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Pulitzer Center Update February 17, 2017

Campus Consortium Student Fellows Report on Global Issues

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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health fellow Aditi Kantipuly presents her reporting on CMVR retinitis and its association with the HIV epidemic in India. Image by Jin Ding. Washington, D.C., 2016.

Unique reporting opportunities and mentoring for the next generation of journalists

Thirty-one students from our Campus Consortium were awarded international reporting fellowships in 2016. They traveled from Cuba to Thailand and from Manitoba to Peru. Topics included creative arts programming in Brazil's prisons, lack of access to quality healthcare in Mexico, Syrian refugees in Jordan, the effects of climate change in Bangladesh, and the consequences of underwater mining in the Pacific. Their print and multi-media stories were published in NPR's Goats and Soda, News Deeply, Global Health Now, Nautilus, Take Part, and Huffington Post.

The Pulitzer Center hosted their annual fellows weekend on October 7 and 8, in Washington, D.C., to give students the opportunity to share their work with other fellows, provide an opportunity to network with professional journalists and editors, and further broaden horizons. The 2016 Student Fellows Washington Weekend Highlights video captures the spirit of the event. For more information on the reporting projects, read Student Fellows Present: Day One and Student Fellows Present: Day Two.

Student fellow photography was displayed for the first time during the 2016 Washington Weekend and Pulitzer Center 10th Anniversary Celebration in an exhibit titled "A Changing World?" at the National Press Club.

Two of our 2015 student fellows were named national winners of the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence, one for feature photography in Kenya and the other for in-depth reporting on healthcare in Uganda; a third placed as a finalist for photography of Maasai women. Other student fellows have also received national recognition: Varsha Ramakrishnan, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health student was honored with two prestigious journalism awards for her story, "A Broken Promise: Dowry Violence in India," published in Johns Hopkins Public Health magazine (fall 2013). Ramakrishnan won the Robert F. Kennedy Award for College Journalism and the first-place Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

A 2016 survey has shown that many of our student fellow "alums" have pursued careers in journalism—landing jobs at The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Pittsburgh News Gazette, San Francisco Chronicle, The Star Ledger, Politico, Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg, The Desert Sun, CBS, and NPR. Others have gone on to work in the international field or continue their studies as Fulbright Scholars or in journalism graduate programs.

Their voice matters. Read more about the impact of student reporting fellowships:

What that reporting did not only exposed a lived experience that I wouldn't have known about, but it gave our students, and I think by extension community college students in America, the idea that their voice matters, that truth matters, that there is an international community who wants to hear them. It opens up their lives. -Gail Mellow, President, LaGuardia Community College, speaking about the work of 2015 student fellow Rodrigue Ossebi.

Over the course of the five weeks I spent on the islands, I learned more about myself, about Kiribati, and about reporting than I ever expected…No one had focused on how the i-Kiribati people, who pride themselves on their self-reliance, were developing their own low-cost and low-tech adaptive solutions to the changes… I had to overcome my initial fear of interviewing people, especially while using an interpreter… This fellowship was the single most important factor in my decision to pursue a career in international reporting on climate change. -Janice Cantieri, 2014 Washington University in St. Louis student fellow, Fulbright National Geographic Storytelling Fellow for 2015-2016, 2016 Comer Scholar at Medill School of Journalism

The Center's outreach and education work, in addition to the different ways it's sustaining quality journalism, is impressive. I was personally inspired by the work and structure of the Pulitzer Center, and one day wish to start something similar in Pakistan or support similar initiatives in the country. -Shakeeb Asrar, Northwestern University in Qatar Student Fellow

Hearing about all of the other fellows' work was inspiring, and I feel that strong connections were forged between all of the student fellows. The Saturday panels and opportunities to talk with Jon Cohen and Scott Anderson were another highlight of the weekend. As I continue to unpack my experiences, I think a part of why Kivu is soul-shaking comes from the contrasts between the beauty of the land and the poverty left by war, as well as the hopeful and welcoming spirits of many the people juxtaposed against deeply-rooted pain and suffering. Listening to the stories from people in Kirotshe and Goma forever has changed my life and the way I see the world. -Daniel Socha, Kent State University Student Fellow

The students served by the Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium constitute the face of change. It is their knowledge, their road perspectives, their idealistic aspirations, and their agency that allow us all to envision something better for tomorrow. - Padmini Biswas, director of programs, Columbia Global Centers