“People were pushing it my way, and I had my eye on it every year,” she said.
As a graduate student, she still qualified and said she was looking for a capstone experience for her journalism degree, so this year was the perfect timing to enter. The contest also combined her two passions of development work at the ground level, working with people, and writing.
“Merging those two fields is my dream job,” she said.
Luhmann had no idea there would be so many applicants, and she was surprised to learn she’d won.
“I don’t think I’ve wanted anything that bad,” she said.
Kristof had great things to write about Luhmann in his post.
“Erin is a lovely writer, blogger and video producer who plans on a career as a foreign correspondent, ultimately aspiring to help train overseas journalists to reach a global audience,” Kristof posted. “She’s deeply committed to amplify overseas voices and encourage Americans to engage with important global news stories. She’s also a hard worker: When I called her up with the news that she had won, she immediately asked for a reading list and inquired whether she should start studying French in case we visit a French-speaking country.”
Luhmann said she plans to pursue a career in international journalism, focusing on social justice issues.