News | 11 October 2022

CFA: THI Undergraduate Public Fellowship with Prison Journalism Project, Digital Magazine Concentration, 2022-23


Deadline: November 9, 2022 

The Humanities Institute is excited to announce an Undergraduate Public Fellowship opportunity for Humanities students at UC Santa Cruz to work at Prison Journalism Project (PJP). THI’s Public Fellowships connect students in the Humanities to projects in the community, with the aim of mutually benefiting students and community organizations. Students gain first-hand experience learning about positions outside of the university that build on their studies in the Humanities and give them professional training, while, at the same time, organizations benefit from students’ assistance and academic background. THI’s Public Fellowships foster positive collaborations between the campus and community, demonstrating the value of a Humanities degree for a range of careers.

About the Project:  Prison Journalism Project is an independent, nonprofit, national initiative. We work with incarcerated writers and those impacted by incarceration to train them in the tools of journalism and help them reach a wide audience through our publication as well as through collaborations with mainstream media. We believe that the deep reforms that are necessary to fix the U.S. criminal justice system can only happen by shifting the narrative. Intentional, responsible, and well-crafted journalism from within the incarcerated community can break stereotypes, increase transparency, and drive change. 

Job Description:  Editorial Intern, Digital Magazine Concentration 

We are looking for an undergraduate student to serve as an editorial intern to support PJP’s digital publication and editorial initiatives. The Public Fellow would have the opportunity to work with the whole PJP team but will work closest with PJP Director, Mason Bryan, PJP’s senior editor. The Public Fellow will be paid $15/hour and work 10-20 hours per week from November 2022 – June 2023. The fellowship involves a mix of remote and in-person responsibilities. The Public Fellow may also pursue an optional $500 summer research fellowship stipend from THI to pursue a research project of their own that is connected to their work at PJP.

This position has been made available by a generous grant from The Humanities Institute, and as such, only applicants that are declared majors/minors in the Humanities Division of UCSC will be considered. The program is intended to provide undergraduate students with the chance to gain some professional experience in the field of Public Humanities that they can use once their studies are completed. Selected students will be named THI Public Fellows and will be required to present their work to The Humanities Institute. 

Primary duties include:

  • Facilitating editorial processes and communications with incarcerated writers.
  • Managing story feedback and rejection process.
  • Newsletter writing and process management.

Additional opportunities can include:

  • Reporting and research support on journalism submissions.
  • Assisting with story production, including curation of PJP “Collections.”
  • Reading through news and recommending articles related to criminal justice and mass incarceration to share across our social channels. 
  • Other responsibilities according to needs and career interest. 

You’re an ideal candidate if you:

  • Are in good academic standing (required)
  • Have a proven interest in, connection to, mass incarceration and criminal justice (required)
  • Declared major or minor in a department in the Humanities Division (required)
  • Are able to work independently and collaboratively (required)
  • Are organized, attentive to detail and sensitive to deadlines (required)
  • Are comfortable juggling multiple tasks at once (required)
  • Have strong communication skills, written and spoken (required)
  • Can commit to a regular work schedule (required)
  • Have an interest in criminal justice work and are familiar with PJP’s work and mission (required)
  • Have experience writing, editing, and publishing content for an online audience (preferred)
  • Familiarity with AP Style (preferred)

How to apply:

Apply by sending contact info (phone and email) for one reference, your resume and a short cover letter (no more than one page) responding to the following prompts: Why are you interested in prison journalism? What skills or experience do you have that make you qualified to work with Prison Journalism Project? Describe a successful experience you had in a previous job, and how comfortable you are working in a remote environment.

A tip for writing this cover letter is to consider what you can contribute to PJP in addition to how this position will further your undergraduate and/or professional career. Feel free to be creative here. Please know that this position does not have a rigid framework, nor does work in the Public Humanities, and responsibilities are likely to shift. An ability to adapt and be flexible are key qualifications.
Once the application closes, there will be an interview over Zoom, with a candidate chosen by the end of November.

Students should apply via Handshake using job number 7100812.

Note that there are two different THI Undergraduate Public Fellowships with Prison Journalism Project this year. Information about the Editorial Intern, Poetry Concentration position is available here

Please contact Research Programs and Communications Manager, Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell ( with any questions.

THI’s 2021-2022 Undergraduate Public Fellowships are generously supported by the Helen and Will Webster Foundation.