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Two Nigerians, Ashley Okwuosa and Chuma Asuzu, win The Brown Institute of Stanford Magic Grant

While making the announcement on its website, Stanford University gave the list of the 13 projects that were selected as beneficiaries of the 2019-20 Magic Grant programme. Amongst this list is a Maternal Health delivery project collaboration by the duo of Ashley Okwuosa and Chuma Asuzu.

“The Brown Institute for Media Innovation, a collaboration between Stanford University’s School of Engineering and Columbia Journalism School, is awarding more than $1 million in funding for 13 projects as part of the 2019-20 Magic Grant program. Each year, the Brown Institute awards grants to foster new tools and modes of expression, and to create stories that escape the bounds of page and screen.

This year’s awards include nine Magic Grants and four seed grants. Each project addresses an important contemporary issue, be it political, cultural or technical.” Stanford writes.

Ashley Okwuosa is a reporter with The Teacher Project at Columbia Journalism School, and Chuma Asuzu a data analyst at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The project
“Nigeria’s estimated 40,000 maternal deaths account for a staggering 14% of the world’s annual total — a statistic from a country that represents just 2.6% of the world’s population. Mobile blood banks, free health care for mothers and newborns in some Nigerian states, and community health care centers in underserved regions have led to noticeable reductions in maternal deaths. But to date, there has been no systematic assessment of the efficacy of any given health intervention, and analysis is complicated by the fact that the statistics are scattered and often undercount actual deaths. The researchers, in partnership with Nigeria Health Watch, will centralize health data from the WHO, World Bank and others, and research shifts in technology, policy and culture that have impacted the Nigerian maternal death rate.”

Ashley Okwuosa is a New York-based journalist with three years of digital journalism experience. Her reporting interests include education, immigration, gender/sexuality, health, and culture. She is currently an education reporter with The Teacher Project, a fellowship based out of Columbia University where she writes about the many facets of education in the United States. Before moving to New York, she worked as a freelance writer in Lagos, Nigeria.

Ashley and Chuma

A graduate of both the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and Rutgers-Newark Universit, she is also a 2017-2018 Africa Pulitzer Fellow.

Chuma is a Data Scientist and a Design Engineer. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University he specialised in product design. He is a data analyst at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Magic Grants are awarded by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, a collaboration between Stanford University’s School of Engineering and Columbia Journalism School.

Other recipients of this year’s award include: James Hong and Dan Fu, both Stanford doctoral candidates in computer science through their work on Public analysis of TV news; Elizabeth Murname, Stanford computer science postdoc, and Griffin Dietz, Stanford computer science doctoral candidate through their work on Voice-based interface for storytelling and Jung Cho, Jihye Lee, Yingdan Lu, Dan Muise and Katie Roehrick, all doctoral candidates in communication at Stanford through their work on Screenomics interactive dashboard.

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