Lucy Nalpathanchil


Lucy is WNPR's All Things Considered Host and Correspondent. She reports on news stories in the Connecticut region and contributes to National Public Radio.  

While at WNPR, her stories have focused on immigration including New Haven's controversial ID card program, efforts for an in-state tuition law for undocumented students, and the Becoming American series: stories of immigrants and the citizenship process.  In 2011, Lucy launched the Coming Home Project to tell the stories of returning Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans in transition. To learn more about the military, Lucy was chosen to take part in a week-long training for journalists hosted by the U.S Army at Fort Leavenworth, KS and Fort Leonard Woods, MO. Getting up at 3:30 am to participate in boot camp was most memorable!

Lucy has worked in several states as a public radio reporter since starting out at WDUQ in Pittsburgh. She's received awards from Pennsylvania's Golden Quill, the New York State Associated Press, the Mayor's Asian American Advisory Board in Jacksonville, Florida, the Connecticut Associated Press and the state's Society for Professional Journalists chapter.

When she's not in the newsroom, Lucy enjoys traveling, hiking around New England, and planning her next garden. She also enjoys cheering for her hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.  She lives in Middletown with her family which includes two talented dogs, Sidney and Lily.


Coming Home Project
3:31 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

VA Commissioner Highlights Programs to Combat Suicide Among Veterans

Photo by Tyler Antrim

A lot of attention has been paid lately to troops coming home from Iraq now that the war is over. 

But thousands of soldiers who have served post 9-11 are home already and many continue to struggle in civilian life.  One of these struggles is combating suicidal thoughts.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs finds that eighteen veterans die by suicide each day. In Connecticut, Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, Linda Schwartz says in the last year, an estimated fourteen veterans in the state committed suicide. But she stresses suicide is often underreported.

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Coming Home Project
2:57 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

UConn Seeks Veterans and Active Duty for PTSD Study

A University of Connecticut professor has been studying two treatment therapies for post traumatic stress disorder. The study focuses on the military community which sees a disproportionate number of PTSD cases.

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Coming Home Project
5:54 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Wreaths for Connecticut's Fallen Soldiers

Families who have lost a loved one killed while serving their country were honored today at the State Capitol. It's the second year for the ceremony organized by the Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation 

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Higher Education
3:21 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

More Than 100 Undocumented Students Benefit From In-State Tuition Law

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons Photo by No Division

It's been several months since a new law went into effect allowing illegal immigrants to pay the in state tuition rate at public colleges and universities in Connecticut.

As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, more than one hundred undocumented students have signed affadavits to qualify for the rate this semester.

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12:46 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

New Deportation Guidelines for ICE, USCIS

Courtesy of Flickr CC, by Grand Canyon NPS

The head of US Citizenship and Immigration Services visited the Hartford Public Library late last week. The library was recently awarded another federal grant for its immigrant outreach program. As WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, Director Alejandro Mayorkas also took time to address new deportation guidelines.

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Coming Home Project
8:01 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Homeless Veterans Get Rest, Chance to Restart Lives at Hartford Shelter

Courtesy of South Park Inn

After a decade of wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, more young veterans are back from combat with nowhere to live. New numbers just released from the federal VA and HUD find in the last year, 13,000 homeless veterans were between the ages of 18 and 30.

They make up nine percent of homeless veterans nationwide but their numbers are only expected to rise as troop drawdowns continue.  In Connecticut, there are anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 veterans who are homeless each day.

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Coming Home Project
1:27 pm
Thu October 27, 2011

A Home for Wounded Veterans and Their Families

Courtesy of Friends of Fisher House Connecticut

Most people have heard of Ronald McDonald houses that provide a place for sick children and their families to stay while seeking medical treatment. But chances are you haven't heard of a Fisher House. Now there's an effort to build one in West Haven.

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Animal Transport
11:54 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Beluga Whale Travels on Fed Ex Plane to Connecticut

Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium By Keith Pamper

Partnerships are common at zoos and aquariums for breeding programs but what does it take to transfer animals across the country safely?  Especially if the animal you're talking about is a 2100 pound beluga whale?

Kristine Magao, Supervisor of Belugas, at Mystic Aquarium spoke with WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil about the recent journey of Naluark, a male beluga whale who came to Mystic from Chicago's John G Shedd Aquarium.

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Coming Home Project
6:45 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

A Therapy for Veterans and Others With PTSD

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Ars Electronica

Airdate: October 17, 2011 A recent Pew Center study of U.S military in the post 9-11 era found 37 percent of veterans suffer from post traumatic stress. For those diagnosed with PTSD and who are getting care at a VA facility, one of the treatments used is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing or EMDR. It's therapy to resolve trauma related disorders.

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Coming Home Project
3:24 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Changes to Post 9-11 GI Bill Will Pay for Vocational Training

Veterans who have served in the last decade are eligible for benefits under the Post 9-11 GI bill. As WNPRs Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, recent changes to the bill will help veterans pay for vocational training.

Under the current GI bill, veterans can get all or part of their college tuition paid for depending on years of military service. But not all veterans chose four-year schools.

There are several thousand veterans in the community college system in Connecticut. David Welsh is a Veterans Advisor at Tunxis Community College in Farmington.

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Coming Home Project
11:51 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Afghan Surge: "The Untold Story"

US Navy photo by (SCW) F. Julian Carroll

A briefing with a three star Army General was the first order of business Tuesday at the journalists conference at Ft Leavenworth. Lieutenant General William B Caldwell was all set to appear before us via video teleconference from Afghanistan but technology got in the way. The link up didn't work properly so he spoke with reporters using the old fashioned telephone conference.

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Coming Home Project
12:09 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Drinking From the Fire Hose

Lucy Nalpathanchil

It's Military 101 on the first official day of the journalists conference at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Inside Lewis and Clark Hall, men and some women stream through wearing the Army combat uniforms: tan, grey and green camouflage that blends well in the desert. Occasionally, you see officers from other countries like Brazil, Botswana, and Singapore, who are also here to study at the Command and General Staff College.

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Coming Home Project
8:17 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Bootcamp Turns Veterans Into Entrepreneurs

Jeremy Pollack.

Recent college graduates are finding it difficult to get a job at a time when the national unemployment rate remains stagnant at nine percent. But imagine if you're a veteran just back from serving overseas. You're trying to find employment while carrying the physical and mental effects of war. A consortium of schools including the University of Connecticut are helping turn disabled veterans into small business-owners. As part of WNPR's Coming Home Project, Lucy Nalpathanchil introduces us to a entrepreneurship 'bootcamp'.

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Coming Home Project
12:40 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Welcome to Fort Leavenworth

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

Bridging the gap between the media and the military: that's the goal of a week-long conference hosted by the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Fort Leavenworth Combined Arms Center. Seventeen journalists including myself were accepted into the program because of our interest and backgrounds covering military issues.

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Women's Health
12:01 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Advocates Say Backlog of Rape Kits Exists Nationwide

Courtesy of Jackson Films

Advocates for sexual assault victims contend there's a backlog of untested rape kits nationwide. 

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Coming Home Project
3:49 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

"Stand Down" Brings Veterans To Rocky Hill For 16th Year

More than 1,000 veterans from all over Connecticut were expected in Rocky Hill Friday for an annual event called Stand Down; it's an outreach event hosted by the state Department of Veteran Affairs to help veterans in need. Stand Down is in its 16th year, an event VA Commissioner Linda Schwartz looks forward to every year. Here, she is welcoming nursing students who volunteered at the event. "Hey, hey!' 'Hi Commish.' 'It's the Yale School of Nursing!"

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Irene Recovery
6:13 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

FEMA Assistance Centers Open Around Connecticut After Tropical Storm Irene

Courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video

It's been a little more than a week since Tropical Storm Irene blew through Connecticut causing widespread damage and power outages. On Thursday, FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers will open across the state to respond to homeowners and businesses affected by the storm.

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with Scott Divico of the State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. He says it's important for residents and business owners to register first with FEMA. The number is 1-800-621-3362 or

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Disaster Response
5:22 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Water and MREs Roll Off FEMA Trucks at Rentschler Field

KOMU News Flickr Creative Commons

Post Tropical Storm Irene, there are many communities still without water and power, but they have somewhere to go to get necessary supplies: Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The stadium parking lot has been transformed into a distribution site for food and water run by the Connecticut National Guard.

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Higher Education
5:14 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

New State Law Helps Illegal Immigrants Join Incoming Freshman Class

Coutesy of Flickr CC by No Division

It’s an exciting time for college freshman as they begin classes this week. Among them are students who just a few months ago didn’t think they could afford college. That changed July 1 when a new state law went into effect, making illegal immigrants eligible for the in state tuition rate at Connecticut colleges and universities. WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil introduces us to one of those students, an 18 year old named Karen.

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Sandy Recovery
3:48 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Bristol Cleans Up From Irene

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Many expected Tropical Storm Irene to heavily damage Connecticut's coast, but the central part of the state also saw damage after rivers and streams flooded there. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports from Bristol where some residents had to be evacuated from their homes.

The Forestville neighborhood saw extensive flooding, it sits right above the Pequabuck River on the east side of Bristol.

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Coming Home Project
5:54 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

Student Veterans Seek out OASIS on College Campuses

Veterans are among college students heading back to class this fall. At the University of Connecticut, more than 400 students have military experience. They're considered non-traditional students given the fact many enroll after multiple deployments. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports on one way campuses are working to accommodate their needs. 

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Higher Education
3:43 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

New Haven Promise Goes Beyond Just Scholarships

You've probably heard of New Haven Promise by now.  It's a scholarship program funded by Yale University and community partners which awards New Haven public school students who show academic potential.

But the Promise program isn't just about paying tuition for some.

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with New Haven Promise Executive Director Emily Brynes about the program's community outreach.


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Tech to the Rescue
5:13 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Droid App By Trinity Students Helps Haitian Earthquake Victims

Photo by Expert Infantry Courtesy of Flickr CC

A group of computer students at Trinity College have created a smartphone app to improve disaster relief management.  As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the project aims to help Haitians recovering from the 2010 earthquake.

Trinity is part of a collaboration between Wesleyan University and Connecticut College to create free software that benefits the common good. It's funded by the National Science Foundation.

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3:54 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

Connecticut Famine Relief Makes Its Way To Somalia

Flickr Creative Commons, Monica's Dad

The famine in the Horn of Africa is getting worse by the day.

Somalia is suffering deeply from the 3 year drought with more than 3.5 million Somalis facing starvation.

An estimated 600,000 of the starving are children.

Disaster relief organization, AmeriCares - based in  Stamford, CT - recently shipped emergency aid to Somalia. Inside the shipment are enough medical supplies to care for roughly 15,000 people.

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3:41 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

Elm City ID Card Helping Former Inmates

Photo by WNPR's Chion Wolf

Four summers ago, New Haven began issuing the Elm City Resident Card.  The program was controversial at the time because the city encouraged illegal immigrants to get the IDs. And many did because they had no U.S identification As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the city has found another over-looked population to connect to the ID card.

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4:42 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Soldier Who Served With Connecticut National Guard Guilty of Murder

A military jury has found a U.S. Army National Guardsman guilty of premeditated murder in the shooting death of an Afghan civilian.

Sgt.Derrick Miller of Hagerstown, Md., was convicted Wednesday. He was assigned to a Connecticut National Guard unit attached to the 101st Airborne Division at the time of the shooting in Eastern Afghanistan.

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with Associated Press reporter, Kristin M. Hall who covered the trial at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. .

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Real Art Ways
4:49 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Ethiopian Boy Shares Life With Photographer, On Display at Real Art Ways

Eric Gottesman

An exhibit by photographer, Eric Gottesman, has opened at Real Art Ways in Hartford. It's part of the art organization's Step Up exhibition series that profiles emerging artists.

Eric spoke with WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil about his installation, "Tinsae." 

The photographs  chronicle the conversations he's had with a 13-year-old boy from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

More about Eric at:

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Coming Home Project
6:15 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

Wounded Warrior Program Hires Iraq Veteran to Help Servicemembers

The U.S Department of Labor says nearly 12 percent of veterans who've served since 9-11 were unemployed last year. Twenty-five percent of them have service-related disabilities. The number of unemployed is expected to grow now that more veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are returning to a country trying to recover from the recession.  A small program by Congress aims to help veterans get back into the workforce. 

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3:39 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

Congressman Himes on Debt Ceiling Negotiations

Photo by WNPR's Chion Wolf

A deadline looms large for Congress to reach a budget deal that includes  raising the U.S borrowing limit. If leadership fails to do so by August 2, the country could default on its debt for the first time ever.  WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports on the perspective of 4th district Congressman Jim Himes.

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Higher Education
6:37 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

Children of Immigrants Cheer In-State Tuition Law

Chion Wolf

Dozens of teenagers, the children of recent immigrants, turned out for a ceremonial bill signing with Governor Dannel Malloy today in New Haven. As WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, advocates for the in state tuition bill that became law July 1, say  the moment was a long time coming.

The crowd of college hopefuls cheered Gov Malloy as he signed the bill inside the lobby of Wilbur Cross High School. Joining the young adults were immigrant advocates and congregational members who lobbied for the bill in their home communities across Fairfield and New Haven counties.

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