Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 09:40 pm est

Influential 2013 | Letter from the Editor

Posted on December 11, 2013 | by Jordan Melendrez and Amy Aixi Zhang

There are over 50,000 students enrolled at NYU, each drawing their own track through the university. Selecting 10 to feature in WSN’s 2013 Most Influential issue was like sifting through a box of pencils trying to find the sharpest. And often, the definition of sharp changes with each selection committee.

In our issue this year, we again endeavored to name the students who have retraced NYU’s trajectory toward an ideal. But we also searched through the nominations to find the people who have successfully empowered others. Instead of pencils, we looked for the sharpeners who honed new passions so others could sketch their own marks on the community.

Each individual in this issue has not only inspired members of the community to succeed, but they also encouraged them to pass on the influence. Some are unintentional leaders who followed their instincts. Others have worked to actively reshape our university by strengthening the connections worldwide and across the East River.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed their time and efforts to create this issue. Our talented writers, photographers and videographer worked diligently to capture the candidates in print and in images. This issue would not have reached stands without the help of our Editor-in-Chief Jonathon Dornbush, Web Managing Editor Hanqing Chen and Creative Director Lyanne Natividad, who were invaluable members of the selection committee and assisted in every step of the process.

This beautiful issue was designed by our Special Issues Director, Kaleel Munroe, who wanted to shine light on the unsung heroes of the university. The committee sought to create a visual representation of some students who are overlooked, those who are deeply rooted in their beliefs and others who are naturally driven to act. We wanted to recognize the accomplishments of those who work thanklessly for the benefit of others. This year’s selection committee also decided to reduce the number of finalists from 15 so writers could dedicate more time to understanding and describing these individuals.

Take the time to read their stories, and we are convinced you will find them and their actions inspiring. You might even rewrite your own definition of influential.


— Jordan Melendrez & Amy Zhang


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.