Journalism Major is University of Richmond's First Student to Receive Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellowship

Olivia Diaz will Report on Food Insecurity in Detroit
July 22, 2020

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Rising senior Olivia Diaz, a journalism and global studies double major from Fairfield, Connecticut, has been awarded a 2020 Reporting Fellowship from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. She is the first Pulitzer Reporting Fellow in University of Richmond’s history.

Diaz, along with 39 other Pulitzer Center Fellows, will investigate underreported stories related to the coronavirus pandemic, environmental issues, global health, and more.

Diaz will center her reporting on the underlying causes of food insecurity in Detroit, a topic she became interested in after co-leading a service-learning trip to the city earlier this year.

“My time in Detroit made me want to build deeper connections with people in the city and do more than just the surface-level service that is often associated with school spring break trips throughout the U.S.,” said Diaz. 

“Nearly half of households in Detroit are food insecure,” she added. “I am looking forward to interviewing individuals at urban farms, nonprofits, and social services who are working to find long-term solutions to increase access to healthy, affordable food.”

Diaz currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for The Collegian, University of Richmond’s independent, student-run newspaper.  She also serves as the vice president of finance for The SEEDS Project, a student-run organization that coordinates service-learning trips.

“I’m thrilled that Olivia has won this prestigious reporting fellowship and excited to hear about the stories she‘ll find in Detroit,” said Shahan Mufti, chair of the Department of Journalism. “I have no doubt that her work with the Pulitzer Center over the coming year will inspire other students to seek this opportunity in the future.”