Elissa Nadworny Elissa Nadworny reports and edits for the NPR Ed Team.
Elissa
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Elissa Nadworny

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Elissa
Wanyu Zhang/NPR

Elissa Nadworny

Correspondent, Higher Education

Elissa Nadworny reports on all things college for NPR, following big stories like unprecedented enrollment declines, college affordability, the student debt crisis and workforce training. During the 2020-2021 academic year, she traveled to dozens of campuses to document what it was like to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Her work has won several awards including a 2020 Gracie Award for a story about student parents in college, a 2018 James Beard Award for a story about the Chinese-American population in the Mississippi Delta and a 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in innovation.

Nadworny uses multiplatform storytelling – incorporating radio, print, comics, photojournalism, and video — to put students at the center of her coverage. Some favorite story adventures include crawling in the sewers below campus to test wastewater for the coronavirus, yearly deep-dives into the most popular high school plays and musicals and an epic search for the history behind her classroom skeleton.

Before joining NPR in 2014, Nadworny worked at Bloomberg News, reporting from the White House. A recipient of the McCormick National Security Journalism Scholarship, she spent four months reporting on U.S. international food aid for USA Today, traveling to Jordan to talk with Syrian refugees about food programs there.

Originally from Erie, Pa., Nadworny has a bachelor's degree in documentary film from Skidmore College and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Story Archive

A man started his college degree in prison. Can he finish on the outside?

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Daniel Duron and Kenny Butler, who started college in prison, participate in a mountain hike with their Pitzer College classmates and professors after resuming their classes on campus. Elissa Nadworny/NPR hide caption

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Getting a bachelor's degree in prison is rare. That's about to change

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1 man is determined to break the cycle and not end up back in prison

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Kamala Khan, portrayed by Iman Vellani, is a Pakistani American teen living in Jersey City who discovers she has powers. Marvel Studios hide caption

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Marvel Studios

Marvel's first Muslim superhero to headline a comic makes her MCU debut

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Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, ordered the removal of a Soviet monument in April, after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. The monument was erected in 1982 as a symbol of unification and friendship between Ukraine and Russia under the Soviet government. Officials have also ordered some streets linked to Russia to be renamed. Sergei Chuzavkov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

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Sergei Chuzavkov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tegan Nam won the 2022 Student Podcast Challenge for high school with their story about using humor to process trauma. Elissa Nadworny/NPR hide caption

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After a lockdown, students found comfort in humor. But what are the jokes hiding?

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After fleeing northern Ukraine, a family works to start a new life

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Nadiia Yerkhimovych, 89, at her apartment in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 26. She's been bedridden during the Russian invasion that began in late February. From her home, she could hear the sounds of airstrikes and shelling. Carol Guzy hide caption

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Carol Guzy

They've spent a lifetime in Kyiv. Not everyone can flee Russia's war in Ukraine

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Ukraine braces for likelihood of new Russian offensive in east

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Many at a maternity hospital in Kyiv made their way from cities facing attacks

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