Meet the 2012-2013 fellow

Marquette University’s J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication has now chosen a total of seven journalists to take part in The Perry and Alicia O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism. Known as O’Brien Fellows, each journalist chosen for the fellowship spends an academic year on campus researching and producing an in-depth public service journalism project – and working with Marquette students, giving them first-hand experience.

Meg Kissinger, a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, was the inaugural O’Brien Fellow. She spent the 2012-12 academic year at the college and, along with Marquette students, produced the heralded public service journalism project, “Chronic Crisis: A System That Doesn’t Heal,” a series of stories focusing on treatment of mental health in Milwaukee County.

“All of the journalists chosen as O’Brien Fellows have worked diligently throughout their careers to provide solutions to the most complex problems in their communities,” said Dr. Lori Bergen, dean of the College of Communication. “Our faculty and staff appreciate the chance to work closely with them to encourage progress as they work side by side with our students to provide expert, in-depth reporting.” Bergen has described the fellowship as in-line with “the teaching hospital model” advocated by many journalists and journalism educators nationwide.


Meg Kissinger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Meg Kissinger Meg Kissinger is an investigative reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who has written extensively about the failures of the mental health system in Milwaukee County since 2000. Kissinger was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009 and has earned several other honors for her reporting, including from the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. Her O’Brien Fellowship led to “Chronic Crisis: A System That Doesn’t Heal,” a series that earned the 2013 George Polk for Medical Writing. She is a graduate of DePauw University.