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Pulitzer Center Update May 14, 2018

Pulitzer Center 2018 Student Fellows Announced

Pulitzer Center Student Fellows
Pulitzer Center Student Fellows

The Pulitzer Center is proud to present our 2018 cohort of student reporting fellows from our Campus Consortium, our network of universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HCBUs), and graduate schools of journalism and public health. Hailing from our 35 Campus Consortium partners, these 43 emerging journalists from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds will travel across the globe to shed light on some of the world's most overlooked—and important—issues. The 2018 fellows will be mentored by Pulitzer Center staff and grantee-supported journalists.

Eight new Campus Consortium partners selected their inaugural student fellows:

  • Monica Long of Clark Atlanta University tells the story of the Windrush Generation; Jamaican immigrants who traveled to the UK during the late 1940s, now fighting for their rights and to remain with their families.
  • More than seven months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the island's inhabitants still lack electricity and other resources. Tomas Woodall Posada of Forsyth Technical Community College gathers personal accounts from families and learns how grassroots organizations are helping the island recover.
  • Julia Friedmann from Georgetown University: Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs reports on the role of the Church in the Colombia Peace Accords.
  • Guttman Community College fellow Argentina Maria-Vanderhorst reports on the impact of the one- and two-child policies in China.
  • The project by Merzie Nzanga of Howard University focuses on healing rituals used by Kenyan survivors of female genital cutting.
  • Julie de Meulemeester, a global health student at McGill University, studies how food insecurity affects the education and health of Inuit communities.
  • Joy Ikekhua, a fellow from Spelman College, reports on domestic violence in Nigeria.
  • In Guatemala, University of Iowa fellow Grace Pateras investigates changes affecting the coffee production industry.


Kristian Hernandez of American University tells the story of undocumented migrants from El Salvador and Guatemala, focusing especially on the families they've left behind.

Samira Tella, a public health student at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, investigates how migration takes its toll on the mental and physical health of coffee plantation workers in Costa Rica.

Divya Mishra, a public health student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, reports on unaccompanied minors in Greece.

UC Berkeley graduate journalism student, Caron Creighton, sheds light on the deportation of Eritrean and Sudanese refugees from Israel.

University of Pennsylvania fellow Svanika Balasubramanian reports on Indian migrant workers in Oman.

Anirudh Gururaj of Washington University in St. Louis reports on Bhutanese refugees resettling in Massachusetts.

Our two Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism teams are producing documentary films. Thea Piltzecker and Liz Scherffius produced "A Table for All" focused on a training program for political asylees in a Brooklyn restaurant. Ingrid Holmquist and Sana Malik follow the lives of migrant farmers traveling from Mexico to Glastonbury, Connecticut.


Rohan Naik of Yale University highlights the young and homeless people who are most at risk from London's air pollution.

In South Africa, Texas Christian University fellow Jacqueline Flynn reports on Cape Town's water crisis.

University of Missouri graduate journalism student Meg Vatterott focuses her project on the water shortage affecting Mexico's Mazahua community.

For her project based in Thailand, Wake Forest University fellow Kiley Price delves into the impact of Buddhist monks on the environmental movement.

Westchester Community College fellow Amanda Gordon ventures to Brazil to report on the Landless Workers Movement as it fights against water privatization.

Hunter College fellow Kadia Goba examines grassroots efforts to address environmental crises in Sierra Leone.


Boston University College of Communication fellow Flaviana Sandoval Padilla reports on the risks associated with organ transplants in Venezuela.

Alexis Smith, a student at City Colleges of Chicago, focuses on rehabilitation services and academic accommodations for people with disabilities in Guatemala.


Boston University School of Public Health fellow Arianne Henry reports on the feminist movements in Ethiopia that aim to empower women in the face of physical and sexual abuse.

Elon University fellow Paul LeBlanc travels to London to investigate the HMP Belmarsh Prison and speak to prisoners and officials about the facility's deradicalization efforts.

Journalism student Adam Yates of Northwestern University Medill reports from South Africa on inequalities in rural education systems.

Ayilah Chaudhary, Isabella Palma-Lopez, and Amna Al-Baker from Northwestern University in Qatar team up to report on human rights among the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan.

Kiran Misra of the University of Chicago reports from India on the housing crisis in the city of Delhi.

University of Pennsylvania fellow Nicole Brigstock pursues a project in Nepal that aims to tell the stories of survivors of human trafficking.


Jonathan Custodio, a student fellow from LaGuardia Community College, reports on Afro-Mexican identity.

Abigail Bekele, a student fellow from Guilford College, focuses her project on how views regarding foreign adoptions are shifting in Ethiopia.

The team from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Holly Piepenburg and Brian Munoz, report on the intersection of poverty, social issues, and mental health on the Rosebud Reservation of the Lakota-Sioux Tribe.


AJ Naddaff of Davidson College reports on how former fighters return to Kosovo to settle into more normal roles following periods of conflict.

In Mexico, Flagler College student Jared Olson focuses on former guerrilla group, the Zapatistas, and how their new approach to nonviolent resistance influences their local community.

Olivia Watson of Kent State University reports on the aftermath of the May 2018 elections in Slovenia.


The Pulitzer Center has also selected two projects for its Beyond War Fellowship, offered this year in conjunction with the Pulitzer Center's June conference, "Beyond War: Causes of Conflict, Prospects for Peace."

Julia Canney, a 2016 graduate of the College of William & Mary reports on the role of women peacekeepers in Northern Ireland, and Sarah Hoenicke, a graduate journalism student at UC Berkeley journeys to Sri Lanka to report on how narratives and writing are used to overcome the trauma of war.

Congratulations to all our 2018 student fellows!