Dawn Fallik is an award-winning reporter specializing in database analysis, feature writing and medical coverage.
She has 20 years of daily reporting experience at for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Associated Press and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She spent a month in India covering the tsunami, investigated medical errors and went to the prom at age 26. This year she was nominated and served on the 2022 Pulitzer Prize jury.
Although she left full-time reporting for full-time teaching, Fallik continues to cover medical issues for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine and Neurology Today. She has worked on the multimedia desks at the Wall Street Journal and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She spent six years writing for The Wall Street Journal’s medical desk, and live blogged two Olympics and multiple television shows for the WSJ’s culture site SpeakEasy. She’s interviewed Tim Gunn, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Judy Blume.
From 2012-2015 she served on the Board of Directors for the DART Society, which works with journalists who cover trauma and violence.
In September 2007, she started as a full-time assistant professor at The University of Delaware. She took over as journalism director in 2009 and eventually grew the minor to 250 students.
Courses include: News Literacy, Beginning Journalism, Advanced Reporting, Feature Writing, Critical Writing, Medical Reporting and Social Media Reporting.
In addition to basic journalism skills, students are required to blog, podcast and upload video and photo projects.
Class assignments include scavenger hunts (aimed at teaching students to find stories outside the computer), weather stories, writing FOIA requests and trips to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where students help dissect cadavers.
Dawn Fallik was a staff writer on the medical desk of The Philadelphia Inquirer, hitting the front page nearly every week with stories on plastic surgery for seniors to government interference in scientific conferences.
At the Inquirer, she spent a month in India following the tsunami and a year following a student nurse who overdosed a patient his first week in the hospital.
She investigated the building of new homes directly next to toxic waste sites, overdoses due to overheated patch medications and the leaching of TCE into Pennsylvania’s well water.
In 1999, she was the recipient of the Reader’s Digest Fellowship, and received a graduate degree from the University of Missouri specializing in database analysis.
As the co-director of the National Insitute of Computer-Assisted Reporting, she helped teach working reporters and editors how to use and analyze datasets and worked on projects with various news organizations across the country. For her master’s thesis, she wrote about hazardous materials accidents involving methamphetamine labs.
The series, which was published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, resulted in additional training for emergency responders and a state award for investigative reporting.
Before joining the Inquirer, she was a staff writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Associated Press and the Troy (N.Y.) Record. She has witnessed executions, investigated abusive priests and covered rent-a-cow companies. But she believes there’s nothing more fun than a good weather story.
Since the age of 18, Dawn has lived in 12 cities, eight states and two countries. She now lives in Philadelphia.