Every year, Marymount University’s College of Sciences and Humanities hosts the Marya McLaughlin Lecture in Media Communications and invites an inspirational journalist to speak about their experiences and their impact in the journalism field. These lectures provide a unique opportunity for students, whether studying in media or otherwise, to engage and learn from trailblazing leaders within their respective fields.
Caitlin Dickerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Atlantic, served as this year’s guest speaker and highlighted her diverse experiences in investigative journalism last Thursday in the Reinsch Library Auditorium. VIPs in attendance included Ellen McCarthy, daughter of the late Senator Eugene McCarthy, and her husband, Charles Howell.
Dickerson has written for numerous renowned media outlets that include The New York Times and NPR, and has covered topics such as immigration, deportation and family separation. One of her first investigations resulted in breaking the story on World War II-era chemical race-based testing on U.S. troops.
Throughout the lecture, Dickerson reflected on her journey in journalism while also participating in an engaging question and answer session, with several students thanking the speaker for telling her story and for providing them inspiration.
“The lecture was absolutely wonderful,” said Dr. Marnel Niles Goins, Dean of the College of Science and Humanities. “Caitlin captured the audience’s attention the entire time as she discussed her investigative journalism career, where she revealed significant inequities related to the prison system, the military and the immigration crisis.”
Dickerson emphasized that her job as an investigative journalist was to inform the reader, and then let them decide what to do with the provided information. She also encouraged future journalists in the audience to pay attention in all settings, as it might lead to an unexpected story.
“Caitlin’s work is really exemplary and serves as a valuable check against humanitarian inequalities,” Dr. Niles Goins added. “Her stories highlight the remarkable resilience of humankind, and the impact of her career is laudable.”
The lecture was preceded by a VIP reception in the Barry Gallery attended by Marymount students, faculty and staff. Click here to learn more about Caitlin Dickerson’s career and award-winning work.