Sarah Spicer

An award-winning investigative journalist and Emporia State alumna was named one of Editor & Publisher Magazine’s “25 under 35,” the organization announced Feb. 1.  

Sarah Spicer graduated from ESU in 2019 with a dual B.A. in Spanish and English with a journalism and history minor. She worked at the student paper for four years, serving as editor-in-chief for two.  

Editor & Publisher Magazine is a trade magazine and self-described “bible of the newspaper industry.” Each year, the magazine names 25 professionals each year in its February issue to watch as rising innovators in the industry. 

“I am incredibly honored to receive this designation, and it would not have been possible without the journalism skills I learned from Emporia State,” Spicer told The Bulletin. “I am immensely grateful for the mentorship and guidance I received from Max McCoy and will continue to do what I can to support younger journalists from ESU and the rest of Kansas as I truly believe we are stronger together.”   

While working for The Bulletin, Spicer wrote and published a series about a Title IX sexual assault case at ESU, which earned her honors from the Kansas Press Association, the New York Press Club, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the Lyon and Chase County Bar Association, and Kansas Collegiate Media.  

“I’m pleased Sarah Spicer is receiving the recognition she deserves,” Max McCoy, her former journalism adviser at ESU, said. “She was an exceptionally talented student journalist and, as editor of the campus newspaper, a natural leader. Now, more than ever, journalism needs the kind of vision, dedication and heart that Sarah has always demonstrated.” 

In 2020, Spicer received an M.S. in investigative journalism from Columbia University in the City of New York. During her time there, she worked as a student investigative assistant for Columbia Journalism Investigations in partnership with ProPublica, where she investigated dating apps and sexual assault.  

For 16 months, Spicer worked at the Wichita Eagle as the paper’s climate change reporter as a Report for America corps member and mentored Emporia State journalism students as part of an investigative internship program.  

In October 2021, Spicer took a position as a news editor at The Committee to Protect Journalists, an international nonprofit that compiles research on press freedom violations, collaborates with heads of state and high-ranking officials, and provides life-saving support to journalists working around the world.  

Born in Kansas, Spicer graduated from Neodesha High School. She continues to mentor Bulletin reporters from her home in New York City.

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