Applications Due January 31st

The Ferriss – UC Berkeley Psychedelic Journalism Fellowship

Ten $10,000 reporting grants issued per year.

2023 Ferriss-UC Berkeley Journalism Fellows

Jess Alvarenga Headshot
Oakland, California

Jess Alvarenga

Jess is a podcast producer and journalist who enjoys investigative stories with a cultural element. They are currently developing a podcast with NPR about finding salvation in unexpected places and how they are regaining the things they lost from their Pentecostal upbringing in queer life. For the fellowship, Jess made a longform audio story on NPR's Code Switch about growing up in the Pentecostal Church and her search for meaning, mysticism and the visceral feeling of submission and God after she leaves the church. The piece aired in February 2024. Jess is also working on a second story investigating the history of psychedelic-assisted conversion therapy.
Twitter: @jessalvarenga_

Katharine DeCelle Headshot
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Katharine DeCelle

Katharine is a freelance audio producer, writer, and award-winning filmmaker based out of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is the cofounder and codirector of WFNU Frogtown Community Radio in Saint Paul and runs the audio and video production company Sounds Powerful Productions. Katharine has created work for a variety of news and media organizations in the Midwest, focusing on stories that put a spotlight on the unseen or marginalized. For her fellowship, Katharine is working on an audio documentary about ketamine.
Twitter: @kateyonair

Meryl Davids Landau Headshot
Boca Raton, Florida

Meryl Davids Landau

An award-winning, longtime independent journalist, Meryl has written for National Geographic, The New York Times, Prevention, O, the Oprah Magazine, Vice, Good Housekeeping, and numerous other publications. Frequent topics of her work include holistic health, women’s health, climate change, and, more recently, psychedelic therapy. She’s also the author of two mindfulness/yoga women’s novels, including the award-winning Warrior Won. For the fellowship, Meryl wrote a feature story for The Washington Post about how supervised psilocybin use helped terminal cancer patients in Canada. The piece published in January 2024.
Twitter: @MeryIDL

Tonya Mosley Headshot
Los Angeles, California

Tonya Mosley

Tonya is an award-winning broadcast journalist with a career that spans two decades. She is a co-host for NPR’s signature long-form program Fresh Air and the creator and host of the award-winning podcast Truth Be Told. The fellowship supported season 5 of Truth Be Told, “How to Get Free,” which explores what the latest psychedelic renaissance means for the Black diaspora and how psychedelics can be used to find healing for those who’ve experienced PTSD due to racial trauma.
Twitter: @tonyamosley

Deena Prichep Headshot
Portland, Oregon

Deena Prichep

Deena Prichep is an award-winning freelance print and radio journalist. She reports regularly for NPR on subjects ranging from Lenten yoga to housing equity to chicken diplomacy, and is the coauthor of Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking. For the fellowship, Deena produced a segment for NPR’s Weekend Edition about the growing interest in psychedelics among chaplains who work in hospitals, on battlefields, in prisons, and often with the dying. The piece aired in September 2023. Deena continues to follow the psychedelics beat and recently produced a story for NPR looking at how things are going in Oregon after a year of state-legal psilocybin.

Tiney Ricciardi Headshot
Montrose, Colorado

Tiney Ricciardi

Tiney is a journalist who joined The Denver Post in 2020, where she has honed a beat she endearingly calls “earthly delights.” That includes news and features about beer, cannabis, psilocybin, reality TV, and the great outdoors. No stranger to mind-altering substances, Tiney served as the first beer editor at The Dallas Morning News and as cohost of the Grapes & Grain podcast. She’s also a certified beer judge with a passion for live music. For the fellowship, Tiney is exploring the subject of youth drug education.
Twitter: @tineywristwatch

Simran Sethi Headshot
Washington, DC

Preeti Simran Sethi

Preeti is an award-winning journalist and independent scholar focused on personal, social, and environmental change. Her work has appeared on outlets including The New York Times, NPR, and the BBC. She is the coauthor of sustainable business book Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy and the author of Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, about the loss of biodiversity in food and agriculture, named one of the best food books of 2016 by Smithsonian. For her fellowship Preeti wrote a story for DoubleBlind  about Asian Americans and the dual stigmas around drugs and mental health. She’s also working on a book proposal that is part memoir and part an investigation of similar themes.
Twitter: @simransethi

Shaina Shealy Headshot
Washington, DC

Shaina Shealy

Shaina is a senior producer at PRX’s Snap Judgment in Oakland, CA. In addition to Snap Judgment, her stories have been distributed by outlets including Public Radio International, NPR, and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. They’ve taken her to a thorn forest in India, mushroom houses in the Rwandan hills, and a home for retired movie stars in Myanmar. Her work has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the International Women’s Media Foundation, and more. For the fellowship, Shaina is reporting on ayahuasca rituals and political engagement in the Middle East.

Anna Silman
New York, New York

Anna Silman

Anna Silman is a senior features reporter at Insider, where her work focuses on power, privilege, and social behavior. Previously she was a senior writer for New York Magazine’s The Cut. She has covered the rise and fall of millennial dream startups, the pitfalls of influencer culture, and the ramifications of ketamine being touted as a depression wonder drug. She is especially interested in how new technologies and societal trends affect our understanding of women’s physical, mental, and sexual health. For her fellowship, she will continue exploring the gap between hype and reality in the current psychedelics marketing boom.
Twitter: @annaesilman

Webb Wright Headshot
Brooklyn, New York

Webb Wright

Webb Wright is a journalist from Colorado currently based in Brooklyn. He writes about psychedelics, drug policy, mental health, and artificial intelligence. His work has appeared in Vice, DoubleBlind, and other publications. He’s an alumni of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he wrote mainly about the burgeoning psychedelics industry and law enforcement in New York City. For the fellowship, Webb is writing a magazine story about the US Drug Enforcement Administration and psilocybin.
Twitter: @_webbwright