We’re very pleased to announce that we have selected an intern to help us investigate the intern economy. Meet Casey McDermott!  

Casey is a recent graduate of Penn State University, and will join us fresh off an internship at the Chronicle of Higher Education, where she covered several aspects of the student experience (including a piece on schools’ role in fostering unpaid internships). Before that, Casey was Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Collegian at Penn State. While there, she guided the paper’s coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and helped oversee the launch of their mobile app and mobile website.

As an intern herself, McDermott said she’s excited to explore this issue. “There's been no shortage of debate surrounding this issue,” she said. “But it demands serious attention from reporters who are willing to look beyond the rhetoric — examining internships from legal, financial and other perspectives. I'm excited to have the chance to help ProPublica take a closer look at the intern economy and its implications for the people who keep it running.”

We’re excited to add Casey’s unique mix of accountability reporting experience, keen editorial judgment and multimedia skills to our internship team. She’ll start here at ProPublica HQ on September 3rd, and will hit the road soon after that to document the intern experience on the ground. What kind of support is available to those who may not be able to afford an unpaid internship? Are schools doing their part to ensure unpaid internships are educational and beneficial? These are some of the questions Casey will be looking into.

We’re still working out the details of Casey’s route, so stay tuned for updates on how to follow her journey. You can also follow her on Twitter.

And of course, a huge thank you to everyone who made this possible by donating to our Kickstarter campaign! We literally couldn’t have done this without you.

For more from our internships investigation, read our explainer on how unpaid interns aren't protected against sexual harassment, explore lawsuits unpaid interns have brought against employers and share your intern story with us.