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Faith Bottum Selected as 2021 Joseph Rago Memorial Fellow for Excellence in Journalism


TFAS is pleased to announce Faith Bottum as the 2021 recipient of the Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism.

Born in João Pessoa, Brazil, she was raised in New York, Washington, D.C., and in the Black Hills of South Dakota. A 2021 graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines, Bottum earned a degree in civil engineering with a focus on structures.

Bottum has extensive writing and journalism experience. She was an editorial intern at The Washington Free Beacon, and her undergraduate writing includes op-eds in The Wall Street Journal, along with essays in Commonweal, The Federalist, University Bookman, Symposeum and other outlets. Her new translation of “The Ancient City,” Fustel de Coulanges’s 1864 classic account of the religious origins of Greek and Roman urban culture, will be published this winter by St. Augustine’s Press.

In addition to her journalistic pursuits, Bottum has spent summers as a horseback trail guide in the Black Hills National Forest and as a restoration engineer for a national historic-preservation firm.

As a Rago Fellow, Bottum will work with the Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal through a nine-month internship beginning in August. This Fellowship is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer Joseph Rago, who was a rising star at The Wall Street Journal and a key member of its editorial page team before he passed away at the age of 34 in 2017.

TFAS was chosen by the Rago Family, with the endorsement of The Journal, to establish the Fellowship in 2018 as a permanent remembrance of Joe’s contributions to journalism.

Bottum is the fourth annual recipient of the Fellowship. She will join former Fellows Elliot Kaufman, Matthew Taylor King and Alessandra Bocchi on the path of continuing Joe’s legacy.

The Rago Fellowship’s inaugural recipient Elliot Kaufman was hired on full-time as an assistant editorial features editor at The Journal after the completion of his Fellowship and has served on the editorial team since 2019.

“The Joseph Rago Fellowship made me a full member of the team at the best paper and opinion section in the world, The Wall Street Journal editorial page,” Kaufman said of the Fellowship. “We get to work on the biggest issues of the day – every day… I don’t think there’s a better job for a young journalist, writer or editor than the Rago Fellowship.”

TFAS will formally present the 2021 Rago Fellowship during the TFAS Journalism Awards Ceremony on Nov. 3, 2021, in New York City. Paul Gigot, editorial page editor and vice president of The Journal, will help honor the memory of his late colleague by providing remarks on Joe’s accomplishments and lasting impact. The evening will also honor Neal B. Freeman with the 2021 Thomas L. Phillips Career Achievement Award, and TFAS alumna Katherine Mangu-Ward, Novak ’05, editor-in-chief of Reason, will be presented with the 2021 Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Award for Outstanding Journalism.

During the dinner, TFAS will also honor the 2021 Novak Fellows, who will be announced later this year. To learn more about the event, please visit TFAS.org/Jawards21.


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