Overseas Press Club

Overseas Press Club Foundation
Encouraging the next generation of foreign correspondents

40 West 45 Street, New York NY 10036 USA| 201.493.9087 | foundation@opcofamerica.org

Previous Winners
1992 - 2003

2010 OPC Foundation scholars
The 2010 OPC Foundation scholars: left to right,Roberts. Brookland, Henderson, Gross, Stein, Law, Kibenge, Finnegan, Stauffer, Ioffee, Matthews and Freeman.

The 2010 OPC Foundation Scholars

Jennifer Brookland, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Jennifer expects the investigative skills she learned as a federal law enforcement agent in the Air Force will serve her well in her second career as a journalist.  A Georgetown graduate, she wrote about a family in Uganda still haunted by the culture of fear and violence spread by the Lord’s Resistance Army decades before.   Fluent in French and basic Wolof, she intends to return to Sub-Saharan Africa to “cover untold stories that matter.”

Jenny Gross, Northwestern University

The college senior wrote about how Chinese imports have reshaped the clothing and textile industry in South Africa, closing major factories and opening the market for small clothing businesses, often run in the homes of former factory workers.  Jenny had covered the beat as an intern at the Cape Times in South Africa.  She hopes to return to the continent to write about global economic issues the mainstream media has ignored.

Jeff Roberts, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

With both a B.A. and law degree from McGill, Jeff readily admits his view of foreign correspondence eschews wars and oppression and focuses instead on world trade, economics and intellectual properties, issues he believes “provide a vital role in promoting truth and understanding between countries and  cultures.” Fluent in French, he wrote about the economic impact of international disputes over patents for indigenous knowledge and cultural commodities.  An OPC Foundation intern, he is headed to the Reuters bureau in Paris.

Owen Kibenge, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Owen’s greatest challenge as a radio broadcaster in Uganda was “translating medical information into the local dialect without watering down the message and criticizing centuries-old cultural practices.”  Having watched his parents die of AIDS, the Makerere University graduate wrote about how safe birthing practices that could help halt HIV transmission in babies are being ignored. Not even an arrest in the Congo could dampen his intentions to report from remote locations in Africa.

Artis Henderson, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Artis wrote about the women’s peace movement in Africa, an issue of great personal resonance.  After her husband was killed in Iraq, she changed careers and traveled the globe, rediscovering her passion for international affairs.  Intent on a career as a foreign correspondent and fluent in French, she will spend next year on a Rotary Scholarship in West Africa.  Before then, the UPenn graduate will spend the summer in the Associated Press bureau in Dakar, Senegal on an OPC Foundation internship.

Karina Ioffee, City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism

A native of the former Soviet Union, Karina wrote about the economic near-collapse of the one-factory town, Yasnogorsk, Russia, a story she covered as an intern in the AP Moscow bureau last summer.  Many industries that thrived in the Soviet era have gone bankrupt, leaving local populations in despair.  A graduate of the University of California-Santa Cruz, she is fluent in Russian and Spanish and hopes to return to Moscow to work for the Moscow Times or freelance.  

Leah Finnegan, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Leah likes to say that her first gig as a foreign correspondent was her move from a liberal arts college in upstate New York to Texas to finish her degree at the University of Texas in Austin.  Her next venture will be as an OPC Foundation intern in the Associated Press bureau in Cairo.  Drawn to issues in the Middle East, she wrote about the state of flux of the media in Jordan “caught between the old and the new and mired in the ethical and political implications of change.”

James Matthews, New York University Graduate School of Journalism

In few places in Central America, James writes, is the collision of imperialist Spaniards with indigenous Mayan culture more visible than in a village church in San Juan Chamula (Chiapas, Mexico) where ritual chicken killing is more accepted than conventional Catholic ceremonies.  Fascinated by Latin America, he will go to Sao Paulo on an OPC Foundation internship.  With both a BA and PhD from Oxford University, the UK native is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Francesca Freeman, Stanford University Graduate School of Journalism

Frankie wrote about the largely ignored sanitation crisis in Ghana, a country where her grandfather once worked as a bank clerk and where her mother was born.  On her way to work at the Ghanaian national newspaper, the UK native and graduate of the University of Manchester often witnessed the health impact on those living near open sewers.  The resulting

Christopher Stein, University of California, Santa Barbara

Chris intends to write about the overlooked and largely invisible tales of rural poverty in Africa, like the ones he encountered on a bus trip across Botswana that revealed villages harboring refugees from Angola’s now concluded civil war. Even the most remote and seemingly irrelevant places have stories with global implications.  In his essay, the college senior described the struggles of Ugogo, a 94-year old Zulu-speaking grandmother in the South African city of Pietermaritaburg.

Caroline Stauffer, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

Caroline wrote about Asia’s true heart of darkness: rural Myanmar, a story she investigated as an intern in the Associated Press bureau in Thailand last summer.  She described the largely undocumented plight of the Karen people and other ethnic minorities who endure atrocities in their homeland and face dangerous and uncertain futures when they flee.  An OPC Foundation intern, the Middleburg graduate is fluent in Spanish and will go to the Reuters bureau in Mexico City.

Denise Law, Ryerson University

Denise’s penchant for financial news led her to help launch a successful student business newspaper in Toronto.  The same commitment was evident in her essay about the appeal of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for risk-adverse investors who are content with lower returns in safer asset classes.  A college senior and recent Financial Times intern, she plans to return to London as a financial, investment or economics reporter as well as explore the growing investment industry in Asia.   





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