GDS alum Alan Jinich ’17 has won the 2022 Nora Magid Mentorship Prize along with Penn classmate Beatrice Forman. We are excited to share the press release below:
Jinich is a Penn Senior majoring in Neuroscience and English, who worked in a variety of labs as well as in several editorial settings, as writer, photographer and designer at Penn Appetit and as a production assistant and photographer for the James Beard-award-winning PBS show “Pati’s Mexican Table.” In 2021, he and a classmate took a leave from Penn to spend six months driving cross-country, interviewing more than 80 young adults in cities large and small, and creating the fascinating online Generation Pandemic Project, a portion of which was recently published in the Washington Post, and featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and on NPR’s Radio Times and Smart Talk.
Jinich grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland and attended Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC. He began journalistic and media work in high school, where a photograph he took won the Gold Medal in the national Scholastic Art & Writing competition, and came in second place in the DC Congressional Art Competition in photography, which earned him a scholarship to the George Washington University pre-college photojournalism summer program. He also began working as a production assistant on the award-winning PBS cooking show “Pati’s Mexican Table,” and has continued in seasons 6, 8 & 9. After a gap year studying in Jerusalem with the Kivunim Institute, he came to Penn, and immediately got involved in food photography and writing for Penn Appetit, and later became a music editor and writer at t-art magazine. He also balanced creative writing and longform nonfiction classes with his studies in neuroscience— including his work at the Cullen Lab at Penn researching brain cell histology and traumatic brain injury. He has also been working for the Borders and Boundaries Project where he brings his interest in quantitative image analysis and skills as a multimedia journalist to assess border crossing images from Google Earth.
In 2021, he took a leave from Penn, during which he worked on the PBS primetime docu-series “La Frontera” as a photographer, and began driving across the country with his roommate, writer Max Strickberger, to interview young people about how they felt about the pandemic and the future. Jinich handled all the photography, much of the writing and editing, and the web-building and design for this ambitious and well-received oral history project, Generation Pandemic, which recently won one of Penn’s Sachs Program for Arts Innovation grants.
Alan will receive a full Nora Prize award of $4000 and mentorship from a large web of Penn alums in the media and their colleagues.