Meet the 2013 fellows

Karen Coates
Karen Coates is a senior fellow at Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. She has covered human rights, environment, food and health issues in the developing world for 15 years. Her latest books are “This Way More Better: Stories and Photos from Asia’s Back Roads” (ThingsAsian, March 2013) and “Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos” (ThingsAsian, June 2013). The latter is a joint investigation with her husband, photojournalist Jerry Redfern, documenting the lingering effects of the U.S. bombings in Laos 40 years after war.

Coates will report on food security among remote indigenous populations in Southeast Asia amid land grabbing and forest destruction. You can follow her @RamblingSpoon.

Mark Curnutte
Mark Curnutte has covered minority affairs and social justice issues for The Cincinnati Enquirer since January 2009. In that time, he has written extensively about race, poverty and immigration. He conceived of and has reported and written two dozen stories in the ongoing "Saving Avondale" series, which examines the challenges and strengths of one of Cincinnati's pivotal neighborhoods and the center of the city's black community. His work contributed to Avondale's receipt of a $29.5 million Choice Neighborhoods grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2012. He is formerly the newspaper's Bengals/NFL beat writer (2000-08) and second vice president of the Pro Football Writers of America. An Illinois native, Curnutte is a 1984 graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Prior to moving to Cincinnati, he worked as a reporter and assistant editor/Life at the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. He is author of “A Promise in Haiti: A Reporter's Notes on Families and Daily Lives,” Vanderbilt University Press, 2011. It is a 2011 silver level winner nationally in the social sciences category of Foreword Reviews' Book of the Year contest.

Curnutte will examine two forms of contemporary slavery affecting Haiti: domestic servitude of children (restavek system) and the forced labor of Haitian men on sugar cane plantations in the neighboring Dominican Republic. You can follow him @MarkCurnutte.

Whitney Eulich
Whitney Eulich is The Christian Science Monitor's Latin America editor, overseeing regional coverage for and the weekly magazine. She has reported nationally and internationally, including stints in Venezuela, Colombia, and Guatemala, and holds a master's in international affairs from Columbia University. Prior to joining The Monitor in 2011, Whitney was a freelance radio producer and trainer.

Eulich will look at the legal struggle between a Canadian firm trying to open a gold mine and the people of El Salvador. You can follow her @weulich.

Daniel Gold
Danny Gold is a freelance journalist and frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal who covers crime and breaking news in New York City. Based in Brooklyn, he has also reported from Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Israel on conflict and refugee issues. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Post, Esquire and NBC World News, among others. While mainly a print journalist, his photography is a work in progress and has been described as "adequate."

Gold will examine the plight of the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority in southwest Burma totaling 800,000. You can follow him @dgisserious.

Dana Liebelson
Dana Liebelson is a reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. She also contributes regularly to The Week. Previously, she worked for the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), covering defense and human trafficking. In her free time, she plays electric violin in an Indie rock band. She speaks Mandarin and German.

Liebelson will be investigating labor exploitation of young girls in the cotton industry in Tamil Nadu, India, focusing on the connection between the production and US companies. You can follow her @dliebelson.

Roque Planas
Roque Planas is a digital journalist dedicated to covering Latin America the U.S. Latino community. He studied Latin American history at Texas State University San Marcos and holds a Masters in Journalism from New York University. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy Magazine, World Politics Review, the Miami Herald and other publications. He co-founded and directed the Latin America News Dispatch ( for two years and worked on web reporting teams at the New York Daily News and Fox News Latino before joining the Huffington Post as an Associate Editor of the Latino Voices section in September.

Planas will explore how the Brazilian government’s promise to deliver land titles to descendants of fugitive slaves has exposed racial tensions in a country. You can follow him @RoqPlanas.