Meet The 2014-2015 Fellows

Marquette University’s J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication has announced its next class of three 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.

The 2014-2015 O’Brien Fellows are Brandon Loomis, a reporter at The Arizona Republic, Raquel Rutledge, a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Marjorie Valbrun, an independent journalist aligned with The Washington Post. They will begin their fellowships in August 2014 and reside within the College of Communication for the 2014-15 academic year.

“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.

Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic

Brandon LoomisBrandon Loomis has been an environmental reporter at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix since November 2012; he previously worked at other news outlets including the Salt Lake Tribune, Anchorage Daily News and Idaho Falls Post Register. Loomis won the 2012 Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment and the 2013 Best of the West Prize for Growth and Environmental Reporting. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska and was a 1993-94 Ted Scripps Graduate Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Raquel RutledgeRaquel Rutledge is an investigative reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who previously reported at The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Christian Science Monitor. Rutledge won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for “Cashing In on Kids,” related to Wisconsin’s subsidized day care program; she has also earned other major investigative honors as the Gerald Loeb, Worth Bingham, George Polk and Goldsmith awards. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was a 2012 Neiman Fellow at Harvard University.

Marjorie Valbrun, Independent Journalist

Marjorie ValbrunMarjorie Valbrun has worked for The Baltimore Sun, The Wall Street Journal and The Philadelphia Inquirer and her work has appeared frequently in The Washington Post. Valbrun spent a year reporting on the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. She has won awards for international reporting and feature and editorial writing. She has degrees from Long Island University and Columbia University and has taught journalism at Howard University. She is a former Neiman Fellow at Harvard University and a past Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow.

Learn about the 2013-2014 fellows.