Two From Penn Named Pulitzer Center Student Fellows

Natalie Au and Rachel Townzen of the University of Pennsylvania have received International Student Reporting Fellowships from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in partnership with Penn’s Middle East Center and South Asia Center.

As Fellows, they will conduct reporting projects abroad this summer on issues that are unreported or under-reported by mainstream American media. Mentored by Center staff and journalists, their work will be published, and each will receive a $500 award. 

The Campus Consortium Partnership between the Pulitzer Center and the two Penn centers features programming at Penn to foster broader discussions and nuanced analysis of concerns that span disciplines.

Through the Partnership, journalists visit campus to speak about their global reporting projects and International Student Reporting Fellows share their reporting projects with the University community and beyond.

Au, a junior majoring in political science and East Asian area studies in the School of Arts & Sciences, will report from India on “DevelopHER: Women, Tech, and Social Impact in India.” At Penn, she is founder and director of the Penn Human Rights Conference and has served on the boards of Penn for Liberty in North Korea, Seneca International and Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity. She has worked with the One Country Two Systems Research Institute in Hong Kong, as well as Mother’s Choice, a reproductive-justice non-profit.

Townzen, a master’s of social work student at the School of Social Policy & Practice who is also pursuing an interdisciplinary certificate in global human rights, will report from Jordan on issues related to obtaining civil documentation, protecting family identity and preventing statelessness among refugees. She will be working as a knowledge-management intern with UNICEF Jordan this summer as she completes her reporting project.

At Penn, Townzen is the rising president of the Social Work Advocates for Immigrant Rights, secretary of the AGBU-Young Professionals chapter in Philadelphia and a member of the Penn Law School's International Human Rights Advocates. She has worked in various capacities with refugees and asylum seekers in the United States and Armenia.

Information about past Penn Pulitzer Fellows is available at

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