WASHINGTON, D.C. — InquireFirst intern Jennifer Lu has been awarded a $5,000 special reporting grant by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) Taylor/Blakeslee Project Fellowship Program to report on the urgent problems created by the nation’s aging drinking water infrastructure.
Lu is completing her final semester of the University of Missouri master’s program in journalism, where she is focusing on investigative and data journalism. Her professional goal is to apply these skills to stories about science, health and the environment.
In awarding Lu the fellowship, the judges noted the urgency and importance of investigative science reporting on the drinking water contamination crises now facing many cities. They congratulated Lu on a reporting plan that will dig into these issues and examine the effectiveness of practice and regulation at the local, regional and national levels.
Lu is one of five graduate students currently supported by Taylor-Blakeslee University Fellowships. The Brinson Foundation, which underwrites the fellowships, provided the follow-up grant to enable a Fellow to undertake a career-launching enterprise project.
Fellows approaching graduation were invited to propose high-impact enterprise projects that would leverage their graduate training and entrepreneurial talent. “The submitted projects were all excellent, and we hope these exceptional science journalists will find ways to complete them. The world needs this reporting,” said CASW Executive Director Rosalind Reid.
Lu holds a master’s degree in biochemistry from Brandeis University and worked as a research technician in Boston-area medical labs before refocusing on science journalism.
This is the second year of the project fellowship. The first grant went to Amy McDermott, then enrolled in the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.