PLU Alumna and Scholar Seeks Justice for Journalists
By Taylor Lunka '15
PLU Marketing & Communications
TACOMA, Wash. (April 29, 2015)—Jennifer Henrichsen ’07 has accomplished much more than she could’ve imagined in the years since she left Pacific Lutheran University. Not only has she had a book published with a PLU professor, but Henrichsen also has recently been published by UNESCO and was accepted to the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania for her Ph.D.
Henrichsen, a Communication/Political Science double major with an emphasis in Conflict Resolution and a minor in German, learned at PLU that she was passionate about justice for journalists around the globe.
As an undergraduate student, Henrichsen interned at the United Nations; was part of the first Communication class to study internationally; and was a columnist for PLU’s student newspaper, The Mooring Mast. She did this all with the help of her first professor at PLU, Professor of Communication Joanne Lisosky.
“I met her really early on,” said Henrichsen. “I talked with her about my goals and ideas. We connected really quickly, which was awesome. I stayed in the Communication department because I appreciated her role, her enthusiasm and dedication.”
From there, Lisosky became Henrichsen’s adviser—one to whom she still turns for advice today.
While Henrichsen was interning at the U.N., she discovered how frequently journalists were killed on the job, so she began conducting research with Lisosky. First, they presented a paper at an academic conference, then their research was published in a journal. This became the basis for Henrichsen’s Master’s program from 2008-09, when she was a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship Program.
“When I finished my thesis, Joanne said, ‘Hey, I think we have enough to write a book,’ and I said, ‘Oh, OK. Why not?’” Henrichsen laughed. From there, they began working on a proposal that was picked up by the second publisher they pitched; the book, War on Words: Who Should Protect Journalists?, was published in 2011.
Now Henrichsen is a technology fellow at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., that provides support for journalists. She focuses on how technology affects communication and journalism sources. She is also the co-chair of the Washington, D.C., PLU Alumni Chapter and coordinates alumni events on the East Coast.
Henrichsen’s UNESCO publication came out just a few weeks ago. Lisosky had informed Henrichsen about a call from UNESCO for a research project a few years ago, so they began working on a proposal. After getting second place, the team was going to put the proposal to rest until one phone call let them know that the first place team had been let go, making their proposal the chosen one.
Lisosky said Henrichsen was in contact with UNESCO and made sure the process went smoothly.
“[Jennifer] is tenacious,” said Lisosky. “She has a maturity way beyond her years.”
In August, Henrichsen will begin her five-year doctorate program at the Annenberg School for Communication, where she received a full-ride scholarship.
“These successes she is finding are icing on the cake,” Lisosky said. “She is a well-recognized scholar in her field. She has poise and the ability to do this.”