Congratulations to the 2020-21 Associated Press Sports Editors diversity fellows. The 10th class includes Mauro Diaz, J.T. Keith, Sarah Kelly, Maria McIlwain and Em Poertner.

“The 10th anniversary of the APSE Diversity Fellowship Program represents a tremendous milestone for the organization and for all of the graduates and volunteers who have worked to make this a reality,” said Fellowship founder and former APSE president Michael Anastasi. “But the work is just beginning. We have much to do and we’re excited to do it. Class X follows in a long line of accomplished and determined professionals. I can’t wait to see how they’ll make their mark.”

The Fellowship, in its 10th year, is an in-depth course of study for working, mid-career professionals interested in pursuing a path as a manager (typically a sports editor, assistant sports editor or sports reporter) in sports journalism.

“I’m looking forward to meeting this year’s excellent group and I’m excited for the 10th year of the program,” said APSE second vice president Jorge Rojas, who helped launch the program in 2011. “It has been a thrill seeing how well all the past fellows have progressed in their careers, and over this past decade contributing to our growing family of friends. I’m glad APSE has been able to play a part in showcasing their greatness!”

  • Mauro is a bilingual journalist who has been at in Dallas since 2009. He started his career at the Dallas Morning News.
  • J.T. has won three special section awards as the sports editor at the Roswell Daily Record. He was the first African-American in his current newsroom, as well as his previous stops in Kingman and Cottonwood, Arizona.
  • Sarah joined the copy desk at Sports Illustrated in September. A survivor of five layoffs in six years, she was also the sports editor for The Washington Post Express.
  • Maria transitioned from reporting at The Bryan College-Station Eagle to the Houston Chronicle’s copy desk. An Auburn alumna and cat mom, she has won two APSE awards.
  • Em has been at the Gannett Design Center since September 2016, where she is part of the Diversity Steering Committee.

“There’s nothing stopping all five of this year’s fellows from running their own department in the very near future,” said Diversity Fellowship co-chair Larry Graham.

The fellows will take part in several virtual training sessions, participate in the APSE contest judging and graduate this summer.