William G. Gilroy | February 28, 2017
Cassidy McDonald, a University of Notre Dame senior from Madison, Wisconsin, is one of 18 future leaders to be named a 2017-18 Luce Scholar.
The Luce Scholarship is a nationally competitive fellowship program created by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. Luce Scholars are provided stipends, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia.
“The Luce is a professional, rather than academic, scholarship, so I’ll spend the year working as a journalist,” McDonald said. “Over the next few months, the foundation will custom-tailor a placement, helping me to find a location and a job in journalism.”
Ultimately, she plans to work as a reporter, telling the stories of marginalized voices as they interact with powerful policies and systems.
McDonald will graduate in May with a business degree in marketing and a minor in journalism, ethics and democracy. In fall 2016, she traveled alongside columnist Nicholas Kristof to report on American poverty for the New York Times; she wrote about alternatives to incarceration, drug problems in Native American communities and a billionaire who is quietly donating his fortune to Oklahoma’s social programs. Her New York Times work can be found here: https://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/author/cassidy-mcdonald/.
At a summer internship with CBS News in New York City, she worked in the shooter-producer unit and spent many of her days “in the field,” booking interviews, shooting video and solving last-minute problems. At an earlier internship with “60 Minutes” in Washington, D.C., she researched a variety of topics including Russian military capabilities, gun death statistics and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. She was its first intern to travel out of town for two shoots, coordinating interviews at FBI headquarters and in Chicago, and independently producing a shoot in West Virginia.