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17 Journalists from Across U.S. Awarded Aging-Focused Fellowships

For Immediate Release
October 13, 2021

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and the Journalists Network on Generations are welcoming 17 distinguished reporters for the next class of the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, now in its 12th year.

They represent a wide range of general audience, ethnic, and community media outlets, including public radio and television affiliates, daily newspapers, and national publications. This year’s group brings the program’s total number of participating reporters to 202. The new fellows were chosen — by a panel of gerontological and editorial professionals — based on their proposals for an in-depth aging-focused story or series.

The program is supported by funding from The Silver Century Foundation, RRF Foundation for Aging, The Commonwealth Fund, Archstone Foundation, and The John A. Hartford Foundation.

The current cycle of the program will be conducted entirely online. It will commence with a short series of background and issue-focused educational sessions on November 3, 10, and 17. Fellows will additionally participate in GSA’s 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting, taking place from November 10 to 13, also online. The fellowship will showcase research highlights from the meeting and other sources, and host discussions with veteran journalists on how to position aging stories in the current media environment.

“We congratulate the new fellows and are proud to support them in their commitment to serving communities nationwide with fact-based, topical stories on the experiences of people as we age,” said Todd Kluss, GSA’s director of communications. “By connecting them with top experts in the field, our program provides its participants with a first-rate educational overview of trends and new developments.”

Kluss co-directs the program together with independent age-beat journalist Liz Seegert, who serves as program coordinator of the fellowship’s media partner, the Journalists Network on Generations.

Continuing fellowship grants also are being provided to allow 11 previous fellows to participate in the program and GSA’s meeting. A continuously updated list of more than 700 stories generated by the program’s alumni is available at www.geron.org/coverage.

The new fellows:

Bobbi I. Booker (Your Philly Black News)
Project: Three-part multimedia series on Philadelphia’s senior community centers located in low income Black neighborhoods throughout the city.

Ruben Castaneda (U.S. News & World Report)
Project: In-depth story to explain both why Latinos are dying at greater rates of COVID-19, and why their rate of mortality is lower for other causes.

Chelsea Cirruzzo (Axios)
Project: Investigative story on homeless seniors in Washington, DC, including a national perspective.

Rukiya Colvin (Planet Detroit)
Project: Air pollution, heatwaves, flooding — the triple threat that’s killing Detroit’s older adults.

Paige Cornwell (The Seattle Times)
Project: Long-form feature and photo package on rural aging in the state of Washington.

Julie Fanselow (3rd Act Magazine)
Project: How creative professionals use the arts to help people process their experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Annakai Hayakawa Geshlider (Rafu Shimpo)
Project: Issues for incarcerated older people, with a focus on Asians in the U.S., intensified by the COVID pandemic.

B. Denise Hawkins (Trice Edney News)
Project: Why the Maryland Baptist Aged Home, and a handful of others like it, may represent a needed break with tradition — and what a new model for nursing home care should be, especially for Black older adults.

Tony Hicks (Bay City News)
Project: Two stories on the dynamics of older adult life in Contra Costa County (one of California’s fastest aging), with one on the political impact and the second on the changing workforce.

LaShawn Hudson (WABE Public Radio’s “Closer Look with Rose Scott”)
Project: Multi-part series on the COVID-19-related public health tragedy at Atlanta’s Arbor Terrace at Cascade retirement community.

Elissa S. Lee (Southern California News Group)
Project: What does caregiving look like in marginalized communities (particularly immigrant communities, communities of color, LGBTQ+, and disabled), and how has COVID-19 impacted care?

Ronnie Lovler (Gainesville Sun)
Project: An examination of Florida’s The Villages retirement community, including how it developed, why that location was chosen, and how and why it has grown — and the contrast of its older white homogeneity with the racial, ethnical, and generational mix found in nearby Gainesville.

Lavina Melwani (Khabar Magazine)
Project: “Final Destination: Last Stop on the Indian Immigrant Journey in America,” in-depth piece on the retirement options for the 4.8 million-strong Indian-American population in the U.S.

Annie Nova (CNBC)
Project:The Myth of Retirement in America,” a three-part series on how the pandemic disrupted workers’ attempts to build a nest egg; on how many people have been forced to retire before they were ready; and how unprepared for retirement so many Americans already were, and what it’s like getting by on just Social Security.

Michael Sainato (The Guardian)
Project: A focus on the workplace issues older populations face in the U.S., including the aging discrimination they face in job hiring, how they’re treated in the workplace, and the increasing need to work past their intended retirement age.

Carly Stern (The Washington Post)
Project: “What Women of Color Need to Know About Dementia”: how miseducation and delayed care contribute to poor outcomes for women of color with dementia.

Ian Torres Santa Ana (Telemundo Oklahoma)
Project: A three-part series on how COVID-19 affected Hispanic seniors, including a look at the psychology of isolation, how a recreation center brings together Hispanic older adults around Latino culture, and how service gaps left by the pandemic will be closed.

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society.

The Journalists Network on Generations, founded in 1993, is based in San Francisco. It links to over 1,000 journalists, authors, and producers on issues in aging, and publishes Generations Beat Online News (GBONews.org).

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