Joan Donaldson Scholars

2019 Joan Donaldson CBC News Scholarship recipients

The 2019 Joan Donaldson Scholars: Huyana Cyprien, Jackson Weaver, Kelsey Mohammed, Levi Garber, Lina Forero, Maggie Macintosh, Olivia Robinson, Ryan Patrick Jones.
Standing: Olivia Robinson, Lina Forero, Levi Garber, Maggie Macintosh, Ryan Patrick Jones. Seated: Kelsey Mohammed, Jackson Weaver, Huyana Cyprien. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC)

Congratulations to the eight outstanding recipients of the 2019 Joan Donaldson Scholarship.

Huyana Cyprien | Mount Royal, Calgary

Huyana Cyprien is a multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism from Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alta. While attending Mount Royal University she chased a variety of different stories, she and her fellow students produced a multimedia project on the Ukrainian Internment Camps that occurred in Canada during the First World War. She also did an investigative story about the impacts of Indigenous people growing up in the foster care system and in non-Indigenous households. Huyana was also a co-lead editor for the Calgary Journal online edition, where she would produce, edit and publish other students work to the site. The summer of 2018 Huyana interned with CBC North, Yellowknife. During her time there, Huyana produced content for digital, radio and television, she pursued difficult and relevant stories that involved a range of topics. Most importantly, working in the North taught Huyana that producing positive Indigenous stories is what she wants to do as a Denesųłįné journalist. Connect with her @huyana_cyprien

Jackson Weaver | BCIT, Vancouver

Jackson Weaver is a journalist born and raised in Vancouver with a passion for storytelling in all its forms. After graduating from UBC's Creative Writing program in 2017, he moved on to study journalism at BCIT—in that short time, his work has appeared in outlets such as The Walrus, Vancouver Magazine, VICE News, Montecristo Magazine, and more, breaking stories on subjects as various as an international con-man cum CIA informant, allegedly coercive deportation practices employed in Canada, and the shadowy self-regulation of social media platforms. Jackson was recently awarded the PEAK scholarship in Memory of "Rocket" Rochelle Dentry & Greg Sherrett, and has spent the last six months as an editorial fellow at The Walrus magazine in Toronto, where you can alternatively find him researching obscure facts, and arguing in favour of the validity of comics as an art form. You can follow him on Twitter at @jacksonwweaver

Kelsey Mohammed | Humber, Toronto

Kelsey Mohammed has always been a journalist at heart. From making personal vlogs and journals that occupied most of her time as a child, documenting events has always been a part of Kelsey's persona. Having grown up in the suburbs of Toronto, her passion for culture, society, and leadership led her to a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Humber College. Kelsey's storytelling comes to life through her comprehensive work in videography, multimedia and interactive reporting. Her love for digital creativity is seen in her range of skills which includes shooting, editing, directing and even acting. Kelsey is an active member of her community and has documented important political, cultural, theatrical, and educational events. In 2018, she collaborated with Etobicoke city council candidate Amber Morley on her ad campaign. Kelsey has been a reporter on and off camera for Humber Today and Skedline News. She has interned for Toronto radio stations Z103.5, 103.9 ProudFm, and Jewel 88.5. Kelsey also interned for multi-media publication Electrify Magazine as their social media coordinator. Kelsey has been a mentor to younger peers in various volunteer activities and hopes to use her reporting to travel the world. You can connect with Kelsey on twitter @kelseymohammed_

Levi Garber | Carleton

Levi Garber always has another question. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Levi's interest in journalism began within the pages of the Manitoban, the University of Manitoba's student newspaper. He became the first student journalist in recent memory to obtain a press gallery membership in Manitoba's provincial legislature, where he learned the art of getting to the point as quickly as possible while taking part in reporter scrums with the Premier and various cabinet ministers. That experience led Levi to enroll as a Master of Journalism student at Carleton University and move to Ottawa. During his master's studies, Levi completed an internship at the CBC's London, UK bureau where he learned everything there is to know about the royal family in the lead up to Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle's wedding. Levi then spent a summer in the Yukon learning about First Nations culture, history and land claims with Carleton's 'Stories North' course. He later returned to the CBC's London bureau for another internship at the height of UK's Brexit debate. Going forward, Levi is interested in covering politics in Canada and around the world. Connect with him via twitter: @LeviGarber

Lina Forero | Concordia, Montreal

Lina Forero was born in Colombia where she grew up and discovered her passion for storytelling. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies and Journalism from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in 2011 in Bogota, Colombia. Before moving to Canada in 2017, she worked for three years as an associate producer at Los Informantes, a newsmagazine broadcasted in Colombia and internationally by Caracol Televisión. At Los Informantes, she participated in the production of more than 40 stories ranging from artistic features to those about deep socio-economic problems in remote areas of her country. Her efforts to tell compelling stories took her to many places in Colombia, as well as to Haiti, Argentina and the United States. What she enjoys the most about journalism is the opportunity to meet people with fascinating stories that need to be told, and visiting places she never thought she would go to. Lina vividly remembers the stories she produced that commemorated  the five-year anniversary of Haiti's 2010 earthquake. She was deeply touched by seeing people's resilience to rebuild their lives after the tragedy. During her undergrad, Lina also worked in print media, community radio and digital magazine. In Canada, she obtained a Graduate Diploma in Visual Journalism from Concordia University in 2019. 

Maggie Macintosh | Ryerson, Toronto 

Maggie Macintosh got her start in journalism delivering newspapers door-to-door with help from a wagon she wheeled around the Hamilton neighbourhood she grew up in. A decade after she left her first job as a newspaper delivery girl, she graduated from Ryerson University's School of Journalism with a minor in global politics and development. Between semesters in 2017, Maggie interned at the Winnipeg Free Press. There she got her first front-page story in a daily and frostbite, the result of conducting interviews outside in – 40 C. She returned to Winnipeg the following summer to continue covering business, health, Indigenous issues, politics and all breaking news in between. She wrote about concerns women in northern communities would be affected by the Greyhound Canada route cuts and the deadly tornado that hit rural Manitoba in 2018. Her curiosity and the adrenaline of deadlines later led her to the CBC Toronto newsroom. When she's not making cold calls, Maggie is calling line as a skip on a competitive curling team. She skipped the Ryerson Rams' women's curling team to their national championship debut in 2017. Maggie is a bilingual multimedia journalist currently based in Toronto. Connect with her – in English or French – via Twitter: @macintoshmaggie

Olivia Robinson | Carleton, Ottawa

Olivia is a writer, journalist and book publishing professional originally from Aurora, Ont. During her time in the publishing industry, she championed literary diversity in both of Canada's official languages while organizing Canada's involvement at international book fairs in Guadalajara, Bologna, London, Frankfurt and Havana. She graduated with an MA in Writing for Children from the University of Winchester (UK) in 2013. During her Master of Journalism degree at Carleton University, Olivia was drawn to people-driven narratives and experimenting with new digital mediums to better help tell these stories. She has produced journalism about capacity-building tiny home projects in Carcross/Tagish First Nation; toilet privilege and public washrooms in Ottawa; stable neighbourhoods and contentious mega-mansion developments in Aurora; and the exploits of an escaped emu in Haliburton, Ont. Her bylines have appeared in the Ottawa Citizen and the Haliburton Echo/Minden Times. She was's Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellow in 2019, writing a series on the public library in Canada reimagined as the third place – a frontline for social work, reconciliation, opioid overdose prevention and food security. Connect her on Twitter @olivianne where she tweets about Seinfeld, slow cooker recipes and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ryan Patrick Jones | UBC, Vancouver

Ryan Patrick Jones is a multimedia journalist from the Greater Toronto Area with interests spanning the economy, politics, urban issues, and global affairs. He's worked as web writer and radio reporter for the past year in the local CBC newsrooms in Toronto and Vancouver, covering everything from shootings and stabbings to provincial politics to a measles outbreak. His most interesting reporting projects have taken him to the Indigenous communities of the Lower Mainland and to fish farms and fishing ports in Guangdong, China. Ryan got his start in journalism as a contributor to the local news program at UBC's community radio station, CiTR, and as a reporter for the student newspaper, The Ubyssey. His work was rewarded in 2018 with a National Community Radio Award for best news reporting. Ryan graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science and history from the University of Ottawa in 2012 and earned a master of journalism from the University of British Columbia in 2019. In between, he spent five years living in Taiwan where he taught English, did social media for a scuba diving tech startup, and traversed mountain roads by motorbike in his spare time.