20 Journalists from Across U.S. Awarded Aging-Focused Fellowships

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2018

Contact: Todd Kluss
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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is welcoming 20 distinguished reporters for the next cohort of the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, now in its ninth year. They represent a wide range of general audience, ethnic, and community media outlets, including several public radio affiliates, daily newspapers, and national publications. This year’s group brings the program’s total number of participating reporters to 156.

The new fellows were chosen — by a panel of gerontological and editorial professionals — based on their proposals for an in-depth aging-focused story or series. These projects, to be produced in 2019, span such concerns as retirement security, suicide among older adults, and immigration policies.

The participating journalists will convene during GSA’s 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting — scheduled for November 14 to 18 in Boston, Massachusetts — where they will have access to the latest aging research and approximately 4,000 expert attendees to help inform their reporting. The fellows program is supported by funding from AARP, The Silver Century Foundation, The Retirement Research Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, and The John A. Hartford Foundation.

“GSA congratulates its new journalist fellows, who are demonstrating a commitment to serving their communities through vital stories about aging in America,” said Todd Kluss, GSA’s associate director of communications. “We are happy to provide a unique venue where these reporters can interact with top authorities to better understand everything from scientific discoveries to social and policy debates.”

Kluss co-directs the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program together with Paul Kleyman, the founder and national coordinator of the program’s journalism partner, the Journalists Network on Generations.

“Our reporting partnership with GSA has enabled us to bridge journalists wanting to cover issues in aging to the expertise they need in reporting on these complex issues,” Kleyman said. “As a multidisciplinary nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, GSA is a perfect collaborator to help independent reporters increase the public’s understanding of our rapidly aging society.”

In Boston, the fellows also will participate in a daylong educational workshop, where researchers will discuss new trends and provide insight on key issues facing Americans as they age. Continuing fellowship grants also are being provided to allow 16 previous fellows to participate in the meeting. A continuously updated list of almost 600 stories generated by the program’s alumni is available at

The new fellows:

Rodney A. Brooks (USA Today)
Project: “Aging While Black” — the health, retirement prospects and finances of aging African Americans.

Kevyn Burger (Star Tribune)
Project: The devastating financial impact of frontotemporal degeneration, a form of dementia.

Laura Castañeda, EdD (NBC Latino)
Project: The latest research about aging Latinos in the U.S., as well as some of the model programs and interventions that are helping this population.

Cassie M. Chew (The Chicago Reporter)
Project: Older ex-offenders facing barriers to community reintegration.

Richard Eisenberg (Next Avenue)
Project: What Americans can learn from residents of the world’s high-longevity “Blue Zones” to ensure their money lasts throughout their increasing lifespans.

Elizabeth Fite (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Project: Suicides among older Tennessee residents, including an overview, personal stories, and potential solutions.

Lisa V. Gillespie (WFPL News Louisville)
Project: Series on legal medical malpractice; end-of-life care disparities for Medicaid long-term care patients; the rural eldercare gap; older minority women working longer; and aging with hunger.

Mariel Toni Jimenez (Positively Filipino)
Project: Changes in Filipino family relationships following the death of a loved one.

Chunxiang Jin (World Journal)
Project: Chinese-language coverage of the post-military life of Chinese American veterans.

Xavier Juan Jones (Telegram Newspaper)
Project: The effects of childhood stress on mental illness in African Americans aged 65 and older in the Detroit area.

Mary Kane (Kiplinger’s Retirement Report)
Project: Changes in eldercare reflecting medical and scientific advances for cognitive stimulation, and the strengths that remain even at advanced ages.

Shira Laucharoen (Sampan)
Project: The immigration stories of older Asians, and Asian models for independent living in Boston’s Chinatown.

Rhonda J. Miller (WKU Public Radio)
Project: Older Kentucky residents facing challenges of language, hunger and isolation.

P. Christine Nguyen, MD (KALW Public Radio)
Project: Vietnamese older adults with dementia in Northern California, and the aspects of their culture that make it harder for them and their caretakers to cope.

Brad Pomerance (Jewish Life Television)
Project: Mental health in the Jewish community’s older population and dispelling the stereotype of the “neurotic Jew.”

Samantha Díaz Roberts (MundoHispánico)
Project: New immigration policies and how they are affecting older generations in the Atlanta area.

Viji Sundaram (India West)
Project: How South Asian cultural beliefs, as well as ignorance, keep many older Indian Americans from writing advance health care directives to state their end-of-life wishes.

David K. Wahlberg (Wisconsin State Journal)
Project: Why Wisconsin leads the nation in the rate of deadly falls and what the state is doing to address it.

Cheryl Platzman Weinstock (The New York Times)
Project: Under-recognized factors in older adult suicides.

Peter White (Tennessee Tribune)
Project: Challenges faced by African Americans aging in the South, including social isolation as a result of gentrification.


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational unit, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

The Journalists Network on Generations, founded in 1993, is based in San Francisco. It links to over 1,000 journalists, authors, and producers on issues in aging, and publishes Generations Beat Online News (

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