About AHCJ: General News

National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellows announced Date: 06/17/21

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW), the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), and the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) have announced the selection of the inaugural class of the National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowships.

The 2021 fellowship class includes:


JESENIA DE MOYA CORREA (@JeseniaDeMoyaC) is an award-winning Dominican American journalist, specializing in multimedia reports and productions for Latinx communities. She is a communities reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer where she has led the newspaper’s coverage of Latinx communities and founded a Spanish-language news product called El Inquirer, to deliver online reports for Hispanic and Latinx populations in the Greater Philadelphia region. 

ERIN DOUGLAS (@erinmdouglas23) is the environment reporter for The Texas Tribune. Previously, Douglas was a business reporter at the Houston Chronicle for two years where she covered labor, the economy, energy and the environment. Douglas studied journalism and economics at Colorado State University and started in journalism as an intern at The Denver Post, her hometown newspaper. She is based in Houston.

NADA HASSANEIN (@nhassanein_) is a national correspondent for USA TODAY, covering environmental and health inequities. She writes enterprise features on topics related to environmental justice, disparities in health outcomes and health-care access among people of color and other marginalized and vulnerable communities. Previously, she was a social issues reporter at the Tallahassee Democrat, covering social issues including immigration, health and domestic violence.

GREG KIM is a reporter at KYUK, a bilingual radio station in Bethel, Alaska. KYUK is the only news source for a region the size of Oregon and home to 56 Yup’ik Alaska native villages. Kim has been reporting in Bethel for a little more than two years; previously, he was a software engineer in Seattle.

BETSY LADYZHETS (@betsyladyzhets) is an independent science, health and data journalist focused on tracking the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s the founder and editor-in-chief of the COVID-19 Data Dispatch, a publication providing news and resources related to pandemic data. Her freelance work has appeared in Science News, MIT Technology Review and The Open Notebook, among others. Previously, she worked as a data journalist at Stacker.

CIARA MCCARTHY (@mccarthy_ciara) is a health reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram focusing on inequities in the public health and health care systems. She previously reported for the Victoria Advocate in Victoria, Texas, and worked as a community reporter for Patch in New York City and as a researcher for the Guardian U.S.

JESSICA MESZAROS (@jmmeszaros) is a reporter and host of Morning Edition at WUSF Public Media. She’s been a voice on public radio across Florida since 2012, in Miami, Fort Myers, and Tampa. Meszaros’ s writing, reporting and hosting have been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, National Public Radio News Directors Inc. and Society of Professional Journalists.

HALLE PARKER (@_thehalparker) is on the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate's environment desk, covering a wide range of issues in Louisiana including the pervasive impacts of coastal erosion and residents’ struggles with industrial air pollution. Her coverage centers environmental justice concerns and climate change. Previously, Parker worked in communications for the National Audubon Society and reported on social issues for newspapers in Virginia.

BENJAMIN PURPER (@benjaminpurper) is the news director at KCBX, a public radio station in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Before KCBX, he interned at NPR West and spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Purper hopes to one day take his reporting skills abroad as a foreign correspondent.

NICOLAS RIVERO (@NicolasFuRivero) is a tech reporter at Quartz covering misinformation, antitrust and online privacy. He grew up in Miami and studied journalism at Northwestern University. Now you can find him puttering around his Brooklyn apartment, checking on his plants.

MONICA SAMAYOA (@m0nica10) is an award-winning reporter who covers the environment for Oregon Public Broadcasting. Before joining OPB, Samayoa did general assignment reporting for NPR member station KQED in San Francisco. In 2017 she studied abroad at University of Technology Sydney. Monica also got her first taste of radio in Australia, where she produced and hosted for 2SER, Sydney Educational Radio. 

CAROL THOMPSON (@thompsoncarolk) is a reporter based in Lansing, Mich., where she writes for the Lansing State Journal. She has worked at newspapers in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, covering everything from housing to addiction to climate change. She knows too much about sea gulls and, outside of work, spends most of her time gardening and cross-country skiing.

BRANDON YADEGARI MORENO (@brandonyadegari) is a documentary film producer and cinematographer who reports on migration, queerness, climate justice and land use across the American West and Latin America. Yadegari Moreno strives to tell deeply reported, character-driven stories through his filmmaking that humanize and lift communities. He has held numerous fellowships and won national awards.


The 13 journalists will participate in workshops, a reporting bootcamp at the University of Missouri, multi-day field trips, customized webinars, and benefit from mentoring and networking support and attendance at health care journalism, environmental journalism and science writing professional conferences. The fellowships are funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Department of Science Education and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

“We received over 150 applications, and the process of narrowing down such a diverse and talented applicant pool was incredibly difficult,” said Andrew Smiley, AHCJ executive director. “The overwhelming interest in this fellowship from such talented early-career journalists is truly a testament to the continued focus that is needed on specialty reporting in these interconnected topic areas.”

"The future of science, health, and environmental journalism depends on creating a more sustainable career path for talented reporters -- and flexible, free, early career fellowship programs like this one fill a missing rung on the career ladder, especially for journalists from less privileged backgrounds." said Meaghan Parker, Executive Director of the Society of Environmental Journalists. "We are especially pleased at the diversity of this inaugural class, with journalists of color comprising more than half of the group."

“This smart, creative, diverse and fearless group of early-career journalists is committed to providing accurate, socially responsible coverage of science, health and environment issues at the local and national level,” noted Rosalind Reid, CASW executive director. "We're thrilled by the opportunity to help them acquire the mentoring, knowledge and networking support they need to advance careers that will make a difference.”

The National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowships are a first-ever collaboration of CASW, AHCJ, and SEJ, and were modeled on AHCJ’s Regional Reporting Fellowship Program, which has graduated 117 reporters since its launch a decade ago.