Alumni Spotlight: Alina Panek ’20

Say hello to Alina Panek, a recent graduate of Denison University who now works as a Grant Administrator for the GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit that aims to train a new generation of international correspondents in the growing digital age. Specifically, the GroundTruth Project covers issues related to social justice including, but not limited to human rights, emerging democracies, freedom of expression, and more! In Alina’s current role, she is responsible for day-to-day reporting, proposals, and fundraising.

Alina graduated from the Hill recently in 2020 as an Communications major with a concentration in Narrative Journalism. Throughout her time on campus, she was the co-founder of the First Generation Network, a member of La Fuerza Latina, and unsurprisingly, a member of the Denisonian, the student-led newspaper. Immediately following her graduation from Denison, Alina went straight into the workforce working as a Project Coordinator for Report for America, the sister initiative to the GroundTruth Project.

Despite Report for America being familiar to Alina as she had previously worked there as an intern, the path to her current role was not linear. Alina was not always sure what her post-undergraduate experience would look like; but she was sure that she had a passion for journalism and Report for America had a mission that resonated with her. And after attending a variety of narrative journalism events, it became clear that journalism was a diverse field with a number of different career paths allowing her to serve multiple roles.

In addition to her passion and the ever growing diversity of journalism, Denison University had a major impact on her career path. Along with her other extracurriculars on-campus, she was also involved with the Denison Venture Philanthropy Club. There, she found a love for the grantmaking process making for a smooth transition into her current role.

Alina will be the first to tell you, nonprofit work is demanding. You have to be able to multitask and adapt, but it’s worth it.

“Working at a startup nonprofit has its rewards: room and space to explore. If you’re searching for a space or don’t know what to do, nonprofit may be for you.”

Do not be afraid to connect with Alina via LinkedIn or email ( to hear more about her experiences in the nonprofit world!

By Taylor Trimble
Taylor Trimble Peer Career Fellow: Social Impact, Education and Government