WFU students receive Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Fellowships

The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting has selected Sarah Fahmy and Amanda Ulrich as Wake Forest’s 2016 Pulitzer Fellows. They are the University’s fifth and sixth fellowship recipients.

Fahmy, a rising senior majoring in politics and international affairs with minors in film studies and anthropology, will be traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii to report on the environmental issues related to underwater mining in the South Pacific.

Fahmy said that underwater mining of the sea bed is a new mineral retrieval process to collect valuable metals such as gold, silver, copper, and manganese that are used to manufacture computer memory, DVDs, rechargeable batteries and cell phones.

“Billions of people depend on the ocean for their livelihoods so it is important to discover what underwater mining really is, its strengths and weaknesses, and its effects on the ocean and the environment. Through my investigation, I hope to shed light on the subject of underwater mining,” she said.

Ulrich, a graduating senior majoring in communication with minors in entrepreneurship and social enterprise and journalism, will be traveling to Rome, Italy and the island of Sicily to report on the European refugee crisis. During her time in Italy, Ulrich will also be serving as a teaching assistant for Wake Forest’s study abroad program.

“Despite the fact that Italy is one of the main locations that refugees flow through in order to get to other European countries, the shoddy refugee camps set up throughout the city and in the surrounding suburbs receive little attention,” said Ulrich. “I stressed [in my application] why refugees in Rome and Sicily are worthy of study, especially after decisions between the European Union and Turkey to turn more and more migrants away. This is an important time to do it.”

The journalism program at Wake Forest is a member of the Pulitzer Center’s Campus Consortium, which brings foreign correspondents to campus and provides funding for the fellowships.

Justin Catanoso, director of Wake Forest’s journalism program, said this year’s candidates for the program were all highly competitive and this is the first time two recipients at Wake Forest have been chosen. He said Fahmy and Ulrich’s submissions were so compelling that the Pulitzer Center chose to support both promising journalists.

“Amanda and Sarah’s story subjects are very different from each other, but they are both important issues that not received much attention,” said Catanoso. “That is the beauty of the Pulitzer Fellowship. It allows the freedom for students to do meaningful work on such a broad range of topics. These students are making Wake Forest proud.”

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an innovative award-winning non-profit journalism organization dedicated to supporting the independent international journalism that U.S. media organizations are increasingly less able to undertake. The Center focuses on under-reported topics, promoting high-quality international reporting and creating platforms that reach broad and diverse audiences. The organization is based in Washington, D.C.

The University’s affiliation with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is made possible through funding from Wake Forest’s Office of Global Affairs.

Categories: Faculty, International, Media Advisory, Recognition, Research, Student