Diversity Fellowship recipients announced

A headshot of Rodrigo Pérez Ortega

Rodrigo Pérez Ortega (Credit: Carlos Antonio Sánchez)

The National Association of Science Writers’ Diversity Committee is pleased to announce Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Helen Santoro, and Anuradha Varanasi as recipients of our 2019 Diversity Fellowships. As fellows, Pérez Ortega, Santoro and Varanasi will each receive $5,000 to help defray relocation and living costs associated with completing a summer internship. Each will also receive a one-year membership to NASW.

This year’s fellows were selected from a deep and talented pool of applicants. Pérez Ortega is a graduate student in UC Santa Cruz’s Science Communication program and will intern at Inside Science, a science news service run out of the American Institute of Physics. Santoro is also a graduate student in the UC Santa Cruz program and will intern at High Country News on their West-North desk, covering stories from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northern Rockies. Varanasi is a graduate student in Columbia University’s Science, Environment, and Medical Journalism graduate program and will intern at The State of the Planet blog, run by the university’s Earth Institute. All three selectees were lauded by judges for their exceptional writing abilities and compelling personal stories.

A photo of Helen Santoro

Helen Santoro (Credit: Ky Hamilton)

NASW’s Diversity Committee conceived the fellowship out of the recognition that making ends meet on an intern’s salary can be hard. Now in its third year, and with an expanded number of awards, the fellowship is designed to supplement summer internship stipends and thereby lower a key barrier to entering the science journalism profession. Fellowship applications were open to any member of an underrepresented group who intended to complete a science journalism internship this summer. We extend special thanks to this year's judges: Nsikan Akpan, Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, Roberta Kwok, Kelly Tyrrell, and Philip Yam for their time and help in selecting the awardees.

A headshot of Anuradha Varanasi

Anuradha Varanasi

The fellowship is part of ongoing efforts by NASW’s Diversity Committee to address the lack of minorities in science journalism. The committee has also teamed up with The Open Notebook to launch a series dedicated to bringing greater visibility to journalists from underrepresented communities and to issues of special relevance to those communities.

The largest organization devoted to the professional interests of science writers, NASW is a community of more than 2,300 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.

For questions or more information visit www.nasw.org or write director@nasw.org.

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