2017-18 O'BRIEN FELLOWS
Gary Harki is an investigative reporter at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to this position, he worked at The Exponent-Telegram in mountainous north-central West Virginia, where he covered the story of 12 miners trapped in the Sago mine after an explosion. All but one of the workers died. That story launched him into his successful investigative reporting career. In 2009, while working at The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, Harki was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for his investigation into police brutality and corruption. He was named Virginia Press Association Outstanding Journalist of the Year in 2017.
Andy Soth is a longtime producer of public affairs coverage at Wisconsin Public Television. He was part of a civic journalism documentary reporting as part of two national PBS election series. One episode of the series, “The :30 Second Candidate,” earned a national Emmy award. He also authored the program’s companion web site for pbs.org and led the creation at WPT of WisconsinVote.org, a site that’s helped hundreds of thousands connect to election news and voter resources. He later became WPT’s correspondent for QUEST, the multi-media science reporting project run by KQED, San Francisco’s public station. Now he’s mainly a producer for the “Wisconsin Life” program, a joint production of Wisconsin Public Television and Radio.
As a freelance writer, Eben Pindyck has published stories in both local and national outlets including: The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vice, Milwaukee Magazine, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and The Oregonian, among others.
His interests are eclectic, his approach consistent in its depth.
“Eben has a deep commitment to learn everything he can about the most thorny issues of the day, where race and class and crime meet. He resists easy answers,” notes Dan Simmons, former managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine.
After attending high school in the Milwaukee area, Eben earned degrees in English and Journalism from Columbia University, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Portland State University.
Erin Richards is an education reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The St. Louis native sees education reporting as “a window into what was moving the state forward and simultaneously holding it back.” As a Spencer Fellow in Education Reporting at Columbia University in 2015, she explored the history and future of the nation's private-school choice movement. It capped a seven-year period in which she covered education and education policy for the Journal Sentinel, including the aftermath of Gov. Scott Walker’s push to end most collective bargaining by teachers and other public workers. She also has experience as an adjunct instructor in journalism at Carroll University and was a Livingston Award finalist in 2009.