NPR is proud to welcome the newest recipients of the Kroc Fellowship this week. The fellows, Hannah Hagemann, Austin Horn and Isabella Gomez Sarmiento, will spend the next year receiving hands-on training in audio and digital journalism, including writing, reporting, producing and editing.
The NPR Kroc fellowship originated in 2003 through a bequest from the estate of philanthropist Joan Kroc. The program was designed to identify and develop the next generation of exceptional public radio talent. Each year, three fellows are chosen from a pool of recent graduates — no previous journalism experience required. Once selected, the fellows work with various teams at both the NPR headquarters and an NPR Member station to learn how to pitch stories, find sources, operate production facilities and foster their journalistic voice. The program has trained more than 40 fellows in the past 15 years, many of whom have gone on to continue working in public media, including NPR's own Ailsa Chang (Host, All Things Considered) and Hansi Lo Wang (National Correspondent).
This year's fellows have experience that spans multiple platforms, from radio and newspaper to magazine and digital. After they complete their initial training, Isabella will start with Goats & Soda, Hannah will start with the National Desk, and Austin will start with Weekend Edition.
Meet the 2019 class of Kroc fellows:
Hannah Hagemann (@hannah_hagemann) comes to NPR from the Bay Area, where she earned a master's in science journalism from UC Santa Cruz and reported for KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. In August, Hannah was one of the first reporters on the ground covering the mass shooting in Gilroy, California. Before beginning a career in journalism, Hannah worked as a geologist. She sampled and cleaned up industrial pollution across California with drill crews, railroad foremen and high-level regulators. The work brought Hannah to remote corners of the Mojave and sprawling air force bases but most often she was investigating contamination in working-class communities across Los Angeles.Hannah enjoys reporting stories at the intersection of community, policy and science. This last year she covered PFAS chemicals, fishing issues and climate change. Hannah's committed to reporting on how pollution and climate change disproportionately affect communities of color and working class populations. She believes these stories can empower people to protect pristine wilderness and neighborhood backyards alike.
Austin Horn (@Littlbighorn) was born and raised in Kentucky and will graduate from Columbia University this May with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies. He has held various leadership positions at The Columbia Daily Spectator and interned for both the San Antonio Express-News and the Frankfort State-Journal. In his free time, he makes music in a couple bands, reads a lot, and tries to get outside whenever he can. At Columbia, his studies have focused on American culture in the mid-20th century, with a particular interest in country music and rural communities. Austin hopes to bring that interest in stories that are rooted in place and colored by personal context to his reporting. He owes so much to the mentors and editors who have taken him under their wings at both the Express-News and the State-Journal, and hopes to pay it forward with his work at NPR this year and beyond.
Born in Maryland, Isabella Gomez Sarmiento (@Isabellephant) was partly raised in Venezuela before moving to Marietta, Georgia in 2004. She developed a strong interest in media from a young age as a result of the rising tensions between the Venezuelan government and the press. Isabella graduated from Georgia State University in 2019 with a B.A. in Journalism. Throughout college, she became a regular contributor to Teen Vogue's News and Politics coverage, interned under CNN's Social Discovery team, and freelanced for publications including Remezcla, Noisey, and She Shreds Magazine. She also launched a weekly column with Teen Vogue during her last semester of school. In her free time, Isabella loves to see live music, watch movies, and learn about Latin American social movements. She comes to NPR excited to dig into new forms of storytelling and find the resident Deadheads in the office.