Each year, the Stanford Storytelling Project awards 8-10 Braden Grants to support the research, writing, and production of audio documentaries. The aim of the program is to help students learn how to tell powerful, research-driven stories based on testimony they gather through interviews, research, or oral history archives. Grantees receive up to $2,500 and receive close mentorship during the period of the grant, from when the award is made in the spring through the end of the fall quarter.

Grantees do the majority of their research during the summer but attend prefatory workshops in the spring and enroll in a 1-unit course in the fall that helps students complete their projects. In January of each year, all of the documentaries are aired on KZSU and appear in the Storytelling Project’s podcast Soundings.  

Congratulations to our 2023 Braden Grant Winners!

We’re thrilled to announce our 2023 cohort, which includes ten grantees who will complete research in locations ranging from Kansas City to Cambodia. 

Navya Mukesh Agarwal

Project Title: Ancestresses of the Partition
Location: India

Alice Lola Grace

Project Title: The Quest for Regeneration
Location: Australia

Kevi Johnson

Project Title: Filipino Caregivers & the Pandemic
Location: California

Lizbeth Luevano

Project Title: Envisioning a New Future: Through the lens of the Mexican diaspora
Location: California

Anna McNulty

Project Title: Green Schisms
Location: New York & Wyoming
Anna McNulty (she/her) is a rising senior majoring in International Relations and minoring in Digital Humanities. Her interests are in writing, multimedia storytelling, and investigative reporting as a means to spread environmental awareness and justice. Her podcast explores the forces that motivate people to live sustainably, particularly if climate change isn’t a factor or considered real. Ultimately, her podcast attempts to understand the complexity of nature’s unwavering power on the paths we chart as humans. 

Marissa Mengheang

Project Title: Survivor’s Journeys Through the Cambodian Genocide
Location: Cambodia
Marissa is a sophomore studying Psychology and Asian American Studies. Her project is centered around her family’s experiences living through the Khmer Rouge from 1975-1979 and how they coped with the aftermath of the genocide.


Alyssa Isabella Murray

Project Title: In Solidarity: Envisioning Collective Liberation Through Black and Hispanic Unity
Location: Kansas City, MO

Arusha Patil

Project Title: A Quest for Rest
Location: California

Anastasia Sotiropoulos

Project Title: Bridges Over Walls
Location: California

Anastasia studies Psychology and Creative Writing. Her freshman year, she joined the Prison Renaissance Project, which connects incarcerated artists/activists and Stanford students to collaborate on art and publish zines. Through the project, she met Adamu. They shared their first phone call in March 2020: She was in her home state of Texas as colleges had just shut down; he was at San Quentin State Prison, which would soon face one of the nation’s worst COVID outbreaks. While they were paired to create a film together, the outbreak halted that. What emerged instead were months of recorded phone calls and a friendship. Bridges Over Walls follows the story of that year, but above all, what it means to build connection in barrier-ridden times.

Shameeka Wilson

Project Title: The humanizing power of language: A bi-coastal account of superior Black teacher pedagogy
Location: California

Shameeka Wilson (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in education. Her research interest spans multiple topics within education. Shameeka was born and raised in North Carolina and is very proud of her Southern roots. She readily allows these roots to shine through while she produces audio stories. When she isn’t consumed with doctoral work and audio producing, she enjoys the simple things in life. Nature walks, trying new recipes, and binge-watching reality TV are among her favorite pastimes. She also enjoys traveling, cross-stitching, and shenanigating with her immediate and extended family.

Listen to previous Branden grant projects

Details about applying here. 

Questions? Contact SSP Managing Editor Laura Joyce Davis: laurajd@stanford.edu.