Meet Our 2016 Scholarship Winners!
Graduate Scholarships - $5,000
Kazi Elman Awal, City University of New York
Kazi Awal is a
Master’s candidate at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalis
m in New York City. He is a native Brooklynite currently studying data visualizatio
ns/interactives and health and science reporting. Fueled by a keen interest in finding the numbers that matter, he digs up data to unearth stories. He can also be found out on the s
treets, toting a DSLR, capturing moments unique to life in the insomniac city. Outside of journalism, though, there is nothing he enjoys more than the combination of good food, g
nd films, and gre
Aditi Malhotra, Columbia University
Aditi Malhotra is a reporter at The Wall Street Journal’s South Asia bureau. She joined the Journal in New Delhi in December 2012, six days before news broke out that a 23-year-old woman had been raped by a group of six men in the city, suffering injuries so severe that she succumbed to them. Aditi delved deep into the crime and worked on some of the award-winning coverage of the Journal on crimes against women. Besides crime, she has reported on a wide-range of topics from human rights to education, health, technology, arts and culture. Beginning this fall, Aditi will be pursuing the MA program at Columbia Journalism School. She will be specializing in health and environment reporting.
Pathik Root, Columbia University
Tik Root is a freelance journalist. He’s worked in Yemen, Spain, Rwanda, Russia and the US covering everything from Al-Qaeda to youth issues and faith based environmentalism. His work has appeared with The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The Economist, among other outlets. He holds a B.A. in International Politics and Economics from Middlebury College. This fall he plans to pursue an M.A. in Journalism at Columbia University, with a concentration in Science, Health & the Environment.
Nani Sahra Walker, University of California, Berkeley
Nani Sahra Walker works as a filmmaker, user experience designer and social entrepreneur. She was awarded the San Francisco FilmHouse Residency for her feature documentary "Other Nature" (2012) on third gender rights in Nepal and received an MTV Video Music Award (2015) for production design in Fall Out Boy's music video "Uma Thurman." Nani reports for AJ+ as a freelance video journalist. In 2015, Nani founded athenasaraswati.org, a non-profit aimed to empower displaced populations with training and education. She is currently exploring virtual reality storytelling and content strategy at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Undergraduate Scholarships - $3,000
Nitisha Baronia, University of California, Berkeley
Nitisha is an undergraduate Regents' and Chancellor's Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Nitisha began her writing career with India West Newspaper as a high school student, and has loved journalism ever since. She currently serves as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Berkeley Political Review, the only non-partisan political publication on the vibrant campus. In addition to writing, Nitisha works as Policy Coordinator for the ASUC Student Advocate's Office, advocating for student clients on campus. She is passionate about Asian American civil rights issues, and hopes to use her scholarship to bring untold narratives to the journalistic spotlight.
Aruna Dutt, University of Western Ontario
Born in Washington, D.C. and growing up in Canada, Aruna's interest in journalism and social justice evolved as she traveled to developing countries, leading her to combine these passions by pursuing a double major in Media in the Public Interest and Global Development at Western University. She spent two months at the United Nations bureau of the Interpress Service news agency, reporting on various LGBT, gender, and aboriginal issues, international politics and human rights. Now she is a junior, returning to New York to report from the United Nations bureau, and is taking over as Editor-in-Chief of her college magazine, The Regis.
Sudhanshu Kaushik, New York University
Sudhanshu Kaushik is currently pursuing an international relations degree and a degree in journalism at New York University. He founded a nonprofit, Equality Initiative, which provides education to children in rural India. He also founded a South Asian Literary and Journal magazine alongside a YouTube news show, Mann Marzi. He’s currently working on a documentary on the Haryana Panchayati Amendment Act called Swaraj. He wants to be happy yesterday, caffeinated today, and helping people tomorrow.
Aditi Mayer, University of California, Irvine
Aditi Mayer is a sophomore at UC Irvine double majoring in Literary Journalism and International Studies. Her work as a photojournalist is largely motivated by issues of social justice, women's rights, and the South Asian diaspora. This Spring, she will be traveling to La Paz, Mexico to cover issues relating to girl's education and urban development. In addition to freelance reporting, she runs her own blog, ADIMAY.com, which highlights her photography, travel, and the intersection between style and social action.Jasmine Rashid, Swarthmore College
Jasmine Rashid, born and raised on Long Island, graduated from Farmingdale High School and currently attends Swarthmore College, class of 2018. At Swarthmore College, Ms. Rashid is exploring academia through a variety of lenses, including Peace and Conflict Studies, Sociology, Political Science, and Behavioral Economics. From an early age, she has been dedicated to working towards justice in marginalized communities, and focuses much of her writing, passion, and action on exposing racial inequities, advocating the importance of gender equity, and detailing narratives of those strategizing against violence in South Asia and the global community at large. Additionally, Ms. Rashid is the creator of VISIBILITY Magazine, an online publication produced by the Swarthmore Intercultural Center.
Devi Shastri, Marquette University
Devi Shastri is a junior at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she studies biomedical sciences, journalism and neuroscience. As a first-generation Indian-American, she takes pride in her ties to her Indian (Gujarati) roots and the Chicagoan lifestyle she was born and raised in. An aspiring science writer, she enjoys translating complicated topics for the general public. She aims to add a human element to every story and believes that scientific literacy is essential to social equality. She has interned for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, Marquette’s O’Brien Fellowship and will spend this summer in D.C. interning with Science Magazine.
High School Scholarship - $2,000
Elizabeth Varghese, Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School
Elizabeth Varghese is an Indian-American high school senior from Plainview-Old Bethpage, NY and will be attending the George Washington University’s 7-Year BA/MD Program in the fall. She is currently the editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper, the Hawk Eye, and a writer for Brown Girl Magazine. Elizabeth is passionate about gender equality and social justice, as well as exploring the unknown through science research. She has spent many of her summers working in laboratories studying a variety of disciplines, from bioengineering to molecular biology. Elizabeth is also a Bharatanatyam dancer who loves to read during her spare time.
2016 SAJA Journalism Awards
SAJA's Annual Awards Dinner on July 16th, 2016 is at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
We are now accepting entries for the 2016 SAJA Journalism Awards in 10 categories, including the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting, for stories on South Asia and/or the South Asian diaspora.
Please encourage journalists and freelancers to apply for the awards.
DEADLINE: April 28, 2016 MIDNIGHT (12:00AM est)
Full information on the categories and how to apply is be available at:
SAJA Internship Fund 2016 | Deadline: May 20, 2016
In order to support journalism students as they embark on their journalism careers, SAJA is proud to offer internship support for those who have secured unpaid or low-paid internships for the summer of 2016.
SAJA will award up to $8,000 to eight students, each receiving a minimum of $1,000.
Click here information, eligibility and application instructions:
SAJA's 2016-2017 Board
Jan 14, 2015, New York, NY—The board of directors of SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association (@sajahq), appointed a new executive committee at its first meeting of the year in January.
Anusha Shrivastava (@AnushaCU), career management officer at Columbia University’s Department of Statistics and faculty adviser for the SAJA student group at the university, returns for a second term as president. Shefali Kulkarni (@ShefaliKulkarni), audience engagement producer at BBC News North America, was elected as vice president. Kamini Ramdeen (@KaminiRamdeen), assistant managing editor at The Odyssey and managing editor at Brown Girl Magazine, was elected as secretary. Financial risk advisor at KPMG and former broadcast journalist, Divya Singaravelu (@Divya_158), was elected as treasurer. And Sovy Azhath (@SovyProducer), former SAJA president and producer/ writer at CNN Headline News, was elected as officer-at-large.
Other board members include: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi), freelance writer and communications associate at Foundation for a Just Society, Sharaf Mowjood (@Mowjood), a producer at The Huffington Post, Geetika Rudra (@GGGeetika), domain expert at Dataminr, Trisha Sakhuja (@Tsakhuja13), content manager at India.com and editor-in-chief at Brown Girl Magazine, Aarti Virani (@aartivirani), freelance arts and culture writer and contributing editor at Vogue India, and SAJA co-founder and chief digital officer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sree Sreenivasan (@sree).
“I am excited to be back on the SAJA Board as President. This is my second term leading a very dedicated and hard-working group of volunteers who help improve coverage of South Asia and mentor young journalists,” said Shrivastava.
“We plan to have several events, including panels and workshops for mid-career journalists, and newsroom visits throughout the year. Please reach out to us with ideas and feedback,” she added.
“Having been a member of SAJA since 2003, I've seen SAJA grow and adapt to journalism's changing landscape. SAJA prides itself on its relationship with its members and creating a community that can learn from one another,” said Kulkarni.
The new board hopes you will get involved with SAJA activities in 2016.
Please consider donating to our scholarships, fellowships, educational endeavors, and career building activities for budding journalists. SAJA’s “Dollar-a-Day” campaign has already launched and made a great start in cultivating a diverse donor base.
Our Board Members: http://saja.org/board
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sajahq
"Like" us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/South.Asian.Journalists.Association
And our "Like" our Facebook page for Students: www.facebook.com/SAJAStudents
For just $40 a year ($20 for students), you can become part of the network of hundreds of members across the U.S. and Canada who contribute financially and in many other ways in carrying out SAJA’s programs.
Where Journalism Intersects with South Asia & South Asians in U.S. & Canada.