Marquette University
Press Release

Marquette College of Communication hosting conference on health care, energy, Great Lakes

Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication is hosting its annual O’Brien Conference.

By - Oct 7th, 2014 10:11 am

MILWAUKEE – Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication is hosting its annual O’Brien Conference, featuring the work of the 2013-14 O’Brien Fellows. Hal Bernton of The Seattle Times, Dan Egan of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Lillian Thomas of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette all published in-depth series of stories after spending the 2013-14 academic year at Marquette completing projects while working with students.

The conference runs Thursday and Friday (Oct. 9 and 10), and focuses on issues raised by the work of three professional journalists. Each conference session is free and open to the public and will be held in the Monaghan Ballrooms, Alumni Memorial Union, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Bernton’s work resulted in a series of stories focusing on the battle to reduce carbon emissions in Wisconsin, across America and in China. Egan’s reporting extended his already years’ long reporting on threats to the Great Lakes. Thomas produced national and local reporting related to how poverty and health intersect.

This year’s conference will convene people affected by or responsible for the related systems and policies in an attempt to seek solutions for providing poor patients the best possible care, and stringent regulations to curb carbon emissions and threats to the lakes.

On Thursday morning, the conference focus is health care, followed by the Great Lakes on Thursday afternoon. On Friday morning, the focus is on energy. Those who plan to attend are asked to register in advance.

About the Perry and Alicia O’Brien Fellowship

In February 2013, Marquette University announced that a couple donated $8.3 million to the College of Communication. Peter and Patricia Frechette, of Minneapolis, made the gift in honor of Patricia’s parents, Perry and Alicia O’Brien. Perry and Alicia graduated from Marquette in 1936 and 1935, with degrees in journalism and liberal arts. The couple designated the gift toward the launch of “The Perry and Alicia O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism.” Patricia’s father, Perry, was a longtime reporter with the Janesville Gazette and WCLO-AM radio in the 1940s and 1950s.

The fellowship brings three journalists from all types of media to Marquette for each academic year. During this time, the journalists will research and produce an in-depth public service journalism project.

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