Pulitzer Center reporting fellowships have made it possible for college students and recent graduates to explore new territory and tell important stories that impact the world around them, create change, and engage diverse audiences. They also help launch careers—building confidence, creating networks, and developing journalistic skills that serve Fellows well no matter the field they pursue.
“I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Kristen Chin, Boston University
For many, the Pulitzer Center fellowship has been a transformational experience that will greatly affect their career paths. Now that 2022 is coming to a close, we thought we would check in on our Reporting Fellow alums.
Where are they now?
Campus Consortium and Post Grad Fellows continue to pursue journalism and have landed jobs in various media outlets, including:
“Working with the Pulitzer Center was an absolutely vital springboard for the rest of my career. My time as a student Fellow not only hugely strengthened my reporting, but also directly led to my next several journalism jobs,” Amanda Ulrich, from Wake Forest University, wrote.
"The Pulitzer Center reporting fellowship really kicked off my journalism career and I look back at the fellowship fondly, from the relationships I've formed with my fellow reporters to the continuous work I have been doing with the wonderful members of the Pulitzer Center. I continue to present about my 2020 reporting project through the Pulitzer Center's K-12 education programs, and it's an honor to speak to classrooms about how impactful reporting on global issues has been," Annie Lin, from Medill School of Journalism, wrote.
Reporting Fellow alums are also working as independent freelance journalists with bylines appearing in Al Jazeera, BBC, and The New York Times. Their documentaries have received numerous awards, including a BAFTA and a Student Academy Award. Alums have sought Pulitzer Center funding for new projects: Camila DeChalus, from American University and now at The Washington Post, received a grant to report on migrants at the U.S./Mexico border. Anton Delgado, from Elon University, reported on “silent forests” in southeast Asia. Agostino Petroni, from Columbia University, wrote about leishmaniasis in a project titled A Parasite Ate My Ear.
“I am extraordinarily grateful for how the Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellowship gave me the momentum at the right time to jump-start my career—it allowed me to publish in The Washington Post at 22 years old and win an OPC (Overseas Press Club) award, but more than that, it instilled self-confidence and an incredible network of people.”
A.J. Naddaff, Davidson College
Naddaff later received a grant from the Pulitzer Center to cover the aftermath of Lebanon’s 2022 election.
Dan Schwartz, from the University of Missouri, says, “The Pulitzer Center gave me the confidence to launch a career as an independent journalist. It thrust me, when it accepted me as a Fellow, into a country that neither spoke my language nor shared many of my customs, and it forced me to learn on the fly the logistics necessary for work internationally. Mostly I learned that good work is hard work.”
Two alums received Fulbright awards this year: Brett Simpson, from the University of California, Berkeley, is in Berlin studying Germany's energy transition; and Rachael Sorcher, from Boston University, is researching global and sexual health in Stockholm. She says, “My Reporting Fellowship reaffirmed my desire to work in global public health and deepened my passion for storytelling. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I learned more than I could have ever imagined from this experience, and it has been fundamental in shaping/expanding my interests.”
Alums are now enrolled at Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Northeastern, University of Southern California, and Yale law schools, with a few planning to pursue public interest law in areas related to their reporting projects.
“The Fellowship helped me develop my writing and editing skills, and it pushed me far outside my comfort zone. It also reminded me that intellectual curiosity is always a good thing.”
Rohan Naik, Columbia University Law School
We also have alums in medical school and working on their doctorates. And a few are now teaching journalism: Gopika Ajay at Asian College of Journalism in Chennai; Muriel Alarcon at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Gabriella Canal at Columbia; Julia Rendleman at Southern Illinois University Carbondale; and Ruth Moon at Louisiana State University.
Making a Difference
Several of our alums have moved into the nonprofit world, working in global health, environment, and social justice. You’ll find them at:
“Although I am not a journalist professionally, I use storytelling to harness support to understand global healthcare problems and bring teams together to find solutions,” Isabel Izek, from Washington University in St. Louis, wrote.
And Kent Wagner, a cinematographer and editor for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “My experience with Pulitzer Center has had a profound effect on my career. I do not believe I would be in my present position (one I feel very fortunate to have) had it not been for the opportunities, support, and guidance I received as a student Fellow with the Pulitzer Center.”
“The fellowship helped me be part of a network that I otherwise would have no access to.”
Gopika Ajay, Columbia University
We’re very proud of our alums, the work they do, and the network they help create.