Mills alumna and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Meredith May has received a variety of prestigious awards and recognition for her exceptional work as a journalist.
The Oakland resident was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for outstanding journalism for her series entitled Operation Lion Heart about a 9-year-old boy who was flown with his father from his home in Iraq to an Oakland hospital with massive injuries from picking up a bomb which he had mistaken for a toy ball. “I found out through my spies that I got up to fifth place,” she said. Although May did not win the award, she said she was thrilled to be nominated at the young age of 35.
Photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice received the Pulitzer prize. “I was thrilled my photographer got it. Her win helped me get the story out there,” she said.
In addition to the Pulitzer nomination, May won the national Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi award for the series under the category of Best American Newspaper Writing, an award she described as “the next best thing [to the Pulitzer.]”
May was also recognized at the annual Mills College Athletic Awards banquet where she was presented with the Alumnae Achievement Award for her recent accomplishments and for continuing to row crew as a member of the Lake Merritt Rowing Club. At the banquet, upon accepting the award May said, “I like to say I majored in crew.”
Out of all of the recent awards and recognition May has garnered lately, she said the athletic award was the best one out of them all. “It’s like recognition from your family,” she said.
Currently May is working on a series, including a first -person column, about the twentieth anniversary of Burning Man, a massive art festival in the Nevada Black Rock Desert in September.
May said the Chronicle is renting a Winnebego and is sending two reporters, three photographers, an editor, and a cartoonist into the dessert to report on what she calls a “world wide phenomenon.”