Alla Katsnelson and Jyoti Madhusoodanan recognized for outstanding service

A headshot of Alla Katsnelson

Alla Katsnelson

Each year, NASW recognizes a volunteer or volunteers who went beyond the call of duty with its Diane McGurgan Service Award. Alla Katsnelson, a freelance science writer and editor, and Jyoti Madhusoodanan, a freelance science journalist, are the 2020 recipients.

Jill Adams, NASW president, announced the award at our Annual Business Meeting, held October 23 during the virtual ScienceWriters2020 meeting. Adams recognized Katsnelson and Madhusoodanan for their work as co-chairs of the Awards Committee as well as other volunteer work.

“NASW is an organization that depends on the power of volunteers for most of its programs and activities,” Adams said. “Two years ago, Alla and Jyoti took over chair duties of the committee that oversees NASW’s Science in Society Journalism Awards and Excellence in Institutional Writing Awards. It’s a heavy lifting job that involves publicizing the submission cycle, recruiting several layers of judges to read all the great work, and selecting the most deserving work.”

A headshot of Jyoti Madhusoodanan

Jyoti Madhusoodanan

Earlier in the same day, the two moderated a ScienceWriters2020 session “Craft your career: How to apply for grants and fellowships“. The pair organized the event to “demystify the process with practical advice.” Originally proposed as an in-person session, Alla and Jyoti embraced the pivot to a virtual session and worked through the summer to create opportunities for attendees to meet with fellowship coordinators and past recipients at virtual tables.

The McGurgan Award honors NASW’s longtime former executive director, Diane McGurgan. NASW member Louis Lerner, who passed away in 2006, established the award in 2001 to show appreciation for then-Executive Director McGurgan and other members' efforts. Recipients receive a $500 award.

NASW is an organization that relies on the energy and enthusiasm of volunteers. As volunteers, members can help shape programming as part of a working group, lead or contribute to projects and programs, or run for the board. Learn more and get involved.

Nov. 9, 2020