Kernel alum named a New York Times fellow


McAfee Knob in Virginia, Mount Katahdin, Maine and the Grayson Highlands of Virginia are three of the multiple landmarks former Kernel editor-in-chief Will Wright encountered when he hiked the Appalachian Trail. On Feb. 20, 2020, Wright was named a New York Times fellow.

Hailey Peters

A former Kernelite has been named a New York Times fellow. Will Wright, who served as the Kernel’s editor-in-chief in the 2015-16 school year will be joining the national staff at the Times this coming summer.

Wright has spent the last two years as a Report for America corps member and beat writer covering Eastern Kentucky for the Lexington Herald-Leader. In his time living in Pike County and bringing light to the issues and accomplishments of rural areas, Wright feels he is ready to translate his voice to a national scale.

“I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” Wright said. “I have to thank all of my editors at the Herald-Leader and of course the advisers back at the Kernel that helped me out through my journalism career.”

In addition to being a beat writer for the Herald-Leader, Wright has previously worked as a summer fellow for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and is currently a member of the Report for America organization.

At the Kernel, Wright served as an assistant news editor and managing editor before being named editor-in-chief. It was during his time as editor-in-chief that the open records requests were filed that caused the lawsuit against the Kernel.

Wright said that the application process went smoothly and he announced his acceptance of the position on Thursday. He will be joining the Times in June.