The J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication has announced the next class of journalists joining the O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism. Marquette student journalists will assist the fellows, who are expected to arrive in Milwaukee in August.
The incoming Fellows for the 2019–20 academic year are:
- James Causey, projects reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Katelyn Ferral, investigative reporter, The Capital Times
- Payton Guion, investigative reporter, New Jersey Advance Media
- Larry Parnass, investigations editor, The Berkshire Eagle
O’Brien Fellows spend the academic year at Marquette University producing a multimedia public service journalism project along with a group of Marquette student interns. As a result of an $8.3 million gift from Patricia and Peter Frechette, the O’Brien Fellowship has been able to give more than 20 journalists the opportunity to craft in-depth projects since 2013.
In the past, projects have covered various topics such as environmental protection, criminal justice, education and health. The O’Brien Fellowship selects projects based on potential impact to cause change and identify solutions.
O’Brien Fellowship work has won national journalism awards. Most recently, 2017-18 Fellow Gary Harki of The Virginian-Pilot was awarded the Al Nakkula Award for Police Reporting for his O’Brien project, “Jailed in Crisis” which covered the dangers incarceration has for inmates with mental illness.
The fellowship allows Marquette students to receive first-hand experience from a veteran reporter, as well as the chance to compete to spend the summer as a paid intern at their fellow’s home news organization.
The current class of O’Brien Fellows includes: Natasha Haverty, an independent reporter from Boston; Erin Jordan, investigative reporter with The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette; Ashley Luthern, crime reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Jenni Monet, an independent journalist from Tucson and Brooklyn; and Katie Worth, a reporter with FRONTLINE PBS.
In 2013, Peter and Patricia Frechette made a generous gift to Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication in honor of Patricia’s parents, Marquette alumni Perry and Alicia O’Brien. The Frechettes designated their gift to the launch of the “Perry and Alicia O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism,” a program designed to give reporters the outlet they need to produce a world-class public service project and train the next generation of outstanding journalists.