2023 NASW Diversity Summer Fellowships provides promising trainees with supplemental stipends to pursue science writing careers

The National Association of Science Writers congratulates Simar Bajaj, Saugat Bolakhe, Erin Connolly, Bree Iskandar, Angel Kumari, Andrea Tamayo, and Abdullahi Tsanni on receiving a 2023 NASW Diversity Summer Fellowship.

Trainees in science writing and journalism must balance financial needs with new challenges, especially amid pandemic, economic, and media industry impacts. To ease this journey for students and early career professionals — and to encourage new talents of diverse identities and lived experiences — NASW began offering the Diversity Summer Fellowship program in 2017.

Administered by the NASW Diversity Committee, the program provides supplemental income for trainees to pursue their chosen summer internship. Applicants must have been accepted for training in any medium by a newsroom or communications office; the NASW funds then supplement any stipend they receive from their summer employer. Awardees receive $3,000 — plus a one-year complimentary membership to NASW, availing them to mentoring, job listings, and other professional development resources.

“Summer internship stipends don’t always cover the full costs of temporarily relocating to a new city or making other ends meet,” said journalist Nicholas St. Fleur, NASW Diversity Committee co-chair. “This NASW Diversity Committee program is one great way to support these blossoming reporters — especially those amplifying underrepresented voices. I’m proud that NASW continues to use this program to invest in the next generation of science journalists.”

Meet Our 2023 NASW Diversity Summer Fellows:

Simar Bajaj
Internship Site: STAT News
On Twitter: @SimarSBajaj

Saugat Bolakhe
Internship Site: Quanta Magazine
On Twitter: @saugat_optimist

Erin Connolly
Internship Site: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
On Twitter: @ErinEConnolly

Bree Iskandar
Internship Site: STAT News
On Twitter: @breezyscience

Angel Kumari
Internship Site: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
On Twitter: @akumsss

Andrea Tamayo
Internship Site: The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
On Twitter: @andreaxtamayo

Abdullahi Tsanni
Internship Site: STAT News
On Twitter: @abdultsanni

The seven recipients of the 2023 NASW Diversity Summer Fellowship. Top L-R: Saugat Bolakhe, Simar Bajaj, Erin Connolly, Bree Iskandar. Bottom L-R: Angel Kumari, Andrea Tamayo, Abdullahi Tsanni (Courtesy of CUNY Newmark; Harvard University; Erin Connolly; UNC-Chapel Hill; Angel Kumari; Misty Jones Photography; Jon Sachs)

Disclosure: NASW Diversity Committee co-chair Nicholas St. Fleur is an employee of STAT News. St. Fleur recused himself from fellowship applications reviews involving STAT interns.

The NASW Diversity Committee focuses on special projects and programs that support diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in science journalism. The committee’s initiatives are intended to support writers from underrepresented communities and bring new members into the field. Connect with committee chairs at diversity@nasw.org

NASW members interested in supporting the Diversity Summer Fellowship can volunteer to serve on the NASW Diversity Committee. To learn how, visit nasw.org/volunteer for current listings and opportunities. And find out more about NASW’s growing programs sustaining talented colleagues and untold stories at nasw.org/awards/diversity

Founded in 1934 with a mission to fight for the free flow of science news, NASW is an organization of ~ 2,500 professional journalists, authors, editors, producers, public information officers, students and people who write and produce material intended to inform the public about science, health, engineering, and technology. To learn more, visit www.nasw.org