Two N.C. A&T Journalism Students Named Inaugural HBCU Science Journalism Fellows at MIT

By Markita C. Rowe / 05/01/2024 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

-From left to right: Christén Davis and Steven Matthews Jr.

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 1, 2024) – Two juniors in North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University's Journalism and Mass Communication Department, Christén Davis and Steven Matthews Jr., have been selected as inaugural HBCU (historically Black college or university) Science Journalism Fellows at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Davis, an Honors College multimedia major from Charleston, South Carolina, has reporting interests that include international economics and infectious diseases, while Matthews, a public relations major from Waldorf, Maryland, focuses on meteorology and natural disasters.

The HBCU Science Journalism Fellowship offers comprehensive training, mentorship and early career support to equip the next generation of journalists with the skills and knowledge necessary to report on critical issues in science, health and environmental reporting.

Davis and Matthews join eight other students from HBCUs selected for the program, including Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University and Morgan State University. The fellows’ varied reporting interests range from astronomy and artificial intelligence to women’s health and environmental justice.

As part of the fellowship, students will participate in a week-long summer camp at the Knight Science Journalism Program’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During this intensive program, they will receive hands-on training from award-winning journalists, visit leading science institutions, explore career opportunities in science journalism and network with editors from top science publications.

In addition, students will receive a year-long mentorship from a professional science journalist who will collaborate with them to develop story pitches for national and regional science publications.

The Knight Science Journalism Program covers the fellows’ travel expenses and provides each fellow with a $5,000 stipend.

“Congratulations to Christén and Steven for stepping out of their traditional journalistic comfort zones to take advantage of this inaugural program,” said David Squires, lecturer in the A&T Journalism and Mass Communication Department. “African American voices and opinions are needed in the field of science journalism, and I’m grateful the selection committee saw the talents and creativity that our students demonstrated in their applications.”

The Knight Science Journalism Program, established at MIT in 1983, is the world’s leading science journalism fellowship program. More than 400 leading science journalists from six continents have graduated from the program, which offers a course of study at MIT, Harvard University and other leading institutions in the Boston area, as well as specialized training workshops, seminars and science-focused field trips for all attendees.

For more information on the HBCU Science Journalism Fellowship program and the Knight Science Journalism Program, visit https://ksj.mit.edu/fellowships/hbcu-science-journalism-fellowship/.

Media Contact Information: mcrowe@ncat.edu

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