola DaSilva

Sola DaSilvaToronto, Ontario; Canada

Sola DaSilva is entering her final year in journalism at Centennial College in Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Philosophy. Sola writes for the Toronto and East York Observer and relishes designing The Courier, Centennial College’s student newspaper. Sola is drawn to journalism because she wants to tell stories and influence the narratives that shape society. She is participating in ieiMedia’s international reporting program to witness the various forms in which the Israeli-Palestine conflict touches lives in the Middle East.


Brandon Desiderio

Brandon DesiderioPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania; USA

Brandon Desiderio is a senior communication major with a minor in social justice at Cabrini College. During his time at Cabrini he’s worked closely with his college’s chapters of Catholic Relief Services and Interfaith Youth Core and as a result has developed a passion for conflict resolution and peacebuilding. One day he hopes to work in international development or nonprofit investigative journalism. He sees volunteer service abroad and the beginning of the end of global poverty in his immediate future. Humor and good company are what keep him sane. Follow him @btdes.

Jake Edwards

Jake EdwardesToronto, Ontario; Canada


Jake Edwardes is going into his third year at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  He is studying journalism with minors in both history and political science.  In the future Jake would love to take any job in journalism that can enable him to travel and discover new places.  Some of his dream jobs include working for a small local paper in the British Columbian Rockies and skiing every day, covering soccer in England, or working for NFL Network, Pow Magazine and Vice.

Christopher Essner

Christopher EssnerManalpan, New Jersey; USA

Christopher Essner is a freelance journalist and recent graduate of Rutgers University who has reporting experience in television, radio, and text.  With an interest in international reporting, he chose to work as a reporter with the ieiMedia team in Jerusalem.  He spent the previous two years working in New York for NBC News, Nightly News with Brian Williams, and WABC-TV Eyewitness News.  He hopes to one day anchor a national or world news program, but in the meantime he is spending time looking for the untold stories that slip through the cracks.  Chris is excited to see the form journalism takes as technology continues to change and new media become available.  Make sure to follow him on Twitter @ChrisEssner as he updates you on the latest news from wherever he is reporting.

Carly Gutner-Davis

Del Mar, California; USACarlycrp

Carly Gutner-Davis is entering her third year as an undergraduate student at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is majoring inInternational Global Studies and has a double minor in Journalism and English. She is a competitive varsity athlete who applies the discipline and focus needed in sports to her academic studies and her work in journalism. She has a deep appreciation for the Middle East and aspires to become a foreign correspondent or freelance writer stationed in Israel. She is a worldly traveler and enjoys photography alongside writing, reading, skiing, swimming, playing beach volleyball, and wiggling her toes in the sand.


Will Lewis

will1crpValdosta, Georgia; USA

Will Lewis is a student at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia, where he is the managing editor of the independent student newspaper, The Spectator. He hopes to become a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press,  The New York Times or any other publication that will allow him to  go overseas and see what is happening in the world  and to share that with readers.


Amara McLaughlin

amaraCalgary, Alberta; Canada

Amara McLaughlin is entering her second year of journalism at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. Prior to this she studied pre-med and archaeology at the University of Calgary.  With a minor in religious studies, Amara is interested in the sociological and religious underpinnings that motive the Middle East’s flaring tensions. In 2011 she traveled to the Middle East for the first time, visiting Jordan and Syria. There she experienced first-hand what it’s like to live in a conflict zone, as the Syrian War began in Damascus. Amara has also traveled extensively throughout Asia, Southeast Asia, South America and Europe. Amara is a freelance writer and photojournalist for magazines with an interest in human rights, culture, and investigative journalism.  After completing her degree she intends to move to the Middle East as a freelance foreign correspondent to cover conflict zones.

Mallory Moench

MalloryMoenchWenham, Massachusetts; USA

Mallory Moench is a rising senior at Gordon College, located north of Boston, where she studies literature, creative writing, and journalism. Born and raised in Scotland and Germany, she’s a global citizen with an insatiable wanderlust. As a writer, Mallory has a passion to tell stories that provoke and promote justice on behalf of the marginalized and oppressed. Whether through international reporting, social development, or a combination of both, she wants to give her life to serve and empower those in greatest need.



Maya Ergas  Shwayder

Maya1crpNew York, New York; USA

Maya Ergas Shwayder is a Detroit native who has spent time living in the Netherlands and Italy. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in psychology and Italian language and literature in 2011, and received her master’s in journalism from Columbia the following year. She has since been working at DNAinfo New York and the International Business Times, where she covered the U.N. and the Middle East. Her work has also appeared on Gawker and in the Detroit News. While she may have given up all hope of ever receiving her acceptance letter to Hogwarts, she’ll never stop waiting for her mad man in a stolen blue box.


Hazal Sipahi

hazal_1Istanbul, Turkey

Hazal Sipahi has finished her third year in the Journalism and New Media Department at Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University. She is a freelance author who writes stories and interviews people for websites. Currently, she is the editor of a blog about the Beyoglu neighborhood in Istanbul. Having a chance to attend one of the IeiMedia programs brought her here, to Jerusalem, the biggest stone of the world’s culture mosaic. Exploring this great city and its history, meeting with a variety of people and learning about international reporting are some of the things she has been experiencing here. As the only non-native English speaker of our group, she has found this program a little challenging. The Jerusalem Project has given her an opportunity to meet with great people from all over the world. Unquestionably, her experiences here will help shape her future plans.

Francesca Weigensberg

Francesca WeigensbergToronto, Ontario; Canada

Francesca Weigensberg is a fourth-year journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, with a double minor in French and Japanese. An avid lover of communication and languages, she hopes to work in journalism and communications or education in Israel, Japan or South Korea. She will also be studying Mandarin Chinese this fall.  A self-described nerd, Francesca enjoys going to fan conventions and meeting people who share her interests. She is thrilled to be spending the summer in Israel in order to improve her Hebrew language skills and hopes to show that there is more to life in this beautiful and historical region than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.