Announcing the 2009 Ochberg Fellows

This year's Dart Center Ochberg Fellowships for mid-career journalists interested in improving coverage of violent events go to:

Solange Azevedo, Epoca
Peter Cave, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Amy Dockser Marcus, The Wall Street Journal
Kari Lydersen, The Washington Post
John McCusker, The Times-Picayune
Maryn McKenna, independent journalist
Jina Moore, Christian Science Monitor
Ronke Phillips, ITV News
Huáscar Robles Carrasquillo, Metro San-Juan
Philip Zabriskie, independent journalist
Bios and more »

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism today announced the recipients of the 2009 Dart Center Ochberg Fellowships

The Ochberg Fellowships were established in 1999 by the Dart Center for journalists seeking to deepen their coverage of violence and traumatic events. Fellowships are awarded to mid-career journalists in all media who have covered issues ranging from street crime, family violence and natural disasters to war and genocide.

The weeklong fellowship program offers journalists a unique opportunity to learn from leading experts in the many dimensions of trauma and to forge relationships with colleagues who share their interests. Fellows attend several days of seminars and participate in the annual conference of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

The 2009 Dart Center Ochberg Fellows are (detailed biographies are below):

  • Solange Azevedo, Epoca, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Peter Cave, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Amy Dockser Marcus, The Wall Street Journal
  • Kari Lydersen, The Washington Post
  • John McCusker, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans
  • Maryn McKenna, independent journalist, Minneapolis, MN
  • Jina Moore, Christian Science Monitor
  • Ronke Phillips, ITV News, UK
  • Huáscar Robles Carrasquillo, Metro San-Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Philip Zabriskie, independent journalist, New York City

The fellowship program is named in honor of Frank Ochberg, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and a pioneering figure in the definition and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, Stockholm Syndrome and other responses to violence, trauma and terror. Ochberg, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, is chairman emeritus of the Dart Center.

The 2009 Dart Center Ochberg Fellows


Solange Azevedo has been a reporter for the magazine Epoca for ten years and has worked on more than 30 cover stories. She has been recognized with awards from many news organizations and was named a winner of the 2009 Human Rights and Service to the Community Award by the Inter American Press Association. Her piece, “They Killed”, was published in the book "Lo mejor del periodismo de América Latina” (“The Best of the Journalism of Latin America”). The book was organized by the Fundación para un Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (New Journalism Foundation), created by Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. In 2006, Azevedo was selected to participate in a highly competitive exchange program for journalists in the USA coordinated by the World Press Institute. Azevedo has also taught investigative journalism to university students in three Brazilian cities.


Peter Cave is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's most experienced foreign correspondent. Over the past 30 years he has covered most of the world's trouble spots, winning Australia’s most prestigious journalism award five times for his coverage of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Iraq hostage Thomas Hamill. Cave helped pioneer the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s groundbreaking peer trauma support scheme.


Amy Dockser Marcus is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. She was awarded the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting for a series she wrote about the physical, emotional and monetary challenges facing cancer survivors. Dockser Marcus was based in Israel as the Journal's Middle East correspondent from 1991 to 1998, and has written two books that grew out of her experiences there. Her first book, “The View From Nebo: How Archaeology Is Rewriting the Bible and Reshaping the Middle East,” was named one of the top nonfiction books of the year by the Los Angeles Times. Her most recent book is “Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” Dockser Marcus writes extensively about rare and overlooked diseases and the role of patient advocates in driving drug development. She received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research for a project focusing on improving care for survivors of rare cancers.


Kari Lydersen is a staff writer for The Washington Post’s Midwest bureau, and also freelances for various publications including the Chicago Reader and In These Times. She is the author of three books, including "Revolt on Goose Island: The Chicago Factory Takeover and What it Says about the Economic Crisis" and co-author of "Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun." She also teaches journalism at Columbia College in Chicago. Her personal website is


John McCusker has been a staff photographer at The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans since 1986.  In 2005 he was one of a dozen staffers at the newspaper that stayed behind to document the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. McCusker was deeply affected by the storm but has continued reporting on his hometown throughout its recovery. McCusker was part of a reporting team awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina.


Maryn McKenna is an independent journalist specializing in domestic and global public health and health policy. She writes for magazines such as SELF, Health and More, and is a contributing writer for the Annals of Emergency Medicine. She previously worked for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Boston Herald and The Cincinnati Enquirer, and has reported from Southeast Asia, India, Africa and the Arctic. She has held fellowships with the Kaiser Family Foundation, University of Maryland, Harvard Medical School and the University of Michigan. She is the author of “Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service,” which was named a “Top Science Book” by Amazon. Her newest book, “Superbug,” will be published by Simon & Schuster in March 2010. She blogs at


Jina Moore is an independent journalist and a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.  She specializes in post-conflict and human rights reporting and has worked from Sierra Leone, Rwanda and eastern Congo. Her work has also appeared in Glamour, The Walrus and “Best American Science Writing.” In addition to writing about the aftermath of conflict, she is interested in rethinking the role of foreign journalists in post-conflict communities.  The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, Moore splits her time between New York and Africa and blogs at


Ronke Phillips is currently a correspondent for ITV’s “London Tonight.” She has been a journalist for more than 20 years and has worked in print, radio and television. She has worked as both as an anchor and reporter for national and regional television in the UK and abroad. Phillips began her career working for a host of BBC regional radio stations in the Midlands before winning a place on the ITN/Central TV trainee scheme. She has also worked for BBC Daytime, BBC features, BBC New York and GMTV. She is a member of the Crime Reporters Association.


Huáscar Robles Carrasquillo covers urban planning and environmental justice for Metro San Juanin Puerto Rico. He has written extensively about land expropriation and citizens’ displacement in low-income neighborhoods for this and other publications. Robles is also an op-ed columnist for Puerto Rico’s leading Spanish-language newspaper, El Nuevo Día, and focuses on trauma related to immigration, domestic violence and same-sex discrimination. He is the recipient of an Excel Award and a 2009 Ethnic Media Fellow for Urban Environmental Justice at the Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism. He is currently researching the effect of fly ash on the southern town of Guayama in Puerto Rico. Robles has also written investigative articles on health care reform, electoral fraud and the Puerto Rican and Haitian diasporas.


Philip Zabriskie lived in Asia for seven years while working as a staff writer for Time magazine and later freelancing for National Geographic and others while maintaining an avowed interest in the physical and psychological landscapes of post-conflict situations. Since returning to his native New York in 2008, he has written for several publications and websites, including New York, Condé Nast Traveler, Fortune, Slate and others.