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Students awarded McCormick National Security Journalism Scholarships

The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications has named 10 McCormick National Security Journalism Scholarship recipients to participate in an innovative 11-week reporting program in fall 2013. Their work in Medill’s Washington bureau will culminate in an investigative multimedia project on national security issues.


The graduate students selected to receive the McCormick scholarships are Mackenzie Allen, Robert Andersson, Corinne Chin, Andrew Jacob Kann, Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory, Elissa Anne Nadworny, Ajai Sreevatsan, Kavya Sukumar, Kate Van Winkle and Laurel White. Two students have been designated as alternates: Tanya Basu and Matt Rhodes.

The winners of these $7,500 graduate student scholarships will work under the supervision of Josh Meyer, director of education and outreach of the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative, to report on the national security implications of food security.

“We're very excited about having this fantastic group of student reporters tackle an issue of such huge and growing significance as food security,” said Meyer, a 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Times who joined Medill in 2010 and is also the McCormick Lecturer in National Security Studies. “It couldn’t be more timely, and we expect to deliver a series of innovative stories of real importance to the American public.”

Ellen Shearer, William F. Thomas Professor of Journalism and co-director of the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative, will join Meyer in teaching the project. She said she is "thrilled by the possibilities for great reporting and storytelling that this terrific group of students affords us."

This year’s effort will be the fourth in which Medill collaborates with national media partners to publish a project across all media platforms while emphasizing the use of innovative multimedia and interactive journalistic techniques.

The project, formally known as the National Security Reporting Project, will focus on the national security implications of food security— how it is grown, bought and sold internationally and used to prevent hunger, famine, disease and conflict. Top U.S. military, health and intelligence officials have identified food security as one of the most important “game-changers, megatrends and black swans” that will determine the course and trajectory of world affairs over the next few decades.

The fifth quarter specialization program in national security reporting is part of Medill's larger National Security Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The National Security Reporting Project launched in 2010 and its first effort, Global Warning, on the national security implications of climate change, won a prestigious national award from the Online News Association. 

The 2011 project on the challenges facing the military reserves, including the National Guard, Hidden Surge, also garnered national attention. Both were published by The Washington Post; the 2010 project also was distributed by McClatchy News Service. The 2012 project on energy security, Oil Change, was published by GlobalPost and featured on The Post’s website.