Frechette SistersO’Brien Fellows spend nine months reporting stories with the power to compel change.

Backed by Marquette University and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, O'Brien helps news professionals dig deep while mentoring student journalists.

The program honors Marquette alumni Alicia and Perry O'Brien. Their daughter, Patricia Frechette, and her husband, Peter, donated $8.3 million in 2012 to create the fellowship. In this photo, Kathy Tenhula (left) and Kristy Woolfolk (right) attend a conference of the O'Brien Fellowship funded by their parents.

The Latest O'Brien-Backed Journalism


Milwaukee's Promise

In June 2020, O'Brien Fellow James Causey, photojournalist Angela Peterson and O'Brien students launched a series examining the racial gaps in opportunity for Milwaukeeans. 
Milwaukee's Promise











Photo by ANGELA PETERSON/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Youth Sports Safety

Current O'Brien Fellow Tim Bannon and O'Brien interns reported on COVID-19 precautions at for-profit youth tournaments, finding little masking, inconsistent rules and loose enforcement.

 Youth Sports Safety








Photo by MICHAEL SEARS/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A Unique Journalism Fellowship

As an O'Brien Fellow, you will have the chance to:

  • Report and produce an in-depth public service journalism project on a regional, national or international topic.
  • Receive a $70,000 salary stipend and additional support.
  • Work from the O’Brien newsroom at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication near downtown Milwaukee and the Lake Michigan shore.
  • Publish or broadcast the project through your home news organization or, in the case of independent journalists, another outlet.
  • Integrate Marquette’s best journalism students into your projects as reporters and researchers.
  • Help identify a journalism student for a university-funded summer internship at your news organization or other publisher.

Marquette University challenges students and staff to “be the difference” in improving the community. The Catholic and Jesuit institution has educated journalists for 100 years.