Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

First National Science, Health and Environmental Fellows selected

(June 17, 2021) The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW), the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), and the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) have announced the selection of the inaugural class of the National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellows. 

The 2021 fellowship class, profiled here, includes:

  • Jesenia De Moya Correa (@jeseniademoyac), communities reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Erin Douglas (@erinmdouglas23), environment reporter, The Texas Tribune
  • Nada Hassanein (@nhassanein_), environmental and health inequities reporter, USA Today
  • Greg Kim, reporter, KYUK
  • Betsy Ladyzhets (@betsyladyzhets), science writer and data journalist, COVID-19 Data Dispatch & freelance journalist
  • Ciara McCarthy @mccarthy_ciara), reporter, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Jessica Meszaros (@jmmeszaros), sustainability reporter and Morning Edition host, WUSF Public Media
  • Halle Parker (@_thehalparker), environment reporter, Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate
  • Benjamin Purper (@benjaminpurper), news director, KCBX
  • Nicolás (Nico) Rivero (@NicolasFuRivero), reporter, Quartz
  • Monica Samayoa (@m0nica10), environment reporter, Oregon Public Broadcasting
  • Carol Thompson (@thompsoncarolk), reporter, Lansing State Journal
  • Brandon Yadegari Moreno (@brandonyadegari), producer/cinematographer, High Country News / independent journalist

The 13 journalists will participate in workshops, a reporting bootcamp at the University of Missouri, multi-day field trips, customized webinars, and benefit from mentoring and networking support and attendance at health care journalism, environmental journalism and science writing professional conferences. The fellowships are funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Department of Science Education and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

“We received over 150 applications, and the process of narrowing down such a diverse and talented applicant pool was incredibly difficult,” said Andrew Smiley, AHCJ’s executive director. “The overwhelming interest in this fellowship from such talented early-career journalists is truly a testament to the continued focus that is needed on specialty reporting in these interconnected topic areas.”

"The future of science, health, and environmental journalism depends on creating a more sustainable career path for talented reporters -- and flexible, free, early career fellowship programs like this one fill a missing rung on the career ladder, especially for journalists from less privileged backgrounds." said Meaghan Parker, executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists. "We are especially pleased at the diversity of this inaugural class, with journalists of color comprising more than half of the group."

“This smart, creative, diverse and fearless group of early-career journalists is committed to providing accurate, socially responsible coverage of science, health and environment issues at the local and national level,” noted Rosalind Reid, CASW executive director. "We're thrilled by the opportunity to help them acquire the mentoring, knowledge and networking support they need to advance careers that will make a difference.”

The National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowships are a first-ever collaboration of CASW, AHCJ, and SEJ, and were modeled on AHCJ’s Regional Reporting Fellowship Program, which has graduated 117 reporters since its launch a decade ago.