BOSTON (August 21, 2018) –Recognizing an exceptional commitment to producing quality content for public media, WGBH has awarded five fellowships to talented producers and content creators. The recipients of the 2019 FellowshipAwards are Sarah Childress and Melissa Carlson who received the Becton Fellowship; Delores Edwards and Bianca Vázquez Toness, recipients of the Margret and Hans Rey/Curious George Producers; and Michelle Ferrari, recipient of the Peter S. McGhee Fellowship.
“WGBH’s high quality educational and engaging content reflects the creativity and commitment of our talented staff,” says WGBH president Jon Abbott. “We’re very pleased to be able to recognize the distinctive work of these individuals, and through these fellowships support them in further developing and advancing in their careers.”
Childress and Carlson were selected as 2019 Becton Fellows. This fellowship, supported by the Becton Fund and named in honor of WGBH’s former president and current vice chair, Henry Becton, Jr., recognizes promising WGBH producers and content creators whose work is emblematic of the organization’s public service message.
Childress is a senior digital editor and reporter at FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s top investigative documentary series, produced by WGBH Boston. Previously, Childress covered Iraq for Newsweek, sub-Saharan Africa for the Wall Street Journal and worked with reporters in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America forGlobalPost.
Carlson is a Senior Digital Producer in Children’s Media and Education. She leads production of mobile games, apps, and website features for Pinkalicious & Peterrific, Design Squad, Plum Landing, The Ruff Ruffman Show, and the upcoming Molly of Denali. Melissa has helped guide new approaches to games design and user testing, which have become a hallmark of WGBH kids’ digital productions. Her digital productions have received honors including two Daytime Emmys, Parents’ Choice Gold, Kidscreen, and Engaging Young Scientists Award.
Edwards and Vázquez Toness were selected as the Margret and Hans Rey/Curious George Producers. Made possible through a bequest from author Margret Rey through the Curious George Foundation, this fellowship recognizes WGBH producers who work in areas reflecting Rey’s broad interests, including science, public affairs, arts, health and children’s programming.
Vázquez Toness is the managing editor and correspondent for K-12 Education at 89.7 WGBH Radio. In this role, she covers everything from technology to immigration and presidential elections, but always returns to stories about children and schools. Prior to joining WGBH, Vázquez Toness worked for Minnesota Public Radio, WBUR and Bloomberg News. She was also a 2016-2017 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Emmy-nominated executive producer Edwards heads up Basic Black, public television’s longest-running live public affairs program for communities of color, and Open Studio, a weekly regional arts magazine program. She cultivated a love for journalism while participating in the Dow Jones News Fund program as a teenager while growing up in the Bronx, which later led to her career working at ABC, Harpo, VH1 and CBS.
Ferrari was selected as the Peter S. McGhee Fellow. Named for WGBH’s former head of national programming, the McGhee Fellowship is awarded each year to a mid-career filmmaker who has shown exceptional promise in non-fiction television production and who adheres to the standards set by McGhee, including excellence, intelligence, fairness, passion and scholarship.
Ferrari is a writer on WGBH’s American Experience, television's most-watched history series that brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. She has been creating innovative, critically acclaimed documentary narratives for nearly two decades. The writer of numerous American Experience episodes –– among them The Perfect Crime, Silicon Valley, Roads to Memphis, and Kit Carson –– Ferrari is perhaps best known for the highly rated Seabiscuit, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing.
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.