We’re excited to announce the 21 recipients of the 2018 ProPublica Diversity Scholarship. Each of these talented journalists will receive a $700 scholarship to attend one of the annual conferences put on by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Native American Journalists Association and the Association of LGBTQ Journalists. This year’s recipients were chosen from among more than 275 applicants.
We’ve written about what ProPublica is doing to increase the diversity of our newsroom and of the broader journalism community. This scholarship is part of our ongoing efforts and will help make it easier for journalists from underrepresented communities to take advantage of everything these conferences offer.
Here are this year’s recipients:
Ethan Bakuli is a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, currently double majoring in Afro-American Studies and Journalism. This past year, he has been conducting research on systemic issues within the food system of Western Massachusetts. This summer he will be working with New England Public Radio as an intern for Media Lab, a program designed to mentor local high school students in producing their own audio narratives. As he moves forward in his career, he plans to focus his reporting on issues of race and public health. Ethan will be attending NABJ.
Marita Pérez Díaz
Marita Pérez Díaz recently received her MA in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism at Newhouse in Syracuse University. She was awarded with a Syracuse University Graduate Fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year. She has worked in Cuba as a reporter and editor since 2014 for the American publication OnCuba Magazine, based in Havana and Miami. Marita wants to use technology, multimedia and digital skills to tell the stories of people without a voice. Her dream is to keep building bridges of communication for Cubans inside and outside the island. Marita will be attending NAHJ.
Isabel Dieppa is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She began her journalism career at Indiana University, working for the Indiana Daily Student. She is currently the communications coordinator at the National Immigrant Justice Center, and a contributor to Bust.com. Most recently, she worked on a seven-month investigation on sexual harassment at music festivals for MarieClaire.com. She has also contributed to the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo and Marie Claire Magazine. Isabel will be attending NAHJ.
AJ Earl (Comanche Nation) graduated from the University of Washington - Tacoma with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics, and Portland State University with a degree in history. They will begin their Master’s in Public History at American University this fall. Their journalistic interests include covering Indigenous issues, Capitol Hill, and state and local politics. Most recently, they won first place in headline writing from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association collegiate awards. AJ will be attending NAJA.
Miacel Spotted Elk
Miacel Spotted Elk is rising sophomore at the University of Utah, studying political science with a deep interest in tribal policy. They are an inspiring journalist aiming to amplify voices and issues in the indigenous community, particularly in investigative or radio journalism. They have worked at KCPW and KUER, two public radio stations in Utah, and are looking forward to building their skills at the NAJA conference this summer. They are Navajo and Northern Cheyenne, and identify within the LGBT community. Miacel will be attending NAJA.
Andy Tsubasa Field
Andy Field is a rising senior at the University of Oregon. During the AAJA conference in Houston, he will be interning as a Chips Quinn Scholar at The Tennessean in Nashville. Andy was a senior news reporter for The Emerald, a student newspaper, and wrote for Ethos Magazine, a student-run magazine. He has interned at Oregon Public Broadcasting, Eugene Weekly, The News Review and Woodlands Online and other publications. In 2017, he wrote a story about tea harvesters during a university-sponsored reporting trip to Sri Lanka. Andy will be attending AAJA.
Mirian Fuentes is a rising senior studying broadcast and digital journalism at the University of Southern California. She has interned at #EmergingUS and Define American, and is interested in telling and redefining how journalists tell diversity stories, especially around immigration. This fall, she will be co-managing USC’s Latinx outlet Dímelo. Her goal is to pursue a graduate degree in American Studies and be able to combine both disciplines to tell impactful stories. Mirian will be attending NAHJ.
Lynda M. Gonzalez
Lynda M. Gonzalez is a bilingual documentary multimedia journalist located in Austin, Texas, with primary interests in immigration, education, and public health. Before moving to Austin, she taught high school journalism in the Rio Grande Valley as a Teach For America 2012 Corps Member. She is currently pursuing a dual master’s degree in journalism and Latin American studies at The University of Texas at Austin and works as a photography intern at the Austin American-Statesman. Her published work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Austin American-Statesman, ¡Ahora Si!, KUT News Radio, KUTX Music Radio, Reporting Texas, and other publications. Lynda will be attending NAHJ.
Andrew “Drew” Jones is a rising senior majoring in print journalism at the University of Houston. He has worked as the campus editor of the student-run newspaper, The Daily Cougar, and was a copy desk intern for the Houston Chronicle. His reporting interests include technology, the internet and space. He will start a magazine fellowship this fall at Houstonia. Drew will be attending NABJ.
Nicole Ki is a rising senior, studying journalism and pursuing a certificate in Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Since breaking her first big story about a black student activist and his controversial clothing line that highlights racism, Nicole has been reporting for various local news outlets, including a UW student newspaper, the Badger Herald. She has also written for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Nicole hopes to pursue investigative journalism and multimedia journalism and work for VICE or the New York Times on issues regarding marginalized communities or general news. Nicole will be attending AAJA.
K. Dominic McKenzie
K. Dominic McKenzie is a Hearst scholar at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Originally from Jamaica, he graduated from the historically black Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, last May. He was an Obama White House HBCU Ambassador and CEO of a student-run production company, Three Oaks Studios. Dominic’s aspirations include anchoring and reporting on African-American and Afro-Caribbean communities in the U.S. He spent the last year focused on developing interactive journalism and coding skills to ensure his stories are supported by strong data and design. He will spend the summer as a Political Intern at NY1. Dominic will be attending NABJ.
Isabeth Mendoza is a recent Masters graduate from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory. She plans to continue her learning by bridging multimedia journalism, health and storytelling. She has interned for StoryCorps Atlanta and All Things Considered at GPB News. Isabeth will be moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles to report on the intersectionality of public health in communities of color before returning to academia to pursue her Ph.D. Isabeth will be attending NAHJ.
Julia Munslow is a recent graduate of Emory University, where she studied English and creative writing. She served as editor-in-chief and executive editor of Emory’s independent award-winning student newspaper, The Emory Wheel. Originally from Rhode Island, she worked last summer as a news and politics intern for Yahoo News, where she’s returned to join the mobile editorial team. In 2019, she will serve as an English teaching assistant in Malaysia on a Fulbright grant. Julia will be attending AAJA.
Anh Nguyen is an almost-graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia. She was born and raised in Vietnam where she developed a passion for storytelling and creative writing. She has produced stories for the Philadelphia Inquirer, PhiladelphiaNeighborhoods.com and the Temple News, her college newspaper. She is currently an intern at the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support sustainable business models for local journalism. Anh’s reporting niche includes data-driven local stories and diversity advocacy. Anh will be attending AAJA.
Rebecca Oh recently graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism. As one of the founders of NYU’s Coalition of Minority Journalists, they are passionate about coalition-building between Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous and LGBTQ journalists. Oh’s reporting interests include protests, LGBTQ-related policy and queer artistry. In the past, they have worked at PBS NewsHour, NBC OUT and MSNBC. Post-graduation, they will work as a news assistant at PBS NewsHour’s Arlington office. Rebecca will be attending NLGJA.
Gabriel Pacheco Santa
Gabriel Pacheco Santa is a rising senior studying chemical engineering and writing and communication at the University of Puerto Rico. He covers the news for the campus press office and on his personal blog, he reports on issues following Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis and the aftermath of hurricane María. This summer, Gabriel will be the audiences intern at El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s newspaper of record. Gabriel loves to incorporate data visualizations and photography in his reporting and hopes to become an investigative journalist after completing a master’s degree in Spanish language journalism. Gabriel will be attending NAHJ.
Lianza Reyes is a rising junior studying broadcast and digital journalism at Syracuse University. She is a recipient of the school’s 1870 Scholarship and has produced news in three languages. Most recently, she was the producer and director of Central New York’s only Spanish newscast, CitrusTV Noticias. This fall, she will be an executive producer for an evening newscast and work as the Editor-in-Chief of The International magazine. She hopes to someday run a newsroom of her own or to work on investigative news projects. Lianza will be attending NLGJA.
Iman Saleh is a rising senior at Wayne State University where she is a member of the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. She’s contributed to campus newspapers, such as the Mirror News and The South End. She has also written for TechTown Detroit, BLAC Magazine and the Arab American National Museum. Saleh’s main career objective is to write about people of color and bring diverse voices into all sectors of the media. Iman will be attending NABJ.
Jeanine Santucci is a rising senior at Georgetown University studying justice and peace studies, journalism, and women’s and gender studies. Originally from Southern California, she is an aspiring journalist who has written for Washington City Paper, USA TODAY’s College network, and Street Sense Media about social inequalities, student activism, and D.C. news and culture. Jeanine is currently interning at NPR with the Office of the Ombudsman, where she is engaging with issues of journalistic ethics and the concerns of NPR’s audience. Jeanine will be attending NLGJA.
Tallie Spencer recently graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in communication studies and a minor in journalism. She is an intern at E! News as part of the social media team and has interned with FOX Broadcasting. This fall, she will attend the University of Southern California to pursue a master’s degree in journalism. Tallie strives to promote diversity and inclusion within journalism by highlighting stories that are typically underrepresented in mainstream media. Tallie will be attending NABJ.
Heaven Taylor-Wynn is a student at the University of Florida. She has reported for WUFT-TV, the Independent Florida Alligator and WUFT-FM. She was selected as an Emma Bowen Fellow and this summer she will intern with Politifact in St. Petersburg, Florida. Ultimately she aspires to tell stories that will merge her journalistic abilities and passion to solve the world’s most pressing social issues. Heaven will be attending NABJ.