In 2016, Marisa Kwiatkowski and her colleagues launched an investigation into USA Gymnastics that revealed top officials at the sport’s national governing body failed to report many allegations of sexual abuse by coaches and showed how predators exploited a lax culture to prey on children.
Marisa is a reporter for The Indianapolis Star, where she handles investigations relating to social services and welfare issues, including child abuse and neglect, poverty, elder abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence and access to mental health services. She joins the exciting line up of presenters who will be on hand for the 2019 Great Lakes Media Show on March 5 & 6 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.
As a result of the investigation into USA Gymnastics , more than 330 women came forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Larry Nassar, a longtime team physician who worked in four Olympic games. Nassar was convicted of criminal charges and sent to prison. The series also spurred Congress to pass a bill that would make it a federal crime for national governing bodies to fail to immediately report alleged sexual abuse.
In 2013, Marisa received two national awards, as well as state and regional awards, for her coverage of the difficulties of children with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities to receive appropriate mental health services. She found parents falsely admitting to neglect in order to secure services for their children. After Marisa’s series published, state officials pledged up to $25 million per year to close the funding gap.
Marisa has earned more than 50 journalism awards, including Indiana Journalist of the Year, IRE’s Tom Renner Award, a Sigma Delta Chi Award in public service, the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism and the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award. Prior to The Star, Marisa worked for media outlets in northwestern Indiana, South Carolina and Michigan. One of her articles, “The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons,” became the most-read piece in The Star’s history.
Learn more about the 2019 #MABshow at GreatLakesMediaShow.com