December 6, 2012. The Schuster Institute welcomes photojournalist Maria Stenzel and  journalist Brooke Kroeger to the Institute's Ethics & Justice Investigative Journalism Fellowship Program. Press release>

June 26, 2012. The Schuster Institute welcomes Trevor Aaronson, Phillip Martin, Maryn McKenna, and James Verini to the Institute's Ethics & Justice Investigative Journalism Fellowship Program. 
Press release>


Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism
Brandeis University
415 South Street, MS 043
Waltham, MA 02453

General & Media Queries:
781-736-5030 (Fax)

Ethics & Justice
Investigative Journalism

The Schuster Institute’s Ethics & Justice Investigative Journalism Fellowships are awarded to reporters whose ambitious projects are consistent with our journalistic mission to investigate and report on important public issues of government and corporate accountability, social justice, or human rights.

Through this collaboration with highly qualified and motivated investigative reporters, the Schuster Institute is undertaking additional stories of significant public interest. Our unpaid Fellows are pursuing important projects on a variety of topics, each working to a high standard with intensely researched, carefully fact-checked work that can benefit from having an institutional home.

While these fellowships are unpaid, Ethics & Justice Investigative Journalism Fellows have access to Brandeis University’s databases and other online resources; some student research assistance, where appropriate; some editorial support, guidance, and promotion of the completed work, when needed; and the potential to have the background documents and research related to their work hosted on our website.

Journalists with a compelling project related to our core interests may write to us explaining how their work is related to ours, and how their work and ours would benefit from the affiliation.

Collaboration with the Fund for Investigative Journalism

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and the Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) in Washington, D.C. announced in early January 2012 the launch of the Schuster Institute & Fund for Investigative Journalism Fellowships, an innovative investigative journalism collaboration with reporting on vital social justice and human rights issues as its core mission—reporting now endangered in mainstream newsrooms. Press release>

Schuster Institute
  Senior Fellows

David Black

The Plague Years by David BlackDAVID BLACK, Criminal Justice Reporting Project. Black is an award-winning journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and producer based in New York City whose Schuster Institute fellowship will focus on a television series screenplay he is writing, based on deep research, about criminal justice and society. He is the author of ten books, including the Pulitzer Prize-nominated The Plague Years: A Chronicle of AIDS the Epidemic of Our Times, and more than 150 articles in magazines that include The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and Rolling Stone. Black has risked his life a number of times while reporting, including being put under house arrest by Baby Doc's secret police in Haiti, infiltrating totalitarian therapy cults, being abandoned on a desert island, and exposing a sex trafficking organization in the East Village. His many awards include the Writers Guild of America Award, the National Magazine Award for Reporting, the National Science Writers Award, and nominations for the Emmy and Golden Globe. His novel Fast Shuffle was published in July 2015.

Michael Blanding 

map-thief-coverMICHAEL BLANDING is an independent investigative journalist based in Boston. His work appears in such places as The Nation, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, and The Boston Globe Magazine. He is the author of two books, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps (Gotham Books, 2014); and The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World’s Favorite Soft Drink (Avery/Penguin, 2010). Blanding is a staff writer at Harvard Business School and was previously a fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. He has won several awards for his writing, including a 2012 Clarion Award and a gold medal in the 2011 EXCEL Awards from Association Media & Publishing. @MichaelBlanding

Scott Carney 

death-on-diamond-mountainSCOTT CARNEY is an investigative journalist, anthropologist, and author whose stories blend narrative nonfiction with ethnography. His book A Death On Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness and the Path to Enlightenment was published by Gotham Books in March 2015. His work is published in Wired, Mother Jones, Foreign Policy, Playboy, Details, Discover, Outside, and Fast Company, with academic work in Nature and SAIS Journal. He regularly appears on radio and television including broadcasts by NPR and National Geographic TV. His book, The Red Market: On the Trail of the World’s Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers and Child Traffickers (William Morrow, 2011) won a 2012 Clarion Award for best nonfiction book. In 2010 he won the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for his Mother Jones story “Meet the Parents,” which tracked an international kidnapping-to-adoption ring. He reports from Colorado. Carney’s appointment is through the Schuster Institute-Fund for Investigative Journalism Fellowship. @SGCarney

Karen Coates 

Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos

KAREN COATES is an independent investigative reporter focusing on environmental, health, and human rights issues. She is the author of three books, including Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos (ThingsAsian Press, 2013), which she coauthored with Jerry Redfern; and Cambodia Now: Life in the Wake of War (McFarland, 2005), which won the August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award. Her work appears in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Books, Der Spiegel, Archaeology Magazine, Al Jazeera, and elsewhere. Coates was a 2010-2011 Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder, focusing on food security issues. She lives in New Mexico and spends at least six months of the year traveling in Southeast Asia. Her appointment is through the Schuster Institute-Fund for Investigative Journalism Fellowship. @ramblingspoon

Madeline Drexler 

lessons-on-happinessMADELINE DREXLER is a journalist and author specializing in public health, medicine, and travel, and the staff editor of Harvard Public Health Magazine. Her most recent book is A Splendid Isolation: Lessons on Happiness from the Kingdom of Bhutan (Amazon, 2014), a reported essay on that nation’s governing policy of Gross National Happiness. Drexler is also the author of Emerging Epidemics: The Menace of New Infections (Penguin, 2010). Her articles are published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times, and other outlets. Her investigative article “Why Your Food Isn’t Safe,” published by Good Housekeeping in 2011, was awarded the Society for Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award and a 2012 Clarion Award. She lives in greater Boston.

Jan Goodwin 

JAN GOODWIN is an award-winning journalist and author based in New York. She has covered 17 wars and testified before Congress. Her work has appeared in such outlets as The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie-Claire, and many more. Goodwin is the author of two books, both of which have been widely translated. Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World (Little Brown, 1994; Plume paperback, 2002) examines how Islamic extremism affects the lives of Muslim women, has been a New York Times notable book, and is a course requirement at many colleges. For Caught in the Crossfire (E.P. Dutton, 1987), Goodwin spent three months traveling behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. She has been a Soros Media Fellow and Kiplinger Fellow.

E.J. Graff 

what-is-marriage-formE.J. GRAFF is an award-winning journalist, commentator, and author best known for helping to pioneer the gender and sexuality beat. Her book, What Is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution (Beacon, 1999, 2004), was the first American book examining same-sex marriage. Her Schuster Institute investigation into fraud and corruption in international adoption won four journalism awards, including the Society for Professional Journalism’s Sigma Delta Chi Award for Magazine Investigative Reporting, and paved the way for a new federal law designed to help stop shady U.S. adoption agencies from buying, defrauding, coercing, and even kidnapping children away from their birthfamilies to sell into international adoption. Her work appears in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Newsweek, The American Prospect, and others. She lives in greater Boston. @EJGraff

Brooke Kroeger 

Undercover Reporting by Brooke Kroeger

BROOKE KROEGER is a New York-based journalist, author of four books, and professor of journalism at the New York University Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is the author of Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception (Northwestern University Press, 2012). In collaboration with the New York University library, Kroeger created an online database of thousands of groundbreaking stories written by American reporters who went undercover, going all the way back to slavery. She is expanding the database to include undercover reporting around the globe. @BrookeKroeger

Phillip Martin

PHILLIP MARTIN is an award-winning investigative reporter for WGBH Boston Public Radio; a regular panelist for WGBH-TV’s “Basic Black”; an occasional panelist for WGBH’s “Beat the Press”; and an adjunct professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Martin’s 2014 “Underground Trade” series, an eight-part investigative series on human trafficking, was undertaken while he was a Ford Foundation Fellow with the International Center for Journalists and in collaboration with the Schuster Institute. The series won multiple awards, including a 2014 national Edward R. Murrow Award. Martin was NPR’s first and only National Race Relations Correspondent from 1998 to 2001. In 1995, he helped create PRI/BBC’s news program “The World.” Martin was a Harvard University Nieman Fellow from 1997-1998, and a U.S.-Japan Media Fellow in 1997. @phillipWGBH

Erin Siegal McIntyre

Finding Fernanda by Erin Siegal

ERIN SIEGAL MCINTYRE is a multimedia investigative journalist and author, currently producing and reporting special reports and documentaries for Univision.  A 2012-13 Soros Justice Fellowship enabled her coverage of the deportation of undocumented immigrants and resulted in articles in The Christian Science Monitor, Playboy, Fronteras, and other outlets. She is the author of Finding Fernanda: Two Mothers, One Child, and a Cross-Border Search for Truth (Beacon Press, 2012). The Overseas Press Club of America honored Finding Fernanda with a Robert Spiers Benjamin Award citation for best reporting in any medium on Latin America. McIntyre is also a contributing photographer at Redux Pictures and a Fronteras Desk radio network contributor. She lives in Tijuana, Mexico, and Miami, Florida. @ErinSiegal

Maryn McKenna

Superbug by Maryn McKennaMARYN MCKENNA is an award-winning science writer and author specializing in public health, global health, and food policy. She is a regular contributor for Scientific American, Wired, and National Geographic's food platform “The Plate,” and author of Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 2010). Her 2015 TED Talk, “What do we do when antibiotics don’t work any more?” has attracted hundreds of thousands of views. McKenna is an MIT research affiliate in comparative media studies/writing and was Project Fellow at the MIT Knight Science Journalism Program. She is writing a book for National Geographic about how the intertwined histories of antibiotic development and agriculture have affected our health and diets, land use and labor, international trade and global business. Under the auspices of the MIT Knight Science Journalism program, she will tell this story through video, audio, and data visualization. @MarynMck

Michael McLeod

anatomy-of-a-beastMICHAEL MCLEOD, Environment & Justice Reporting Project. McLeod is an award-winning journalist, author, and film producer based in Oregon whose Schuster Institute fellowship  focuses on investigating a landmark case of environmental pollution in a small upstate New York town, where citizens’ health and homes have been devastated by PCB dumping. Forty years later, they are still fighting the government and the corporate polluter for relief and for justice, in a nightmare playing out in scores of cities and towns across the U.S. After beginning his journalism career at a West Coast NBC television affiliate, McLeod expanded into commercial film production, specializing in documentaries and news. His clients have included ABC, NBC, PBS, King Broadcasting, and Discovery, and the PBS series “Frontline.” His investigations have looked at such subjects as death row, the origins of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. sports, the building of an Alaskan oil pipeline, hate crimes, sexual predators, Waco, and endangered fisheries. He is the author of Anatomy of a Beast: Obsession and Myth on the Trail of Bigfoot (University of California Press, 2009). His many awards include the DuPont-Columbia, Cine Golden Eagle, Ohio State Award, and a Peabody.

Tracie McMillan 

The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan

TRACIE MCMILLAN is an investigative journalist whose groundbreaking reporting focuses on the intersection of food and class. She is the author of The New York Times bestseller The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table (Scribner, 2012), in which she went undercover to report on American food production and distribution. McMillan has won numerous journalism awards, including the James Beard Journalism Award, the Sidney Hillman Prize, and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Her work appears in publications such as National Geographic, The New York Times, Harper’s, and Slate, and has been anthologized in the popular Best Food Writing series. She was the 2014 Koeppel Journalism Fellow at Wesleyan University, where she taught journalism, and a 2013 Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow in residence at the University of Michigan. McMillan’s appointment as a Senior Fellow is through a collaboration between the Schuster Institute and the Fund for Investigative Journalism. @TMMcMillan

Janelle Nanos

JANELLE NANOS, Modern-Day Slavery & Human Trafficking Reporting Project. Nanos is a Boston-based writer, editor, and journalism professor who, during her Schuster Institute fellowship, is examining the commercial sexual exploitation of children within the U.S. She is writing a book with someone who works in the academy who was trafficked as a child—and who devotes her life to ending such child trafficking. The Boston Globe recently named Nanos editor of BetaBoston, the Globe's new tech and innovation site. From 2011 to 2014, she was a senior editor at Boston Magazine, where she wrote about ideas, people, and businesses that shape the way the city works. She earned her master's degree in journalism from New York University, where she was awarded a Knight Foundation fellowship for her outstanding reporting. She started her career at New York Magazine, where she worked as a reporter for three years, then joined the staff of National Geographic Traveler as Special Projects editor, developing multiplatform projects that spanned the print publication, tablet, and web. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Slate, Marie Claire, The Village Voice, Forbes, and Mother Jones. She teaches magazine writing at Boston College. @JanelleNanos

Jerry Redfern

Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in LaosJERRY REDFERN is an independent photojournalist who reports primarily from Southeast Asia on issues involving the environment, health, and human rights. He and his wife Karen Coates co-authored Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos (ThingsAsian Press, 2013). Redfern was a 2012-2013 Scripps Fellow, focusing on data visualization and water issues in the Western U.S. His work has won awards from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Review Santa Fe, the National Press Photographers Association, and the Society of Environmental Journalists. He is based in New Mexico and spends half of the year reporting from Southeast Asia. @JerryRedfern

Maria Stenzel

Maria Stenzel penguins

MARIA STENZEL is an award-winning photojournalist and Fellow at Harvard University’s Film Studies Center. She has covered environmental issues, natural history, science, indigenous cultures, and history for National Geographic magazine since 1991. She has won a National Magazine Award and Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and awards from World Press Photo, the National Press Photographers Association, and Communication Arts. She was a 2011 Global Vision finalist at Pictures of the Year International for her coverage of climate change in West Antarctica. As a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology in 2012, she spent the year learning documentary filmmaking.

James Verini

JAMES VERINI is an investigative journalist based in East Africa. He has reported from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Sudan, and contributed to such publications as National Geographic, New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, New York Magazine, Washington Monthly, newyorker.com, and Slate. He is the 2015 winner of the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing for his article “Love and Ruin,” published in Atavist. Until 2009, he was a contributing editor at the Condé Nast Portfolio magazine. Before that, he was a features contributor and columnist at The Los Angeles Times covering culture and the arts, and before that a staff writer at the New York Observer, covering business. In addition to Africa, his reporting has taken him to the Middle East, Russia, East Asia, India, and Latin America. @JamesVerini

Seth Freed Wessler

Wessler is an independent investigative reporter based in New York who has reported from across the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean on immigration, the social safety net, and criminal justice, subjects that will also be the focus of his Schuster Institute fellowship. Wessler has produced stories for outlets including NBC News, ProPublica, The Nation, This American Life, Elle, and PRI's The World. He has been a staff reporter for Colorlines and a researcher for Race Forward, where he led a groundbreaking investigation revealing how thousands of U.S. citizen children were forced into foster care after their parents were deported by federal immigration authorities. After receiving the 2013 New York University Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute’s Reporting Award, he delivered a ProPublica investigation on how state courts can sever parental rights because of a mental health diagnosis–even if there’s no harm or neglect. He has been a finalist for the Casey Medal, and has won a Hillman Prize and several Ippies Awards. Wessler is an Open Society Foundation 2014 Soros Justice Fellow. @SethFW

Hella Winston

Unchosen by Hella Winston

HELLA WINSTON is a sociologist, investigative journalist, and author who has investigated corruption at the intersection of the criminal justice system and the strictly Orthodox Jewish communities of New York and New Jersey. Her ongoing, careful reporting revealed that some ultra-Orthodox rabbis were sexually abusing children, an open secret in those communities. Her revelations that former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes overlooked crimes by these powerful community leaders helped end his 40-year tenure. She has written extensively on the subject of wrongful convictions, focusing specifically on prosecutorial misconduct. Her investigations have been published by The New York Jewish Week, The Crime Report, and City Limits. Her reporting has received awards from the American Jewish Press Association and the Annie E. Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families.Winston is the author of Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels (Beacon Press, 2005) and coauthor with Katherine Newman of the forthcoming book, Learning to Labor in the 21st Century (Metropolitan, 2015). Winston’s appointment is through the Schuster Institute-Fund forInvestigative Journalism Fellowship.