Three veteran journalists have won grants of up to $15,000 as recipients of the third round of the McGraw Fellowships for Business Journalism. The winning projects will explore the growing threat of cyber-attacks on the international financial system, the ramifications of Nicaraguan plans to build an extensive shipping canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and the transformation ahead for the Cuban economy as relations with the United States are restored.

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.

Roughly 65 journalists working in more than half-a-dozen countries applied for the latest round of Fellowships. The winners were chosen following interviews and a thorough review of detailed proposals, work samples and references.

Each McGraw Fellow receives a stipend of $5,000 a month for up to three months. In addition to financial backing, the McGraw Center provides Fellows with editorial guidance and assistance in placing their stories with media outlets.

The Summer 2015 McGraw Fellows are:


William Adler: A freelance journalist based in Denver, Adler will look at the economic, environmental, and geopolitical impact of the planned Nicaraguan Interoceanic Canal, a Chinese-built 178 mile waterway across the Central American isthmus that would be the world’s biggest construction project. A past recipient of the Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism and the Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship, Adler’s work has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones and the Texas Observer. He is the author of three books:  Land of Opportunity, Mollie’s Job and The Man Who Never Died.

Perez pixMaria Perez: A staff reporter for the Naples Daily News, Perez will author a series on the economic changes underway in Cuba as local entrepreneurs and U.S. multinationals alike seek opportunities to tap into a market in dire need of investment and development. A native of Spain, she covers immigration policy, housing, labor conditions and other issues affecting the working class for the paper. Perez, who previously reported for El Nuevo Herald in Miami and El Mundo in Madrid, received a Sigma Delta Chi award for public service journalism in 2013 from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Lenzner pixRobert Lenzner: A veteran financial reporter who has covered  Wall Street for nearly 40 years, Lenzner will examine the vulnerability of giant banks in the U.S. and Europe to the growing threat of cyber attacks. A longtime National Editor for Forbes Magazine whose work has appeared in the Economist, Vanity Fair, the Boston Globe and elsewhere, Lenzner is the author of the best-selling biography “The Great Getty.” In 2014 he was a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, where he wrote on the media’s failure to forsee problems that led to the 2008 financial crisis — and how it can avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Applications for McGraw Fellowships are considered twice a year, in the spring and the fall. The next deadline for proposals is November 13, 2015. For more information and the online application, go to

The McGraw Center for Business Journalism was established in early 2014 by the family of the late Harold W. McGraw, Jr., former chairman and CEO of McGraw-Hill and long-time publisher of BusinessWeek magazine. The Center is dedicated to enhancing the depth and quality of business news coverage through training, student scholarships and support for veteran journalists.


Jane Sasseen
Executive Director
McGraw Center for Business Journalism
[email protected]