Susan Snyder, a 1985 Journalism Department graduate, has won an award as a member of an investigative reporting team for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Inquirer's Assault on Learning, a multimedia investigation of violence and unsafe learning conditions within Philadelphia public schools, has earned the reporting team the inaugural Weiss Award for Investigative Journalism.
The seven-part series—and a series of follow-ups—spurred an overhaul of incident reporting in the Philadelphia School District and prompted the hiring of a state-funded safe-schools advocate.
The reporters—John Sullivan, Susan Snyder, Kristen A. Graham, Dylan Purcell, and Jeff Gammage—will share a $10,000 prize.
The prize is funded by venture capitalist Larry Weiss and his wife, Harriet. Larry Weiss is president of Hippographics Inc., which invests primarily in graphic arts companies.
“We are fortunate to have many excellent investigative journalists working in our communities. The work they do is essential,” Weiss said in a statement. “The purpose of the Weiss Award is to encourage more of this kind of work.”
Pat Heilman was Snyder’s news reporting instructor at IUP. Snyder will be the Journalism Department’s commencement speaker this May.