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Poynter and Google News Initiative Misinformation Student Fellowship Program

In 2023, given the ever present problem of misinformation and how quickly it can spread — especially on social media – the Google News Initiative and Poynter have partnered to launch a student fellowship program focused on combating mis- and disinformation in communities.

Meet the fellows

Merena Gallo

The Dallas Morning News

As a senior at the University of Texas, I'm proud to be a fellow in the Poynter & Google News Initiative program, contributing to The Dallas Morning News. Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, my journalism odyssey is rooted in a commitment to meaningful storytelling. My membership in the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) has deepened my passion for media diversity.

Outside the classroom, I find inspiration in podcasts and content creation. I aspire to merge my storytelling skills with a keen interest in the beauty industry, specifically makeup and skincare. I can’t wait to contribute fresh perspectives and connect to others through my stories!

Ramiro Hernández

La Esquina Texas

Ramiro A. Hernández (he/him/él) is a first-generation graduate student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he is pursuing an Ed.M. in Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship.

A fronterizo from the Rio Grande Valley of South TX, much of his work has focused around immigrant communities in the United States. In the last three years, he has partnered with the Biden Transition Team to increase representation in political appointments, published an international reporting project with the Pulitzer Center that focused on deported U.S. immigrant veterans, and authored and presented a congressional policy brief that advocated for federal-state partnerships in increasing access to higher education.

His work has won awards and fellowships from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Cornell University’s Migration Program, the Mellon Foundation, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, the Center for Innovation and Leadership, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Swarthmore Intercultural Center, and the Point Foundation.

Outside of that, Ramiro enjoys cooking good food and listening to Celia Cruz.

Kiden-Aloyse Smith

Mississippi Free Press

Kiden-Aloyse Smith is a senior Multimedia Journalism and Media Studies major at Jackson State University.

Through her pursuit to promote liberation through representation, Kiden has worked with Teen Vogue in their Teen Vote 2020 Project, won numerous awards, such as The Student Voice Award for her editorial articles, and launched an online publication entitled Sublimity Magazine in 2022. In February 2023, Kiden participated in The Driving Force Internship with the Black Automotive Media Group and Nissan and most recently completed a summer internship as a Junior Producer at HEC Media in St.Louis, Missouri.

Kiden will graduate from Jackson State University in May 2024 with a BS in Journalism and Media Studies and intends to work as an Executive Producer.

Tyuanna Williams

YR Media

Tyuanna Williams is a senior at Claflin University, where she is the editor-in-chief of “The Panther” student newspaper. She studies mass communications with a concentration in journalism and minors in Africana and African American Studies. As an aspiring journalist, Tyuanna has interned with the Fort Lauderdale Magazine, HBCU Times Magazine, Open Campus Media and the Times and Democrat newspaper. As a fellow of Open Campus Media’s inaugural HBCU Student Journalism Network, she reported on the impact of parent plus loans to Black families and policing on HBCU campuses. During her internship with the Times and Democrat, she was exposed to the importance of local journalism. One of her career goals is to make journalism important again. To her, real journalism is what the world needs right now and it’s up to journalists to prove that. She’s committed to sharing news stories that may otherwise go unheard. Ultimately, Tyuanna wants to be the editor-in-chief of a magazine dedicated to amplifying Black voices.

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