Official Blog of the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

LACIS Alum Jacob Kushner Published by National Geographic

by Eli Weiner (LACIS Social Media/Outreach Intern, BBA – Marketing, BA – LACIS, 15′)

LACIS alum Jacob Kushner continues to make a name for himself. His most recent accomplishment is being published by the one and only National Geographic! The news is bittersweet, however, as his findings focus on a village in Haiti that has been forced to leave its home due to a mysteriously rising lake. Read the article to learn more about Jacob’s curious findings, ones that scientists are still working hard to understand.

Jacob is a foreign correspondent covering East/Central Africa and the Caribbean. He specializes in investigative and explanatory reporting into immigration, human rights, poverty and development economics, foreign aid and investment, and governance.

Originally from Milwaukee, Jacob majored in Journalism and LACIS at UW-Madison, during which time he edited La Comunidad News, reported for the WCIJ, and studied abroad in the Dominican Republic to research anti-Haitian prejudice in Dominican schools. With the help of a LACIS Travel Grant*, upon graduating Jacob spent two years reporting from Haiti and the D.R. where his work focused on U.S. development aid and immigration.

Jacob is author of the eBook, China’s Congo Plan. He holds an M.A. in political journalism from Columbia University in New York and was a 2013 Overseas Press Club Fellow for the Associated Press in Nairobi, where he is currently based. He speaks fluent Spanish and conversational Haitian Creole.

Along with Jake Naughton, another UW alum, Jacob recently published an article discussing the often-times violent and repressive experiences members of the LGBT community face in certain African countries — “The Brutal Consequences of Uganda’s Infamous Anti-Gay Law”.

Jacob’s journalism has appeared in The New Yorker, Foreign Policy magazine, the Associated Press, GlobalPost/GroundTruth, Guernica Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, OZY.com, and his journalism is often supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Now he can add the National Geographic to that list! 

For more on Jacob and his current findings and activities, check out his fascinating blog. Or follow him on Twitter (@JacobKushner) and Instagram (@jacob_kushner)!

Jacob will present his findings through his lecture “Lakes rising: A climate change mystery in the Caribbean” as part of LACIS’ Lunchtime Lecture series on Tuesday, April 26th at noon. As always, the lecture is free and open to the public, and LACIS is pleased to provide coffee, tea and snacks. Please note that this lecture will be followed by an informal roundtable discussion (led by Jacob) for anyone interested in learning more about careers in the non-profit, international, and freelance journalism spheres.

 *Grant applications for LACIS Travel Grants for summer/fall 2016 internship/volunteer programs are due April 8th, 2016.

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