NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson was just selected to receive Colby College’s 2011 Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism. This year was a big one for Nelson, and quite dangerous. She was all over the Arab Spring, leading NPR’s coverage from Cairo. She also reported from Benghazi, Libya, as rebel forces ousted Muammar Qaddafi from power.

Nelson opened NPR’s Afghanistan bureau five years ago. Prior to that she was a reporter for both the LA Times and the Orange County Register.

Past winners of the Lovejoy Award, which has been given out annually since 1952, include Daniel Pearl and Katherine Graham. Nelson will formally be given her award at an October 16 ceremony at Colby.