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2024 Summer Media Fellowships


Environmental Law Media Fellows:

Zack Colman, POLITICO

Zack Colman covers climate change for POLITICO. He previously covered climate and energy issues at E&E News, The Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Examiner, and The Hill and has freelanced for publications such as The Washington Post, Undark, and Scientific American. He is a former Knight Science Journalism fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bill Lane Center for the American West fellow at Stanford University. His reporting spans domestic and international climate politics and policy, climate science, and the effects of climate change on everyday Americans and the economy. He holds a master's degree from the University of Illinois-Springfield and a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University.

JoVona Taylor, Bloomberg Law

JoVona Taylor is an editor for Bloomberg Law’s Environment & Energy section. Since joining the newsroom, she has edited hundreds of stories on a range of environmental law topics such as what’s considered WOTUS, or waters of the US, after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Sackett v. EPA and kids in Montana, Hawaii, and California kickstarting trending lawsuits against the government for infringing on their right to a safe environment with climate change-inducing policies. Though born and raised in Chicago, she now resides in the Washington metro area.


Food and Agriculture Media Fellow:

Hoda Emam, Independent Journalist

Hoda Emam is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker with over 15 years of experience, covering in-depth research and reporting on health inequities, food insecurity, adolescent health, postpartum finances, and women in underrepresented communities. 

Recently, as a University of Southern California Center for Health Journalism fellow, Hoda reported on the impacts of food insecurity with a focus on families who fall above the threshold for federal food aid but still struggle to meet their family’s nutritional needs. Her work has been published by the Harvard Public Health Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Reuters, CBS News, Bay City News, and The Guardian.

She is currently a professor of visual journalism at the Mayborn School of Journalism at The University of North Texas. Hoda holds a master’s degree in digital media from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. 


Animal Law Media Fellows:

Grace Hussain, Independent Journalist

Grace covers farming, agricultural policy, and solutions as a staff writer for Sentient. Her reporting has been published in Truthdig and the Good Men Project and she has been featured on BBC Weekend Edition. She holds her MS in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University.

Christine Ro, Independent Journalist

Christine Ro worked for environmental and international development organizations before becoming a freelance journalist. In 2024 she’s writing for the BBC, the Guardian, Forbes, and Nature. She’s especially interested in the interconnections among human, animal, and environmental welfare.


Think like a lawyer. Report like a journalist.

Enhance your journalism skills and deepen your understanding of environmental, agriculture and food systems, or animal law and policy with a Media Fellowship at one of the nation's top environmental law schools. 

Every summer, Vermont Law and Graduate School's Environmental Law Center brings together legal educators, policymakers, practicing lawyers, and other leaders in their fields to share their expertise in our Summer Session. 

Media fellows have access to our distinguished faculty and visiting policy leaders. They can meet for on- or off-record conversations with these experts, developing new insights, meeting new sources, and gaining renewed enthusiasm for covering the critical issues in climate change, animal law, energy, food and agriculture, and other areas. Each fellow will choose to audit a course from a selection of topics within their specific fellowship category.

Our two Environmental Law Media Fellows and Food and Agriculture Law Media Fellow may audit one two-week, two-credit environmental course in June or July. These fellows will receive a $1,250 stipend, free housing, and a tuition waiver (travel not included).

Thanks to funding from the American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®), our two Animal Law Media Fellows will also receive free housing, a tuition waiver, a $500-$1,900 stipend, and travel reimbursement. One fellow may audit Science of Animal Law and Policy, Animal Welfare Law, or The Farm Bill. Another applicant will be selected to participate in the Undercover Investigations of Animal Operations weekend intensive. 

View the Summer Session Course Catalog for all course descriptions and schedules for more information. 

Media fellows also take part in the Summer Session's lunch series, "Hot Topics in Environmental Law," delivering a 45-minute, informal lecture on an environmental, food and agriculture, or animal law and policy topic of their choosing. Outside of classroom time, fellows can also enjoy the beauty of our campus, historic South Royalton, and rural Vermont. Family members are welcome. 

Fellowships are open to journalists who cover issues such as natural resources, energy, legal affairs, public health, food and agriculture, animal law and policy, and other environment-related subjects. They are open to staff, freelance, and independent reporters, writers, editors, and producers who are working full-time as journalists. Journalism students and teachers, public relations practitioners and contributors to newsletters, magazines and other media controlled by industry, government or advocacy groups are not eligible.

Fellows are selected based on the quality of their ability to reach a broad audience including the applicant's work history, samples and commitment to covering environmental law and policy, animal protection, or agriculture and farm systems topics and their potential for increasing understanding of these issues nationwide. 

VLGS looks for journalists who are from different geographic areas, at different career stages, in different types of media and who work for a variety of news organizations. Journalists from BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

The application deadline for all fellowships TBD February 2025

To apply, please complete the online form and provide your contact information, CV or resume, and letter of interest. For questions or inquiries, please contact


"Attending Vermont Law School this summer was immensely educational. It's so rare to have the opportunity to spend two weeks burrowing into a single topic, and it was a huge privilege to do so in the idyllic surroundings of South Royalton. In addition to attending class, I had the chance to connect face-to-face and on Zoom with law school faculty, all of whom are doing exciting research relevant to my beat. I would recommend this fellowship for anyone reporting on animals and agriculture."
–Claire Brown, The Counter 
“I recommend this fellowship to any reporter covering the environment. Not only do you have to know the science, but VLS helps you to know the law. In fact, I still keep my textbooks from that summer as reference materials.”
–Seth Borenstein, AP
"Vermont Law School has always been a place to turn for well informed, helpful legal sources on environmental issues. Spending two weeks there as a media fellow lets you strengthen the relationship in important ways: schmoozing with the faculty in relaxed settings, engaging in group conversations around the big picture, presenting your own work in a noon lecture, sounding out an expert on a narrow aspect of the law that lies at the heart of a big investigative project. Other students were friendly and engaged as well. I took an intensive class taught by a VLS graduate who is the leading expert in her specialty, found it challenging and learned an enormous amount in eight packed mornings. But I also had time to bike in the hills, dine with locals, and paddle a kayak within a few feet of a family of loons. Five stars."
–Jack Cushman, InsideClimate News
"It was a great relief—and a pleasure—to spend two entire weeks simply digging into one subject. I was able to build considerable depth in a topic that is likely to gain prominence on the public agenda. I feel much better prepared to report knowledgeably on the topic (Arctic oil exploration). And I also seized the chance to wander into offices and engage people throughout the law school. A first-rate experience."
–Richard Harris, NPR
"The two weeks at VLS were refreshing and invigorating, a chance to step back from the hurly-burly of news deadlines and explore new directions. From full-time faculty like Pat Parenteau, Laurie Ristino, and Craig Pease I gained a fuller appreciation of the bright and committed scholars you have on your faculty. I've added a few new names to my Rolodex, to be sure."
–Timothy Wheeler, Baltimore Sun
“Vermont Law School gave me the rare chance to spend two focused weeks studying the law and policy behind the environmental issues I write about. My course, Earth Law, was engaging and thought-provoking. The faculty shared its expertise through lectures on timely topics and opened their doors to me for one-on-one discussions. I'd recommend the fellowship to any journalist seeking a broader understanding of environmental law.”
–Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times



Environmental Law Media Fellows:

Bridget Reed Morawski, freelance energy and environment reporter

Miranda Willson, reporter at E&E News

Food and Agriculture Media Fellow:

Lela Nargi, freelance journalist covering the food system, social justice issues, science & the environment

Animal Law Media Fellows:

Kenny Torrella, writer for Vox’s Future Perfect section

​Grace, journalist who writes about climate, agriculture, and science


Other Previous Media Fellows Include:

  • David Abel, The Boston Globe
  • Ashley Ahearn, PRI's Living on Earth
  • Natalie Allen, CNN
  • Anthony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
  • Kevin Begos, The Associated Press
  • Winifred Bird, freelancer in Japan
  • Marina Bolotnikova, freelance journalist
  • Priyanka Bora, Hindustan Times
  • Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press
  • Claire Brown, The Counter
  • Yvette Cabrera, Grist
  • Dina Cappiello, Houston Chronicle
  • Jon Christensen, freelancer for The New York Times
  • Lesley Clark, Politico's E&E (Energy & Environment) News
  • Warren Cornwall, Seattle Times
  • Jack Cushman, InsideClimate News
  • Beth Daley, The Boston Globe
  • Jason Dearen, The Associated Press
  • Leah Douglas, Reuters
  • Maya Earls, Bloomberg Law
  • Misty Edgecomb, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
  • Roseanne Gerin, Radio Free Asia
  • Erica Gies, freelancer for The New York Times
  • Ellen Gilmer, E&E News
  • Adam Glenn, independent online producer (formerly ABCNews, Greenwire)
  • Osha Gray Davidson, freelance writer
  • Rob Davis, Voice of San Diego
  • Kate Galbraith, Texas Tribune
  • Richard Harris, NPR
  • Fiona Harvey, The Guardian
  • Lisa Held, Civil Eats
  • Cynthia Henry, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Tom Henry, The Blade (Toledo)
  • Cheryl Hogue, Chemical & Engineering News
  • Lawrence Hurley, Greenwire
  • Lisa Hymas, Media Matters for America
  • Melanie Kaplan, freelance journalist
  • Jeremy Jacobs, Greenwire
  • Maya Kapoor, High Country News 
  • Brent Kendall, The Wall Street Journal
  • Pamela King, E&E News
  • Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones
  • Mike Lee, San Diego Union-Tribune
  • Randy Lee Loftis, Dallas Morning News
  • Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones, Climate Desk
  • John McQuaid, New Orleans Times-Picayune
  • Lisa Palmer, freelance writer
  • Jodi Peterson, High Country News
  • Asher Price, Austin American-Statesman
  • Amy Quinton, New Hampshire Public Radio
  • Mark Schapiro, Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Zoe Schlanker, Newsweek 
  • Renee Schoof, Bloomberg BNA
  • Peter Schwartzstein, freelance journalist
  • Jessica Scott-Reid, freelance journalist
  • Florah Seboni, Wena Industry and Environment Magazine (Botswana)
  • Annie Snider, Politico
  • Timothy Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun
  • Mitch Tobin, Arizona Daily Star 
  • Miao Xiaojuan, Xinhua News Agency