PublicSource is thrilled to announce our Fall 2020 intern class. These six budding journalists will contribute to reporting, fact-checking, research and engaging with you — our audience — through the end of the year. They are the next generation of journalists, and we’re excited to share with them our brand of public-service journalism.

Each intern will be paired with a mentor on the PublicSource staff who will help them identify their interests and strengths, so that by the end of their internships, they feel it’s been a fulfilling experience that has moved their careers forward.

We received a record number of applications (72!) for the paid internship positions and thank everyone who chose to apply. Please follow along for upcoming reporting and other contributions from our interns:

Amanda Hernández is a passionate storyteller with an interest in data. She was born in Miami to immigrant parents and grew up outside of D.C. Along the way, she managed to become fluent in Spanish and she plans to learn a few more languages. Now studying journalism and information science at the University of Maryland, she works for several campus publications, including one she founded herself, La Voz Unida. La Voz Unida is a bilingual Spanish-language online newspaper with a focus on underrepresented and marginalized communities in the surrounding College Park area. She’s interested in branching out into data journalism and podcasting, as well as covering issues related to social justice, immigration, education and equity. She can be reached at

Amanda Su, originally from the Bay Area, is a junior at Harvard College, studying history and literature. As a reporter for The Harvard Crimson, Harvard’s independent, student-run daily newspaper, she has covered issues of race and diversity on campus, as well as the Harvard College administration and undergraduate life. She also serves as a Crimson multimedia executive, overseeing photo and video content and training new multimedia journalists. She can be reached at

Emily Briselli is a senior at Penn State University, studying digital and print journalism with a minor in digital media trends and analytics. Her coursework and experience focus primarily on social media, digital marketing and strategic communications. At Penn State, she is a Presidential Leadership Academy scholar, serves as a tour guide for prospective students and is involved in the Penn State Dance Marathon [THON]. Originally from Hershey, she hopes to work in digital marketing in Pennsylvania or Washington, D.C., upon graduation.

James Bell is a senior at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He’s currently majoring in communications and political science and intends to become a reporter upon graduating. He loves telling stories and wishes to be able to tell stories that inform and inspire. James has previously covered COVID-19 for the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting’s Journalism Lab at Millsaps College. He can be reached at

Kellen Stepler is a junior at Duquesne University, studying multiplatform journalism. At Duquesne, he is the editor-in-chief of The Duke, the university’s weekly student newspaper. In his free time, he enjoys running, playing volleyball, spending time outside and writing. Kellen is excited to begin this journey with PublicSource to help tell stories for a better Pittsburgh. He can be reached at

Sophie Burkholder is a graduate student, studying bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania with a goal of using that background to cover stories in health and science journalism. She previously interned on the business desk of the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she wrote about startups and local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. She also interned at Philadelphia Magazine, where she initiated coverage of the pandemic in January. As a Pittsburgh native, she hopes to bring these experiences to covering important stories in the city she calls home. She can be reached at

Please join us in welcoming our Fall 2020 intern class and, if you have story ideas for them, please feel free to email any one of them!

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