Columbia Journalism School Names 2022 Alumni Award Winners
Columbia Journalism School Office of Alumni and Development is proud to announce the recipients of the 2022 Alumni Awards.
The winners are Malini Parthasarathy, ‘82 M.S., chairperson of The Hindu Group Publishing Ltd.; Eric Marcus, ‘84 M.S., founder and host of the “Making Gay History” podcast; Stuart Schear, ‘84 M.S., vice president for Communications and Marketing at American Jewish World Service; and Thomas Maier, ‘82 M.S., investigative journalist at Newsday and author of several books of American history and biography.
The winners of the First Decade Award, for graduates within the last 10 years, are Wendy Lu, ‘16 M.S., editor, reporter and producer at HuffPost and contributing writer at The New York Times, and Mukhtar Ibrahim, ‘17 M.S. Stabile, editor and executive director of Sahan Journal.
“The extraordinary contributions of these alumni cross an array of geographic, historical and cultural landscapes,” said Dean Coll of the winners. “They have enriched this craft with their leadership and helped forge a path for the future of our industry.”
Each of the winners has demonstrated the qualities valued at the J-School: curiosity, persistence, creativity and adherence to the truth.
Winners are selected by a panel of jurors made up of previous Alumni Award winners and a representative of the Alumni Board.
The 2022 awards will be presented in April at Low Memorial Library during the Journalism School’s Alumni Weekend.
Here is more on this year’s winners:
ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Malini Parthasarathy, ‘82 M.S., Chairperson of The Hindu Group Publishing Ltd.
As head of The Hindu Group, which publishes several daily newspapers and bi-monthly magazines, Malini Parthasarathy is steering a journey of digital transformation of the company’s editorial products, particularly the 143-year old flagship national daily newspaper, The Hindu. Prior to this role, Parthasarathy served separate stints as the editor and the executive editor of The Hindu. She led the launch of the Mumbai edition of the paper and helped increase readership by 20 percent. Parthasarathy has been a political journalist for over three decades, writing news stories and editorials on major themes in Indian politics, including the rise of Hindu nationalism and the consequent challenges to the existing political consensus. Parthasarathy founded the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, a think tank intended as a credible and independent platform for an exploration of ideas and public policies with the aim of rebuilding public faith in India’s democratic process. She won the First Bank of India Award for Excellence in Journalism in 1997 and the Haldighati Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2000.
Thomas Maier, '82, Author and Investigative Reporter at Newsday, Long Island, New York
Maier is a longtime Newsday investigative reporter and author of six books, including “When Lions Roar: The Churchills and The Kennedys,” “Dr. Spock: An American Life,” and a dual biography of William Masters and Virginia Johnson that was adapted into the Showtime television series “Masters of Sex.” At Newsday since 1984, Maier’s investigative work has twice won the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the National Society of Professional Journalists and many other awards. In 2002, Maier won the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ top prize, the Daniel Pearl Award, for a Newsday series about New York immigrant workers getting killed on the job at the highest rate in the nation and later testified about it before the U.S. Senate. More recently, his 2019 investigation about one of the longest “innocent man” murder cases in U.S. history won both a NY Emmy and the NY Press Club's award for best newspaper documentary. In September 2021, Maier produced “The Gift, Interrupted,” a print/video project about the little-known but devastating impact of New York’s two-month shutdown of organ transplants during the height of 2020’s Covid crisis.
Eric Marcus, ’84 M.S., Founder and Host, “Making Gay History” Podcast
Marcus has spent much of his career sharing the stories of LGBTQ people and their allies on multiple platforms. Most recently, Marcus has shared these stories through the award-winning “Making Gay History” podcast, for which he mines his decades-old audio archive of rare interviews to create intimate, personal portraits of LGBTQ history-makers. He conducted the interviews for the two editions of his award-winning book of the same name about the LGBTQ civil rights movement.
Marcus is also the author and co-author of several other books, including the pioneering “The Male Couple’s Guide,” “Is It a Choice?,” “Why Suicide?,” and “Breaking the Surface,” the #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis. In addition, Marcus co-produces “Those Who Were There,” a podcast drawn from Yale University’s Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. He also co-produced a number of short documentaries, including “The Last Time I Saw Them” for the Fortunoff Archive, and two on the experience of suicide loss for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Marcus was associate producer for both “CBS This Morning” and “Good Morning America.” He is a founding board member of the new American LGBTQ+ Museum.
Stuart Schear, '84 M.S., Vice President for Communications and Marketing at American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
Schear is a veteran health journalist who has tapped his storytelling to advance the health and human rights of millions of people around the world. Currently, Schear is the Vice President for Communications and Marketing at American Jewish World Service (AJWS), where he leads an award-winning team that tells the stories of advocates for human rights worldwide who are supported by AJWS, a grantmaking organization. The advocates AJWS supports advance the human rights of women and girls, ethnic minorities, indigenous communities, LGBTQI+ people, sex workers and other marginalized people in resource-poor countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Schear began his career in public television, where he worked for almost 15 years. For PBS, Schear contributed to and produced documentaries on health issues including bipolar disorder, and he covered health policy, including the HIV/AIDS crisis, as a reporter for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Schear was honored as Media Fellow in Health of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which afforded him the opportunity to write on health issues for the Columbia Journalism Review, Mother Jones, The American Prospect and DISSENT Magazine, among others.
In 1996 and 1997, Schear served on the staff of the White House Press Office under Michael D. McCurry, where he managed the TV interview operation for the Clinton White House. Since the late 1990s, Stuart has served in increasingly senior communications roles for mission-driven foundations and nonprofits, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and American Jewish World Service. In many of these roles, Stuart made or oversaw significant grants to journalists and news organizations and institutions, including Columbia Journalism School, Columbia Journalism Review, the PBS NewsHour, NPR, PRI’s Marketplace Radio and Health Affairs as well as to documentary photographers, including Ed Kashi and fellows of the Magnum Foundation.
First Decade Award Winners:
Wendy Lu, '16 M.S., Staff Editor at HuffPost, New York
Lu is a leading journalist on the disability beat and a staff editor at HuffPost. She works with newsrooms across the country to improve accessibility and expand coverage of issues affecting people with disabilities. She is on the advisory board for the National Center on Disability and Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Bustle, Quartz and more.
She published her J-School master's project, “Dating With a Disability,” in the Times shortly after graduation. She has spoken at Princeton University, New York University Abu Dhabi, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Massachusetts Boston and Emerson College.
In 2021, Wendy was featured on Diversability's D-30 Disability Impact List, which recognizes the top 30 disability leaders in the world. She was also named on Forbes 30 Under 30 for 2022 in the Media category. As part of the Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, Wendy is developing a newsroom curriculum to educate reporters on how to cover disability issues.
Mukhtar Ibrahim, ‘17 M.S. Stabile, Founder, Editor and Executive Director of Sahan Journal
Ibrahim is a digital media entrepreneur and journalist. He's the founder, editor and executive director of Sahan Journal, a nonprofit digital news organization dedicated to covering Minnesota’s immigrants and communities of color.
Ibrahim learned a lot about the news business during his successful tenures at the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio News. The lack of diversity in the reporting and editing staff reflected a missing commitment to providing reliable and authentic news for Minnesota’s communities of color. In 2019, shortly after graduating from Columbia Journalism School, Ibrahim quit his job at the Star Tribune and launched Sahan Journal.
Ibrahim has won recognition as an innovative journalist addressing issues of diversity and equity in media. He was named one of Twin Cities Business Magazine’s 100 People to Know and has received the prestigious Bush Fellowship for leadership from the St. Paul-based Bush Foundation, a Great Immigrant Award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Islamic Resource Group's Building Bridges Award in Media, the inaugural Emerging Leader of the Year award from the Institute for Nonprofit News, and the Above the Fold Award, which honors alumni of the University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication under the age of 40 who have made exceptional contributions to their fields.