Joan Donaldson Scholars

2020 Joan Donaldson CBC News Scholarship recipients

The 2020 Joan Donaldson Scholars: Ashley Fraser, Dexter McMillan, Hadeel Abdel-Nabi, Jade Prévost-Manuel, Jasmine Mani, Julianna Perkins, Maan Alhmidi, Menaka Raman-Wilms, Meriem Regragui Chiadmi, Sam Nar.
The Joan Donaldson Scholars at their orientation in October 2020. (CBC)

Ashley Fraser 
Dexter McMillan 
Hadeel Abdel-Nabi 
Jade Prévost-Manuel 
Jasmine Mani 
Julianna Perkins 
Menaka Raman-Wilms 
Sam Nar 

Ashley Fraser | Ryerson

Ashley Fraser is a Vancouver-born multimedia journalist with a master of journalism degree from Ryerson University. Ashley grew up in the UK and later moved back to Canada, which sparked her interest in covering stories that crossed borders. During her undergrad, Ashley was the news editor for Simon Fraser University's independent student newspaper, The Peak. While on exchange in Leeds, she landed her first radio internship at the BBC World Service. In 2017, she was selected as a Peter Gzowski intern at CBC Radio in Vancouver. Ashley finished her post-secondary career as the chief podcast editor at the Ryerson Review of Journalism. She interned at CBC's Day 6 and at the CBC News London bureau in the UK. There, she covered Brexit and photographed Greta Thunberg as she set sail across the Atlantic ocean. Ashley also worked as a program assistant at Cross Country Checkup. A creative thinker, she strives to tell stories in nontraditional methods. Her reporting projects have taken her to the disappearing fishing villages of Hong Kong to create a 360-degree video documentary. For her master's thesis, she developed a multi-platform live journalism performance about the accessibility of Toronto's arts education curriculum. Ashley's work has also appeared in Toronto Life, News Decoder, and CBC. Connect with her @ashleymfraser

Dexter McMillan | Carleton

Dexter McMillan was born and raised in Victoria, B.C. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2012 with a BA in Psychology, and in 2018, he traded endless rain for relentless cold to complete a Master of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. Between his two degrees, he worked in special education in Vancouver before moving into an administrative role in health care. He has written for and published photos in The Tyee and Canadian Geographic. He has also worked with the Institute for Investigative Journalism to tell a national story about lead-tainted water across Canada and freelanced a story to Canadian Press on the hiring of Thunder Bay's new police chief. Dexter spent the last year reporting on Canada's relationship with oil and gas as part of his Master's project. It took him from Montréal, Que. to Lloydminster Alta./Sask. and all the way back to Vancouver, B.C. It also had him writing HTML and Javascript for hundreds of hours — he wrote the code for his project website from scratch. He has a fondness for unorthodox writing and you might see his magnified eyeball through the lens of a camera more often than not. Find him on Twitter and Instagram: @dexmcmillan.

Hadeel Abdel-Nabi | Mount Royal

Hadeel Abdel-Nabi is a Calgary-born journalist who got her start as a freelancer during her first year in the journalism program at Mount Royal University. Over the course her undergraduate studies, she has written for HuffPost, VICE, Avenue Magazine, the Sprawl, Muslim Girl and more. In the summer of 2018, she moved up the ranks at Muslim Girl from writer to senior social media editor. During her time with Muslim Girl, she worked on social media campaigns with teams from UN Women, Instagram, Twitter, DotDash and more. She also launched, hosted and produced the platform's podcast which she premiered live at SXSW in Austin, TX with an interview from congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. She has covered topics surrounding an Alberta MLA with a past as a Trump volunteer, white supremacy within the 2019 Alberta general election and an LGBTQ-friendly mosque forced into secrecy. Hadeel's passion has always been to bring underrepresented voices to the forefront of the conversation and is most interested in stories about social inequality, the first-generation Canadian experience and politics. You can find her on Twitter @Hadeel_WithIt.

Jade Prévost-Manuel | Western

Jade Prévost-Manuel is a Quebec-born and Turks and Caicos-raised multimedia journalist. She is an anthropologist at heart—her many moves from Canada to the Caribbean and back are what drive her adventurous spirit and interest in culture. Jade graduated from McGill University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology and biology. Her reporting journey began when she was hired as The McGill Tribune's science and technology editor. At the Tribune, Jade edited copy, assigned stories and reported on climate research in the city. Jade's love of storytelling motivated her to pursue a Master's in Journalism & Communication at Western University. In her time between degrees, she spent her year working on a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii and exploring underwater shipwrecks in Southeast Asia. Jade has reported on cutting-edge science, social justice issues and travel in both London and Montreal. Growing up in a French-English family, she's passionate about bridging the gap between francophone and anglophone news in Canada. When she isn't telling stories on land, you can find her exploring life 80 feet below the ocean's surface. Connect with her on twitter: @prevost_manuel.

Jasmine Mani | UBC

Jasmine Mani always knew she'd be a storyteller. Born and raised in Toronto, she remembers going out of her way to walk through the CBC Broadcast Centre with big dreams of one day working in television. That dream came true nearly seven years later when she was offered an internship with The National in the summer of 2019. Jasmine was later hired by CBC News as an associate producer and had the chance to experience different departments, including a stint at the Investigative Unit where she worked directly for Diana Swain researching hate crimes in Canada. She has worked in daily television news for the past year, starting at CBC Toronto and later joining the Vancouver newsroom during her final semester at UBC's Graduate School of Journalism. As an Iranian-Canadian woman, Jasmine aims to produce stories that can deepen our understanding of diverse communities. She has written about LGBTQ+ issues, sexual misconduct in fraternities, and the gender imbalance in Canadian university coaching. She also co-produced a video about people with mixed-race identities, which was awarded a silver Canadian Online Publishing Award for Best Video Content. Jasmine enjoys playing piano and anything pop culture. Connect with her on Twitter @jasminexmani.

Julianna Perkins | Ryerson

Julianna Perkins is a multidisciplinary journalist who's passionate about thoughtful and in-depth storytelling. She moved from Vancouver to Toronto in 2016 to pursue a bachelor's degree in journalism at Ryerson University, where she caught the investigative journalism bug while working on Tainted Water, a groundbreaking national investigative project that uncovered insidious problems with Canada's drinking water. During the collaborative investigation, which involved more than 120 journalists and journalism students nationwide, Julianna focused on water quality issues on southern Ontario's Indigenous reserves in cooperation with the Toronto Star. In her spare time, she's been known to chase quirky angles on major issues — such as urban dumpster diving as a solution to food waste — and is passionate about telling the rich (and often unheard) stories of Indigenous and immigrant communities in Canada. Prior to earning a Joan Donaldson scholarship, Julianna interned at The Globe and Mail's national news desk and held various masthead positions at the Ryersonian newspaper, Ryerson Folio magazine and Her Campus at Ryerson, a digital collegiate women's magazine. You can keep up with her on Twitter at @J_C_Perkins.

Menaka Raman-Wilms | Carleton

Menaka Raman-Wilms is a journalist, writer and singer. She holds a B.A. in English and Political Science, as well as an M.A. in English and Creative Writing, both from the University of Toronto. Before going back to school to complete her M.J. at Carleton, Menaka worked at a technology startup in Toronto, and in 2015 lived in Berlin for six months. She has interned at CBC Radio's As It Happens, and in the CBC London bureau, and occasionally works as a web writer at CBC Ottawa. As a journalist, Menaka is driven to tell stories about how large-scale trends and events affect individuals. Last year she was awarded a scholarship from Carleton University to produce a radio documentary that features Syrian refugees who are living in Berlin and working as tour guides. Menaka has used her passion for singing to organize and perform holiday concerts benefiting local charities, and regularly reviews Canadian fiction for the Ottawa Review of Books. Her own fiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize, and has won awards from Room Magazine and the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto. She also just completed a novel.

Sam Nar | Mount Royal

Sam Nar is a multilingual multimedia journalist from Calgary, Alberta, whose work has appeared in Western Living Magazine, Vancouver Magazine, Where Calgary and more. Her narratives cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from a hearing-impaired pianist to Asia's hidden mental health epidemic to the impact of cybercrime on businesses. Although Sam can cover just about anything, she's particularly passionate about current affairs, human rights, true crime, and technology. Sam was the photo editor for the Reflector and the news editor for the Calgary Journal online edition — positions she held in tandem while pursuing her journalism degree with minors in business and marketing from Mount Royal University. During the summer of 2019, Sam worked as the technical director and lead graphic designer for Day1UPdate, a broadcast production she and a team of student journalists founded. There, she strengthened her skills in illustration, design and composition, becoming an amateur programming enthusiast in the process.