About the Medill Investigative Lab
At the Medill Investigative Lab, we believe that the best way to learn journalism is to do journalism. Students study budgets, court cases and crime logs, interview stakeholders and public officials, probe critical data and trends and leave the classroom behind for reporting trips in communities across the country.

Debbie Cenziper

Director of Medill Investigative Lab

Debbie Cenziper is an associate professor and the director of investigative reporting at Medill. She also oversees the Medill Investigative Lab. Besides teaching, Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and nonfiction author who writes for The Washington Post.

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Desi Hanford

Assistant Professor

Desiree Hanford is an assistant professor and director of academic integrity and appeals at Medill. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses that include news reporting and business and money reporting.

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Arionne Nettles

Publisher of Medill Reports

Arionne Nettles is a lecturer with a focus on digital storytelling and is responsible for Medill’s publishing platform, Medill Reports. As a reporter and editor, her work often explores art’s cultural ties to issues such as mass incarceration and educational inequity. 

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Cenziper and MIL grad student Joel Jacobs train Report for America reporters about covering the coronavirus crisis in nursing homes.

If you are interested in advancing Medill’s work in investigative journalism, you can donate to the Medill Investigative Lab. Click on “Search School and Program Funds.” Search for “Medill Investigative Lab.”

Debbie Cenziper

Debbie Cenziper is an associate professor and the director of investigative reporting at Medill. She also oversees the Medill Investigative Lab. Besides teaching, Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and nonfiction author who writes for The Washington Post. She spent three years at The George Washington University before joining the faculty of Medill.

Over the years, Cenziper’s investigative stories have exposed wrongdoing, prompted Congressional hearings and led to changes in federal and local laws. In her classes at Medill, Cenziper and her students focus on social justice investigative reporting.

Cenziper has won dozens of awards in American print journalism, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award for reporting about human rights and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from Harvard University. She received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 at The Miami Herald for a series of stories about corrupt affordable housing developers who were stealing from the poor. A year before that, she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for stories about dangerous breakdowns in the nation’s hurricane-tracking system.

Cenziper is a frequent speaker at universities, writing conferences and book events. Her first book, “Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality,” (William Morrow, 2016) was named one of the most notable books of the year by The Washington Post. Her second book, “Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America,” was released by Hachette Books in November 2019.

Cenziper is based on Medill’s Washington, D.C. campus, working with undergraduate and graduate students on investigative stories.