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Three Gaylord College Students Selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellows


Three Gaylord College Students Complete Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellowship

Three students from the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication  have completed their fellowships in the nationally acclaimed Carnegie-Knight News21 program. Marien López Medina, Maddy Keyes, and Kevin Palomino, who are also active contributors to OU Daily, OU's independent, student-produced newspaper, were chosen for this distinguished fellowship.

The News21 program, founded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is recognized for its dedication to in-depth journalism and invites participation from all journalism schools in the United States. The program included a seminar during the spring, led by the News21 executive editor. The fellows then delved into a topic and began preliminary reporting, followed by 10 weeks of full-time summer reporting from a digital newsroom at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University (ASU). Students received a stipend of $8,000 and up to $3,000 for travel expenses.

This year, the News21 fellows worked on a project titled “America After Roe,” exploring how the Roe v. Wade decision impacts healthcare, culture, policy, and people beyond the issue of abortion. The News21 fellows journeyed to various cities, aiming to illuminate the public on grassroots ramifications. 

Before embarking on their trip, the students expressed their thoughts about the trip. Marien López Medina, who covers the Hispanic community and the refugee crisis in Oklahoma for The Frontier, shared, “Being an investigative reporter... Being Nicaraguan and an international student in the U.S. helped me adapt to any unforeseen circumstances and be resilient, which are very important aspects when pursuing a journalism career.”

Kevin Palomino expressed his excitement to be part of the project, saying, "I hope to understand the challenges that come with reporting on national topics that capture audience attention from different backgrounds. I want a challenging journalistic experience filled with lessons that improve my storytelling while also creating impactful work.”

Maddy Keyes, who has worked at the OU Daily, expressed her gratitude to the program and her mentor, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and professor John Schmeltzer. “My time working at the OU Daily has helped me tremendously in preparing for this program... John has gone above and beyond to support me in my career and has pushed me to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way, including News21.”

View the full project at