Journalism graduate wins Fulbright Award

A recent graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication has received a Fulbright award. Dustin Volz was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Indonesia through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Volz is among more than 20 ASU graduates who won the prestigious grants this year. For the past three years, ASU has ranked in the top 10 universities nationally in the number of students accepted to the Fulbright Program.

The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the largest U.S. international exchange program, sending U.S. students, teachers, professionals and scholars to study, teach, lecture and conduct research in more than 155 countries. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for U.S. graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study, conduct research or be an English teaching assistant abroad for one academic year.

Volz is the fourth Cronkite student in six years to win a Fulbright. Last year, Lauren Gambino received the Alistair Cooke Award in Journalism to the United Kingdom. In 2007, Ian Lee, now a Middle East correspondent and frequent CNN contributor, won a Fulbright award to study in Egypt; that same year, Emily Falkner won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to the Slovak Republic.

In addition, professor Steve Doig, the school’s Knight Chair in Journalism, served as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Portugal during the fall 2010 semester.

Volz, 22, of Media, Pa., earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and history, and a master’s degree in mass communication from ASU. He was honored at the school’s graduation ceremonies as the ASU Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate.

He will spend nine months in Indonesia teaching English and studying the country’s evolving journalism industry.

"I am extremely honored to be traveling to Indonesia with a Fulbright award,” Volz said. “This award will allow me to combine my passions for journalism and teaching in a new and challenging environment.

"Indonesia has possessed a free press only since 1998, making the country's budding journalism industry, by U.S. standards, young and rapidly evolving,” he added. “I plan to spend time outside the classroom interviewing journalists, scholars and civilians to better understand the role journalism plays in shaping public opinion, particularly as it relates to perceptions of other countries and the Western world.”

As a freshman at the Cronkite School, Volz co-founded Downtown Devil, a student-run online news startup that has grown into an award-winning publication with more than 50 staffers. He also interned for the Arizona Capitol Times and the Arizona Republic, and was a graduate research assistant at the Center for the Future of Arizona. He reported on politics and immigration for Cronkite News Service in Washington, D.C., and also investigated the safety of the nation's food supply as a Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellow.  

He was honored with three Hearst Journalism Awards this year for feature writing, breaking news reporting and opinion writing, and shared in two Society of Professional Journalists’ team awards at the regional and national levels. He also contributed to a depth reporting project on immigration and border issues in the Dominican Republic that won this year’s prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

After his Fulbright year, Volz plans to return to the United States to participate in Teach for America, a national corps of recent college graduates who commit to teach in under-resourced urban and rural public schools for two years.