Current Grad Students

Here are bios on some of our current M.A. students and why they chose the UA School of Journalism's graduate program.

Emily Ellis

  • Program: Dual M.A. in Journalism and Latin American Studies
  • Areas of interest: Human rights reporting, social justice, indigenous peoples’ rights
  • Undergrad degree: English Literature/Spanish Language
  • Hometown: Asheville, North Carolina
  • Background/goals:  I worked as an ESL teacher for several years after finishing up my undergrad education, and held jobs in Vietnam, Ecuador, Nicaragua and the United States. In 2014, I spent about a year interning for an independent human rights publication based in Guatemala. My experiences there made me decide to stop teaching and pursue a career in journalism. I hope to return to Central America as a more skilled and knowledgeable reporter upon the completion of my degree.
  • Why UA: The University of Arizona is one of the few universities in the country that could offer me the exact education I wanted: professional journalism skills combined with an intensive academic study of Latin American politics and history.

April Lanuza

  • Program: Dual M.A. in Journalism and Latin American Studies
  • Areas of interest: International Reporting, Multimedia, Travel, Food, Immigration, Documentary
  • Undergrad degree: Telecommunications, University of Florida
  • Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Background/goals:  As a first-generation child, I have always been curious about what the Hispanic-American experience has been like for other kids with similar backgrounds. I grew up in a bubble surrounded by other Caribbeans, and after spending time studying and backpacking in South America, I finally witnessed the diversity and culture Latin America has to offer, outside of what I grew up with. I realized all I really want to do is travel and share the stories of Hispanics with the world. 
  •  Why UA: Location and opportunities. I was skeptical of moving to a "boring" state, having come from the land of theme parks, beaches, and Miami, but after visiting the school and meeting faculty to discuss courses, I realized this was the perfect place. The program offers classes across the border and faculty with experience in my area of interest that can give me EXACTLY what I have been looking for since finishing undergrad.

Ashley Mikelonis

  • Program: Journalism M.A.
  • Areas of Interest: Broadcast Journalism, Sports Journalism, Television/Film, Media Studies
  • Undergrad degree: B.A. in Communication Arts, Washington & Jefferson College
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh
  • Background/goals: Sports have always been a huge passion of mine, and I would love to have the chance to write about them. I also have a strong interest in television and film, and I would like to eventually write and produce my own television show in the future. After I receive my Master’s I plan to work in the journalism field before returning to school to pursue a Ph.D. in Media Studies.
  • Why UA: I really wanted to leave my hometown and see what else was out there. The UA School of Journalism offers a diverse program as well as an experienced faculty and staff that are willing to help in any way they can. I also appreciate the small class sizes.

Tony Perkins

  • Program: Journalism M.A.
  • Areas of interest: Broadcast journalism, sports journalism
  • Undergrad: B.A. Telecommunications, Indiana University, 1980.
  • Hometown: Chicago
  • Background: I joined the UA Journalism graduate program in September 2015, following a career in broadcast journalism that's spanned more than 30 years and two continents.  I specialized in covering legal issues and courts, and chronicled the Jeffery Dahmer serial killer trial for ABC Radio News in the 1990s. I also worked as a television news and sports journalist for more than 13 years, and reported on the University of Arizona's national basketball title game in 1997. A continuing interest in teaching college journalism led me to a position as TV news director and adjunct instructor at the Indiana University School of Journalism in 2007.  I then served as an anchor-producer for China Central Television’s English-language coverage of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic games. I lived and worked in China for four years before returning to the U.S. as an international sports television correspondent.

Carson Lee Suggs

  • Program: Journalism M.A.
  • Areas of interest: Journalism history and ethics, Arizona media history
  • Undergrad degree: B.A. in English with Honors, University of Arizona
  • Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Goals: I hope to eventually start my own website covering the intersections of technology, politics, and the humanities. I hope also to return to literature by pursuing a Ph.D. in the near future.
  • Why UA? I chose the School of Journalism per the recommendation of a mentor of mine from the English Department. I knew I wanted to write for a living, but I needed to develop my skills further, and the School of Journalism has been an immeasurable help in that regard.

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