William & Mary students completed the ninth Sharp Writer-in-Residence Program, working with Pulitzer Center-supported journalist Stephanie Hanes during the 2019-2020 academic year to develop their writing and reporting skills. The program is a joint Campus Consortium initiative with the Pulitzer Center and The College of William & Mary's Roy R. Charles Center for Academic Excellence, supported by William & Mary alumni Anne and Barry Sharp.
For the 2019-2020 seminar, Hanes led students through the process of developing their reporting projects. This year, she worked with Pulitzer Center staff members Ann Peters, Claire Seaton and Hannah Berk and Pulitzer Center grantees Sasha Ingber, Nahal Toosi and Zahra Ahmad to create a series of round-robin seminar workshops to focus on storytelling through visual means, overcoming reporting roadblocks and developing each students' project. In overview sessions, students delved into basic reporting techniques, interviewing skills, journalism ethics and issues in today’s media landscape.
The College launched its Campus Consortium partnership in fall 2011 with the first Sharp Writer-in-Residence Program, with support from William & Mary alumni, Anne and Barry Sharp. Following the Sharps' vision, the College and the Pulitzer Center continue to offer a unique experience for students, developing integrated programming segments during the academic year tied together through a three-credit seminar. The idea behind the seminar is for students to develop areas of academic or personal interest into journalistic pieces and communicate to a broader audience - in short writing for their fellow citizens.
Each student undertook a reporting project of his or her own topic choice and worked with the journalists to craft the final written product. Many students rounded out their reporting with separate travel grants provided through the College. Several students added a photographic component to their reporting, bringing to life those affected by the change in society, policy, or environment. Others investigated academic and government reports, searching for the root of the issues on which they reported.
These final products are the culmination of the students' independent reporting and the mentoring support during the 2019-2020 Sharp seminar.
Project image: A sato (Puerto Rican street dog) gently takes a treat out of the hand of The SATO Project supporter Henry Friedman. Image by Jamie Holt. United States, 2019.