Istanbul Faculty


Mary D'Ambrosio
Mary D’Ambrosio, Istanbul Program Director

Mary D’Ambrosio (Reporting – ieiMedia Senior Fellow) the founding editor of Big World Magazine, teaches journalism at Columbia University and New York University. A writer specializing in international issues, she has reported from the U.K., Turkey, Italy and Latin America. She was an editor at Global Finance magazine in New York, a reporter for the Associated Press in Venezuela and a correspondent and book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Other credits include Islands, Institutional Investor, Working Woman, Working Mother, Newsday and the Miami Herald. D’Ambrosio directed the NYU journalism institute’s feature syndicate, which placed student stories in professional venues, such as The Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Daily Beast, Worldpress and CNN. She holds a B.S. in magazine journalism from Syracuse University, and an M.Sc. in economic history from the London School of Economics. She serves on the editorial board of Abroad View, a national magazine to foster global education. She edited ieiMedia’s Urbino Now magazine in 2010 and has since directed the Istanbul program. She returns as the director in Istanbul in 2014.



Suzy Hansen
Suzy Hansen

Suzy Hansen (Reporting – ieiMedia Fellow) is a freelance writer who has lived in Istanbul for four years. She has written for The Atlantic, The New Republic, Bloomberg Businessweek, GQ, the New York Times, and many other publications. In 2007, she was the recipient of an Institute of Current World Affairs writing fellowship. Before moving to Istanbul, she was an editor at the New York Observer and Salon. Suzy taught in Istanbul in 2013 and 2014.



Kurt Lancaster
Kurt Lancaster

Kurt Lancaster (Multimedia/Video – ieiMedia Fellow) is the author of DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video (Focal Press, 2011) and Video Journalism for the Web: A Practical Introduction to Documentary Storytelling (Routledge, 2012). He teaches digital filmmaking and multimedia journalism at Northern Arizona University’s School of Communication. His documentary work has appeared at national and international film festivals, as well as in the Pulitzer Prize winning paper, The Christian Science Monitor, where he formerly worked as a consultant training print reporters to shoot video. Kurt earned his PhD in performance studies from New York University. He taught video in Istanbul in 2013.



Venise Wagner
Venise Wagner

Venise Wagner (Reporting – ieiMedia Fellow) is an associate professor of journalism at San Francisco State University. She spent 12 years as a reporter for various California dailies, including the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle. While at the Examiner she covered education and issues in the Bay Area’s various black communities. She was also a religion and ethics reporter for the Orange County Register and The Modesto Bee. Her work has also been published in Parade, Mother Jones, and Hope magazines. At San Francisco State she developed a curriculum that focuses on marginalized communities and structural inequities. She is currently co-authoring a book that offers journalists reporting tools and strategies to improve coverage of racial inequities. Wagner graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and a master’s in Latin American studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Wagner taught in Istanbul in 2013 and 2014.

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Students Say...

First, this month in Urbino can’t be described in a couple of sentences. The past four weeks immersed in Italian culture have helped me to grow both as a journalist and as a person, as an American. Working with interpreters and befriending locals has been the most valuable part of this experience. Memories from Urbino will forever hold a special place in my heart.
by Laura Weeks, James Madison University, Urbino Project 2012