5 August 2022 Freedman '22 to Attend Columbia University

This fall, Ani Freedman ’22 begins graduate school at Columbia University to study journalism.

Ani Freedman ’22, who graduated summa cum laude in writing and rhetoric and Spanish & Hispanic studies, will attend graduate school at Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Freedman says she has always been drawn to journalism and is especially passionate about topics rooted in social justice and human interest. “I’ve always been interested in hearing people’s stories, especially those that have some sort of cultural, social impact behind them. Hearing one person’s story in depth can speak to a larger social issue.”

As the editor-in-chief for The Herald her senior year, Freedman gained experience at the helm of the Colleges’ student paper. Freedman joined the club during her first year at HWS and cites her work there as critical experience for her future career.

“[Working for the Herald], I got to know the innerworkings of HWS, as well as the right way to ask questions, how to write from an objective standpoint, and how to use the right style. I learned the correct tone for journalism from studying The Herald’s sound,” she says.

Freedman found her own writing style through classes in the Writing and Rhetoric Department, especially “Literary Journalism” taught by Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric and English Geoffrey Babbitt. “He’s been a big mentor to me in the field of literary journalism,” Freedman says. “His class was where I really figured out that literary journalism is what I want to do.”



In contrast with traditional forms of journalistic writing, literary journalism has elements of creative nonfiction. “It’s lyrical and immersive and gritty,” says Freedman. “It has a strong presence of a narrative, but still enables you to get at and tackle a social issue.”

For her Honors project, Freedman combined literary journalism with photojournalism. She interviewed and photographed migrant workers in the Finger Lakes region. After connecting with the nonprofit Rural & Migrant Ministry, Freedman cultivated relationships with people in the farmworking community in order to “humanize the narrative about migrant workers and enhance the stories we tell within the immigrant and migrant worker discourse.”

Freedman hopes to continue this type of journalist work at Columbia. “What really drew me into the program was the promise that more of my time would be spent out in the city digging up stories and interviewing,” she says.

On campus, Freedman was also a Writing Colleague intern, a member of the Beautiful Minds club, served as a tutor at the Boys and Girls Club and studied abroad in Spain. Last spring, she attended the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference with Seneca Review. She earned Phi Beta Kappa and was inducted to the Laurel Society.