Student Kudos - 2008

December 2008

The School of Journalism was featured twice the week of Dec. 8 in the UA Now listserv that profiles top stories of the day from the university. One story featured the three UA journalism majors who will take part in The New York Times Student Journalism Institute in January 2009 at Florida International University in Miami. They are Joe Pangburn, Nicole Santa Cruz and Melissa Tan. Read it here. The other story featured Candace Begody’s efforts to launch Native Perspectives, a journal featuring Native American news and features. Read it here.

Melissa Tan had a multimedia piece published in the Tucson Citizen Dec. 1. The video news story features Jessica Cox, a woman with no arms, who recently received her pilot's license. View it here. Tan also had stills published on the same story.

Stephanie Hall was recognized by the Honors College for completing a thesis to graduate next week with honors. Her thesis, "Hazelwood: How public schools became First Amendment-free zones," was completed this spring under the supervision of her faculty adviser, Kevin R. Kemper.


November 2008

Nicole Fagin's last story produced as part of MTV's "Choose or Lose" street campaign, may be viewed here.

A story on a Bosnian chef written by Matt Lewis, an apprentice for the Arizona Daily Star, was picked up by the Associated Press for distribution on its state wire.

Kevin Zimmerman took first place in the fall 2008 Finley Newswriting Competition for beginning newswriters held Nov. 13. Students covered a news conference with Glenn Lyons, chief executive officer of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. After Lyons' presentation, they asked follow-up questions, then had an hour to write and polish a news story about the event.

The contest is named for the late Mark Finley, who established the award. Finley, a UA graduate, was a journalist and assistant to the publisher of Hearst's Boston newspaper for 17 years. The first-place award is worth $750.

Taylor Baughman, a member of the women's swim team that won the NCAA title this spring, visited the White House Nov. 12 to accept congratulations from President George Bush. Read her first-person account of the meeting from the Nov. 13 Arizona Daily Star here.

Three journalism students had stories on the front page of the Tucson/Region section in the Nov. 8 Arizona Daily Star. Alex Dalenberg wrote about an artist reconstructing the face of a deceased woman; Chelsey Killebrew wrote on an educational center at Reid Park Zoo; and Evan Pellegrino wrote on a scientific art exhibit at Arizona State Museum.


October 2008

Stephen Ceasar, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, had his story on smuggling run on Page One, above the fold, of the Oct. 28 issue of the Star.

Hank Stephenson's article on political candidates' views on atomic energy was featured in the Oct. 30 Tucson Weekly.

Taylor Avey's article on the Congressional race in LD 26 ran in the Oct. 16 Tucson Weekly.

Several students and faculty members spoke with student journalists from Alta Vista High School who visited the department Oct. 21. Students Evan Pellegrino, Roxana Vasquez, Matt Lewis, Nicole Fagin, Carrie Sherman and Lisa Burris talked about their experiences with student media, among other topics. Jay Rochlin spoke on Border Beat, Kim Newton on photojournalism, Karen Weaver on advising and John de Dios on Final Cut Express. Lisa Button coordinated the visit.

The front page of the Arizona Daily Star on Oct. 13 featured the work of three UA students. Evan Pellegrino, a former Star apprentice and the current NASA intern, wrote about the UA chair of lasers and photonics and his team’s work on 3-D imaging in video. Read it here. The lead art was a photo by Roxana Vasquez, current apprentice, which illustrates the lead story by Chelsey Killebrew, another apprentice, on TUSD spending $550,000 to recruit minority teachers.


September 2008

Tess Martinez was among 10 fellows chosen to attend the Academy for Alternative Journalism summer residency program at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism June 22-Aug.15. The academy trains young journalists in long-form feature writing with the aim of recruiting them into the alternative press. The 10 fellows were selected from about 330 applicants for the program. Fellows received a $3,000 stipend as well as allowances for travel to and housing at the program.

The Society of Professional Journalists has named the University of Arizona chapter the top student chapter in a four-state region. It marks the third time in four years that the UA has won of Region XI Award. Clare Conrad was SPJ-UA president for 2007-08 when the chapter hosted the spring regional conference. Alex Dalenberg is the group’s incoming president.

A student who took part in The New York Times Student Journalism Institute in January worked as a stringer for The Times covering Hurricane Ike. Read the two stories to which Rick Rojas, a student at Texas A&M, contributed Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.

May 2008 graduate Nicole Santa Cruz had a cover story published in the Sept. 6 issue of The Oregonian.

Aminata Sumareh, a high school student who took part in the Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students, had a story she wrote on a girl with cerebral palsy published in the Sept. 8 issue of Inside Tucson Business. Read it here.


August 2008

Hank Stephenson had a story on the primary race in Legislative District 29 featured in Aug. 21-27 issue of the Tucson Weekly. Read it here.

Two students had stories published in the Aug. 28-Sept. 3 Tucson Weekly. Read Taylor Avey's article on the Legislative District 26 race and Megan Neighbor's story on District 30.

At the Unity Journalists of Color convention July 20-27 in Chicago, Roxana Vasquez earned an honorable mention in a conference-wide multimedia contest for a piece about a Hispanic community in Chicago. The contest was called the Unity Multimedia ShootOut. Contestants were asked to go into the city of Chicago and shoot a different diverse group other than themselves. Vasquez worked on the photo assignment with San Francisco State’s Michelle Le. Both students were mentored by John deDios, a lab attendant in the journalism department. See the students’ work here. 


July 2008

Alex Dalenberg had a story about the UA's Phoenix-Mars Mission on CNN. Read it here.

Candace Begody will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Arizona Newspapers Foundation. It will be presented at ANA's 2008 Fall Convention and Annual Meeting. 


June 2008

David Martinez III, a journalism education minor and member of the Journalism Student Advisory Council, is a recipient of the 2007-2008 Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Award. Winners are selected for enhancing The University of Arizona's academic excellence by helping to create a diverse and inclusive campus community. Martinez has been involved in the Transgender Project, an endeavor intended to create a University environment that is inclusive and values transgender individuals. He also served as a student member of the Arizona Board of Regents.

Jennifer Tramm was one of five runners up in the writing competition at the National Writing, Photojournalism and Broadcast News Championships sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards Program. Her placement means a $1,500 award for Tramm and a matching grant to the department.


May 2008

Chelsea Killibrew, Stephen Miller and Michelli Murphy were selected to intern at Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) this summer to write content for the program's new climate change Web site.

Renee Pepe, Melissa Tan and Roxana Vasquez have been accepted to the Unity Student Projects conference July 20-27 in Chicago. Pepe will work on the copy desk to edit Web and print areas. Tan and Vasquez will be working on the photo desk. The Unity Student Projects will produce three newspapers, an online, a broadcast and a radio component. This is Unity's first converged newsroom where 76 professionals will be working with 90-plus college students from across the country. The students will be covering issues around the area, the conference and speakers, including the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees. Students accepted to the program will have all their expenses paid, plus a cash stipend to help with finances while in Chicago.

Several journalism students have had articles picked up for publication in local and regional periodicals. They include:

Journalism major Candace Begody was honored at the 2007 Arizona Press Club contest May 10 in Phoenix. She won second place in sports reporting for her Navajo Times story "The struggle for gold."

Dozens of students were honored at the department's annual Just Desserts celebration May 8. See the full list of winners here.


April 2008

Meaghan Wallace will be interning at KRON in San Francisco.

Journalism major Steve Meth was on site at the Olympic torch protests in Kalua Lumpur. His photos were published online in the Australian news.

Two journalism majors were featured in the May/June 2008 issue of Arizona Foothills Magazine for an article titled "Tucson's Tremendous Moms, Dads and Grads." Mike Ritter will be covering the Arizona Diamondbacks this summer for, and Nicole Fagin is Arizona's representative for MTV's "Choose or Lose Street Team 2008."

Three journalism students were winners in the Mark Finley Gold Pen Newswriting Competition for Spring 2008. Aly Van Dyke finished first, winning $750. Jessica Befort took second place and $350, and Claire Engelken placed third, winning $250. The competitors, recognized by J205 instructors as being among the promising beginning newswriters of the department, received an engraved pen commemorating the event April 14.

The competitors listened to a presentation by Mike Hein, the Tucson city manager. He spoke about downtown redevelopment and tax financing of new community projects. After the presentation and a question-and-answer session, the competitors had one hour to write a news story. The contest was blind-judged by journalism faculty Jane See White, Jim Patten and Sarah Gassen.

The contest is named for the late Mark Finley, who established the award. Finley, a graduate of The University of Arizona, was a journalist and assistant for the publisher of Hearst's Boston newspaper for 17 years.

Members of the Society of Professional Journalists UA chapter hosted a Region 11 conference April 11-12 on campus. The gathering drew more than 100 journalists and journalism students from a four-state region to listen to experts on topics like religion coverage, public records access and the future of journalism. Members of the group's executive board who took the lead on organizing the conference were: Lorena Barraza, Ashlee Cain, Claire Conrad, Samantha Easter, Krystle Epum, Stephanie Jerzy, Katie Ryan, Meaghan Wallace and Henry Weber. The group's faculty adviser is Susan Knight.

Journalism students Amelia Quiroga and Ethan Williams were accepted into the 2008 summer American Indian Journalism Institute June 1-20. Students take courses at the Freedom Forum's Al Neuharth Media Center on the University of South Dakota's Vermillion campus. Top AIJI graduates are hired for six-week paid internships as reporters, copy editors, photographers and multimedia journalists at daily newspapers and with The Associated Press beginning about July 1. Last summer, 16 AIJI graduates worked in paid news internships, according to the Institute's Web site. Quiroga and Williams are founding members of the UA student chapter of the Native American Journalists Association.

Lauren LePage won a $1,000 scholarship from the Arizona Press Club in the reporting category. She'll pick up the award at a May 10 ceremony.

Two journalism majors won awards at the SPJ Mark of Excellence luncheon April 12. In the sports-column writing category, Michael Schwartz took first place and Lance Madden placed second. Journalism graduate Nina Conrad placed second in sports writing. And the Arizona Daily Wildcat, whose editor in chief is journalism major Alison Hornick, won second place for the best all-around daily student newspaper.

Jennifer Tramm will compete in the 48th annual National Writing Championships of the Hearst Journalism Awards Program June 2-6 in San Francisco. Tramm was one of eight journalism students nationally selected to participate. She will join students participating in various assignments -- competing for additional awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 in the Program's National Championships.

Judging the writing competition this year are: Arthur S. Brisbane, Former Senior Vice President, Knight Ridder, Inc., Monte Sereno, CA; Stephen Buckley, Managing Editor, The St. Petersburg Times, FL; and Jeff Cohen, Executive Vice President and Editor, Houston Chronicle, TX.

Presently, 108 colleges and universities with accredited undergraduate journalism schools participate in the program, often called the Pulitzers of college journalism. Funded and administered for 48 years by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Journalism Program awards more than $500,000 a year in scholarships, grants and stipends annually. Fayana Richards has been awarded an AAAS Minority Science Writers Internship. She will spend 10 weeks this summer in Washington, D.C., as an intern with Science magazine, a journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is working this semester as an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star.

Alyson Van Dyke was awarded a summer internship at the Scranton Times-Tribune.


March 2008

Taylor Baughman and Annie Chandler are members of the UA women's swimming and diving team that won the 2008 national championship.

Nathan Olivarez-Giles was accepted into the Los Angeles Metpro program that begins in the fall. 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. Olivarez-Giles will work at the Los Angeles Times.


February 2008

Eric Schwartz spent part of February in Boston covering the American Association for the Advancement of Science General Meeting. He's the NASA Space Grant intern at the Arizona Daily Star. Read his Feb. 17 article here.

The following students have landed summer internships:

  • Candace Begody was awarded a Chips Quinn internship at the Detroit News.
  • Jeffrey Javier was awarded a Pulliam internship at The Arizona Republic.
  • Lauren LePage will intern as a copy editor at The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif.
  • Nathan Olivarez-Giles was selected for a video internship at The New York Times.
  • Carrie Sherman was selected as a broadcast intern at CBS 2 in New York City.
  • Ari Wasserman will cover minor league baseball for

The two UA students covering the Arizona Legislature for Community News Service are receiving clips from around the state. Stories by Nicole Santa Cruz and Michael Rich have appeared in the Holbrook Tribune-News, the Arizona Republic and the Tucson Citizen.

Michael Schwartz scored a 14th-place finish in the sports writing category of the 48th annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation's Journalism Awards Program. The Hearst Journalism Awards are held in member colleges and universities of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication with accredited undergraduate journalism programs.


January 2008

Eric Schwartz had his article on wasp brains published in the Jan. 23 Arizona Daily Star.

Nicole Santa Cruz, one of the department's Don Bolles fellows covering the legislature in Phoenix, had an article printed in the Jan. 27 issue of the Arizona Republic on the governor's plan to move some inmates.

Journalism students Michael Ritter and Michael Schwartz have both been awarded paid internships with for summer 2008. Ritter will cover the Arizona Diamondbacks and Schwartz, who interned for last summer with the Diamondbacks, will be covering the L.A. Dodgers. They were offered two of the 33 spots nationwide.

Nicole Fagin is representing the state of Arizona as MTV's election correspondent for 2008. The "Choose or Lose" campaign comprises a specially recruited group of 51 citizen journalists — one from every state and Washington, D.C.— who will cover the 2008 elections from a youth perspective and tailor their reports for mobile devices. Members will contribute weekly, multi-media reports (short form videos, blogs, animation, photos, podcasts) that will be distributed via a soon-to-launch WAP site, MTV Mobile, and to the more than 1,800 sites in the Associated Press Online Video Network. The "Street Team '08" program is made possible by a $700,000 Knight News Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Nicole Santa Cruz was selected to be a summer intern at The Oregonian.


UA Journalism News Home