Science Communication graduate earns team Pulitzer Prize honor at 'The New York Times'

June 15, 2021


Julia Calderone, SciCom class of 2014.

Julia Calderone, a staff editor at The New York Times and a graduate of UCSC's Science Communication Program, was among a large team of reporters and editors honored on June 11 with the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service

The award, regarded as the most prestigious of the annual Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, recognized a deep package of 15 stories and data-analysis displays about the coronavirus pandemic assembled in 2020 by The New York Times.

The Pulitzer Prize Board cited the team for its "courageous, prescient and sweeping coverage of the coronavirus pandemic that exposed racial and economic inequities, government failures in the U.S. and beyond, and filled a data vacuum that helped local governments, healthcare providers, businesses and individuals to be better prepared and protected."

Calderone, a senior staff editor on the newspaper's Well team for health and family, contributed extensively to three elements of the package: the coronavirus map, the nursing home tracker and the college tracker.

Calderone earned her B.S. in neuroscience and behavior from UCSC in 2008, then worked for several years in Los Angeles at a company that designed DNA-based sequencing tests to screen candidates for organ transplants. She then returned to Santa Cruz to study journalism in the Science Communication Program, where she earned her graduate certificate in 2014.

"I will always attribute this moment in my career to the Science Communication Program," said Calderone in an email message about her Pulitzer honor.

Prior to her position at The New York Times, Calderone was associate editor for health and food at Consumer Reports. She also has worked as a reporter and writer for Scientific American, NASA, and Business Insider. During her studies at UCSC, Calderone trained as a news intern at the Monterey Herald and KUSP radio.