2018 Faculty/Staff Kudos

Feb. 9, 2018

A three-member site team for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications recommended Jan. 24 that the UA School of Journalism be re-accredited for its experienced faculty, tight-knit students, out-of-class opportunities and strong internship program. The school has been nationally accredited every six years since 1964, but this is the first time in 30 years it has passed all nine key standards. Director David Cuillier, who compiled the school's self-study, thanked everyone who participated in the process. He and the school received props from UA President Robbins on Twitter, with Robbins saying the program has a "bright future." Click here for more details.

Michael McKisson and Jeannine Relly were awarded the Al Litzow Teaching Engagement Grant for a podcast project proposal as an extracurricular activity called "The PreReq Podcast: An inside look at being a student in 2018." The other submission was a class project by Carol Schwalbe called, "Home on the Range," a special field trip to the Altar Valley that would result in a custom-built website showcasing stories, photos, podcasts and videos of students. A committee of SBS student engagement director Jesse McCain, Star reporter Caitlin Schmidt ('14) and former Arizona Daily Star Editor Bobbie Jo Buel ('79) voted 2-1 for the McKisson-Relly proposal, which will let students work with a producer from Arizona Public Media and provide equipment and skills that can be integrated into the curriculum and clubs moving forward.

Linda Lumsden will present a paper on “Social Justice Journalism: The Literature of Exposure” at the Arizona Writing and Social Justice Conference at Arizona State University on Feb. 14.

Mort RosenblumWilliam SchmidtKim Newton and Maggy Zanger (moderator) talked to graduate students about their experiences as foreign correspondents at the school's monthly "Talk & 'Tizers" on Feb 1. The group had appetizers at Gentle Ben's afterward. The event was organized by Program Coordinator Debbie Cross.

Maggy Zanger gave a talk, "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: A Report from Iraqi Kurdistan at a Historic Turning Point" on Feb. 9 in Marshall 490, part of the Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS) Colloquium Series. The talk was co-sponsored by the Center for Border & Global Journalism and the UA School of Journalism.

Celeste González de Bustamante gave the keynote address on violence against journalists at the U.S./Mexico border on Feb. 9 at the symposium, "Violence, Trauma, and Resilience: A Community Conversation" at the Student Union's Sonora Ballroom. The symposium was sponsored by the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Medicine.

Celeste González de Bustamante will oversee the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence's new Faculty Mentoring Program. Read alum Kyle Mittan's story on the program for Lo Que Pasa.

Susan Knight's apprentice class hosted five Arizona Daily Star staffers in recent weeks — from two recent apprentices who’ve been hired to work and freelance at the Star to several senior staffers. Presenting on how to have a successful experience in the newsroom were: Caitlin Schmidt ('14), who has  been both an apprentice as a student and, more recently, an apprentice mentor in her role as a legal affairs reporter at the Star; Shaq Davis, who was hired to work night cops after his apprenticeship last semester; and Gloria Knott, a recent apprentice who was invited back to regularly freelance for the features and arts sections. Alum Ryan Finley ('02), Star sports editor, told students about finding story ideas and making successful story pitches, and adjunct instructor Tom Beal, a recent retiree after more than 40 years at the Star, talked to the apprentices about interviewing for engagement with sources instead of just information seeking.

Carol Schwalbe's environmental journalism class hosted UA researchers Jonathan Derbridge, Taylor Edwards, Melissa Merrick, Cecil R. Schwalbe and Bill Shaw on Feb. 8. Each student read a journal article from one of the five beforehand, drew up questions and interviewed the scientist for about 15 minutes. The scientists then gave each student feedback on his/her interviewing skills (body language, questions, etc.). Students aren't done yet: They must write a Q&A based on their interview.

Susan Knight organized an all-clubs event in the Reading Room on Jan. 26, letting students talk about ideas and upcoming events. Jeannine Relly and Susan E. Swanberg also participated.

A new, updated edition of adjunct instructor Joe Sharkey's 1991 book, "Death Sentence," has just been published in print by Open Road Media — an example of long-form narrative journalism for students. Another of Joe's books, "Above Suspicion," is now a film with Emilia Clarke and should hit theaters in late summer.

Retired Prof. Jim Johnson's new book, "The Black Bruins," is now available on Amazon. The book, Johnson's eighth, looks at five African-American athletes who faced racial discrimination as teammates at UCLA in the late 1930s, including Jackie Robinson.


Don Carson, a beloved professor emeritus and former director of the school, died on Feb. 1 at 85. A memorial will be held held Friday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m. at St. Odilia's Catholic Church, 7570 N. Paseo Del Norte, with a celebration of life at 1 p.m. at Hacienda del Sol, 5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Road. He will be inducted into the inaugural UA School of Journalism Hall of Fame on April 7. Read the school's obit and remembrances from students. Carmen Duarte ('80) wrote the Arizona Daily Star obit.

Jan. 19, 2018

Kim Newton gave a radio interview with TBS eFM This Morning in Seoul, South Korea, on Jan. 11. The interview centered on the release of the South Korean film 1987, "When the Day Comes." The film, based on events surrounding the 1987 South Korean Democracy movement was recently released in Seoul and Los Angeles. The film centers around a South Korean journalist investigating the torture death by South Korean National Police in January 1987 of South Korean student activist Park Jong-chul. The director of the MBC documentary that Newton has been working on since March is planning on bringing the film to campus in March. Click here to hear the podcast.

Linda Lumsden received a UA Student-Faculty Interaction grant to take more than 70 students to see "The Post," the new film about the Washington Post's decision to publish the Pentagon Papers. The students are enrolled in her gen-ed class, JOUR 150C News in a Digital Age.

Susan Swanberg passed her third-year review.

In honor of "The Post" being released in theaters, Professor Emeritus George Ridge pointed out that the UA J-school was among the first to recognize Katharine Graham for publishing The Pentagon Papers and the Post's Watergate coverage. Ridge, a former department head, presented the 1973 Zenger Award for Press Freedom to Graham at the Phoenix airport on Jan. 12, 1974. Click here to see the Phoenix Gazette story.

Jan. 12, 2018

Adjunct instructor Irene McKisson, editor of the Arizona Daily Star's This Is Tucson, was named one of the nation's top 20 innovators in digital media by MediaShift.
Maggy Zanger returned after four months in Iraqi Kurdistan, and gave a talk, "Is Iraq in Turnaround?” on Jan. 10 at Revolutionary Grounds on North Fourth Avenue.

Adjunct instructor Lorraine Rivera of Arizona Public Media is hosting a new news show, "Arizona 360," every Friday on PBS 6. She interviewed Gov. Ducey about education and water in the first episode. Click here to see past shows.

Mike McKisson invited Rob Wisner of the Arizona Daily Star to speak to his Mobile App Development class on Jan. 11. Wisner is director of digital innovation at the Star.