Joseph Ataman, AM candidate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, was awarded an Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholar Award at the Foundation’s 2017 Annual Scholar Awards Luncheon, held February 24 at the Yale Club in New York City. Rebecca Blumenstein, deputy managing editor of the New York Times, was the keynote speaker. Ataman was among 15 aspiring foreign correspondents selected by a panel of leading journalists from a pool of 175 applicants from 50 different colleges and universities.
Ataman was the recipient of the Roy Rowan Scholarship. He received the award from Marc Rowan, Roy’s son. A British Fulbright scholar who attended Cambridge University on a choir scholarship, Ataman intends to return to the Middle East to follow such stories as the thousands of unaccompanied migrant children scattered across Europe, the subject of his winning essay. Having reported from Lebanon and Iraq on Syria’s civil war and fight against IS, he is fluent in French and Turkish and conversant in Russia and Levantine Arabic. He has an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Associated Press in Istanbul.
The award winners were also honored with a reception at Reuters the night before the luncheon, hosted by the Reuters’ senior staff. On Saturday they received risk management and situational awareness training from Global Journalist Security at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. They also met privately with editors and freelance journalists in a special breakfast held the morning of the awards presentation and at a post-luncheon panel.
The OPC Foundation is the nation’s largest and most visible scholarship program encouraging aspiring journalists to pursue careers as international correspondents. Media organizations at the luncheon included AP, Bloomberg, CBS News, GroundTruth Project, Reuters, and the Wall Street Journal. For more information on the OPC Foundation and its scholarship/fellowship program, see www.overseaspressclubfoundation.org.