Meet the 2017 fellows

The 2017 Bringing Home the World International Reporting Fellows:

ICFJ's Bringing Home the World Fellowship helps U.S.-based minority journalists cover compelling yet under-reported international stories, increasing the diversity of voices in global news. Read more here.

Asma Khalid
Media organization: WBUR, Boston Public Radio
Destination: China and Singapore

Project: Explore why a Boston-based robotics company is relying on Chinese manufacturers to build and use their products, and investigate why a Massachusetts-based company is testing its automation prototypes in Singapore instead of the United States.

About: Asma Khalid is a business and technology reporter at WBUR in Boston, where she leads a new unit called @BostonomiX. The unit reports on the forces that are driving the innovation economy in Massachusetts. Previously, Asma was a political reporter for National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington, D.C. In all, Asma worked for NPR for seven years over a nine-year period. During that time, she also was a political and general-assignment reporter for her current employer, WBUR. She started her career at WAMU, the public-radio station that serves the Washington, D.C., area.

Fellowship Goal: Asma says she has had her head buried in U.S. domestic news for the last few years. The fellowship will help her better understand global trends.

Kanwalroop Kaur Singh
Media organization: KALW San Francisco Public Radio
Destination: India

Project: Explore how conditions created by U.S. multinationals and U.S. policies have spurred large numbers of farmers in India’s state of Punjab to move to California.

About: Kanwalroop Kaur Singh is a reporter for KALW Public Radio in San Francisco. Previously, she worked as a reporter and columnist for The Daily Californian. She also has been a teacher, community organizer, and oral historian. Kanwalroop’s stories have appeared in Black Girl Dangerous and As/Us, and has been performed at the Kearny Street Workshop.

Fellowship Goal: Dedicated to what she calls “storytelling as justice,” Kanwalroop hopes the fellowship will give her a chance to tell stories that disrupt “oppressive” media narratives and demonstrate how journalists can be accountable to their communities.

Karen Falla
Media organization: Univision Communications Inc.
Destination: Peru

Project: Look into lobbying efforts in Peru, spearheaded by mothers, to legalize the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana and especially cannabis oil to treat childhood ailments ranging from cancer and epilepsy to autism.

About: Karen Falla is a reporter and anchor for Univision in Dallas. A native of Peru, Karen covers local news, including crime, education, and immigration with a focus on the Hispanic community. Before joining Univision in 2010, she was a video journalist for Azteca Dallas KODF.

Fellowship Goal: Returning to her native country as a reporter after 14 years in the United States, Karen is looking forward to the experience of being a foreign reporter. She hopes to gain a deeper understanding of logistics, safety, cultural sensitivity and the local political and economic systems.

Luis Velarde
Media organization: Univision Communications Inc.
Destination: Vietnam and the Philippines

Project: Profile fishermen, villagers, and coastal residents of the Spratly Islands to illuminate how growing tensions among South Pacific nations over control of the South China Sea is impacting their lives and livelihoods.

About: Luis Velarde is a video journalist for Univision News, where he writes stories, and shoots and edits video. He previously worked as a video producer and producer for The Associated Press, the BBC, Elevation DC and Voice of America.

Fellowship Goal: While reporting in Southeast Asia, Luis expects to gain new skills from what he considers a unique experience and a better understanding of the region.

Melissa Noel
Media organization: NBC BLK
Destination: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago

Project: Explore the long-term impact on thousands of Caribbean children and their communities due to prolonged separation from their parents, who have immigrated to countries, including the United States, for work.

About: Melissa Noel is a freelance multimedia reporter in New York. She is a contributor/reporter for several other news outlets including, Caribbean Beat Magazine, the Caribbean Television Network, and Ebony magazine. Melissa is also multimedia reporter for Voices of NY, and a researcher/producer for the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She began her career on the assignment desk at ABC News, producing national news programming.

Fellowship Goal: Melissa expects to strengthen her international reporting and community-engagement skills and set the stage to provide more mainstream coverage of issues that affect the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora.

Richard Yeh
Media organization: WNYC New York Public Radio
Destination: Taiwan

Project: Explore how Taiwan, a democratic Chinese nation, is grappling with changing definitions of family as the country prepares to legalize same-sex marriage.

About: Richard Yeh is a newsroom producer for WNYC, New York Public Radio. His career began at WNYC in 2007, where he was a newsroom intern, staff assistant producer, City Hall producer and reporter. He is now responsible for editorial planning and technical execution of “All Things Considered.” Richard also supervises WNYC’s interns.

Fellowship Goal: Richard says the fellowship will allow him to exercise his long-form storytelling muscles by documenting an extraordinary moment in Taiwan, the country he left when he moved to the United States at age 14.