Baltimore Sun crime reporter Justin George on Tuesday was named a Public Service Journalism fellow at Marquette University and will spend the 2015-16 academic year in Milwaukee leading a team of student journalists to produce stories "with the potential to change policies and lives," the school said.
George, a Colorado native who joined The Sun in 2012 from The Tampa Bay Times, will participate in the Perry and Alicia O'Brien Fellowship along with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette crime and courts reporter Liz Navratil and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Dave Umhoefer, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Miranda Spivack, a former editor and reporter at the Washington Post and who lives in Maryland, will be a nonresidential fellow.
Lori Bergen, the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication's dean, said in a statement that the program is "unlike other university-based opportunities."
"Our fellows come to Marquette and work here and elsewhere every day toward producing a series of stories that end up months later on the front pages of their newspapers," Bergen said.
Marquette undergraduate journalism students work with the fellows as reporters and assistants, gaining first-hand experience and competing for university-sponsored internships in one of the fellows' newsrooms, the school said.
The fellowship was started with an $8.3 million gift from Peter and Patricia Frechette in honor of Patricia's parents Perry and Alicia O'Brien in 2013. It has accepted seven reporters from the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, the Arizona Republic and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the university said.
A dozen students were involved last year, and their project with reporter Raquel Rutledge, "Gasping for Action," which details the dangers of exposure to diacetyl and the federal government's failure to regulate it, was published in February at the Journal Sentinel.