PRINCETON, NJ — The Institute for Citizens & Scholars is pleased to announce its fifth class of journalists named to the Higher Education Media Fellowship, supported by ECMC Foundation. The spring 2022 cohort comprises 13 outstanding journalists representing a variety of outlets, regions, media, and interests.

Erica Phillips, CT Mirror Economic Development Reporter

The Higher Education Media Fellowship aims to increase the number of journalists equipped with tools and networks to provide more comprehensive coverage of postsecondary education, particularly career and technical education (CTE). 

The spring 2022 cohort includes  Julia Barajas (Southern California Public Radio), Maricel “Vicky” Diaz-Camacho (Kansas City PBS), Melissa Federspill (Uvalde Leader-News),  Cecilia Hernandez-Cromwell (Telemundo Noticiero Oklahoma), Larisa Karr (The Haitian Times), John Klyce (Memphis Business Journal), Kimberly “Kim” Kozlowski (The Detroit News), Dale Mezzacappa (Chalkbeat Philadelphia), Vanessa Miller (The Gazette), Erica Phillips (Connecticut Mirror), Jonathan “Jon” Reed (KUER), Stephanie Wang (Chalkbeat Indiana), and Ata Younan (Freelance).

The experiences of the Fellows range from hosting podcasts to reporting on the impact of changing drug policies in California and Latin America, working in production in the film industry, and receiving numerous regional and national recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Education Writers Association, and the Colorado Press Association. Fellows have held other reporting fellowships such as a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, and the DBEI Fellowship from the Investigative Reporters & Editors. 

Each ECMC Foundation Fellow receives an award of $10,000—a $5,000 stipend and $5,000 to support a special CTE reporting project. Fellows will attend an in-person symposium this spring focused on topics related to postsecondary CTE and professional development. Following the symposium, Fellows will complete a CTE reporting project, such as a special report or series. 

“With continuous changes to the economy and labor markets, a critical look at career and technical education has never been more important,” said Institute for Citizens & Scholars President Rajiv Vinnakota. “Effective and equitable postsecondary opportunities play a vital role in ensuring students can train for careers and flourish as citizens in our complex society.” 

The fifth CTE symposium will be held April 6–8 and will include dedicated activities for professional and network development. To foster a strong and collaborative community, past Fellows are invited to serve as mentors for the current class. The symposium has been designed to provide a deep fellowship opportunity—a robust experience that will support Fellows’ personal and professional development; give Fellows the opportunity to develop and deepen relationships with one another; bolster their connections to those working in the CTE field; and provide one-on-one mentoring and additional workshops. 

The funding for this program is a part of ECMC Foundation’s CTE Leadership Collaborative, an initiative focused on bringing together diverse perspectives and equipping CTE leaders with the tools, resources, and skills needed to advance postsecondary CTE. The fifth class of Fellows will publish and broadcast their projects throughout the remainder of 2022. 

“As we navigate a rapidly evolving economy, quality reporting on CTE will be crucial to understanding the full picture on preparing workers for the future,” said Jennifer Zeisler, Career Readiness Senior Director, ECMC Foundation. “The Institute for Citizens and Scholars continues to find talented Fellows who are well-equipped to report on some of the most pressing stories in postsecondary CTE today. Congratulations to this newest cohort and we look forward to the important work they will produce.”

More information about the ECMCF Fellows of the Higher Ed Media Fellowship, eligibility requirements, and the application process for the next cohort can be found at

About the Institute for Citizens and Scholars

Formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Institute for Citizens & Scholars ( is a 75-year-old organization that has played a significant role in shaping American higher education. Now, with an expanded mission, Citizens & Scholars prepares leaders and engages networks of people and organizations to meet urgent education challenges. The overarching goal is to shape an informed, productively engaged, and hopeful citizenry. 

About the ECMC Foundation

 ECMC Foundation ( is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation whose mission is to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group ( enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation’s vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential.

Bruce is CEO and Publisher of The Connecticut Mirror. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the organization, revenue generation, product innovation, reader engagement, and all business operations. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History and an M.B.A. in Marketing from Cornell University.