Just Desserts 2024: Journalism students receive top school awards

May 10, 2024
Spring 2024 Just Desserts

Spring 2024 graduates pose for a group photo following the Just Desserts student awards celebration on May 8.

Rick Wiley

The University of Arizona School of Journalism celebrated its students and graduates at the 58th annual Just Desserts student awards celebration on May 8, 2024. 

School Director Jessica Retis, Director of Graduate Studies Monica Chadha, and Director of Undergraduate Studies Pate McMichael presented more than 30 awards at the event held at the Gallagher Theater. 

Pate McMichael Just Desserts

Director of Undergraduate Studies Pate McMichael

Adjunct instructor Shannon Conner took home the Hugh and Jan Harelson Excellence in Teaching Award, which students nominate professors for before members of the school’s Journalism Advisory Council vote on the winner. Academic Advisor Paloma Boykin won the Carol and Cecil Schwalbe Staff Award for Outstanding Service.

Here are all of the 2024 student award winners:

  • Philip Mangelsdorf Award for Outstanding Newsperson of the Year: Teressa Enriquez 
  • Sherman R. Miller Award for Outstanding Senior: Noor Haghighi
  • Brewster P. Campbell Award for Outstanding Junior: Sam Parker
  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Zulema Herrera
  • Alex Parker Awards for Reporting: Analeise Mayor
  • Kathryn Anne Governal Perseverance Award: Daniela Cazares
  • Leadership and Service Award: Alexandra Mora Medina
  • Douglas Martin Courage and Integrity Award: Leah Britton
  • William Hattich Award for Journalism Professionalism: Antonia Muskat
  • Donald Still Award – Arizona Daily Wildcat: Nate Stenchever
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award: Heishly Acevedo Ramirez
  • Excellence in Multimedia Journalism: Zoe Montano
  • Jack Sheaffer Outstanding News Photography: Noor Haghighi
  • Abe Chanin Excellence in Sports Reporting Award: Jason Dayee
  • Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Award: Annalise Wille
  • Excellence in Science and Environmental Journalism: Analeise Mayor
  • Excellence in Research: Thatcher Warrick Hess
  • Innovation Award: Thatcher Warrick Hess 
Thatcher Warrick

Director Jessica Retis and graduate student Thatcher Warrick Hess.

  • School Media Award: Kiara Adams
  • Kappa Tau Alpha: Taylor Dykstra, Erika Howlett, Annabelle Kahn, Frances LaBianca, Riley Brown, Emily Wright, Tanya Ence, Sammy Cibulka, Eva Marie Hube, Sohi Kang, Zulema Herrera, Heishly Acevedo 
  • Certificates of Merit: Elian Enrique Macias Parada, Aidan Wohl, Kevin Thomas, Susan Barnett, Jennifer Zucker, Arilynn Hyatt, Grace Lawrence, Refugio Jesus Del Cid, Gracie Kayko, Liliana López Ruelas, Alejandro Torres Calderón, Dawn Page, Paige Johnson
  • Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for best beginning news writer: First – Sarah Dillon.  Second — Aiden Williams. Third —Madison Kimbell.
  • Drew Gyorke Photojournalism Contest: Fall 2023: First – Na'ilah Lockhart. Second – Beatriz Mojardin. Third – Jake George. Spring 2024: First – Amelie Allen.  Second – Laine Kowalski. Third – Josie Shivers.

Those receiving scholarships were:

  • Edith Auslander Scholarship: Juan Serrano
  • John R. Barnett Scholarship: Summer Williams
  • John G. Carlton Memorial Scholarship: Kiara Adams
  • Frank O. Sotomayor Scholarship: Susan Barnett
  • Concerned Media Professionals Scholarship: Beatriz Mojardin, Emma Diaz
  • Minnette Doris Burges Scholarship: Thatcher Warrick Hess
  • Peggy Daum Judge Scholarship: Samantha Callicutt
  • Bernice Cosulich Scholarship: Meleny Gradillas
  • Steve Emerine Scholarship: Ainsley Thomas
  • Richard Gilman Scholarship: McKenna Manzo
Noor Haghighi Just Desserts

Director Jessica Retis and undergraduate student Noor Haghighi.

  • Gordon D.C. “Darn Cat” Scholarship: Zoe Montano
  • Jane Swicegood Student Exploration Grant: Pricilia Mugwa
  • Ruth A. and Donovan M. Kramer Sr. Entrepreneurial Scholarship: Walter Senior, Marissa Orr
  • Sara and Harold Love Scholarship: Angelina Maynes
  • Douglas D. Martin Scholarship: Emerson Mayorga, Kim Ngomo 
  • William Milburn Memorial Scholarship: Juan Serrano
  • Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Scholarship: Richard Whitmer
  • John Ruby Scholarship: Chance Giannini
  • Society of Professional Journalists Scholarship: Noor Haghighi
  • Nancy and Bob Maynard Diversity Scholarship: Desarae Tucker
  • ODD Environmental and Multimedia Scholarship: Analeise Mayor
  • Lois R. Nelson Award: Lauryn Jones


Watch the 2024 Just Desserts ceremony here: