Meet the Newest TON/BWF Early-Career Fellows, Knvul Sheikh and Jennifer Lu

Knvul Sheikh and Jennifer Lu, the newest TON/BWF early-career fellows. Courtesy of Knvul Sheikh; Nana Naskidashvili


The Open Notebook is excited to introduce the latest recipients of our fellowship for early-career science journalists, made possible by a generous grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. (Read stories by previous fellows here.)

We received a record number of excellent applications for this year’s two fellowships, and we’re delighted to offer the fellowship to Knvul Sheikh and Jennifer Lu, whose creative ideas and talents greatly impressed us. The science writing community will get to know Knvul and Jennifer in the coming months, but for now, here’s a little bit about each of them:

bwfKnvul Sheikh is a freelance science journalist who loves to write about psychology, personalized medicine, genetics, and culture. Her work has appeared in The AtlanticAudubon, National GeographicPopular ScienceScholasticScientific American, and more. Knvul is currently based in New York City. But she has lived in the foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan, swum in the tropical waters of Singapore, and backpacked across the South Island of New Zealand. Follow her on Twitter @KnvulS.

Jennifer Lu is an environmental reporter for the La Crosse Tribune in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She especially enjoys reporting on the science that goes into environmental planning and policy making, and loves delving into data and documents. Her hobbies include going to museums, gardening, and urban sketching. You can follow her on Twitter and see her sketches on Instagram @jenpenned.


Two top-notch journalists have enthusiastically agreed to serve as Knvul and Jennifer’s mentors and editors:

Roxanne Khamsi Brian Friedman

Roxanne Khamsi, who will be Knvul’s mentor, is chief news editor at the journal Nature Medicine. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The Economist, Scientific American, Slate, and The New York Times Magazine. In addition to reporting and editing, she has taught science communication at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University and health journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. You can find her online at @rkhamsi.




Maya L. Kapoor Luna Archey/HCN

Maya L. Kapoor, who will be Jennifer’s mentor, is an associate editor for High Country News. She writes about science, environmental policy, and social justice. She has more than a decade’s experience as a field biologist and environmental educator in the western United States and Latin America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Williams College, a master’s degree in biology from Arizona State University, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arizona. She lives in Davis, California, and loves backpacking in her free time. Tweet her @Kapoor_ML.



We’re thrilled to welcome these talented people to the TON/BWF community!

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