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Fellowship Winners Eager to Hone Skills, Tell Stories of Impact at Top Media Organizations

Meet the 2023 Journalism & Public Affairs Master's degree fellows.

SOC's 2023 Fellowship Winners

Four outstanding American University School of Communication (AU SOC) journalism graduate students have been awarded prestigious fellowships starting in Fall 2023. In each, students attend graduate school for a master’s degree in journalism while working at prestigious media organizations.

Julia MouketoJulia Mouketo, AU SOC ESPN Fellow

Mouketo is a multilingual journalist from The Republic of Congo, passionate about international and investigative journalism. She believes that every story deserves to be told and hopes that her work can bring communities together, share knowledge, and foster change.

Why I chose SOC’s MA in Journalism and Public Affairs program:

“AU's Master's program in international journalism and public affairs, first, was the only one of its kind that I found. Second, it was the only one that offered the perfect balance of class/field experience. Finally, it had the most amazing opportunities, such as the ESPN Fellowship.”

“Through the ESPN Fellowship, I hope to be able to find my style, master it, and grow. But also to learn from the fantastic team I'll be able to work with and contribute to groundbreaking stories."

Danny Nguyen, Washington Post/AU FellowDanny Nguyen

Nguyen is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he studied Molecular and Cellular Biology and Medicine, Health, and Society. He has been named a fellow at The Washington Post, where he’ll join the metro desk to cover local issues including government, crime, and social issues. Previously, he was a contributing writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, where he covered California and the city’s housing and mental health policies.

Why I chose SOC’s MA in Journalism and Public Affairs program:

“There's no other program that captures experiential learning like The Washington Post/AU fellowship. This joint fellowship will allow me to hone my reporting skills with SOC faculty and some of the best reporters in the nation.”

“As a fellow, I hope to quickly find powerful stories in the DMV area that, when shared, can shape local politics. I've already done this in my hometown of San Francisco, which shares similar social issues with the DMV. I can't wait to use my knowledge of these issues to hit the ground running at the Post in September.”

Katherine Hapgood, Charles Lewis American University Fellow at the Center for Public IntegrityKatherine Hapgood

Hapgood, a recent Boston University journalism and chemistry graduate, has been named the Charles Lewis American University Fellow at the Center for Public Integrity. She will focus on data-driven inequity reporting with a focus on intersectionality. Katherine previously interned with the New England First Amendment Coalition, and wrote for the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Civil Service World (UK) and the Alexandria Times, where she’s continually focused on documenting government accountability and underreported communities.

Why I chose SOC’s MA in Journalism and Public Affairs program:

“After already graduating from a journalism undergraduate program, I wanted an extremely professional graduate program where I would have hands-on experience and have the opportunity to acquire skills, education and connections in my niche of government specific investigative journalism. The location, faculty and professional experiences make the AU program my ideal situation for my continued education.”

“As the CPI Fellow, I look forward to gaining experience in all aspects of investigative journalism and I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the Center’s prestigious legacy of excellent, impactful and groundbreaking equity reporting. I am honored to have the chance to learn from some of the best investigative journalists in the world and I can’t wait to get to work!"

Ben Baker, Investigative Reporting Workshop Graduate Fellow

Ben BakerBaker’s most recent professional roles included serving as a Breaking News Reporter with a focus on education for the Record-Journal, a local newspaper out of Meriden, Connecticut. Last summer, he worked as the 2022 Sharon Stark Investigative Reporting Intern for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Capital Bureau. While reporting for the Journal Sentinel, he covered a broad range of topics, including elections, special legislative sessions and environmental policy. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate student from 2018-2022. His work appeared in multiple publications, and explored subjects such as voting rights, public health and racial wealth disparities. As a student journalist, he wrote for The Badger Herald, where his work examining current agricultural models and their socioeconomic ramifications has been linked in the New York Times. A lifelong avid writer, he was also admitted to the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio and the Kenyon Review Young Writers’ Workshop before launching his journalism career. When he’s not in the newsroom, he can be seen working on short stories, going for hikes or listening to classic rock.

Why I chose SOC’s MA in Journalism and Public Affairs program:

“When looking at the hands-on fellowship experiences, the wide breadth of courses and the remarkably accomplished staff, professors and lecturers to learn from, it was clear that attending the AU SOC for graduate school was too special of an opportunity to pass up. I’m just grateful to have been accepted, and I couldn’t be more excited to be here!”

“I am hopeful that the opportunity to partner with some of the top journalists and mentors in the industry will help me to further develop as a reporter and open my eyes to new concepts and practices that will better my reporting. I’m also eager to get a chance to delve into a topic at length and spend extended time looking into a specific issue in a way I have not yet had a chance to as a more fast-paced breaking news journalist.”