Student Kudos - 2009

December 2009

A video report by Markus Steinhauser on a rodeo team was posted on CNN's iReport and picked up by AOL France and featured in their video section. The photos for the project were all taken with an old Sony point-and-shoot camera and the audio was recorded on an Olympus WS-400s. Steinhauser rode his bike 30 minutes each time he went to photograph the rodeo team and traveled with them to New Mexico and to Phoenix to get his photographs. See the report at here.

News that seven representatives from the School of Journalism were selected to take part in the New York Times Student Journalism Institute was featured in “This Week at ANA.”

Veronica Cruz has been accepted as a Chips Quinn Scholar and offered an internship for spring 2010 with the Santa Fe New Mexican:.

Hank Stephenson was selected for an internship with Arizona Capitol TV in Phoenix for spring 2010.

Seven representatives of the UA School of Journalism will take part in The New York Times Student Journalism Institute Jan. 2-13, 2010, at the UA. Only 23 students from across the nation were selected to participate in the prestigious institute, co-sponsored by The Times and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. They are current undergraduates: Veronica Cruz, Matthew Lewis, Amanda Portillo and Samantha Sais and graduate student Cecilia Perry. They join May 2009 graduates Dalina Castellanos and Stephen Ceasar.

Castellanos worked on the news desk at the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash., as a Chips Quinn scholar. She was one of the founding members of the NAHJ-UA chapter and a JSAC member. While a student, she interned at the Tucson Citizen, attended the yearly CCNMA conference in Los Angeles, and was a staffer for Border Beat.

Ceasar has interned at Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, the Tucson Citizen and the Arizona Daily Star, where he now works as a part-time border reporter. He received the Douglas D. Martin Award for Integrity and Courage in Journalism in spring 2009 for his work covering the border. He also wrote for and was a staff member of Border Beat.

Cruz was an apprentice for the "Caliente" section of the Arizona Daily Star, copy chief for El Independiente and a copy editor at the Arizona Daily Wildcat. She received the El Independiente award last spring for her work on the publication.

Lewis has been an intern with the San Manuel Miner, a NASA intern for the Tucson Citizen, and is currently the metro-desk intern the Arizona Daily Star. He and Samantha Sais served as mentors to high school students at the Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students. This past summer, Lewis served as the senior mentor to the students.

Perry began in the School of Journalism’s graduate program in fall 2008. She is president of the Graduate Journalism Student Advisory Council and has apprenticed at the Arizona Daily Star and is a member of the UA’s Student Media Board.

Portillo is vice president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists-UA chapter. She interns at the Tucson Weekly, producing written stories and multimedia packages for their Web site. Portillo also participated in the NAHJ Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this summer as a member of the student project that covered the surrounding community and the convention.

Sais is the current president of the Journalism Student Advisory Council. She has held internships with through the Tucson Citizen and with the Tucson Weekly. She also served as a mentor at the Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students.


November 2009

Candace Begody, Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan and faculty members Lisa Button and Kevin R. Kemper presented "Native Perspectives: Oral Storytelling and 21st Century Journalism" at the 2009 American Indian Youth Conference held at the UA Nov. 13.

Kemper touched on similarities in Native oral storytelling traditions and journalism, as well as fact-checking and other journalism basics; Button discussed the 2010 Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students and internship opportunities for student journalists; and Begody and Ramon-Sauberan covered media stereotypes and invited students to submit stories to Native Perspectives. Organizers expected about 500 high school (and some middle school) students from across Arizona to attend.

Stephanie Maya Hamill was selected for an internship with Arizona Capitol TV in Phoenix.

Winners of the Fall 2009 Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for Best Beginning Newswriter Competition were announced Nov. 19. They were: Michael McClellan, first place; Nicole Dimtsios, second place; and Michelle Kostuk, third place. Competitors are nominated by their 205 instructors. The guest speaker was C.J. Karamargin, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. He spoke about health care legislation and took questions from the students, who then had one hour to write a deadline news story.


October 2009

Jim Nintzel and journalism students Megan Neighbor, Hank Stephenson, Aleksa Brown and Taylor Avey, Tucson Weekly, won second place in multimedia storytelling, for “The ScrambleWatch blog” in the 2009 Better Newspapers Contest sponsored by the Arizona Newspapers Association and Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors Oct. 10. It also won third place in the Arizona Press Club competition earlier this year for best multimedia storytelling. Also winning at the Oct. 10 awards was Candace Begody and Duane Beyal, Navajo Times, second place, best sports story, non-daily circulation greater than 10,000, for “I ride to win.”

Jay Rochlin wrote a successful proposal for a Magellan Circle grant from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The grant will enable five students in Rochlin’s Border Beat class to travel to Hermosillo to provide multimedia coverage of an annual volunteer-based cleft palate mission by American surgeons that is sponsored and organized by St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic in Nogales. The students written, photographic, video, and audio reports will be shared on Border Beat. Participating students are: Aleksa Brown, Chris Kelly, Curtis Prendergast, Kristina Stevens and Roxana Vasquez.

Evan Pellegrino helped lead an online resume workshop coordinated by Lisa Button and Mike McKisson on Sept. 30.


August 2009

Moriah Waters, one of the students taking part in the Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students, had her article on “Teens create public art downtown” chosen for the ASNE national edition of their online high school journalism site. See it here. Roxana Vasquez was her student mentor.

Sarah Kezele was named a correspondent to the Nike Field Reporter program on She will have a weekly blog on their Web site and do print and video stories on athletes and events on a local and national level.

CeCe Perry, a graduate student who worked this summer at an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, had a front-page story published Aug. 12 on “S. Tucson’s last bar.”

Nicole Santa Cruz, who graduated in December 2008, starts the Metpro program in mid-September at the Los Angeles Times, where she worked as an intern this summer. Santa Cruz is a founding member of the UA student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a former president of that chapter. Metpro is a two-year diversity program designed to help beginning journalists launch careers in Tribune newsrooms. Each participant can expect formal mentoring, frequent performance evaluations and coaching, a thorough grounding in journalism ethics and relevant laws pertaining to libel and privacy, an opportunity to cover communities, including cops, courts and city councils, a thorough understanding of public records and research tools and an opportunity to prepare stories for the Web. Fellow graduate Nathan Olivarez-Giles was selected for the same program in spring 2008.


June 2009

Carly Kennedy will pick up a $1,000 check at the Arizona Newspapers Association’s Fall Convention Oct. 10. Kennedy was one of two winners in the state of the 2009 scholarship.

Several students helped with the Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students June 6-17. Matt Lewis and Roxana Vasquez took a lead role as counselors and mentors. Students also serving as mentors were Amanda Bahe, Aleksa Brown, Colleen Bush, Rodney Haas, Evan Pellegrino, Samantha Sais, Hank Stephenson and Kevin Zimmerman. The workshop’s highlight is the publication of The Chronicle, a 12-page newspaper that is written, edited and designed by the high school students. View it here.

A story on media portrayals of Native Americans that featured Candace Begody, a journalism senior and member of the Navajo community, that aired on "Arizona Illustrated" April 21 also was broadcast on KUAT’s radio program “Arizona Spotlight” May 9. Listen here.


May 2009

Sarah Kezele wrote a story on fellow journalism student and UA swimmer Taylor Baughman that was picked up by ESPN Campus Connection. Watch it here. Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan wrote the cover story on healthy,Tohono O’odham food for the food section of the May 20 Arizona Daily Star. Read it here.

Candace Begody has a summer internship at the White House in the Office of Management and Administration. The office, according to the White House Web site, offers important operational and administrative support for the President of the United States and the White House Office. It also provides administrative oversight to all components of the Executive Office of the President.

Begody also will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Arizona Press Club May 16.

Alex Dalenberg was offered a reporter position with The Working Press, a tab newspaper produced for the 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference to be held Aug. 27-29 in Indianapolis. He was one of six reporting interns selected out of more than 60 applicants.

Lauren King wrote an article for her Jour 205 class that was published in the business section of the Arizona Daily Star May 14. The story was on a UA economics professor who compares today’s economic woes with lessons learned in the Great Depression.

Chelsea Jo Simpson, May 2009 journalism graduate, accepted a position as marketing manager at the Association of University Research Parks in Tucson.

Check out all the Just Desserts honorees. Andi Berlin wrote several stories for a six-page cover spread in the April 16 issue of the Arizona Daily Star’s "Caliente."

Claire Conrad wrote the cover story for the April 30 issue of Tucson Weekly.

Kassandra Lau and Amanda Portillo will have all their expenses paid to take part in the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Student Projects gathering in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Paola Camacho will also be attending, courtesy of an NAHJ grant to cover travel and registration costs.

Samantha M. Sais and Alex Dalenberg received Arizona Press Club Scholarships for photography and reporting, respectively.

Hank Stephenson is going to Washington, D.C., in July for the Campus Progress National Youth Journalism Conference, co-sponsored by The Nation. The organization is paying for Stephenson’s travel and housing expenses. Past speakers at the Campus Progress National Conference include Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and journalists such as Seymour Hersh and Helen Thomas.

The Native American Journalists Association-UA chapter was honored with the Outstanding Emerging Award at “The Accolades,” an event sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership at the UA. The event recognizes outstanding students, organizations, advisors and staff within the campus community.


April 2009

The UA Native American Journalists Association Student Chapter will be releasing the second issue of its news magazine at a gathering set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, in the Cellar Restaurant in the Student Union, Underground.

A story on media portrayals of Native Americans that featured Candace Begody, a journalism senior and member of the Navajo community, aired on "Arizona Illustrated" April 21. 

Sarah Kezele and Chris Veck, who graduated in December 2008, volunteered at the School of Journalism booth at the National Scholastic Press Association convention held in Phoenix April 16-17.

Candace Begody was among 80 students nationally selected as a Udall Scholar. Udall scholarships go to young leaders who are committed to working in careers in either tribal policy or healthcare, and the designation comes with up to $5,000 for one year. Read about it here.


March 2009

Candace Begody earned two major honors in March.

She is one of nine students from across the country selected for a 13-day journalism study trip to Japan and South Korea for the annual Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition, sponsored by the Scripps Howard Foundation.

Bradley J. Hamm, dean of the journalism school at Indiana University, will lead the all-expenses-paid trip June 13-27. The trip’s goal, according to an announcement by the Scripps Howard Foundation, is to give student journalists a better understanding of international affairs, particularly in Asia, where few American students choose to study. The nine winners, whose entries collectively represent print and broadcast journalism, and multimedia studies, were chosen for the quality of their published and/or broadcast work and an essay about their interest in international affairs.

Begody also is one of 12 students across the UA to receive a “Pillars of Excellence Award.” The award recognizes top UA faculty and students based on nominations the Honors College sought from UA faculty. In particular, organizers looked for students who not only excel academically, but who also have made positive contributions in research, the arts, community service, international endeavors, and/or athletics.

Lastly, Begody had a story about her work on launching the journal Native Perspectives featured as the lead story in the March 16 New America Media Journalism School Partnership Newsletter.

Several journalism students were winners in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence competition. Region 11 winners included:

First place, Breaking News: Lance Madden and Bryan Roy, Arizona Daily Wildcat, for "Lute Suffering from Stroke"
First place, Feature Photography: Roxana Vasquez, Arizona Daily Star, "He Still Answers Call of Duty"
Second place, Indepth Reporting: Evan Pellegrino and Ryan Kraft, Arizona Daily Star, "Deadly Abuse of RX Drugs"
Third place, Stephanie Jerzy, The Tombstone Epitaph, "Dreams of Big League"
Best All Around Independent Online Student Publication: Border Beat
Best student newspaper: Arizona Daily Wildcat Alex Dalenberg and Jenna Davis were selected for the 2009 Pulliam Journalism Fellowship at The Arizona Republic. And Lance Madden was selected for an American Society of Magazine Editors summer internship. He will intern at a magazine in New York City. The Pulliam Journalism Fellowship and the ASME internship for college juniors are highly competitive, paid internships.

Mack Kearns’ story on the Tucson High robot class that ran in the Feb. 17 issue of the Arizona Daily Star was picked up as member enterprise by the Associated Press. He is a Star apprentice.


February 2009

Candace Begody will represent the UA and the Native American community for one year as Miss Native UA. She won the honor Feb. 7 in a competition that featured traditional talent, reading an essay and answering an impromptu question.

Former students Dalina Castellanos and Nicole Santa Cruz were among only 11 students nationally selected as Chips Quinn Scholars for the spring 2009 semester. Following an orientation and training in multimedia, the scholars headed to their posts. Castellanos, a Nogales native, will work on the news desk at the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash. Santa Cruz, a Tucson native and former editor-in-chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, will report for The Bulletin in Bend, Ore. Both students were founding members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists UA chapter.

The Chips Quinn Scholars program began in 1991 and is named for John C. "Chips" Quinn Jr., a young editor who died at age 34. His family founded the program in his honor. Since is death, more than 1,000 young journalists of color have worked as scholars in daily newspaper newsroom internships.


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