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Cronkite School welcomes 10 international journalists

August 25, 2011

Ten international journalists and communicators are studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University as part of the prestigious Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program.

The mid-career journalists from Boznia, Brazil, China and seven other countries will spend a year at Cronkite studying journalism, receiving leadership training and forging professional affiliations with news organizations in Arizona and across the country.

The journalism fellowship program, now in its second year at the Cronkite School, is one of two in the world. The other is at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Administered by the Institute of International Education, the Humphrey program is an initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.

This year’s fellows are from 10 countries: Boznia/Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Maldives, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia and Slovakia. All have undergraduate degrees, at least five years of professional experience and strong English-language skills.

At Cronkite, they will study under the direction of Associate Professor B. William Silcock, director of Cronkite Global Initiatives, himself a two-time Fulbright scholar.

“The Humphrey fellows bring a breath of fresh truth into our classrooms and newsrooms at Cronkite,” said Silcock, himself a two-Time Fulbright scholar. “Whether they’ve just witnessed the Arab Spring firsthand in Egypt or anchored a newscast in Maldives or updated Costa Rica’s most influential blog these professionals bring our faculty and students dispatches from the frontlines of global journalism.”

The 2011-2012 Humphrey Fellows in Journalism are:

Andreza Andrade, from Brazil, has a bachelor’s degree in socio-communication and journalism from the State University of Paraiba. From 2005 to 2010, she worked as a communication and project adviser for Instituto Socioambiental, a Brazilian nongovernmental organization whose mission is to propose integrated solutions to social and environmental issues. Andrade also has worked with indigenous populations in the northwest Amazon to foster digital inclusion. She plans to develop her new media skills to further these efforts with minority populations.

Mona Abdel Alim, of Egypt, has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in political philosophy from Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University. She is head of media and coordinator of the advocacy unit for Alexandria Business Association, which monitors private-sector business in Egypt. She intends to build her leadership and multimedia skills while at Cronkite.

Lubna Benjamin, from Pakistan, has a master’s degree in international relations from Quaid-i-Azam University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Viqar Un Nisa College for Women. Since 2006, she has been an associate producer for Geo TV’s current affairs talk show, “Capital Talk.” She will study broadcast production and television news techniques.

Hao Chen, from China, has a bachelor’s degree in the Malay language from Beijing Foreign Studies University and also has studied journalism at Universiti Putra Malaysia. He is the executive editor of the International Herald Leader, published by China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, one of the largest news agencies in the world. He will study digital media and its effects on traditional media as well as the business of journalism.

Antonio Jimenez, from Costa Rica, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Universidad de Costa Rica and has studied social media and English at Columbia University in New York. As executive editor for, he oversees a venture by one of Costa Rica’s leading reporters that has broken ground in convergence across media platforms. He will study new uses of mobile technology for news production and distribution.

Lejla Kapetanovic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Faculty of Political Sciences. Since 2010, she has been an associate expert for communication at the Public Administration Reform coordinator’s office, creating internal and external communications and managing social media for an office charged with reforming public administration in the country. She hopes to improve her skills in social and digital media for use in corporate and governmental communications.

Evgeny Kuzmin, from Russia, has a specialist in journalism designation from Amur State University. He is director of the Amur.Info news agency and its website, where he leads a team of editors, programmers, designers and reporters in content production. He plans to study new media, media management and business journalism while at the Cronkite School.

Taati Niilenge, from Namibia, has a bachelor’s degree in media studies from the University of Namibia. She is a reporter at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation. She hopes to build her social media and online media skills while at Cronkite.

Lujain Shafeeq, from Maldives, has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Curtin University of Technology in Australia. He also holds a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Ministry of Information and Arts in Maldives. He is the communications and creative director for a company specializing in information solutions for businesses. He also is a news anchor for a private television station and lectures on multimedia journalism at The Maldives National University. He is interested in new media and communication theory.

Elena Strapkova from Slovakia has a master’s degree in economics and tourism from the University of Matej Bel in Slovakia. She is vice editor in chief of Gastro magazine, which covers travel and food for Slovakian and Czech audiences. She hopes to enhance her public relations and communications skills in order to promote her country as a tourist destination.

Related links:

Cronkite Global Initiatives
Hubert Humphrey Fellowship in Journalism at ASU
Center for Global Education Services