ESPN The Undefeated has announced six journalism and communications students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who will participate in the fourth class of the Rhoden Fellowship – a one-year sports journalism internship program with The Undefeated that identifies and trains aspiring African American journalists. This Rhoden Fellowship class will begin Monday, August 24, and last through conclusion of the 2020-2021 academic year.
A panel of senior editors at The Undefeated – ESPN’s multiplatform initiative exploring the intersection of sports, race and culture – and award-winning sports columnist William C. Rhoden selected the Fellows from a pool of outstanding applicants from HBCUs across the country.
Kevin Merida, senior vice president and editor-in-chief, The Undefeated: “Congrats to the fourth class of Rhoden Fellows. Keep striving. Keep dreaming. You are next. It’s your time.”
Bill Rhoden, head, Rhoden Fellows, columnist and editor-at-large, The Undefeated: “I am excited to welcome a fourth class of talented Fellows into the fold! So grateful to The Undefeated, Kevin Merida, ESPN and the Disney company for continuing to provide this extraordinary opportunity to aspiring young journalists from HBCUs.”
About the Rhoden Fellowship:
Funded by ESPN, the Rhoden Fellowship is a one-year program founded by former New York Times award-winning sports columnist William C. “Bill” 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 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.
The 2020-2021 Rhoden Fellows:
Ashton Edmunds – Clark Atlanta University
Ashton Edmunds, a senior mass media arts major from Tallahassee, Fla., is the sports editor for The CAU Panther newspaper, a 2020 summer intern for SLAM Magazine and an inaugural Turner Diversity Fellow at WarnerMedia.
Jayla Jones – Prairie View A&M University
Jayla Jones, a senior business management major from Chicago is a game and feature writer for the Prairie View A&M athletics department. She has written for the student newspaper, The Panther, and enjoys telling athletes’ stories.
Parker Owens – Morehouse College
Parker Owens is a senior communication studies major and journalism minor from Broward County, Fla. He is a news and sports writer for Morehouse’s The Maroon Tiger and a contributing writer for NewsOne.
Jonathan Scott – Hampton University
A U.S. Navy veteran, Jonathan Scott is a senior journalism and communications major from Brooklyn, N.Y. He anchors and produces for The Scripps-Howard News Watch, on WHOV-TV, Hampton’s broadcast station, and is the production assistant for the Hampton University Athletics’ TV show, Respect The H with Eugene Marshall, Jr.
Marissa Stubbs – Florida A&M University
Marissa Stubbs is a senior broadcast journalism scholar from St. Petersburg, Fla. She is the sports editor for The Famuan, Florida A&M’s school newspaper, and a sports reporter. In addition, Stubbs contributes to “The Playmakers,” a weekly sports-talk radio show on WANM 90.5 FM – Florida A&M’s award-winning radio station in Tallahassee, Fla.
Alex Williams – Howard University
Alex Williams is a junior broadcast journalism major and sports administration minor from New Orleans. She is a sports writer for Howard’s The Hilltop newspaper, along with being the sports editor for Her Campus magazine (Howard chapter).
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.