Previous Scholarship Recipients

2013-2014

2013–2014

Saurabh Agarwal

Brendan Brady

Alexandra Raphel

Karly Schledwitz

Kavitha Sivadasan

Shorenstein Summer Internship: Alexandra Raphel, The Friday Times (Pakistan)

2012-2013

2012-2013

Adrian Arroyo
Paige Austin
Diane Chang
Leora Falk
Inessa Lurye
Rohit Malhotra
Valentine Mary-Chamoin
Effie-Michelle Metallidis
Kristina Redgrave
Alexander Remington
Luis Capelo Sarmiento
Hanna Siegel
Alexi White

2011-2012

2011–2012

Leora FalkLeora Falk

Before coming to the Kennedy School I worked as a reporter in D.C. for about four years. I was regularly covering policy issues that were intriguing, difficult and often controversial. By trading the newsroom for the Kennedy School classroom, I hope to be able to learn new skills for analyzing policy and for critically assessing other people’s analysis of policy. That way, if and when I return to the newsroom, I am better equipped to write in-depth stories about policy issues that likely have wide-ranging effects on my readers’ lives.

The Shorenstein Center is one of the things that most excites me about the Kennedy School. I am excited about the number of people—both professionals in the field and academics—who are engaged in discussing the role the media plays in politics and policy. It is great to be part of a community of professors, fellows, and students, that has so many diverse ideas and experiences that are informing interlinked discussions. Understanding the ways technology affects news coverage of politics and how politicians adjust their decisions to better play into the news cycles will allow me to cover politics with a better understanding of ways that I can influence the future of the industry. I’ve already attended several Shorenstein Center events and each one has been exciting and informative while also challenging the way I think about the relationship of media and politics.

I am particularly interested in how the Internet—through sharing sites like YouTube and Twitter and through blogs and sites that target particular political audiences—shape the way that politicians run for office and formulate policy. I am thrilled to be able to be here through the 2012 election, so that I can study these questions as they are played out on the national stage.

Paige AustinPaige Austin

Coming to the Kennedy School provided me with a wonderful opportunity to build on interests and skills that I had acquired in journalism. The Shorenstein Center was really key in facilitating that, because it sits at the center of media and academia, with faculty and visiting speakers who straddle both worlds. It was through the Shorenstein Center that I had a chance to begin exploring issues like the impact of growing media choice on public opinion and political campaigns. These are concerns that were always there in the background for me as a journalist, but which I had never been able to engage with from an academic perspective.

My goal now is to continue working on some of these same issues from a legal angle, with a focus on expanding access to information and fighting censorship globally.

2010-2011

2010–2011

Edmund ConwayEdmund Conway, MPA/MC

I have been plotting, planning and fantasizing about coming to HKS for some years. There are public policy schools that excel in various fields, be they diplomatic, economic, managerial or communications and the press, but none combine all the disciplines quite as cogently as the Kennedy School. Because I covered the financial crisis for the Daily Telegraph, one of my main objectives was to spend a little more time mulling over economic issues. My intention is also to broaden my knowledge, so I can talk with more authority on matters beyond the economic and financial field. Most important is the opportunity to meet people from all fields of public policy, and hopefully form lasting connections. Much of my previous career has focused on new media. Although I worked for a newspaper, I worked on our online strategy, helped to set up our economic and financial blogs and to introduce other communication methods such as Twitter to the group. I am delighted that the Shorenstein Center is also so focused on new media. I know that many in public policy are intimidated and overwhelmed by the communications quandaries raised by the Internet. The Center prefers to cast them as opportunities, which resonates with me. I hope that I will come away from HKS a more well-rounded, accomplished person, capable not merely of writing on public policy issues, but of understanding the process by which those decisions are made. I hope that this time at HKS, contemplating how public policy is formed, and how best to communicate it, will put me in better stead to be a progressive part of that process.

Joel EngardioJoel Engardio, MPA/MC

The Internet age began while I was in journalism school. I spent my early career as a print reporter navigating the dotcom rise. During version 2.0, I evolved to online video. Traditional media is quickly fading from existence as I reach my mid-career, but I know there will always be a future in telling stories. I have ideas about new ways to do storytelling and I hope to formalize my thoughts and expand my skills at the Kennedy School. I like how the Kennedy School is concerned not only with fixing problems, but going further to create better systems. That’s why the Shorenstein Center matters. It’s the place at the Kennedy School where we will figure out how to invent a new generation of compelling media that is more efficient, effective and sustainable than its predecessor ever was. I’m also looking forward to my Kennedy School experience to learn and think deeper about business/government relationships, entrepreneurial management and negotiation. These forces both make possible and benefit from the art of storytelling. Understanding this synergy is the first step to implement my “big idea” in the communication revolution.

2009-2010

2009–2010

Paige AustinPaige Austin, MPP; Al Jazeera

Coming to the Kennedy School provided me with a wonderful opportunity to build on interests and skills that I had acquired in journalism. The Shorenstein Center was really key in facilitating that, because it sits at the center of media and academia, with faculty and visiting speakers who straddle both worlds. It was through the Shorenstein Center that I had a chance to begin exploring issues like the impact of growing media choice on public opinion and political campaigns. These are concerns that were always there in the background for me as a journalist, but which I had never been able to engage with from an academic perspective.

My goal now is to continue working on some of these same issues from a legal angle, with a focus on expanding access to information and fighting censorship globally.

Bill ForryBill Forry, MPA/MC; Reporter Newspapers

The whole HKS experience was fantastic. I enjoyed being in a classroom setting after 15 years or so in “the trenches” of community journalism. It compelled me to think more broadly about issues out of my wheelhouse. The best part of it all was interacting with peers from all over the world.

I felt a particular kinship with Alex Jones, since both of us hail from a family newspaper background and, I think, share similar sensibilities about the role of local journalism. He was very helpful in steering me towards the Berkman Center and their work in bolstering small, emerging news organizations online. Since my own newspaper company is very much an online enterprise, this was vitally important.

I have already returned to my duties at the Dorchester Reporter Newspapers and intend to bring many of my new contacts and resources to bear in improving our business practices and enterprise reporting efforts. I think that the connections made at HKS will be invaluable in these plans.

Ellen KnickmeyerEllen Knickmeyer, MPA/MC; The Washington Post

The best things I learned were those that, coming here, I didn’t know that I didn’t know. I had been on the ground as a reporter overseas for many years before coming to the Kennedy School, and classes here on topics like development economics, comparative politics, and ethics in warfare, provided insight on some robust policy debates in my old fields that I, in some cases, hadn’t known about, and deepened my understanding of issues such as democratic and economic growth in ways that helped me better understand what I saw in places like Egypt and Senegal, and what I’m going to see when I go back. And Marie Danziger made it conceivable to me that I could make a speech in public without my throat closing up and my knees locking…

I appreciated the Shorenstein Center’s many workshops, and wish I could have attended more of them, and Nancy Palmer and others at the center were always very helpful with advice.

I want to go back at least part time to the Middle East, preferably the more complex countries there, but not as a daily journalist. And there is a book on the 2003 U.S. intervention in Liberia that I have been wanting to write since I reported on it.

Soomin SeoSoomin Seo, MPP; The Hankyoreh

My course of study evolved around media, American politics and gender, which, coupled with the core MPP curriculum, enabled me to develop new interests like the new media’s role in political mobilization of minorities like young women. I wrote my PAE — the equivalent of a master’s thesis — on the subject, which I enjoyed immensely. I actually got to use what I learned in classes.

I ended up taking most of my classes taught by professors affiliated with the Shorenstein Center: Professors Matt Baum, Thomas Patterson, Pippa Norris, Nicco Mele and Bob Blendon. They were hugely inspiring, and helped sharpen my academic interest in the aforementioned area of media and politics. The Center also enabled me to brush shoulders with great Fellows like Daniel Okrent and John Geer.

I will be in a Communications PhD Program at Columbia University at NYC, so you’re likely to bump into me even after I graduate.

2008-2009

2008–2009

Aram HurAram Hur, MPP, graduated HKS in June 2009, and is now a doctoral student at Princeton. Her interest lies in the intersection of the press and politics, especially how the changes within media will affect power dynamic between politicians and the public. As a former journalist, she sees the media “not simply as a mediator, but as an active player in politics,” and is a firm believer that it can significantly influence policy outcomes.

Aram’s interest in journalism and communication grew naturally out of her bicultural background. A native of Korea, Aram grew up moving between Korea and the U.S. every few years. In the process, she says she witnessed multiple U.S.–Korea relations events that received very different coverage in each country’s media and arguably impacted the different policy stances. “I became curious about exactly how journalists fit into the political process and how much influence they have.”

Before coming to the Kennedy School, Aram reported for CNN, Time magazine, and Newsweek Korea. She was also the news editor and staff reporter for her alma mater’s newspaper, The Stanford Daily. Aram came to the Kennedy School to build a broader understanding of the political process. She says the Shorenstein Center has been an invaluable resource. “The caliber of the people that this place attracts is simply amazing,” she says. She notes working with Shorenstein fellows and attending the speaker series as highlights.

Aram is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science with a continued emphasis in press and politics. She believes she can have the most impact by being at the cutting-edge of the transformation in media and political communication and sharing her findings with both the academic and practitioner communities. “I am grateful for the care that the Shorenstein Center’s faculty and staff have given me,” she says. “My biggest gift from the Kennedy School is the network of mentors and friends.”

Soomin SeoSoomin Seo is a journalist with a vision. Her passion for media that can “transcend a linear model and promote democracy” has taken Soomin from Korea to Africa to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

An MPP graduate at the Kennedy School, Soomin began her reporting career in her home of South Korea, but periodically reported from North Korea where she was confined to a hotel with no cell phone and no Internet. She refers to her time there as a “privilege” and admits that it was her favorite place to work: “I didn’t have an editor checking in an hour before a story was due!”

Reporting in South Korea was much different, Soomin says, as reporters are quick to embrace new media technologies in precarious political situations. Soomin mentioned how South Korea is a test case for new media research like that being done by Nicco Mele, Shorenstein faculty member.

Her experience in reporting the tense relationship between North and South Korea prepared her for a shift to covering militant movements in other Asian and African areas. “I got along with the rebels,” she says, and found that she had her own story to share about overcoming poverty and conflict. In Darfur and Nigeria, Soomin met with little resistance as a journalist, mostly out of people’s curiosity: “I was the first female Asian reporter most people had ever met.”

The Shorenstein Center has played a crucial role in her studies, Soomin says. She appreciates the Center’s “culture of giving” and its interest in Asian affairs. “The Shorenstein Center is more than just a journalism school,” she says, “it shares my passion for discovering what the media can do for society.”

Soomin previously reported for The Hankyoreh, an independent South Korean newspaper, as well as The Korea Times, BBC Radio, The Straits Times and the feminist journal IF, the first Korean magazine championing a feminist agenda.