Food Activist Michael Pollan Interviews Kaiser Permanente Journalism Fellows

Feb 10, 2012 12:40 AM ET

In the Community

For the past three years, the Kaiser Permanente Institute of Health Policy has supported a fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism to encourage better reporting on health policy. Through this fellowship, two graduate students in journalism have the opportunity to investigate issues in food and nutrition policy that influence community health.

After completing their master's projects, the 2010–11 fellows — Teresa Chin and Heather Tirado Gilligan — joined journalism professor, author (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and sustainable food activist Michael Pollan in videotaped conversations about their chosen areas of focus.    Teresa Chin in conversation with Michael Pollan from Shaleece Haas on Vimeo.   Chin holds a master’s in public health in maternal and child health, and a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology from UC Berkeley. She sees journalism as a natural extension of her passion for writing and her advocacy efforts as a scientist and public-health professional. Her investigation explored the relationship between domestic agricultural policy and the types of food served in school lunch programs.   Heather Gilligan in conversation with Michael Pollan from Shaleece Haas on Vimeo.   Gilligan is a 2011 graduate of the UC Berkeley journalism school. A writer and journalist based in Oakland, Calif., she has reported on subjects ranging from crime to the environment. Her investigation looked at efforts to bring grocery stores and other healthy food retailers to underserved communities. In October, the 2011–12 Kaiser Permanente Journalism Fellows were announced. They are Bridget Huber and Kamila McDonald.   Huber has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Bates College and is pursuing a dual degree in public health and journalism at UC Berkeley. She has written for The Christian Science Monitor and The Nation, and plans to produce an in-depth story that explores the health effects of farmworkers' disproportionate exposure to pesticides. 

McDonald has a bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies from Stanford University. She is a citizen of Jamaica, reporter and producer, and certified nutritionist. She proposes to explore the relationship between differential crime rates and disparities in obesity along socioeconomic and racial lines in the city of Richmond, Calif.