10 women win CAMP fellowships

Journalism & Women Symposium brought 10 bright, young journalists to our annual CAMP this year as part of our fellowship program, providing them with mentoring, career advice, and a chance to soak up three days of active learning. We had a near-record of 30 fellowship applicants this year for our conference in Albuquerque, N.M., Oct. 26-28, a signal that the demand for this kind of training is growing.

Many thanks to JAWS board member Jessica Rettig and her committee for doing the important work of  selecting all our winners and helping them get acquainted with JAWS. And extra thanks to all who stepped up to support this program with donations. You can make contributions here to keep this program going.

2012 Fellows
2012 JAWS Fellows  –   Photo by Nina Zacuto


Our 2012 fellowship winners were:

Paromita Pain ~ Joan Cook Fellow

Austin, TX
Paromita Pain was a senior journalist with The Hindu Newspaper, one of India’s most respected broadsheets, before she came to the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California to do her second master’s degree in specialized journalism. She has covered several topics, from young people affected by riots, to women in Afghanistan determined to participate in the process of governing their country, and everything else in between.  She was a finalist in the IFJ (International Federation of Journalists) Tolerance Writing Competition and was awarded a Certificate of Commendation in 2005. Her career is a perfect example of how women mentors help create the next generation of women journalists. Her supervisor at The Hindu, Shalini Arun, was her first true journalism teacher. Later classes with Prof. K.C. Cole and Prof. Amy Parish ensured an exploration of areas she otherwise would have never looked at like science and the evolution of feminism in Darwinian terms. Paromita is now a science writer with the UT Austin Computing Center and a freelance writer with WSJ.com and various other media projects. Her future plans involve specializing in writing about science, women and health issues.

Sarah Angle
Fort Worth, TX
Sarah Angle is a freelance journalist based in Fort Worth, Texas. She’s written for national and regional publications such as: Fort Worth Weekly, Boys’ Life, Dallas Morning News and Texas Observer. During her work, she’s chased down stories about payday lenders in suburbia, hidden homeless camps in Fort Worth, school district wrongdoings, and HIV/AIDS in Tarrant County. Sarah earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in journalism from Texas Christian University. When she’s not writing, she enjoys watching foreign independent films, listening to live music and traveling to South America. Her goal is to work for a magazine where she can pursue her passion for storytelling while making a difference in the world. Check out more of Sarah’s work at her new blog: http://sarahangle.wordpress.com.

Benita Hussain
Boston, Mass.
Originally from New York City, Benita Hussain is a freelance writer and lawyer now based in Boston. With a B.S. in environmental studies from Cornell University and a J.D. from Fordham Law School, she is also the former sports editor of the award-winning online travel magazine Matador Network, and has also worked with the award-winning magazine SIERRA.  Her online and print work, which focuses on the environment, outdoor adventure and design, has appeared in SIERRA, GOOD, Condé Nast Traveler and Women’s Adventure Magazine, among others.  At JAWS CAMP, she’s seeking mentorship from and a connection with women with similar interests, particularly because of her nontraditional path to journalism.  She’s also a part-time yoga teacher, so is often healthfully exhausted.  More info: http://benitahussain.com.

Kira Zalan
Washington, D.C.
Kira Zalan is an associate editor at U.S. News & World Report and a freelance journalist whose work has been published in Marie Claire, Redbook, The Root, Washingtonian and the Center for Public Integrity. Kira holds a master’s degree in Russian and post-Soviet studies from the London School of Economics and in journalism from Georgetown University. When she is not being a journalist, she is likely dancing Cuban salsa, cooking a paleo meal, or CrossFitting. Kira lives in Washington, D.C., but travels every chance she gets. She currently has tickets for Scotland and Rwanda, and plans to write about both.

Ankita Rao
Washington, D.C.
Ankita Rao is a Web reporter at Kaiser Health News and recent alumna of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in several publications including The New York Times, Slate, Huffington Post and Washington City Paper. Originally from Florida, Ankita completed a one-year Indicorps fellowship in northern India where she designed and implemented an education project at a youth center for a marginalized community, one of the motivations behind her interest in covering international policy issues and development. You can contact Ankita at @anrao or .

Talana Lattimer
Washington, D.C.
Talana Lattimer is an award-winning political media producer currently working for Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) as the digital media coordinator. She has produced for CNN, CBS News, XM Sirius Satellite Radio, Black Entertainment Television and WTTG Fox 5 to name a few. She is the recipient of five National Student Television Emmy Awards (NATAS) for best documentary and best writing and recipient of the International Student Media Festival award for best documentary. Prior to joining ACTE, Talana worked for Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign and was also at the United States Department of Commerce in the media relations division.

She has served as a media trainer and public speaker for various social change organizations and worked extensively with the Marguerite Casey’s Foundation’s Equal Voices for America Campaign. She is an alumna of American University’s Women and Politics Institute’s WeLEAD program and the Washington Post’s WABJ Young Journalist workshop. In addition to being a freelance writer and filmmaker, Talana currently works on numerous productions including “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and a “Capital Fourth.”

Jessica Schreifels Miller
Ogden, UT
Jessica Schreifels Miller is currently a justice reporter at the Salt Lake Tribune. She specifically covers breaking news, gangs, plane crashes and court cases. Before covering crime, she spent nine months maintaining the Tribune’s website Utah’s Right to Know, which provides database information about public salaries, criminal charges, divorce data and other public documents.

Previously, she worked for two years as a crime reporter at the Standard-Examiner, a 68,000-circulation daily newspaper in Ogden, Utah. While at the Standard-Examiner, she also worked as a blogger for the newspaper, detailing life as a newlywed and young professional.  Miller is currently earning her master’s degree in Professional Communication at Weber State University, in Ogden, Utah. She graduated from the same university in 2009 with her bachelor’s degree in communication, emphasis on print journalism. While earning her undergraduate degree, she served as editor-in-chief of The Signpost, Weber State University’s tri-weekly newspaper.

Lygia Navarro
Toronto, Ontario
Lygia Navarro is a contributing editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review, and a freelance magazine and radio journalist focused on covering Latin America, Latino issues in the United States and the environment. She has reported from Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Germany and Mexico for a variety of outlets including MSNBC, FRONTLINE/World, Marketplace, NPR’s Latino USA, PRI’s The World, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Utne Reader, the Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Associated Press, Afar and the American Prospect, among others.

Lygia has held journalism fellowships from the Middlebury College Environmental Journalism program, Columbia University’s Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, the RIAS Berlin Commission and the Phillips Foundation. She has also been awarded grants and prizes for her reporting by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the North American Travel Journalists Association, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and American Women in Radio and TV. Lygia holds a BA in American Studies and master’s in journalism (both from the University of California, Berkeley), and has spoken to audiences at numerous colleges and universities about her work as a foreign correspondent.

Jessica Habjan
Albuquerque, NM
Jessica Habjan is a video producer and editor with a gift for documentary storytelling. For the last two years she has be working with New Mexico PBS where she is the primary editor for two locally produced monthly programs: “Public Square” and “Connect.” She also edited “Bataan: A 70th Anniversary Commemoration,” a nationally aired special, and produced and edited various short history videos for Moments in Time in collaboration with the New Mexico History Museum. A respected colleague once said that “She believes in the power of media to educate, inform and enlighten. For Jessica it is about making a difference in the world though her work.” Her work has taken her all the way to Benin, Africa, where, as part of Engineers Without Borders, she created a comprehensive documentary,”Gift of Water,” about a unique, self-sustained water purification system. When she isn’t camped out in the edit bay, she likes to spend time traveling to new places, backpacking in the backcountry, crocheting old fashion doilies, and catching up on her Netflix queue snuggled up with her husband, Matt, and her Boston Terrier puppy, Ellie.

Molly A.K. Connors
Concord, NH
Molly A.K. Connors is a staff reporter for The Concord Monitor in
Concord, N.H., where she covers seven small towns and the 2nd
Congressional District race, one of the 25 most competitive this year. A veteran of the 2012 New Hampshire primary, she’s written about Newt Gingrich’s proposals to cure Alzheimer’s, plans to overhaul Social Security and relationship with the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.

She loves community news, and favorite projects include profiling a young woman recovering from years of sexual abuse, documenting a small town’s recovery from the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene and exploring the impact of federal labor regulations on family farms. She has a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University and made the switch to newspapers when she covered the Massachusetts legislature for the Cape Cod Times through the Boston University Statehouse program. Her work has been featured on WBUR, Cape and Islands public radio and in The Boston Globe. A former high school Latin teacher, her career goal is to continue taking dense, complicated material and making it interesting and easy to digest for just about any audience.

To learn more about the JAWS Fellowship Program, click here. Applications for next year will be accepted in June 2013.