WASHINGTON – Two recent alumna from Howard University’s Cathy Hughes School of Communications, Daja E. Henry and Katherine Gilyard, are among the recipients of The 19th News' Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Fellowship – the organization’s first fellowship for students and graduates of historically Black colleges and universities.
The Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Fellowship provides recent graduates and mid-career alumni of HBCUs with a yearlong salaried fellowship in editorial, audience engagement or newsroom technology. The fellowship will feature on-the-job training, mentorship and growth opportunities, support navigating job placement post-fellowship, and advisory support from Nikole Hannah-Jones, Howard University’s Knight Chair in Race and Journalism, and Howard’s Center for Journalism and Democracy.
The 19th is an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. The fellowship, named for the “mother of African-American journalism,” seeks to create meaningful pipelines for those historically excluded from U.S. newsrooms.
“We are proud of Howard alumnae Daja Henry and Katherine Gilyard for their achievements and thankful for The 19th News,” said Ingrid Sturgis, associate professor and chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film. “Such fellowships play an important role in honoring our students’ handwork and are essential for their mentoring and growth.”
Henry graduated summa cum laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in media, journalism and film communications, and received her master’s degree in mass communication from Arizona State University.
Henry has interned at The Wall Street Journal and was a graduate assistant at Cronkite News and Cronkite Noticias. She was a fellow at the Online News Association’s Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab in 2019, and at Discover the Unexpected, a journalism program from the National Newspaper Publishers Association and Chevrolet.
“I’m excited to write about the labors of women who lead movements and to protect the freedom that my ancestors fought so hard for,” Henry said. “I also want to tell stories about the South. But what I want most is to learn.”
Gilyard is a 2021 Howard University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in media, journalism and film. At Howard University, Gilyard co-founded the first HBCU chapter of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). She received the Howard University-NPPA community service award and chapter of the year president award during her tenure.
Gilyard has interned at STAT News, NPPA and Kaiser Health News. She was also a multimedia editor at 101 Magazine and social media chair of the National Association of Black Journalist’s Visual Task Force. Gilyard said, “As a Black woman who’s a journalist and who cares deeply about health care, accessibility and centering Black and brown women, I hope to create relationships, impact and a body of work that reflect this.”
Since 1971, the Cathy Hughes School of Communications has trained communication and media professionals, speech pathologists and members of the professoriate through undergraduate and graduate programs. Graduates are known for their leadership at the local, national and global levels for their leadership in communication research, professional practice, innovation, entrepreneurship, social justice and community service.