Eliza's dad Michael Shapiro teaches at the J-school, while her mom Susan Chira is an assistant managing editor of The New York Times. Her uncle, Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, and aunt, biology professor Jill Shapiro, also teach at Columbia.
Thanks to those connections, Eliza got to have her bat mitzvah party in Lerner.
While a student at Columbia, she interned at The New York Observer and freelanced for Capital New York, where she published a feature about Moodygate. After graduation, she worked for a year at The Daily Beast, until Capital (re)hired her to report on New York City politics.