We’re excited to announce the 25 recipients of the 2022 ProPublica student conference stipend. Our seventh annual stipend program received additional support from The Pudding, an online visual essays publication.
This year’s recipients were chosen from more than 125 applicants. Each of these talented journalists will receive a $750 stipend to attend a virtual or in-person conference in 2022.
We’ve written about what ProPublica is doing to increase the diversity of our newsroom and of the broader journalism community. This stipend program 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:
Anjali Huynh is a junior at Emory University majoring in political science and sociology. She is a digital politics intern at NBC News and executive editor of Emory’s student publication, The Emory Wheel, overseeing the news and diversity, equity and inclusion sections. Huynh is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and the South Asian Journalists Association, and she hopes to spend her career examining the intersection of race and policy. She will intern for The Boston Globe’s metro section this summer.
Brandon Yam is a first-year student at Hamilton College, where he is majoring in cultural anthropology and minoring in education studies. He covered the New York City public school system at the FLHS News, his high school paper, and at the “Miseducation” podcast. He has interned at City Limits and “Miseducation.” Now he covers news and features at The Spectator, Hamilton College’s paper. Outside of school, he has tutored his cousin in English and a sophomore in geometry. His tutoring has shaped his journalism. After graduation, he hopes to continue to investigate how race and class intersect with education. Yam will be attending IRE and AAJA.
Chasity Hale is a journalism master’s student at Stanford University, where she also received her bachelor’s degree in communication and creative writing. She has interned at NPR Music, worked at The Stanford Daily and written for various publications, including The San Franciscan magazine and Peninsula Press. Raised in Miami, Hale is intimately aware of the dangers that climate change poses to coastal cities and is passionate about reporting on the environment through the lenses of equity and justice. She plans to attend the Journalism and Women Symposium in Austin, Texas, this September.
Citlali Perez is a writer and artist based on the South Side of Chicago. She is a junior at DePaul University studying sociology and journalism and works with community-based organizations on immigrant rights issues. She has written for the bilingual student-run publication at DePaul and other outlets covering politics and culture in Chicago. She hopes to develop her investigative reporting skills and contribute to the work being done by movement journalists. She would like to attend NLGJA, IRE and the Latino Media Summit.
Iqra Salah is a first-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism, where she is majoring in documentary filmmaking while also pursuing investigative journalism. She is also a student researcher with the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley. Previously, she worked as a reporter and researcher for the BBC in Nairobi, Kenya, where she covered important issues across Africa. Salah has also worked with CNN as a field producer and helped cover the 2017 Kenyan elections, as well as with Africa Uncensored, Kenya’s first independent investigative media house, as a reporter. She will be attending IRE and the National Association of Black Journalists conference and convention.
Janat Kaur Batra
Janat Kaur Batra is a senior at Georgia Tech pursuing a bachelor’s in literature, media and communication. She is an editorial research intern at CNN and the editor in chief of the Technique, Georgia Tech’s student newspaper. Batra is also an alumna of the 2021 Dow Jones News Fund digital media class. Through DJNF, Batra interned at the International Center for Journalists with its communications team. Her journalism experience also includes freelancing for The New York Times by reporting on her community in Atlanta. She is passionate about covering inequities in the criminal justice system and aims to work on an investigative team in the future. Batra will be attending the AAJA national convention this summer and potentially IRE.
Jason White is a Native American photojournalist based in Phoenix. He attends Arizona State University and is working toward a degree in photography. His passion for photography started in high school, where he slowly started learning about journalism and what impacts it has on the world. After the experience he gained in high school, he immediately sought out the local campus publication when moving off to college. From then on, White has gained experience from all over, learning from local journalists as well as his fellow student journalists. White’s true passion is conflict photography, as it is unpredictable and hard to navigate, but that’s exactly what keeps drawing him back. He plans to attend the Native American Journalists Association conference.
Javier Sarmiento is an Afro-Latino writer from Harlem in New York City. He is a senior at Buena Vista University studying digital media and writing about sports and social justice topics as a staff writer for The Tack Online. Sarmiento won first place in the collegiate sports writing category of the Robert L. Vann Media Awards for his article “The Impact and Influence of LeBron James.” Last summer, he was selected to be a part of the NABJ’s Student Multimedia Project and produced two articles pertaining to race in the teaching and book industries. Sarmiento plans to attend NABJ, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists conference and the Online News Association conference.
Jordan Allen is a junior in digital/print journalism with a minor in criminal justice at the University of North Texas. Allen has been passionate about her future career in journalism since she was in elementary school. She has grown her skills in communication, teamwork and professional journalism writing by working with UNT’s broadcast and newspaper department and as a chapter ambassador for UNT-NABJ. Allen will be attending NABJ.
Julian Berger is a journalism student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a prime-time show intern at CNN. During the summer of 2021, Berger interned at NBC News working as a production assistant for NBC News NOW. In 2020, he worked as a reporter for the Spanish-language newspaper La Noticia covering the Latino community in North Carolina. Berger is a member of NAHJ and co-founded the group’s student chapter at UNC in 2020. After graduation in May, he plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. Berger will be attending NAHJ or the Latino Media Summit.
Julietta Bisharyan is a multimedia and investigative journalist from the Bay Area. As a first-generation Armenian American, she is committed to reporting on local and human rights issues. She hopes to tell the stories of communities whose voices are often ignored and to provoke change. Her work has been published in Berkeleyside, Armenian Weekly, East Bay Times and the Davis Enterprise. She is currently earning her master’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism after graduating from UC Davis. Bisharyan will be attending the ONA conference and the Journalism and Women Symposium.
Manuel Cuéllar is a Colombian journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. He began his career in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he produced weekly programs about culture, music and sports for national television. Upon moving to New York, Cuéllar worked for four years at Soledad O'Brien Productions, developing and producing content for documentary series. He is now pursuing a master’s degree in bilingual journalism with a documentary specialization at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Cuéllar currently works as a freelance associate producer for a bilingual cancer survivor podcast and is developing a documentary series about music in different immigrant communities around New York and their connection to Latin America. Cuéllar will be attending either NAHJ or a documentary conference.
Marielle Argueza was born in the Philippines and raised in California. She attends the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism as a Toni Stabile investigative fellow. Before pursuing a master’s degree, she was a local reporter for the Monterey County Weekly. She has won several awards from the California News Publishers Association for her reporting on education. She plans to attend the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference.
McKenzie Allen-Charmley is a Dena’ina Athabaskan and Black journalist from Anchorage, Alaska. She is a senior studying journalism and mass communication at Arizona State University. It is her mission to help create the foundation of a journalistic evolution that values representation, authenticity and accuracy above all else. McKenzie is also a broadcast reporter for Cronkite News/Arizona PBS as well as a fellow for both NAJA and PlanetForward for 2021-22. She has previously worked for CNBC and the city of Phoenix, and she was also a fellow for the Henry Luce Foundation reporting on underserved Indigenous communities. She will attend NAJA.
Miranda Muir is a high school senior and co-editor in chief of the La Quinta High student news outlet, the Hawkview, in the Coachella Valley. For the past four years, she has covered local politics and school news, written feature stories, and focused on localizing issues important to her community. Recently, Muir helped the Hawkview pitch a Humans of New York-style printed banner project to her city, titled Humans of LQHS, in hopes of making stories of those in her community physically visible. She plans to continue to pursue journalism in various forms moving forward into college, to hold those in power accountable and to amplify the voices of others. Muir will be attending ONA.
Natalia Sánchez Loayza
Natalia Sánchez Loayza is an award-winning Peruvian journalist, editor and writer. She is a master's candidate in bilingual journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Additionally, she holds an MFA in creative writing in Spanish from New York University. She focuses her journalistic work on gender inequality, labor issues and reproductive rights. Her reporting on the labor conditions of domestic workers in Peru received a grant from Oxfam FNPI and the Fundación Gabriel García Márquez. She worked as assistant editor for Etiqueta Negra magazine, and she’s co-founder and co-editor of various female-led media projects. In 2021, she won the Aura Estrada international literary award for a nonfiction book project described by one of Mexico’s leading newspapers as “a deeper reflection on how painful spaces and experiences in Latin America build identity.” She also received a 2021 scholarship from the Association of Foreign Correspondents in the U.S. She is based in Brooklyn and will be attending IRE or NAHJ.
Natalie Skowlund is a graduate student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. As a Southwest health reporting fellow at ASU, Natalie conducts research and reports on health disparities. Recently, she has covered mental health in Indigenous communities as a mental health journalism fellow with the Carter Center and teenage migration in Tapachula, Mexico, as part of the Cronkite Borderlands Initiative. Previously, Skowlund worked as an education reporter for the Grants Pass Daily Courier and interned with NPR-affiliate WDAV. She is also a Fulbright scholar who has lived in Colombia, Taiwan, Spain and Bolivia. Her work has appeared in the Portland Tribune and Indian Country Today, among other publications. She is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Mandarin Chinese. Skowlund aspires to be a bilingual audio journalist and will attend the NLGJA conference.
Oden Taylor is a third-year journalism student, transferring to Cal Poly Humboldt in the fall of 2022. He aspires to amplify underrepresented voices and hold authority figures accountable through fair and ethical reporting, focusing heavily on equity issues for LGBTQ+ people and people of color. Taylor is also currently a fellow with CalMatters College Journalism Network and plans to attend the NLGJA conference.
Shi En Kim
Shi En Kim is a final-year doctoral student in molecular engineering at the University of Chicago who is transitioning into full-time science journalism. Her freelance work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Slate, Science News, Hakai Magazine and others. She was a 2021 AAAS mass media fellow at Smithsonian magazine and an editorial intern at Popular Science in the spring of 2022. Currently, she’s an early-career fellow with The Open Notebook/Burroughs Wellcome Fund. She’s forever grateful for the opportunity to interview bigwigs such as NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, American Olympic figure skater Mirai Nagasu and Dr. Anthony Fauci for her articles. She plans to attend IRE and AAJA.
Simon J. Levien
Simon J. Levien is a second-year history major at Harvard College from Sparta, New Jersey. He has worn many hats at The Crimson, serving at times as senior staff writer, magazine reporter, photographer, newsletters editor, social media director and diversity committee member. Currently he leads its metro coverage, serves as audience engagement editor and still writes occasionally for Fifteen Minutes, The Crimson’s magazine. Last year, Levien was the youngest member in his cohort in The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. He believes strongly in the power of historically informed investigative journalism and digital strategy pioneered by nonprofit newsrooms. Levien would like to attend AAJA and IRE.
Stephania Rodríguez is a bilingual journalism student at DePaul University. Based in Chicago, she currently covers local news, but she has a particular interest in topics concerning social justice. She hopes to one day become a recognized investigative reporter whose work will promote positive change. She plans to attend the Latino Media Summit.
Tamia Fowlkes is a University of Wisconsin-Madison senior majoring in journalism and political science. She’s currently an intern for “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC and News 3 Now in Madison. On campus, she serves as an Andrew Goodman ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation and as a video production intern for University Communications. She is a student representative for NABJ and has written for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, Isthmus and The Madison Commons. She co-hosts the podcast “Pod-Cast Your Vote,” which aims to mobilize and empower youth voters. In the fall, Fowlkes will continue her studies at Columbia Journalism School, where she is pursuing her master’s. She hopes to attend IRE and ONA in September.
Tasha Sandoval is a Colombian and Cuban American writer and journalist based in New York City. She started pursuing journalism at the Bogotá Post, an English language outlet in Colombia, after six years of working in higher education and international admissions. She has a bachelor’s in history from Bowdoin College and a master’s in educational leadership and policy studies from Boston University. She is currently a bilingual master’s student at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where she is specializing in audio journalism. She is a spring 2022 intern for Univision’s El Detector, the first Spanish-language fact-checking platform in the U.S. She plans to attend the NLGJA conference.
Tia Knowles is a multimedia journalist from Durham, North Carolina. She attends North Carolina Central University and is a rising senior. She is a mass communications major with a concentration in broadcast media. Currently, she works as a reporter for Central News, a student-run newscast at the university. She is involved with a variety of organizations at her school: the Broadcast Education Association, Lambda Pi Eta and NABJ. After graduation she plans to work in broadcast journalism. She intends to use her platform to provide proper representation as an African American woman in journalism. She will be attending the NABJ convention.
Uvie Bikomo is a Nigerian American graduate student at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas Tech University. She has dabbled in various aspects of media, from working as the content producer for a biweekly newscast to hosting a weekly radio show at a local station. After undergrad, she took a gap year in Nigeria where she worked as the producer/presenter/reporter for “Entertainment News” at Channels Television, the country’s leading 24-hour cable news station. She hopes to create a magazine that bridges the gap between Africa and the Black diaspora. She plans to attend the NABJ convention.