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

Larisa, 76, lives alone in her apartment in Sloviansk, Ukraine. She hasn't been outside since before the war. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

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Claire Harbage/NPR

For older Ukrainians in front-line cities, visits from social workers bring comfort

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How much did Russia's war with Ukraine change in a single weekend?

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Ukraine makes surprise advances in the east; Russian-held nuclear reactor powers down

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Parents Kseniia and Oleksandr Dryha say goodbye to their daughter, Kateryna, on her first day at a private school in Dnipro. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

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Ukrainian children head back to school

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This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian forces, in Ukraine on Aug. 28. Planet Labs PBC via AP hide caption

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Planet Labs PBC via AP

Seven months after blowing up a dam in Demydiv, Ukraine, to stop Russian forces from advancing on the capital, the area remains flooded and attempts to remove the water continue. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

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Ukraine flooded a village to save Kyiv. Residents are racing to clean up before winter

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Teachers in Ukraine say the focus is on keeping students safe in the new school year

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The latest from Ukraine: U.N. nuclear inspectors visit Russian-occupied region

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U.N. inspectors arrive at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine

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Ukrainian children head back to school in a country marked by war

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A man stands in front of a crater that was made from a missile strike in Slovyansk on Sunday morning. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

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Along the front lines in Ukraine, cut off from resources, a resilient city holds on

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Revisiting Ukraine's front line in Slovyansk

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International Atomic Energy Agency will visit Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

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A funeral procession in Lviv, Ukraine, in March ends at grave sites where soldiers Viktor Dudar, 44, and Ivan Koverznev, 24, will be buried, as priests say their blessings and mourners look on. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

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