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Graduate Student Researchers

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    Susie Neilson

    Susie Neilson is a print and radio journalist based on the West Coast. She reports on topics including the science and money behind federal policies, law enforcement and women’s issues. Before the IRP, she worked for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and Nautilus Magazine, and produced a feature-length documentary on skin lightening in South Africa. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker online, Mother Jones and other outlets.

  • Slowiczek_Josh by Jacqui Ipp

    Josh Slowiczek

    Josh Slowiczek is a print and data journalist based in the Bay Area. He focuses on issues surrounding public corruption, law enforcement, immigration and politics. Prior to joining the IRP, he worked for NBC Bay Area, East Bay Express and Human Rights Watch. His work has been featured in The New York Times’ California Newsletter and press packets for state senate bills.

Research Assistants

  • DeFazio Ali (1)

    Ali DeFazio

    Ali DeFazio is on the new media track at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she is learning how to creatively tell investigative stories. She covers Oakland politics, environmental impacts on overlooked communities and any raw data sets thrown in front of her. She has been published in San Francisco magazine and started the podcast, Trump 101, which won a national CBI award for best podcast. 

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    Cecilia Lei

    Cecilia Lei is a new media graduate student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Her reporting focuses on criminal justice, immigration and race. Previously, Cecilia led audience engagement and digital content strategy at KQED. Most recently, she was an Asian American Journalist Association Voices fellow and an intern with NPR’s Digital News team in Washington D.C. Cecilia’s reporting has appeared on NPR and the East Bay Express.

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    Casey Smith

    Casey Smith is a first-year master’s student at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her reporting focuses on science and the environment, law enforcement and federal agency corruption. Before coming to the IRP, Casey was a reporting intern at the Investigative Reporting Workshop and The Washington Post, where she produced separate stories on the Interior Department and national homicide data. Her work has been published by USA Today, National Geographic, The Washington Post and others.

Mark Felt Scholars

  • 2015-16 Recipients


    The recipients of the 2015-16 Mark Felt Scholarships are (left to right): Parker Yesko, Jimmy Tobias, Nadine Sebai, Brett Murphy and Alyssa Perry.

    Brett Murphy is investigating the effects of international shipping cartels on American logistics and exploited labor along the supply chain.

    Alyssa Perry is examining a loophole in U.S. immigration policy that has left many adult foreign-born adoptees without U.S. citizenship, making them susceptible to deportation.

    Nadine Sebai is investigating a corporation’s alleged campaign against non-profit groups in California.

    Jimmy Tobias is investigating the underground trade in African “bushmeat” — wild-caught game that is smuggled into the United States and sold at markets across the country.

    Parker Yesko is examining the tensions between San Francisco’s homeless population and Super Bowl 50 organizers as the big event descends on the Bay Area.

    The scholarship are designed for students who intend to specialize in the area of investigative reporting in their second year at the Graduate School of Journalism. The awards are made possible by a generous gift by Bob Bishop, who was inspired by the reporting of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and the willingness of a confidential source, the late Mark Felt, to guide them.

  • 2014-15 Recipients


    The recipients of the 2014-2015 Mark Felt Scholarships are (left to right) Jason Paladino, Andy Mannix, Heather Mack, Alexander Mullaney and Jake Nicol.

    Jason Paladino is investigating a mine-sweeping helicopter used by the Navy that has one of the highest rates of deadly crashes in the armed services.

    Andy Mannix is investigating the inordinately high frequency of staff-on-inmate sexual misconduct incidents in several correctional facilities across the country, and the high cost of this abuse of power.

    Heather Mack is examining the food and drug industry practices surrounding the development and use of probiotics – an uncategorized, unregulated food and drug additive that is inefficient at best and potentially harmful at worst.

    Alexander Mullaney is investigating the hidden history of San Francisco.

    Jake Nicol is looking into the proposed interoceanic canal in Nicaragua, potentially the largest civil engineering project in the world, and the obscure Chinese billionaire behind the plan.

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