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Meet ProPublica’s Latest Emerging Reporters

These five student journalists were selected from over 150 applicants from diverse backgrounds.

ProPublica is deeply committed to increasing diversity, both in our own newsroom and in investigative journalism more broadly. We offer journalists of color scholarships and professional development through our Data Institute. One of our most hands-on initiatives is the Emerging Reporters program, which seeks to lower financial barriers to investigative journalism for college journalists from diverse backgrounds.

The program is now in its fifth year. More than 150 college juniors and seniors applied for this year’s program, which provides a $9,000 stipend, visits to ProPublica’s New York City office and the NICAR conference, and mentorship from a ProPublica journalist. Past participants have gone on to work at The Atlantic, Vox, The City, The New Yorker and other publications.

We’re thrilled to announce our Emerging Reporters for the 2019-20 school year. Here they are.

Troy Closson

Troy Closson is a senior at Northwestern University, where he serves as editor in chief of The Daily Northwestern. Troy has worked as a reporting fellow at The Texas Tribune and as an intern at the Chicago Sun-Times and Block Club Chicago. He is interested in investigative stories at the intersection of race and culture, as well as improving racial diversity in newsrooms. He is from Laurel, Maryland.

Juliana Kim

Juliana Kim is a senior at Barnard College, where she is majoring in urban studies and film. Juliana has covered West Harlem for the Columbia Daily Spectator, where she investigated tenant harassment and monitored the university’s financial commitment to the community. She also served as cover story editor for the Spectator’s weekly magazine, The Eye. Last summer, Juliana was a metro reporting intern for The Baltimore Sun. She is from Flushing, Queens.

Luis Joel Méndez González

Luis Joel Méndez González is a junior at the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo. He has written for newspapers in Argentina, Puerto Rico and the United States, and has worked with the Center for Investigative Reporting. Today, he works as a freelance journalist and radio technician for WLRP 1460 AM. Luis received a ProPublica Diversity Scholarship to attend the National Association of Hispanic Journalists conference this year. Luis was one of three winners of the first AccuWeather Environmental Journalism Competition. He is from Moca, Puerto Rico.

Patsy Montesinos

Patsy Montesinos is a senior at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She served as a producer for her school’s Spanish- and English-language newscast, produced a radio show and reported for her school’s sportscast. Her coverage of Afro-Venezuelans, which she reported from Colombia, is a finalist for an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Patsy was born in North Carolina, moved to Mexico at age 10, and returned north at age 15, when she moved to Chicago.

Tiana Woodard

Tiana Woodard is a junior at The University of Texas at Austin, where she’s worked as an investigative reporter and promoted diversity and inclusion efforts at the school’s student newspaper. This summer, she worked on a documentary highlighting a British-Iranian visual artist as part of a university fellowship and participated in NPR’s Next Generation Radio program. She has also interned at The Texas Tribune, KUT News and Texas Monthly. She is from Nashville, Tennessee.

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Portrait of Katie Zavadski

Katie Zavadski

Katie Zavadski is ProPublica’s research editor.

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