Web Extra! Simpson grad is a Pulitzer finalist

A 1993 Simpson College graduate was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prizes that were announced earlier in the week.

Christine Willmsen, an investigative reporter for the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, was on a team of reporters that on Monday was named a finalist for the award in investigative journalism. The project on which Willmsen worked – “The Foreign Game,” which examined the recruitment of foreign athletes to American high schools and colleges – was a runner-up to the Washington Post.

“I worked on this story about foreign athletes for 18 months,” said Willmsen, who graduated from Simpson with majors in Spanish and communication studies. “It is nice to get recognized as a Pulitzer finalist. I definitely didn’t expect this.”

The Pulitzer committee said it picked the staff of the Dayton Daily News as a finalist “for its ambitious global examination of the ethical issues surrounding the recruiting of foreign athletes for American schools.”

Editor Jeff Bruce called the selection a great honor.

“It is a testament to the quality of the people who work here,” he said. “Anytime you are a finalist, you know your work has been recognized.”

To report on the Foreign Game, Willmsen and other Daily News reporters worked two years, visited 11 countries and conducted 700 interviews.

Last month, “The Foreign Game” was awarded a certificate from one of journalism’s

most prestigious professional organizations, the Investigative Reporters and Editors based at the Missouri School of Journalism.

While at Simpson, Willmsen was a member of The Simpsonian staff and the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.