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Howard Center for Investigative Journalism

Howard Center students

The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the Cronkite School is a groundbreaking journalism program to advance deeply researched watchdog journalism. The Howard Center, supported by the Scripps Howard Foundation, focuses on training the next generation of reporters through hands-on investigative journalism projects.

Maud Beelman is a former foreign correspondent and the founding director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Prior to joining the Cronkite School, she steered national investigations for The Associated Press, including one that unmasked the Pentagon’s handling of sexual assaults among U.S. military dependents.

Lauren Mucciolo was an independent producer of documentaries and films, including a “Frontline” production on sex trafficking in America and a virtual reality film on solitary confinement in prisons.

The two women merged their investigative skills in the Cronkite School’s Howard Center, where Beelman is the founding director and executive editor and Mucciolo is executive producer.

The pair work with graduate students and top-performing undergraduates to produce national and regional investigations in partnership with professional news outlets across the country.

Howard Center

The Cronkite School has an extraordinary array of professional faculty focused on investigative reporting, including numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, who also work with the Howard Center and investigative journalism students.

The center is intensely interdisciplinary in focus and includes classes in other disciplines.

The Howard Center uncovers, deeply researches and publishes stories of significant importance – many of which have won national and regional awards. Arizona State University received $3 million from the Scripps Howard Foundation to establish the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Cronkite. The Scripps Howard Foundation supports philanthropic causes important to The E.W. Scripps Company and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on excellence in journalism.

Here is a list of awards won by the Howard Center at Cronkite:

Homeland Secrets: EPPY first place in Best College/University Investigation, October 2020; IRE first place in Student (Large), 2021; SPJ regional finalist in Student Online In-Depth Reporting, 2021

COVID's Invisible Victims: EPPY first place in Best News Story, October 2020

COVID’s Invisible Victims - COVID's impact on the homelessness is largely unknown by Austin Fast: BEA second place in Specialty Program & Podcasts, 2021

Caring for COVID's Invisible Victims: AHCJ first place in Student Reporting, 2021; SPJ regional finalist in Student (Large) COVID-19, 2021

Operation Agent Touch: EPPY finalist in Best News Story, October 2020; SPJ regional first place in Student Online News Reporting, 2021

Operation Agent Touch - Sex acts and audiotapes: How the case unraveled by Molly Duerig: BEA First place in Educational, 2021

Howard Center Faculty

Maud Bellman

Maud Beelman

The founding executive editor of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and a professor of practice at the Cronkite School is the former U.S. Investigations Editor for The Associated Press. The founding director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Beelman directed investigations for The Dallas Morning News and served as a war correspondent.

Lauren Mucciolo

Lauren Mucciolo

Lauren Mucciolo is an executive producer at the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the Cronkite School. Mucciolo is a three-time Emmy nominee who has won two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and a Best Director award from the Royal Television Society, among other honors.

Investigative Journalism Faculty

Leonard Downie Jr.

Leonard Downie Jr.

The Weil Family Professor of Journalism is the former executive editor of The Washington Post. Downie led the newspaper to more Pulitzer Prizes than any editor in history. A founding member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, he specialized in investigative reporting throughout his career and teaches Cronkite courses on accountability journalism.

Sarah Cohen

Sarah Cohen

The Knight Chair in Data Journalism came to the Cronkite School from The New York Times, where she served as data editor. She won a Pulitzer Prize at The Washington Post, where she also was data editor. She was president of Investigative Reporters & Editors and served as the Knight Professor at Duke University. She teaches data journalism at Cronkite.

Walter V. Robinson

Walter V. Robinson

The Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Investigative Journalism is the former editor of The Boston Globe’s famed Spotlight investigative team. He won a Pulitzer Prize for work uncovering the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, which became the basis for the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight.” He teaches a course in investigative reporting at Cronkite.

Jacquee Petchel

Jacquee Petchel

A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist at The Miami Herald and an Emmy award-winning TV producer at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis and WFOR-TV in Miami, Petchel is executive editor of Carnegie-Knight News21, the multi-university, in-depth journalism initiative based at Cronkite. She also has worked with students to produce award-winning television and radio documentaries about heroin and the prescription opioid epidemic.