Diederich College of Communication announces 2020-21 O’Brien Fellows

The Diederich College of Communication announced the next class of journalists joining the O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism. The fellowship teams up Marquette student journalists with reporters and news outlets for nine-month investigations into national and local issues.

The incoming Fellows for the 2020–2021 academic year are:

Ashley Nguyen, independent journalist and former multiplatform editor with the Washington Post

At the Washington Post, Nguyen helped launch The Lily, a publication that elevates women’s voices. Currently, she is finishing a master’s in public health with a concentration in maternal and child health at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Nguyen has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University and previously worked as a local producer at Philly.com and a program officer at the International Center for Journalists. She is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan.

Rick Barrett, business and agriculture reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Barrett, a reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for nearly 20 years, writes extensively about the dairy industry, manufacturing and international trade. He was the lead reporter on the Journal Sentinel’sDairyland in Distress” series.

He’s reported for the Wisconsin State Journal and papers in Florida, Texas, Michigan—his home state—and was a news photographer in Arkansas. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University.

Timothy Bannon, independent journalist; formerly sports editor and writer at the Chicago Tribune

Bannon, of Oak Park, Illinois, was a top editor and writer at the Chicago Tribune for over 25 years, at various times overseeing sports, culture and entertainment coverage before taking a buyout in January. He’s a former Chicago Sun-Times editor and reported at the Arlington Heights Daily Herald and Anderson Daily Bulletin in Indiana.

He was lead editor for the Tribune’s series on a deadly tornado that struck Utica, Illinois. The series of stories by Julia Keller won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Bannon received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and English literature from Indiana University.

“Now, more than ever, we need probing, in-depth journalism,” said Dave Umhoefer, O’Brien Fellowship director. “We’re excited to support these investigations into health, safety and economic issues starting in August.”

Fellows receive a $65,000 salary stipend and additional funding. Sponsoring news organizations get an in-depth reporting project and a summer intern following the fellowship. O’Brien Fellows use Marquette’s O’Brien Fellowship newsroom in Milwaukee as their base, traveling widely and leading a group of Marquette student interns. Projects have covered topics such as water quality, criminal justice, education, immigration and health.

The O’Brien Fellowship has also selected six students to work with the incoming journalists for nine months, including four rising seniors in journalism with experience in the award-winning student-run Marquette Wire media operation: Kelli Arseneau, Margaret Cahill, Sarah Lipo and Amanda Parrish; and two graduate students, Christopher Miller and Rachel Ryan.