The Humphrey Fellowship Program at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism is taking a hiatus in 2017-2018. We look forward to hosting a new class of Fellows in the future.



Karlis Dagilis is a journalist, media professional and lecturer. Most recently he worked as executive director of Latvijas Radio 5 -, a public multimedia radio station for youth he helped establish. His goal is to create a media literacy center in Latvia. During his Humphrey year, he plans to study computer-assisted reporting, media literacy and affiliate with an NGO that is focused on media literacy.Karlis Dagilis (Latvia) is a journalist, media professional and lecturer whose most recent work was as executive director of a Latvian public radio station and as a lecturer in radio journalism at the University of Latvia, where he has worked for the past five years. His journalism career dates back to 2000, when he started as a reporter for youth programs. Later, Karlis was a sports news editor and reporter before he became involved in Latvian public radio. Later, he spent two years working at a commercial radio station and a morning news program on Latvian public television. He was chief local organizer for Tech Camp, a U.S. State Department-funded innovation workshop held in Riga in spring 2015. During his Humphrey year, Karlis plans to learn about computer-assisted reporting and improve his data visualization skills. He would like to integrate new and traditional modes of storytelling into his journalism projects.

Sharifa KalokolaSharifa Kalokola (Tanzania) is science journalist and communication expert. She has worked as a science journalist with the online publication, Research Africa, and as a science writer for the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology. Sharifa has also worked with The Citizen, an English newspaper in Tanzania, where she was a health reporter and columnist for “Talking Gender” for four years. Throughout her career, she has devoted her work to raising awareness of health and rights issues for underrepresented women and to end violence against women and girls. She has received multiple awards, including the Canadian International Research Development Organization’s Science Journalism Award, the Media Council of Tanzania’s award for best health reporting in 2013, and the Siemens Pan African Science Journalism Award in 2011. Sharifa has a BS degree in food science and technology, and received multimedia journalism training at Nation Media Lab in Kenya. During her Humphrey year, she plans to study public health and multimedia journalism, and work with a U.S. organization that promotes health in Africa.

Andelo Louw.Angelo Louw (South Africa) is a former magazine editor who uses his media experience and networks to support South African nonprofit organizations in social justice advocacy. He works closely with organizations like the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, New loveLife Trust, and the South African National Editors’ Forum. With over a decade of print and digital publishing experience, Angelo has developed several multimedia campaigns and interventions. He was recognized for his work in youth activism and HIV awareness at the 2014 Nelson Mandela Community Leadership Awards and received special recognition at the 2013 New Generation Digital & Social Media Awards. During his Humphrey year, Angelo would like to study new trends in media production with a focus on cultural sensitivity, expand his networks and advocacy platforms, and find a publisher for his first completed novel.

Maria Mora.Maria Belen Mora (Paraguay) is a broadcast journalist who also writes for La Nación, a national newspaper. Previously, she was the chief producer in CFA Radio 99.5 FM, a local radio station in Luque city, where she was in charge of radio content and social media management. María also co-hosted news programs in the two main AM radio stations in Paraguay, Ñanduti 1020 AM and 780 AM Radio Primero de Marzo. She worked as an anchor and reporter for Red Guaraní, a national television station based in Asunción. Her reporting focused on political and social issues. During her Humphrey year, she would like to improve her multimedia skills, and focus on broadcast journalism and women in the media.

New Chris Psarra photo.Christina Psarra (Greece) is a social policy analyst and humanitarian worker whose most recent work was as head of mission for Doctors Without Borders, where she coordinated a joint operation with Greenpeace to rescue refugees crossing between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean Sea in 2016. She has also participated in refugee rescue missions off the coast of Libya and started the “Refugees Welcome” project in Greece. In addition to her refugee work, Christina developed the first NGO-led project in Greece to fight racism, and she offered social and medical care to mentally ill homeless people through the MARSS program at the Public University Hospital of Marseille, France.. Christina has studied and worked in Greece, the United Kingdom, Malawi and France. She studied philosophy and social policy and received a master’s degree in nongovernmental organizations and development from the London School of Economics. She also received a certificate from the Harvard Executive Education program on strategic management for leaders of NGOs. During her Humphrey year she would like to focus on best practices in aid projects, poverty alleviation policies and conflict resolution

Shristi RajbhandariShristi Rajbhandari (Nepal) was a communications and documentation officer for the Rapid Enterprise and Livelihoods Recovery Project (RELRP), a United Nations Development Program project that worked to revitalize farms, small businesses and communities damaged in central Nepal following the spring 2015 earthquakes. She has also worked as a marketing and communications officer at the British Council, where she engaged with a diverse audience on social media. Between 2011 and 2013, Shristi worked as a senior broadcast assistant for “Katha Mitho Sarangiko” (or “The Sweet Tales of Sarangi,”) a popular radio drama that dealt with topics such as gender-based violence in order to combat discrimination and injustice. She is an avid photographer. A number of her photos highlighting social issues and RELRP’s early recovery efforts have been published in one of Nepal’s prominent English dailies, My Republica.  Shristi has a master’s degree in international journalism from the University College Falmouth in the United Kingdom. During her Humphrey year she intends to focus on effectively using social media and strengthening her multimedia and media relations skills.

Hitender RaoHitender Rao (India) is a journalist with almost two decades of reporting and newsroom leadership experience based in the province of Haryana. As chief of the Haryana bureau at Hindustan Times, one of India’s largest English daily newspapers, he has covered a broad range of issues and topics including politics, governance, society and economics. His reporting of the 2007 Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express train blast was met with attention from the editor in chief of Hindustan Times.  As a Humphrey fellow, Hitender plans to undertake a comparative study of criminal justice system in India and United States with particular focus on prison reforms.

Claudia Serrano RicoClaudia Serrano Rico (Mexico) worked as both a reporter and the head of office in the social communications department for the First Ladies of the Municipality of El Marquez, Queretaro, from 2000 to 2015. Her main responsibilities were to plan and execute communication strategies; communicate with reporters covering the First Lady and the director; write newsletters and produce an annual report; and organize events and special projects. Claudia has worked for the National Action Party and Revolutionary Institutional Party’s social communication departments. She was in charge of video, graphic design, photo production, candidate coverage, and producing newsletters and printed resources. In 2011 Claudia traveled to Beijing to participate in China’s Workshop for Journalists from Latin American Countries. She received a master’s degree in marketing at the Atemajac Valley University and a bachelor´s degree in communication at Cuauhtemoc University, both in Queretaro, Mexico. Claudia is interested in advising women running for office in Mexico on political strategies. During her Humphrey year, she will concentrate on political communication and campaigns in the United States.

Evin TasEvin Tas (Turkey) is a board member of a nonprofit in Istanbul whose mission is to facilitate social and educational development in a disadvantaged neighborhood and integrate refugees into the community. In 2009 she joined the private sector partnership office in the United Nations Development Program, followed by a career at Cisco Systems as corporate social responsibility manager for Turkey. She has extensive experience in management and the private sector. In 2014 she co-founded a web start-up that attracted angel funding. Though she studied industrial engineering in school, Evin is a social activist by calling. She has volunteered with a number organizations and causes throughout her life. With her experience in civil society organizations and the private sector, Evin plans to focus on empowering civil society organizations. During her Humphrey year she would like to concentrate on nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship.

Abdul Waseem AbbasiAbdul Waseem Abbasi (Pakistan) is an investigative journalist at Pakistan’s largest English daily, The News International. Waseem has been with The News for the last four years writing investigative stories on corruption, governance, health, education, security and politics. Before joining The News, he spent five years as a section editor with The Brunei Times. He has also worked with Geo TV, Pakistan’s largest news channel, and The Nation, a leading English daily, where he covered Pakistan’s 2005 earthquake and the Pakistani military forces’ Red Mosque operation in Islamabad. His investigative work on health issues earned him the RTI Champions Award and his story on the fake degrees of Pakistan’s former education minister led to the minister’s resignation. Waseem was a Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) Fellow and Chevening South Asia Journalism Fellow in 2015. He has trained more than 100 Pakistani journalists on personal safety while reporting on sensitive subjects. As  Humphrey Fellow he is interested in learning about digital media, computer assisted reporting and investigative journalism in the United States.