Two J-School Students Chosen for Ethics Fellowships at Auschwitz

March 28, 2016


March 24, 2016

Matt Beagle and Dayton Martindale Join Groundbreaking Program for Journalists

New York, NY– Matt Beagle and Dayton Martindale, both students at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, are among 12 journalism students and young journalists chosen by FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) to participate in a two-week program in Europe this summer, which uses the conduct of reporters and other media professionals in Nazi Germany as a launching point for an intensive course of study on contemporary journalism ethics.

Now in its seventh year of operation, FASPE is an innovative international program for students in five professional disciplines (business, journalism, law, medicine, and religion) designed to address contemporary ethical issues in their chosen fields through a unique historical lens.

FASPE is predicated upon the power of place, and in particular, the first-hand experience of visiting Auschwitz and other historic sites associated with the Holocaust, where Fellows consider how to apply the lessons of history to the ethical challenges they will confront in their professions.

Pre-World War II professionals in Germany were known and respected internationally. Yet, leaders and practitioners in the professions played a fundamental role in designing, implementing, and enabling the crimes of Nazi Germany.

FASPE examines the roles played by professionals in business, journalism, law, medicine, and the clergy in Nazi Germany, underscoring that the moral codes governing these essential professions can break down or be distorted with devastating consequences.

“By educating students about the causes of the Holocaust and the power of their chosen professions, FASPE seeks to instill a sense of professional responsibility for the ethical and moral choices that the Fellows will make in their careers and in their professional relationships,” said C. David Goldman, founder of FASPE.

Over the course of 12 days, Fellows will attend lectures with a range of guest speakers and participate in seminars run by leading scholars who serve as FASPE faculty. The program integrates historical, cultural, philosophical, and literary sources; survivor testimony; and workshops in Berlin, Auschwitz, and Krakow.

The 2016 FASPE Journalism program will be led by Ari Goldman, Professor and Director of the Scripps Howard Program in Religion, Journalism, and the Spiritual Life at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; and Lonnie Isabel, Senior Lecturer at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the former deputy managing editor of Newsday.

“I want to participate in the 2016 FASPE Journalism Fellowship to continue to challenge my own thinking and to explore the role of journalism in the face of global crises and the ethical dilemmas they present,” said Beagle, a first-year journalism graduate student at Berkeley. Beagle, who received a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2007, has previously worked as a labor organizer, policy analyst, and stand-up comedian. His current studies in journalism focus on radio and digital media.

Martindale is also a first-year journalism student. He received a bachelor’s degree in astrophysical sciences from Princeton University, and has written for publications such as In These Times, Earth Island Journal, and The Nassau Weekly, covering issues from prisons to climate change to domesticated ferrets. “My favorite college courses, and the ones that influenced me the most, were in ethics,” said Martindale, “Scrutinizing my core beliefs—and in some cases my own actions—was not only intellectually stimulating but had a concrete effect on how I interacted with the world. I want to apply that self-examination to my current work as a journalist in this field deeply enmeshed in the public sphere, what is my role, or what can it be?”

Beagle and Martindale join a group of 63 FASPE Fellows who represent a broad range of religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, and who were chosen through a competitive process that drew over 700 applicants from around the world. FASPE covers all program costs, including transatlantic and European travel, food, and lodging. Over the past six years, FASPE has worked with close to 320 Fellows using curricula designed in partnership with faculty from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Georgetown University, Yale Law School, and the Yale School of Medicine.

FASPE Journalism Fellows, along with the Business and Law Fellows, will begin their program in Berlin on Sunday, May 22, 2016. In Berlin, the program includes museum visits, meeting with a Holocaust survivor, and attending educational workshops at the House of the Wannsee Conference, the site where representatives of State and Nazi Party agencies convened in 1942 to discuss and coordinate plans for the Nazis’ “Final Solution.”

The Fellows then travel to Oswiecim, Poland, the town the Germans called Auschwitz, where they will work with the distinguished educational staff at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Sessions devoted to contemporary ethics will take place in seminar rooms at Auschwitz and at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious universities. The final leg of the trip will be held in Krakow, Poland, where Fellows will explore the city’s rich Catholic, Jewish, and Polish history.

After the program, each Fellow will submit a final written essay focused on a contemporary ethical issue of his or her choice. Select essays will be published in the annual FASPE Journal, which showcases essays in all five disciplines.

“FASPE is committed to a long-term relationship with Fellows in order to sustain the ideas raised during the program. FASPE fosters an active network of alumni and provides a variety of opportunities for Fellows to exchange ideas and to meet to continue the dialogue started during our trips as they move forward in their careers,” said Thorin R. Tritter, FASPE’s Managing Director. “The centerpiece of these efforts is our annual Alumni Reunion & Symposium where Fellows from all years discuss the current issues in their respective fields and participate in various inter-disciplinary networking activities.”





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