More than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students have received journalism degrees from the University of Maryland since today’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism was founded as a department in 1947. Today, Merrill College alumni are leaders in print, broadcast and online news organizations around the world and hold a wide range of jobs outside journalism.

Five alums have won the Pulitzer Prize: Jane Healy (’71) of The Orlando Sentinel; Patrick Sloyan (’62) while Washington bureau chief for Newsday; Jon Franklin (’70) — now an emeritus faculty member of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism — twice won the prize when he was with The (Baltimore) Evening Sun; Sarah Cohen (’92), who works at The New York Times doing investigative journalism and formerly worked at Duke University and The Washington Post; and most recently Chris Weaver (M.J. ’08) at The Wall Street Journal.

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Notable Alumni

(This list will rotate over time so we can honor a growing list of alumni who are having an impact.)

Mara Schiavocampo helps a CNS student edit her copy at UMTV. She visited the Merrill College Feb. 25, 2015.

ABC Reporter Mara Schiavocampo (MA ’03) helps a CNS student edit her copy at UMTV. She visited the Merrill College Feb. 25, 2015.

  • Reporter Rob Salonga (M.A. ’05) wins a piece of a Pulitzer in April, 2017 with the East Bay Times staff for breaking news.
  • Mara Schiavocampo (M.A. ’03) is an ABC News correspondent based out of New York.
  • Debbie DiMaio (’98) is an Emmy-winning producer and writer who was the creator and original executive producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show.
  • Robert Klemko (’10) is an award-winning NFL correspondent for Sports Illustrated.
  • Lou Ferrara (’92) is vice president for sports, entertainment and business news for The Associated Press.
  • Margaret Talev (’94) is Bloomberg’s White House correspondent.
  • Jamie McIntyre (M.A. ’14) is senior writer, defense & national security for The Washington Examiner.
  • Jack Speer (M.A. ’13) is an anchor at NPR.
  • Wendi Cassuto (’92) is the associate editor for Hearst Magazines in New York.
  • Jay Kernis (’74) is a producer at CBS News in New York.
  • Bonnie Bernstein (’92) is vice president, content & brand development/on-air host for Campus Insiders and a Merrill Board of Visitors member.
  • Adam Ostrow (’04), chief strategy officer, Mashable and a Merrill Board of Visitors member.
  • Jerry Ceppos (’69), dean and professor, Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University.
  • Tim Brant (’73) is a nationally recognized college sports announcer for Raycom Sports and was vice president/director of sports for ABC7 WJLA-TV, in Washington, D.C., for many years.
  • Emilio Garcia Ruiz (’84) is managing editor for digital initiatives and operations at The Washington Post.
  • Tim Kurkjian (’78) is a Major League Baseball analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter. He is also a contributor to ESPN The Magazine and
  • Mi-Ai Parrish (’92) is a journalist and publisher of The Arizona Republic.
  • Myriam Marquez (’83) is the executive editor at El Nuevo Herald in Miami.
  • Connie Chung (’69) is a former TV anchor/correspondent for CBS, CNN, NBC, ABC and MSNBC and Merrill Board of Visitors member.
  • DeWayne Wickham (’74), a USA TODAY columnist, is the founder and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists. He is the Distinguished Professor of Journalism and Dean of the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Alumni whose work is making a difference:

Merrill Alumni Woodards, Frakes and Lynch - June 18, 2015 CNS 25th.

CNN’s Chris Frates with Merrill alumni Shantee Woodards (left) and Shannon Lynch (right) at the CNS 25th anniversary party.

Chris Frates (’02) is an investigative reporter with CNN and colleague Tom LoBianco (’04) is on the political breaking news team. Eun Yang (’95) is the morning news anchor for NBC4 and a member of the Merrill College Board of Visitors. Jared Hopkins (’06) was a Pulitzer finalist for the Chicago Tribune, where he is joined by distinguished alumna Lolly Bowean (’00). Kelley Benham French (M.J. ’02) was also a Pulitzer finalist and is now a professor at Indiana University. William Wan (M.J. ’03) is The Washington Post’s China correspondent, based in Beijing, and a Pulitzer finalist. Arelis Hernandez (’09) is a Post political reporter. Steven Overly (’10) is a Washington Post staff writer and Merrill College adjunct lecturer.

At The New York Times, Winnie Hu (’99) is an education reporter and Deborah Leiderman (’94) is a staff editor on the arts desk. Raja Mishra (’94) is an associate at McGuire Woods LLP. Natalie Hopkinson (’00) is a Fellow with the Interactivity Foundation as well as a contributing editor for; Dana Hedgpeth (’96) and Krissah Williams (’02) are at The Washington Post. January Payne (’03) was a health and medical journalist for The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report and now works in communications. Mike Dunston (’93) is Weekend 6&11 p.m. anchor/reporter at WGCL/CBS Atlanta. Emmy-winner Angela Davis (’90) is a news anchor for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Karen Masterson (MJ ’04) is a Journalist in Residence at the Stimson Center – a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C. Her most recent book is “The Malaria Project.” Lisa Friedman is deputy editor, ClimateWire. Ben Meyerson (’09) is a news editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. Mary Ellen Slayter (M.A. ’05) is CEO ofeputation Capital Media. Fulvio Cativo (’06) is the director of the University of Maryland Office of Donor Relations and Stewardship.  Finally, our own Rafael Lorente (M.A. ’98) is an associate dean for academic affairs at Merrill College.

The true mark of our program are the alumni and friends who have helped the Merrill College rise to national prominence. You can share — and add to — our continued success. Here’s how:

  • Send us an update on your accomplishments. Fill out our online form so we can keep in touch.
  • Join us on the LinkedIn Merrill College alumni page.
  • Learn about the Board of Visitors, the industry leaders who further the mission of the College through their advisement, fundraising and advocacy.
  • Contribute Financially. Donate online through the University of Maryland College Park Foundation or think about making a planned gift. Contact Katie Aune in our external relations office for more information.


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