Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 11, 2021) — Monica Dunn, a graduate student at the Missouri School of Journalism, has been named the 29th David Kaplan Memorial Fellow. Dunn will work at the ABC News Washington Bureau in Washington, D.C. in the spring while taking part in the School’s Washington program.
For Dunn, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the school in May 2020 and began pursuing a master’s degree in January, the prestigious fellowship is the culmination of a dream she has had since her undergraduate days.
“It’s unreal, because it’s something that I’ve wanted for so many years,” Dunn said. “I even wrote it down as a goal at the beginning of grad school. To be able to look back on the journey from having some anxiety about applying and getting over that barrier to being successful at the end of it, it’s really special to me.”
Along with a $10,000 stipend from the Kaplan Fellowship Fund, Dunn will receive a full-time, paid position for the 2022 spring semester. She will rotate through a variety of roles at ABC News; past fellows have worked with shows including This Week with George Stephanopoulos and Good Morning America, assisted ABC reporters with breaking news in the field and written stories for ABCNews.com.
“Monica’s unique perspectives about journalism and newsroom culture will allow her to bring a fresh outlook to the Kaplan Fellowship,” said Amy Thomas, manager of bureau affairs at the ABC News Washington Bureau. “The Kaplan Fellowship is a one of a kind opportunity, and we are excited to work with Monica to expand her reporting and production experience with a focus on politics. And we know she will have an impact in our newsroom, as well.”
Audrey Taylor, director of bureau planning and strategy at ABC News, concurred.
“Monica brings a varied skill set which includes newsroom management,” Taylor said. “I look forward to Monica learning from us and us learning from her.”
As an aspiring producer, Dunn has produced newscasts both at the School’s professional NBC affiliate, KOMU-TV, and has also interned at Columbia’s other local news station, KMIZ. Still, the breadth of national coverage at the Washington Bureau will be a new experience for her, one that she hopes will help her plan her career path.
“One thing about this fellowship that I’m really excited for is the opportunity to dive into network news, which is something I haven’t done before, and see if that’s something I’m interested in,” Dunn said. “Will I love national news, or will I miss the intimacy of local news? That will be a big factor in what I eventually decide to do, but either way, I’m getting this amazing opportunity to learn more about U.S. politics and how networks work. Whatever I choose to do career-wise, I feel like this will prepare me.”
About the David Kaplan Fellowship
The David Kaplan Fellowship honors the memory of David Kaplan, who was a producer for ABC’s Sam Donaldson. Kaplan was killed while on assignment for ABC News in 1992 in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Donaldson, a 40-year veteran reporter, correspondent and anchor for ABC News, created the program with funds that he and his colleagues donated to honor Kaplan.
The Missouri School of Journalism was chosen to award the fellowship due to its renowned reputation for hands-on training of both reporters and producers.
Updated: November 11, 2021