Suriano, other students honored at 2018 Just Desserts

May 10, 2018
Grad students

Spring 2018 grads (from left) — Bottom: Elise McClain, Emily Ellis, Natalia Navarro, Martiza Cruz, Megan Lange, Liz O'Connell, Jessica Suriano. Middle: Jamie Verwys, Amanda Oien, Nick Smallwod, Elena Gonzalez, Carmen Valencia, Carly Oseran, Tirion Morris. Top: David Del Grande, Andrew Koleski, Erik Kolsrud, Sara Harelson, Ava Garcia, Courtney Talak, Leah Gilchrist, Chastity Laskey. A total of 78 undergraduates and four master's students received their degrees. (Photo by Michael McKisson)


Jessica SurianoErik KolsrudJordan Williams and Emily Ellis captured top honors May 10 at the University of Arizona School of Journalism’s 52nd Just Desserts student awards celebration at the Arizona Historical Society.

• 2018 Just Desserts program. • Video of ceremony. • Photo gallery 1. • Photo gallery 2


Suriano, a senior, received the Philip Mangelsdorf Award for Outstanding Newsperson of the Year, which recognizes the top reporter/journalist in the program. She was an apprentice reporter at the Arizona Daily Star and an intern at the East Valley Tribune, which she continues to freelance as part of the Time Media Group.

Kolsrud captured the Sherman R. Miller 3rd Award for Outstanding Senior. He covered the Arizona Legislature as the school's Don Bolles Fellow and plans to go to law school.

Williams received the Brewster P. Campbell Award for Outstanding Junior. She is a staff reporter for the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Ellis was named the Outstanding Graduate Student. A dual M.A. student in journalism and Latin American Studies, she will start as a border reporter for Herald/Review Media in Sierra Vista.

Adjunct instructor Shannon Conner, former sports editor at the Arizona Daily Star, won the Hugh and Jan Harelson Excellence in Teaching Award, in which students nominate professors and an outside committee votes on the winner.

Other awards given out were:

  • Kathryn Anne Governal Perseverance Award: Andrew Paxton
  • Alex Parker Awards for Reporting: Dominika Heusinkveld, Jamie Verwys and Michelle Jaquette
  • William Hattich Awards for Journalism Professionalism: Brandon Dawkins, Chastity Laskey, Courtney Talak and Michaela Webb
  • Leadership and Service Awards: Pascal Albright, Zeina Cabrera-Peterson and Carmen Valencia
  • Excellence in Research: Chris Stidley
  • Excellence in Design: Alyssa Schlitzer Hill
  • Abe Chanin Award for Excellence in Sports Reporting: Nate Airulla and Courtney Rice
  • Donald Still Award – Arizona Daily Wildcat: Chastity Laskey
  • J. Y. Bryan Prize for Interpretive Photography: Nels Bergeron
  • Excellence in International Journalism: April Lanuza
  • Innovation Award: Matt Brockman
  • Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Award: Brenna Bailey
  • Excellence in Multimedia Journalism: Marissa Heffernan, Alyssa Schlitzer Hill, Elizabeth Kinney, Carly Oseran and Nick Smallwood
  • Excellence in Science and Environmental Journalism: Marissa Heffernan and Michaela Webb
  • School Media Awards: Andrew Paxton and Courtney Talak
  • Jack Sheaffer Award for Outstanding News Photography: Steven Spooner
  • Diversity in Reporting Award: Brenna Bailey, Zeina Cabrera-Peters and Dalal Radwan
  • Certificates of Merit: Kayla Belcher, Eddie Celaya, Maritza Cruz, Shaq Davis, David Del Grande, Rosalina Emnace, Ava Garcia, Leah Gilchrist, Elena Gonzalez, Sara Harelson, Gloria Knott, Andrew Koleski, Kathleen Kunz, Elise McClain, Tirion Morris, Amanda Oien, Lizzie Quinlan, Marissa Ryan, Tobey Schmidt and Zach Smith.

Those receiving previous awards the last two semesters were:

  • Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for best beginning newswriter: Fall 2017: First – Rocky Baier. Second – Zachary Ogden. Third – Owen Zerambo. Spring 2018: First – Betty Hurd. Second – Trent Anderson. Third – Eva Halvax.
  • Drew Gyorke Photojournalism Contest: Spring 2018: First – Daniel Young-Miller. Second – Aly Cantor. Third – Alexandra Pere

Those receiving scholarships were:

  • Arizona Daily Star Scholarship: Pascal Albright
  • Edith Auslander Scholarship: Micheal Romero
  • John Barnett Scholarship: Courtney Talak
  • Bernice Cosulich Scholarship: Alexis Hartzell
  • D.C. “Darn Cat” Scholarship: Chandler Donald
  • Steve Emerine Scholarship: April Lanuza
  • Richard Gilman Scholarship: Marissa Heffernan, Michelle Jaquette
  • Hank Hubbard Scholarship: Bria Fonteno
  • Peggy Daum Judge Scholarship: Jessica Suriano
  • Sara and Harold Love Scholarship: Elise McClain
  • Donovan M. Kramer Sr. Entrepreneurial Scholarship: Ava Garcia, Hector Ponce
  • Douglas D. Martin Scholarship: Vivian Colter
  • John Ruby Scholarship: Alejandro Muñoz
  • Society of Professional Journalists Scholarship: Pascal Albright
  • Merigay Finnerty Sotomayor Scholarship: April Lanuza
  • Lois Whisler Scholarship: Vivian Colter

Past Just Desserts