Smith/Patterson Fellows

Sarah Canavese 2014: A University of Missouri public health graduate student Sarah Canavese, BJ ’10, has a strong background in health, science and journalism to the position. Prior to joining the HCRC as the 2014 Smith/Patterson Fellow, she developed websites for the Missouri Institute for Community Health and taught for two years in South Korea.

Ian Branam 2013: A graduate student from the Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia in Atlanta, Ian was the first summer Smith/Patterson Fellow. He was selected after a national search and worked with the team at the Health Communication Research Center on food security and tobacco prevention projects. Branam is earning his master’s degree in health and medical journalism. He has worked on social media campaigns for the East Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross and on public relations projects at the UGA’s Institute of Bioinformatics. Branam also has worked as a freelance journalist, primarily covering stories about health disparities.

Shraddha Sankhe 2011: An international student from Mumbai, India, Sankhe’s most recent work was an editor at Youth Ki Awaaz, an online platform for young people in India to express themselves on important issues. During her time at Youth Ki Awaaz, the online platform won a prestigious World Summit Youth Award from the International Center for New Media and the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development — for best practices in online journalism.

Through her work at Youth Ki Awaaz and an internship at CNN-IBN, Sankhe investigated stories ranging from rape to breast cancer to climate change.

“My interest lies in rural areas of India, China and the countries in Africa where poverty is still present at large,” Sankhe said in her application letter. “Especially in India, issues like natural water resources such as rivers and lakes being contaminated with chemicals and industrial waste / large scale food adulteration are causes of certain cancers have not been addressed, cared for or checked. I want to be one of those journalists who review the effects of the technology, health and sanitation on the economy while analyzing the effects of demand — pull and push of businesses.”

Pavan Vanigipuram 2010: Trained as a chemical engineer at Michigan State University, Vangipuram worked in several laboratories. These experiences provided Vangipuram with knowledge of modern molecular biology techniques, including gel electrophoresis, gene splicing, vector transduction and cloning.

During this experience Vangipuram learned how to write about the research in an easy to understand, jargon-free way. He also spent time at the Wayne State University School of Medicine performing stem cell research on brain cells, particularly for learning more about Lou Gehrig’s disease. During his junior year at Michigan State, he began working in journalism interning at three newspapers, including one in India.

Teresa Shipley 2009: A self-starter from Marthasville, Mo., Shipley crafted her own major at Webster University in St. Louis to reflect the need for accurate and inspiring science writing. Armed with her degree in environmental science writing, Shipley has studied science and writing in London, been a researcher for National Geographic Magazine, and produced local stories as a freelance journalist for the Boise (Idaho) Weekly and the McCall (Idaho) Star-News.

She honed science and data collection skills as a biological field technician for the Student Conservation Association and prior to coming to the Missouri School of Journalism for her MA degree, she worked as a strategic communications writer for the organization.

Paula Hunt 2008: A veteran health reporter from the San Antonio Express, Hunt was the first Smith/Patterson Fellow.  She has written for numerous publications including Fitness, Healthy Living, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and

She is an award-winning reporter, having earned recognition from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors group and the Press Club of Dallas. Hunt also has an extensive resume in video production, working on films and television shows as well as producing videos for Sears and Nordstrom. She has a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in film and television production from New York University in New York City.


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