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Saundra Amrhein is an award-winning freelance journalist and author who specializes in coverage of immigration and Cuba.
With more than 23 years of experience in journalism and a masterís degree in Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Saundra is a 2016-17 recipient of a Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities Ė a grant to assist her in the completion of her book on Cuba, its music and social change.
A 2015-16 Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan, Saundra has spent much of her career focusing on coverage of immigration, Cuba, asylum and refugee issues.
She is the author of Green Card Stories, a 2012 book that was a winner of five national awards, depicting the journeys of 50 recent U.S. immigrants in dramatic narratives and compelling photos.
A native of Pittsburgh, Saundra obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and started her career as a reporter at the legendary City News Bureau of Chicago wire service before working at Florida Today and the Cincinnati Enquirer newspapers. In 1999 she went to the then-St. Petersburg Times, now the Tampa Bay Times, where she spent the next decade covering government and immigration in Florida.
She has reported from Honduras and Cuba during her years as a journalist and has studied at language schools in Guatemala, Mexico and Ecuador, becoming fluent in Spanish.
As part of her 2012 masterís degree in Latin American & Caribbean Studies from the University of South Florida in Tampa, she wrote a thesis based on years of her research in Cuba.
Saundra also has been a speaker at conferences, seminars, lectures and panel discussions on immigration issues and Cuba, speaking alongside immigration experts and analysts discussing immigration reform and other immigration news.
As a freelance journalist, she has written
for Thomson Reuters news agency and Politico Magazine. Her blog
on immigration news and Cuba combines her work and other
immigration journalistsí reporting with immigration studies by
social scientists and experts from universities around the
world. With the blog, she seeks to bridge the spheres of
journalism and social science studies on the issues of
immigration and Cuba, pairing the immediacy of journalism with
the depth of the social sciences, in order to help broaden the
national discussion on these topics.