Profiles of the three scholarship winners for the 2012 – 2013 academic year are below. Each winner received a $2,500 scholarship.

Jika González is a multimedia journalist and photographer based in New York City, where she is currently pursuing her masters’ degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has taken her to Cuba, Cambodia, the United States and Mexico, where she is originally from. She has gained experience at Magnum Photos, BizBash Media, Condé Nast Traveler, The Mantle and CNN’s Mexico City bureau. Her expected graduation date is in May 2013.

Melanie Hicken is a student in New York University’s graduate program in business and economic reporting, and currently working as an intern on the data team at Reuters. She graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University in 2009 with a degree in journalism, history and political science. Melanie spent several years as the Glendale City Hall reporter for the Los Angeles Times Community News division, where she produced both daily beat stories and enterprise work. Her expected graduation date is in December 2012.

Elizabeth Stuart is a journalist from Salt Lake City, Utah. Before moving to New York to pursue a master’s degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she spent five years writing for the Deseret News, where she specialized in immigration, education and social justice. As an undergraduate at Brigham Young University, Elizabeth edited the student newspaper, spent six months teaching English overseas and danced competitively. Her expected graduation date is in May 2013.