Hands-on Experience


Professor Nicole Dahmen is committed to developing a new generation of journalists ready to thrive in an evolving field.

In addition to teaching in the School of Journalism and Communication and Clark Honors College, she serves as the co-director for the Catalyst Journalism Project and the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. Both programs place students in leading news organizations, where they gain mentorship and real-world experience reporting on consequential issues.

The Catalyst Journalism Project teaches students investigative journalism techniques as well as solutions journalism, an approach to reporting that focuses on people and organizations addressing societal problems. Students work directly with Oregon news outlets and report about community issues.

“More than 70 of our Catalyst student journalists at the University of Oregon have published in-depth stories in the public interest with 10 news partners across Oregon,” said Dahmen. “In addition, 12 Catalyst students have received first-place regional and national journalism awards for their reporting. In each case, Catalyst students competed against professional journalists for these prizes.”

The Snowden program places students in local newsrooms in Oregon communities for a 10- week summer internship. They are assigned local news and feature stories, work closely with editors and reporters, and get hands-on experience applying the principles of journalism ethics.

According to Dahmen, they learn, “what it takes to work in a professional setting.”

Private donations support the Catalyst and the Snowden programs by providing student journalists an hourly wage, stipends, and professional development. Additionally, donations are used by the Snowden program to reimburse newsrooms for half of each intern’s salary.

“Many outlets wouldn’t be able to support interns without the Snowden program,” said Dahmen.

Faculty members like Nicole Dahmen, private donations, and media partners around the state are essential for training and preparing the next generation of Oregon journalists.

—by Jillian Gray, class of ’25

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