Associated Press, Google award six $20,000 scholarships to digital journalism stand-outs

By on June 3, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Associated Press and Google today announced the second recipients of a national scholarship program targeted at college students whose innovative projects exemplify the new journalist in the digital media age. The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, administers the program.

The AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship provides $20,000 scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year to six promising undergraduate or graduate students pursuing or planning to pursue degrees at the intersection of journalism, computer science and new media. A key goal is to promote geographic, gender and ethnic diversity and identify and support creative new talent and work in the field.

The students were selected by a committee of digital media leaders from applications across the United States. The scholarship recipients are:

Adam Allevato, 20, is a junior in Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, Colo., the Webmaster for Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, the student voice at CSU, and has helped transition the organization to an online-first, demand-driven newsroom. Adam’s project is a deeply-integrated news platform built on WordPress that is being designed with requirements determined by user experience and consumer needs.

Lindsey Cook, 20, is a junior at The University of Georgia (UGA) studying journalism and computer science. She is the assistant director of Region Three for the Society of Professional Journalists and the president and founder of the ONA student group at UGA. She’s worked at The Red & Black, Voice of America and Online Athens, and will join The Washington Post this summer as an intern on the Interactivity team. Her project, journochiCS, will encourage female journalism students to cross into computer science and provide a community of awareness and resources.

Nonny de la Peña is an Annenberg Fellow doctoral candidate in the Interdivisional Media Arts Program at the USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Her focus is on pioneering Immersive Journalism, a groundbreaking way for first person experiences of the news using virtual reality and gaming platforms. A graduate of Harvard University, she is a former correspondent for Newsweek Magazine, her award-winning documentary films have screened in more than 50 cities globally and she also co-founded the Knight News Challenge winner Stroome.

Tyler Fisher, 22, is a junior at Northwestern University studying journalism and an undergraduate fellow at the Knight Lab and the webmaster of North by Northwestern, Northwestern University’s leading independent online publication. He interned with the Chicago Tribune News Applications Team and will intern in summer 2013 with the Gannett Content Team. His project, Teleprompt, will create a second-screen app and framework for local broadcast news.

Nilkanth Patel, 24, is an Editorial Production Associate for The New Yorker, where he helps put together the magazine’s print and digital editions. He’ll begin a two-year dual M.S. degree program at Columbia University this fall, where he’ll study Journalism and Computer Science, focusing on the impact of data visualization in the newsroom. His project will focus on making interactive news a more pervasive component of reporting by creating tools to make data visualization quicker and easier for budding journalists.

Erik Reyna, 25, is a graduate student at the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism studying New Media. His project will focus on developing a website to assist non-programmer journalists in the creation of news package templates through the use of code snippets.

“Supporting innovation at the intersection of journalism and technology is crucial to the future of news," said Sue Cross, AP Senior Vice President for the Americas. "We are pleased to team up with Google in supporting the initiative and ideas of six impressive students who will be shaping that future.”

“The caliber of the projects that these students hope to bring to fruition demonstrate how those creating the next era of journalism are embracing the power of technology to tell stories in new and exciting ways," said Richard Gingras, Senior Director of News and Social Products at Google. “It is this rich new thinking and these fresh new efforts from these scholars that will ensure that the future of journalism can and will be better than its past.”

“There’s nothing more exciting than seeing these new journalist hybrids emerging from our colleges across the U.S. through this program,” said Jane McDonnell, ONA Executive Director. “While digital media professionals continue to evolve the game, these students will transform the playing field.”

Projects completed by the inaugural 2012-2013 AP-Google Scholars will be featured on in August. Each scholarship recipient also will receive a free one-year ONA membership.

About The AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP. On the Web: www.ap.og.

About Google Inc.
Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visit

About ONA
The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, developers, photographers, educators, students and others who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

For more information, contact:
Irving Washington, Director of Operations


Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women's Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. Jennifer is a business and design strategist with over a decade of experience creating industry-changing training programs, investing in award-winning projects, and managing key relationships with journalism partners and tech stakeholders. She regularly coaches managers, senior leaders and entrepreneurs on challenges related to their careers and launching new ventures. Jennifer shares advice for navigating tough work challenges in Work Space, a monthly column for Fortune.