SEJ Announces 2014 Elyssa Rosen Mentoring Fellows

Remembering Elyssa Rosen
1965 - 2013
© Photo by Dave Walsh

The Society of Environmental Journalists is honored to be managing a special fund to celebrate the life and work of Elyssa Rosen.

Elyssa was a remarkable young woman and dedicated conservationist who passed away suddenly in October of 2013. Since that time, inspired by Elyssa's experience with SEJ at the Montana 2010 conference and her respect for the SEJ peer network, Elyssa’s family, friends and colleagues, and other friends of SEJ have been donating to the memorial fund in support of SEJ’s mentoring program and annual conference. In addition, in Spring and Summer 2014 a special crowdfunding campaign conducted by a close friend of Elyssa Rosen's was targeted to enable all current mentoring pairs to attend SEJ's 24th Annual Conference in New Orleans September 3-7, 2014. The memorial fund and crowdfunding campaign, including matched gifts received by July 2014 from The Pew Charitable Trusts, raised $25,000. This was an awesome achievement for which SEJ is deeply grateful.


Elyssa Rosen Mentoring Fellowships covered most of the costs of attending the 2014 conference for 11 mentoring pairs selected through a special application process. For some, it fostered the first face-to-face meeting of these mentor-mentee pairs. Thanks to the vision and generosity of all who contributed in Elyssa Rosen's memory for making this special opportunity possible. 2014 Fellows share their stories here.


  2014 Elyssa Rosen Mentoring Fellows

Mentee Mentor
Abbey Dufoe Matthew Wheeland
Allie Wilkinson Dawn Stover*
Amy Mathews Amos Valerie Brown
Amy Nordrum John Platt
Jillian Keenan Michelle Nijhuis
Kasey Rahn Laura Paskus
Kelsey Dayton Sally Deneen
Kendra Pierre-Louis Erica Gies
Morgan Robinson Peter Thomson*
Shreya Dasgupta Rhitu Chatterjee
William Funk Dan Ferber**


*   These fellows waived the financial benefits associated with the fellowship in order to allow more colleagues to attend. Thank you!

** Unable to attend


Fellowship Description

Under the fellowship, each mentor and mentee in the selected pairs received a conference registration waiver, a choice of one Thursday tour, access to other ticketed conference events, and a stipend of up to $750 for hotels and travel and/or other conference expenses not covered under registration. Fellows also participated in a network lunch discussion about SEJ’s Mentor Program.


History of SEJ’s Mentor Program

Since 2001, SEJ’s Mentor Program has connected experienced journalists with those just starting out, embarking in a new medium and/or reporting on the environment for the first time. Through a carefully crafted application process, SEJ volunteers Jane Braxton Little and Dawn Stover have laid the groundwork for journalists to get the support they need, whether for a specific reporting project, managing a freelance career or improving essential skills. In some cases, these introductions have evolved into long-term reporting partnerships. To date, 167 mentees have been paired with mentors in a year-long partnership, some pairs checking in with each other monthly or quarterly, others more frequently. Many mentors have served numerous times.


Eligibility for the 2014 Elyssa Rosen Mentoring Fellowship

Active mentor-mentee pairs in the SEJ Mentor Program who were matched within one year of the 2014 conference were invited to apply. Following the conference, fellows were asked to write an article about the fellowship experience and the value of mentoring to environmental journalists. Read their stories here.


Application Process

Invited active mentoring pairs emailed one short proposal (3 pages max) for the pair, as well as a resumé and contact information for each mentor and mentee. Applications were reviewed by a jury.

SEJ fellowships seek to ensure the widest possible representation of journalists covering the environment; therefore, applicants were asked to provide SEJ with information about their media market, the type of media in which they work, and/or race/ethnicity identification if they thought it relevant. Each applicant was also asked to include a statement of need, and commentary on how the fellowship might affect their future work.

Applications were due by Midnight EDT April 15 and fellows announced on May 23, 2014.


Contact: Jeanne Scanlon

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