Overseas Press Club

Overseas Press Club Foundation
Encouraging the next generation of foreign correspondents

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

Previous Winners
1992 - 2003

2021 winners

2021 OPC Foundation Scholars

2021 OPC Foundation Scholar Awards - April 8, 2021

Jack Stone Truitt
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and
Columbia University School of International Public Affairs

Sponsored by the Schweisberg Family
In his essay Jack wrote about hopping on a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh City and traveling to Hanoi, a three-week, near-thousand mile journey snaking through the central highlands and north-central coast.  A graduate of the University of Washington, he is proficient in French and skilled in audio news gathering and production. He had an internship with the Seattle Times.  Besides studying journalism at Columbia, he is enrolled in a dual master’s degree at the School of International and Public Affairs.

Krisztian Sandor
New York University

Sponsored by Reuters
A business journalist with a deep understanding and experience covering crony capitalism, Krisztian wants to cover investments, mergers and acquisitions in regions of the world where politics and business interests often intertwine.  In his essay, he wrote about Kurdish protests against the Erdogan government in the Kurdish region of southeastern Turkey. A native of Hungary, he is also fluent in Spanish and speaks some Russian. Krisztian has an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Reuter’s finance and markets team in London.

Diana Kruzman
New York University

Endowed by John R. MacArthur and the Pierre F. Simon Charitable Trust
With a focus on Central Asia, Diana’s next project is the impact of climate change on the rural communities of the Fergana Valley, where the three countries of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan intersect, and all three depend on shrinking water resources from the region’s two main rivers.  In her essay, she wrote how drought and development are threatening the sacred groves of Southern India, venerated for thousands of years as abodes of deities.  Fluent in Russian, she is a graduate of the University of Southern California.

Brett Simpson
University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Endowed by the Scripps Howard Foundation
When Covid-19 restrictions postponed her Human Rights Center fellowship to Norway, Brett nevertheless stayed behind in Berkeley, learned the language and reported remotely on Norwegian resource extraction projects in the environmentally-sensitive Arctic regions. In her essay, she wrote about copper mining in northern Norway and the impact of marine waste disposal on the native Saami fishing industry. A graduate of Princeton, she also speaks Spanish.

Rose Gilbert
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Endowed by the Swinton Family
Having lived in Tuscany for a few years as a child as her parents learned how to make gelato for their Louisville KY clientele, Rose had an insider’s perspective as she witnessed the stand-off between NGO vessels carrying asylum seekers and Italian authorities thwarting their arrival in Lampedusa, at the southernmost tip of Italy.  A graduate of Princeton, she has also produced podcasts for Gannett. Rose speaks French and Italian and has experience covering trans-Mediterranean migration. 

Meena Venkataramanan
Harvard University

Endowed by family
As an independent immigration and border journalism fellow, Meena reported on the stories of asylum-seekers in the borderlands of Southern Arizona for a platform she created that also includes an ongoing newsletter and podcast.  In her essay she wrote about the dual impacts of Covid-19 and the 2020 U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Texas ports of entry for U.S.-Mexican trade. A dual U.S.-U.K. citizen, she speaks Spanish and Tamil. Meena is a Gates Cambridge Scholar and will be starting her M.Phil. in English at the University of Cambridge this fall.

Luca Powell
Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY

Endowed by family and friends
In his essay, Luca described the psychological toll of caregiving on the Filipino-American frontline healthcare workers who faced the first Covid-19 wave that overwhelmed New York City in the spring of 2020, a topic that he later wrote about for the New York Times.  Fluent in Italian and French, Luca has dual US-Italian citizenship.  A graduate of Connecticut College, he also spent a year living and reporting in Vietnam.  Luca has an OPC Foundation fellowship with Reuters in Rome.

Arno Pedram
Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY

Endowed by the Pierre F. Simon Charitable Trust
As an intern with the Associated Press bureau in Paris last summer, Arno covered, among other topics, how Covid-19 transmission and mortality rates exposed racial disparities between Africa- and Asia-born people in France compared to the France-born populations, the subject of his essay. A French citizen, he began his career as a journalist while an undergraduate at McGill.  Arno is developing his skills in multimedia and using data to better cover underreported and misreported communities.

Matthew Reysio-Cruz
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and
Columbia University School of International Public Affairs

Endowed by S&P Global
Matthew wants to focus on Southeast Asia, especially countries where democracy is under severe threat or where longtime authoritarian rule is being questioned.  In his essay, he wrote about a former refugee camp on the western Philippine island of Palawan. The cuisine survived; the village did not. Bi-lingual with dual US-Filipino citizenship, he chose to major in journalism as a student at the University of the Philippines in the wake of the Ampatuan Massacre, which involved the murder of thirty-two media workers.

Akash Pasricha
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Endowed by family and friends
A financial consultant turned journalist, Akash never forgot the lesson he learned as a business student touring a copper cable factory in rural India: the best way to decipher the complexities of international business is to understand what motivates the labor force.  A podcaster and native of Canada, he holds degrees from Queens University and Business University (London ON). Akash is an amateur stage actor and avid cyclist with internships with CNN and the Seattle Times.

Alicia Carter
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism

Funded by Daimler and Supported by CBS News and friends
Primarily a video journalist, Alicia described a documentary she did on the women who led the Walnut Cove, NC, efforts to stop the environmental and health impacts caused by Duke Energy’s dumping coal ash into Belews Lake. Alicia spent last summer documenting the decades-long fight of rural post offices across the country to stay open. A graduate of the University of Denver, she is fluent in Spanish and speaks five different African languages. She has lived in Mexico and Peru and spent four years in eastern and southern Africa. 

Tre'Vaughn Howard
University of Miami

Endowed by the Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper Family Foundation
Tre’Vaughn had barely arrived in Hong Kong as a foreign exchange student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong when the once peaceful HK demonstrations turned more violent.  With video camera in hand, he set out to document the protest, damage and impact on the CUHK student population in multimedia format. His on-the-ground reporting, in print and film, captured a fresh perspective. Tre’Vaughn has interned at CBS News, Dow Jones and local media in Miami.

Doyin Oladipo
New York University

Endowed by Anne and Larry Martz
Doyin realized she was a storyteller interviewing refugees and defectors for the U.S. Department of State. She intends to specialize in business journalism because she believes money and economics are at the heart of every global story. In her essay, she wrote about a Nigerian smartphone manufacturer trying to carve out a niche in a market dominated by Asian conglomerates.  She graduated from Tufts and speaks Spanish.  Doyin has an OPC Foundation fellowship with Reuters in Dubai.

Anna Jean Kaiser
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Endowed by family and friends
A multimedia freelance foreign correspondent with extensive experience covering Brazil, Anna intends to expand her focus to cover Latin America as a region.  Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, she wrote about Venezuelan refugees in the border town of Pacaraima, where a violent mob of Brazilian nationalists attacked and burned Venezuelan refugee camps. While initially a print reporter, she has since built a career as a video and radio producer and has navigated large TV crews in some of the most challenging reporting environments in South America.  Anna is a graduate of UC-Santa Cruz.

Heather Schlitz
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Endowed by family and friends
Heather spent two summers as a Dow Jones intern breaking stories on such topics as the coercive attendance policies at meatpacking plants for employees with COVID-19 symptoms and the impact of climate change on the increasing prevalence of Lyme disease.  In her essay, Heather described in vivid detail a trip past decaying villages to visit the graves of relatives in China’s Zhejiang province.  She is fluent in German and studied Mandarin at Peking University in Beijing.

Jimin Kang
Princeton University

Endowed by Deb Amos and friends
In her winning essay, Jimin wrote about poets and the increasing prevalence and social impact of poetry in the metro and other public places in her native South Korea. Raised and educated in Hong Kong, she is fluent in four languages including Spanish and Portuguese.  Before she starts a two-year master's program at Oxford University, she has an OPC Foundation fellowship with Reuters’ Sao Paulo bureau.  Jimin, who lived in Brazil for nearly a year, is interested in stories on climate change, urban development and migration.

Kira Leadholm
Northwestern Medill School of Journalism

Endowed by Edith Lederer and friends
Kira began her career as freelance foreign correspondent while living in Kazakhstan.  In her essay she wrote about a team of competitive ethnic Kazakh frisbee players from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where Kazakhs are among the Muslim minorities being interned in ‘re-education’ camps. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she speaks Spanish and some Russian and is expanding her photo and video skills.  She will likely head next to South Africa or Argentina.




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