Student Kudos - 2006

November 2006

Robert Ford had his story "Keeping Vinyl Alive" published in the Nov. 11 issue of Inside Tucson Business. He is a member of Jay Rochlin's feature's class.



The Department of Journalism congratulates the following winners of the Mark Finley Gold Pen Newswriting Competition for Fall 2006.

  • First place, Chelsea Hodson, winning $750;
  • Second place, Juli Louttit, winning $350;
  • Third place, Claire Conrad, winning $250.

Each of the 19 competitors, recognized by J205 instructors as being among the promising beginning newswriters of the department, received an engraved pen commemorating the event on Nov. 20.

The competitors researched and interviewed hydrologist Peter Griffiths of the U.S. Geological Survey and interpretative specialist and public affairs officer Heidi Schewel of the U.S. Forest Service, who discussed recent flooding and related issues in Sabino Canyon. They then wrote articles on deadline, which were blind judged by J205 faculty members.

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.


Student Joyanna Jones, wrote an op-ed piece for the Arizona Daily Star Oct. 27 titled "Disparaging my generation unfair." She's a student in Steve Auslander's Opinion Writing class.

Student Brian Goldsmith wrote a story on the growth of a local church that ran in the Foothills Neighbors section of the Arizona Daily Star Oct. 26. Fellow student Chris Coduto shot the photos for the piece. Goldsmith is a student in Professor Jay Rochlin's feature writing class.

Several students attended the California Chicano News Media Association conference Oct. 27-28 in Los Angeles. They were: Victoria Tinajero, Lorena Barraza, Dalina Castellanos, Valarie Potell, Justin Stock and John deDios. The department received a $300 grant from Xerox Corp. to offset expenses. Professor Bill Greer accompanied the students.


October 2006

The Tombstone Epitaph took home several awards from the Oct. 14 Arizona Newspapers Association contest in Scottsdale. The Epitaph, whose faculty advisor is Bill Greer, earned an honorable mention for departmental news and copy editing excellence. Three 2006 alumni also earned awards: Dana Crudo took third place in features; Emily Kraft won third place in features and photo layout; and James Patrick earned a second place for feature photos.

Dave Hatfield, editor of Inside Tucson Business, recently enlisted the help of three UA Journalism students to write for their annual Tucson "Up and Comers" feature that hit newsstands Oct. 9. Katie Klein, Valerie Potell and Mitra Taj of Jay Rochlin's Feature Writing course interviewed five up-and- coming business leaders in the Tucson community. Hatfield mentioned the opportunity to write the "Up and Comers" articles while speaking in Rochlin's 411 class. The opportunity has helped build a relationship between Inside Tucson Business and the journalism department, and Hatfield has subsequently accepted several freelance story proposals from students.

Senior journalism major Mitra Taj wrote a story on a native seeds program started by the Tohono O'odham that ran in the Oct. 11 Neighbors section of the Arizona Daily Star. Taj had written a version of the article for Tom Beal's RPA class. He encouraged her to submit it to the Star.


September 2006

Victoria Harben had a guest column on airport safety published in the Sept. 22 issue of the Arizona Daily Star.

Senior Kari Shaffer, a student in Steve Auslander's Opinion Writing class, had an opinion piece published on Labor Day in the Tucson Citizen. It was titled, "For those who toil in retail, it truly is Labor Day."

Student Heather Raftery had two stories and a two-page photo spread published in the September 2006 issue of Cutting Horse Chatter, the official publication of the National Cutting Horse Association. Raftery is a writer, photographer and cutting horse rider.

The UA chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists earned the Outstanding Campus Chapter award for its region at the organization's Aug. 23-25 conference in Chicago. This is the second straight year the UA has earned the top chapter honor in the region that includes Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and California. Susan Knight is the group's advisor. Members of the executive board are: Mika Mandelbaum, president; Anthony Avila, vice president; and David Kemper, treasurer.


April 2006

Journalism Student Named a Chips Quinn Scholar

Journalism major Andrea Rivera has been named a 2006 Chips Quinn Scholar. Rivera, who is set to graduate in May 2006, will work for 10-12 weeks this summer as a general assignment reporter at the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore.

Rivera is a Pueblo High School graduate. She is a part-time sports reporter for the Arizona Daily Star and works on the staff of The Tombstone Epitaph, a capstone course in the department that allows students to produce a community newspaper for the town of Tombstone, Ariz.

The Chips Quinn program helps provide support to emerging print news reporters and to foster diversity in U.S. newspaper newsrooms. The program is named for John "Chips" Quinn Jr. who was editor of the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal before he died at age 34. He was the son of John Quinn, former deputy chairman of the Freedom Forum, and Loie Quinn.


Two win Dow Jones internships

A University of Arizona journalism major and a recent graduate have earned summer internships through the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund. The summer 2006 positions include free pre-internship training seminars on college campuses and weekly salaries starting at $350 for a minimum of 10 weeks.

Alex Chihak, who graduated in December 2005 with a journalism degree, will work this summer at the Denver Post. UA junior Anthony Avila will edit copy at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Chihak said experience in and out of the classroom helped him land his internship. He spent four semesters as a copy editor for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, the UA student newspaper. Maintaining the marshal's log, similar to the police beat, for The Tombstone Epitaph "helped me learn how to work on a deadline," said Chihak.

But he says his Reporting Public Affairs class with Susan Knight, assistant professor of practice, gave him the best preparation for a possible career in newspapers.

"The intense deadline writing and constantly attending city meetings really helped me learn how to work on a deadline," he said.

A newspaper career would certainly be in keeping for the Chihak family, says Alex, who hails from Kayenta, Ariz., on the Navajo Reservation. His uncle Michael Chihak is the publisher of the Tucson Citizen. His daughter -- Alex's cousin -- was a copy editor at the Arizona Republic. Both are University of Arizona journalism graduates.

Anthony Avila realizes it's no hardship to spend a summer in San Diego, so he's grateful for his opportunity to work on the night desk at the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I'll have the mornings to surf before I go into work in the afternoon," he says with a smile.

Avila says he was encouraged to pursue editing by Professor Bill Greer, who taught his editing class. "That prepared me in terms of editing a publication," he says, and and was a helpful addition when he began reporting -- and eventually became assistant news editor -- at the Wildcat.

A 2003 graduate of Tucson's Arizona College Preparatory Academy, Avila says he wrote on his Dow Jones editing application that reporting, editing and class work all helped shape his experience.

"You're constantly editing, no matter what you're doing," he says. "You have a copy editor and a desk editor, but your first editor is you."


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