Rhoden Fellows

The Rhoden Fellows Initiative is a two-year training program for the next generation of sports journalists from historically black colleges and universities, headed by former New York Times award-winning columnist and Undefeated editor-at-large William C. Rhoden. The fellowship – established as part of The Undefeated’s mission to develop new voices and serve as an incubator for future multicultural journalists – is open to outstanding undergraduate students at HBCUs. Eryn Mathewson manages the editorial and administrative processes within the program. She edits print stories, produces the HBCU 468 podcast, and oversees scheduling and compliance.

Through the lens of sports, the fellows will produce stories about race, class, and culture and serve as campus correspondents for The Undefeated. There are six students in the inaugural class: Miniya Shabazz, Grambling State University; Kyla Wright, Hampton University; Paul Holston, Howard University; C. Isaiah Smalls, Morehouse College; Simone Benson, Morgan State University; Donovan Dooley, North Carolina A&T.


Simone Benson

Rhoden Fellow
Simone Benson is a multimedia journalism major at Morgan State University. She reports on food access and social justice, and recently helped produce a documentary in Havana.
Michael Rodgers is running with a purpose

Donovan Dooley

Rhoden Fellow
Donovan Dooley is multimedia journalism major from Tuscaloosa, AL. He attends North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University.
Ravens' Larry Donnell says Grambling got him to the NFL

Paul Holston

Rhoden Fellow
Paul Holston journalism major from Summerville, SC. He attends Howard University and served as 2016-17 editor-in-chief of The Hilltop.
Howard student activists send message to James Comey during convocation

Miniya Shabazz

Rhoden Fellow
Miniya Shabazz is a junior mass communication major from Laurel, MD. She attends Grambling State University and is a staff writer for The Gramblinite.
Jackson State at Grambling is a return to a familiar and heated rivalry

C. Isaiah Smalls II

Rhoden Fellow
C. Isaiah Smalls, II is a junior at Morehouse College from Lansing, Mich. He studies Cinema, Television and Emerging Media Studies. He is Editor-in-Chief of The Maroon Tiger.
Social media all over LaMelo Ball's MB1 launch and whether he'll be play at UCLA

Kyla Wright

Rhoden Fellow
Kyla L. Wright is a sophomore journalism major, graphic design minor from Detroit. She attends Hampton University and writes for the Hampton Script.
Hampton’s Aria Hill is a double winner at HBCU Awards