Overseas Press Club

Overseas Press Club Foundation
Encouraging the next generation of foreign correspondents

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2006 Winners, OPC Foundation
Seated (l-r) Barchas, Akram, Bukharabaeva, Rageh and Jones (l-r): Eldridge, Krieger, Clark, Das, Loyalka, Johnsen, and Latiak.

The 2006 OPC Foundation Scholars

Hannah Clark, New York University

Earning a certificate in Business and Economics Reporting in the master’s program in journalism at New York University, the Macalister college graduate intends to show how economic theory impacts real life in the developing world, as illustrated in her essay on Ghanaian agriculture. Having navigated the almost non-existent road system, Hannah describes how nearly impossible it is for Ghanaian farmers to access fertilizer.

Gregory Johnsen, University of Arizona

A former Fulbright fellow and Peace Corps volunteer, Greg – who is fluent in Arabic – writes about presidential politics in Yemen’s fledging democracy. In a system more accurately called a “republican kingdom,” President Ali Abdullah Salih’s announcement of retirement was predictably withdrawn. A graduate of Hastings College (Hastings NE), he intends to return to Yemen after finishing his master’s degree in Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona.

Anupreeta Das, Boston University

Outsourcing in China and India, Anupreeta believes, needs to be demystified, to reveal the interplay of globalization and politics and its enduring effects on society and culture. In her essay, she describes how outsourcing in India is driving the rise in American English classes and increasing the disparity between rich and poor. With an education that spans four countries, the Boston University graduate student in journalism is learning Mandarin in hopes of reporting on China’s drive to be a force in the outsourcing industry.

Galima Bukharabaeva, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

Perhaps the most revealing element of Galima’s eyewitness account of the massacre in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan on May 13, 2005, was not being shot at and narrowly escaping, but being labeled a terrorist for covering it for the international press. Now exiled from her native Uzbekistan, she intends to continue to fight for freedom of the press and to someday return to Central Asia.

Michelle Loyalka, Missouri School of Journalism

Having spent seven years in China, Michelle is aware of the startling psychological impacts of breakneck change and social upheaval that underlie the booming Chinese economy. In her essay, she describes how these elements play out in the life of a successful yet nervous Chinese entrepreneur. A graduate of Marquette University, she intends to use her skills honed at the Missouri School of Journalism to return to China to cover the triumphs and struggles underlying the headline stories of economic growth.

Cory Eldridge, University of Oregon

The University of Oregon journalism major writes about a dedicated, impoverished British-trained Palestinian ophthalmologist doing his best, amid the strains of Israeli occupation and his patients’ poverty, to save the eye of young girl from the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. Corey intends to return to the Middle East to begin his career as a foreign correspondent, a decision he made while stranded at a checkpoint in a Hezbollah outpost.

Ayesha Akram, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

Trained as a physician, Ayesha believes as a journalist she will have more success lifting the curtain on the AIDS crisis in India and setting the necessary wheels of change in motion. In her essay, she writes about a 43-year old Pakistani patient who launched a foundation, largely ignored, that promoted AIDS awareness. Fluent in Urdu, Hindi and Punhabi, Ayesha is the first winner of the Associated Press-OPC Fellowship and will spend a month this summer in the AP bureau in Bankok.

Zvika Krieger, Yale University

The Yale University senior tells the story of Maryam Sayeed, a young Egyptian activist in Youth for Change, which, under the umbrella of Kifaya, is leading the fight against Hosni Mubarak. Despite repeated failures, Maryam refuses to let political complexities deter her from her fight for freedom. For Zvika, her story illustrates what journalism does best: reveal the human element in seemingly conventional issues.

Rachel Jones, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

Rachael wrote about how the residents of Quetzaltengo in Guatemala have become self-proclaimed vigilantes to combat the country’s escalating crime rate caused by the rise in gang activity. In her essay, she accompanies Jose and his grown sons as they joined 30 or so neighbors to beat up two suspected gang members. A native of Canada and graduate of Lewis & Clark College (Portland OR), she intends to cover South America or Africa.

Lynden Ted Latiak, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

Ted’s decision to extend for one year his deployment to Afghanistan convinced him to become a journalist: to tell the stories that would otherwise go unreported. A graduate of West Point with a degree in electrical engineering and a former US Army captain, he writes about the economic realities of today’s Afghanistan. He intends to return there and cover its reemergence in the modern economic world.

Rawya Rageh, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

A native of Egypt, Rawya was forever changed by the agony and devastation she encountered in Darfur. Frustrated by complaints that Americans have little interest in Africa, she believes they will respond to vivid stories rich with human details. In her essay, she discusses the need for the world to pay attention to the humanitarian crisis in the Sudan. A graduate of the American University in Cairo, she intends to report from sub-Saharan Africa.

Elizabeth Barchas, Harvard Law School

A Russian major at Emory University, Elizabeth intends to use her Harvard Law School degree to help navigate the legal issues unique to censorship in Russia, so that she and other international journalists might cast light on the sensitive areas that must be exposed before real change can occur. The Fulbright fellow and former Miss Idaho writes about her elderly neighbor in St. Petersburg who wishes the Russian media would tell her story.




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