The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. welcomed its third-ever class of DP Fellows this semester who bring their unique backgrounds to their work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at Penn’s oldest independent student newspaper.
Four students are set to receive stipends to work on the staff of the DP, Inc. The fellows will be matched with mentors from the DP, Inc.’s alumni network and will meet regularly as a group for discussions and support. Additionally, each fellow will attend a professional development conference during the fellowship year — bringing back what they learn to engage and benefit the company as a whole.
The DP Fellows program was born out of an initiative to engage and support students from historically marginalized groups who are interested in journalism, non-profit business, or media as part of a broader effort to create an inclusive culture within the company and in the coverage of the Penn community. This year’s cohort is the third since the program’s inception in 2021.
Fellows were selected by a committee of DP alumni based on an anonymous, rigorous application process. Alumni also engage with the program as mentors for the fellows.
As active staffers in their respective departments at the DP, fellows will work on long-term projects promoting diversity & inclusion in the DP, Inc. Ongoing projects include creating a database of internship opportunities for BIPOC staffers, creating an archive for the DP, Inc.’s institutional memory, efforts to improve source demographic tracking, and more.
Meet the DP Fellows
This year’s fellows hail from places across the United States and the globe. They are interested in working in a wide variety of departments across the DP, Inc. from writing for the Daily Pennsylvanian and 34th Street to working with cross-publication departments and business.
Wharton first year Dalila Gafar, who hails from Semey, Kazakhstan, is studying business, entrepreneurship, and business analytics. She will join the business department as a consulting staffer.
“As an international student with an interest in the media industry, I was both drawn to the idea of working on a DEI-based project and fascinated to learn how it is tackled at an established student-run news publication,” Gafar said. “For me, this is an amazing opportunity not only to connect my interests with my current on-campus involvements but also to gain invaluable work experience.”
College junior Oscar Vasquez, who comes from Chicago, is studying communications and design. He is a returning staffer in the photo department. Vasquez said he is excited about the opportunity to connect with a mentor from the DP alumni network.
“I'm also looking forward to working with my mentor to learn more directly from an industry professional on the ways in which I can advance and improve my own media content production,” he said.
College first year Angele Diamacoune from Allentown, Pennsylvania is studying communications. She will join Street as a staff writer and is working on creating an archive documenting the DP, Inc.’s institutional memory — a collection of its triumphs and failures throughout its more than 138-year history.
“I am excited to take up the institutional memory project because it's really important that acknowledgment is held for how the DP wasn't perfect in the past so that we can be better in the future,” Diamacoune said.
College sophomore Nethra Wickramasinghe is a transfer student from Sudbury, Canada, studying political science. She will join the sports department as a staff reporter.
Learn more about the DP Fellows program and diversity and inclusion initiatives at the DP, Inc. here.