Veteran foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour has been a supporter of Stony Brook's Marie Colvin Center for International Journalism since its inception, according to professor Ilana Ozernoy.
"She lent her name to a couple of things that we did," Ozernoy said. "She’s been pretty much involved from the beginning."
Now, Amanpour has donated more than $9,500 to help students in the center's Journalism Without Walls program travel to Kenya in January. The program aims to give students hands-on experience as foreign correspondents as well as make them more well-rounded as domestic journalists.
Patch first reported on the students' Kickstarter campaign in October, when just over $2,000 had been raised towards the goal of $16,800. Now, the students have surpassed their goal, which will allow more students to travel for the program.
Ozernoy said the students are "over the moon." For a while, she said, it looked like the goal wouldn't be met.
"It was really touch-and-go because the Kickstarter was steadily climbing to the goal, and then the hurricane hit and put the kibosh on all donations," she said. "For 10 days there were crickets. There were more important things for people to donate to. But also on a practical level, people just didn’t have access to the internet."
Amanpour currently serves as CNN's chief international correspondent and ABC's global affairs anchor. She has reported from places such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, Egypt, Libya, and more. She has won a number of awards for her work, including nine Emmy Awards, four George Foster Peabody Awards, two George Polk Awards, the Courage in Journalism Award, and others.
Ozernoy said the students are aiming to make Amanpour proud.
"When Christiane rescued the project, it was really amazing," Ozernoy said. "I think some of [the students] are in shock that that kind of generosity is out there. For them, this isn’t so much of a handout as it is the opportunity to get a head start, and they are determined to do justice to this donation."