In 2013, the Butler Koshland Fellowships program is offering a new fellowship opportunity for one emerging leader to be paired with and mentored by the esteemed Dr. Gloria Duffy, President and CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California. The Butler Koshland Fellowships program, based in San Francisco, is an exceptional fellowship that pairs accomplished leaders with an emerging leader for one year to work closely together on a project. The aim of the program is to identify and mentor the next generation of public service leaders. Previous mentor-fellow pairs include: Lucy Blake, a visionary conservationist and winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Award, paired with fellow Paul Burrow; Dr. Sandra Hernández, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, paired with fellow Shannon Malone; and Malcolm Margolin, founder and Executive Director of Heyday, paired with fellow Kate Brumage, who is now Executive Director of the Butler Koshland Fellowships organization. In general, the program seeks emerging leaders who have at least a few years of professional work experience, a demonstrated dedication to public service, a good work ethic, a strong desire to learn, and a unique perspective to share with the program. We sought to learn about the fellowship and application process from José G. González, a current Butler Koshland Fellow who is being mentored by Hugo Morales, Executive Director and Founder of Radio Bilingüe.
1. What inspired you to apply to the Butler Koshland Fellowship?
I applied to the Butler Koshland Fellowship because the concept of it seems so simple yet so powerful: find great people who are working to change the world and partner each with a talented younger person.
Specifically it provides a mentoring opportunity different than what I see as a “standard” fellowship. It was not just about gaining new skills and acquiring new knowledge. It was about having the support, the feedback, the insights, and the experience of working closely together with a talented Executive Director.
I was looking for an opportunity like this to “re-pivot” in the work I wanted to do. I wanted to benefit from a mentoring experience to see how I could take my professional development “to the next level” and see what I needed for the next steps. I was not just looking for another job, or another position at which to simply work. I wanted a growing and learning opportunity.
My current fellowship position exemplifies much of that. I am working with Hugo Morales, Executive Director and Founder of Radio Bilingüe. It is Latino public radio, serving as an example of needed diversity in the field of public radio, but also crucially delivering news and information to underserved communities. For example, our key audiences are Spanish-speaking immigrants and farmworkers.
I have helped Radio Bilingüe with a service expansion into new communities in the Southwest and I am working to develop their online presence. Yet, beyond such skills, from Hugo I learn everything from the “radio side” to insights of being an Executive Director: responsibilities of having and being on a board, strategic thinking, fund development, management, and networking.
Lastly I would mention the opportunity to connect with the other fellows and their mentors. Though we are under the same Fellowship, each of our positions is unique and I really value that diversity and the opportunity to share and learn from others in the Fellowship.
2. What was the application process like?
I can say there is no “right way” to “get the Fellowship.” The best advice I could give is to be confident in who you are and what you have done, taking pride in the experiences that have defined you and helped guide you to what you want to do. You are not just meeting a checklist of requirements, you are presenting yourself so as to show that you are ready to learn and engage, but that you also have knowledge and experience to share. You will be a Fellow and a mentee, but it will also be a two-way experience in which your mentor will learn from you—and you will contribute to the success of their organization.
For me the application process started by submitting the initial application via email as noted in the posting info. This consists of your resume, cover letter, references and possibly writing samples. If selected, then you have an opportunity to meet with the mentor for an interview. This may include other people depending on the organization and their processes. It may also include multiple interviews. For me this included submitting additional writing samples and doing a follow-up interview that included other Radio Bilingüe staff. In the end, Hugo called me personally to let me know I was accepted as a Fellow.
From then on, defining “what you do” is key since there may be no specific job description you are fulfilling, but there are a lot of opportunities. For me it was important to define what I wanted “being a Fellow” to mean since you are not just another staff member for the organization—you have a unique role, and with the support of your mentor, it can really provide opportunities to learn and grow.
3. What would you like to do next?
The future and next steps are full of potential and opportunity. When others ask me “where do you see yourself in five years?”, I have come to realize that the answer can be full of surprises. Five years ago I could not really describe what I am doing now and the wonderful people I have met. But the goals I have in mind are fairly straightforward:
- Be a solution to the “diversity problem” in conservation and provide leadership and actionable items in diversifying the conservation movement.
- Be a resource, advocate, and “bridge” for Latinos and environmental/conservation organizations.
- Be an educator for Latino perspectives on environmental/conservation issues through presentations, media, and on-the-ground work.
For that I ask others to reach out to me, take a risk on the work I want to do, and provide opportunities to make this happen as I work to leverage and nurture cultura and comunidad for conservation. Whether I will be doing this by starting my own non-profit, finding a sponsoring organization, working where I am now or within a mainstream conservation organization—that is to be seen.
I tend to use the word “opportunity” a lot. Part of that is because I am a proverbial optimist. But what I have also come to discover is that while some opportunities may seem easy or given, they can also be defined as challenges to overcome. What matters is how one chooses to handle it and align it to the goals you have in mind. It requires your actions, not just waiting for them. That is something I work to keep in mind as I think about where I will be next—and what I have learned in this Fellowship.
José G. González is an educator with classroom and outdoor experience across all age levels, from elementary school to college. Currently he is a Butler Koshland Fellow with Radio Bilingüe and has served as an adjunct faculty member with the National Hispanic University in their Teacher Education Department, as well as Program Coordinator for the California Mini-Corps Program. José was also the recipient of the prestigious Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship. He is interested in the intersection of Latinos and environmental/conservation issues. Mexicano by birth, Chicano/Latino by identity, illustrator by practice, and conservationist by pursuit, he grew up in the California’s Central Valley. Contact him for ideas, thoughts, workshops, collaborations, etc. on Twitter @green_chicano and @JoseBilingue. Check out his blog and his other work, including his artwork, at www.greenchicano.com.
© Victoria Johnson 2013, all rights reserved.
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Next in my series on How To Fully Fund Your PhD, I provide a list below of universities that offer full funding to all students admitted to their doctoral programs in communications.
In the ProFellow database, we list several competitive fellowships for graduate and doctoral study. However, to be successful in fully-funding your studies I recommend seeking out PhD programs that offer full funding to all admitted students. When a university indicates that they provide full funding to their PhD students, in most cases this means they provide each admitted doctoral student full tuition and a stipend for living expenses for the four to six year duration of the student’s doctoral studies. Not all universities provide full funding to their doctoral students, so be sure to research the financial aid offerings of all the potential PhD programs in your academic field, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad.
Columbia University Journalism School (New York, NY): A full-time Ph.D. student is generally offered a tuition exemption during the years he or she is completing coursework. Stipends are typically awarded for three years and generally require service as a teaching or research assistant.
New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development (New York, NY): The Department of Media, Culture, and Communication offers a complete funding and mentoring program to all admitted doctoral students.
Northwestern University School of Communication (Evanston, IL): All students who are admitted to our MA/PHD or PHD programs receive financial support packages including both fellowships and teaching assistantships. Regardless of whether applicants are domestic or international, all who are admitted to either our MA/PHD or PHD program receive funding.
Ohio State School of Communication (Cloumbus, OH): The School of Communication funds nearly every student we admit to our M.A. and Ph.D. programs with either a Graduate Associateship (teaching or research assistant) or some form of Graduate Fellowship (University or Enrichment Fellowship).
Purdue University Brian Lamb School of Communication (West Lafayette, IN): With few exceptions, graduate students accepted into the program receive funding, contingent on fulfilling degree milestones and requirements.
Simon Fraser University School of Communication (Burnaby, B.C., Canada): PhD students are normally funded for a minimum of six of their first nine semesters.
Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications (Syracuse, NY): Newhouse doctoral students are funded fully for three years and receive financial support from University Fellowships or research or teaching assistantships.
University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information (Lexington, KY): Both teaching and research assistantships are available to students. Typically, all students accepted into the program are fully funded.
University of Maryland Department of Communication (College Park, MD): With rare exemptions, the program currently admits only full-time students who are funded by teaching assistantships, administrative assistantships, and/or university fellowships. The department works with students that we admit to provide these funding opportunities to support their work.
University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication (Philadelphia, PA): All ASC graduate students are fully funded for up to five years, including tuition and fees, health care, teaching and research fellowships, and dissertation research fellowships.
To view over 460 professional and academic fellowships, including fellowships for graduate and doctoral study and pre- and post-doctoral research, sign up to view ProFellow’s fellowships database.
© Victoria Johnson 2013, all rights reserved.
Talk less and keep your ears open. And visit museums, because you can better understand a country by observing how that country documents its history. This is the advice Doug Mitchell gives to incoming fellows and others preparing for work and study in a foreign country.
When Doug speaks, you listen, because he’s been there and done that. A professional journalist and recognized national media trainer, Doug has worked for National Public Radio (NPR) for over twenty years and is actively involved in identifying new talent for induction into the world of public broadcasting. In 1994, what he terms “the silo days”, Doug began to focus on professional development for minority journalists by establishing training programs for students in partnership with the National Association for Black Journalists.
In 1996, Doug’s work turned global when the Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago asked the International Center for Journalists for a visiting expert in public radio broadcasting, an industry that did not exist in Chile at the time. Supported by the prestigious Knight International Press Fellowship, Doug spent five months in Chile developing and teaching a curriculum for a soup to nuts university lab that taught students everything from testing radio sound quality to storytelling. The students and university appreciated Doug’s work so much that he now has a permanent desk at the university and an open-ended invitation to return whenever he likes. Doug returned in 2003 on a U.S. State Department “Visitor Exchange” grant and again in 2007 on Fulbright Senior Specialist grant. While on the Fulbright grant, he helped students at the Universidad Catolica de Chile establish a new internet college radio station, RadioUC.cl. Five years later, RadioUC.cl is still on air.
Today, Doug is leading a new and very timely initiative – entrepreneurial boot camps for journalists of color. When the economy crashed, many journalists lost their permanent jobs and were faced with the limited alternatives of freelancing, competitive fellowships or pursuit of an entirely new career. With support from UNITY and the Ford Foundation, Doug and his colleagues founded the New U Entrepreneur Fellowship Program to mentor minority journalists and media professionals on how to develop successful, scalable businesses.
“Many of the large successful startups born in Silicon Valley – Apple, Google, Zynga and others – are now ‘old money’ companies. The market is so saturated by these large companies, new competitors are not aiming to build “the next Google.” Small, niche websites are the future, which is where these entrepreneurial journalists can have a stake,” said Doug. “They know how to create quality content, but not how to make money from their content. So we provide mentorship in entrepreneurship, such as training in market evaluation, as well as the opportunity to pitch to investors. We also mentor journalists on whether he or she should go into entrepreneurship, because it requires a certain mindset.”
To date, the New U Entrepreneur Fellowship Program has graduated 30 Fellows, ten of whom have received early stage seed grants ranging from $3,300 to $10,000. Many of the fellows have taken the opportunity to establish social initiatives. Fellow and grantee Cynthia Liu founded the K12 News Network, a news and advocacy platform for public school communities. Another, Jason Frazer, founded the Wealth Empowerment Network, a content syndication services that helps media organizations better educate audiences about building and sustaining personal wealth.
Talking about his fellowship experiences, Doug expressed how the Fulbright helped him make a meaningful connection with so many students and professionals at different levels in their career. “The Fulbright enabled me to feel like I was really valuable in a lot of ways. What I knew, other people wanted to know as well. That is what Fulbright is about, answering the question ‘What can I do to affect change?’”
Doug worked at NPR for over two decades, most of that time as a producer and director for each of NPR’s national newsmagazines. During his time at NPR he founded a hands-on media training program targeting college students, which he dubbed “next generation radio.” It launched in 2000 with streaming audio and video of stories conceived, reported, written and produced by college students. Currently, Doug is Co-Director of the New U Entrepreneur Fellowship Program and chair of the National Association of Black Journalists Media Institute. The Institute is designed to provide a wide range of media-specific, hands-on professional training to members of NABJ. Follow Doug on Twitter (@nextgenradio).
© Victoria Johnson 2012, all rights reserved.
- How to Win a Journalism Fellowship: Insider Tips from Knight Fellow Patrick Butler
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- Traveling To Tajikistan: Tales And Tips From Fulbright Scholar Hillary Evans
- From Public Service To Start-Ups: CEO Bernard Moon On The Coro Fellows Program
The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists is currently accepting applications for the prestigious United Nations journalism fellowships. Four fellowships are to be awarded to professional journalists from developing countries. To be eligible you must be an employed professional journalist in either radio, television, print, or web media, aged 25-35, and reside in Africa, Asia, South America or the Caribbean. The fellowships last for three months and include travel to/from New York, lodging and health insurance, and a daily allowance for food and necessities.
Winning fellows will have the unique opportunity to report on international affairs during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Past fellows of this program have gone on to accomplish great things in journalism.
The journalists who are awarded fellowships are given the incomparable opportunity to observe international diplomatic deliberations at the United Nations, to make professional contacts that will serve them for years to come, to interact with seasoned journalists from around the world, and to gain a broader perspective and understanding of matters of global concern. Many past fellows have risen to prominence in their professional and countries. Read more
If you’re not on the list of eligible countries for 2012 applications, don’t worry. The eligibility list changes every year. Journalists from China, Ethiopia, India and Nigeria will be eligible for 2013 fellowships.
The application deadline for the 2012 UN Journalism fellowships is March 30, 2012. To learn more and to apply please click here.
Join the crowd
Our step-by-step guide for a competitive fellowship application
1. Create a plan
2. Project proposal ideas
3. Talk to current / former fellows
4. Prepare an effective resumé
5. Find a host institution
6. Write a compelling personal statement
7. Prepare a strong project proposal
8. Get great recommendation letters (P1)
9. Get great recommendation letters (P2)
10. Nail the individual and group interviews