Cursor Alumni Notes

• Savannah Guthrie ('93) did a Skype interview with J-school students in spring 2017. Watch it above.

Alumni Notes Archive

Updates needed! We’d like to keep expanding The Cursor’s Alumni Notes. Send us news and photos about your job or life to Mike Chesnick, outreach coordinator, at or mail to University of Arizona School of Journalism, P.O. Box 210158B, Tucson, AZ, 85721-0158

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Fall 2017 magazine


Peter C. Kesling is a retired orthodontist from La Porte, Indiana, who holds more than 50 patents related to orthodontic appliances. He was editor and cartoonist for the UA’s Kitty Kat from 1952-54.


Ed Lansdale occasionally teaches public relations at Long Island University. He is retired from the international public relations firm, Fleishman-Hillard, where he was a senior partner. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a public affairs officer in assignments worldwide, including the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs at the Pentagon, where he ran communications for “Project Blue Book,” the Air Force’s investigation of unidentified flying objects. He retired as a lieutenant colonel and holds a master’s in Communication from Boston University.


Michael Chihak retired as news director at Arizona Public Media and is teaching Reporting Public Affairs for the UA School of Journalism this fall. He is the former publisher of the Tucson Citizen and worked at USA Today.


José Galvez, who helped the L.A. Times win a 1984 Pulitzer Prize for its Latino series, became the first Mexican-American photographer to have a solo exhibition at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis (“Los Angeles Uprising 1992”) and at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park (“Latina”) in Seneca Falls, N.Y. 


Mark Jacobson published “The Year of My Life: reminiscences and rants: Politics,” available on and He is currently working on “The Year of My Life VR” book series. It will be a reader-driven look at the world. More information is available at:


Robert Zucker is an author and former UA journalism adjunct instructor whose students in his desktop publishing class started the school’s website in 1995.


Bill Coates of the Casa Grande Dispatch took first in investigative reporting and column writing, respectively, in the 2016 Arizona Press Club Awards.

Charles T. Halnan owns his own lobbying firm in the Sacramento, California, area. “I’m still kicking around in California politics if any J-grads are headed this way and need some do’s and don’t suggestions,” he says.


Bobbie Jo Buel, former editor of the Arizona Daily Star, publishes a blog,, that “is about the visual elements and scenes that make this place distinct, funky and beautiful.” She also is a member of the school’s Journalism Advisory Council.


Alfredo Edwardo Araiza of the Arizona Daily Star placed second in the portrait division at the Arizona Press Club awards. 


Magan Alfred is director of marketing for UA’s SAEM/AISS, or Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and Academic Initiatives & Student Success. 


Cynthia Hubert, a Sacramento Bee reporter, won an SPJ NorCal award for a feature on the death of a homeless woman.

Sam Stanton, a reporter at the Sacramento Bee, worked on an investigation of the UC Davis chancellor that helped the Bee win the James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists.


John D’Anna and the Arizona Republic won a 19-month legal battle to protect his unpublished notes in a crime case. The decision “provides some critical protections for journalists that will allow us to continue to do our jobs, remain independent and keep our promises to our sources,” says D’Anna, Page One editor and member of the school’s Journalism Advisory Council.

Jim Calle is a Tucson attorney and a member of the legal team representing 16,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents. He is a former UA journalism adjunct instructor in media law and ethics. 


Dan Hicks, a sportscaster for NBC, received the Sigma Phi Epsilon Citation award in Orlando, Florida, in August. Hicks and Johnny Miller are the nation’s longest-running golf broadcast duo. Hicks also covers the Olympics and is set to work the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.


Jeff Herr became vice president of digital revenue and product at Ballantine Communications in Durango, Colorado, after being head of business development at Tapclicks in San Jose, California. Herr is a former reporter at the Arizona Daily Star.


Michael Downs expects to see his first novel, “Horace Wells, Surgeon Dentist,” published by Acre Books in May 2018. The former Arizona Daily Star sports reporter is an author and English professor at Maryland’s Towson University.

Glenn Gullickson, a reporter at the West Valley View in Avondale, placed second runner-up for Community Journalist of the Year at the Arizona Press Club awards.


Christopher Dann has lived in the Denver area since 1992, raising two daughters with his wife, Krista. He retired last year after a 20-year career as the primary spokesperson on air quality issues for the state of Colorado, doing media interviews, speaking to thousands of students and coordinating outreach efforts. A sports correspondent for the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Citizen while at UA, he worked for the now-defunct Tampa Tribune after graduation.

Nicole Greason is the marketing, public relations and publicity manager at Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State. She mentors students through several programs, including the Arizona Latino Media Association, where she is on the board of directors.

Abe Kwok is deputy opinion page editor at the Arizona Republic and writes a weekly column.


Martin Rosales is news editor at the Arizona Daily Star.

Shawn Pendley Fichtner is vice president at OSP International, a project management company.


Anthony Gimino of AllSportsTucson, a former Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Citizen reporter, got to cover his first men’s basketball Final Four in Glendale in April. 

Cara Rene, former features editor at the Tucson Citizen, is vice president of stakeholder relations at Greater Portland Inc., in Oregon.


Staci Matlock is managing editor of The Taos News. A master’s classmate with Professor Jeannine Relly, she started the bilingual Sonoran Journal and was editor of Tailwinds before going to The Santa Fe New Mexican.

John Polsgrove is retired from teaching journalism and photography at Sahuarita High School. He worked as editor of the Florence Reminder and Blade-Tribune and the Arizona Range News in Willcox, and as managing editor of the San Pedro Valley News-Sun in Benson before returning to the UA to get his M.A. in Teaching and Teacher Education. 


Brian Ballou is a reporter for the Sun Sentinel in South Florida, covering southwest Broward County. 

Kristen Cook, a perennial Arizona Press Club winner, left the Arizona Daily Star after 26 years and hopes to write a book.

Pila Martinez, senior director for strategic communications at the University of Arizona, completed a Master of Legal Studies at the UA James E. Rogers College of Law in May 2016.


Rachel Ochoa is District Resource Counselor for Albuquerque Public Schools after being a middle school counselor for 10 years. She covered education for the Arizona Republic, before getting her master’s in educational counseling.


Charles Ratliff, a master’s grad and U.S. Navy veteran, is a third-grade teacher at Knox Community Elementary School in Knox, Indiana. 


Judy Nichols, a master’s grad, and her husband, Tom Nichols, another former J-school student, both quit their jobs in 2014, sold their Scottsdale home and hit the road in their “Epic Van,” blogging about their adventures on their New American Nomads website. The former Arizona Republic staffers and Arizona Daily Wildcat alums are now volunteering at a redwood state park near Eureka, California.


Atle Erlingsson is head of communications in North America for the global software company SAP. He started his broadcasting career as a reporter at KGUN-TV in Tucson, then worked in television for several years (WSAZ in West Virginia, KLAS in Las Vegas, and KNTV in San Francisco). He won an Emmy Award for Investigative Reporting along the way. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the great Don Carson and Jim Mitchell. Two great men.”


Susan Carroll, an investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle, helped cover the epic flooding after Hurricane Harvey. She contributed to a seven-part series, “Special Education Denied,” which won the Scripps Howard Public Service Reporting Award and finished as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. She also shared an IRE innovation in investigative journalism award on behalf of the Chronicle’s “Chemical Breakdown” team that investigated an explosion that killed four at a DuPont plant. Carroll focused on the U.S.-Mexico border for the Tucson Citizen and Arizona Republic after graduating from UA.


Kristen Davis is the social media manager at Her birth daughter, Carlie Scupin, is a Tucson High softball pitcher and committed to play for the University of Arizona. Kristen covered UA softball for the Arizona Daily Star in 2002 while pregnant with Carlie. “I’m so happy for Carlie and for her tremendous family,” Kristen says.


La Monica Everett-Haynes is director of communications services for student affairs at San Diego State University after the former Tucson Citizen reporter left the UA as a senior communications manager.


Jen Levario Cieslak, a page designer for Advance Digital, works with local teams throughout the country on major news, features and sports events. Her client papers include The Oregonian, The Star-Ledger, The Times-Picayune, The Birmingham News and the Staten Island Advance.


Ryan Gabrielson of ProPublica gave insight into the conviction and pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — “The Joe Arpaio I knew” — reflecting on  his investigation of Arpaio’s office with alum Paul Giblin that won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize.


Saul Loeb is a photographer for Agence France-Presse, covering the White House and politics.

Lorraine Rivera is host of “Arizona Week” at Arizona Public Media and will emcee at the 2017 Zenger Award for Press Freedom dinner honoring Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times. 


Andrea Kelly was promoted to assistant news director at Arizona Public Media. The former Arizona Daily Star reporter was named a 2017 40-under-40 honoree by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


Shane Bacon covers golf for FOX Sports, is an on-course contributor and produces columns and videos throughout the year for 

Hilary Davis is a reporter for the Daily Pilot, an arm of the L.A. Times covering Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley and Newport Beach.

Adam Gaub became a digital content producer for WCTI TV 12, FOX 8 and FOX 14 in Greenville, N.C. As managing editor for the Maricopa Monitor, he won a second-place breaking news award from the Arizona Press Club.

Adam Green covered the Final Four for Arizona Sports and KTAR in Phoenix, and is now a freelance multimedia journalist and a mentor at ASU’s Cronkite School.


Jeanie Bergen is now a story editor in L.A. for Awesomeness TV’s “Zac & Mia,” a new dramedy about two teens with cancer who fall in love. It’s set to air on go90.

Fernanda Echavarri received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award at the Newseum in May for Radio Journalism for “The Strange Death of José de Jesús.” She was also named a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists.


Kelly Lewis saw her travel outfit, Damesly, quickly jump to No. 4 on Travel + Leisure’s list of 10 female-focused companies. Lewis also founded Go! Girl Guides — travel guidebooks for women — and the annual Women’s Travel Fest.


Ari Wasserman became the Ohio State football beat writer for The Athletic — a website for fans of pro and college teams in Ohio, Michigan, Chicago and Toronto. Wasserman, previously of, covered football for the Arizona Daily Wildcat.


Annie Chandler-Grevers, a seven-time NCAA champion swimmer and former editor of the Tombstone Epitaph, was named to the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame. Assistant managing editor for Swimming World and a Tucson swim coach, she and her husband (Olympic medalist Matt Grevers) have a young daughter, Skylar.

Ian Friedman was named the 2016 Young Attorney of the Year by the San Diego Defense Lawyers. Friedman, who earned his law degree from the University of San Diego in 2013, is a former editor at the Tombstone Epitaph and Arizona Daily Wildcat, and a business intern at the Arizona Daily Star.

Marcy Jones, a reporter at Fox 10 in Phoenix, spoke to UA professor Rogelio Garcia’s broadcast class about live reporting and her experience in the news business.

Hank Stephenson is the new K-12 education reporter for the Arizona Daily Star. He covered the Legislature for Arizona Capitol Times and won numerous investigative reporting awards from the Arizona Press Club, including the 2016 Virg Hill Journalist of the Year and the Sledgehammer Award for efforts to expose the truth.


Mike Christy of the Arizona Daily Star taught photojournalism as a UA adjunct this semester. He filled in for professor Kim Newton, who was on professional leave. Christy tied for third as news photographer of the year at the Arizona Press Club awards and also took third in the picture story division.

Austin Counts is owner-operator at Tucson’s 4th Avenue Delicatessen and a blues-country musician. His latest CD, “Pima County Soul,” was reviewed by Eric Swedlund (’02).

Sarah Kezele is a West Coast Conference correspondent for Campus Insiders and covered the Final Four in Glendale.

Curt Prendergast of the Arizona Daily Star took first place with Perla Trevizo for Spanish-language news reporting in the Arizona Press Club Awards.


Zach Clark, a weekday radio talk-show host for ESPN Tucson, covered the Final Four and got married in April.

Kellie Mejdrich, a reporter for CQ Roll Call, broke a story on Sarah Palin being considered as Veterans Affairs secretary.

Luke Money is the Costa Mesa City Hall reporter at Los Angeles Times Community News.

Josh Morgan joined the Greenville (S.C.) News as a staff photographer. Formerly at the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal and a freelancer, he spent time shooting photos at the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Samantha Munsey of the Arizona Daily Star won two second-place awards in the regional Best of the West competition for online presentation and for border reporting in the Star’s Beyond the Wall project that included Curt Prendergast (‘11) and Mike Christy (‘11).

Sandra Westdahl, producer/photographer/editor for Arizona Public Media, received five nominations for the Oct. 14 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards.

Jazmine Woodberry won a prestigious Ragan & PR Daily ACE award for “industry newcomer.” Judges in the global communications contest said Woodberry, of Longboard Asset Management in Phoenix and a former Arizona Daily Wildcat reporter/editor, “knew what journalists wanted.”


Bethany Barnes, a master’s grad and a reporter for The Oregonian, was chosen as a USC Annenberg Journalism Fellow for her health journalism project. Her story, “Benefit of the Doubt,” about an educator who continued teaching despite female students accusing him of sexual misconduct, resulted in Portland school board members demanding an investigation by the district. 

Kenzie Fowler is a softball analyst at Pac-12 Networks. She is a former UA pitcher.

Brenna Goth started a new adventure as a correspondent for Bloomberg BNA. The former Arizona Republic and Arizona Daily Wildcat reporter will cover business and government news in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

Zack Rosenblatt of the Arizona Daily Star covered the Final Four in Glendale and spoke to adjunct instructor Shannon Conner’s sportswriting class this semester.


Jacquelyn Abad is a news reporter for CBS 58 in Milwaukee. She covered summer flooding in Wisconsin and did a story on an 81-year-old woman celebrating being cancer-free by skydiving. Abad came to Milwaukee in March after being a reporter at the ABC affiliate in Medford, Oregon. She interned at KVOA and KOLD as a UA student.

Anna Augustowska, a master’s grad, and her team’s documentary, “Our Desert Farms,” was named an official selection for the IFF Earth Talks international film festival in Prague in early October. Of the 853 films submitted from 81 countries, only 80 made the final cut. She is a video and multimedia producer for the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her film, also an official section at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, examines climate change, drought and the global market through the lens of a local story on Central Arizona farmers.

Jordan Christopher McMahon landed an editorial fellowship with WIRED magazine.

Sam McNeil is an Associated Press video journalist based in Amman, Jordan. He covered an environmental group’s swim across the Dead Sea last November. “Got my sea legs,” he joked on Facebook.

Brittny Mejia, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and was recognized for her in-depth story, “Leaving America: With shaky job prospects and Trump promising crackdowns, immigrants return to Mexico with U.S.-born children.”

Ryan Revock is working as a photojournalist at the Statesville (N.C.) Record and Landmark.

Justin Sayers is a breaking news reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Caitlin Schmidt, a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, won the Don Bolles Award for investigative reporting from the Arizona Press Club for uncovering wrongdoing in the Pima County Sheriff’s office. She also did strong public records reporting with the story, “Tucson detective fails to properly investigate dozens of abuse cases.”

Maizie Simpson is an assigning editor at Credit Karma after a stint as a public relations and editorial manager for Magoosh, in Berkeley, California.

Murphy Woodhouse of the Arizona Daily Star took second place at the Arizona Press Club for his earlier work at the Nogales International.


Dan Desrochers is a political reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader and also got to cover his first Kentucky Derby. 

Gabby Ferreira moved to The Tribune in San Luis Obispo, California, a McClatchy paper, to be a “real-time” reporter. Ferreira was a breaking news reporter at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs.

Noelle Haro-Gomez became a photographer at the Tri-City Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in southeastern Washington that serves Pasco, Kennewick and Richland. She left the Public Opinion in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, at the end of May.

Yoohyun Jung, an Arizona Daily Star reporter, was one of only five journalists nationally to be named a Reveal Investigative Fellow. Her project focused on how a small Tucson charter school rapidly became one of the biggest school networks in the U.S.

Jade Nunes left her Habitat for Humanity communications job in Tucson to work on the editorial team for the national “Kim Komando Radio Show” in Phoenix. Nunes manages the Twitter feed and pulls analytics for Komando, a digital expert.

Zach Pleeter is an inside sales representative with the New York Islanders.

Kayla S. Samoy took a job with The Associated Press in Chicago as a news associate, responsible for South Dakota, Indiana and Texas.


Kendal Blust of the Nogales International took second place in community health reporting and third in immigration reporting from the Arizona Press Club. She also earned the school’s first Diversity Award in May for the 2016-17 school year.

Steve Choice presented his master’s paper, “Love and courage: Resilience strategies of journalists facing trauma in northern Mexico,” at the AEJMC conference in Chicago in August. A freelance copy editor, he worked at the Arizona Daily Star and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa.Brian Danziger accepted a job as a production assistant for NFL Network and Spectrum Sportsnet.

Elizabeth Eaton, a former intern at Science News, is a staff writer at BioCentury Publications in Redwood City, California, where she reports on the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology for

Jorge Encinas, a master’s grad, landed a Chips Quinn internship at NPR in Washington, D.C. He worked on the “Code Switch” team, covering President Trump’s inauguration and issues that explored race, ethnicity and culture in communities. Arizona Sonora News Service published his story for his master’s project, “Immigrant possessions disappear during deportation.”

Meryl Engle is a program/production coordinator at NBC’s “Dateline” in Los Angeles. “I help with anything needed from story conception to broadcast,” she says.

Hannah Gaber, a master’s grad and video/multimedia journalist, left the Arizona Repubic as a video journalist to make a film through a Fulbright research grant in Cyprus. She contributed to USA Today Network’s “The Wall,” an in-depth look at the border, and podcasts connected to the project.  She was one of 17 Arizona Republic staffers caught up in the tear gas and pepper spray after a Trump rally in Phoenix. Gaber also helped produce an interview with Sen. John McCain following his cancer diagnosis and vote on health care and saw her master’s film on Oman, “A Young Nation,” become an early official selection at Boston’s Global Cinema Film Festival.

Emily Gauci accepted a job in page design and copy editing at GateHouse Media in Austin, Texas. GateHouse publishes 121 daily newspapers and owns the parent company of the Arizona Capitol Times. Gauci was a designer for the Epitaph and a designer/photographer for the Daily Wildcat.

Seth Pines, former assignment editor at KGUN-TV in Tucson, moved to ABC-15 in Phoenix as a real-time editor in March.

Sydney Richardson, a freelance photojournalist, is a product coordinator for Backdrop Express.


Brittan Bates, a brand copy intern at the Donna Karan Co., volunteered her final semester as an adviser for the Pueblo High School journalism program.

Madison Brodsky landed a full-time job with TMZ’s in Los Angeles as an entertainment reporter. As an intern in the spring, she got reaction at the Academy Awards (above) after the show bungled the announcement for Best Picture. Brodsky, who also interned for Conan O’Brien, spoke to Rogelio Garcia’s 385 broadcast class about how to break into the entertainment news industry.

Taylor Dayton is the weather anchor for WDIO-TV in Duluth, Minnesota, for the ABC affiliate’s Monday-Friday morning show. Dayton, a UATV 3 alum, enrolled in Mississippi State’s distance education program to pursue another degree in meteorology.

Alex Devoid, a dual master’s grad in Journalism and Latin American Studies, took an environmental reporting fellowship at the Arizona Republic. His first story, on the Mexican wolf recovery plan, was the July 3 centerpiece on A1. Devoid defended his master’s thesis, “Collaboratively Mapping Militarized Borders and Law Enforcement: A Crowdsourced Mobile App.”

Michelle Floyd is a creative services editor at Arizona Athletics, where she has made several videos. She threw just the ninth perfect game in UA softball history last March in an 18-0 win over Hartford. She was named the NFL-AIM Female Collegiate Athlete of the Year and honored in Flagstaff with Joe Namath and others.

Danielle Fork accepted a position with Kirkman Broadcasting in Charleston, South Carolina — home of three ESPN radio stations and two The Zone sports radio stations. They cover South Carolina, Clemson, the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons, College of Charleston and the Citadel.

Jordan Glenn is digital media coordinator and a reporter for Arizona’s White Mountain Independent in Show Low. The twice-weekly’s website is at Before graduation, he published a short documentary, “Out of the Gates,” on Tucson’s Amelia Hauschild, the West’s youngest female jockey. 

Jenny Hijazi took a news assistant position at PBS NewsHour in Washington, D.C. (above). She presented her master's paper, “Effects of virtual reality news video on transportation, attitudes, fact-recall and intentions to act,” at the AEJMC Conference in Chicago in August. It was a collaboration with School Director David Cuillier. Hijazi also won the school’s award for outstanding graduate student.

Ivan Leonard is a freelance high school sports reporter for the Sahuarita Sun.

Karen Lizarraga took a job as digital marketing manager for fashion designer Shahida Clayton’s clothing brand, Shahida Parides, and will work out of Tucson.

Mikayla Mace was hired as a science reporter for the Arizona Daily Star. She received the top student paper award from the Graduate Student Interest Group at the AEJMC conference in Chicago, for “Newspaper Coverage of Mars in the United States and the United Kingdom 2011-2016.”Alex McIntyre placed second as college photographer of the year in the Arizona Press Club awards for his work at the Arizona Daily Wildcat. He also landed a six-month internship at the Bloomington (Indiana) Herald-Times.

Rebecca Noble began her photography internship at the Billings (Montana) Gazette and joked about one of her first assignments. “Today they sent the intern from Arizona who hasn’t seen winter in four years up to a blizzard at 10,000 feet,” she said. 

Christianna Silva landed a job as a reporter at Newsweek. She had been a digital news assistant at National Public Radio in Washington after finishing a summer internship at NPR. The Bolles Fellow, who also interned at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, received the school’s Philip Mangelsdorf Award for Outstanding Newsperson of the Year in May. She also took second at the Arizona Press Club in student news reporting.

Jacquelyn Silverman works for Fox Searchlight Pictures in Los Angeles as a publicity coordinator. The studio produced “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Black Swan” and “Birdman.”

Stephanie Soto was hired by Telemundo, reporting out of Tucson. A former digital producer at KOLD-TV, Soto narrated the School of Journalism’s “welcome” video . “Stephanie is committed to news excellence and our viewers will benefit from her outstanding journalistic work,” said Telemundo’s Miguel Gaytan in a news release.

Justin Spears is the online sports producer for the Arizona Daily Star. Spears, an Arizona Daily Wildcat/UA-TV3 and KAMP Student Radio alum, had been working for Cox Media’s Pac-12 Diehards after graduation and freelancing for the Star. He received the school’s Donald Still/Arizona Daily Wildcat award in May and took third in community sports column writing from the Arizona Press Club.

Julianne Stanford is a reporter at the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton, Washington, where she covers the Naval base and shipyard. She had five internships while at the J-school, including a Pulliam Fellowship. She won a prestigious Maggie Award in the “Best Print Article/Student” category for her reporting on Central American children who found refuge in the United States. Her Center for Investigative Reporting package on aging facilities at UA, ASU and NAU was published by the Arizona Daily Star, and she finished a summer Pulliam Fellowship at the Arizona Republic, where one of her stories focused on how to prevent “hacking” a heart pacemaker.

Riley Versfelt, a master’s grad, is a video reporter at She defended her master’s thesis, “Finding Hope Through Dance: The Healing Properties of Dance for Victims of Sexual Abuse.”

Brandi Walker accepted a job as a news assignment editor with KGUN 9 in Tucson. Walker, a former Arizona Daily Wildcat reporter and photographer, apprenticed at the Arizona Daily Star in the spring and was a Tucson News Now intern.

Bakina Wellars was named the acting journalism dean at the Catholic Institute of Kabgayi, Rwanda. His master’s paper, “Influence of Foreign News Programs on the International News Agenda of Rwandan Television and Newspapers,” was presented by Prof. Carol Schwalbe at the AEJMC conference.


Lynn C. Elder, a 1976 journalism master’s graduate. Elder, 68, of Naples, Florida, worked as a reporter and copy editor for newspapers in New York and Massachusetts. Later, she wrote fiction, including an autobiographical novel, and several plays and screenplays.

Andrea Esquer, a 1988 grad, died in April 2017 at 51. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she was the public information officer for the Maricopa County Department of Transportation. A 2011 ASU law grad, she was the press secretary for former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and worked for the Department of Energy and NASA. 

Steve Hirsch, a 1977 journalism alum and a member of the school’s Journalism Advisory Council, died in December 2016 after being diagnosed earlier with pancreatic cancer. He was 61. The Phoenix attorney, who received his law degree from UA in 1980, was a strong supporter of the journalism program and purchased a table each year for students and faculty at the school’s Zenger Award for Press Freedom dinner. He was inducted into the Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame last October in Phoenix, a week after being honored by the William E. Morris Institute for Justice as part of the organization’s Phoenix benefit and 20th anniversary celebration.

Anne Keefe, who earned her B.A. in Education from UA in 1969 and was a master’s student in photo journalism, died in April at 78. In 1971, she helped create the Arizona Family for Children, a nonprofit agency that promoted the adoption of special needs children. Survived by her 12 children, she created yearly photo calendars and a family newspaper.

Peter Potter, a 1973 master’s grad, died July 8 at 89 in Ann Arbor, Mich. He was a longtime editor and copy editor at the Tucson Citizen.

Coralee “Corky” Schellie, a friend of the school and an avid supporter of the Harelson Reporting Lab and Operations Endowment, died at 84 from complications of Achalasia in September 2016. She taught history and geography in Kansas, Illinois and Arizona and was head librarian at Amphitheater Junior High and Canyon del Oro High. She was the widow of Don Schellie, a Tucson Citizen columnist and author of six books.

Bill Walsh, a 1984 grad and Washington Post copy chief, died of cancer in March 2017. Walsh, 55, wrote three books on copy-editing and started a renowned website for copy editors,, in the mid-1990s. He was named to the inaugural School of Journalism Hall of Fame (see Page 4). Also a member of the Arizona Daily Wildcat Hall of Fame, he was a good friend to the school and met students on a tour of the Post in 2016. The American Copy Editors Society set up the Bill Walsh Scholarship.

Fall 2016 Alumni Notes

• Fall 2015 Alumni Notes

• Archive of alumni notes from 2015 and earlier.