Kalyn Belsha covers education for The Chicago Reporter, a nonprofit online magazine that investigates issues of race and poverty. For the last year, she’s been chronicling how Chicago’s historic school closures in 2013 impacted the city’s African-American communities. Most recently, she partnered with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting to tell the story of one Chicagoan who made it her life’s mission to stop future school closings after her grandchildren and community lost their neighborhood school. Prior to The Chicago Reporter, Belsha covered education for the magazine’s sister publication, Catalyst Chicago. There, she wrote about the growth of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, holes in the early educator pipeline and inadequacies in bilingual education. Belsha also covered education in Chicago’s west suburbs for The Aurora Beacon-News, a publication of the Chicago Tribune. Belsha has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She grew up on Long Island in New York and lives in Chicago. She plans to use her Spencer Fellowship to continue to look at the out-migration of black students from cities like Chicago and how this major demographic shift is impacting their education, the schools that take them in and the schools they leave behind.

Examples of Belsha’s work:

Thousands of black students leave Chicago for other segregated districts

My town, Chi-Town

English learners often go without required help at Chicago schools

Behind sale of closed schools, a legacy of segregation

Inside Noble