Six outstanding journalism and communications students have been selected from four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to participate in the third class of the Rhoden Fellowship – a one-year sports journalism internship program with ESPN’s The Undefeated that identifies and trains aspiring African American journalists.
A panel of senior editors at The Undefeated – ESPN’s multiplatform initiative focusing on the intersections of sports, race and culture – and former New York Times award-winning sports columnist Bill Rhoden selected the Fellows from a pool of HBCU applicants across the country.
The Fellows will work as stringers during the academic year, covering and reporting sports, as well as general news, at their respective universities for The Undefeated’s HBCU vertical. They also create and produce weekly multimedia content, and host and produce podcasts addressing resonant issues and topics affecting young people. During the summer, the Fellows work 40-hour weeks at ESPN offices in New York City and at The Undefeated in Washington, D.C. where they gain first-hand experience in all aspects of sports journalism.
Kevin Merida, senior vice president and editor-in-chief, ESPN: “The Rhoden Fellows Program already is making a difference. Some graduates are out in the world now starting to put a stamp on our profession. We welcome this newest class to add to the pipeline of excellence we’re building.”
Bill Rhoden, head, Rhoden Fellows, columnist and editor-at-large, The Undefeated: “I could not be more proud that ESPN and The Undefeated have invested in a third class of Rhoden Fellows. This demonstrates ESPN’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and to producing a new generation of journalists.”
Funded by ESPN, the Rhoden Fellowship is a one-year program founded by former New York Times award-winning sports columnist William C. Rhoden, who joined ESPN’s The Undefeated in October 2016 to run the fellowship program and serve as columnist and editor-at-large. The fellowship – established as part of The Undefeated’s mission to develop new voices and serve as an incubator for future sports journalists of color – is open to outstanding undergraduate students at HBCUs.
The new Rhoden Fellows:
Whitney Bronson – Hampton University
- Bronson, senior journalism major from Cincinnati, Ohio, works at Hampton University’s on-campus radio station (WHOV 88.1 FM). She is also a play-by-play commentator for the women’s basketball games, and a color commentator for football and men’s basketball.
Arthur Cribbs – Howard University
- Cribbs, a junior journalism major from Los Angeles, is currently an intern with Sony Pictures in his hometown. He has written for “Dodger Nation,” one of the leading sources for Los Angeles Dodgers news, and serves as a production manager at WHUT-TV at Howard University.
East L. Dockery – North Carolina A&T University
- Dockery, a sophomore multimedia journalism major from Greensboro, N.C., created a campus-based YouTube show “EASTANDMARKET” for the university community. She works as a reporter and videographer for the football team.
Nathaniel “Nate” Easington – Howard University
- Easington is a senior journalism major and history minor from Evanston, Illinois. He writes both sports and news stories for the Howard University student newspaper, The Hilltop, and The Ghanaian Times. He is currently interning on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.
Kevin Parrish Jr. – Bowie State University
- A junior mass communications and print journalism major from Baltimore, Md., Parrish is a reporter for Bowie State University student newspaper The Spectrum and contributor to USA Today‘s NBA coverage.
Randall C. Williams – Hampton University
- A senior journalism and communications major from Columbus, Ohio, Williams is the sports editor for the Hampton Script, Hampton University’s student newspaper and currently an intern at Bloomberg.
The Undefeated is ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. The digital hub, TheUndefeated.com, which launched in May 2016, combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, investigation, original reporting and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans, as well as sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of black athletes, culture and related issues.
In addition to its cutting-edge content, The Undefeated seeks to be a thought-leader on race, sports and culture in the country – convening insightful forums to discuss and debate topical issues affecting sports and race in America.
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