August 19, 2008
Anna Christopher, NPR




August 19, 2008; Washington, D.C. – Three recent graduates with degrees from Harvard, Stanford and Yale universities and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism have joined NPR News as the 2008-2009 Joan B. Kroc Fellows.

The Kroc Fellowship, which is now in its fourth year, identifies three distinguished graduates each year and trains them in a yearlong intensive program at NPR and NPR Member stations. The program, made possible through the 2003 bequest from the philanthropist and widow of McDonald’s Corporation founder Ray A. Kroc, is dedicated to identifying and training the next generation of public radio journalists and continuing public radio’s commitment to public service. This year’s Fellows were chosen from more than 240 applicants, coming from seven countries, 40 states and the District of Columbia. They are:

Ailsa Chang, of Los Altos and San Francisco, CA. Chang is a graduate of Stanford University, Stanford Law School and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Chang went to Oxford University as a Fulbright Scholar and has interned at Member station KQED in San Francisco.

Eloise Quintanilla, from St. Louis, MO. Quintanilla recently graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government. She has studied in Cuba and South Korea, and previously interned and reported for CNN en Espańol and The Christian Science Monitor, both in Mexico City.

Brian Reed, of Shelton, CT. Reed graduated from Yale University, and was an online editor with Creative Loafing Media, a national alternative weekly newspaper company. He was a writer and oral historian, and is working on a book about traveling across the U.S.

Each Fellow will work alongside NPR News broadcast and digital media reporters, producers and editors to develop production and editorial skills. They will be involved in such contemporary journalism activities as reporting, on-air experience, writing for the Internet and multimedia production. Additionally, each Fellow will work at an NPR Member station to explore journalism at a local level.

Last year’s Fellows made contributions throughout the organization. Their work includes a story about how the down-turned economy effects charitable organizations, which aired on All Things Considered; an interview with photographer Jill Freedman, accompanied by an audio slideshow on; and a Morning Edition story about professional coffee tasters.

Previous Kroc Fellows have gone on to full-time positions at NPR and in public radio. Bilal Qureshi, a 2007-2008 Fellow, has just accepted a production assistant position with All Things Considered. Melody Joy Kramer, a 2006-2007 Fellow, is an associate producer and director of the NPR news quiz show, Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!. Thomas Pierce, also a 2006-2007 Fellow, is currently a producer in NPR’s Elections Unit. Douglas Hopper, a 2005-2006 Fellow, is an editorial assistant for NPR’s daily news and talk show, Tell Me More, hosted by Michel Martin.

Information about the Kroc Fellowship and the application requirements for the 2009-2010 program is available at

The 2008-2009 Kroc Fellows:

Ailsa Chang is from Los Altos and San Francisco, CA. She graduated from Stanford University with a major in Public Policy. She went on to earn a J.D. from Stanford Law School and went to Oxford as a Fulbright Scholar, and recently earned a Master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Chang quit her media law practice after she decided she wanted to be a journalist, rather than defend them. She interned with NPR Member station KQED in San Francisco, and speaks Taiwanese, Mandarin and French.

Eloise Quintanilla, a citizen of both the U.S. and Mexico, is from St. Louis, MO, and recently graduated from Harvard with a degree in Government. She has studied in Cuba and South Korea, and organized a conference in Cambridge called “Succeeding in the Mainstream: The New Professional Latino” for 200 students from 19 universities. Quintanilla interned for CNN en Espańol, and The Christian Science Monitor, both in Mexico City, and has reported on Cubans taking risks to own satellite TV, the first urban beach in Mexico City and a Category 5 hurricane in the Yucatan. She speaks French and Portuguese, and is a native Spanish speaker.

Brian Reed grew up in Shelton, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale University with a double major in History and Theater Studies. He has worked as an online editor for Creative Loafing Media, a national alternative weekly newspaper company, and as a fish hauler in Homer, Alaska. Reed was a writer and an oral historian for “LifeTales” – a project to share the life stories of elderly people in the New Haven area. In 2005, he and several friends traveled across the country asking Americans what made them happy, producing a Web site: wwww.AmericanBackyard He is currently writing a book entitled American Backyard: A Conversational Guide to Pursuing Happiness on the Road, based on his experiences.