The Journalism Department launched a partnership this spring with the Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism that quickly allowed students to produce timely and important work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Four seniors in the Public Affairs Reporting class took on investigative projects that focused on mental health care in Virginia public schools and mental health care in the community. Links to this projects are here: https://vcij.org/stories/coronavirus-casualty and here: https://vcij.org/stories/covid-mental-health-school-services 

The projects were published in a wide range of media outlets and marked the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with the center.

“I was so fortunate to be able to work with the Journalism Department and VCIJ for this project,” said Alexis Angelus ’20.  “The article Stacey and I wrote not only helped us amplify important voices during the pandemic, but also gave us experience with professional journalists. I have already taken the lessons I learned from the project and applied them in the working world.” 

Her writing partner, Stacey Dec ’20, agreed. 

“After putting hours of work into my story by interviewing several sources, writing, editing, and rewriting, the publication of the piece through work with VCIJ was a great 'capstone' on all of my coursework in the journalism department.” 

Riley Blake ’20 had a similar experience producing the article he wrote with Julia Raimondi ’20. 

“Working on this project was extremely rewarding,” he said. “We spent over a month interviewing subjects and writing the story, and it feels good to hopefully have made a difference by informing Virginians about our state’s mental health services during a time of crisis.” 

Raimondi said: “My education as a journalism major at the University of Richmond helped prepare me for times such as now when bringing truth to the public matters more than ever.”