The McGraw Scholarships

A core mission of the McGraw Center for Business Journalism is to promote the development of future business journalists by providing young reporters with the training and skills needed to succeed in the field. One way we do that is through the McGraw Scholarships. Since 2015, we have awarded scholarships to a number of promising students in each class at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism who have chosen to specialize in business reporting.

To ground those studies in on-the-job experience, the McGraw Center also provides financial support to several CUNY J-School business journalism students each summer who undertake an internship at a media company. The support allows students to gain valuable training through internships that would otherwise be unpaid. To find out more about our summer interns, go to The McGraw Interns page.

The following students in each class have received McGraw Scholarships:


The McGraw Scholars – Class of 2018


Grason Dangor

 A 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BA in English, Dangor grew up in Farmington, Minn., a small suburb of Minneapolis. Before coming to the CUNY J-School, he worked as a copywriter and reported as a freelancer for the Star Tribune, Minnesota’s largest newspaper. He also did assignments for MinnPost, a nonprofit news site.

He came to CUNY to learn investigative skills, as well as how to manage large reporting projects. He is particularly interested in stories on mental health and addiction. He chose to specialize in business reporting in order to develop the skills needed to cover how mental healthcare is provided and paid for. He also wants to explore how our wellbeing is affected by our experience in the economy.

Alexandra Semenova

A native New Yorker, Semenova graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in Journalism in the spring of 2017. During her undergraduate years, she interned at NY1 News, Fox Business Network and Crain’s New York, in addition to reporting on the city for school assignments.  She is currently an assignment desk intern at CNBC, where she works at both the network’s main newsroom in New Jersey and its production studio at the New York Stock Exchange. 

Semenova chose the business concentration because she wants to thoroughly understand the intricacies of finance and fiscal policy. Her goal is to produce interesting and easily digestible journalism for the people whose daily lives are affected by changes and trends in the economy.


The McGraw Scholars – Class of 2017


Prachi Bhardwaj

A native of Alpharetta, Georgia, Bhardwaj moved to Silicon Valley in 2012 after graduating from the University of Georgia with a double major in Marketing and Advertising. She worked for several years in public relations for technology firms before realizing her true interest lay in journalism. She chose the business concentration because she hopes to explore how advances in areas such as artificial intelligence or robotics will affect the economy, and to report on the companies that are leading the race to develop these technologies.

Kevin Breuninger

After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in history, Breuninger moved to New York City to join Success Academy Charter Schools in 2014. Though he enjoyed his work at the non-profit, first as an Associate Teacher and later as a Recruitment Outreach Coordinator, a lifelong addiction to news and a yearning to write led to his decision to come to journalism school. He specialized in business reporting because it allows him to learn a unique set of skills in an area of perennial significance. After graduation, he hopes to cover breaking economic news at a major publication.

Oscar Gonzalez

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Gonzalez launching his own technology-focused news site at 30. Three years later, he returned to college to receive an associate’s degree and eventually a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M University-San Antonio. While there, he became the Editor-in-Chief of the student digital outlet, The Mesquite. He decided to focus on business reporting because he realized money played a key role in many of the stories he’s written. His goal is to become a tech reporter with a wide range of skills, and to dive further into subjects that are often overlooked.

William Mathis

Mathis grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey and majored in international relations and Spanish at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. In the spring of 2015, he started working as a journalist. He wrote a police blotter, pitched short feature stories to free weekly papers in Manhattan, and eventually became a stringer for the Associated Press. That experience allowed him to cover the visit of Pope Francis and the Black Lives Matter protests, among other stories. He is focusing on business and data journalism because he wants to be able to “Follow the Money”. Upon graduation, he hopes to use what he’s learned here to tell impactful stories showing how people are affected by business and the economy.

Annie Nova

A Manhattan native who graduated in 2016 with a degree in English from Hunter College, Nova spent most of her undergraduate years pouring over Shakespeare plays and literary theory textbooks. On a whim, she enrolled in Neighborhood News, a class in which students report and write for a newspaper in the South Bronx; with each assignment, her desire to be a journalist grew. Her work has appeared in DNA Info, Youth Today, Metro, Chelsea News and City Limits. She believes the reasons why people do the things they do can often be found in the economy and chose the business concentration in order to better tell those stories. In addition, she wants to find ways to illustrate the impact of income inequality in our country today.


The McGraw Scholars – Class of 2016


Kara Chin

Chin spent nine years in Beijing, where she was the managing editor of Beijingkids, a hyperlocal magazine and website for international families, before coming to CUNY.  She wants to cover economic issues surrounding developing countries and to explore what their development means for the rest of the world.  A New York native, she graduated with a degree in management and business from Skidmore College in 2005.

Following graduation in December, Chin began a job as a video and podcast intern at ESPN’s popular data site, FiveThirtyEight.

Nico Grant

After graduating magna cum laude from Macaulay Honors at Hunter College, with a B.A. in Media Studies, Grant was the Community & Events Editor of Harlem News, a neighborhood newspaper.  He is interested in applying the skills learned in business journalism more broadly to his work, as well as in how the globalized economy affects the lives of ordinary individuals. He hopes to work in broadcast news production after graduating from CUNY.

Grant began the prestigious Winter Internship program at Bloomberg News after graduation.

Zameena Mejia

Mejia graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a double major in journalism and Spanish. She chose the business concentration because she wants to report stories that show how the economy impacts the lives of young consumers, especially millennials, Hispanics and women. Her goal is to work at a business-centered news organization creating meaningful stories for these groups.

In January, 2017 Mejia began an internship at Quartz, the digital site focused on global business news.

Tadia Toussaint

Brooklyn-born Toussaint earned her bachelors degree in Journalism at CUNY Hunter College in two calendar years. Her goal is to simplify business news to make it user-friendly. A businesswoman herself, she’s interested in stories that bridge culture and business. Studying business journalism provides the perfect opportunity to marry her love of business with her love of telling stories.

Toussaint has been reporting for the Haitian Times since graduation, and is also a freelance producer for BRIC TV in Brooklyn.


The McGraw Scholars – Class of 2015


Michaela Ross

Ross’s experience working as a small business development volunteer in Nicaragua for the U.S. Peace Corps sparked her interest in business journalism. While there, the Wisconsin native served as editor of the digital magazine put out by the volunteers, in addition to working on entrepreneurship education and economic development. A 2008 graduate of Carthage College with a degree in communication and digital media, she wants to tell stories that focus on the intersection between economics and culture.

Ross began working as a telecoms and technology reporter for Bloomberg BNA after graduation.

Danni Santana

Santana graduated from CUNY’s York College in 2013 with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communications Technology. The Bronx native covered York’s athletics department for the school newspaper and hopes to combine his love of sports with the training he receives at CUNY to cover sports business. His work experience includes a stint at National Underwriter Life & Health, a health trade magazine.

After graduation in December, he was hired as an associate editor at Insurance Networking News.

Rajashree Chakravarty

A native of Kolkata, India, Chakravarty wrote for local travel and tourism web sites and freelanced for other publications after receiving her masters degree in English from Burdwan University in West Bengal in 2005. She continued freelancing after moving to the United States with her husband in 2008. She has long been interested in business news, and her goal is to do business journalism that makes a difference. She wants to write about economic and business stories in a compelling way that helps average people better understand this complex subject.

Following graduation, she is continuing to freelance for publications both in the U.S. and abroad.

Marguerite Ward

Ward graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2012 with a degree in Sociology. She began an internship with World Policy Journal after graduation, eventually working her way up to become the publication’s online news editor. Originally from Rye, N.Y., Ross chose to concentrate on business journalism because she is interested in the intersection of news, business and culture.

Ward became a news associate at CNBC after graduation and has since been promoted to staff reporter.