Leading COVID-19 Data, Analysis and communication Across the USA & Canada

Voting has closed. Winners will be announced Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

COVID-19 Data Hero Finalists

The Newcomers

High school, college and graduate students

The Newcomers cohort represents the passionate and talented students who used their data and analytic skills to keep their communities informed- with little experience or notoriety before COVID-19 hit.

The Newcomers are rising stars whose contributions to keeping the public informed with COVID-19 will most certainly be applied to future projects – to the benefit of the communities and people they serve.

View each Finalist’s Page:
Rachel Woodul (North Carolina)
Philip Nelson (South Carolina)
Benjy Renton (Vermont)
Avi Schiffmann (Washington)

The Specialists

Epidemiologists, health professionals, medical researchers, experts & doctors

While many academics may shutter at the idea of taking on a dozen press or media events each week, these nominees made themselves regularly available to the public, going above and beyond to ensure accurate information overcame the drumbeat of misinformation.

The Specialists have years of experience in medicine, academia and research, and used their newfound celebrity to be a force for good data communication.

Dr. Theresa Chapple (Georgia)
Dr. Amber Schmidtke (Georgia)
Dr. Emily Smith (Texas)
Dr. Peter Hotez (Texas)
Dr. Vin Gupta (Washington)
Dr. Beth Linas (Washington DC)


Public servants and experienced professionals

The Professionals, whose experience in producing high-quality data reporting applications and informatics, played an integral role in keeping the public informed of the facts during COVID-19.

While not medical experts, the Professionals lent their skillsets to promoting data and science during COVID-19.

David Marconnet (Alabama)
Carley Fitzgerald (Florida)
Micah Pollak (Indiana)
Matthew Holloway (Missouri)
Olivier Drouin (Quebec, Canada)

The Press

Reporters from small time to prime time

Without the investigative and data-driven reporting by journalists, many Americans would have been left on their own to sort through the mess of misinformation being spread by some of the nation’s most prominent voices. The role of the media during a crisis cannot be under-stated, and these nominees exemplified what it means to be a data journalist in an unprecedented time.

Garrett Archer (Arizona)
Chris Vanderveen (Colorado)
Mary Landers (Georgia)
Megan Messerly (Nevada)
Karen Kasler (Ohio)


Communicators and advocates for data access and transparency

While not one of our initial nominee categories, in recognition of the hard work by those whose commitments to data extended beyond reporting, we decided to add a category for those who also became data advocates, pushing boundaries and fighting the political interests dispensing misinformation.

The Provocateurs award is the highest honor of our awards program. As our name states, our mission is Data Access, Transparency & Advocacy.

Dr. Jorge Caballero (California)
Dr. Andrea Love & Dr. Jessica Steier (Pennsylvania & Florida)
Sara Ann Willett (Iowa)
Dr. Ferial Pearson (Nebraska)
Ryan Imgrund (Ontario, Canada)

Not in any specific order