Our 2021-2022 student interns are paired with their respective fellows below:
Fellow Sarah Carr's team
Aimee Galaszewski, senior
Galaszewski hails from Greenfield, WI, a Milwaukee suburb. She is studying journalism and digital media. Galaszewski was selected executive director for the Marquette Wire student media organization for 2021–22. She has reported for The Wire, and this year was general manager of Marquette University Television, which won nine statewide broadcasting awards for 2020. She says she hopes, through the fellowship, to contribute to stories that could “make a difference in the community.” She is eyeing a career in television reporting.
Yvette Craig, returning student
Craig says she is in her dream job: publisher and editor of UMOJA Magazine in Madison, WI, which promotes positive news in marginalized communities while tackling key issues. Craig is a veteran journalism and communications professional. She’s reported for the Shoreline Times in Guilford, CT; the Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram; The Tennessean in Nashville, TN; and the Press of Atlantic City N.J. She has experience in speechwriting, nonprofit leadership and corporate communication. As a teenager in Milwaukee, she joined a protest against the death of Ernest R. Lacy, a young Black man who died in police custody after being falsely accused of rape. "That 1981 experience ignited a passion within me that I never let go of. It became my personal mission to serve as a voice for the voiceless through reporting and writing as a journalist," she says. Craig is finishing up a journalism degree she started at Marquette in the 1980s.
Lelah Byron, senior
Byron, 20, is a rising senior in journalism and political science from the Edison Park area of Chicago. She serves as an investigative reporter and executive projects editor for the Marquette Tribune student media news organization. She recently took first place in News Story-Writing (TV) at the 2020 Wisconsin Broadcaster’s Association Student Awards for Excellence. After graduation, she hopes to join Report for America. Byron says she strives to produce narrative-driven, accessible stories that allow a reader to “resonate with an individualized experience of injustice or victory beyond his or her own framework.”
Fellow Katherine Lewis's team
Maureen Ojiambo, returning student
Ojiambo is studying journalism. She grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and gained experience as a local radio news reporter and anchor there. As an independent journalist, she has served as a Kenya news correspondent for the Voice of America. She has an associate degree from Multimedia University of Kenya. A long-term goal is to return to the Kenyan village of Funyula where she grew up and open a media school serving local residents. “As a journalist, I want to give young men and women who cannot afford education, particularly from marginalized communities, a voice to tell their stories,” she says.
Rachel Ryan, second-year graduate student
Ryan is studying digital communication strategies. She grew up in Oconomowoc, WI, a small city 30 miles west of Milwaukee. Prior to Marquette, Ryan earned a bachelor’s in communication at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she worked in student media while minoring in Spanish and radio-TV-film. In 2020–21, as an O’Brien reporting intern, she helped O’Brien Fellow Ashley Nguyen investigate maternal health issues through stories in The Lily and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They examined challenges faced by birth doulas. She says this work “opened my eyes even further to the change that journalism can generate, not just in society, but also in the communities most greatly impacted.”
Fellow Guy Boulton's team
Vanessa Rivera, senior
Rivera is studying journalism and digital media, with a concentration in communication leadership. She’s from Zion, a small Illinois city near the border with Wisconsin. She has worked as a news producer for the Marquette Wire with an emphasis on television. She serves as president of the Multicultural Greek Council, and earned the Exceptional Council President award at the 2021 Black & Multicultural Greek EMPOWERMENT! Summit. Rivera says she wants to pursue journalism that matters in a way that helps people, using her producing, writing and editing skills to tell “community-based stories and stories that have yet to be told.”
Annie Mattea, senior
Mattea is studying journalism, digital media and political science and intends to graduate in December 2021. She grew up in Grayslake, IL, north of Chicago. She has worked as a news reporter, news editor and managing editor for the Marquette Tribune, recently voted the best overall student newspaper in Wisconsin. For her, journalism is a way to put her natural curiosity to work for a good cause. “I’m interested in getting to know other people and figure out who they are,” she says. Upon graduation, expected in December 2021, Mattea hopes to start her journalism career at a local newspaper.
Alexa Jurado, senior
Jurado is a senior student in journalism, digital media and Latinx studies. She is from Cary, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. For the Marquette Wire she has worked as a news reporter, assistant editor and a radio disc jockey with a show on news and music. She produced a short documentary for Greater Together, a creative storytelling challenge in 2020. She wants to demonstrate the “grit and determination” that reporters need to serve communities and hold those in power accountable. Jurado envisions working as a multimedia journalist at a publication, production company or a nonprofit media organization.
Fellow Sari Lesk's team
Quinn Faeth, first-year graduate student
Faeth grew up in Edina, MN, in the Minneapolis suburbs. He graduated in May 2021 with a bachelor’s in journalism and communication studies from Marquette. He has worked as an assistant editor for the Marquette Wire and was previously an entertainment news reporter. He is also a writer for Breaking and Entering, a publication that features new music from small, independent artists. He produced a racial-justice related podcast called “Levels of Change,”and dreams of working for National Public Radio. “I have always been passionate about social justice, especially race and socioeconomic issues, so doing work that relates to these topics would be ideal,” he says.
Bryan Geenen, senior
Geenen is studying journalism and sports management. He's from Appleton in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley. He works as a reporter and social media producer for the Marquette Wire and also hosts a live sports talk show on Marquette Radio. More recently, for a self-produced podcast, he conducted wide-ranging interviews with those struggling to overcome drug addiction. He says getting to learn about new topics in this way and sharing these stories is what “makes journalism unique, challenging and rewarding.”
The O’Brien Fellowship is committed to providing experienced journalists with the tools to pursue ambitious long-term projects in service of the public interest. In this vein, each fellow is paired with a hand-selected team of student interns who provide quality reporting and production support over the course of the project.
Our interns aren’t assigned busy work. They’re treated as entry-level reporters whose work and skills have a real impact on our fellows’ success. Many students even gain byline credit or go on to work in the fellow’s home newsroom in a university-sponsored summer internship. In this way, we strive to not only empower experienced journalists to do great work now, but also to train up-and-coming reporters to do great work in the future.