Michael Baker, 39, is a reporter focusing on city and county politics for The Oklahoman. Michael started at The Oklahoman in 2004 and has held several positions at the newspaper, including court reporter, investigative reporter and city editor. Before working at The Oklahoman, Michael worked at The Fresno Bee and three Los Angeles County newspapers: The Los Angeles Times — San Fernando Valley Edition, The Long Beach Press-Telegram and The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. He has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Oklahoma. Michael’s work as a fellow will examine second- and third-generation immigrant families in Oklahoma in the context of the debate surrounding “anchor babies.”

* * *


Maria Alejandra Bastidas is the Associate Editor of MundoHispanico newspaper, the largest Spanish language newspaper in Georgia. She manages a team of four reporters who cover the Latino community in this state; the majority of the paper’s coverage is related to immigration. As a reporter, Maria has worked on several beats including education, health, community, immigration, legislature, and entertainment, among others. Under her leadership, MundoHispanico was recognized as the Best Cox Spanish Language Newspaper by Cox Enterprises in 2008. Maria began her journalism career in the United States 10 years ago, covering the Latino community in Georgia. She was born in Caracas, Venezuela and received a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, in Venezuela. Maria plans to investigate the cultural differences that make Hispanic immigrants victims of the American judicial system and how local authorities are trying to alleviate this situation.
* * *



Jason Buch covers immigration and border affairs for the San Antonio Express-News. A 2007 graduate of Texas State University and a former intern at the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Buch took his first job at the Laredo Morning Times. There he covered federal courts and wrote about organized crime in the area. In 2009, Buch took a job on the business desk a the Express-News. In 2010, he moved to his current beat.

* * *


An Oklahoma native, M. Scott Carter is a political-investigative reporter and columnist for the Oklahoma City Journal Record where he covers the Oklahoma legislature and state government.

A graduate of Northern Oklahoma College and the University of Oklahoma, Carter has spent the majority of his career writing about the impact of government policy on the general public.

In 2007, he was awarded the Marshall Gregory Award by the Oklahoma Education Association for a series of stories exploring teacher pay in Oklahoma. Carter has also earned numerous state and national awards for his work; he is the author of two novels both scheduled for publication in 2011.

Carter plans to write about the conflict between Oklahoma’s religious communities and the state’s anti-immigration law and how those laws have also changed the state’s business environment.

* * *


Rachel Cernansky is a freelance social justice and environmental journalist based in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been published in outlets including the Colorado Independent, New York Times, Huffington Post, Daily Camera, and TreeHugger.

She graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she focused her master’s project on human trafficking and modern slavery. As an IJJ fellow, Cernansky will look at the presence of human trafficking in the sheepherding industry in western Colorado.
* * *

Diana Correa has been Executive Producer of HITN’s “Destination Casa Blanca,” with host Ray Suarez since November 2008. She has produced interviews with state officials, members of Congress and US Senate and White House officials. Additionally, she served as field producer and reporter for “Destination Casa Blanca’s” coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election, including the conventions, and election night. Most recently, Diana produced a series of “Destination Casa Blanca” shows dedicated to immigration topics, and a half hour documentary titled “Buscando un Sueño,” portraying the lives of two undocumented students fighting for the DREAM Act. Diana plans to examine the impact of the immigration debate in Oklahoma for her fellowship.

* * *


Jaclyn Cosgrove is a reporter for Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit, investigative and in-depth reporting team that collaborates with other news organizations and higher education to produce journalism that makes a difference in the lives of Oklahomans. Cosgrove graduated with a degree in news-editorial journalism and broadcast production from Oklahoma State University. Cosgrove plans to examine what impact illegal immigration has had on the labor market in Oklahoma.

* * *


Rebekah L. Cowell is an investigative journalist based in the Triangle, North Carolina area. She is currently working with the Independent Weekly on a number of projects. Her reporting specialties are social justice matters with a focus in environmental injustices in African-American communities across the southeast, and increasing public awareness on the human rights violations of Latin-Americans in North Carolina. Her work has been published in the Independent Weekly, The News and Observer, The Chapel Hill News, Our State Magazine, Slate Magazine, and GRIT Magazine. Cowell plans to investigate the repercussions of national rhetoric and policy making – occurring  in the border states – on the Latino community in the southeast for her fellowship.

Cell: 919-260-1183
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Ralph De La Cruz is a blogger/reporter for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, writing about misguided policies, abuse of power, and injustice in Florida and Latin America.  Much of his focus at the FCIR has been on politics and immigration. Before taking the job with the FCIR, he was a senior columnist with the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, and prior to that a local columnist with thePress-Telegram in Long Beach, CA where he focused much of his time and energy covering youth violence. He has wond numerous national and state awards like the Dart Award from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and the Clarion Award from the Women in Communication.  His work as an Immigration in the Heartland fellow will look at the effect that Arizona-style immigration enforcement would have in Florida, a state where Cuban and Puerto Rican communities are well-established and politically-empowered in urban centers, but where the immigration-unfriendly tea party has recently begun to dominate northern rural counties – and state politics.
* * *
Sarah Gustavus is a reporter and host at KUNM Public Radio, where she frequently covers state government, public health programs and immigration. She got her start in radio in Seattle with KUOW/KXOT and the Northwest News Network. Her work has aired nationally on programs like All Things Considered, Tell Me More, Weekend America and Making Contact. In 2009, she traveled to Germany with the Berlin Capital Program to participate in discussions about media and demographic changes in the US and Europe. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Gustavus plans to report on the implementation of the Secure Communities program in long-established Hispanic communities in northern New Mexico.
Cell: 505-750-8049


* * *
Alex Kellogg is a national correspondent for National Public Radio. He joined NPR late last year after working as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal.


He was among a team of journalist’s at the Journal who won a 2010 New York Press Club award for coverage of the historic U.S. auto bankruptcies.  His 2010 coverage of the decline of the city of Detroit is currently up for several feature-writing awards. Prior to the Journal, Alex spent several years at The Detroit Free Press.  He started his career covering East Africa and the Horn while working as a Producer for Reuters’ out of its Nairobi, Kenya bureau.

He covers race, ethnicity, changing demographics and immigration for NPR.

* * *

Jens Manuel Krogstad is a reporter at The Des Moines Register. His reporting at the paper has included an investigation into wage theft among immigrant workers, and gavel-to-gavel coverage of a kosher meatpacking plant executive accused of hiring immigrant child laborers. Krogstad also reported on a 2008 immigration raid on the plant — then the largest in history — as a reporter for the Waterloo Courier. He later wrote the forward to a book about the town where the raid took place, “Postville, USA: Surviving Diversity in Small-Town America.” A graduate of University of Minnesota, Krogstad has won Iowa state journalism awards for breaking news and feature writing. Krogstad plans to examine the nation’s overburdened immigrant court system for his fellowship.

Work phone: 515-490-8162


Kari Lydersen is a Chicago-based freelancer for outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, TimeOut Chicago, OnEarth Magazine and People Magazine. Through 2009 she worked as a staff writer for The Washington Post out of the Midwest bureau, covering topics including Great Lakes issues, immigration, energy, environment and politics. Her 2005 book “Out of the Sea and Into the Fire: Latin American-U.S. Immigration in the Global Age” (Common Courage Press) tells the stories of Latin American immigrants in their home countries, crossing the border and in the U.S. Her 2008 book “Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun” (City Lights) is the story of an Iraqi refugee and artist. Her 2009 book “Revolt on Goose Island: The Chicago Factory Takeover and What it Says About the Economic Crisis” (Melville House) describes immigrant workers who became an international sensation by occupying a window factory. She teaches journalism at Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and leads mural tours in Pilsen, a largely immigrant neighborhood of Chicago.

Cell: 773-544-0804

E-mail: kari.lydersen@gmail.com


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Sandra Baltazar Martínez has been a reporter with The Santa Fe New Mexican for nearly three years. She is a general assignment reporter with a focus on Latino and immigration issues. She is also a section editor for La Voz de Nuevo México, The Santa Fe New Mexican’s Spanish weekly section that publishes Mondays.

In 2008 Sandra completed a Master’s in Community Journalism from the University of Alabama through a Knight Foundation fellowship that worked in conjunction with The Anniston Star.

For five years Sandra worked in Southern California for both Spanish and English newspapers; she was a general assignment reporter for The Press-Enterprise in southern California where she covered the migrant communities in the Coachella Valley.

work: 505-986-3062

home: 505-470-9833

E-mail: smartinez@sfnewmexican.com



Teresa Puente has been an assistant professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago since the fall of 2006, and she is the director of the News Reporting and Writing concentration. She also is the founder of Latina Voices (funded with a grant from J-Lab and the McCormick Foundation) and writes an independent blog for Chicago Now (Chicago Tribune Media Co.) called Chicanísima Puente was previously a reporter at the Chicago Tribune and also was a member of the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board and wrote a column for the op-ed section. Puente also has worked for dailies in southern California and for Hispanic Link News Service in Washington, D.C.
She also is the recipient of the Studs Terkel Award from the Community Media Workshop for her coverage of Chicago’s diverse communities. She has been a journalist for almost 20 years and in that time has written extensively about immigration and the Latino community in the United States.

One Response to “Fellows”


  1. Inmate Gardens Bloom « Green Life Girl - July 20, 2011

    […] to a story I found on planetgreen.com by Rachel Cernansky (who oddly enough I know due to a conference held at OU) programs like this are all over the country and all have seen success.  In Wisconsin, 28 adult […]

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