As the GPSW class of 2020 finishes up their final projects for the semester, Ashley Belanger, ’20, will also be working overtime with support from the National Geographic Society. Earlier this month, Belanger won a grant from the Society’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists, which offers financial support for journalists who are covering the community impact of coronavirus. Working with Orlando Weekly, Ashley will report on how the pandemic has impacted domestic violence rates and victims in Florida.
Ashley’s project builds on her background reporting on health and politics for publications including Teen Vogue, Ars Technica, and other outlets. Ashley’s work focuses on examining underreported social issues with high community impact, including mass school shootings and child marriage in the US. In addition to covering the current COVID-19 outbreak, Ashley is also interning for the food and science podcast Gastropod, completing a research assistant position at the MIT School of Engineering, and finishing up a GPSW thesis that explores the environmental impact of rapid border militarization through the lens of the Sonoran pronghorn, the endangered species most threatened by escalated activity at the US-Mexico border. This summer, she will intern at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.