The 2014 OPC Foundation Scholars
DAVID R. SCHWEISBERG MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Meng Meng, University of Southern California
Meng wrote about the sink-hole crisis afflicting the coal cities of northern China where residents have been forced to abandon their homes and farms. A native of the area, the graduate of Shanghai University first covered the story as an intern for CNN. She intends to become a business and economics reporter and focus on the consequences of China’s rising status as an economic power.
Portia Crowe, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
With an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Dakar, Portia will return to West Africa to further uncover the economic reasons why the region lags so far behind even East Africa in developing a modern financial system. In her essay, the McGill grad wrote about inefficient remittance networks and other monetary issues that continue to plague and retard growth in Burkina Faso. Portia is from Saskatchewan, Canada and speaks French fluently and some Swahili and German.
HARPER’S MAGAZINE SCHOLARSHIP in memory of I.F.STONE
Derek Kravitz, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
Derek wrote about the cottage industry that has risen around the nascent global kidnapping trade. With governments refusing to negotiate, the void has been filled by insurers and private security specialists like the Somali-born businessman whose greatest asset is knowing a lot of people. A UMizz grad, Derek is fluent in French and speaks some Arabic. He intends to use data-driven skills to cover the economic and geopolitical stories of francophone Africa and SE Asia.
IRENE CORBALLY KUHN SCHOLARSHIP
Maddy Crowell, Carleton College
As a summer intern at the Ghana Daily Guide, Maddy covered the environmental consequences of mercury used by small-scale miners throughout Ghana to refine gold. Despite vast numbers afflicted with mercury poisoning throughout villages like Prestea, miners continue to use “the dancing liquid metal.” The resulting red dust produces a permanent and lethal smog. The editor-in-chief of her college newspaper, Maddy is eager to return to Africa.
H.L. STEVENSON FELLOWSHIP
Caelainn Hogan, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
As a contributing writer for The Irish Times and others, Caelainn reported from eight countries in the last two years. In her essay, she wrote about the trials of Syrian refugees in Turkey and the efforts of many – despite the conflict and their homes in rubble - to return to their native Syria. An Irish citizen and graduate of Trinity College, Caelainn will return to Africa on an OPC Foundation fellowship in an Associated Press bureau in either Lagos or Johannesburg.
STAN SWINTON FELLOWSHIP,
Sam Kimball, New York University
Fluent in French and several dialects of Arabic, Sam has already reported on the Middle East from Yemen, Syria and Egypt. Now based in Tunis completing his master’s thesis on hip hop in the Tunisian Revolution, Sam wrote about the plight of Syrian refugees caught in the political maelstrom in Cairo and what that could mean for the political trajectory of Egypt. A CCNY grad, Sam has an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Associated Press bureau in Beirut.
EMANUEL R. FREEDMAN FELLOWSHIP
Mark Anderson, University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
A graduate of the University of London’s School of Oriental & African Affairs, Mark currently has a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education for African studies and journalism. Fluent in Swahili, he has an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Nairobi. In his essay, he wrote about the links between Turkey and Somalia and how Turkish development and investment, among other influences, is changing the war-torn African nation.
THEO WILSON SCHOLARSHIP
Olivia Crellin, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
A daughter of two psychiatrists, the UK native and University of Cambridge grad learned early the value of listening, a skill she further developed in her reporting gigs throughout South America. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Olivia has the first Wall Street Journal/OPC Foundation fellowship. In her essay, she wrote about the victims of sex trafficking throughout Brazil. She will work in a WSJ bureau in Europe.
ROY ROWAN SCHOLARSHIP
Jian Gao, Academy of Art University (San Francisco)
In his essay, Jian described Red Fragments, a long-term documentary project that shows Chinese culture and Chinese living conditions in nine symbolic cities across the 10,000 miles in China where he traveled last year. Already an award-winning photojournalist, the native of China and graduate of the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts intends to focus on the economic boom of South East Asia’s developing nations.
FLORA LEWIS INTERNSHIP
Alison Sargent, École de Journalisme de Sciences Po
Alison is the first OPC Foundation scholar attending graduate school in Paris. A graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, she chose France not only to improve her French but also to learn the language of politics, economics and European institutionalism. She wrote her essay about the launch of BuzzFeed France and asked the question how universal is culture in an increasingly global society.
S&P AWARD FOR BUSINESS AND ECONOIC REPORTING
Anna Nicolaou, University of Toronto
A former hedge fund analyst, Anna is attending graduate school on a fellowship that combines classwork and business reporting at The Globe and Mail. In her essay, she wrote about the very public spat between Germany and the U.S. over Germany’s continuing glide on a weak euro, buoyed by its out-sized surplus. A graduate of McGill, Anna has an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Brussels.
JERRY FLINT FELLOWSHIP FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS REPORTING
John Ismay, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, John intends to use his unique mix of multimedia journalism skills with his 12 years’ experience as a munitions specialist to continue his work on the unintended consequences of American foreign policy and military actions abroad, as well as the under-reported global issue of arms proliferation. John has an OPC Foundation fellowship and is headed to the Congo for GlobalPost.
THE WALTER & BETSY CRONKITE SCHOLARSHIP
Sam McNeil, University of Arizona
Sam has scoped out his beat: environmental convergence journalism focused on political and social problems stemming from resource scarcity and climate change. While filming a documentary on desertification, he discovered a former secret prison in Tunisia, the topic of his essay. Fluent in Levantine and Tunisian dialects of Arabic, the Western Washington grad has an OPC Foundation fellowship in the AP bureau in Cairo.
NATHAN S. BIENSTOCK MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Shira Telushkin, Yale University
With a major in demonology, Shira has taken every opportunity to engage in foreign cultures, from Pagans in London to Mormon missionaries. In her essay, she wrote about how, as a tour guide in the West Bank, she observed a shared understanding between an Orthodox Jew and his Palestinian host and their mutual respect for each other’s deep commitment to their respective religious faiths. She has an OPC Foundation fellowship in religious journalism with GlobalPost.