Where Are They Now?

From time to time, we check in with past Gracies student winners, AWMF Scholarship recipients, and alum from the AWM Connects mentorship program. Below are just a few of the women who have reached success and furthered their media career and education.


AWM Connects Alum Alex Razo and Lindsay Guentzel

In the September 2022 issue of “A Minute with Membership,” the AWM members-only newsletter, we hear from two of the 2021 AWM Connects mentees about their experience with the inaugural mentorship program. We learn what they are doing now and the advice they would give to future AWM connects participants.

AWM Connects Spotlight

Omose Ighodaro, 2021 Ford Empowering America/AWMF Scholarship Recipient

My dream to attend Columbia University’s Journalism school was achieved, thanks to the generous educational scholarships offered by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF).

Since being named the 2021 recipient of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation & Ford Empowering America Scholarship, my dream is becoming a reality. Last month, I graduated from Columbia University, grew my platform AfroVibes.com, an online platform spotlighting African leaders and connecting the African diaspora to new levels, and will begin a new position at Bloomberg News this fall.

As a young Nigerian-American, the AWMF scholarship supported me and gave me confidence during a time where I hesitated to believe in myself. I’m grateful to have been introduced to many amazing leaders in media through AWMF as well.

I want to personally thank you for your generosity and vote of confidence. Without scholarship patrons willing to support women in media, students like myself would not be able to pursue advanced degrees that in turn, help to further propel diversity within the media community.

This week, I had the opportunity to attend the 47th annual Gracie’s Award Luncheon in New York which gave me much hope and inspiration. I saw several talented, diverse, award winners which reemphasized the possibilities for a recent graduate like myself.

So, thank you – I’m one step closer being a future media mogul. Stay tuned!

Cassandra Hsiao, 2016 Student Radio Online Video Host Or Correspondent Gracie Award Winner

An interview with the youngest recipient of a Gracie Award, Cassandra Hsiao, conducted and produced by Hannah Seewald, a student at Temple University.

Allie Volpe, 2014 Student Radio Special or Variety Gracie Award Winner

An interview with Allie Volpe, a journalist and past Gracie-winner, conducted and produced by Hannah Seewald, a student at Temple University.

Murugi Thand, 2018 Student Online Producer Gracie Award Winner

An interview with Murugi Thand, a journalist and past Gracie-winner, conducted and produced by Hannah Seewald, a student at Temple University.

Sokhna Fall, 2019 Ford “Empowering America” Scholarship Recipient

It was an honor to be selected as the Ford “Empowering America” Scholarship Runner-up. Last year, I was a determined high school senior who sought to attend Howard University. However, finances and proximity to home was a concern for my family. This scholarship was a generous and meaningful contribution to my ability to pursue a higher education at an illustrious out-of-state institution. As a Muslim African-American young woman who is considering a career in media, a field that far too often lacks in diversity, it is easy to feel unappreciated and unworthy. My experiences after completing my first year at the “Mecca” have taught me a level of resilience and persistence that I will never forget and surely apply in future career endeavors. I thank everyone at the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation that helped kickstart my journey towards success.

—Sokhna Fall


Rising Sophomore, Howard University

Tracey Quezada, 2019 Ford “Empowering America” Scholarship Recipient

As a woman of color and the first one to go to college in my family, for my bachelors degree and now my masters, I needed that green light. Something that told me to accept the offer from UC Berkeley graduate school of journalism. I was on the fence about accepting their offer and when I received a scholarship from Alliance for Women in Media that was my answer– my green light. Recently, I received a scholarship from The American Association of University Women.

I still have one more year to complete my masters degree. Over the past 9 months I’ve been working hard on my documentary film. Below is the teaser and selects of the film in progress. My multimedia project follows Aqueila Lewis, an aspiring poet living in Oakland California who is passionately pursuing her dreams while running from a dark past buried deep in her psyche. We follow her as she uncovers the generational cycle of child sexual abuse within her family and works to heal. The film will also feature a social impact campaign focused on women of color who have experienced child sexual abuse. These past 2 months I’ve dedicated to submitting grant applications to fund this film.

— Tracey Quezada
Filmmaker | Editor | Journalist


Tiaras Polite, 2018 Ford “Empowering America” Scholarship Recipient

I am still at Georgia State University majoring in Sports Administration. I am graduating May 2021, a year early. Life just took off once I came from Atlanta. I’ve worked the Super Bowl festivities, as well as the Atlanta Hawks and College Park Skyhawks. I was just hired with the Atlanta Braves before COVID-19 occurred. I also worked with the NFL Honors and was also supposed to work the 2020 Espys before COVID-19 as well. Right now, I am just trying to connect with more industry professionals and network, network, network! I am trying to secure a job once I graduate in May. 

— Tiaras Polite

Rising Senior, Georgia State University