SAJA-Knowledge@Wharton Funding Opportunity

The SAJA-Knowledge@Wharton Funding Opportunity was established in 1999 in collaboration with the South Asian Journalists Association. This unique program is designed to enhance the quality of minority business journalism. It provides a member of SAJA (as well as up to one journalist each belonging to AAJANAHJNAJA & NLGJA) with funding to attend the Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists in Philadelphia.

Each funding opportunity (which covers cost of tuition, course materials and most meals) is worth about $1,995 and is furnished by Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  The funding does not cover any other expenses. Other restrictions may apply. The award does NOT cover travel to and from Philadelphia or lodging. The Award is presented by SAJA and Knowledge@Wharton, the Wharton School's research and business analysis journal. SAJA is responsible for the administrative process and works with the other groups representing journalists to select the winners. It reserves the right not to award funding.

The Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists, now in its 49th year, offers participants an opportunity to expand their business knowledge and increase their exposure to leading experts in a stimulating environment. Through intensive lectures and hands-on exercises, the program, led by the Wharton School’s most prominent professors such as Jeremy SiegelOlivia Mitchell and Brian Busheehelps participants gain a better understanding of key business and economic issues. In addition, accepted journalists may request private, one-on-one meetings with faculty members of the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative.

When: Program runs October 8-11, 2017 / Application deadline: September 8, 2017

Who can apply? Any member of SAJA, AAJA, NAHJ, NAJA & NLGJA who is a reporter, editor or producer (including freelancers) currently living in the United States or Canada and working in business journalism or a field that overlaps, such as healthcare or technology. Applicants must be available to attend the Wharton program in its entirety. Individuals between two-seven years of experience as a business reporter or those new to business reporting, but with five-10 years of experience as a reporter in another field, are encouraged to apply. Freelancers are welcome to apply. See here for the application.

Meet Our 2016 Winners!

Vishal Persaud (Bloomberg News) is an editor at Bloomberg News, where he covers breaking company news. He         began his career as a general assignment reporter at various outlets in New York and New Jersey and then moved to central Florida, where he covered crime and courts at the Ocala Star-Banner. He has also worked as an editor at NBC News and ventured into the social media realm working at Dataminr. Vishal is an unabashed New York Yankees and Knicks fan and a proud alumnus of Dartmouth College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Ashley Rodriguez (Quartz) covers media, marketing, and general business news for Quartz, Atlantic Media's business site. She writes about issues like diversity in the media, the future of the set-top box, and the role of advertising in the 2016 US election. Prior to joining Quartz in September 2015, Rodriguez covered retail and financial services marketers for Advertising Age. The New York native has also worked at digital creative and marketing agencies, and as a freelance journalist with the now defunct hyper-local blog Brooklyn Today. Rodriguez holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Pace University and a master's in journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where she developed a penchant for coding and digging through data. She is currently an adjunct lecturer for the “Covering Companies” course at her alma mater.

Meet Our 2015 Winner!

SAJA: Gunjan Banerji (@gunjans)

Gunjan Banerji is a financial news reporter covering the bond markets. Tying together policy and finance, she focuses on distressed municipalities nationwide in the aftermath of the Detroit bankruptcy and wake of the Puerto Rico debt crisis. Gunjan has studied in the two financial capitals of the world. She earned a dual-degree in Economics and Communications from New York University and, while there, completed business coursework in London. Right now she is learning to share her financial news scoops through video and other multimedia as a part-time student at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.

2014 SAJA@Wharton Winners

SAJA: Devi Nampiaparampil (@devichechi)

Devi is a practicing physician with 12 years of experience treating combat veterans, a research scientist with over 50 publications, and an academician who teaches at NYU School of Medicine. When she was 16, Devi caught a life-threatening infection that caused her heart, lungs, and bone marrow to fail. It took eight months for her to recover and return to school full-time. She became more motivated to make a difference. After attending the combined B.A./ M.D. program at Northwestern University, Devi did her medical internship, residency, and fellowship through Harvard Medical School. Then she joined the Department of Veterans Affairs directing and developing programs to treat wounded veterans. Over the past two years, she has done over 100 medical segments for “The Dr. Oz Show,” CBS, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazeera America, and the Fox Business Network. Her work can be seen at She is presently doing a masters in journalism at Columbia University. 

AAJA: Karen Ho

Karen K. Ho is a business journalist and writer from Toronto. An avid traveler, Karen often visits New York and recently spent a month in Hong Kong and Japan.

2013 SAJA@Wharton Winners

SAJA: Deepa Seetharaman (@dseetharaman)
Deepa Seetharaman is a reporter for Reuters based in Detroit. She has covered the auto industry for nearly three years, covering everything from electric cars to the United Auto Workers’ finances to Detroit’s historic bankruptcy filing. She was part of a team that was a finalist for a Loeb award for their coverage of UAW contract talks in 2011. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University in 2008. She started at Reuters in New York two days after graduation, writing about the pharmaceutical industry, the U.S. stock market, airlines and hotels.

AAJA: Crystal Kim (@crystalkimmm)
Crystal Kim graduated NYU with a B.A. in journalism and history. Preferring paid work, she skipped out on internships and jumped into the newsroom as a part-time researcher, moonlighting as a transcriber for documentaries such as The President's Gatekeepers, which will air on the Discovery Channel as a two-part series in September. She also  helped former editor-at-large of AmericanPhoto Jean-Jacques Naudet jumpstart Le Journal de la Photographie,'s best photo blog in 2011. Currently Kim is a contributing writer at Barron's. Last year, she covered the West Coast and Hawaii, traveling to Pebble Beach, Lake Tahoe, and Texas for Barron's 
annual Second Homes issue. Kim covers international art markets, lifestyle-related subjects, and passion investments, including art hedge funds for Barron's Penta and the Penta blog.

NAHJ: Melissa Aparicio (@MelisAparicio)
Melissa Aparicio enrolled in a journalism graduate program at Northwestern University and fell in love with business and economics reporting. She finds the history of companies fascinating: their triumphs, failures and comebacks. Equally captivating are the stories underlying the state of a country’s economy told through indicators such as employment numbers, consumer spending, manufacturing activity and retail sales. She began her career in business journalism with a job at Bloomberg Government and Bloomberg Television in Washington D.C. where she produced business and political news coverage both in studio and out on the field. She’s currently a booker for the Fox Business Network in New York City where she books guests, pitches story ideas and produces segments on the markets, economy and companies.

2012 SAJA-Knowledge@Wharton Scholarship for Minority Journalists Recipients:

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