Boston (December 13, 2022) - Boston public media producer GBH has awarded fellowships to three outstanding producers, recognizing excellence, potential and creativity. The recipients of the 2023 Fellowship Awards are Elizabeth (Biz) Thorsen, who received the Becton Fellowship, Yatibaey Evans who received the Margret and Hans Rey Fellowship, and Caitlin Saks who received the Peter S. McGhee Fellowship.
“From ensuring that our children’s programming remains an educational and innovative facet of our institution to creating world-renowned science and technology media that demystifies the concepts that define our lives, these three producers have gone above and beyond to expand the possibilities of public media,” said GBH President and CEO Jon Abbott. “I’m proud that GBH continues to celebrate the ingenuity of its talent and to acknowledge the quality content produced across various platforms.”
Biz Thorsen of Cumberland, Rhode Island was selected as the Becton Fellow. The fellowship, supported by the Becton Fund and named in honor of GBH’s former president and current vice chair, Henry Becton, Jr., recognizes promising GBH producers and content creators whose work is symbolic of the organization’s public service mission.
Thorsen is a producer for GBH Kids. She has dedicated her career to using media to inspire and delight children and families. She currently manages the development and production needs for the Peabody Award-winning PBS preschool series, Molly of Denali. She is responsible for a variety of functions including collaborating with talent, animators and PBS KIDS, in addition to working closely with Alaska Native advisors and collaborators. Previously, Thorsen was a founding member of the GBH Kids DEIA Workplace Culture Working Group. This group continues its work today as the GBH Kids Content Working Group, advising producers on creating more diverse content as well as helping to diversify the department itself. Since joining GBH, Thorsen has helped usher 67 scripts from script to screen for Molly of Denali. She has established new processes and workflows to suit the team’s new remote work environment and the various ways they interact with other departments within GBH. She has also helped establish training guidelines for new employees working on Molly of Denali to support efforts to change the narrative around Indigenous representation in media. Prior to joining GBH, she worked in a variety of roles in the animation industry, including production management on Oscar-winning feature films. Biz earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Yatibaey Evans, Creative Producer for GBH’s award-winning series, Molly of Denali, was selected as the Margret and Hans Rey Fellow. Made possible through the bequest from author Margret Rey through the Curious George Foundation, this fellowship recognizes GBH creators who work in areas reflecting Rey’s broad interests, including science, public affairs, art, health and children’s programming.
From 2011-2021, Evans led the Alaska Native Education (ANE) program which aims to meet the unique educational needs of Alaska Natives. She has been awarded the Champion For Kids Award from the Alaska Children's Trust for her dedication and commitment to working to ensure that children and youth are living in safe, supportive and nurturing communities. She also earned the Friend of Education Award from the Fairbanks Education Association for her significant work to benefit public education, education employees, and students. Evans is the past president of the United Way of the Tanana Valley and past chair of the ANE Parent Advisory Committee. In 2017, she was recognized as one of Alaska's Top 40 Under 40. Additionally, she has served on the University of Alaska's Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Native Education, Governor Bill Walker's "Alaska's Education Challenge,” Chaired the Human Resources committee for the National Congress of American Indians and was the first Alaska Native president of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA). Evans is from Mentasta, Alaska and is part of the Ahtna culture, stewards of the Copper River region. She has four sons ranging from ages nine to twenty-one. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University.
Caitlin Saks of Boston’s South End was selected as the Peter S. McGhee Fellow. Named for GBH’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.
Saks is a producer for the science documentary series NOVA where she works on both long-form broadcast films and short-form digital-first content. Much of her work has focused on climate and environmental topics. She was NOVA’s senior producer on Arctic Drift and Can We Cool the Planet? She also produced and co-hosted NOVA’s digital series Antarctic Extremes, hosted its online companion game, The Polar Lab, co-produced NOVA's Emmy-nominated television special on climate change, Decoding the Weather Machine, and co-produced the virtual reality experience Greenland Melting. She also produces content on a variety of other science topics, including the five-part series NOVA Universe Revealed, the short documentary Gene-Editing Reality Check, and the duPont-Columbia Award-winning Decoding COVID-19. Before joining NOVA, Saks worked on films for FRONTLINE, including League of Denial, The Choice 2012, and Money, Power, and Wall Street. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Earth Science and Media from Harvard University.
GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH delivers compelling experiences, stories and information to audiences wherever they are. GBH produces digital and broadcast programming that engages, illuminates and inspires, through drama and science, history, arts, culture and journalism. It is the creator of such signature programs as MASTERPIECE, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, FRONTLINE, NOVA, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, Arthur and Molly of Denali and a catalog of streaming series, podcasts and on-demand video. GBH’s television channels include GBH 2, GBH 44, GBH Kids and national services WORLD and Create. With studios and a newsroom headquartered in Boston, GBH reaches across New England with GBH 89.7, Boston’s Local NPR; CRB Classical 99.5; and CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR station. Dedicated to making media accessible to and inclusive of our diverse culture, GBH is a pioneer in delivering media to those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired. GBH creates curriculum-based digital content for educators nationwide with PBS LearningMedia and has been recognized with hundreds of the nation’s premier broadcast, digital and journalism awards. Find more information at gbh.org.