2015 Conference

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2015 Overview

Each fall, the Diederich College of Communication convenes a conference that presents the work and research done by our O’Brien Fellows and associated students the previous academic year at Marquette University. The 2015 O’Brien Fellowship conference featured the work of our 2014-15 O’Brien Fellows: Brandon Loomis of The Arizona Republic, Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Marjorie Valbrun, an independent journalist reporting for The Washington Post.

Loomis used his fellowship to focus on whether Arizona and the Southwest will continue to lead the nation in growth as the Colorado River dries. Rutledge investigated how lung-destroying chemicals are harming coffee industry workers and are present in e-cigarettes. Valbrun concentrated on welfare reform, particularly with respect to whether governmental policies of the 1990s helped to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and dependency.

The 2015 conference aimed to convene people affected by or responsible for the systems and policies related to these vital public matters in an attempt to consider implications and or solutions.

Each conference session was open to the public and held in the Eisenberg Room of Sensenbrenner Hall, 1103 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53233.


2015 agenda


Thursday, October 8

4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.

Session I – Why Public Service Journalism Matters

Moderator: John J. Pauly, professor and chair, Department of Journalism and Media Studies; Gretchen and Cyril Colnik Chair in Communication, Diederich College of Communication

Panelists:

Justin George, 2015-2016 O’Brien Fellow; crime reporter, The Baltimore Sun
Brandon Loomis, 2014-2015 O’Brien Fellow; senior environmental reporter, The Arizona Republic
Liz Navratil, 2015-2016 O’Brien Fellow; crime and courts reporter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Raquel Rutledge, 2014-2015 O’Brien Fellow; investigative reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Miranda Spivack, 2015-2016 O’Brien Fellow; independent journalist
Dave Umhoefer, 2015-2016 O’Brien Fellow; investigative reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Marjorie Valbrun, 2014-2015 O’Brien Fellow; independent journalist


Friday, October 9

8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.

Session I – As the River Runs Dry: What Brought Us Here Today?

Presenter: Brandon Loomis, 2014-2015 O’Brien Fellow; senior environmental reporter, The Arizona Republic


9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Session II – Gasping for Action: What Should Be Done About This?

Presenter: Raquel Rutledge, 2014-2015 O’Brien Fellow; investigative reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.

Session III – Breaking the Cycle (Part I): What Brought Us Here Today?

Presenter: Marjorie Valbrun, 2014-2015 O’Brien Fellow; independent journalist reporting for The Washington Post


11:30 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Lunch – The Social Responsibility of Public Service Journalism

Keynote Speaker: George Stanley, editor and executive vice president, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.

Session IV – Breaking the Cycle (Part II): Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Moderator: Marjorie Valbrun, 2014-2015 O’Brien Fellow; independent journalist reporting for The Washington Post

Panelists:

Ngozie Omegbu, economic development associate, Legacy Redevelopment Corp.
Linda Ray, freelance writer and welfare-rights advocate
David Riemer, senior fellow, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute; author, “The Prisoners of Welfare”
Jacqueline Ward, executive director, Fondy North Economic Development Corp.; managing director, North Avenue Marketplace Business Improvement District


2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Session V – Learning While Doing: The Students’ Perspective

Moderator: Greg Borowski, deputy managing editor for projects, investigations and digital innovation, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Panelists:

Sarah Hauer, graduate student, Diederich College of Communication; summer intern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Patrick Leary, 2015 graduate, Diederich College of Communication; summer intern, The Arizona Republic
Shiyao Li, graduate student, Diederich College of Communication
Robyn St. John, 2015 graduate, Diederich College of Communication
Theresa Soley, graduate student, Diederich College of Communication
Alyssa Voboril, graduate student, Diederich College of Communication

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  • O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism
  • 1131 W. Wisconsin Ave.
  • Milwaukee, WI 53201
  • Phone: (414) 288-4068