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Washington Post and SOC

SOC Leads Post and AU into a Pinnacle Partnership. Washington Post local editor Vernon Loeb with SOC Undergraduate Dean's Intern Sylvia Carignan.

Featured Partner

Interns on the local desk are only the start of an SOC-led partnership between AU and the Washington Post.

Washington Post Partnership

What began as an in-depth but normal partnership between SOC and one of the nation’s most prestigious newspapers is spreading throughout the university and multiple departments at the Post.

“We’ll be funneling students to them with a wide range of tools and skills, not just from SOC but in computer science, graphic arts, marketing, wherever we can across the campus,” said former SOC dean Larry Kirkman.

Photo: Peter Perl, Larry Kirkman, Liz Spayd, Neil Kerwin, Vernon Loeb, Stephen Hills, and Scott Bass, at a dinner hosted by Neil and Ann Kerwin

From left: the Washington Post's Peter Perl, SOC dean Larry Kirkman, the Post's Liz Spayd, AU president Neil Kerwin, the Post's Vernon Loeb and Stephen Hills, and AU provost Scott Bass, at a dinner hosted by the Kerwins. (Photo: Jeff Watts)

 “We want to prepare our students for professional careers with the highest standards and that meet the challenges of the rapidly changing digital environment. This multifaceted, ongoing collaboration with a pinnacle organization helps keep our curriculum contemporary and cutting edge.”

Loeb, previously a reporter for the Post, returned to the paper from the Philadelphia Inquirer a year ago. After settling in, one of his first calls was to Kirkman.

“I [knew] AU had joined the ranks of the best journalism schools over the past decade,” he said. “I just really believe in the power of a robust partnership between a high quality newspaper and a high quality journalism school.”

Career Pipeline

Dean's Internships
Up to five Dean’s Interns are selected each semester and the over the summer to cover education, government & politics; police & courts, social issues, and transportation & development for the print and online Metro section. Meet the 2011-2012 Dean's Interns

The successful launch of an ongoing fellowship program offers SOC Fellows full tuition plus a $30,000 yearly stipend and the chance to work side-by-side with top journalists at The Washington Post, one of the world’s leading news organizations. "This is a win-win-win opportunity," said Jill Olmsted, Journalism division director, who instigated the SOC-Post fellowship agreement. "Win for the students seeking professional experience and bylines; win for the school and university in recruiting top students for our professional programs and expanding our diversity reach; and a win for the Post in getting part-time employees who have out-of-the-box thinking and can appeal to a younger audience." Read more Post Fellowship

Kate Musselwhite ’11 interviews curator Barry Blackman at the Anacostia Art Gallery and Boutique.

Class Partnerships

Students in professor Angie Chuang’s course, Race, Ethnic and Community Reporting, are helping to expand the Post's local coverage by writing community-oriented stories for the Metro section. The student stories are published on the Post Local blog, The Buzz.

Digital stories from professor Nina Shapiro-Perl's Community Documentary class are showcased on the Post's Washingtology web site.

Students in professor Amy Eisman's journalism class are collaborating with students from Maria Ivancin's public communication class on a polling project on first time voters for the Post 2012 election coverage.

Master class

Alumni and friends of the university are able to take new, online classes offered exclusively by The Washington Post at a discount. The courses, developed and taught by reporters who are experts in the areas covered, are taken at participants’ own pace. SOC faculty will develop future course material as part of the partnership. Learn more: and receive 20% off when you enter “American University” in the discount code box.