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Jon Marcus and Holly K. Hacker Receive AAUP Award for Excellence in Coverage of Higher Education

For reporting in The Hechinger Report and The Huffington Post, journalists Jon Marcus and Holly K. Hacker are the recipients of this year’s Iris Molotsky Award for Excellence in Coverage of Higher Education. Their winning entry, “The Rich-Poor Divide on America’s College Campuses is Getting Wider, Fast” examines a higher education system that perpetuates poverty and privilege.

This piece was chosen by the judges for covering an issue of pronounced importance, as well as being thoroughly researched and meticulously reported. Marcus and Hacker examine why the rich-poor divide is growing in higher education through research, interviews with policymakers and activists, and hearing from students themselves. They compare two colleges in the same city—a private, liberal arts college and a public community college—and in many ways, uncover different worlds.

“The growing divide between the rich and the rest in the United States is one of the most important stories of our time. Though the fact of a growing difference in types of college educations has long been noted, Jon Marcus and Holly Hacker present the story in stark yet vivid terms, bringing to life something too often overlooked as one contributor to the widening gap,” said Aaron Barlow, one of the judges.

Jon Marcus, higher-education editor for The Hechinger Report, has written about higher education for the Washington Post, USA Today, Time, the Boston Globe, and Washington Monthly; is North America higher-education correspondent for the Times Higher Education magazine; and contributed to the book Reinventing Higher Education. His Hechinger coverage has won national awards from the Education Writers Association and he was a finalist for an award for beat reporting from the New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The former editor of Boston magazine, Marcus holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from Bates College. A journalism instructor at Boston College, he says he ends up learning from his students far more than he teaches them.

Holly K. Hacker is an education reporter and data specialist at The Dallas Morning News. She has also worked for Investigative Reporters and Editors, the St. Louis Dispatch and the Ventura County Star. Hacker holds a master’s degree in journalism from University of Missouri-Columbia and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

Through this award, the AAUP recognizes exceptional journalism and encourages thoughtful, in-depth coverage of issues that are of critical importance to faculty and higher education. The article is available here and here. The award will be presented at the AAUP’s Awards Luncheon on Saturday, June 18.

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, May 11, 2016