Four Journalists Win Reporting Grants from Newmark J-School

  • By Newmark J-School Staff
John Smock

Four veteran journalists have been named the latest recipients of the McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism. Each of the winning projects will receive a grant of up to $15,000. The new McGraw Fellows will explore subjects ranging from the challenges the U.S. faces as it transitions to new climate technology and cleaner forms of energy to the impact of an alleged Ponzi scheme that rippled through the Haitian-American community during the pandemic.

The McGraw Fellowships, an initiative of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Business Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, were created in 2014 to support ambitious coverage of critical issues related to the global economy, finance and business. The Fellowships – awarded twice a year – enable experienced journalists to produce deeply-reported investigative or enterprise stories. Roughly 65 journalists have since won McGraw Fellowships.

The new Winter 2023 McGraw Fellows are:

  • Joe Fassler: An independent journalist based in Denver, Fassler will work during his Fellowship covering the lucrative world of climate tech and its potential to deliver on environmental promises.  Fassler’s food and environmental journalism—which appears or is forthcoming in venues like Bloomberg Businessweek, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and The Best American Food Writing—has been supported by the Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism and the 11th Hour Food and Farming Fellowship. In his former role as deputy editor of The Counter, stories he edited won a James Beard Media Award, appeared twice in Best American Food Writing, and netted multiple awards from the Society of Business Editing and Writing. He’s also author of “Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process,” and the forthcoming novel “The Sky Was Ours,” to be published by Penguin in 2024.
  • Macollvie J. Neel: The executive editor of The Haitian Times, Neel will explore the roots and ramifications of an alleged crypto Ponzi scheme targeting Haitian-Americans that unfolded during the pandemic. Neel is a Brooklyn-based journalist and communications consultant whose work aims to elevate underrepresented voices in media spaces and workplaces. At the Haitian Times, she leads story development, coaches reporters to bring forward the nuanced experiences of Haitians, and frequently provides commentary about Haiti and Haitians on such mainstream outlets as NBC, CBS, and NPR. She also contributes stories rooted in her journey as a writer, consultant, and entrepreneur to other media, including Business Insider. In her consulting roles, Neel develops content and communication plans on DEI and other issues for Fortune 500 companies and individuals, using business and leadership skills honed while in senior positions at Disney, MetLife, and Mercer. Her forthcoming book, “Write for Success,” provides essential scripts every professional needs on the job to manage their career.
  • Elizabeth Weise: A San Francisco-based national correspondent for USA Today, Weise will explore the challenges facing the U.S. as it attempts to increase wind and solar power from 13% of electricity production today to 90% by 2050. Weise currently writes about climate change and the energy transition for USA Today. A 25-year veteran of the paper, she previously covered such areas as the creation of the COVID-19 vaccines, cybersecurity, science, and agriculture. She was a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University, where she studied biotechnology. Prior to USA Today, she reported for the Associated Press and worked at Seattle’s NPR outlet.
  • Bernice Yeung: The managing editor of the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Yeung will report on attempts to hold corporations responsible for human trafficking. Before joining the Berkeley Journalism staff, she was a reporter for ProPublica and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she frequently covered vulnerable populations in the workforce, such as low-wage and immigrant workers. The collaborative reporting she has done as part of various investigative teams has been honored with a National Press Club Award, a George Polk Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Her book, “In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers” was awarded the PEN America/John Galbraith Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize.

Nearly 100 journalists working across a wide array of subjects applied for the latest round of the Fellowships. Each winning project receives funding up to $15,000. In addition to financial backing, the McGraw Center provides Fellows with editorial guidance and assistance in placing stories with media outlets.

The winners were selected through a competitive process. The McGraw Center would like to thank Ziva Branstetter (ProPublica), Arlyn Gajilan (Reuters), Diana Henriques (freelance book author), James Ledbetter (Observer), Andrew Lehren (NBC News), Ryan Nave (Reckon News), Alex Lescaze (Sidney Hillman Foundation), and Ricardo Sandoval-Palos (PBS) for their assistance with evaluating the Fellowship proposals.

Applications for McGraw Fellowships are considered twice a year. The next deadline for proposals will be March 31, 2023. 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 of the McGraw Center