By Mike Harris

Mentorship Committee Chair

In addition to bringing in what we hope will be better weather, March will bring in the 2021 APSE Mentorship season.

Six pairings have been set for the year, though the hope is they turn into a lifetime relationship that benefits each side.

Mentors and their mentees are expected to communicate regularly via email, Zoom and phone. And, if conditions improve enough to allow it, perhaps some face-to-face meetings can be held as well.

Anyone interested in being a mentor or mentee in future years can get in touch with Mike Harris and APSE president Lisa Wilson and can also request to join the APSE Mentorship Program page on Facebook.

The pairings for this year:

*Ian Kreider, a correspondent at the Star Beacon in Ashtabula, Ohio, and mentor Jim Pignatiello, the sports director at MassLive | The Republican.

*Ben Arthur, a sports reporter primarily covering the Seahawks at in Seattle, and mentor Marcus Vanderberg, a senior NBA editor at Yahoo.

*Jane Allison Havsy, a multimedia reporter at the Daily Record in northwest New Jersey, and mentor Hank Winnicki, the assistant managing editor/sports at Newsday.

*Coty Davis, a Texans and Rockets correspondent in Houston, Texas, and Tyler Batiste, the NBA managing editor at The Athletic.

*Ben Portnoy, the Mississippi State reporter for the Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Mississippi, and Naila Meyers, a senior assistant sports editor at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

*Sharon Brown, the Grizzlies beat writer at The Memphis Flyer, and Roxanna Scott, the managing editor/sports at USA Today.

Here’s a bit more detail on the mentees in the 2021 class:

Ben Arthur has been a sports reporter for the past 2 1/2 years, covering primarily the Seahawks. He began his professional journalism career as a general assignment sports reporter at the Laredo Morning Times in Laredo, Texas, where he spent six months before taking his current job in Seattle, where he was born and raised. Arthur graduated from the University of Portland in Oregon in May 2017. He got his start in journalism working for the school’s student-run media outlet, The Beacon, as a junior. During his senior year, Arthur was accepted into the Sports Journalism Institute. He interned at the Denver Post through SJI the summer after he graduated from college, and has previously freelanced for ESPN and The Seattle Times.

Sharon Brown is a University of Memphis graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies with a concentration in Legal Studies. Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, Sharon is one of the Memphis Grizzlies beat writers for The Memphis Flyer and a contributor at Dime on Uproxx. She has created a niche in the industry by co-founding All Heart in Hoop City — a unique community of women sportswriters. She hosts the Shy Show, a podcast with her grown children that features sports and more.

Coty M. Davis is a credentialed sportswriter based in Houston covering a variety of sports. He is currently a freelance beat reporter covering the Houston Rockets for SB Nation and the Houston Texans for ESPN Houston 97.5. Coty is also a podcaster as the daily host of Locked On Texans and weekly host of Bleav in the Rockets. A native of New Orleans, Davis has written feature stories on Kevin Martin, Darren Fells, Nate Hinton and Tyrell Adams. You can follow Davis on Twitter @CotyDavis_24.

Jane Allison Havsy has been a multimedia journalist for the Daily Record in northwest New Jersey for 20 years. She writes about people who participate in athletics, and has learned about nearly every sport — and a few things that aren’t. A University of Pennsylvania alumna, Jane is a member of the Association for Women in Sports Media, Track and Field Writers of America, as well as APSE. She is a former APSE Diversity Fellow. She enjoys library books, volunteers at a local food pantry, and has resolved to add a new passport stamp annually. Her childhood dream is to go to the Olympics.

Ian Kreider is a freelance correspondent at the Star Beacon in Ashtabula, which is located an hour northeast of Cleveland. He previously covered Kent State athletics for The Kent Stater, the university’s student-run newspaper, until his graduation in May 2020. He covered the Kent State football team for three years and chronicled the program’s first bowl win in 2019. He earned the John S. Knight scholarship, which is awarded to students who excel in journalism. He has also worked as a freelance correspondent for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Ben Portnoy covers Mississippi State for the Commercial Dispatch. A 2018 Indiana University graduate, Ben covered IU football for the Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and served in a variety of roles for the Indiana Daily Student, including sports editor and men’s basketball reporter, during his undergrad years. Ben previously held internships with the Sports Capitol, the Bethesda Big Train and Más+Menos — a Spanish-language student publication in Seville, Spain, where he spent a semester.


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