Alumna earns top 10 spot for student work in the Hearst Explanatory Reporting contest

Newhouse alumna Emily Kelleher ’19 was a top 10 winner in college explanatory reporting in the 61st annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program.


Kelleher placed 7th for an article she wrote as a student in the magazine program. “Why Haven’t Sexual-Assault Statistics Improved?” focused on the grim reality of sexual assault on campus, and various remedies—successful and unsuccessful—that colleges and universities have tried to implement over the last few decades.

“Sexual assault is a startlingly ubiquitous kind of violence… And despite recent increases in awareness, these rates remain stubbornly consistent, identical to those researchers found when they first started collecting data on the subject in the 80s,” Kelleher says. “Media attention on the topic tends to focus on issues of adjudication, and how schools reckon with the harm their students have caused. My story attempted to shine a light on the people working to prevent harm before it happens, ultimately pushing the American college experience towards something less synonymous with violence.”

Kelleher’s article was published as part of The 61% Project, a special-interest, digital publication exploring the mental-health crisis on college campuses, which was created by students in the the magazine capstone course MND 504 Multimedia Projects.

“I’m so grateful to have spent almost four years in an environment that made writing a piece like mine feel possible, and for all the professors who saw potential in me and pushed me towards it,” Kelleher says.

Kelleher is now a contributing editor and SEO researcher at Fatherly, where she covers health, science, culture and commerce.