By Jena Lynde-Smith

Two first-year Master of Journalism students, Tamanna Khan and Cassandra Yanez-Leyton, have been awarded Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS).

Tamanna Khan

OGS is a prestigious award valued at up to $15,000 and is offered jointly by Carleton and the Province of Ontario. The scholarship is awarded to graduate students who demonstrate a high-level of academic excellence, making it extremely competitive in nature. Applicants must maintain a minimum of an A- in their last two years of study. Yanez-Leyton and Khan both exceeded these requirements, upholding A averages.

Khan said OGS will alleviate her financial concerns and help offset the cost of purchasing equipment for her courses.

“OGS comes as a big relief, taking away my financial worry for the second year of the master’s program,” Khan said.

Cassandra Yanez-Leyton

Born and raised in Bangladesh, Khan says she realized journalism was her calling after contributing to The Daily Star, a leading English newspaper in Bangladesh. She joined the paper in 2010 and moved to the newsroom as a reporter in 2013. Three years later, she emigrated to Canada to be with her husband. Determined to continue her career in journalism, she applied to Carleton last year.

“I am hoping that the journalism program at Carleton will help open doors for me in the field of journalism here in Canada,” Khan said. “I want to work in print media but since Carleton’s program is helping me develop multi-media skills, I might even try other areas of journalism.”

Yanez-Leyton said she hopes to use the OGS funds to foster her newfound love of audio journalism with the purchase audio recording gear.

“I found out this year how much I love audio and I would like to start building a proper audio-recording set-up. I really see myself working in podcasting in the future. I want to do reporting that will allow me to take deep dives into interesting topics,” Yanez-Leyton said.

Yanez-Leyton was born and raised in Ottawa. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Toronto. During her time in Toronto, she noticed an emotional disconnection that exists between Canadians and the outside world. Set on bridging that gap, she hosted and produced the University of Toronto’s first season of their Latin American Studies student podcast.

In her last year of her undergraduate degree Yanez-Leyton traveled to Chile, recorder in hand, to conduct independent research on a controversial immigration law. She said that these experiences confirmed that journalism was the right path for her.

Yanez-Leyton and Khan have been described by their professors as passionate, hard-working and determined. Janice Tibbetts, the Graduate Supervisor for the Master of Journalism program, said she expects them both to thrive in their careers as journalists.

“Tamanna and Cassandra are dedicated students and I am delighted for them,” Tibbetts said. “Tamanna brings experience and a perspective that will add enormous value as she pursues journalism in Canada, and I have no doubt that Cassandra’s passion and work ethic will take her anywhere she wants to go.”

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 in ,
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