Joan Donaldson Scholars

2018 Joan Donaldson CBC News Scholarship recipients

The 2018 Joan Donaldson Scholars: Angela McInnes, Caitlin Taylor, Haley Lewis, Ilina Ghosh, Kirthana Sasitharan, Malone Mullin, Matthew Amha, Rachel Levy-McLaughlin
Caitlin Taylor, Matthew Amha, Ilina Ghosh, Haley Lewis, Kirthana Sasitharan, Rachel Levy-McLaughlin, Angela McInnes, Malone Mullin (Tina Mackenzie)

Congratulations to the eight outstanding recipients of the 2018 Joan Donaldson Scholarship.

Angela McInnes | Western University, London ON

Angela McInnes is a multimedia journalist based in her hometown of London, Ontario. After completing a BA in English literature and world religions at King's University College, she studied public relations at Fanshawe College and interned at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. Angela has always believed that profound stories often exist in overlooked places. This philosophy proved true when she began contributing to Fanshawe's campus publication, the Interrobang. She developed a passion for local reporting by pitching and writing numerous articles on issues pertaining to arts, business, heritage, mental health and social services within London's quietly vibrant community. While pursuing a Master's in Journalism & Communication at Western University, she received the J.M. Penny Crosby award for demonstrating outstanding potential as an investigative journalist. Armed with a love for cinema and diverse perspectives, Angela aspires to use video and digital platforms to deliver news that matters to every Canadian. Connect with her @MsAngelaMc.

Caitlin Taylor | University of Regina

Caitlin is a multimedia journalist from Saskatchewan. She is passionate about investigative journalism and visual storytelling. Caitlin was the creative director of her university's current affairs investigation into the impact of the oil industry in Saskatchewan, Crude Power. The show was released last year as part of an ongoing collaboration between the Toronto Star, Global National and National Observer under the series title The Price of Oil. Caitlin's work has appeared in the National Post, Vancouver Sun, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, Canadian Horse Journals, Huffington Post Canada, Vice Canada and on CTV. In 2017, Caitlin was awarded the Mary Lou Ogle Scholarship for the Study of Communications. This opportunity took her to Thailand where she spent four months photographing and writing long-form stories for the country's largest English-language daily newspaper, the Bangkok Post. Caitlin reported on many topics, from landmine contamination and Syrian refugees, to the royal cremation ceremony of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Caitlin got her first taste of storytelling as a "Saskatchewanderer," where she travelled to the far corners of her home province, blogging about people and places that make Saskatchewan unique. In her spare time, she can be found playing with her German shepherd, riding her bicycle or expanding her photography portfolio. You can follow her on twitter at @caitlinjtaylor.

Haley Lewis | UBC, Vancouver

Haley Lewis was born and raised in Taymouth, N.B. and has lived across the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec before making the move to Vancouver, the place she currently calls home. Many a thing drove Haley towards pursuing journalism – from fangirling over journalists such as Norman Mailer, Joan Didion and Hunter S. Thompson to, and more recently, wanting to change the way reporting is done with Indigenous communities. Being Mohawk from the Bay of Quinte on her father's side, Haley's cultural upbringing and ethical compass continue to drive her in making decisions both in and outside the newsroom. She has written and produced stories for CBC Indigenous, CBC Ottawa and CBC London (U.K.). Haley holds a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts in English and French from Bishop's University. In 2017, she was also the recipient of Journalists for Human Rights Emerging Indigenous Reporter's Scholarship. When she's not working on stories, you can find her riding her bike around the city, watching reality television and laughing at her own jokes. Connect with her via twitter: @haleylewis_

Ilina Ghosh | Ryerson University, Toronto

Ilina Ghosh walked into the CBC's Toronto Broadcasting Centre for her first shift of work at 18 years old. In the three years since, she has risen through the ranks of the organization, while earning her Bachelor of Journalism at Ryerson University. During her undergraduate years, Ilina interned at, reporting on national and local news stories. She also worked for years at CBC Radio, producing work on a variety of topics: from how artificial intelligence is failing those with disabilities to the challenges facing the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Ilina was also a digital news editor at the Globe and Mail during the summer of 2016, helping produce work on the U.S. election, the Pulse nightclub shooting and the Rio Olympics. Throughout her young career, she has been inspired by the power of journalism to right wrongs and hopes to tell stories that effect positive change. Find her on Twitter @ilsghosh. 

Kirthana Sasitharan | UBC, Vancouver

Kirthana Sasitharan is a journalist who is always looking for a new angle on every story. Having graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Masters of Journalism, the CBC newsroom is always where she wanted to be. Coming from an immigrant family, CBC had always been the number one news source for Kirthana's family and evidently apart of her upbringing. Kirthana attended the University of Windsor where she pursued a degree in English Literature and Dramatic Arts. She is a keen learner, avid traveller, and constant inquisitor. She found her start in journalism after she realized she wanted to put her curious mind to good use and tell stories people cared about, while asking all important questions of significant people. She has worked in Vancouver, Toronto, and Hamilton as a journalist and loves to tell stories about race, ethnicity, culture, politics and social justice. Kirthana strongly believes in the CBC's mandate and strive towards inclusivity and public outreach to ensure all Canadians are being reflected in the current news media discussions and improvements. She can be reached at or on Twitter @KirthanaSasitha

Malone Mullin | UBC, Vancouver

Malone Mullin is a Scarborough, Ont. native who works with CBC Vancouver's digital team. She spent last summer penning features as an intern at CBC's national desk and later filing web and radio stories for the local Toronto crew, where she discovered a latent love for daily news. Now she's experimenting with video journalism and investigating mental health policy and wealth disparity in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. She holds a master's in journalism from UBC. Malone first grasped the consequences of speaking truth to power at 16, when a high school principal censored her article about students railing against police on campus. She went on to co-found her own school newspaper and later studied politics and philosophy at the University of Toronto. Since then, Malone has freelanced from Paris, lived in Edinburgh and camped across North America in her trusty old minivan, searching for new thrills, knowledge, and stories of resistance. She hopes to report one day from around the world, rooting out what those in power don't want exposed.

Matthew Amha | Ryerson University, Toronto

Matthew Amha is a first-generation Canadian – and credits that experience with informing the way he approaches a story. A framework directed by a penchant for truth, and desire to explore stories that have found themselves traditionally underreported, or relegated to the fringes of our discourse. In the fall of 2017 he interned at the CBC's flagship news program, "World at Six." Also enjoying stints as the news editor at "The Ryersonian", a writer/editor for Ryerson University, and a seat on Plan Canada's youth advisory council. Matthew is also the Editor-In-Chief and founder of an off-campus publication, "Yonge Mag." The magazine, created with 12 journalism students at Ryerson university, was born from a desire to help empower young people to tell their own stories – speak their truth to power, and realize their seat at the table of critical conversation. In under one year, the magazine came to amass millions of reads from around the world, becoming an incubator of sorts in the marketplace of "young ideas." Matthew is a Toronto based journalist, and graduate of Ryerson University's school of journalism – where he minored in communications. You can connect with him on twitter @AmhaMatt.

Rachel Levy-McLaughlin | Carleton University, Ottawa

Rachel is a multimedia journalist from Unionville, Ont. She has been reporting in different newsrooms across the country, from Ottawa to Vancouver to Whitehorse, Yukon. She started as an intern at the Markham Economist & Sun, with stints at UBC's student newspaper. After graduating from UBC in English Literature and volunteering for several months in Southeast Asia, Rachel pursued a Master's in journalism at Carleton University. As part of a course, she covered the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election in upstate New York. Rachel has worked at CBC North in Whitehorse, Yukon, and has interned at CBC Ottawa and the Globe and Mail. While she does love a good news story (she once did a story about kids and alpacas), Rachel thrives telling challenging stories. Her Master's research project looked at the 2014 prostitution legislation and the impacts it has had on the sex industry in Ottawa. She received two scholarships from Carleton University to conduct this project on an infamously divisive subject. Her work has appeared in the Canadian Geographic, Postmedia, CBC, and the Globe and Mail – including a front page story. You can connect with her on Twitter @levymclaughlin.