May 11, 2011

Cronkite student wins Fulbright Award in journalism

Posted: May 11, 2011

A student of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is the recipient of this year’s Alistair Cooke Award in Journalism to the United Kingdom.

Lauren Gambino, 22, from Syracuse, N.Y., received the Fulbright award, which is named after the trans-Atlantic broadcast journalist Alistair Cooke and bestowed each year on one U.S. scholar seeking a master's in journalism or in a related specialized subject leading to a career in journalism.

“This is an extraordinary and richly deserved recognition for a truly remarkable student,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan, “We are tremendously proud of all that Lauren has already accomplished, and we are confident she will make a real difference in the world through her journalism.”

Gambino is the third journalism major in four years to win a Fulbright. Ian Lee won a Fulbright to Egypt for 2007-2008; that same year, Emily Falkner won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to the Slovak Republic. 

Last fall, Steve Doig, the school’s Knight Chair in Journalism, served as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Portugal.

Gambino is among about 20 students at ASU to receive a Fulbright designation this year.

Gambino is a graduating student of the Cronkite School’s BA/MMC dual-degree program, in which students in both Cronkite and Barrett, The Honors College, can obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years.

She said she is now looking forward to studying in London, where the fellowship also entails a possible internship with the BBC.

“I am very excited to attend school in London, an international news hub where I have always envisioned myself working as a reporter,” Gambino said. “The Fulbright enables me to pursue this ambition while also gaining experience living abroad and becoming accustomed to a new way of life and a different culture. Although my school is in London, I am anticipating traveling throughout the UK. I am very interested in learning about the social, political and cultural dynamics of the country as a whole.”

Gambino aspires to ultimately become an investigative multimedia reporter for a news organization in London, a task she prepared for by immersing herself in the Cronkite School’s professional programs, including the Carnegie-Knight News21 initiative, the professional reporting bureau Cronkite News Service and student media operations including The State Press and State Press Magazine.

She has won numerous awards during her time at the Cronkite School including a Hearst Award for in-depth reporting, an AEJMC Best of the Web Award for her participation in the News21 project reporting on Latino America and Cronkite Outstanding Student of the Year.

Professor Rick Rodriguez, who mentored Gambino in depth reporting, said she was a “thorough and persistent” reporter.

“In News21, she did the background reporting that enabled her to ask tough, informed questions,” Rodriguez said. “When she didn't understand an issue, she went back and asked more questions.

“I was impressed by her analytical abilities and in the end, she produced a first-rate in-depth story that placed second nationally in the Hearst competition. Lauren brought that same kind of dedication not only to News21 but in two other classes I taught and to her honors thesis, which I helped direct,” professor Rodriguez said.

“I've seen tremendous effort and growth from Lauren and I am certain she'll continue to grow and flourish in London. I'm also certain that the Fulbright fellowship and ASU's Cronkite School will be proud of what she'll accomplish.”

Gambino will begin her Fulbright experience in September.