Ben received his bachelor's degree in mass media and public relations from Washburn University in 2011. Currently, he is working towards completing a term of service with the Bonner Foundation, a community service outreach organization and Pulitzer Center partner. By the end of his term in 2012, he will have completed 900 hours of community service with social service sites around the United States.
During his academic career, Ben was the managing editor of the Washburn Review, the Washburn Review Online and the Kaw Yearbook. His work with the publications included covering student life and administration, as well as design, and promotions. In 2011, he was awarded first place in feature writing by the Kansas Association of Collegiate Press.
In 2010, Ben traveled to Nicaragua to tour the social programs in work with ProNica, a social subsistence organization, which provides water filters, shelters, school supplies and many other necessities to low-income families in Nicaragua. While there, Ben helped build roads in the mountain town of El Limon. He hopes to continue international work with the Pulitzer Center by promoting its international crisis coverage.
In August, Ben will return to Washburn to complete his studies in Spanish.