Mallory Noe-Payne, the Richmond bureau chief of WVTF/Radio IQ, has received a Fulbright Young Professional Journalist Grant. The grant will allow her to travel to Germany for a 10-month residency to research and examine the history of that nation and the United States of America.

Noe-Payne will engage in a project titled “Memory Wars:  How we move forward by confronting our past,” which will examine and compare the two countries’ histories of racism. She said she plans to explore what Virginia, the American South, and the nation as a whole can learn from Germany about how to discuss, commemorate, and confront national sin. She anticipates her project will produce a podcast that merges her reporting from Germany with her experience covering these topics in Virginia.

The Virginia Tech alumna, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in communication and political science, is a lifelong Richmond resident. She recalls growing up among the city’s Confederate monuments and wondering at a city struggling with its history rooted in slavery. Her regional stories reporting on home health workers, transgender teens, and Richmond’s Slave Trail have won multiple news awards.

Radio IQ news director David Seidel said that Noe-Payne was deeply involved in Radio IQ and NPR’s coverage of Confederate monuments and the racial justice movement.

“Mallory has worked hard to expand our audience's understanding of these topics, in Richmond and beyond,” Seidel said. “This program opens up new lessons to explore and continue toward understanding.”

Mallory Noe-Payne
Mallory Noe-Payne

Noe-Payne’s project is sponsored by WVTF/Radio IQ’s host institution, Virginia Tech, and supported by the Office of Outreach and International Affairs. Global Initiatives Coordinator Betty Anderson called Noe-Payne’s proposal “a perfect fit” for the program, which considers each candidate’s academic records, journalism work, leadership potential, and preparation in a year-long approval process.

“Her proposal was very timely and focused on a topic important to both the U.S. and Germany,” Anderson said. “Her prior reporting on these issues also illustrated her commitment to the issue.”

Noe-Payne will center her residency in Munich, past capital of Germany’s Nazi movement. She will work with experts in public history there and lecture at Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. It is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals.

Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international concerns in over 160 countries worldwide. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.