DiverseScholar NASW Diversity Travel Fellowship

Learn about the fellowship as well as the 2014 and 2015 awardees.

Articles by 2015 Fellows Now Published

R. Skibba, Sara Seager’s Search for Distant Habitable Worlds

S. Hotchkiss, Missed Opportunities for Inclusion at ScienceWriters 2015

E. Rodriguez Mega, Is America Latina Present in Science Journalism?

L. Quevedo, Science Is Only Half the Story: Know Your Audience

K.J. Hill, From MIT Chemical Engineering to Tech Entrepreneurship: Meet Role Model Chris Davis

E.N. Cofie, Black Journalists Pitch Their Stories to Advance Science

D. Shastri, The Cutting Edge of Genetics Can Be a Lonely Place

F.K. Wang, How Technology Designers Will Dictate Our Civic Future

M.P. Ferreira, STEM Book Review: Networking for Nerds

A. Landry, Satellites: Coming Soon to a Lab Near You


Meet the 2015 Fellowship Awardees

Professionals:
Eunice Cofie @eunicecofie
Eunice Nuekie Cofie is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Chemist of Nuekie, an innovative health and beauty company for people of color. Her company has garnered many awards such as 2013 Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Start Up Business of the Year, 2013 Tallahassee/Leon County Technology Commercialization Grant award, and 2012 Access Florida Business Plan Competition. Eunice has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012, Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list, NewU Entrepreneurs/Ford Foundation Fellow, Florida Commission on the Status of Women’s Florida Achievement Award, Young African Leaders in International Affairs Top 35 Under 35 in Science and Technology list, Scientific American’s “What a Scientist Looks Like” list, 2012 Golden A.C.E Science and Technology award winner, and Tallahassee Democrat’s “25 Women You Need to Know in Tallahassee”. Eunice is a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati studying Pharmaceutical Sciences with a specialization in Cosmetic Science. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry/molecular biology from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and a certificate in Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century from Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program. She has also completed the Kauffman Foundation FASTRAC Entrepreneurs Program for Scientists. The entrepreneur legend-in-training has been featured on Essence.com and in Forbes, Madam Noire, Florida Trend, Tallahassee Woman, and Ghana Television.

E.N. Cofie, Black Journalists Pitch Their Stories to Advance Science

Maria Pontes Ferreira @MariaPontesF
Maria Pontes Ferreira, PhD, RD is an assistant professor at Wayne State University in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science at UMass, Amherst. Her Master of Science degree in Exercise & Sport Nutrition is from TWU, Denton. Next she trained at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, to become a Registered Dietician.  Her continued interest in the field led her to obtain a PhD from Baylor University in Waco, TX in Exercise, Nutrition, & Preventive Health. Prior to obtaining her tenure track appointment at WSU, she completed a 3-year NIH IRACDA postdoctoral fellowship at Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas. She is an enthusiastic science writer, and loves to engage students in the process of writing and publishing.

M.P. Ferreira, STEM Book Review: Networking for Nerds

Luis Quevedo @luis_quevedo
Journalist, scientist, and Spanish filmmaker. Luis Quevedo has a degree in Biotechnology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Master in Communication at Pompeu Fabra University. His audiovisual work has been internationally recognized for its quality and innovation, most notably the documentary film “Searching for the first European”. He has pioneered TV and digital formats like “Tres14” and “Science Friday en Español”. Luis is now directing and hosting the Spanish language, international, daily TV show on science and technology, “CST”, available across the US and the Americas on NTN24. Until recently, he was producing “The Social Gradient Podcast” for the eponymous website and non-profit, a project wherein he brought science and health news of special relevance to minorities in the US. Luis is a regular science and health contributor to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and the popular website Naukas.com. As a speaker and coach, Luis evangelizes on the key role of communication in the present and future development of science and scientific culture in the Spanish-speaking world.

L. Quevedo, Science Is Only Half the Story: Know Your Audience

Emiliano Rodriguez Mega @mapache_rm
Emiliano Rodríguez Mega is a Mexican science journalist based in Mexico City. After graduating from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, he realized that lab work was not for him and switched gears to writing. He has focused on covering Latin American science stories, especially those that have certain social impact. His work has been published in Science, SciDev.Net, and QUO magazine (Mexico). He also co-founded Historias Cienciacionales, a nonprofit organization dedicated to communicating science to Spanish-speaking audiences, and has produced science podcasts for the Mexican Radio Institute. Emiliano reported on the 2015 AAAS conference in San Jose, California, as one of 9 recipients of an NASW travel grant.

E. Rodriguez Mega, Is America Latina Present in Science Journalism?

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang @fkwang
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Michigan and Hawai’i. She writes about Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, race, diversity, civil rights, and cultural issues; and, she is interested in looking more at the intersection between science and culture so as to better write about some of the most pressing issues facing Asia and the Pacific and the most precariously-perched communities there. She is a contributor for NBC News Asian America, AAPIVoices.com, NewAmericaMedia.org, ChicagoIsTheWorld.org, JACL’s PacificCitizen.org, InCultureParent.com, and HuffPostLive. She was previously the arts and culture contributing editor of IMDiversity.com Asian American Village, and she wrote a nationally syndicated column, “Adventures in Multicultural Living,” about living between and among cultures and those moments of resonance that cut across cultures and move us all. She teaches Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at the University of Michigan; and, she speaks nationally on Asian American issues. She has published three chapbooks of prose poetry, been included in several anthologies and art exhibitions, and created a multimedia artwork for a Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Indian American Heritage Project. She has a weakness for a well-crafted argument and a lyrical turn of phrase.

F.K. Wang, How Technology Designers Will Dictate Our Civic Future

Students:
Kaleb Hill @FitnessFleetCEO
Kaleb J. Hill is a nursing student at Delgado Community College and the president/CEO of FitnessFleet, Inc., a telehealth provider and biotechnology company based in New Orleans, LA. Mr. Hill is certified nursing assistant and community health worker who has worked with persons living with chronic illnesses in the clinical setting, as well as, in the public heath community for over nine years. Previously, Hill served as chair of the volunteer committee for the American Diabetes Association (Alabama/Mississippi chapter) for the Tour de Cure 2011. He currently serves as a community advisory board member at Tulane University’s Prevention Research Center, Patient Advisory Board member for the Louisiana Trial To Reduce Obesity in Primary Care at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Medical Fitness Network member, and the Ninth Ward Coalition. He is the Principal Investigator for a type 2 diabetes study, in partnership with Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Education, The Juxtopia Group, Inc., Valentine Medical Center, Prevention Research Center at Tulane University, that focuses on the prevention of type 2 diabetes among African-Americans in Louisiana using mobile health technology that he is currently developing. For more information about his work in the community visit www.FitnessFleetInc.com

K.J. Hill, From MIT Chemical Engineering to Tech Entrepreneurship: Meet Role Model Chris Davis

Sonjiala Hotchkiss @STEM_Punk
Sonjiala Hotchkiss is a master’s student in the chemistry and biochemistry department at the University of California, San Diego. She earned a BA in history from the University of New Orleans and a post-graduate diploma in law from the University of Law in London. For the last two years she has conducted research funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program at San Diego Mesa College. As part of her research, Ms. Hotchkiss synthesizes esters of vitamin C that may prove useful as cancer therapeutics. She presented her research at the 2014 ABRCMS Conference in San Antonio, TX; and, she will present her research in Washington, DC as part of the SACNAS Conference in October 2015. Ms. Hotchkiss has won awards for her journalism from the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the San Diego Press Club. She created an online science magazine at STEMPunk.com where she publishes profiles of students and scientists, study tips, and science-related articles with the goal of encouraging members of underrepresented groups to pursue study and careers in STEM fields.

S. Hotchkiss, Missed Opportunities for Inclusion at ScienceWriters 2015

Alexandra Landry @XdelCarpio
Alexandra Landry is a chemical engineering Ph.D. candidate at the University of California in Berkeley. Her work in the lab has exposed her to research in genetics, polymer chemistry, and nanoparticle synthesis and characterization. She has also interned in the research and development department of several companies ranging in focus from consumer goods, to pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals. Her desire to continue exploring new areas of science and follow her passion for writing has brought her to science writing. At Berkeley, she is a writer and editor for the Berkeley Science Review, a graduate student publication focused on innovative research at Berkeley. She is also actively involved in the Latino Association for Graduate Students in Engineering and Sciences, whose goals are to promote the recruitment and retention of Hispanic graduate students on campus. After graduation she plans to pursue a career in science writing.

A. Landry, Satellites: Coming Soon to a Lab Near You

Devi Shastri @DeviShastri
Devi (pronounced “Davy” like Jones or Crockett) Shastri is currently a junior at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is majoring in both biomedical sciences and journalism. As a lover of science and communication, you may find her crisscrossing all over campus to get from microbiology to media law class. She also works as a projects/investigative reporter, and formerly was the health and science reporter for the Marquette Wire. She is an intern for Marquette’s O’Brien Fellow, Miranda Spivack, a former editor and reporter for the Washington Post. She is working with Spivack on a project pertaining to state and local government secrecy. Last summer, she interned at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service as a general assignment reporter covering events and issues in Milwaukee neighborhoods. She was also featured on Milwaukee Public Radio’s Lake Effect.

D. Shastri, The Cutting Edge of Genetics Can Be a Lonely Place

Ramin Skibba @raminskibba
Ramin Skibba is excited to pursue writing full-time, as he is now a science communication student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. As a physics and astronomy researcher and lecturer, he previously worked in San Diego, Tucson, southwest Germany, and Pittsburgh, where he earned his PhD. Over the past few years, he has actively engaged in numerous public outreach and policy advocacy programs in southern California and Washington, DC, with an emphasis on diversity in science and science writing. He has written for the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy and elsewhere about gender and racial inequality at all levels of the pipeline and about the hidden effects of unconscious bias. As a half-Iranian, he has also written about the struggles of Iranian students and scientists. He is now focused on science writing, and he plans to continue playing a role in advancing diversity.

R. Skibba, Sara Seager’s Search for Distant Habitable Worlds

Honorable Mentions:
Kalimah Abioto
Christina Hernandez Sherwood
Clinton Parks
Kenyeda Adams
Kellen Marshall
Naomi Ogaldez


Diversity Travel Fellowship Information [top]

The competition for the 2015 DiverseScholar National Association of Science Writers (NASW) Diversity Travel Fellowship has closed. Sponsored by a generous NASW Idea Grant, these travel awards were created to encourage underrepresented minorities in science journalism/communication to attend the ScienceWriters2015 conference (October 9-13; Cambridge, MA). Extended deadline to apply was Sunday August 30 at noon PST. U.S.-based underrepresented minorities in journalism/communication are encouraged to apply especially African-, Hispanic-, and Native-Americans. Applicant must be at least 18 years old by the start of the SciWri15 conference. Previous award recipients are not eligible to apply except for those designated as Honorable Mentions.

We will only review completed applications with an uploaded CV/resume that describes your journalism/communication experience. Depending upon the number of applicants, preference will be given to 1) professional journalists either currently reporting on “Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math” (STEM), medicine, health, environment, information technology industry, etc, 2) journalists interested in learning about STEM, 3) students/trainees in journalism & communication, and 4) scientists wishing to explore a journalism/communication career. We have funds for 5 students and 5 professionals at $1,000 per travel fellowship. Below learn about the 2014 travel fellows and read their essays.

Awardees will be selected by mid-September. Recipients will make their own travel arrangements and submit original receipts for reimbursement after the conference. Recipients will be expected to submit a 500+ word essay on a topic to be determined, e.g. ScienceWriters2015 conference experience recap, for possible publication in DiverseScholar or other suitable venue.

The 2015 and 2014 fellowship judging panel were Cynthia-Lou Coleman, Tara Haelle, and project co-Directors Danielle Lee and Alberto Roca. Their biosketches can be found on the About page.

Any questions should be emailed to


Meet the 2014 Fellowship Awardees [top]

2014 Diversity Travel Fellows (funded by the National Association of Science Writers) with Danielle Lee (far left) at the ScienceWriters2014 conference.

Crystal Garner @shesagarner
Crystal Garner is a senior at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS, studying broadcast journalism and computer science. She has formerly worked/interned for NPR, NASA, The New York Times, Voice of America, USA TODAY, and the National Association of Black Journalists, among others. Post college, Garner hopes to work with both broadcast and web production in the media industry. She is the 2014 recipient of the Society of American Business Editors & Writers Benita Newton Minority Journalism Award, 2013 recipient of the Investigative Reporters & Editors James Bennett Scholarship and a 2013 recipient of a NASA Space Grant. Website: shesagarner.com

C. Garner, Research consistently links violent video games to human aggression

Ivan Gonzalez @GonzalezIvanF
Ivan Fernando Gonzalez is a Colombian-Peruvian writer who lives in Richland, Eastern Washington. Recently, he traded an academic life that included walking on top of molten rocks, training sharks, and dealing with keyboards covered with capsaicin (the pungent substance of chilly peppers) for the more adventurous life of a freelance science writer. He writes in English and Spanish for local and international audiences, and he also spends some time trying to build communities on Twitter. You can find him at @GonzalezIvanF (English) and @SalsaDeCiencia (Spanish). He also likes to take pictures with his cell phone and takes care of a pre-schooler that is always two steps ahead of him. You can find his writings, community projects, and pictures at www.IvanFGonzalez.com.

I.F. Gonzalez, Hispanic Audiences and Diversity in Science Journalism

I.F. Gonzalez, Culture Dish Diversity Mixer: Building Connections Between Science Writers

Terri Hansen @TerriHansen
Ms. Terri Hansen (Native American, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) is a journalist covering the science and environment beat for the national Indian Country Today Media Network, as well as environmental magazines. Ms. Hansen’s focus is the environment, environmental health, and earth and climate sciences as pertains to Native and Indigenous communities. (See clips at Muckrack.) She hails from Portland, Oregon, and has lived in a number of natural areas of the Pacific Northwest. She earned her undergraduate degree in communications from Portland State University. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Press Foundation, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Association of Health Care Journalists, and the Earth Journalism Network.

T. Hansen, Applying “Diversity in Science Writing” to Native Journalists

T. Hansen, Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting for Indian Country

Jacqueline Howard @JacqEHoward
Jacqueline Howard is a science associate editor for The Huffington Post and host/producer of HuffPost Science’s “Talk Nerdy To Me” video series. She appears weekly on HuffPost Live, recently appeared on MSNBC’s newscast, and was selected to participate in The White House’s “We the Geeks: Women Role Models” initiative. Previously, she served as an editor at AOL’s local news company, Patch, where she spearheaded the “Patch of Nature” reporting project. As a published writer and television producer, Howard has produced content for USAToday.com, MTV Networks, CBS News Productions and WCPO-TV. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. Website: www.jacqueline-howard.com

J. Howard, Science, Journalism, and Diversity: What Science Writers Are Doing About That Diversity Problem

J. Howard, A Tough Newsroom Discussion: Why Diversity Is Needed In Science Journalism

Kunmi Sobowale mdlitt.wordpress.com
Kunmi Sobowale is a Doctor of Medicine candidate at the University of Chicago interested in health care disparities. His work on mental health and STEM education and has been featured in USA Today, Health Affairs, KevinMD, and Primary Care Progress Notes. He co-founded a website, “Day in the Life Project”, showcasing the personal narratives of people of color and women in various professional careers to provide role models and a career guide for adolescents. He also conceived and organized Science & Technology: Emerging Professions Underrepresented Professions (STEP UP) Conference to inspire the next generation of women and minority leaders in science and technology. He has explored mental health in Japan, Hong Kong, mainland China, and Vietnam. His education includes Stanford Inter-University Center for Japanese Studies and Yale University (BA: Behavioral Neuroscience).

K. Sobowale, Enlightening Testimonials from Diverse Science Writers

K. Sobowale, Engaging the Science-Poor

Honorable Mentions
Miguel Acevedo
Erika Beras
Eunice Cofie
Leigh Cooper
Sherrell Dorsey
Kendra Pierre-Louis

last updated 5-Jan-2016