Journalism Advisory Council

Jon Rowley and his wife, Peggy, gave students in the school's border reporting class a tour of their Amado ranch.

Jon and Peggy Rowley give border reporting students a tour of their Amado ranch and answer questions about immigration and smuggling.

Photo by Mike Christy, '11

Formed in the mid-1990s, the Journalism Advisory Council helps the school achieve our mission to prepare students to face the complex challenges confronting journalists in the 21st century.

Council members advise the school's director and faculty. They also volunteer their services in fundraising, planning and community outreach for the school.

“In 1994, a strong network of journalism alumni and supporters mobilized to save the program from threatened closure,” said Frank Sotomayor, former chair of the council. “Donations to the school are vital for it to continue to grow. Many of our alums' careers were jump-started by journalism training."

Council members, many whom are graduates of the University of Arizona School of Journalism, are available to talk to classes and mentor students.

Meet the Journalism Advisory Council members

Michael Chihak (‘71, chair): Former Arizona Public Media news director; former Tucson Citizen publisher.

Paul Allvin (’93): VP for strategic communications and marketing at George Mason University.

Joe Altman (’99): Tax professional in Tempe for RSM US LLP, a global accounting and consulting firm. Worked for The Associated Press in Detroit, New York and Phoenix as an editor and reporter.

Jo Marie Barkley (’86): Public affairs coordinator, UA Department of Emergency Medicine.

Jim Calle (’85): Attorney representing U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Valerie Cavazos ('91 Radio/TV): Emmy-nominated investigative reporter with more than 20 years of television news experience. 

Hipolito Corella ('90): Senior editor at the Arizona Daily Star, where he has worked since 1991.

Mariana Dale ('14): Reporter for KPCC, the National Public Radio station in Los Angeles, covering early childhood. Previously reported for KJZZ in Phoenix, where she shared a national Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of teacher strike.

John D’Anna (’83): Senior news director at The Santa Rosa (California) Press Democrat. Former Page One editor, Arizona Republic; member of Daily Wildcat Hall of Fame.

Scott Harelson (‘84, Radio/TV): Former media relations manager at Salt River Project in Phoenix.

Kimberly Kayler ('95): President of Advancing Organizational Excellence in Farmington, Michigan. Started Steve Emerine scholarship in 2011 for students interested in public affairs reporting and/or media relations. 

Chris Kline: President and CEO of Arizona Media Association + Arizona Local News Foundation.

Pila Martinez (’96): Senior director for strategic communications, University of Arizona; former reporter for Arizona Daily Star, Associated Press.

Nate Olivarez-Giles ('08): Tech and innovation editor for Apple in Los Angeles, California. Before that, he was assistant news editor for technology at The Wall Street Journal and a staff writer/videographer at the Los Angeles Times.

David Bodney: Senior counsel at Ballard Spahr law firm, serving as a litigator focusing on media and constitutional law. He founded the firm's Media and Entertainment Law Group.

Nicole Santa Cruz ('09): Reporter for ProPublica, based in Phoenix, covering issues of inequality in the Southwest. Former reporter at the Los Angeles Times, where she wrote the Homicide Report blog. Received Daily Wildcat Young Alumni Award in 2011.

Mark Woodhams: Former director of Arizona Student Media and adviser for the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Honorary members

  • Chyrl Hill Lander ('76): Former vice chair of the council, journalist at Arizona Daily Star, TUSD spokesperson and UA journalism adjunct instructor. 
  • Bobbie Jo Buel ('79): Former editor of the Arizona Daily Star.
  • Patty Weiss Gelenberg (’71): Former KVOA 4 anchor in Tucson.
  • Bruce Itule (’69): Longtime journalist and journalism professor; UA professor emeritus of journalism.
  • Gerald Sass: Former executive vice president of the Freedom Forum.
  • Arlene Scadron (’75): Former journalism head and student newspaper adviser at Pima College.
  • Frank Sotomayor (’66): Former editor and Pulitzer Prize winner at Los Angeles Times; former associate director for Institute for the Justice and Journalism at USC.