Carter Center Awards 9 U.S. journalists Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism
The Carter Center adds fellowship and will train and support fellows as they report on a mental health topic of their choice
ATLANTA — The Carter Center is pleased to announce nine recipients of the 2021-2022 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism in the United States.
The center is awarding nine fellowships this year—one more than in previous years—in light of the heightened need for solid mental health reporting during the Covid-19 global pandemic and beyond.
The latest fellows cohort includes a community news founder, local reporters, freelancers, and the second annual awardee of the Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grant for Mental Health Investigative Journalism, in partnership with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
“These journalists are making important contributions to lifting some of the stigma associated with mental health issues,” said former U.S. First Lady and Carter Center co-founder Rosalynn Carter.
The Carter Center will announce international fellows in the summer, in collaboration Universidad de La Sabana and the GABO Foundation in Colombia, The National newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Qatar.
Beginning in September, fellows will pursue innovative mental health journalism projects during the year-long, non-residential fellowship. The projects tackle some of society’s biggest behavioral health challenges, and seek to strengthen reporting, to drive change in their communities, and help reduce stigma through storytelling.
Fellows are selected by a committee of current and former journalists, mental health experts, and the U.S. Fellowship Advisory Board, with an emphasis on diversity and the communities their fellowships project will cover.
Carter Center U.S. fellows receive intensive training from leading mental health and journalism experts and a $10,000 stipend to report on a mental health topic of their choice.
Fellows will receive virtual training on effective behavioral health reporting from past fellows and advisors, connect with alumni, be paired with their mentors, and gain a deep understanding of behavioral health.
The Carter Center is pleased to welcome the 2021-2022 U.S. class of Rosalynn Carter Fellows for Mental Health Journalism:
Topic: Mental health impacts of the collective trauma of 2020 on people over 50 years old
Andrea King Collier brings over 30 years’ experience reporting on medicine, public health, health care and health care policy for national publications and news outlets, including NBC, Next Avenue, and Essence. Her work on health, education and family issues has appeared in O Magazine, AARP Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Real Health, Black Enterprise, Heart and Soul, Savoy, Good Housekeeping, New York Times, Washington Post, Neurology Now, Heart Healthy Living, Country Living and others. Andrea is the author of “Still With Me: A Daughter’s Journey of Love and Loss” for Simon & Schuster and “The Black Woman’s Guide to Black Men’s Health” for Warner Wellness.
Topic: Mental health challenges in the Filipino American community and the factors that influence them
Agnes Constante is a freelance journalist in Los Angeles. She is a regular contributor to NBC Asian America where she writes about several issues, including deportations in the Southeast Asian community. Her work has also appeared in LA Times community newspaper, the TimesOC, Inquirer.net and Prism. Agnes was previously a staff reporter at Asian Journal and serves as secretary for the Los Angeles chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association.
Health Care Reporter, Georgia Public Broadcasting
Topic: The effectiveness of school-based mental health as it relates to children grieving emotional loss and death of loved ones
Ellen Eldridge (she/her) is a health care reporter for Georgia Public Broadcasting. She has previously worked as a breaking news reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The topics she most often writes about are mental health and addiction issues, crime and public health policy. Ellen graduated Kennesaw State University magna cum laude in 2015 with a degree in communication focused on journalism. Ellen lives with her husband, daughter and son in Woodstock, Georgia.
Maritza Lizeth Félix
Freelance Journalist & Founder, Conecta Arizona
Topic: Living in Grief: The impact of border restrictions on mourning
Maritza Lizeth Félix is a freelance journalist, producer and writer in Arizona. She is the founder of Conecta Arizona, a news-you-can-use service in Spanish that connects people in Arizona and Sonora primarily through WhatsApp and social media. She is a JSK Stanford, IWMF Adelante, and Listening Post Collective Fellow and part of Take The Lead’s 50 Women Who Can Change the World of Journalism 2020 cohort.
Maritza’s work has been published in major newspapers in Mexico and other countries and broadcast on Univision and Telemundo. She is an independent journalist whose work appears in Organización Editorial Mexicana, Channel 4 in the U.K., The Nation, Feet in 2 Worlds, Slate, The Americano, Proyecto Puente, Uniradio Noticias, Telemax, and Prensa Arizona. She hosted the documentary “Mysteries of Faith” for Discovery Channel and contributed as producer to “The Wall,” a worldwide investigative documentary for Rondo Media in the UK. She has worked as special project producer for Al Jazeera and was the investigative producer for award-winning special reports for Channel 4 in U.K.
In 2011, Maritza was named one of 40 under 40 Arizona Hispanic Leaders by Chicanos Por La Causa in recognition of her influential work in the state. She has won five Emmys and is the recipient of the inaugural award for Best Chronicle Written in the US by Nuevas Plumas. She also has won multiple awards from the Arizona Press Club. In 2012 and 2013, the Phoenix New Times named Félix Best Spanish-Language Journalist in Arizona. Maritza lives in Phoenix with her partner and inquisitive twins who challenge her imagination every day and fill her life with joy, love and laughter.
Editor, KUOW Public Radio
Topic: What we can learn about traumatized kids who grow up to be healthy adults, from past pandemics to the present
Liz Jones is an award-winning editor at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle, where she edits features, special projects, investigative series and daily news. Until spring 2018, Liz reported on immigration and emerging communities for KUOW for nearly a decade. Her work covered issues in the region’s growing immigrant and refugee populations, as well as stories connected to minority groups with a longer history in the area. She came to KUOW after several years at an online news startup, which was later bought by Oxygen Media in New York. Her last position there was health editor for the network’s website.
Liz’s work for KUOW has tapped into the Northwest’s global connections. Reporting trips to Mexico and India both produced award-winning documentaries. In 2009, Liz received a regional Murrow award for a documentary about indigenous Mexicans who migrate to the Seattle area. In 2014, she won a national Gracie award and RTNDA’s Kaleidoscope Award for a series that focused on immigration-related links between India and the Puget Sound region. Her work has also been heard on national shows including NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, PRI’s The World, Latino USA, Marketplace, The Takeaway and BBC News Service. Liz has also lived in Spain and Peru and speaks Spanish. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, with a degree in communications.
Personal Health Columnist
Wall Street Journal
Topic: Women and mental health: how hormone fluctuations change the brain
Sumathi Reddy is the Wall Street Journal’s personal health columnist, writing a weekly column called “Your Health” since 2012. “Your Health” covers a wide variety of health and medical topics, ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to women’s health to patient stories and cutting-edge research. Prior to reporting on health, Sumathi was a metro reporter for The Wall Street Journal’s Greater New York section, where she wrote a metro column and covered the food and restaurant industry. She previously covered everything from politics to schools to race and immigration as a metro reporter at papers including Newsday and The Baltimore Sun. She cut her teeth in journalism as a reporter and news editor at The Columbia Spectator. She lives in Forest Hills, Queens with her husband and two children.
Freelance Journalist and Assistant Professor, Journalism at Endicott College
Topic: Suicide and the science of resilience within the National Guard
Lara Salahi is an award-winning health journalist, author, and assistant professor of Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Endicott College. She has worked in local news, network and cable television, international print, and documentary film, and has been published in and broadcast on numerous news outlets worldwide. She is also executive producer of Track the Vax, a weekly podcast by Everyday Health and MedPage Today that breaks down the science and process of creating and distributing COVID-19 vaccines. Her book, “Outbreak Culture”, examines each phase of the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic — the largest and deadliest Ebola outbreak to date — and identifies the factors that complicated the response to the crisis.
Brett Sholtis – Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grantee for Mental Health Investigative Journalism
Health Reporter, WITF
Topic: How ineffective behavioral health policy and militarized law enforcement lead to crisis situations where police arrest or kill people with serious mental illnesses
Brett Sholtis is the health reporter at NPR affiliate WITF in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His work often focuses on mental health policy and how it interacts with policing and prisons. His stories have been broadcast and published by NPR, Kaiser Health News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Spotlight PA and public radio stations across Pennsylvania. He’s discussed his work on All Things Considered, the NPR Politics Podcast, WITF Smart Talk and elsewhere. Sholtis’ 2019 profile of a young woman with schizophrenia was recognized with a Radio Television Digital News Association Regional Edward R. Murrow Award. In 2020, a follow-up to that story helped to get that woman moved from county jail to a psychiatric facility.
He is the host of Transforming Health’s annual “A Summer Read” book series, where he has led public conversations with Sheryl Sandberg, Sue Klebold and Sam Quinones. Sholtis also has reported extensively on Pennsylvania’s response to the coronavirus and election-year social unrest in Harrisburg. He is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and NPR/Kaiser Health News’ team of reporters. Previously he worked as a business reporter at York Daily Record, where he was recognized with Associated Press and Keystone Awards for his work on nuclear waste and food safety. Sholtis is a University of Pittsburgh graduate and a Pennsylvania Army National Guard Kosovo campaign veteran.
Topic: How ill-equipped nursing homes have become institutions for people with mental illnesses
Elly Yu is an investigative reporter at KPCC/LAist, which she joined in November 2019. She previously worked at WAMU in Washington D.C, where she reported on health, politics, and other general assignment stories. Before that, she was a reporter at WABE in Atlanta, where she focused on state politics, immigration and healthcare. Elly was an investigative fellow with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting from 2017-2018, where she investigated an immigrant detention center in southwest Georgia. Her stories have aired on outlets including Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. In 2016, Elly received the “Rising Star Award” from the Atlanta Press Club. Elly has a master’s from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s from the University of Southern California.