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The Texas Tribune is proud to welcome three fellows to our staff.
Eli Hartman joins us as a staff photographer next month and will work with us through May 2024 through a Poynter-Koch Fellow in Media and Journalism.
A native of Midland, Eli began his photography career as a live music and band photographer, capturing images of West Texas’ music scene. Now based in San Marcos, he’s completing a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at Texas State University. He previously worked at the Odessa American in the Permian Basin, where his work won dozens of awards from the Texas Managing Editors and National Press Photographers Association.
He will be based in Central Texas with frequent trips to West Texas to work alongside our new Permian Basin reporter, Carlos Nogueras Ramos, to expand the visual reach of our regions team. Conversational in Spanish, he will help the Tribune recruit and develop freelance photographers in the region in addition to taking on occasional photo editing shifts. He will report to director of photography Pu Ying Huang.
Fellows in the fellowship program, a collaboration between the Poynter Institute and the Stand Together Fellowships, will complete an innovation project to address challenges in their newsroom. Eli will help the Tribune explore the challenges facing news organizations in rural areas by forging new partnerships. He is thinking about changing the news ecosystem at large, with an emphasis on strengthening local newsrooms and serving rural communities.
Neelam Bohra, a two-time Tribune fellow who wrote many memorable stories for us in 2021, returned to our newsroom this month for one year to cover disability issues in Texas. Neelam, who is immunocompromised and received a kidney transplant in 2019 from an altruistic donor who is also a journalist, will embed with us as a 2023-24 New York Times disability reporting fellow, a program funded by The Times in partnership with the National Center on Disability and Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and philanthropic funders including the Ford Foundation.
From the national desk of The Times, Neelam reported on the abortion odyssey of a Tennessee woman who had a life-threatening pregnancy, doctors’ reluctance to treat patients with disabilities, the impact of new voting restrictions on disabled citizens, the growing use of hearing aids by young people and other topics. At the Tribune, Neelam reports to Terri Langford, health and human services editor. Her past body of work for us includes stories on workplace violence experienced by Texas nurses, barriers to vaccine access faced by Asian Texans, COVID-19's toll on kidney dialysis centers and the impact of abortion restrictions on transgender Texans.
A native of McKinney, Neelam was a news editor and investigative projects editor at The Daily Texan. She graduated from the University of Austin in 2022 with degrees in journalism and political science. Along with her fall and spring 2021 fellowships at the Tribune, Neelam has worked at The Austin Chronicle, CNN Digital and Politico. She will begin her fellowship with us remotely, in July, and move to Austin not long after.
Last but not least, Pooja Sandhu joined our marketing and communications team as a fellow on July 10. She graduated last year with a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from San Jose State University. She also holds two associate’s degrees, in business administration and in economics, from Berkeley City College. Pooja grew up in El Cerrito, California, east of the San Francisco Bay.
Pooja will work with us through January 10, thanks to the INN + GNI Fellowship in Digital Marketing, a partnership of the Institute for Nonprofit News and the Google News Initiative. The fellowships connects INN member news organizations with recent college graduates who have completed a digital apprenticeship at COOP, an initiative that equips diverse, low-income and first-generation graduates of public colleges with digital skills and peer connections.
Pooja is passionate about digital marketing for impact-driven organizations, and reports to Kerri Qunell, director of marketing and communications. When she’s not working, she enjoys watching true crime documentaries on Netflix and Youtube, scrolling TikTok for fashion and beauty and watching anime.
Please join us in welcoming these talented fellows to the Tribune.
Disclosure: Google, Politico, Stand Together and New York Times have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
Join us for conversations that matter with newly announced speakers at the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival, in downtown Austin from Sept. 21-23.