2021 NYU Journalism-NAJA Scholarship recipients announced

Aquino, Ray receive full tuition scholarships to attend NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute in the fall of 2021

Native American Journalists Association members Lyric Aquino and Jonathan Michael Ray have been selected for the 2021 NYU Journalism-NAJA Scholarship. 

The goal of this full tuition scholarship, worth more than $70,000, is to support an exceptional journalist who might not otherwise have the opportunity to earn a graduate journalism degree in one of the school’s top-level NYU graduate journalism programs.

Lyric Aquino (Tewa)

Lyric will join NYU Journalism this fall 2021 to pursue a master’s degree in journalism through the Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP). The first in her family to go to college, Lyric grew up in the blue-collar town of Lorain, Ohio, and attended Kent State University, where she double-majored in anthropology and journalism and was the president of the Native American Students Association. At Kent State, she was a columnist and features editor for the college paper as well as a radio show host and a news anchor at the university TV station. 

She currently works at her hometown newspaper The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio as a multimedia reporter. As a 2019 Native American Journalism Fellow, Lyric is devoted to telling the stories of people and their cultures – including her Indigenous community. Lyric’s work has been published on Indian Country Today, The Morning Journal, Ohio Magazine, and other publications. Her dream is to one day earn her Ph.D. in Anthropology and write for National Geographic.

Jonathan Michael Ray (Laguna and Acoma Pueblo)

Jonathan will join NYU Journalism this fall 2021 to pursue a master’s degree in journalism through the Studio 20 program. He has a degree in film and TV production from NYU Tisch as well as a degree from Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas, where he studied tribal management. 

Jonathan is a documentarian, videographer, video editor, and DJ who sees his life’s work as supporting and bringing information and technologies to Indigenous communities. Currently, he advises Indigenous communities and individuals on technical skills they can use to support Indigenous language revitalization projects. He has also spent the last year working as a sound mixer on short Indigenous films.

New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute is a pioneer in educating today’s journalists. Not confined by the traditional structure that defines most journalism schools, their small cohort size allows for a deeper, more personalized experience. And NYU Journalism programs emphasize the critical thinking skills so important when covering a complex, interrelated world. All of this adds up to the perfect combination of skills and mastery of content.

The strength of NYU’s journalism program stems from the accomplishments of their faculty, who are at the top of their fields. Their professors author books on important contemporary topics. They publish in the most prestigious papers, magazines, and reviews. And they produce award-winning documentaries and broadcast news specials for major media outlets. NYU professors are much more than just mentors—they are deeply invested in their students’ success as future journalists.

About NAJA
NAJA serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures. NAJA educates and unifies its membership through journalism programs that promote diversity and defends challenges to free press, speech and expression. NAJA is committed to increasing the representation of Native journalists in mainstream media

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