The McGraw Fellows


Five veteran journalists won grants of up to $15,000 as the Winter 2016 recipients of the McGraw Fellowships for Business Journalism.

The winning projects will explore a variety of issues, from water rights on the Mexican border and the impact of the renewed interest in copper mining in Arizona, to the foreclosure risks faced by elderly homeowners and the prospects for carbon capture.

The McGraw Fellowships, an initiative of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Business Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, were created in 2014 to support ambitious coverage of critical issues related to the U.S. economy and business.

The Fellowships — awarded twice a year — enable accomplished journalists to do the deep reporting needed to produce a distinguished investigative or enterprise business story. The first McGraw Fellows were named in July 2014; altogether, 22 McGraw Fellowships have been awarded to date.

Nearly 100 journalists working in more than half-a-dozen countries applied for the latest round — our largest pool ever. Each McGraw Fellow receives a stipend of up to $5,000 a month for three months, along with editorial guidance and assistance in placing stories with media outlets.

The new McGraw Fellows for Winter 2016 are:

Jenifer McKim


A senior investigative reporter for The Eye at the Boston-based New England Center for Investigative Reporting, McKim will use her Fellowship to delve into issues surrounding elderly homeowners facing foreclosure across the United States.

McKim has long written about debt and social issues for media organizations, including the Boston Globe and the Orange County Register.  In 2011, she received a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for a story on domestic sex trafficking of minors. She also headed a team that exposed lead tainting in imported Mexican candies, a series that was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.

Akshat Rathi


A London-based reporter for Quartz, Rathi’s Fellowship project will focus on carbon capture technology, an industry that has promised for decades to help stem the world’s carbon-dioxide emissions problem, but which has consistently failed to deliver—that is, until now. A confluence of circumstances—the Paris agreement on climate change, some critical projects being undertaken by a handful of corporations and governments, and key technological advances—may mean that carbon capture is finally ready for prime time.

Rathi’s work explores the intersection of science and society. He previously worked at The Economist and The Conversation and his stories have appeared in The Guardian, Ars Technica, Nature, and The Hindu. He graduated with a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.


Mort Rosenblum and Ana Arana

@mortrosenblum and @aranaana

Arana, a visiting scholar at the University of Arizona School of Journalism, and Rosenblum, an independent reporter, author and educator, will team up to examine the economic and environmental implications of the renewed growth in copper mining in Arizona and beyond.

An award-winning investigative journalist with extensive international experience, Arana is the former director of Fundacion MEPI, an investigative journalism project that operated in Mexico City from 2010-2015. Arana has completed projects in partnership with ProPublica, The Center for Investigative Reporting and various dailies in Mexico and Central America. She is a recipient of a Peabody award for her work on “Finding Oscar” an investigation of a 1982 army massacre in a Guatemalan village and a boy who survived, two Overseas Press Club awards, and a regional Edward R. Morrow Award, among others.

Rosenblum, a former editor of the International Herald Tribune and Special Correspondent for the Associated Press, has covered breaking news and written investigative stories on geopolitics, economics and the environment from around the globe for more than four decades. An eight-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize, he has received an Overseas Press Club Hal Boyle Award, top AP honors, and a James Beard Award for his book, OLIVES: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit. The author of 17 books, Rosenblum’s work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Foreign Affairs, the New York Review of Books, Nouvel Observateur, the New York Times Magazine and others. He teaches international reporting each spring at the University of Arizona.

Lauren Villagran


An award-winning journalist who has covered the borderlands and the U.S.-Mexico relationship for more than a decade, Villagran will use the Fellowship to examine bilateral water issues – specifically, the future of a deep underground aquifer that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. Unlike the internationally governed waters of the Rio Grande, groundwater is not subject to bilateral agreements, leaving the U.S. and Mexico to jockey for a precious resource that is critical to both nations’ economic development.

A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Villagran has covered the financial markets in New York, the drug war in Mexico and Latin America, and immigration and border security in New Mexico. She is based in southern New Mexico for the Albuquerque Journal.


McGraw Fellows Summer 2016

Elizabeth Douglass


A correspondent for InquireFirst, a new San Diego-based non-profit investigative journalism venture, Douglass’ Fellowship project will examine the nation’s deteriorating water infrastructure and water quality protections, with an emphasis on issues beyond those highlighted by the Flint, Mich., water disaster.

A previous finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award, her stories have led to appearances on The Rachel Maddow Show, Public Radio International, and Chicago public radio, as well as in a PBS documentary about turmoil in the defense industry. Douglass is a former staff writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News.

See Douglass’ Fellowship Stories

Katherine Eban


A New York-based investigative reporter, Eban will use the Fellowship to complete research for a book about the generic drug revolution, which will be published by Harper Collins (Ecco imprint). The book will explore the 21st century shift to generic drugs and to overseas manufacturing, the challenges of regulating in a globalized world, and the resulting geopolitical and public-health consequences.

Eban’s previous articles on pharmaceutical counterfeiting, gun trafficking, and coercive interrogations by the CIA have won international attention and numerous awards. She is currently a Fortune magazine contributor and a Carnegie fellow, and has also written for Vanity FairSelf, The Nation and other publications.  She formerly worked as a staff writer for the New York Times and the New York Observer.


Kristin Hussey and Christopher Capozziello

@kristinhussey1 and @ChrisCappyPhoto

Hussey, a freelance journalist, and Capozziello, a freelance photojournalist, will team up to examine the dangers and costs of the highly lucrative “gray market” for prescription drugs, as well as the challenges faced by regulators, healthcare providers and patients in detecting the point at which medicine transforms from life-saving to life-threatening.

Since 2007, Hussey has reported on race, corruption, philanthropy, catastrophe, guns, politics, poverty, resilience, greed, pizza and prom dresses for the New York Times. She was previously a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal Online, The Capital in Annapolis, Md., and The News in Boca Raton, Fla.

Capozziello is an award-winning freelance photojournalist whose work illustrates his experience in penetrating cultures that rarely welcome outsiders. His photos have been published in the New York Times, Time, Newsweek, L’Express, the Dallas Morning News and the Wall Street Journal among others. His book, The Distance Between Us, explored his relationship with his twin brother Nick who has cerebral palsy.