By KELLY BURKE
The Association for Women in Sports Media is pleased to announce the winners of the Spring/Summer 2014 Mid-Career Training Grant. The Mid-Career Training Grant offers funding to qualifying members for additional training, in order to augment their skills and grow along with changes in their field. We had a tremendous response to our spring/summer cycle, nearly tripling our applications from the Fall 2013 period.
Two winners emerged from an extremely competitive group of applicants. Jenni Carlson and Christina Gullickson both were awarded $750, thanks to a $1,500 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. Jenni attended the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference earlier in July and Christina will attend the Online News Association’s conference in September.
Here is more on each winner:
Jenni Carlson has been a sports columnist at The Oklahoman for nearly 15 years. Even though most people in and around Oklahoma City would call her a sports writer, she hopes that she’s more of a storyteller. She strives to pull back the curtain on the athletes, coaches and personalities who populate the sports world and show their humanity. She believes that receiving one of AWSM’s Mid-Career Training Grants will help her continue to do that — and more.
Carlson received a grant for travel, room and board for the Mayborn Literary Non-Fiction Conference in Dallas. The conference gathers some of the best non-fiction writers in the world for three days to discuss their craft. Planning. Reporting. Writing. Revising. And ultimately telling a great story. With panelists and speakers who have written New York Times bestsellers, won Pulitzer Prizes and even helped to change public policy, the conference was an opportunity to learn from the best.
“Being a sports columnist in a sports-crazy market is taxing,” Carlson said. “Having the opportunity to not only soak up a wealth of knowledge but also be inspired by some of the most amazing writers in the world was rejuvenating. It gave me the skills to do my job better, and the energy to use those skills to be an even better storyteller.
“This grant is extremely significant to me, and I cannot thank AWSM enough.”
Carlson, a graduate of the University of Kansas, married her husband, Ryan, in 2009 and welcomed their first child, Millie, in 2012. She was a member of the AWSM board from 2007-12, including two years as president and two years as chair of the board.
Christina Gullickson started her career in sports journalism as an agate clerk at her hometown paper, the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel while still in college. Nine years later, she is new to the thriving L.A. sports scene, now the Sports Digital Producer and @InsideSoCalSpts social media manager for the Los Angeles News Group (a region encompassing nine Media News Group properties under the Digital First Media umbrella). She enjoys training staff and looking for ways to strategically optimize and promote content.
Originally from Santa Cruz, Calif., Gullickson is an alumna of San Jose State University and NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ Summer Publishing Institute. She plans to attend the Online News Association’s annual conference Sept. 25-27 in Chicago.
“I am incredibly honored to be a recipient of the AWSM Mid-Career Training Grant,” Gullickson said. “In recent years, I have observed the Online News Association’s annual conference via Twitter and blogs, but this year, I will be able to attend and learn directly from leaders in the journalism industry. One of my long-term career goals is to become a leader myself, and this grant will help me lay the foundation. Thank you, AWSM!”