American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

A Professional Partner of The

Alexander von Humboldt - Foundation



James Angelos (2009-10)
James Angelos writes regularly for The New York Times City Section. He graduated with an M.S. degree in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2007, and will spend his fellowship year under the sponsorship of Spiegel Online International writing stories about Berlin. He will focus especially on topics involving immigration and integration. (7/2/09)

Gal Beckerman (2008-09)
Gal Beckerman has just completed a history of the Soviet Jewry movement, the 25-year Cold War struggle for free emigration out of the Soviet Union. It will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the fall of 2010. He is currently on staff at the Forward newspaper and was a longtime writer and editor for the Columbia Journalism Review, a magazine of media criticism. His essays and book reviews appear regularly in a number of other journals and newspapers, including the New York Times Book Review and Bookforum, and he was the New York bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post in 2006. Gal has a Bachelors degree from Reed College and a Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Deborah Kolben and their daughter, Mika. (5/8/10)

David Fondiller (1992-93)
Since November 2006, Dave has been Director of Media Relations for The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm with extensive operations in German-speaking Europe. Based in New York, he focuses on media and marketing in the Americas region. Prior to joining BCG, he worked six and a half years as head of corporate communications at Marakon Associates, another highly respected management consultancy. During his year as a German Chancellor Fellow, he interned in the press office of the Treuhandanstalt in Berlin. His work involved fielding media inquiries on the status of East German companies and industries, and assisting in the production of the privatization agency’s English-language newsletter. He also wrote freelance articles for German and American publications and audited classes at the Free University Berlin. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he taught as an adjunct professor for several years. (6/26/09)

Daniela Gerson (2006-07)
Daniela joined the journalism faculty at California State University, Northridge, in August 2016 as an assistant professor with a focus on community, ethnic and participatory media. She has covered immigration policy and foreign-born communities as a staff reporter with The New York Sun and contributed to the New York TimesFinancial Times Magazine, WNYC: New York Public Radio, Spiegel Online, American Public Media, among other outlets. Daniela holds a BA from Brown University in International Relations and History, and an MA from University of Southern California School of Journalism. Her project during her German Chancellor Fellowship focused on what lessons can be learned from Germany’s guest-worker program in forming contemporary immigration policy in Europe and the United States. She also produced a one-hour feature for Deutschlandradio Kultur on her experiences as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors living in Berlin. The piece was awarded a 2009 RIAS Berlin award. (6/19/09)

Lori Herber-Griffin (2011-12)
Lori Herber-Griffin’s background in journalism and design (B.A., magna cum laude with honors, 2003; M.A., 2005) helps her appreciate the written word, while understanding the science of presentation. Lori’s past work with TIME magazine helped hone her eye for layout, and her stint at stern magazine in Hamburg focused on informational graphics. Lori served as media director at the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry at Ball State University in Indiana. She received a Bosch Fellowship to craft “Rising from the Rust,” a digital exhibit at the Ruhr Museum in Essen, and presently works in communications in the College of Education, University of Illinois. As a Humboldt Fellow, Lori will connect with Turkish youth to create an interactive project, “From Doener to Diploma.” Photos and audio interviews will put a face to the statistics that indicate an alarming lack of formal education among Turkish immigrants when compared to native German peers. Partnering with the Regional Verband Ruhr and city of Muelheim, Lori will review educational equity literature, complementing the research with narratives of pupils as they embark upon their next step – be it university, skilled labor, or uncertainty. This documentation illustrates the qualitative side of the statistics, perhaps informing policy, and, at the most basic level, sharing the human experience. (4/27/11)

Sarah Kelly (2010-11)
Sarah Kelly is a broadcast journalist who most recently served as a producer and anchor for Bloomberg, L.P.’s Broadcast Division in New York. As a journalist committed to issues involving international affairs and the economy, she has worked, studied and traveled across Europe and Latin America. Ms. Kelly earned a BS in political science (magna cum laude) from Columbia University, where she was named a Trustee Scholar. Her thesis focused on the impact of American exceptionalism on the International Criminal Court. In her spare time she helps run the International Rescue Committee’s Leaders in Training Program, which aides teenage refugees in adjusting to their new lives in New York. As an Alexander von Humboldt German Chancellor Fellow based in Berlin, Ms. Kelly will join Germany’s Deutsche Welle Television to produce independent, investigative reports on innovations and efficiencies in the German automotive industry. Her reporting will be distributed through a variety of platforms–print, online and broadcast. With the goal of increasing transparency and uncovering business trends within the automotive sector, Ms. Kelly will highlight the strengths of German car manufacturers and what lies ahead in the wake of this most recent financial crisis. (5/6/10)

Sigrid Lupieri (2012-13)
Sigrid Lupieri works as a journalist and as a lecturer at Loyola University in Chicago. During the German Chancellor Fellowship year, she will analyze the German healthcare system and how it addresses Alzheimer’s disease within a rapidly aging population. While the German system provides mandatory long-term care for almost all residents and offers tax relief for families caring for a disabled person, Medicare, Medicaid, and most health insurance policies in the U.S. do not provide such long-term benefits. How does the German government manage to offer long-term care to its residents affected by dementia and how is it possible for such a rapidly aging society to maintain a reasonable standard of living without overburdening younger generations? Sigrid holds a Masters in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a Masters in Modern European History from the University of Cambridge (UK). Before moving to Chicago, she worked as a journalist in Tbilisi, Georgia, writing about social and healthcare issues.

Gilberto Pimentel (1990-91)
Gilberto is Director of Digital Media at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC. He spent his year in Germany at the Deutscher Fernsehfunk in Berlin. (6/8/07)

Amy Schwartz (1990-91)
As a German Chancellor Fellow, Amy pursued the project “The Press and Reunification.” She worked with the Tagesspiegel (Berlin) the Leipziger Volkszeitung (Leipzig), and the German Archaeological Institute (Berlin). Upon her return to the United States, Amy took a position as editorial writer for the Washington Post. Her columns and essays have appeared there and in various magazines. She has also done commentaries for National Public Radio. Amy has a B.A. in Literature from Harvard University.

Niels Sorrells (2004-05)
Niels is an editor and reporter in Berlin for the English language service of DPA, the German Press Agency. As a German Chancellor Fellow, he used his background as a reporter to sort through the history of Germany’s surveillance and privacy laws to see how they evolved in the last century, whether they are adapted to the current efforts to control terrorism, and how they compare to similar U.S. laws. Niels spent five years as a defense and foreign policy reporter for Congressional Quarterly. He earned a master’s degree in international affairs from the George Washington University in 1999 and degrees in journalism and international studies from Bradley University in 1994. (6/26/09)

Svetlana Stepanova (2012-13)
Svetlana Stepanova was a Business Development and Corporate Strategy Manager at NPR (National Public Radio) in Washington DC prior to her fellowship. Svetlana received her MBA from the George Washington University and BBA from the Texas A&M University with a focus on international business.  She has over 7 years of work experience in consulting, finance, and media strategy.  In Germany, together with the Institute for Journalism and Media Studies at the Freie Universität, Svetlana will investigate, in the context of diversity strategy in public media, an important balance between the increased commercialism and value of the markets on one hand, and the democratic and cultural principles of public service on the other. This research will help articulate needed changes in public media structure and set a framework for inclusive journalism. Public funding strategy, journalistic education and training, recruitment practices, editorial freedom and leadership values are among the key elements which this research will help identify and improve.

Joel Stonington (2012-13)
Joel spent the year and a half prior to his fellowship as a reporter at Bloomberg Businessweek, where he wrote about everything from robots to sports to corporate governance, and developed a growing interest in energy. During the fellowship year, Joel will work as a visiting journalist at Spiegel International, the English-language arm of Der Spiegel, and focus on how the solar industry is adapting to pressure form China, declining support from the Renewable Energy Act, and an increasingly compromised Eurozone as marketplace. During the nine years in journalism, Joel has written front-page and section-front stories for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. His stories have also appeared in New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and ABC News. He holds an M.S. in journalism from Columbia Univeristy and a B.A. from Reed College.

William Wheeler (2014-15)
An award-winning international correspondent, William Wheeler has reported from around the Middle East, Asia, the U.S., Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. His work has appeared in outlets like The New York Times, TIME, Playboy, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Magazine, GlobalPost, McSweeney’s Quarterly, and many others. He holds masters degrees in journalism and international affairs from Columbia University, and will spend his fellowship year under the sponsorship of Friends of NPR Berlin, working on stories about assimilation and asylum. (9/8/2014)