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Story January 3, 2013

Meet the Student Fellows: Anna Tomasulo

Media file: HospitalDolakha.jpg
A girl in a hospital in Dolakha, Nepal. Anna Tomasulo, 2011.

The Pulitzer Center student fellowship program offers undergraduate and graduate students at Campus Consortium member schools the opportunity to pursue an international reporting project and receive professional support from Pulitzer Center editors and journalists.

At Boston University, the Pulitzer Center student reporting fellowship is specifically focused on public health journalism and is supported by an interdisciplinary collaboration between the College of Communication, the School of Public Health, and the Center for Global Health & Development.

Anna Tomasulo, the 2011 Pulitzer Center-Boston University Public Health Student Reporting Fellow, was first exposed to disparities in health while studying abroad in Senegal in 2006 as a student at Bryn Mawr.

"I knew that I wanted my next experience to be in a field where I could see more tangible work and results," wrote Tomasulo when asked by the Pulitzer Center about her interest in public health. "So I applied to Boston University School of Public Health with an intention of focusing on health in marginalized populations and the intersections of health and human rights."

While a graduate student at Boston University, Tomasulo realized her interest in writing about public health and human rights and learned about the Pulitzer Center fellowship opportunity.

"It sounded absolutely perfect to me," remembered Tomasulo. "The chance to write about international health issues for a center that focuses on telling untold stories? I was in!"

The fellowship provided for an international reporting project and an opportunity to work closely with a mentor journalist and Pulitzer Center staff. Before heading into the field, Tomasulo spent time at the Pulitzer Center's headquarters in Washington, DC.

"When I got to the Pulitzer Center, I found a group of people who were willing to help and work together to create a good final product. So, it didn't really matter that I hadn't had years of journalism training. Instead, I had public health training and I knew how to write," recalled Tomasulo. "While in DC, I had the chance to work on other skills like interviewing, film editing with Final Cut Pro, and writing for the blog."

Tomasulo's mentor was Hanna Ingber of GlobalPost, an experienced journalist and Pulitzer Center grantee who had reported from South Africa, Burma, India and Ethiopia.

"Thanks to Hanna's experience and organized nature, I was aware of a lot of what we would have to do well in advance. There's a lot of work that needs to be done before you go into the field," wrote Tomasulo.

Tomasulo and Ingber traveled to Nepal, where they reported on maternal mortality and child marriage in Nepal. Tomasulo's work was published by the Pulitzer Center and The Huffington Post.

"I was exposed to many media outlets that I wasn't previously aware of and a whole new network of journalists," wrote Tomasulo.

After returning from the field, Tomasulo and Ingber discussed their reporting alongside journalists Stephanie Sinclair and Cynthia Gorney at a master class on child marriage at Boston University in November 2011.

Presently, Tomasulo is the editor of The Disease Daily and a project coordinator at HealthMap, a research group that tracks infectious diseases in real time using a range of informal and formal online media sources.

Boston University is a member of the Pulitzer Center's Campus Consortium network.


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