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English Professor Awarded Prestigious Grant From the Society for Environmental Journalism

The grant will fund Philip’s immersive ecological and historical investigation of the beaver titled ‘Beaverland: The Story of How a Weird Rodent Made America’
December 4th, 2020 by 
Leila Philip, professor of English. Photo by Allison Waltz

Leila Philip, professor of English at Holy Cross and a contributing columnist for The Boston Globe’s Opinion section, has recently been awarded a rapid response story grant by the Society for Environmental Journalism for “Beaverland: The Story of How a Weird Rodent Made America.”

The Society of Environmental Journalists was founded in 1990 by a group of award-winning journalists and provides educational opportunities and vital support to journalists of all media who face the challenging responsibility of covering complex environmental issues.

“As tens of thousands of journalists are laid off or furloughed, new funding for local environmental journalism on under-represented communities and undercovered issues is critical,” says Meaghan Parker, SEJ’s executive director. “Environmental challenges most severely affect our most vulnerable communities. But as the COVID-19 crisis exacerbates the media’s ongoing financial crisis, those stories are even less likely to be told. Through our rapid response grants, we are seeking to help fill the gaps in coverage by directly supporting independent environmental journalism.”

“Beaverland: The Story of How a Weird Rodent Made America” is an immersive ecological and historical investigation of the beaver that traces the critical ways it has shaped everything from American imperialism and wealth to the current debates surrounding the environmental crisis, the rural-urban divide and some of the most elemental ideas of what it means to be American.

A member of the Holy Cross faculty since 2003, Philip is a highly awarded writer of literary nonfiction. She is the author of four books, including “The Road Through Miyama,” for which she received the prestigious PEN Martha Albrand Special Citation for Nonfiction, and the award-winning memoir “A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family.”

To learn more, go to SEJ.org.

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English, In The News, News

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