The Istanbul Project

The Institute for Education in International Media (ieiMedia), a pioneer in journalism education, has been taking students abroad since 2002. It was founded by Andrew Ciofalo, now a professor emeritus at Loyola University Maryland.

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In the summer of 2011, 15 university students from around the United States came together in Istanbul, Turkey, to practice foreign reporting, to intern at professional publications and to explore a new culture. They produced this web magazine, and the forthcoming anthology Faces of Istanbul.


Sam Baranowski, a broadcast journalism major with minors in international studies and political science, is originally from outside of Philadelphia, but attends Elon University in North Carolina. News nerd, food lover, devoted Phillies fan and travel enthusiast, she came to Istanbul to learn more about the coexistence between Muslim and Christian communities, and the historical importance of Turkey.




Karissa Bell is a senior at San Francisco State University, where she majors in journalism and minors in Modern Greek Studies. Her  family is originally from Greece, and she’s studied Greek language, culture and history. She’s familiar with the historical origins of the Greek minority in Asia Minor, and the issues the few remaining Greeks in the region face.




Ashley Crane is entering the University of Miami, where she’ll major in photojournalism and a minor in international relations. She has an associate’s degree from Palm Beach State College, and has  worked for two years on the staff of the Beachcomber, as a photo editor, campus editor, reporter and photographer. She’s also a professional wedding photographer in South Florida. It’s Ashley’s passion in life to tell people’s stories through photography and multimedia.



Jasmine Dilmanian is a junior at New York University, where she studies print and multimedia journalism, as well as politics. She has interned at Town & Country magazine, and hopes to continue on a magazine/web path. She grew up in a small town on Long Island, and her family is of Iranian Jewish heritage. Knowing what it’s like to be a minority in a Muslim culture, she enjoyed reporting on how different cultures coexist in Turkey, and what role politics play in various strata in society.



Emilie Eaton is at student at Arizona University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where she intends to specialize in print journalism. She’s a columnist for the university newspaper, The State Press, and a news reporter for the online Downtown Devil. As an intern for the State of Arizona House of Representatives, she’s written speeches, press releases and updated social media.




Olivia Henry is an aspiring foreign correspondent, practicing Quaker, feminist and frequent abuser of adverbs.
Although she’s from Virginia, she spent much of her childhood traveling, particularly in Italy. She attended international school in Rome and developed relationships with Saudi princes, U.S. embassy children and Kuwaiti ambassadors’ daughters mere months before the 9/11 attacks, to which she attributes her interest in foreign policy and social relativism. She most enjoys writing about social justice, politics, culture, women’s issues and identity intersectionality. She is remaining in Istanbul after the program, to study political science at Bogazici University.



Eve Hersh studies broadcast news and political science at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  She came to Istanbul to get a better understanding of the Middle East and Islam, and to write about current events and politics in Turkey.





Willa Hine is a freshman at American University, double majoring in international studies and print journalism. She’s originally from Garrison, New York, but attended high school at the Waldorf School nearby.She credits her Waldorf education for her love for exploration. Last year, with some editing guidance from Wall Street Journal columnist Wendy Bounds, she self-published a book titled “This Was Home” about the city of New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina.  This was her first “hands on” experience with photojournalism, and she hasn’t looked back.



Emanuelle Honnorat was born in London and raised in Paris, and now studies journalism and international relations at Boston University, focusing on Islam. She also sings, reads and practices yoga. She’d eventually like to join the Peace Corps. In Istanbul, she wrote about culture, daily life and events and political affairs.


Laura McCabe is a junior at Elon University in North Carolina, majoring in strategic communications and minoring in anthropology and sociology. She’s a member of the waterski team, and of Tri Delta sorority. A frequent traveler, she has a special passion for travel writing.





Kathleen Russell, a recipient of a U.S. State Department Gilman Scholarship for study abroad, earned associate degrees in photography and English literature at Santa Monica College,  and now studies both subjects at California State University Northridge. She wrote about Turkish culture, the role of women and the lives of street children.



Kimberly Strathearn grew up in Simi Valley, California. She graduated from Boise State University with a BA in anthropology and social science, and MA in intercultural administration from The School for International Training. She has been living and working in Turkey for 12 years. Earlier, she worked in the nonprofit fields of food banking and refugee resettlement. She is interested in working on projects involving refugees and migrants, microloan recipients, women’s co‐ops and disappearing traditional trades.



Graduate Interns
Morgan Brinlee — Worldpress
Growing up in San Jose, California, Morgan Brinlee had an unending sense of curiosity about the world around her. This led her naturally into the field of journalism, where she has combined her passion for writing with her love of storytelling and itch to explore the many different cultures. She graduated cum laude from San Francisco State University, with a B.A. in humanities and journalism. Her work has appeared in Diablo Magazine, Big World Magazine, and, as well as in multiple college publications. She blogs at



Merel van Beeren — The Hurriyet Daily News
Merel van Beeren, originally from the Netherlands, obtained BA and MA degrees in religious studies–Islam at the University of Amsterdam. She is now pursuing an MA in the Global Journalism and Near Eastern Studies program at New York University. Her writing and photography focus on the representation of migrant Muslim communities in Western countries. Outside of her internship, she conducted research for her master’s thesis, on the workings of the Turkish media.


Hanna Johnson — The Hurriyet Daily News
Hanna Johnson graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She loves the outdoors, snowboarding, traveling, and spending time with friends. She’s passionate about social justice, especially immigration and women’s rights.