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Home > Grants > Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program > Recipients

Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program
2015 Recipients

The goal of the Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program, ultimately, is to increase the diversity participation of SPJ members within national committees and on the national board of directors. The following people were selected to receive Diversity Leadership Grants to attend the Excellence in Journalism 2015 Conference in Orlando.

Anna Douglas

Anna Douglas is a special projects reporter at The Herald, a daily McClatchy-owned newspaper in South Carolina. In 2015, she was named the S.C. Journalist of the Year by the state press association, she won the Greater Charlotte SPJ Outstanding Journalism Award, and she received a McClatchy President’s Award for her investigative reporting that led to the firing of a local public university president. Anna is passionate about community journalism, Freedom of Information Act issues and using Twitter to break news and engage with her audience. She graduated from Winthrop University in 2011 and lived abroad for one year before starting her career. She reports on local government matters, higher education, and problems affecting everyday people. She’s active with the Charlotte, N.C. SPJ chapter and she guest lectures and helps train journalism students at Winthrop University.

Ruksana Hussain

Ruksana is a location independent full-time freelance professional working with several local and national print and web media clients. She enjoys long form feature writing and narrative journalism. Her beats cover diverse industries, subjects and audiences. Ruksana’s work for the South Asian magazine Khabar was nominated for an Atlanta Press Club Excellence in Print Journalism award and she participated in the inaugural cohort of Thread at Yale: Storytelling in Modern Media. Her work has appeared in consumer magazines, trade publications and online outlets. Ruksana enjoys meeting people, learning about their experiences and telling those stories to a larger audience. She also specializes in copyediting, proofreading, translation, and interpretation services. Ruksana has a Bachelors in Sociology and 14+ years’ experience in communications, editorial and content creation and management. Originally from India and raised in the Middle East, she resides in Atlanta GA and will soon be moving to Los Angeles CA.

Sonya Ross

Sonya Ross is The Associated Press’ first-ever race and ethnicity editor, based in Washington, D.C. An Atlanta native, Sonya began her career at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a library clerk. She joined The AP in Atlanta as an intern in 1986 and in 1995 became the first black woman assigned to cover the White House for The AP. During the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Sonya was the print pool journalist aboard Air Force One with President George W. Bush. Sonya helped direct war and diplomacy coverage as AP’s World Services editor in 2002, and in 2004 was named editor for AP’s Washington-based regional reporters. Sonya previously served on the board of the White House Correspondents Association and currently serves on the board of the Washington Press Club Foundation. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Journalism and Women’s Symposium.

Robert Moran

Robert Moran is a Digital News Associate at ABC News in their Los Angeles Bureau. He has been a member of the SPJ since 2007. He is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton. 
Robert firmly believes that a newsroom's diversity should reflect the diversity of the community it serves. He is bilingual. 
He speaks both English and Spanish. 
He is also autistic. Robert is also currently working on a documentary film called the Colors of Autism about the diversity in the autism community.

Jeimmie D. Nevalga

Jeimmie D. Nevalga is an assistant professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. She joined the Radio-TV faculty in February 2011 and is currently teaching the newscast producing class. She also taught one of the core reporting classes over the last few years. At KOMU 8 News, Mid-Missouri’s NBC affiliate, she serves as executive producer. The unique learning lab is where she does most of her teaching, coaching and mentoring of students who plan to become producers and reporters.

She graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 2000 and spent 12 years producing TV news before becoming a professor. She worked for WISN 12, the ABC affiliate in Milwaukee, WI from 2000 to 2005. She then returned to her hometown of Chicago where she became an executive producer for CLTV. The change in news format allowed Nevalga the opportunity to produce extended coverage of major news events, including eight hours of coverage during the 2008 presidential election. In 2009, she was instrumental in the merger of CLTV with its sister station WGN, where she served as senior producer.

Jeimmie has been able to combine her love of traveling, teaching and journalism by lecturing to several media groups in China over the last two years. She’s covered a wide variety of topics from user-generated content to the impact of social media. Nevalga has also done some producing consulting for Alhurra Network based in Washington, D.C.

Jeimmie has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since 2014 and is currently one of the faculty advisers for the MU chapter of SPJ.

Annette Newell

Annette Newell is a news anchor for NCNN, the North Carolina News Network, which reaches an audience of 1.5 million people on 75 radio stations throughout NC. She also anchors afternoon drive time newscasts for Newsradio 680 WPTF, which reach people throughout most of Central North Carolina on both FM and AM signals. She is a long time SPJ member, the current Vice President of the North Carolina Pro Chapter and also has served as its Treasurer, Secretary, Social Media Officer, and this is her second year as a Delegate to the Narional SPJ Convention. Annette has worked as a news anchor and reporter for television and radio stations in markets including New York City, Tampa, Orlando, Raleigh, Buffalo, Mobile/Pensacola, and Greenville. She has won awards including an EMMY for Investigative Reporting, 2 Murrows, an RTDNA National Health/Science Reporting Award, and many AP and RTDNAC awards. She is an active member of both NABJ and TABJ (Triangle Association of Black Journalists) and has worked to combine resources of SPJ and TABJ to produce a panel about Race Relations at Shaw University. Annette is a University of Florida Graduate with High Honors in Telecommunication Journalism, and was selected for the "Anchors as Newsroom Leaders" seminar at the Poynter Institute, led by CBS' Bob Schieffer.

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