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Overseas Press Club Honors UW’s Mark Jenkins

May 13, 2013
Man with prosthetic leg
This is among the images that illustrated Mark Jenkins’ award-winning article “The Healing Fields.” (National Geographic)

The Overseas Press Club of America presented its 2013 Madeline Dane Ross Award to Mark Jenkins, a senior lecturer in the University of Wyoming Department of English.

The award, for best international reporting in the print medium or online showing a concern for the human condition, is for Jenkins’ article “The Healing Fields,” about the tragic devastation caused by land mines in Cambodia.

“Mark Jenkins has captured the breadth of human emotions, motivations and coping mechanisms in his examination of how one country, Cambodia, has moved forward from the lingering horror of land mines,” according to the Overseas Press Club (OPC) citation presented to Jenkins. “Many will think they already know this topic well, but Jenkins' deeply researched and accessibly written report made the subject matter fresh and compelling.”

The OPC seeks to maintain an international association of journalists working in the United States and abroad; to encourage the highest standards of professional integrity and skill in the reporting of news; to help educate a new generation of journalists; to contribute to the freedom and independence of journalists and the press throughout the world; and to work toward better communication and understanding among people.

Jenkins is a field staff writer for National Geographic magazine. A critically acclaimed journalist, he covers the globe writing about geopolitical issues, from opium smuggling in Afghanistan to HIV/AIDS in Botswana, ethnic cleansing in Burma to mountaineering in Pakistan. Before working for National Geographic, Jenkins was “The Hard Way” columnist for Outside magazine for eight years.

Critic Amanda Heller, writing for the Boston Globe, said: "Blessed with a rare combination of physical and intellectual grace, Jenkins weaves a compelling narrative of muscular beauty and emotional honesty. He makes us understand what pushes the man who pushes the envelope."

Jenkins' stories have been extensively anthologized, his work included in three consecutive Best American Travel Writing annuals. In 2006, Jenkins won the Lowell Thomas Award for both Best Adventure Travel Article and Best Environmental Tourism Article. In 2003, Jenkins won the American Alpine Club Literary Award for excellence in alpine literature. In the spring of 2002 he was awarded the McGaw/Hull Endowed Chair in Literature at UW.

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