Student and Alumni Spotlights

Emily Guskin MPP '09

MPP Alum Part of WaPo Pulitzer Prize Winning Team

Emily Guskin, MPP ’09 and her colleagues at The Washington Post were recently recognized with a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their immersive series on the AR-15 rifle in American politics and culture. She is also a 2006 alumnus of the University of Maryland Department of Government and Politics (GVPT) and Communications departments.

The immersive series takes reporting on mass shootings in a new direction by focusing on the political and cultural impact of the rifle most popular for such shootings. The series includes eye-opening reporting on the impact AR-15s have on the human body, families, communities, and the nation.

A polling analyst specializing in public opinion about politics, elections and public policy, Emily contributed to the series and is credited as the lead author of an article titled “Why do Americans own AR-15s?” (login required). The article uses polling data from a nationally representative survey by The Washington Post and Ipsos, which asked nearly 400 AR-15 owners about their reasons for having the weapon and how often they use it.

The Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting award is, according to their website, given “for a distinguished example of reporting on national affairs, using any available journalistic tool.” Winners are awarded a $15,000 cash prize.

In October 2023 Emily was also awarded the University of Maryland’s Department of Communication Alumni Achiever Award for her outstanding achievement in career, public service, and/or volunteer activities that promote COMM’s mission of Communication for the Public Good.

Before joining The Post in 2016, Emily was a research manager at APCO Worldwide and prior to that, she was a research analyst at the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project. She is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, tackling pressing issues such as women’s rights, racial justice, political views, and healthcare through rigorous polling and excellent writing. She focuses on the impact of her work and on telling the stories of the American public.