Avery Sloan ’25 to explore criminal justice issues in Denmark with Pulitzer Center grant

As a Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow, the journalism major and Leadership Fellow will travel this summer to Copenhagen, Denmark, to examine an underreported policy that leaves inmates released to the community with crushing debt.

Avery Sloan ’25 spent her fall semester studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the journalism major is set to return to the Scandinavian country this summer – this time on assignment.

Avery Sloan, journalism major at Elon University, smiles in Snow Family Grand Atrium.
Avery Sloan ’25 was recently named a 2024 Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow, a prestigious fellowship program that supports journalists interested in covering underreported stories.

The Elon junior, who serves as managing editor at The Pendulum, was recently named a 2024 Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow, a prestigious fellowship program that selects and finances talented journalists to report on critical and underreported stories. As part of her investigative reporting project, Sloan will return to northern Europe to examine an underreported policy in Denmark that leaves inmates released with crippling debt to the state. She first encountered the topic while taking a criminal justice class during her study abroad experience, and she relishes the opportunity to bring attention to the situation.

“Criminal justice is an important topic no matter where you are in the world,” Sloan said. “I was surprised, excited and honored to receive this fellowship, and I look forward to exploring this subject more.”

Elon University has a longstanding relationship with the Pulitzer Center, serving as a partner in its Campus Consortium network, an educational initiative that brings Pulitzer Center staff and journalists to Elon’s campus twice a year.

With Elon’s membership in the consortium, students have the opportunity to work with the center on developing international reporting projects, which have been featured on the center’s website and can be disseminated through media partners. In 2023, Madison Powers ’24 highlighted the dangers of migration in Latin America. And the year prior, Nyah Phengsitthy ’23 reported on orphanages in Ghana, producing multimedia stories about how organizations dealt with the pandemic.

Sloan said she feels prepared to tackle an in-depth investigative project thanks to her experiences on campus. She has been a prolific student journalist, noting in a recent LinkedIn post that she has written nearly 200 stories for Elon News Network. Additionally, she praised Glenn Scott, associate professor emeritx of journalism, for his Reporting for the Public Good course and the lessons she learned from his instruction.

“The class focused on not only reporting but storytelling and showed me that it is important to dig deeper for stories,” Sloan said.

Prior to her appointment as The Pendulum’s managing editor, Sloan served as a multimedia reporter, a copy editor and the politics editor. The Apex, North Carolina, native is minoring in leadership studies and political science.