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News & Events

Two students selected for McCormick Scholars Program

Alexander Baron ’11 and Dinesh Ganesarajah ’11 receive scholarships and stipends in recognition of their ‘innovative thinking about the media’

4/8/2010 - As more journalists are laid off and more publications downsize or fold, the future of the media looms dark and uncertain.

But two of the Kellogg School’s most promising students may be among the leaders who bring a fresh perspective to media management — and move the industry into the 21st century.

Alexander (Zander) Baron ’11 and Dinesh (Dino) Ganesarajah ’11 have been named the 2010-2011 McCormick Scholars. The students, both media management majors, will receive full tuition for three academic quarters at Kellogg and a research stipend to explore problems facing the media.

Baron and Ganesarajah are the fifth team of Kellogg students chosen to participate in the McCormick Scholars Program, which is funded through a grant by the McCormick Foundation. They underwent a rigorous application process and were selected by a panel of judges from the media and academia.

“The judging and selection gets more difficult each year,” said Michael P. Smith, executive director of the Media Management Center at Northwestern University. “Zander and Dino were chosen from an excellent field of Kellogg students. Each of them brings a real passion for the media and innovative thinking about the media and journalism.”

Baron came to Kellogg after serving as director of programming and content development at The Atlantic Monthly, where he focused on contemporary intellectual issues and top business, cultural and policy leaders. Previously, he worked in marketing and business development for Titan Technology Group and served as a legislative correspondent in the office of U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes. He holds a bachelor's degree from Skidmore College and a master's degree from the London School of Economics.

Before coming to Northwestern, Ganesarajah completed a new media internship with Advent Venture Partners, Europe's oldest venture capital firm. He also served as a new media portfolio manager for the British Broadcasting Corp. and held various positions at Orbis Technology, a technology provider for Europe's top gambling Web sites. He holds a master of engineering in computing from the Imperial College of London. At Northwestern, he serves as editor-in-chief of The Merger, the Kellogg School’s student newspaper.

Consistent with the scholarship guidelines, both winners plan to pursue careers in media management.

“I came to Kellogg in large part to learn the management skills I would need to run a successful media company,” said Baron. “I am passionate about the importance of media in a free society, and I believe a successful organization is one that provides breadth and depth … to its audience.”

Ganesarajah is interested in the changes wrought by new technology. “I believe the most important challenge facing the news and information industries is the dispersion of the audience away from trusted media channels — [such as] a small set of newspapers, television and radio stations — to disparate, new media channels,” he said. “A consequence of this dispersion is the increased difficulty media organizations face in generating revenue.”

With his research stipend, Ganesarajah will focus on creating a news organization that allows readers to commission articles written by experts. Baron will assess strategies to enhance the profitability of news organizations.

The McCormick Scholars Program was founded in 2005 to cultivate a new generation of leaders in media management. Over the course of 10 years, the McCormick Foundation will grant 20 merit scholarships to students in the Kellogg School’s media management program and 60 merit scholarships to students in the Medill School of Journalism.

For more information about the McCormick Scholars Program, visit