NASW mentoring program pairs students and science writers during AAAS meeting

This February, NASW's Education Committee paired 22 students with professional science writers for a mentorship program held in conjunction with the virtual AAAS 2021 Annual Meeting. Graduate and undergraduate students were matched with journalists, public information officers, and other science writers with career paths and beats similar to their own interests.

The program drew students from the U.S., Canada and Nepal, who connected with NASW members using the Remo online networking platform.

"I feel really grateful that we were able to provide this opportunity for students to receive career guidance and for mentors to share their expertise," said Czerne Reid, co-chair of the NASW Education Committee. "We've gotten enthusiastic feedback from both students and mentors, who say they found the experience enriching and valuable."

As part of the experience, some students covered AAAS sessions of their choice, with mentors serving as editors. You can read their stories here.

Saugat Bolakhe, a science writer in Nepal and a participant in the program, appreciated the guidance of his mentor, Siri Carpenter, and the chance to make professional connections with other participants.

"The mentoring program turned out to be the exact thing that I needed at that moment," Bolakhe said. "I wanted to jump-start my career in science journalism and had previously attended multiple conferences, seminars, and workshops, but concrete, practical stuff that could directly improve my writing skills was missing. Participating in this program helped me see science writing from a different lens."

Participants who wrote a story for the NASW website were:

Saugat Bolakhe
Maggie Chen
Daniel Erenstein
Shi En Kim
Christina Lam
Kennedy Lamb
Annabelle Moore
Max Peterson
Adithi Ramakrishnan
Armi Rowe
Adar Thau
Jayne Williamson-Lee

Other participants were:

Ellen Bausback
Vega Bellido
Anna Blaustein
Autumn Brower
Rebecca Dang
Caitlyn Finton
Elizabeth Gribkoff
Kelso Harper
Sharmila Kuthunur
Anna Nordseth
Kiara Sofia

Thank you to our members who volunteered as mentors:

Alison Bass
Roberta Batorsky
Karl Bates
Eric Bender
Steven Benowitz
David Biello
Siri Carpenter
Shelby Condit
Jenny Cutraro
Amanda Heidt
Carl Heltzel
Maureen Langlois
Peg Lopata
Jyoti Madhusoodanan
Betsy Mason
DJ McCauley
Michael Newman
Rodrigo PĂ©rez Ortega
Elliot Richman
Jill Sakai
Anthony Van Witsen
JoAnna Wendel

Other activities for NASW students attending the AAAS meeting included a virtual internship fair and an editor meet & greet. NASW has been sponsoring programs for student science writers during the annual AAAS meeting for the past 12 years. To be eligible, participants must become NASW student members by February 1.

April 1, 2021

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Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communications

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