Student & Alumni Kudos (2019-current)

March 14, 2024


Senior Leah Britton accepted a post-graduation job offer as a TEGNA Producer-in-Residence with 13News Now (WVEC) in Norfolk, Virginia.

Graduate student Susan Barnett was hired by the Tucson Agenda to cover the area's underserved communities and produce stories in English and Spanish. 

Isabelle Freguia accepted a summer internship with Palm Springs Life Magazine in California.

Bolles Fellow Leah Britton’s latest stories for Arizona Mirror cover efforts by state lawmakers to end ‘reunification’ treatment in Arizona child custody cases and a bill aimed at censoring student groups on university campuses. 

Kiara Adams’s story about Tucson leaders’ ideas for bussing asylum-seekers to Phoenix was published by Arizona Luminaria.  

Noor Haghighi reported on Tom Perez, a senior advisor to President Joe Biden, visiting Tucson for Arizona Luminaria. 

Sam Parker reported on recent public meetings discussing the Tucson transportation plan RTA Next for the Tucson Agenda. 

Liv Leonard reported on Tucson-area school districts and governing boards for the Tucson Agenda.

Jason Dayee reported on the hiring of Desireé Don Reed-Francois, the University of Arizona's first female full-time athletic director, for the Daily Wildcat.  

Carly Siegel accepted a summer internship with Fox Nation in New York City.

McKenna Manzo was hired by the Associated Press to track and report on nationwide voting data as a vote entry operator. 



Marissa Heffernan ('19) is now associate editor of Resource Recycling, Inc., which publishes three magazines about the recycling industry.

Savannah Guthrie ('93) of NBC’s “Today Show” was recently interviewed by the Arizona Republic about her new book. Guthrie mentioned her time at the University of Arizona School of Journalism, saying “...I always think about my old-school professors. They’re still with me, I can still hear their voices. And I’m so happy for that.” 

Jake Faigus ('22) is now a sports and news reporter for Times Media Group.

Payton Toomey ('22) is now a content editor for 12 News (KPNX-TV) in Phoenix. 

Jack McElroy ('75) published a biography of Southwestern journalist, entrepreneur and community activist Carl Magee titled "Citizen Carl: The Editor Who Cracked Teapot Dome, Shot a Judge and Invented the Parking Meter." McElroy was previously the editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel for 18 years.

Grace Trejo ('23) is a staff photographer for the Arizona Daily Star. See her work here.

Olivia Jackson ('19) is now an investigative producer with 7 News (WHDH-TV) in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Jacqueline Aguilar ('21) is now a multimedia journalist with KGUN 9 in Tucson. See some of her recent work here.

Katya Mendoza ('22, M.A.) reported on Dr. Jill Biden's visit to Tucson in early March for Arizona Public Media. 

February 2, 2024


Graduate students Alexandra Mora Medina and Natasha Cortinovis were named 2024 Mellon-Fronteridades Graduate Fellows and through the fellowship, will work on projects highlighting diverse narratives from the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. 

Undergraduate student Daniela Cazares started an internship at KVOA in Tucson in January. 

Undergraduate student Noor Haghighi was interviewed and featured on NPR’s Here & Now radio show on Jan. 12. Haghighi spoke about a story she wrote for Arizona Luminaria about the University of Arizona’s Indigenous Teacher Education Program.

Senior Leah Britton, the 2024 Don Bolles Fellow, reported on state audits as part of her first story for the Arizona Mirror. Read the article here

Caesar Spinelli, Kyra Berg, Isabela Gamez, Sam Parker, Alexandra Mora Medina, Makenzie Dilworth, Jason Dayee, and Emma Diaz, were nominated for Hearst Journalism Awards in several categories, including sports writing, audio news and explanatory reporting.  

Graduate student Susan Barnett and undergraduate students Isabela Gamez and Daniela Cazares were among five Arizona students awarded scholarships at the Arizona Latino Media Association 2024 Mixer in Phoenix on Jan. 19.

Senior Jennfier Zucker accepted a post-graduation job offer with TV stations CBS47 and KSEE24 in Fresno, California.

Undergraduate students Sam Parker and Liv Leonard have started covering local government for the Tucson Agenda as Jamieson-Metcalf Scholars and Desarae Tucker is now in charge of the Agenda’s multimedia and social media duties. 

Jamieson-Metcalf Scholars Kiara Adams and Noor Haghighi are covering public affairs topics for Arizona Luminaria.

Graduate student Susan Barnett recently began a new job as the graduate communications specialist at the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry. 


Giorgia Menetre ('23) was the recipient of the Fall 2023 SBS Excellence in Leadership and Community Engagement Award

Jeff Jackson (’83) is now a copy editor and page designer for The Bakersfield Californian. He previously worked at the White Mountain Independent in Show Low.

Diana Ramos (’22) was awarded a Jim McKay Scholarship by the NCAA for her work as a college athlete and sports communicator. 

Cassie Scott (’23) recently joined KVOA, Tucson’s NBC affiliate station, as a producer. 

Eddie Celaya (’19) started a new job as a multimedia journalist with KGUN 9, Tucson’s ABC affiliate station. 

Bryan Savic (’23 M.A.) is set to begin work as a multimedia journalist with stations KOTA and KEVN in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Melinda Englert ('10) is the director of communications at CommunityShare and was recently featured in a College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Q&A.

December 5, 2023


Undergraduate students Annabel Lecky, Noor Haghighi, Dani Cazares, and Christa Freer, were nominated for Hearst Journalism Awards in the categories of feature writing, photojournalism and video storytelling. 

Undergraduate student Leah Britton was named the 2024 recipient of the Don Bolles Fellowship and will begin covering the Arizona Legislature in the spring with the Arizona Mirror.

Graduate student Bryan Savic, who is pursuing a Dual M.A. in Bilingual Journalism and Journalism through the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP), successfully defended his final project “The United States of Soccer” on Nov. 30. 

Graduate student Liliana López Ruelas started a new job as a financial empowerment advisor with Tucson Industrial Development Authority.

Undergraduate students Teressa Enriquez and Noor Haghighi have had several stories published with Arizona Luminaria this semester as interns. Read Enriquez’s work here and read Haghighi’s work here

Undergraduate student Emily Wright’s story about an 11-hour reading of Homer’s epic “Odyssey” on the UArizona campus was published in the Arizona Daily Star.



Marison Bilagody (’23) is now a part-time staff photographer with Arizona Athletics.

Nick Nollenberger (’14) made his debut as the play-by-play voice for the NHL’s San Jose Sharks during the team’s game against the Anaheim Ducks in California on Nov. 12. Nollenberger is currently the director of broadcasting and media relations for the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda.

Jordan Chin (’23) joined the University of Arizona School of Journalism staff as the multimedia specialist overseeing the school’s recently opened broadcast and podcast studios.

Emma Brocato (’22 M.A.) is now a full-time reporter at the Las Vegas Sun. Read her first story here.

November 2, 2023


Undergraduate student Zoe Montaño was featured in a Q&A with the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, in which she discussed the SBS Ambassador program. Read the Q&A here. 

Undergraduate student Ellia Pannier’s story about illegal street racing in Tucson was published in the Arizona Daily Star

Undergraduate student Emma LaPointe wrote a detailed ballot guide for the upcoming Tucson general election on Nov. 7 that was published by the Daily Wildcat

Olivia Krupp, an undergraduate student who founded the Women in Journalism club on campus, was featured in a Daily Wildcat article about the new club.

Undergraduate student Sam Parker wrote a story for the Daily Wildcat about the significance of the saguaro cactus and interviewed Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan, a doctoral candidate in American Indian Studies with a minor in Journalism. 

Undergraduate student Tanya Ence had a story published in the Daily Wildcat about sustainability efforts within the School of Mining and Mineral Resources. Ence also wrote a story about UA’s international student population, which was published in the Arizona Daily Star

Undergraduate student Emily Wright’s story about the 50th anniversary of Antigone Books was published in the Arizona Daily Star.  


Clara Migoya (‘21 M.A.) is now the agriculture and water reporter at the Arizona Republic.

Vic Verbalaitis (‘23) had a freelance story about Davey’s Ice Cream shop in New York published by Straus News. Read it here.

Stephen Miller (‘10) published an environmental book titled "Over the Seawall: Tsunamis, Cyclones, Drought, and the Delusion of Controlling Nature."

Jesse Tellez (‘20) joined the University of Arizona School of Journalism staff as Outreach Coordinator. 

July 31, 2023


Undergraduate student Kiara Adams is interning at the Las Vegas Review-Journal this summer. Read her latest story here.

Undergraduate student Delaney Penn finished her summer internship at Arizona Sports in late July. Read her reporting here.

Undergraduate student Allie Skaggs won the Arizona Softball Golden Glove Award. 

Undergraduate student Daniela Cazares wrote an article for the Latino Reporter about new NAHJ rules. Read her story here.


Christianne Marra-Hintz (’94) started working as a marketing manager for Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.

Genesis Lara (’18) took over as the managing editor at the Nogales International.


Edith “Edie” Sayre Auslander ('61, B.A., '75, M.A.) died Wednesday, July 19, at the age of 83 by natural causes. Read our tribute to Edie here.

June 28, 2023


Undergraduate student Drew Koltko started a new position as a public relations intern at Sanders Sports & Entertainment.

Undergraduate student Emma Diaz created a blog about her experience during the study abroad program in Orvieto, Italy. Read it here.

Undergraduate student Emma Wright created a blog about her experience during the study abroad program in Orvieto, Italy. Read it here.

Undergraduate student Giorgia Menetre had a story about bike safety and accessibility published in the Arizona Daily Star. Read it here.


Deborah Folka (’81, M.A.) recently published her first children’s book after a long career in crises management. The book, “In Zoey’s Closet,” is available on Amazon and the main website here.

Brett Fera (’05) started a new position as Sports Editor at the Arizona Daily Star.

Katya Mendoza ('22, M.A.) produced a story for AZPM about baseball and Latino culture for AZPM. Listen to her story here.

Charles (Charlie) Borla ('22) is a breaking news reporter at the Arizona Daily Star.

Tatyana Johnson ('23) is heading to Montrose, CO, to run the local government desk for the Montrose Daily Press beginning in August.

Samantha Larned ('23), wrote the cover story for the Arizona Daily Star's Caliente publication. Her story is about the University of Arizona pharmacy museum.

Dylan Grausz ('23), accepted the position of sports journalist covering Bay Area high school sports with West Coast Preps.

Ciara Encinas ('18) was nominated for an Emmy for her live reporting in San Diego, CA.

Alexandra Pere ('20, B.A., '21, M.A.) taught a workshop on recording audio for the high school workshop students.

May 31, 2023


On Thursday, May 4, the School of Journalism hosted the 57th annual Just Desserts Student Awards. Watch the YouTube recording here.

Undergraduate El Inde student Allison Burgess had a story about Tucson walkability published in the Arizona Daily Star. Read her story here.

Recent master's graduate Jake O'Rourke published his documentary, "PFAS: The Subsurface Contaminators." His work was cited in Vice Mayor Steve Kozachik's newsletter. Watch his documentary here.

Undergraduate Allie Skaggs had an opinion piece published in the Arizona Daily Star. Read the article here.

Undergraduate Allie Skaggs was named the PAC-12 Softball Defensive Player of the Year. Read the press release here.

Undergraduate broadcast student Christina Griffin was promoted to Promotions Director at UATV 3.

Undergraduate Teressa Enriquez accepted a summer internship at AZ Luminaria. Read the story here.

Several graduate students from the Spring 2023 graduating class recorded their defenses. Watch their defenses on our YouTube page here. It is under the "Graduate Student Projects/Theses" playlist.

Two Global Media master’s degree students, one Bilingual Journalism master's student and one undergraduate Journalism student produced a story and video for Al Jisr (The Bridge).  This program is a collaboration between students at four public universities in Yemen and University of Arizona students. Read/watch the story here.


Briana Sanchez (’15) and her team at the Austin-American Statesman were finalists for the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. Check out their award-winning work here.

Ella McCarville (’23) will be serving as a Peace Corps Climate Change Action and Awareness Facilitator in Mexico. Follow her journey on LinkedIn here.

Katya Mendoza ('22, M.A.) produced a story about the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program for AZPM. Read/listen to her story here.

Carmen Valencia ('20) will be a panelist for the NAHJ 2023 International Training Convention panel on Mental Health and Wellbeing for Journalists on Wednesday, July 14. Learn more about the convention here.

Allison Fagan ('23) produced a story for Arizona Illustrated titled, "Patrick Robles for the People." Watch it here.

Emma Brocato ('22, M.A.), who defended her master's project titled, "A Different Burn: A collection of stories about the fire regimes of Southern Arizona," had one of her master's project stories published in AZ Luminaria. Read her work here.

April 28, 2023


Undergraduate Marison Bilagody is a photography intern for the UArizona Athletics Department. His work has shown up in multiple Arizona Daily Star articles. Check out some of his photos hereherehere and here.

Undergraduate El Inde student Vic Verbalaitis had a story published in the Arizona Daily Star. Read Verbalaitis' article here.

Undergraduate El Inde student Alli Burgess had a story published in the Arizona Daily Star. Read her story here.

Graduate student Luke Wink Moran defended his master's project, "The Wrong Doors." Watch his presentation to first-year graduate students here.

Bilingual journalism graduate student Paula Diaz defended her project, "Missing Migrants." Visit her website here. It is available in English and Spanish.

Graduate student Denise Meeks defended her master's project, "WATER: A website about our precious resource." Meeks built this website from the ground up, find it here.

Undergraduate Sam Parker had a story published in The Daily Wildcat. Read her story about the UA Sustainability and Climate Action Plan here.

Graduate student Ashley Morales defended her master's project, "Changing the Script." Listen to her podcast here.


Clara Migoya (’19, M.A.) attended the 2023 Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Boise, Idaho, as a fellow. Learn more about the conference here.

Katya Mendoza ('22, M.A.) wrote about how Arizona tribal leaders and Arizona politicians came together to ask President Biden to designate land surrounding the Grand Canyon, as the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument. Read her story here.

Justin Spears ('17) is covering the NFL draft for the Arizona Daily Star. Follow his coverage on twitter here.


Katie Cotton ('88) died on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Cotton was a "key partner" to Steve Jobs at Apple. Read about her here.

March 28, 2023


Cathy Burch's El Inde students Jane Florance and Sohi Kang had an in-depth story published in the Daily Wildcat about how Arizona college campuses are tackling food insecurity. Read their story here

Cathy Burch's El Inde students Karin Canedo MorenoElla McCarville and Vic Verbalaitis had stories published in the Arizona Daily Star this month. Read Moreno's article here. Read Verbalaitis' article here. Read McCarville's article here.

Aidan Wohl had multiple sports stories published at the Arizona Daily Star. Follow his sports coverage here.

Samantha Larned had a story published in the Arizona Luminaria. Read her story about Arizona prison reform here.

The UArizona Journalism School NAHJ chapter held an info session about the Félix Varela Fellowship. Learn more about the fellowship here.

Advanced Reporting student Anna Elizabeth Lineberry had her question read during the NBCU Academy Next Level Summit broadcast. Watch it here.


Stephen T. ‘Steve’ Yozwiak ('77), a former reporter and editor at The Arizona Republic, put his retirement on hold to become the senior research science writer for the non-profit HonorHealth Research Institute. He will write about similar biomedical research developments that he did at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) for 14 years.

Alana Minkler ('21) published a scathing investigative piece about poor infrastructure in a California High School. Read the story here.

Clara Migoya (’19, M.A.) reported on Pinal County's dust problem for The Arizona Republic. Read her story here.

Clara Migoya (’19, M.A.) was invited to be a Society of Environmental Journalists Fellow for the 2023 SEJ conference in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about the conference here.

Katya Mendoza ('22, M.A.) left the Tucson Weekly to accept the position of multi media journalist at Arizona Public Media.

John D'Anna ('83) published an opinion piece in The Press Democrat about FOIA and Sonoma County public servants. Read the story here.

Feb 2, 2023


Tatyana Johnson had her Fall 22' RPA story published in the Arizona Daily Star. Read the story here.  

Aidan Wohl had a sports story published at the Arizona Daily Star. Read the story here.

Allie Skaggs was chosen for the 2023 softball preseason all Pac-12 team that is voted on by coaches. Read about the team here.

William McMurry was the winner (out of 12 entries) of the Drew Gyorke Photojournalism Contest in Kim Newton's Fall 22' JOUR 203 class. See the winning photo here

Bennito L. Kelly reported on Tucson public housing for the Tucson Sentinel. Read the story here.


William Jamieson (65’) visited the School of Journalism last semester to celebrate the creation of the Jamieson-Metcalf Family Scholarship for Public Affairs in Journalism. Read more about Jamieson and the scholarship here.

Briana Sanchez ('15) accepted the position of Director of Photography at the Austin American-Statesman.

Brenna Bailey ('18) accepted the position of Editorial Consultant at Inflow.

Ryan Finley ('02) left the Arizona Daily Star to become the San Diego Union-Tribune Sports Editor.

Clara Migoya (’19, M.A.) is doing outstanding environmental reporting for The Arizona Republic. Read her latest here.

Frank Sotomayor ('66) won second place in history in the International Latino Book Awards for the book he authored in 2022, “The Dawning of Diversity: How Latinos Helped Change Stanford University.” 

Sofía Moraga Franco ('21) is the digital producer at La Estrella de Tucsón, the Spanish language sister site to the Arizona Daily Star.

Jordan Williams ('19) accepted a new position as legislative compass reporter for Politico.

Paul Ingram ('14, M.A) won second place for community journalist of the year from the Arizona Press Club Awards. Read more here

Ireland Stevenson ('20) accepted the position of broadcast communications and media fellow for the White House Office of Communications.

Natalia Navarro ('17, B.A. and '18, M.A.) won first place for overall excellence in radio from the San Francisco Press Club 45th Annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards. 

Katya Mendoza ('22, M.A.) received the 2021 Community Nina Mason Pulliam Environmental Journalism Arizona Press Club award for her story, “Irregular ‘side blooms’ on saguaros signify a parched desert.” Read about the award here. Read the story here.

July 29, 2022


Diana Ramos made the PAC-12 Spring Honor Roll. Diana is a member of UA's track and field team. Read the story here

Gloria Gomez, our 2022 Bolles Fellow, accepted a Pulliam Fellowship at the Arizona Republic as a reporter covering breaking news.

Allie Skaggs made the PAC-12 Spring Honor Roll. Allie is a member of UA's softball team. Read the story here

Antonia Muskat was the winner (out of 31 entries) of a photo contest in Kim Newton's advanced photojournalism class in Orvieto, Italy. She won 200 Euros. See the winning photo here

Diana Ramos had a story in This is Tucson about the South Tucson neighborhood, La Doce, as it works to strengthen its community identity. Read the story here


Bill Murray ('80) is a senior communications official at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.

Eun K. Kim '92 is the deputy White House editor at Politco. She previously worked at CQ Roll Call.

La Monica Everett-Haynes ('01) was named International Association of Business Communicators San Diego Chapter communicator of the year. She is the associate VP and chief communications officer for strategic communications and public affairs at San Diego State University. Read about the award here

Zack Rosenblatt ('13) has a new job covering The New York Jets for The Athletic.

Maritza Cruz ('18) is attending film school at USC. Read an interview with her here

Andrew Koleski (’18) is joining the copy desk at the Seattle Times. He was previously with the Albuquerque Journal.

Clara Lovell ('19), is a news producer at KGUN9 in Tucson. She was previously at KVOA.

Griffin Riley ('20) had a story about wildfires appear (with photos) in Arizona Luminaria. See the story here

Alec White ('20) has accepted a content coordinator job with the Buffalo Bills.

Sunday Holland ('21) is a news producer in the Crosscurrents Summer Training Program for KALW public media in the Bay Area.

Katya Mendoza ('22, M.A) is now a staff reporter for Tucson Local Media and Tucson Weekly.

June 30, 2022


Senior Diana Ramos wrote about the death of Philippe Waterinckx, the founder of Tucson Community Supported Agriculture, for The Star. Read the story here

Undergrad Ana Teresa Espinoza had a story appear in Tucson Weekly about a local musician who released an album after success on TikTok. Read the story here (page 22). 

Undergrad Skylar Zannini is chronicling the sights of Orvieto in her photo blog. She is in Italy as part of Kim Newton's photojournalism course. See the blog here

Avery Martinez had a story about a UA professor who is also a German Knight in the Tucson Weekly. Read the story here (page 5). 

Undergrad Hannah Cree has a photo and video blog from her time in Orvieto, Italy. She is part of Kim Newton's photojournalism class. See the blog here

Undergrad Carter Berg had a story appear in the Tucson Weekly, both print and online. Carter wrote about a group introducing women and girls to skateboarding in Tucson. Read the story here

Antonia Muskat is posting photos from Orvieto, Italy. She is part of Kim Newton's photojournalism class. See the blog here

Allie Skaggs earned 2nd-team All-American honors for softball. She is a member of UA's softball team. 

Undergrad Diana Ramos was among 13 young journalists invited to participate in a Citius Mag program aimed at improving diversity and representation within the track and field media landscape at Oregon's Prefontaine Classic. 

Isabelle Freguia wrote a guest column for The Daily Wildcat about her on-campus experience after enduring two years of learning in isolation due to the pandemic. Read the piece here


Scott Karpen ('09) is a producer for Prime Video Live Events. He previously worked at NBC Sports.

Daily Wildcat alum Jacquelyn Oesterblad ('16 MENAS, Pol Sci) earned a law degree from Yale. 

Gabriella Vukelić ('17), social media editor at Newsday, took home 10 awards from the Press Club of Long Island 2022 media contest. 

Courtney Rice ('18) is sports brand solutions associate manager for Disney/ESPN.

Eddie Celaya ('19) is cannabis writer/ podcast host of "Here Weed Go!" for Lee Enterprises.

Kristan Obang ('19 M.A.), now the Education Writers Association's managing editor for digital content, captured first place in the California Journalism Awards with another USA Today Network reporter for their 2021 story about the pandemic's "lost kids."

Vianney Cardenas ('20) is a producer at CBS 5 in Phoenix. She previously worked at KVOA in Tucson.

Sam Burdette ('21, BA, '22, MA) and Amy Silverman wrote a feature about Chad McKinley, a Tucson man with Down Syndrome. Once a disability advocate, Chad has become increasingly isolated and depressed. Read the story here.

Julie Luchetta ('21 MA) landed a job through Report for America with Boise State Public Radio.

Clara Migoya ('21, M.A.) won a national SPJ Mark of Excellence Award in general news reporting for her Arizona Daily Star story, "Mine spill of 2014 continues to devastate Sonoran communities years later." She is now a border reporter for The Arizona Republic. See the announcement here. Read the story here

Alex Pere ('21 MA) was promoted to assistant editor at Tucson Local Media. 

Susan Welker Turley (’83) is now the corporate director of supply chain compliance and enterprise subcontracts for L3Harris Technologies, working remotely from Cochise County. She spent the last 6½ years at Raytheon Missiles and Defense.

May 24, 2022


Senior Gloria Gomez received the Philip Mangelsdorf Award for Outstanding Newsperson of the Year at Just Desserts on May 5. Read about all the student award and scholarship recipients at Just Desserts and watch the ceremony.

Gloria Gomez, the school's Bolles Fellow at the Arizona Mirror, placed ninth in the Hearst investigative reporting contest among 67 entries nationally for her coverage of the Arizona governor's claim that victims are being charged for rape kits. Read her initial story and the follow-up. Read the school's story.

Kat Kennedy, a Ph.D. minor, was named a Society of Professional Journalists Region 11 Mark of Excellence finalist in feature writing for her Medium story, "The $2 drug that millions of patients aren't being told about." 

Diana Ramos accepted the Sherman R. Miller 3rd Award for Outstanding Senior at Just Desserts. An Arizona Daily Star apprentice, she also published a story about a support group for older LGBTQ people in Tucson. “Being out and living authentically makes a big difference,” said Erin Russ of Senior Pride. Read the story here

Ella McCarville won the Brewster P. Campbell Award for Outstanding Junior at Just Desserts. 

Julia Blumberg won the outstanding graduate student award at Just Desserts. The school's first Bilingual Journalism master's grad, she defended her grad project, “Ecologies of Care: How Cross Border Humanitarian Organizations Support Asylum Seekers,” on April 21. Dr. Jessica Retis and Dr. Antonio José Bacelar da Silva (LAS) were her advisers. Story

Wenei Philimon defended her master's project, “'Till Shiloh Comes: A podcast about the Jesus People, Their Music and the Movement,” on May 2. Dr. Jeannine Relly was her adviser.

Sam Burdette defended her master's project, “Avian Enthusiasts: An exploration of birdwatching in Tucson,” on May 3. Prof. Ruxandra Guidi was her adviser.

Grad student Sebastian Janik defended his master's project, "The Final Skate," on May 4. Prof. Kim Newton was his adviser.

Grad student Madison Beal defended her master's project, "Talking Trash: Stories of Pollution on the Santa Cruz River," on May 6. Dr. Susan E. Swanberg was her adviser. 

Grad student Katya Mendoza defended her master's project," La Milenaria: Developing a Book Proposal," on May 6. Dr. Susan E. Swanberg was her adviser. 

Grad student Jelena Lukic, who earned an M.A. in Studies of Global Media, published an audio story in The Daily Wildcat about the difficult living situation in Yemen. Jelena is part of Al Jisr/The Bridge, a cultural exchange program between four universities in Yemen + UA. Listen to the story here

Undergrad Lily Karlson had a story appear in This is Tucson about Julia Gray, a UA student who started a clothing collection during the pandemic. Read the story here

Undergrad Taylor Maresca has secured a post-graduation job with WBTW News 13 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as a multimedia journalist.

Undergrad Jane Florance had a front page story in The Arizona Republic on Easter. She wrote about a Catholic Church in Phoenix celebrating its first mass three years after a devastating fire. Read the story here

Undergrad Vic Verbalaitis wrote about 19-year-old Zane Landers setting up his telescope on Tucson sidewalks. Zane wants to share his love of space with other people. The story appeared in This is Tucson. Read the story here

Undergrad Kate Ewing had a story in The Daily Wildcat about Skip, UAPD's bomb-sniffing dog. Skip has been nominated for the 2022 American Humane Hero Dog Awards. Read the story here. She also published a May 23 story, "UA's emergency blue-light phones stay on, but go out elsewhere," in the Arizona Daily Star.

Undergrad Tyler Salas published a May 16 story, "Local automotive tech keeps race cars on the track" in Tucson Local Media. He wrote the profile in Prof. David Cuillier's advanced reporting class.

Junior Allie Skaggs tied a school softball record by hitting three home runs in a game against UTEP.


Elvia Verdugo ('21) won third place in the Hearst Journalism Awards in the personality/profile writing among 114 entries nationally for her El Inde story, "Creating community through the power of food." Verdugo is currently a digital features reporter at This is Tucson. Read the school's story.

Clara Migoya ('21 M.A.) won first place in the 2021 Society of Professional Journalists Region 11 Mark of Excellence Awards for general news reporting for her Arizona Daily Star story, "Mine spill of 2014 continues to devastate Sonoran communities years later." Migoya is now a border reporter for The Arizona Republic. Her story is eligible for the national SPJ contest, and winners will be announced in June.

Mandy Loader ('21, M.A.) won the the outstanding graduate student award at Just Desserts. 

Josh Morgan ('12) is now a staff photographer and videographer for USA Today after five years at the Greenville (S.C.) News.

Ireland Stevenson ('20) secured a Presidential Management Fellowship with the Dept. of Agriculture. She is graduating with a Master of Public Administration.

Rahsaan Gethers ('08) is now vice president of basketball communications for the Portland Trail Blazers after handling media relations for the Sacramento Kings for eight years.

Pascal Albright is now a digital producer for the Arizona Daily Star.

April 14, 2022


Grad student Vanessa Lucero won an NAHJ internship. She will be interning with CNBC. 

Grad student Mar Ruiz was awarded the NAHJ Rubén Salazar Scholarship.

Karl Yares won the Frank M. Brasile Sportsmanship Award for his division in the 2022 NWBA (National Wheelchair Basketball Association) Intercollegiate Basketball Championships. 

Daniela Cazares had a story in The Star about UA dance student McKaylee True. True gained fame from the TV show, "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition." Read the story here

Grad student Katya Mendoza wrote an opinion piece on the need for a male contraceptive. "For some women, we place this responsibility on them when they are just teenagers," she wrote. "I’ve had friends who started taking the pill at 14." Read the story here

Madison Beveridge wrote a story for El Inde about female UA athletes juggling school, athletics and their personal lives. The story appeared in The Daily Wildcat. Read the story here. 

Alexzandria Martinez wrote about her experience as a Latinx/Hispanic college student for The Daily Wildcat. "The independence of adulthood came with an overwhelming amount of insecurity that was rooted in being an outsider on campus." Read her story here

Rebecca Thompson, a Ph.D. student minoring in journalism and Susan E. Swanberg's mentee,  was the subject of a Arizona Arts story on March 21, 2022. Read the article here

Madison McCormickDiana Ramos and Cameron Jobson worked together on a story for The Daily Wildcat about a UA staff shortage impacting the campus. The three are part of El Inde, led by Cathalena Burch. Read the story here

Christian Alvarado interviewed a UA expert on Russia in the lead to the invasion of Ukraine. Christian is part of our El Inde class, led by Cathalena Burch. Read the story here

Vic Verbalaitis had a story appear in This is Tucson about a rare purple mushroom found on Mount Lemmon by a UA student. This was the first time the mushroom had been found in Arizona. Read the story here

Jordan Chin was the videographer for the school's second Hall of Fame ceremony. Watch 

Master's student Julia Blumberg helped staff during the school's Hall of Fame ceremony on April 9.


The 2022 Hall of Fame inductees were Edith Auslander ('61, '75 M.A.), H. Darr Beiser ('76), Bobbie Jo Buel ('79), Lynn DeBruin('84), Carmen Duarte ('80), David Fitzsimmons ('77 Fine Arts), Patty Weiss Gelenberg ('71), Dan Hicks ('84), Jim Johnson('61), the Kramer familyNicholas Proffitt ('68), George RidgeErnest Sotomayor ('77) and Michele Stephenson ('66). Watch the HOF here

Dan Shearer ('85), Reilly Kneedler and Lillian Boyd of the Green Valley News stopped by Fred Brock's class, where they gave a "you make the call" scenario talk to the students.

Nicole Santa Cruz ('08) has her first story in ProPublica. She wrote about Steve Twist, an Arizona man who has never held elected office yet shapes "one of America's most punitive justice systems." Read the story here

Janice Yu ('13) has left her position at Fox 5 Atlanta, where she worked as a reporter/fill-in anchor. She began her job there in 2019. 

Mariana Dale ('14) served as emcee for the School of Journalism's Hall of Fame awards. Dale is a reporter for KPCC radio in southern California.

Teagan Rasche ('19) has joined the Global Saskatoon in Saskatoon, Canada, where she will cover news and sports. She previously worked at CHAT TV in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.

Justin Pierce ('20) is joining AZ Family in Phoenix as a weekend morning producer. He previously worked as a news producer at WBNG TV 12 in Johnson City, New York. 

March 8, 2022


Emma Brocato had a story appear in Arizona Luminaria's inaugural issue. Read the story here

Grad student Eva Marie Hube wrote about Tucson getting its very own perfume. Read the story here

Grad student Jake O'Rourke wrote about Tucson's Hotel Congress opening a new jazz club named The Century Room. “I look forward to having a dedicated room that elevates jazz in Tucson,” said Arthur Vint, one of the people behind the new club. Read the story here

Graduate student Madison Beal took the cover photo for the 2021-22 issue of the J-school's Cursor Magazine. 


Gabby Ferreira ('15) is a brand storyteller for the Cal Poly communications and marketing department. 

Ivan Leonard ('17) is a reporter at the Albuquerque Journal. 

Janelle Ash ('20) is an entertainment reporter for the Daily Mail (UK) News after work as a production assistant at TMZ. 

Jacqueline Aguilar ('21) is a digital content producer for KYMA News in Yuma. 

Feb. 11, 2022


Bryan Savic had a story appear in The Daily Star about the Tucson Senior Olympic Festival. He also had a story about the UA track and field team for The Daily Star. Bryan is part of our Arizona Daily Star apprenticeship class. Read the story about the Olympic festival here and the track and field story here

Jane Florance had a story appear in the AZ Republic about the retirement of Bishop Olmstead of Phoenix. She managed to land an exclusive interview with the Bishop. Read her story here

Graduate student Jake O'Rourke spoke to fans of Tino's Pizza, which is closing, and to the band The Garden for Tucson Weekly. Read the pizza story and the band story

Diana Ramos had a story in The Daily Star about Tucson JCC revamping their elite tennis program. Diana is part of the Arizona Daily Star apprenticeship class and is also a UA student-athlete. Read the story here

Just over a month into her fellowship, Gloria Gomez, our 2022 Bolles Fellow, has had many stories appear in the Arizona Mirror. You can read all her stories here

Adin Vilasevic had a story from Ruxandra Guidi's El Inde class appear in The Daily Wildcat. The piece is about UA's newest sports recruit--a high jumper from Iceland. Read the story here

Graduate student Madison Beal had a story appear in the Tucson Weekly about Tucson's continuing homeless crisis. Read the story here


Gilbert Bailon ('81) is leaving the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he was editor-in-chief and heading to North Texas. There, he will serve as executive editor for KERA News. Gilbert is a member of our Hall of Fame.

Jeff Goodman ('94) spoke to Shannon Conner's class about sports journalism while in town. Goodman, one of the nation's top basketball journalists, works for Stadium. 

Lorraine Rivera ('04) is the director of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's Southern Arizona Office. 

Mitra Taj ('06) wrote a story for The New York Times about an oil spill in Peru. "...Crude continued to wash onto beaches nearly a week after waves triggered by Tonga’s volcano eruption disrupted operations at a local refinery." Read the story here

Jackie Kent ('14) joined KOMO in Seattle as a reporter.

Mac Colson ('16) joined Channel 3 AZ Family in Phoenix as a senior producer.

Hannah Gaber ('16, MA) is now an executive producer for podcasts at the Gallery Media Group. She was previously at USA Today.

Bivian Contreras ('20) is a real time editor at KGUN 9 in Tucson.


Jane Swicegood, a generous J-school donor who started an exploration grant for students to bolster their portfolios, died Jan. 8. She was 88-years-old. Jane discovered a love of journalism while going to UA, where she met Prof. Jacqueline Sharkey. Read the story here

Dec. 15, 2021


Gloria Gomez is the 2022 Bolles Fellow. She will spend the spring semester in Phoenix covering the state legislature, under the mentorship of the Arizona Mirror, which includes alum Jeremy Duda ('02). Read the full story here

Graduate student Randa Abdu presented her project, "Citizens of Two Worlds." It detailed identity issues facing 1st generation Arab-Americans living in Tucson. Her advisor, Jeannine Relly, attended the presentation. 

Allison Burgess won the fall 2021 Drew Gyorke Memorial Photojournalism Award for her image of fans cheering at a University of Arizona football game.

Anna Maynard finished second in the fall 2021 Drew Gyorke Memorial Photojournalism Award with an action photo of women’s soccer.

Gracie Lordi placed third in the fall 2021 Drew Gyorke Memorial Photojournalism Award with her image of an arcade gamer.

Graduate student Mandy Loader presented her project, "The Human Side of Migration Policy." She examined Guatemalan asylum seekers and how they were impacted by U.S. policies. Her advisors, Jeannine Relly and Celeste González de Bustamante attended the presentation. 

Ana Teresa Espinoza won first place and a scholarship of $1,000 in the Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for Best Beginning News Writer Contest. 

Graduate student Julie Luchetta defended her master’s project, “Rabbitstick." She spent a week in an Idaho field learning about the primitive skills community for her project. Her advisor, Ruxandra Guidi, attended her presentation. 

Vic Verbalaitis won second place and a $750 scholarship in the Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for Best Beginning News Writer Contest. 

Hannah Johnson's story about Biosphere 2 appeared on the Planet Forward website. The story, which was originally published in El Inde, was based on the HNRS 395H Writing About the Environment class field trip to the Biosphere 2 with Carol Schwalbe. Read the story here

Sohi Kang received third place and a $500 scholarship in the Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for Best Beginning News Writer Contest. 


Jeremy Duda ('02), an associate editor at the Arizona Mirror, is part of the team helping mentor student Gloria Gomez during her Bolles Fellowship. 

Charlie De Mar ('12), a reporter for CBS Chicago, covered the Jussie Smollet trial in Chicago. 

Zack Rosenblatt ('13), a sports reporter for, spent a week in Tucson covering the New York Giants practicing on campus. Read his story here

Briana Sanchez ('15) is a photo editor/ photojournalist at the Austin-American Statesman in Texas.

Ciara Encinas ('18) is a multimedia journalist at ABC 10 News in San Diego.

Olivia Jackson ('19) is a producer for FL24, a 24/7 news service in Florida.

Nov. 23, 2021


Jordan Chin won a Rocky Mountain Emmy award. Jordan, the videographer for the piece, won the teen category award along with Mitchell Riley & Nathan Huffman for Arizona Public Media. Watch the piece

Graduate student Jessica Beauchesne had a story from her JOUR 506 Introductory and Advanced Reporting class appear in the Arizona Daily Star. Photos taken by her classmate, grad student Emma Brocato, accompanied the piece. Read the story

Emma Brocato's story about Monarch butterflies, which she drafted in Environmental Journalism last spring, was published on September 20, 2021 in the Arizona Daily StarRead the story. 

Julia Blumberg and Vanessa Lucero volunteered at Tucson Meet Yourself at the Loss and Remembrance Tent interviewing people about loss, grief and solace. The interviews will be compiled and published on the TMY website in 2022. 


Dan Hicks ('84), a sportscaster for NBC, spoke to Tony Perkins' class while he was in town for Homecoming. He told students to re-listen to their broadcasts — and to let pivotal sports moments breathe. "The worst thing we can do is trample all over history" by talking too much, he said. 

Charlie De Mar ('12), a reporter for CBS Chicago, covered the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and helped cover community reaction to the not guilty verdict. 

Kellie Mejdrich ('12) has left Politico to join Law360 as a senior reporter covering employee benefits. 

Sasha Loftis ('13) is a Weekend Evening Anchor/Reporter at 8 News Now in Las Vegas.

Britain Eakin ('15, M.A.) is a courts reporter at Law360.

Kim Castro Kolliner ('15) is a meteorologist at KHOU in Houston.

Mikayla Mace Kelley ('17, M.A.) and Carol Schwalbe have been invited to contribute a chapter on journalists’ coverage of space science and exploration to the Handbook of Science and Health Journalism. This Palgrave MacMillan handbook will be edited by Kim Walsh-Childers of the University of Florida and Merryn McKinnon of the Australian National University.

Jordan Williams ('19) has been promoted to defense reporter at The Hill in Washington, D.C.

Brody Dryden ('21) landed a new radio job as the play-by-play announcer for UA women's basketball games. Read the story

Nickella Battle ('18) has left KOLD News to join WSVN 7 News in Miami/Fort Lauderdale as a producer. 

Oct. 19, 2021


Master's student Mandy Loader wrote a successful grant application for the Center for Border Journalism for two workshops that were led by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Jordan Chin was nominated for a Rocky Mountain Emmy Award for an Arizona Public Media story titled "Reconciliation on the River." Chin was the videographer for the story.

Master's student Katya Mendoza had a story printed in the Daily Star. It details the stress the COVID-19 pandemic has had on doctors-in-training at UA. Read the story.

Master's student Julie Luchetta's story about activists ambushing Senator Kyrsten Sinema was published in USA Today. The story originally appeared in the Arizona Republic. Read the story

Bryan Savic wrote about local artist, Cannon Winkler, making art using imprints of animal tracks from a variety of African wildlife for the Daily Star. Read the story

Gloria Gomez, an apprentice reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, wrote an article about the discrepancy of COVID protocols between Tucson public and private schools. Read the story.

Master's student Madison Beal served as the photographer for the 2021 Zenger Award for Press Freedom luncheon. 


Bobbie Jo Buel (’79) has profiled each of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor. It took her five years to complete. Visitors to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial on the mall at UA (co-designed by Buel's husband David Carter) will be able to use an app to read the profiles of all the men killed Dec. 7, 1941.

John D'Anna ('83), a senior news director at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, spoke with multiple journalism classes while in town for the Zenger Award for Press Freedom. 

Maxx Wolfson (’03) is director of photography sport for Getty Images Americas. 

María Inés Taracena (’12) is a New York-based news producer at Democracy Now.

Dan Desrochers (’15) is the Washington D.C. correspondent for the Kansas City Star. 

Kendra Hall Santucci (’15) is a marketing communications specialist at Vail schools in Arizona. 

Danyelle Khmara (’17) is the new border and immigration reporter for the Arizona Daily Star. She recently spoke with students in Caitlin Schmidt's Reporting Public Affairs class.

Ciara Encinas (’18) served as the emcee at the Zenger Award for Press Freedom. 

Michelle Jaquette (’18) is in her first year at Harvard Law School. 

Gloria Knott (’18) has been accepted to the Poynter Institute's Leadership Academy for Women in Media. Read about the academy.

Carmen Valencia (’18) is an immigration and border reporter for Yahoo! News in Los Angeles. 

David W. Skinner (’19) has accepted a position as senior producer at Fox 35 Orlando.

Jack Cooper (’20) is a reporter for WBNG-12 News in Binghamton, New York.

Maury Urcadez (’20) is the social media and content coordinator for United Soccer League. 

Vanessa Ontiveros (’21) started a new job as an education reporter for the Yakima (Wash.) Herald.


Students took advantage of the Oct. 7 Pizza & Portfolios. They received one-on-one internship and career tips from alums Eddie Celaya (Arizona Daily Star), Ciara Encinas (KGUN-TV) and Kendra Santucci (Vail School Communications), and from Profs. Geoff EllwandRuxandra GuidiKim Newton and Carol Schwalbe. Earlier, a student panel of Sam BurdetteKatya MendozaPayton Toomey and Elvia Verdugo talked about their summer internships. Internship Coordinator Mike Chesnick organized the event.

Staff and graduate student Mandy Loader helped host the 2021 Zenger Award for Press Freedom luncheon on Oct. 1 at the Marriott ballroom. Joel Simon called accepting our Zenger Award for Press Freedom on behalf of the Committee to Protect Journalists "special" and said it would likely be his last major speech as executive director. Staff included Rachel MostellerMike ChesnickDebbie CrossAndrés DomínguezMartha CastleberryKris Hogeboom and Paloma Boykin. Watch the ceremony, including Prof. Michael McKisson's opening and CPJ's introduction (at the 11:35 mark) here

Aug. 20, 2021

Sam Burdette published nearly 10 stories as an apprentice reporter for the Arizona Daily Star this summer, including: "Tucson shelters, veterinarians overwhelmed with animals, appointment needs" (Aug. 16); "Need for volunteer drivers rises as Tucson seniors return to regular routines" (Aug. 6); "Longtime Tucson educator, human rights activist Ray Davies dies" (July 22); "New University of Arizona study could improve treatment for Type 2 diabetes" (July 14); "Grant to help Pima County address health inequities" (July 3); "Scientist and her lab dog work to boost higher ed access for disabled" (June 21); and "Scorpion season has arrived" (June 20).

Elvia Verdugo, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, had a story published along with Caitlin Schmidt (’14), about "Meet 5 female first responders who are thriving in leadership roles" (Aug. 6). Verdugo also published "This Oro Valley coffee roasting company works to support local veterans" (Aug. 6); "Transitional housing project in Tucson to offer LGBTQ+ youth stability" (July 25); "Davis-Monthan airmen honored with national award" (July 19); "Push on to boost mental health support for firefighters" (July 13); "Luxury picnic companies contend with Tucson heat to make magical memories" (July 4); and "These two Southern Arizona girls soccer teams are among the best in the nation" (June 16).

Mandy Loader, a grad student and Arizona Daily Star apprentice reporter, published several stories over the summer: "Tucson refugee family reunited with son as new policies take effect" (Aug. 1); "Analysis: Border debate ignores new data, warps public's view of migration, fentanyl" (July 11, co-byline with M.A. alum Curt Prendergast); "Fentanyl busts grow in Arizona, California" (June 25, co-byline with Prendergast). Loader also published "Tucson agencies in waiting game as Biden delays refugee arrivals" (April 26); and "Biden budget would rule out border wall funding (April 17) in the spring. 


Paul Allvin (’93) is vice president of strategic communications and marketing at George Mason University.

Beth Silver (’95) is a communications and outreach team leader at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jennifer Zeagler (’99) is a global operations communication business partner at Roche.

Arek Sarkissian (’03) is a reporter at Politico Florida.

PBS NewsHour ran a recent Arizona 360/Arizona Public Media story by Lorraine Rivera (’04), who spent time with Customs and Border Patrol in the air and on the ground. Listen to the story

Daniel Scarpinato (’04) has stepped down as the chief of staff for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Scarpinato will join DC-based public relations firm Ascent Media while continuing to reside in Arizona.

Annie Chandler Grevers (’10) will be inducted to the Arizona Athletics Hall of Fame. Annie, who specialized in breaststroke, won gold medals twice at the Pan-American Games and was also a World University Games gold medalist.

Lance Madden (’10) is a manager of revenue operations at the Meredith Corporation.

Hannah Gaber (’16, M.A.) produced a piece for USA Today about retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council staffer, and his life after the impeachment of former President Donald Trump. Watch the story.

Mikayla Mace (’18 M.A.), along with Carol Schwalbe, was a panelist on “Doctors Are In: Keys to Success in Mentoring and Collaborating with Graduate Students on Research" at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s virtual conference.

Liz O’Connell (’18) is a reporter at the Charlotte Business Journal.

Peiyu Lin (’21 M.A.) landed a reporting job with the Kitsap Sun, a Gannett newspaper in Bremerton, Washington.

Clara Migoya (’21 M.A.) placed first in the national AEJMC Student Magazine Contest for her Sonoran mine spill story that ran in the Arizona Daily Star. Read the story

July 27, 2021


Katya Mendoza, a master's student, is interning at the Tucson Weekly. They recently published her piece about new UA softball coach Caitlin Lowe. Read the story

Bennito L. Kelty, a master's student, translated a "Tucson Opportunities" series written by Jim Kiser into Spanish for The Tucson Sentinel. The story won first place in the 2020 Arizona Press Club Awards. Read the series


Gilbert Bailon ('81) received the 2021 Presidential Award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). He is editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It’s (a) very gracious gesture by NAHJ," Bailon said. "I’ve been a professional journalist for 40 years, which is almost as long as NAHJ has been serving Latino journalists. I remember sending out dozens of letters to newspaper editors across the country saying that my long-term goal would be to become editor of a metro newspaper. I was the editor of the Daily Wildcat at the time. I’ve been fortunate to achieve that goal." Read more.

Those with UA Journalism ties captured 25 awards in the 2020 Arizona Press Club Awards contest. John D'Anna (’83), who left the Arizona Republic for the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat, took first in sports investigative reporting. Details and all winners.

Dan Hicks ('84) is NBC's play-by-play commentator for swimming at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. 

Savannah Guthrie (’93) is co-hosting the opening of the Olympics from Tokyo, Japan. 

Théoden Janes (’96), an entertainment editor at the Charlotte Observer, won second place in criticism and third place in feature writing in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Awards.

John de Dios ('05) and Alan Davis ('15) are working to help future generations of science and environmental journalists by establishing the Olesen Davis De Dios Environmental & Science Multimedia Scholarship. Junior Jordan Chin is the first recipient of the scholarship. Read more or donate.

Shane Bacon ('06) is hosting NBC's golf coverage for the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. 

Victoria (Harben) O’Malley ('07) recently earned her doctorate in education from Northeastern University after passing the defense of her dissertation: “Promises to Keep: How Institutional Brand Aligns with the Adult Learner Experience.”

Kelly Lewis (’08) has a new book, "Tell Her She Can't: Inspiring Stories of Unstoppable Women." Learn more here. 

Scott Karpen ('09) is a co-producer for NBC's track and field coverage for the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. 

Abby Kappel (’12) is the marketing director of Pikes Peak United Way in Colorado.

Yaka Askar (’15), is a team lead strategist at Hawk SEM in California. 

Briana Sanchez (’15), a photographer for the El Paso Times, was recognized by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors (TAPME) Awards as an outstanding journalist. She won first and third place in Class AAA for news photography and second place star photojournalist of the year.

Kendal Blust (’16, M.A.) won the National Public Media Journalists Award, along with Murphy Woodhouse, for their coverage of violence in Sonora. She works for KJZZ in Phoenix.

Brit Reid (’18) is the digital and social media coordinator at ON Media in Phoenix.

Andrew Koleski (’18) is a copy and wire editor at the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico. 

Carsyn Currier ('19) has accepted a job as morning reporter at KOLD News 13 in Tucson. She currently works at KTVL 10 in Medford, Oregon.

Justin Sayers (’19 M.A, '14 B.A.), is covering economic development for the Austin (Texas) Business Journal.

Rocky Baier (’20), is an intern at the Wall Street Journal, focusing on audience engagement. Her internship was delayed a year due to Covid-19.

Justin Pierce ('20) is a morning news producer for WBNG 12 News in Binghamton, New York. He previously worked as a sports reporter at the Wahpeton (North Dakota) News. 

Ireland Stevenson ('20) is a reporter at Tucson Local Media.

Jamie Donnelly (’21) is a breaking news digital producer at the Arizona Daily Star.

Kelly Horyczun ('21), is a sports reporter and multimedia journalist at NBC Montana. 

Clara Migoya ('21 M.A.) is a border issues reporter with the Arizona Republic and USA Today Network.

Alana Minkler (’21) is a breaking news and general assignment reporter at the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Democrat. 

June 23, 2021


Asia Rose DuVernay is a summer intern for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.

Arizona softball’s Allie Skaggs (utility player) and Austin Wales (manager) advanced to the World Series, along with manager AJ Camacho (’21).

Broadcast students Mickaela ElichSophia FloresKelly HoryczunKenan HubbleCharlie Smith and Tyler Pesavento reported and produced the spring 2021 Arizona Cat’s Eye news as part of instructor Tony Perkins’ class.

Julia Blumberg, a master’s student, co-directed the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop with Andrés Domínguez.

Ericka Rios is a digital intern at KSAZ-TV Fox 10 in Phoenix.

Payton Toomey is an intern at BUST Magazine.

Sam Burdette (’20), a master’s student, worked as a mentor at the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop. She won the senior of the year award for 2020-21. 

Averie Klonowski is a social media marketing intern at Aspire.

Jackson Peters worked as a mentor at the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop.

Diana Ramos, the school’s junior of the year, worked as a mentor at the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop.

Abby Hauser has a remote position at Salty Mermaid Swimwear, where she manages the blog and writes product descriptions.

Katya Mendoza is interning at Tucson Local Media, where she is reporting, transcribing interviews and research gathering.


Brittny Mejia (’14) was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the local reporting category for an investigation into the Los Angeles County medical system. She and her co-nominee, Jack Dolan, work for the Los Angeles Times, where Brittny covers immigration and race.

Sam McNeil ('14 M.A.), an Associated Press video journalist, was part of a team with reporter Dake Kang that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting. McNeil contributed to two of six stories in the AP's investigation of China's state secrecy and its fatal consequences.

John D’Anna (’83) has accepted a job as a senior news director for investigations and enterprise at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat in Northern California. He previously worked for 27 years at the Arizona Republic.

Savannah Guthrie (’93) celebrated her 10th year with NBC’s “Today” show, where she is co-anchor.

Jeremy Levin (’95) won his tenth Sports Emmy, this time for Outstanding Studio Show—Weekly. He is the coordinating producer for “NBA on TNT.”

John de Dios (’05) spoke to students at the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop about photojournalism, along with Alan Davis.

Shane Bacon (’06) is the co-host of “Golf Today” on the Golf Channel. Bacon also co-hosts the “Get a Grip” podcast with PGA player Max Houma and “The Clubhouse with Shane Bacon” podcast.

Nick Smith (’06) recently released a podcast with the BBC called “Sneakernomics” about the history of sneakers. The podcast is a spin-off of his book, “Kicks.” Listen to the podcast.

Tyler Smith (’08), owner of Kitsune Brewing Company in Scottsdale, was featured in the So Scottsdale! magazine. According to Smith, he learned about brewing at a house party while a student at the J-school.

Nicole Santa Cruz (’09), of ProPublica, spoke to students at the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop. She led a discussion on community reporting and empathy toward interviewees.

Josh Morgan (’12), a photographer and visual journalist, produced a moving piece for the Greenville (S.C.) News about two neighbors developing an unlikely friendship after BLM protests.

Rebecca Rillos (’12) is a news designer at The New York Times, which just won the Pulitzer Prize for public service reporting for its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. She lays out the daily and Sunday National sections, in addition to mentoring news design at The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, which was co-founded by Nancy Sharkey.

Alan Davis (’15) spoke to students at the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop about photojournalism, along with John de Dios.

Jorge Encinas ('16, M.A.) is the new managing editor of the Capital Journal newspaper in Pierre, South Dakota. He previously worked as a reporter at the Green Valley News and Sahuarita Sun.

Malena Larson ('16) is a talent booker for “The Chris Salcedo Show.” She previously worked as a production assistant for the Fox Business Network.

Danyelle Khmara (’17) gave reporting tips to high school students at the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop. She works at the Arizona Daily Star.

Gabriella Vukelic (’17), social media editor at Newsday Media Group, won First Place for Best Idea to Encourage Reader Engagement for coronavirus text messages and Second Place for Best Use of Social Media from the International News Media Association (INMA).

Gloria Knott (’18) wrote a story for This is Tucson about the meaning behind five local murals by Tucson artist Ignacio Garcia.

Natalia Navarro (’18, M.A.) landed a new job as news anchor at San Francisco’s KQED News, an NPR station. She previously worked at Colorado Public Radio in Denver.

Jasmine Demers (’19, M.A.) spoke to students at the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop. She works at Louisville Public Media.

Nick Smallwood (’20, M.A.) is a videographer at Northern Arizona University.

Jamie Donnelly (’21) is a breaking news digital producer at the Arizona Daily Star.

Saul Bookman (’18, M.A.) was promoted to director of digital content for Bally Sports Arizona.

Jesse Tellez (’20) is now a digital producer at the Arizona Daily Star.

Mickaela Elich (’21) is now a reporter at CBS2 News in Boise, Idaho.

May 18, 2021


Vanessa Ontiveros (’21), Sam Burdette (’21), Diana Ramos (‘22) and Clara Migoya (’21 M.A.) captured top honors May 13 at the school’s 55th Just Desserts student awards celebration, held virtually. Ontiveros received the Philip Mangelsdorf Award for Outstanding Newsperson for the second year in a row. Burdette captured the Sherman R. Miller 3rd Award for Outstanding Senior. Ramos received the Brewster P. Campbell Award for Outstanding Junior. Migoya was named the Outstanding Graduate Student. Story and video/slideshow of ceremony. 

Go to El Inde, our school media website at, to see the latest stories, essays and audio reports from students in Prof. Ruxandra Guidi’s classes, including: Sunday Holland’s “Where dreams die” (audio), Katya Mendoza’s “Local hat designer,” Elvia Verdugo’s “Creating community” with food, Mackenzie Payton’s “Life of an 11-year-old cowboy” and Emma Brocato’s “Bighorn Fire.” 

Clara Migoya (‘21 M.A.), an Arizona Daily Star apprentice reporter, led the front page of the Sunday paper on May 16 with her story, “Mine spill of 2014 continues to devastate Sonoran communities years later.”  

Amaris Encinas is a breaking news intern at the Arizona Republic this summer.
Journalism graduate student, Madison Beal, saw her first-person nonfiction essay, written in Susan E. Swanberg’s environmental journalism class, published in The Blue Guitar magazine. The essay, titled "When the Monsoons Didn't Come" is on pages 3-4 of the spring 2021 issue.

Bennito Kelty landed a job at the Tucson Sentinel as an IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Access) reporter. Editor’s story about Kelty 

Ganesh Marin, a Ph.D. student in the UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment who is taking Susan E. Swanberg’senvironmental journalism class this semester saw his op-ed titled, "A Jaguar in the Shadow of the Border Wall," published in the Green Valley News on Sunday, May 2, 2021. 

Graduate student Emily Fuchs had a profile she wrote about Elaine Romero, playwright and UA professor, published on the Scoundrel and Scamp website. Read the story
Clara Migoya defended her master’s project, “Dark-Sky Advocacy in Southern Arizona: From Astronomy to Citizen Action,” via Zoom on May 6. Her adviser, Prof. Jeannine Relly, attended along with students, faculty/staff and friends, including Dalal Radwan (’19. M.A.) from Palestine.  

Sofia Revilak defended her master’s thesis, “¿Quiénes son? A Critical Discourse Analysis of Media Coverage of the 2018 Central American Migrant Caravans by US and Mexican News Media Outlets,” via Zoom on May 6. Profs. Jessica Retis (chair) and Jeannine Rellywere two of the committee members.

Conor Villines defended his master’s thesis, “Framing Mineral King: Media, Development and Conservation, 1966-1978,” via Zoom on May 6. Profs. Celeste  González de Bustamante and Ruxandra Guidi advised Conor on his thesis, which analyzed how the Los Angeles Times and New York Times framed the failed Disney ski resort. 

Peiyu Lin defended her master’s project, “Hong Kong International Front 2020: How Overseas Hong Kongers continue the pro-democracy movement in Taiwan and the U.S.,” on Zoom. Profs. Kim Newton and Jeannine Relly advised Lin, an Arizona Republic breaking news intern this spring. See her project trailer at: 

Alexandra Pere defended her master’s project, “The Psychedelic Renaissance: A Podcast Series,” via Zoom on May 4 with her adviser, Prof. Ruxandra Guidi in attendance along with friends and family. For clips of her project: 

Yasmin Acosta, Bennito Kelty, Peiyu Lin (‘21 M.A.), Mandy Loader and Julie Luchetta were announced as the 2021 Arizona Press Club Scholarship winners.  


Frank Sotomayor (’66) has stepped down as chair of the school’s Journalism Advisory Council to spend more time with his family and work on a book. Mark Woodhams, retired Arizona Student Media director and Arizona Daily Wildcat adviser, is the new chair. Story 

Mark Buckman (‘76 M.A.) recently retired from Schoolyard Communications, a California-based communications firm that serves school districts.  

Chyrl Hill Lander (’76) is the new vice chair for the school’s Journalism Advisory Council.  

Cindy Chojnacky (‘77) recently wrote a story, “9 Months after Bighorn Fire, wilderness trail hazards, closures remain,” for the Arizona Daily Star.  

J-school grad Jay Gonzales (‘80) and Steve Rivera talked to UA alum Bob Baffert about the horse trainer’s record seventh Kentucky Derby victory for their May 4 “Eye on the Ball” radio show (22:10 mark). 

James McKnight (’90) published "Yellow & Black Fever - Life, Love and Baseball in the Land of the Rising Sun,” based on his 12 years living in Japan. The book is available on Amazon

Nicole Santa Cruz (’09) gave the closing remarks, “Why journalism matters,” to students, faculty and staff at the school’s Just Desserts awards ceremony on May 13. Video 

Stephanie Casanova (‘14) is leaving the Arizona Daily Star to be a breaking news/general assignment reporter for the Chicago Tribune.  

Brittny Mejia (‘14), who covers the Latino community for the Los Angeles Times, joined Prof. Susan Knight’s Features class. Mejia spoke with students about reporter-editor relationships, learning from an editor’s changes to copy, building trust with reluctant sources, finding fresh story ideas and using social media in the field.

Yoohyun Jung (‘15) has left the Honolulu Civil Beat for the San Francisco Chronicle, where she is a data reporter.  

Justin Spears (‘17) of the Arizona Daily Star has returned to ESPN Tucson Radio for the rebranded “Spears and Ali” sports talk show with local attorney Ali Farhang. The show runs weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m.  

Maritza Cruz (‘18) recently completed her first year of film school at USC. Cruz, who served as a consultant on a class project for Prof. Susan E. Swanberg's spring 2020 JOUR 205 class, produced a short film for one of her USC classes this semester. Watch the short film, titled "Anything for Selenas."

Eddie Celaya (‘19) is moving from the Arizona Daily Star opinion page to cover breaking news and marijuana for the Star.  

Jasmine Ann Demers (‘19 M.A.) is leaving the Arizona Daily Star in June to join the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting as a Report for America corps member investigating issues related to youth and social services.  
Justin Pierce (‘20) won first place for his sports column, “Why Women in Sports is Important to Our Future,” and honorable mention for sports reporting, “Huskies Hang First ‘W’ in Wahpeton.” The contest was for the NDNA Better Newspaper Contest. Pierce writes for the Wahpeton Daily News in North Dakota.  
Parisa Hajizadeh-Amini has joined the L.A. Times design team as art director. She was previously a designer at Gannett’s Phoenix design studio.  

James William (Bill) Helfinstine (’50) died April 23 in Prescott. He was 92. A starting infielder on the UA baseball team, he studied journalism and wrote a column and edited the sports section of the Daily Wildcat. His sports column earned All American honors. Obit 

April 23, 2021


Katie Thuemling won the spring 2021 Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for Best Beginning News Writer. JT Thorpe finished second, while Maggie Rockwell and Payton Toomey shared third in the deadline contest that saw a dozen students interview Dr. Richard Carmona. Congrats to all, and thanks to judges Prof. Susan Knight, Prof. Nancy Sharkey and Joe Ferguson ('06), director of public outreach for the Pima County Assessor's Office. The contest awarded $6,000 in scholarship money. Read story.

The Society for Professional Journalists honored Ph.D. journalism minor Rebecca Thompson and the Arizona Daily Wildcat staff in its 2020 SPJ Mark of Excellence Region 11 contest. Thompson was a finalist in sports writing for her Arizona Daily Star story on Cedric Dempsey. The Wildcat won best affiliated website and will now move onto the national competition.

M.A. student Peiyu Lin is a breaking news intern for the Arizona Republic and Read her stories.

Graduate student Mandy Loader wrote a successful grant proposal for the CBGJ, which Profs. Jeannine Relly and Celeste González de Bustamante contributed to this spring. The award from the UArizona Commission on the Status of Women is for $1,500 for the proposal titled, "Digital safety and security for women and BIPOC." The mini-grant funding is for two upcoming online events. 

Theresa Palmquist published a profile of retired National Geographic photographer Richard Osenius for the Green Valley News and Editor Dan Shearer ('85). Palmquist wrote the story last fall in JOUR 205, co-taught by Profs. Carol Schwalbe and Michael McKisson. Go to to see See Olsenius' work.

Arizona Daily Star apprentice reporter Clara Migoya's story, "This Tucson teen is on a crusade to require anti-racist lessons at school," was published April 3 on Page B1.

Kat Kennedy, a doctoral student in the Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program who is taking Prof. Susan E. Swanberg's Environmental Journalism class this semester, saw her story, "She lassoes lizards: Doctoral student uses social media to promote wildlife science," published in the Green Valley News on March 31, 2021. 

Madison Beal, an intern at the Tucson Weekly, published a story about the Santa Cruz River Reconciliation Project. She wrote the story for Prof. Susan Swanberg's Environmental Journalism (JOUR 455/555) course. Beal also wrote an April 22 Weekly story, “Summer invaders: Increased fire risk threatens all inhabitants of the Sonoran Desert.”

Kat Kennedy published an April 6 story that trended No. 3 on Medium and its publication Elemental: “The $2 drug that millions of patients aren’t being told about.” She wrote the story for one of her assignments in Prof. Susan Swanberg’s Issues in Covering Science and the Environment course in fall 2020.

Sunday Holland, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, produced the cover story, "Hopes and streams," for the March 25 Caliente section about Tucsonans finding fame on social media. She also published, "At a midtown Tucson dirt lot, meals are served and community is built" (April 9) and "Selfies rule at new interactive experience at Tucson Mall" (April 22 Caliente).

Yasmin Acosta, an apprentice reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, published a story, “Tucson vegan baker rises above during a pandemic,” on March 13.

Sebastian Janik, an Arizona Daily Star sports apprentice, published "As fans return to UA games, athletes, counselors talk about the effect of empty stadiums" on March 11 and "Roadrunners forward Michael Bunting fired up about fans' return to Tucson Arena" on March 14.

Conor Villines, a master’s student, published a story April 5 in Ski magazine on a man who hasn’t “missed a season of ski instructing in 54 years.” Villines said the story was “a direct result from Prof. Susan Knight’s guidance on editor outreach and pitching last semester."

Journalism major and UA high jump standout Diana Ramos was profiled by the Arizona Daily Star with an April 6 story, "Ramos sets Venezuela indoor high-jump record." "I love meeting and talking to people. And writing,” Ramos told Caitlin Schmidt ('14). “And journalists know a little bit about everything. I like that."

Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan ('10), a current Ph.D. journalism minor and faculty member at Tohono O'odham Community College, was interviewed and photographed for a March 10 Washington Post article on saguaros and climate change, “Saving the West’s iconic cactus from climate change.”


Heather Rich ('20) placed in the top 20 nationally in the Hearst Personality/Profile Writing Competition for an essay about losing her father, Ronnie, to the coronavirus. The story, "My dad, much more than a statistic," finished 16th and was written in Prof. Ruxandra Guidi's class and published in El Inde last spring.

Nicole Santa Cruz ('09), is leaving the Los Angeles Times in May to cover marginalized communities for ProPublica. She'll be based in Phoenix, part of ProPublica's new Southwest reporting unit. Nicole, a member of our Journalism Advisory Council and Daily Wildcat alumna, was the lead reporter on the L.A. Times’ Homicide Report. Story

Janice Yu ('13) of Fox 5 in Atlanta made a video guide to help fellow broadcasters pronounce the names of the Asian victims of the March 16 spa shootings. Story

Arizona Daily Star reporter Stephanie Casanova ('14) was among 44 media professionals nationwide selected for the Maynard 200 Fellowship. She began virtual training in the storytelling track April 12 through the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, a nonprofit dedicated to making newsrooms look like America and to bring about equity and belonging in media.

Théoden Janes ('96) wrote an op-ed column on race for the Charlotte Observer, where he's worked for nearly 15 years as an entertainment editor/writer and long-form storyteller. Also an Arizona Daily Wildcat alum, he worked at the Washington Post, Arizona Republic and Bergen (N.J) Record after J-school. 

Andi Berlin ('09) will be the new dining critic for the Arizona Republic after seven years as digital food editor for the Arizona Daily Star. She'll work on a Republic team with another UA J-school grad, nightlife reporter Tirion Morris ('18).

Kristan Obeng ('19 M.A.) became the digital editor for the Education Writers Association after reporting jobs at the Visalia (California) Times-Delta and Lansing (Michigan) State Journal.

J-school alums from the Arizona Daily Star — Danyelle Khmara ('17), Gloria Knott ('18), Irene McKisson ('03), Stephanie Casanova ('14) and Veronica Cruz ('09) — participated in a March 26 bilingual roundtable focusing on women's lives during the pandemic. The event was hosted by the Star’s La Estrella de Tucson.

Gabriella Vukelic ('17) has been promoted to social media editor at Newsday in Long Island, New York.

Maury Urcadez ('20) is the marketing/digital media coordinator for the Tucson Roadrunners hockey team.

Hannah Bloom ('18) is now the full-time social marketing manager for MyRacehorse in San Diego.

Madison Brodsky ('17) interviewed celebrities at the March 14 Grammy Awards and the previous two weeks during dress rehearsals as the Recording Academy's backstage reporter.

Kelley Steven-Waiss ('98), founder and CEO of Hitch Works Inc. and co-author of "The Inside Gig," talked about career mobility and reimagining the future of work as a guest of Dr. Dawn on SiriusXM radio on March 11.

Rob Kleifield ('19) started working remotely as a digital content assistant for FOX Sports North and FOX Sports Wisconsin in March and relocated to Minneapolis in April.

Brieana Sealy ('18) began a job as a senior podcast producer for OffScrip Media in the D.C.-Baltimore area.

Christian Wlach ('15), a J-school minor alum, joined Tucson's KVOA-TV as a producer after earlier work at KGUN-TV.

Simon Asher ('18) saw his image of UA's Dana Parker selected as the NCAA Beach Volleyball Photo of the Week in early March. Asher is a contract photographer for Arizona Athletics.

Luke Della ('14) is assistant director of sports information at the University of North Texas, which upset Purdue in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Jessica Carpenter ('17) is the new communications consultant for CVS Health in Phoenix.

J-school alum Jeff Goodman ('94) of Stadium first reported April 7 on Twitter that Sean Miller was out as UA men's basketball coach. See his video report and read stories by the Arizona Daily Star and Arizona Daily Wildcat.


The school’s Journalism Advisory Council voted in three new members in its April 2 meeting: Paul Allvin (‘93), VP for strategic communications and marketing at George Mason University; Jim Calle (‘85), attorney representing U.S. Border Patrol agents; and Steve Rosenberg (’82), who is owner of BizTucson magazine.

March 8, 2021

The two winners of this year’s Jane Swicegood Student Exploration Grant are Sofia Moraga and Amaris Encinas. Moraga’s project will take her to a dozen western national parks this summer to photograph the diversity of visitors and staff. She wants to shoot portraits using black-and-white film, create a website and publish a book. Prof. Michael McKisson is her mentor.  Encinas is writing a longform profile about what led up to the election of Pima County Recorder Gabriella Cázares-Kelly as the first Native American to hold a countywide office this year. She plans to produce a fully packaged feature story ready for publication before the end of the spring semester. Prof. Susan Knight is her mentor.

Mandy Loader, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, led A1 on Sunday, Feb. 28, with the story, "Wildlife, rights coalition asks Biden to remove miles of Arizona's border wall."

Anika Pasilis, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, published a Feb. 22 story, "New program helps Marana small businesses with COVID-19 related costs."

Jamie Donnelly, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, published a story on Feb. 17, "City of Tucson invites residents to give input on climate actions" and another on Feb. 16, "Local governments' rules on drugs, alcohol use on job extend to recreational marijuana." 

Sebastian Janik, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, published a story on Feb. 20, "No longer deserted, Fred Enke Golf Course is thriving in the midst of a pandemic" and another on Feb. 25, "Wildcats respond to hockey season's cancellation with sadness, gratitude."

Davina Dobbins, a senior instructional specialist in the department of physiology, and dual degree MBA/MPH student also studying for a graduate certificate in science communication, saw her story about Intestinal Microbiota Transplants (also called fecal transplants) published in the Green Valley News on March 3, 2021. Dobbins, who was recently admitted to UA College of Medicine in Tucson, began her story in Prof. David Cuillier’s Beginning and Advanced Reporting course and completed the published version of her story (which included an infographic designed by Dobbins) in an independent study on the science of science communication with Assistant Prof. Susan E. Swanberg.  

Sofía Revilak, a grad student, is working with Prof. Jessica Retis as a coauthor of a book chapter titled “¿Por qué los centroamericanos huyen en caravana hacia EE. UU.? La representación discursiva de los ‘otros’ inmigrantes latinoamericanos en la prensa española" (“Why are Central Americans fleeing in caravans to the United States? The discursive representation of the ‘other’ Latin American immigrants in the Spanish press"). Retis said the book will be coedited by Antonio Bañón and Bernard McGuirk and published in Spanish with Arco/Libros in Spain and in English with Nottingham.

Teagan Rasche ('19) accepted a job as a sports and news reporter for Chat TV in Medicine Hat, Alberta. She was a javelin thrower for the University of Arizona track and field team.

Katie Pavlich ('10) hosted Fox News Primetime during the week of Feb. 22 as the network decides on a permanent host ( Pavlich joined Fox News in 2013 as a commentator and is editor of the conservative website.

The Arizona Daily Star made Rebecca Sasnett ('15) a full-time photographer and shifted government reporter Jasmine Demers ('19 M.A.) to digital editor.

Christianna Silva ('17) landed a tech reporting job at Mashable in New York — covering Facebook and Instagram, primarily — after previous work at NPR and MTV News.

Ashley Fredde ('20) is a breaking news reporter at in Salt Lake City. See her story on the homeless in Utah at

Bakina Wellars ('17 M.A.), an assistant lecturer at the University of Rwanda's School of Journalism and Communication, started his doctoral studies remotely at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa. He plans to apply for a study leave when physical classes resume in South Africa.

Hannah Gaber ('16 M.A.) was promoted to senior video producer for politics at USA Today's Washington, D.C., bureau.

Feb. 15, 2021

Clara Migoya's education story, "How Tucson students in hands-on courses are learning during COVID-19," helped lead the Feb. 15 front page of the Arizona Daily Star. Migoya, a grad student and apprentice reporter, also published a story on the front of the Jan. 31 Tucson & Arizona section, "St. Mark's Preschool set to close after 54 years."

Sebastian Janik, a grad student and Arizona Daily Star apprentice, wrote the main story in the Feb. 11 sports section, "Money in buckets: Practice range time is driving revenue for Tucson City Golf properties." Janik also published a Feb. 3 story, "New TUSD athletic director Dee-Dee Wheeler knows how important high school sports are for athletes."

Alyssa Grabinski published a story for the Arizona Daily Star, "Tucson's trap, neuter effort for feral cats continues despite lack of resources," on Jan. 22. She wrote the story in last semester's RPA class taught by adjunct Caitlin Schmidt ('14), a Star reporter.

Yasmin Acosta, a features apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, wrote a story, "Wash away the old, bring in the new with Tucson's virtual Chinese New Year festivities," for the Feb. 11 Caliente section.

Mandy Loader, a grad student and Arizona Daily Star apprentice reporter, published an A1 story on Dec. 28, "Tucson agencies support of refugees challenging during pandemic."

Anika Pasilis, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, wrote a Feb. 3 story, "Marana's former police chief is now town manager."

Diana Ramos, a journalism major, set a Venezuelan indoor national record in the high jump (5-7 ¼) competing for the Arizona track team at the Texas Tech Invitational on Feb. 13.

Hope Hisey, a journalism minor and goalkeeper for the UA women's soccer team, was named one of four C.A.T.S. Student-Athletes of the Month for January by Arizona Athletics. Caitlin Schmidt ('14) profiled Hisey in the Feb. 4 sports section of the Arizona Daily Star, "Hisey earned straight A's last fall while kicking COVID-19."

Kynzie Watahomigie, a master's student, is the school's new graduate assistant and will be the Native American Journalists Association club adviser.

Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan, a Ph.D. minor in Journalism, saw her article, "Traditional farming: Conserving yesterday for tomorrow," published in the January-June 2021 issue of My Livable City magazine. Her story starts on Page 70 of the magazine.

Bivian Contreras ('20) landed a paid spring "Quinternship" at Tucson's KVOA-TV through Quincy Media.

Susan Carroll ('99) moved to ProPublica as a senior editor for its Local Reporting Network after 14 years at the Houston Chronicle (see story). Carroll, who is still based in Houston, recently led a team of Chronicle reporters who investigated Texas’ failure to adequately prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic. Also a Daily Wildcat alum, Carroll got her start covering the border for the Tucson Citizen and Arizona Republic. Ryan Gabrielson, another UA J-school alum and Pulitzer Prize winner, is a ProPublica reporter.

Savannah Guthrie ('93) co-anchored NBC's coverage and analysis of President Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. Saul Loeb ('04), the White House photographer for Agence France-Presse, took photos of the inauguration. 

Jeff Sklar ('04) was named a Pima County Superior Court judge with two others last month. Sklar, a two-time editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, had served since 2018 as a Superior Court judge pro tem. Story

Mary Coleman ('13) became the new breaking news reporter/anchor for KOLD-TV in Tucson. Mary previously worked for another CBS affiliate, KOIN-TV in Salinas, California, as an assistant news director/anchor.

Jennifer Hijazi ('17 M.A.) became a senior air pollution/environmental justice reporter for Bloomberg Law in Washington, D.C., after leaving E&E News.

Cameron Moon ('13) became a producer for Red Bull's athlete media team in Los Angeles after leaving ESPN.

Cara Rene ('99 M.A.) is now director of communications for the City of Vancouver, Washington, after leaving Greater Portland Inc.

Zach Smith ('18), an NFL scouting assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, celebrated with the Lombardi Trophy after the Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 to win the Super Bowl on Feb. 9. Smith worked as a football intern for the Arizona Wildcats and San Diego Chargers while getting his J-school degree.

Danyelle Khmara ('17) of the Arizona Daily Star and AZPM's Lorraine Rivera ('04) discussed why schools stand to lose $500 million while the state touts its $3 billion in savings/surplus and other education topics during the pandemic on the Feb. 5 "Arizona 360" news show.

The Arizona Jewish Post is shutting down after 75 years. Many alums were reporting interns at the Post under Executive Editor Phyllis Braun. “I am sad not only for myself but for the community because I know the paper will be missed,” said Braun, who participated in our internship fairs each semester.

In memoriam
Allison Hock ('75) died Dec. 30 of complications from cancer. Hock, 67, was a respected Hollywood television screenwriter who got her start at the Tucson Citizen as a news and sports reporter after J-school. She recently supported our new scholarship in memory of teacher John G. Carlton, her mentor at Tucson's Catalina High School. “She was also in love with the newspaper business,” said Greg Rose, her ex-husband, in a Jan. 22 obit by the Arizona Daily Star's Henry Brean, "Hock spun TV screenplays from experiences as Tucson crime reporter."

Tony Tselentis, a longtime journalist for the Tucson Citizen and Arizona Daily Star, died Jan. 7 at 95. Tselentis, who studied journalism at UA before the department was created in 1951, joined the Citizen in 1950. A private service was planned. Obit

ESPN's Pedro Gomez died Feb. 7 at 58. He worked for the Arizona Republic, knew a lot of UA School of Journalism alums and was a guest speaker for former adjunct instructor Lorraine Rivera ('04) of Arizona Public Media. Pedro's son, Rio Gomez, a minor league pitcher, played for the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona Republic reporter John D'Anna ('83) wrote a tribute story, "Pedro Gomez, 1962-2021. He made the world smaller, and that made it better," on Feb. 8.

Jan. 15, 2021

Capri Fain and Jane Florance captured first place in the Mark Finley Gold Pen Award best beginning news writing contests for the spring/summer and fall 2020 semesters, respectively. The school ran the contests simultaneously Dec. 2 on Zoom, with 18 JOUR 205 students writing deadline stories after interviewing TUSD board member Kristel Ann Foster about school closures due to COVID-19. Grant Hoover, Sara Davis, Gloria Gomez and Bryan Savic (spring/summer); and Jake Higginson, Noah Cullen and Sebastian Leyva (fall) also earned honors. Prof. Susan Knight organized the event and judged the entries along with Joe Ferguson and Prof. Geoff Ellwand. Instructors Fred Brock, Shannon Conner, Susan Swanberg, Carol Schwalbe and Michael McKisson selected their most promising students to compete. Story

Tanya Ence won the fall 2020 Drew Gyorke Memorial Photojournalism Award for her environmental portrait of a Tucson camera shop owner. Jessica Hunter finished second with a photo of a weightlifter, while Caitlin Claypool took third for her Tucson Rodeo image. The contest featured nine other student finalists from Prof. Kim Newton’s JOUR 203 photography class: Christian Alexander Alvarado, Sabian Bermudez, Brisa W. Blew, Dalila Cardenas, Sammy Cibulka, Megan Ewing, Jane Florance, Quin Madden and Jacob MennutiStory, photos

Dozens of students published work on the school's El Inde website, including: Jesse Tellez, who documents the journey of student filmmaker Alexandra Cerna in producing "Treasures Beneath My Tree" amidst the pandemic; Jillian Bartsch, who writes about a young man's love of hot air ballooning, and how it taught him some important lessons about family and life; Kristopher Yanez, who wrote about an ultramarathon from Nogales, Arizona, to San Xavier del Bac Mission on the Tohono O’odham Reservation; and Vanessa Ontiveros, who wrote about "Monsters, myths and finding the real missing link" while being stuck in her bedroom during the pandemic.

Seven students are apprentices at the Arizona Daily Star during the spring 2021 semester: Yasmin Acosta, Jamie Donnelly, Sebastian Janik, Mandy Loader, Clara Migoya, Anika Pasilis and Lauren Salgado.

Samantha Bishop defended her master's project, “Heroines: Stories of Tucson Female Entrepreneurs,” in a Dec. 3 Zoom session with her adviser, Prof. Jessica Retis, and others. You can see the project at

Nick Smallwood defended his master's project, "Saving the Last of the Mount Graham Red Squirrels," in a Dec. 4 Zoom session with Prof. Kim Newton (adviser) and others. Smallwood captured rare footage of the squirrel for his video, which will be posted later.

Anna Mae Ludlum defended her master's project, "Standing in the Gap: The Cultural Barrier for Evangelicals Inside Academia and the Church," in a Dec. 9 Zoom session with Prof. Jeannine Relly and others.

Sunday Holland, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published more stories, including, "Tucson musicians give thanks for outdoor concert opportunities" on Nov. 27; "Tucson musician leads effort to help Georgia Senate runoff" on Dec. 14; and "Go local safely for last-minute holiday gifts" on Dec. 18. 

Madison Beal (JOUR 506) published two stories in JOUR 506, "Rapid migrant expulsions strain Mexican border community," in the Tucson Sentinel on Dec. 15; and "Capacity Limitations Threaten the Survival of Tucson’s Small Fitness Businesses" in the Arizona Daily Star on Nov. 1.

Katya Mendoza (JOUR 506) published an opinion piece, "New administration must fix access to higher ed," in the Arizona Daily Star on Dec. 15 and published a story in the Tucson Weekly, "Democratic Party Organizers and UArizona Affiliates Are Pushing Student Voter Turnout in Tomorrow's Election," on Nov. 2.

Cindy Bujanda (JOUR 506) published a story in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, "Teaching Assistants Reflect on Instruction in a Pandemic," on Nov. 17; and a guest opinion in the Arizona Daily Star, "Port of Entry must do more in fight against COVID," on Dec. 4.

Samantha Scibelli (JOUR 506) published a story in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, "UA graduate student studies the chatty life of covert squirrel," on Dec. 10; and a story in the Green Valley News, "Scientists: Too many satellites will hurt research" on Dec. 10.

Conor Villines, a grad student in Prof. Susan Knight's JOUR 511 feature writing class, published a story in the Sierra Sun, "Ski instructing pivots for COVID" on Dec. 4. The Sierra Sun, in Northern California, serves Truckee, Tahoe City, Kings Beach and Incline Village.

Saul Loeb ('04) took iconic images inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 siege — including a man sitting at Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk. Loeb covers the White House for Agence France-Presse. He also captured a photo of Vice President Mike Pence confirming President-elect Joe Biden's victory early the next day. Rolling Stone, The Guardian and other news outlets interviewed Loeb (See story and photos). “They were streaming in from every direction, coming from everywhere,” said Loeb, who plans to talk to Prof. Susan Knight's "Inside the Beltway" class later in January.

Genesis Lara ('18) of the Nogales International was named Community Journalist of the Year by the Arizona Press Club for her 2019 work, including this border story. Earlier, she earned the same honor from the Arizona Newspapers Association.

Led by Editor Jill Jorden Spitz ('88), the Arizona Daily Star devoted most of the Jan. 8 front page to honor the victims of the Jan. 8, 2011, Tucson mass shooting on the 10-year anniversary. The coverage included a column by Sarah Garrecht Gassen ('95, '10 M.A.), "We mark Jan. 8 with resiliency, kindness" and other stories, including one on the new memorial downtown.

Nickella Battle ('18) is the new 6 p.m. producer at KOLD-TV 13 News ( after earlier work as a news writer at Miami's WSVN-TV 7.

Katelyn Caldwell ('20 M.A.) accepted a job as an area manager for Amazon in Goodyear, Arizona.

Joshua Morales ('16) is a digital content producer for Tucson's KOLD-TV. Follow his professional Facebook page.

Robby Leaño ('19) will be the new host of the "Locked on Coyotes" daily podcast when the 2021 National Hockey League season is expected to start in mid-January. Leaño, a staff writer and podcast manager for SB Nation, says he'll be producing five episodes a week, "talking all things Arizona Coyotes."

Daniel Sullivan ('08) has been chosen as director of Pima County’s Department of Community & Workforce Development (story).

Ary Hermawan ('16 M.A.) is deputy director at Amnesty International Indonesia. He co-wrote a recent article, "Indonesia’s Shrinking Civic Space for Protests and Digital Activism" for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Hannah Gaber ('16 M.A.), a video journalist at USA Today, screened her 2016 master's project, "A Young Nation: The Future of Oman Through the Eyes of Its Youth," on Dec. 1 in a virtual event hosted by the UA's Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Nov. 30, 2020

Grad student Sebastian Janik published a story in the Arizona Daily Star, "While waiting on a pandemic to pass, Wildcats' club hockey team tries to find a new routine," on the front page of the Nov. 26 sports section. His article originated in Prof. Susan Knight's features class (JOUR 411/511) — the assignment was to write about someone or something that had to pivot because of the pandemic — and he worked with Knight on honing it for publication.

Grad student Clara Migoya and the rest of the school's NAHJ chapter helped Prof. Jessica Retis host Juan González of "Democracy Now!" in a Nov. 18 virtual talk about racial narratives in the U.S. media.

Grad student Madison Beal, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published an Oct. 31 story, "Capacity limitations threaten the survival of Tucson's small fitness businesses." 

Tommie Lorene, a photo apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, saw her image from a health clinic grace the top of the Oct. 26 front page.

Sunday Holland, a features apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published more arts-related stories: "Tucson musicians give thanks for outdoor concert opportunities" (Nov. 26); "Following his gut helped this Tucsonan work his way up the ranks at Atlantic Records" (Nov. 14); "Ballet Tucson brings spirit of Nutcracker to holiday pop-up performances" (Nov. 10); "Living monuments exhibit showcases Tucson Heroes in larger-than-life fashion" (Nov. 7); "Tucson glass art giant Philabaum sells gallery, finally ready to retire" (Oct. 11); and "University of Arizona choirs get creative to make music during COVID-19 pandemic" (Oct. 11).

Anika Pasilis, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, saw her story on Marana's town manager run on the Oct. 22 Tucson & Region front page. She also published "Marana will convert annual holiday festival into drive-thru event" on Oct. 9.

Rebecca Thompson, a Ph.D. student and journalism minor, published two health stories in the last month through independent study with Prof. Susan E. Swanberg. Thompson's story, "Former UA athletic director Ced Dempsey, 88, still fighting as he faces latest health challenge," appeared in the Arizona Daily Star and Bleacher Report. And her story on Augustana College basketball coach Grey Giovanine, "Winning the game of his life," appeared in Cancer Wellness.

A.J. Camacho and Austin Wales, student managers for Arizona softball, received a shoutout from the team on Nov. 18 for going "way above and beyond every day to keep us safe and healthy as possible."

Students have been working on Season 2 of the Arizona Daily Wildcat's podcast, "Behind The Beaker." Episodes so far have focused on COVID-19 immunity, asteroids and monitoring the coronavirus by looking at poop.

Nina Kolodij ('20 M.A.) published an article in the Fall 2020 issue of Your American West, a newsletter published by the Western National Parks Association. “Mahogany on the Decline” (pp. 5-7) describes research about the decline in curl-leaf mountain mahogany trees in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Wyoming.

Victoria Yarnish ('06) saw her iPhone photos of a co-worker wearing a bandanna mask inspire the Nov. 2 cover artwork for Time magazine — the first time it replaced its logo with another word: VOTE.  "It's important to showcase someone having a vision of hope," Yarnish said. Read a story by the Arizona Daily Star's Johanna Willett ('13) on Yarnish, an executive with Obey Giant Art Inc. in Los Angeles.

El Paso Times journalist Briana Sanchez ('15) was featured in a publisher's note to readers for her photo of an attendant straining to wheel a coronavirus victim to a mobile morgue. “As much as it broke my heart to see bodies being moved into the mobile morgues, I also knew it was equally important to accurately depict what was happening in hopes it’ll cause change,” she said.

Yael Adler ('11) published a memoir, “From Gypsy to Jersey,” about her adoption from Romania after the fall of communism — and how, nearly 30 years later, she unraveled the mysteries of her past. Also an Arizona Daily Wildcat alumna, Adler (left) is now the director of marketing for Sage Thrive, a company that provides mental health support to New Jersey school districts. Read a profile of Adler in the Jewish Standard.

Emmalee Mauldin ('19) left her social media job at NASA to be a communications specialist for Made in Space/Redwire, a private 3-D printing aerospace company in Jacksonville, Florida.

Tyler Smith ('08) opened up one of the state's first African American-owned breweries, Kitsune, in Phoenix. Read the Arizona Republic story by Tirion Morris ('18).

Jon Rice ('20) is a reporter for Herald/Review Media in Sierra Vista, focusing on Benson and Willcox. Read his work at

Jenn Karlman ('04) lives in Germany after leaving her Fox San Diego anchor post a year ago. She reported on a mask protest in Rome (, saying, “Once a journalist ... always a journalist."

Christian Richardson ('01) is a senior marketing manager of web strategy at Insight Enterprises in Tempe ( "I've been able to apply the skills and knowledge of a journalist to storytelling and presenting information for the marketing world," he says.

Savannah Guthrie ('93), co-host of NBC's "Today" show, was featured in a New York Times profile, "Savannah Guthrie Is Feeling Lucky." Guthrie is a member of the school's Hall of Fame. 

Sarah Kezele ('11) interviewed Arizona basketball legend Bob Elliott, emcee for the university's Nov. 12-14 virtual Homecoming for the "Wildcat Wonder" show.

Hank Stephenson co-wrote “Arizona Settles In to Life as a ‘Magenta’ State” and contributed to the report “In Key States, Republicans Were Critical in Resisting Trump’s Election Narrative” for the New York Times. 

Alexa Wallen ('18), executive booking producer at NBC News, helped organize the guests for anchor Lester Holt's election report from Nevada.

Brittny Mejia ('14) of the Los Angeles Times traveled to Florida for a pre-election story — "and found a Latino population a world away from the one I’m used to in California: The fiction of the ‘typical’ Latino voter in Florida," she said. "You can't paint them with one brush."

Andi Berlin ('09) and the Arizona Daily Star participated in the New York Times' nationwide project, "Out of Work in America." Andi and photographer Mamta Popat followed Oscar Saenz, former sommelier at Elvira's restaurant, which has closed because of the pandemic. Read the entire NYT project at

Arizona Daily Star reporter Jasmine Demers ('19 M.A.) published a freelance story on the UA Tree Ring Lab in American Archaeology magazine. You can also see part of it online at or on Facebook. Demers, photographer Rebecca Sasnett ('15) and reporter Justin Sayers ('19 M.A.) covered President's Trump pre-election rally for the Star at a hangar near the Tucson airport.

Alex McIntyre ('17) saw his photo of a memorial service published Oct. 22 in The New York Times. McIntyre is a photographer for the Greeley (Colorado) Tribune. The image is from an April funeral for an employee who died of COVID-19 after an outbreak at the meat processing plant in Greeley.

Jack Cooper ('20) started Nov. 9 as the new morning newscast producer for WBNG-TV, the CBS affiliate in Binghamton, New York (

Ireland Stevenson ('20) accepted a job as a community enterprise reporter for the Tucson Sentinel (

Kimberly Kolliner ('15), a weather forecaster and news reporter for two years in Fresno, California, re-upped her contract to stay with FOX26 & CW59 ( 

In memoriam
Ash Friederich ('07) died Oct. 31 from COVID-19. Friederich, 40, was an English teacher and assistant coach at Tolleson High School in Phoenix after work as a sports reporter for the Tucson Citizen, Arizona Daily Star and Arizona Republic. Obit. CNN featured Friederich on its Remembering the Lives Lost to Coronavirus segment, while the Arizona Daily Star wrote about his career at From the CNN broadcast: “Ash Friederich was a beloved English teacher, yearbook adviser and baseball coach in Phoenix. He also wrote high school sports news and feature stories for several Arizona papers. His mother said he had the ability to give others the feeling that anything was possible. Friederich was 40 years old.” He married LeAnne (Christensen) Friederich in March 2019.

Oct. 20, 2020

Priya Jandu, news editor for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, and photographer Lauren Salgado contributed to an Oct. 15 New York Times report by student journalists, "Reporting Live From Quarantine U," on what's happening on their college campuses during the pandemic.

Clara Migoya, a graduate student, published a story in High Country News on a family's ties to the mining ghost town of Harshaw, Arizona, "Once a boom town, now a ghost town. Always a hometown." First reported for Prof. Ruxandra Guidi's El Inde class in Patagonia last semester, Migoya rewrote the story with editing help from Guidi. Migoya, a dual M.A. student in journalism and Latin American Studies, "worked super hard on this one!" Guidi said.

Sunday Holland, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, wrote the A1 centerpiece on Oct. 12, "UA Pride of Arizona marches on thanks in part to special masks," with photos from J-school alumna Rebecca Sasnett. It was Holland's first front-page story.

Ciara Jean, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, wrote the cover story in the Oct. 15 Caliente, "Tucson Halloween events get the COVID-19 treatment, keeping the spook alive." See her other stories on MOCA art exhibits.

Tommie Lorene, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, had three photos published in the Sept. 23 sports section, including two on the front, from a candlelight vigil for a high school football assistant coach. Lorene is an accelerated master's student.

Mandy Loader, a graduate student and apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published a story Oct. 14, "Future of Rancho Vistoso golf course in limbo after development plans pulled," which ran on the front page of the Tucson & Region section. She also had the lead off-play on the Tucson & Region section front on Sept. 23 with the story, "In third try, Oro Valley looking to annex Westward Look Resort."

Clara Migoya, a graduate student and apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star and La Estrella, published a story Oct. 14, "Even during pandemic, Tucson nonprofit advocates educational opportunities for undocumented students," on B2 of the Tucson & Region section.

Pascal Albright, Mandy Loader and Sohi Kang of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists participated in the James W. Foley Freedom Run and held a Zoom session with Prof. Willliam Schmidt on Oct. 19 to honor Foley, a journalist murdered by ISIS in 2014 while reporting in Syria. Watch the session. 

The J-school's National Association of Hispanic Journalists chapter launched a new Facebook page and met Oct. 15 in a Zoom session. "Please, take a look and like/follow them," Prof. Jessica Retis said. "COVID-19 made it challenging to keep up the chapter activities, but students are back and already organizing interesting events." NAHJ Board members are: Clara Migoya (president) and Ana Teresa Espinoza (vice president), Diana Ramos (activity manager), Miguel Grageda (treasurer), Rosa Garcia (social media manager), and Cristina Felix (secretary).

Students Randy Higginson and Ireland Stevenson ('20), now seeking a M.A. in Public Administration from UA, talked to KOLD-TV's Bud Foster before the Sept. 29 presidential debate. Watch their interviews.

Nogales International reporter Genesis Lara ('18) was named the non-daily Journalist of the Year by the Arizona Newspapers Association. Individually, UA journalism alums took home nine first-place awards and 36 total awards in the ANA's 2020 Better Newspapers Contest. Lara placed first in feature reporting, shared a second place in best sustained coverage and a third place in feature photography. Payson Roundup Editor-in-Chief Alexis Bechman ('08) captured three first-place awards. Mike Christy ('11), Dave Ord ('84), Curt Prendergast ('11 M.A.), and Caitlin Schmidt ('14) took home first-place awards for the Arizona Daily Star, while Star colleagues Justin Sayers ('14 B.A., '19 M.A.) and Jasmine Demers ('19 M.A.) shared a first place. Meanwhile, the Casa Grande Dispatch — under sibling co-publishers and J-school grads Donovan Kramer Jr. ('76) and Kara K. Cooper ('79) — was named the non-daily Newspaper of the Year by the ANA, while the Arizona Daily Star was named the daily Newspaper of the Year, thanks to 10 UA J-school alums who were honored. Read the full story and see a list of all the recipients.

J-school grads Caitlin Schmidt (Arizona Daily Star, sports investigative), Genesis Lara (Nogales International, immigration) and Andi Berlin (Star, food) and M.A. alum Paul Ingram (Tucson Sentinel, investigative) all won first-place reporting awards in the Arizona Press Club contest for work produced in 2019. In other categories, Lara also took second (gov't reporting) and two third places (business and food); alum Mark Lawson (Star) placed second and Schmidt third in sports features; and Mariana Dale (KJZZ) took third in public service. Congrats to all! See the list at (more awards will be posted later).

Recent M.A. alums Kendal Blust, Jenny Hijazi, Hannah Gaber and Justin Sayers shared tips Oct. 2 with current grad students in a Talk & Tizers virtual session,  "Best Practices Panel: Storytelling During a Pandemic. "Blust, a senior field correspondent for the KJZZ Fronteras Desk in Hermosillo, Sonora, talked about how to do effective audio recording and editing remotely. Hijazi, a reporter covering climate law for E&E News, spoke about how to report on the courts, energy industry and environmental issues from home. Gaber, a video producer with USA Today, joined the Zoom session after covering President Trump's move to Walter Reed Hospital and talked about shooting video and covering street protests safely. Sayers, an Arizona Daily Star government reporter focusing on Pima County, spoke about the importance of local news coverage during a pandemic.

Jordan Williams ('19) started a new job as a breaking news reporter for The Hill in Washington, D.C. She worked the past year as a drug industry reporter for FDAnews.

Recent alumna Carmen Valencia is now at Tucson's KOLD-TV, where she interned as a J-school student. She left Yuma's KYMA-TV after doing award-winning reporting for the station.

Savannah Guthrie ('93) of NBC News earned praise from many news outlets for her interviewing skills in a town hall with President Trump on Oct. 15 in Miami. In an analysis, New York Times White House correspondent Annie Karni said Guthrie got "answers from Trump by setting a fast pace and following up" as a moderator. Jeremy Barr of the Washington Post said she "grilled Trump like few others have." "Guthrie faced both praise and opprobrium on social media, where conservative critics lobbed insults at her and many Democrats praised her," Barr wrote. See more reactions

Joe Garcia ('85) wrote a tribute column about his mother, Virginia — "At 87, all my mom wanted was to vote in this election" — that was picked up by USA Today and the Arizona Republic. Garcia is director of public policy at Chicanos Por La Causa and executive director of the CPLC Action Fund in Phoenix.

John D'Anna ('83), an Arizona Republic senior reporter, published an in-depth story, "Confronting Prescott's racial divide," on Oct. 11.

Bethany Barnes ('13 M.A.), a Tampa Bay Times reporter, followed her armored-truck investigation with: "Big banks entrusted money to GardaWorld."

Sept. 21, 2020

Grad student Laura Fuchs' story, "Tucson's Ubiquitous Shopping Cart," placed third in the features category of the national AEJMC Student Magazine Contest. Judge Molly Simms, senior editor for O the Oprah Magazine, said: "This made me care about something I hadn't previously considered (the history of shopping carts and what role they play in a city)—I was impressed by the approach and the detail. Nice reporting!" Congrats, Laura, and her adviser, Prof. William Schmidt. See the winning entries at

The J-school welcomed new graduate students Aug. 21 in a Zoom orientation, including Randa Abdu, Madison Lee Beal, Julia Blumberg, Emily Ellis, Emily Fuchs, Tommie Huffman, Bennito Kelty, Julie Luchetta, Katya Mendoza, Giancarlo Narvarte and Bryan Savic. Returning students Denise Meeks and John Perugini (Ph.D. minor) also attended. Huffman and Savic are part of the Accelerated Master's Program. They all met faculty, staff and current grad students during the virtual event run by Prof. David Cuillier, director of graduate studies, and grad program coordinator Debbie Cross. Meet them and others at

Editor-In-Chief Sam Burdette and the Arizona Daily Wildcat staff produced their first issue of the fall semester, "Wildcat welcome edition." They continue to publish electronic newsletters and on their website.

Yasmin Acosta wrote a Sunday op-ed column Sept. 6 for the Arizona Daily Star about her long-distance relationship, "We are 5,508 miles apart, but COVID-19 makes the distance greater."

Pascal Albright, managing editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, participated Sept. 18 in NPR’s On Point radio show, "Pandemic Semester: A Conversation with Student Journalists, Leaders." His segment starts at the 30:57 mark.

Grad student Pei-Yu Lin was featured in a Sept. 16 KVOA-TV report, "UArizona program aims to give distressed students a safe place to 'sort it all out.'" She's a volunteer for a new UA program called Wildcats R.I.S.E., where students can connect and talk with peers who are dealing with similar stresses during the pandemic. "My major is journalism, so I usually have to talk to strangers or a person where I don't know their background," Pei-Yu says. "So, I think it's a good chance to learn psychological first aid." To sign up for sessions, go to

Arizona Athletics featured Diana Ramos in a video to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Ramos is a high jumper on the UA track and field team.

Ph.D. minor Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan ('10) received the Robert & Ethel Warner Fellowship from the UA American Indian Studies Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. The award committee praised Jacelle for her community-partnered research project with the local Tohono O’odham Nation. She found out about the award after giving a cultural competency presentation to 175 people from AURA/Kitt Peak Observatory.

Saul Bookman ('17 B.A., '18 M.A.), social and digital media content manager for Fox Sports Arizona, talked to Jacob Mennuti and the Arizona Daily Wildcat sports desk and other students this week about his job and how he uses social media. His Zoom chat was part of Prof. Jeannine Relly's media apprenticeship class.

Journalists with UA J-school ties won at least seven Rocky Mountain Emmys on Sept. 19. Congrats to: Ciara Encinas, Carmen Valencia and Ernesto Romero, Yuma's KYMA-TV; Kassandra Lau and Lorraine Rivera, Arizona Public Media; Sandra Westdahl, Landmark Stories at the University of Arizona; Nicole Crites, KTVK / KPHO Phoenix; Andrew Brown (adjunct instructor), AZPM; and Rebecca Guldberg, Arizona PBS (two awards). See the full list of winners and categories.

Justin Pierce ('20) started as a sports reporter at the Daily News, a Wick Communications newspaper in Wahpeton, North Dakota. The paper introduced Pierce with a story

Genesis Lara ('18) and Rebecca Noble ('17) captured awards in the 2020 Better Newspaper Editorial Contest, which the National Newspaper Association (NNA) runs to honor the best in community journalism. Genesis, a reporter for the Nogales International, took second place in best agricultural story ("Sonoran ranchers carry on tradition of corridas") and shared with the staff a first place in best local news coverage and third place in general excellence. Noble, formerly with the Jackson Hole (Wyoming) News & Guide, won honorable mention for best photo essay ("Citizen's mount up").

Many of our alums who covered or knew Lute Olson posted heartfelt remembrances after the Hall of Fame Arizona basketball coach died Aug. 27 at 85. Stadium journalist Jeff Goodman ('94), formerly with ESPN, wrote "My Ode to Lute." 

Hillary Davis ('06) has moved from the Daily Pilot/L.A. Times to the Las Vegas Sun ( to cover health care and general assignment.

Shahrazad Encinias ('15 M.A.) joined the Central American Studies Department as a lecturer at California State University, Northridge (

James McKnight ('90), a workforce instructor for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, published a new book, "Yellow & Black Fever: Life, Love & Baseball in the Land of the Rising Sun" (

Kendal Blust ('16 M.A.) talked about how Mexico is handling the pandemic Aug. 28 on "Arizona 360" with AZPM's Lorraine Rivera ('04). Kendal is a senior field correspondent for KJZZ Phoenix radio's Frontera Desk in Hermosillo, Sonora. See the episode at

Arizona Daily Star education reporter Danyelle Khmara ('17) talked to "Arizona 360" host Lorraine Rivera ('04) on Sept. 11 about how Tucson schools are dealing with the pandemic (10-minute mark).

NBC sportscaster Dan Hicks ('84) narrated Arizona Athletics' latest community branding campaign, "Together We Bear Down." You can follow Hicks at, where he posted a nice remembrance of the late Lute Olson.

Jay Gonzales ('80) and Steve Rivera have moved their "Eye on the Ball" sports talk show to FOX Sports 1450-AM and the IHeart app from 3 to 4 p.m. weekdays. Their first guest on Sept. 1 was former Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb. They spoke to Arizona Daily Star sports reporter Justin Spears ('17) on Sept. 11.

Austin Counts ('11), managing editor at Tucson Local Media and the Tucson Weekly, wrote an appreciation about his father, Jim Counts, who died Aug. 23 at 62. Jim owned Nimbus Brewing Co. in Tucson until its closing in 2018. Our condolences go out to Austin and the Counts family.

Christy (Delehanty) Mosley ('11) is an internal communications manager with Google in New York City.

Mike Rich ('08) is marketing director for RevolutionParts in Phoenix.

Matt Lechuga ('12), a former Arizona Daily Star sports staffer, is marketing manager at Meridian Consultants in Westlake Village, California.

Charles Jackson ('83) is senior web manager at FUJIFILM Sonosite Inc. in the Seattle area.

Aug. 17, 2020

Summer intern Alana Minkler, John D'Anna ('83), Leah Trinidad ('97) and former adjunct instructor Stephanie Innes were part of a massive team that worked on a July 18 Arizona Republic project, "In one day, Arizona's COVID-19 surge leaves no walk of life unscathed." Read the editor's note by Greg Burton about the story, written by D'Anna with feeds from 40-plus reporters and photographers.

Staffers at the Arizona Daily Wildcat produced a 56-page 2020 New Student "A-Z" Resource Guide, led by Editor-in-Chief Sam Burdette, designer Pascal Albright and other J-school students.

Lizzy O'Connell ('18) was named editor of The Anson Record in Wadesboro, North Carolina. "I begin my journey of running my own weekly newspaper," she said on social media. "Print is not dead and go journalism." After graduation, O'Connell taught English in Bangkok and was a freelance journalist and digital content specialist in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Briana Sanchez ('15), a photojournalist for the El Paso Times, is featured in Poynter's story, "Journalists reflect on Walmart mass shooting" a year ago. "Whenever you have to deal with sensitive stories like this, I think it’s really important that we never lose sight of the fact that our job is to serve the communities we’re reporting to,” says Briana, who teamed up for a few portraits of survivors and those who had lost loved ones in the shooting.

Courtney Rice ('18) and Jeremy Levin ('95 Journalism minor) won Sports Emmy Awards last week. Rice, social content editor for the NFL, was an associate producer on the NFL Network team that captured the outstanding trans-media sports coverage award for the NFL 100 Greatest & All-Time Team. Levin, a coordinating producer at Turner Sports, shared two awards as a producer for TNT's Inside the NBA (outstanding studio show, weekly) and for the NCAA men's basketball tournament (outstanding playoff coverage).

At least nine J-school alums were nominated for Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards: Ciara Encinas, Carmen Valencia and Ernesto Romero (KYMA News 11 Yuma); Nicole Crites and Morgan Loew (KTVK/KPHO Phoenix); Sandra Westdahl (Landmark Stories at the University of Arizona); Lorraine Rivera and Kassandra Lau (Arizona Public Media); and Saul Bookman (FOX Sports Arizona). Adjunct instructor Andrew Brown (AZPM) also was nominated. Winners will be announced Sept. 19. Full list of nominees and categories.

Kendal Blust ('16 M.A.), senior field correspondent for KJZZ Phoenix’s Frontera Desk in Hermosillo, Sonora, did an Aug. 5 COVID-related story and audio report on Sonoyta, "Life On The Line: Pandemic Fuels Social Movement In Sonoran Border Town."

Katherine Carroll ('13) is a producer for ABC's "World News Tonight with David Muir," which set a record by leading all of Nielsen-rated TV in three key measures for the week of July 6. Story

Dorothy Parvaz ('97 M.A.) is an editor at NPR on the Weekend Edition team after previously covering the Trump administration’s foreign policy for NPR. She also worked at Al Jazeera — where she was a senior producer focusing on human rights and conflict reporting — the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and others. Read more about her at

Hank Stephenson freelanced an Aug. 2 story, "How Joe Arpaio's fate in Arizona could be a window into Trump's," for The New York Times. (Arpaio ended up losing the Maricopa County sheriff's primary). Stephenson is editor of the Yellow Sheet Report and a former reporter at the Arizona Daily Star, Arizona Capitol Times and Tucson Weekly.

Joe Garcia ('85), director of public policy for Chicanos Por La Causa in Phoenix, was quoted in a July 29 Washington Post story, "Latinos transformed Arizona. Do campaigns see them?" “Maricopa County is the key to winning Arizona, and Arizona may be the key to who wins the election in November," says Garcia, a former editor and columnist at the Arizona Republic and Tucson Citizen.

Madison Brodsky ('17), senior booking producer and host at Crave News, interviewed actor Liam Neeson and his son about their newest film, "Made In Italy." See an excerpt of the interview and Madison's full story for ET Canada.

Sarah Kezele ('11) is hosting a new interview series, "Wildcat Wonder: Conversations with Arizona Alumni." In a July 28 live segment, she talked to WireBuzz CEO Todd Hartley, a digital adviser for celebrities, leaders and businesses. See more of her conversations with former UA softball player Leslie Wolfe Brown and NYC chancellor of schools Richard Carranza at Kudos to Sarah, who says she's "honored to talk with these incredible people and share their stories" for the series, a partnership between the Alumni Association and university.

The Arizona Daily Star ran an AP story July 28 by Sam McNeil ('14 M.A.), "Consulate closures mark strain of relations between US, China." McNeil, based in Beijing, started working for The Associated Press in 2015 as a video journalist in Amman, Jordan.

Several of our alums at the Los Angeles Times were part of a July 21 story, "Latino journalists at the L.A. Times pen open letter for better newsroom representation." Frank O. Sotomayor ('66), a retired Times assistant city editor who chairs our Journalism Advisory Council, said: "Substantive change does not happen easily or magically. These L.A. Times Latinos decided it was time to take a stand."

Zach Clark ('12), an anchor for WWJ Newsradio 950 in Madison Heights, Michigan, covered a recent high school graduation for his site and joked on Twitter: "OMG. Nobody tell my @UAJSchool professors - but it looks like I just might be an MMJ. Wild."

In memoriam
Retired AP correspondent Art Rotstein, a Northwestern M.A. grad who knew many UA journalism alums, died July 20 from COVID-19 after being hospitalized in Tucson for 10 days. He was 74. Read his obit by AP. Rotstein worked in the Tucson bureau of The Associated Press for three decades inside the old Tucson Citizen newsroom. He covered everything from immigration to UA basketball. “If you want to find a model of a quintessential AP reporter or human, it was Art,” retired J-school Prof. Mort Rosenblum said.

July 13, 2020

Sam Burdette and others at the Arizona Daily Wildcat and J-school were featured in a UANews story, "Pandemic provides unique learning experience for journalism students." Profs. Michael McKisson and Ruxandra Guidi, adjunct Brett Fera, Burdette and recent grad Aiya Cancio are among those quoted by UA Communications reporter Kyle Mittan ('14).

Alana Minkler, a breaking news intern at the Arizona Republic, saw her social media reports on the police shooting of James Garcia in Phoenix featured in the Washington Post ( and New York Times ( She shared a byline in the Republic at Follow her at

Sam Burdette, editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, is interning for Tucson Local Media this summer. Read her June 29 story, "High school students helping Tucson one stitch at a time," and other stories at

Allie Skaggs, an incoming freshman UA softball player, is majoring in journalism. The shortstop was the 2019 Gatorade Kentucky Softball Player of the Year before transferring to Tucson's Ironwood Ridge High School for her senior year. 

Vianney Cardenas ('20) accepted a job as a producer at Tucson's KVOA-TV, where she also was an intern.

Ty Hudson ('19 M.A.) wrote a bittersweet column for the Arizona Daily Star, where he previously interned and worked, "A Navajo at the crossroads during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Kristan Obeng ('19 M.A.), a reporter for the Lansing State Journal, wrote a powerful op-ed for the Michigan newspaper on June 18, "What I noticed while working as a Black reporter in Lansing before George Floyd died." "I never write op-eds because I prefer to be behind the scenes," Kristan says, but Zeina Cabrera-Peterson ('18 M.A.), Prof. Jeannine Relly and Obeng's mom, Rosa Johnson, "convinced me I should."

Hannah Gaber ('16 M.A.), a video producer at USA Today, put together a series of poignant interviews in the July 10 report, "Coronavirus Chronicles: COVID survivors suffer weeks after virus clears."

The New York Times ran two photos by freelancer Rebecca Noble ('17) with its website story, "Tucson Police in Turmoil After Death of Latino Man in Custody." Jasmine Demers ('19 M.A.) wrote the Arizona Daily Star story.

Tobey Schmidt ('18) is a photographer and digital content strategist at Herrmann Global. With a colleague, she made a travel video of Apache Junction while working remotely from Tucson. Schmidt moved last week to Lander, Wyoming, the headquarters for Herrmann.

Savannah Guthrie ('93), co-anchor of NBC's "Today," saw her program win best morning show at the 2020 Daytime Emmys.

Alex Flanagan ('93), a J-school minor and Media Arts major, moderated a Virtual Wildcat Chat on June 21 with UA coaches and athletic director Dave Heeke. Flanagan, a sports anchor and reporter, worked for the NFL Network, NBC Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports and other outlets. See her bio at

Dan Hicks ('84), golf announcer for NBC Sports, gave an interview — "Back in the mix: Hicks 'thrilled' to have U.S. Open on NBC again"— to Arizona Daily Star sports reporter Michael Lev, who's married to Sarah Tully Lev ('94). Hicks got his start in announcing as a J-student when former UA deputy athletic director Rocky LaRose hired him as the women's basketball public-address announcer. 

June 15, 2020

Students in one of Ruxandra Guidi's Arizona Sonora News classes contributed to a special edition of the Patagonia Regional Times with 16 stories. Sasha Hartzell, Rocky Baier, Alexandra Pere, Clara Migoya, Nagisa Tsukada, Ashley Fredde, Briannon Wilfong, Aiya Cancio, Seth Markowski, Conor Villines, Ray Diaz, Vianney Cardenas, Pei-Yu Lin and Devyn Edelstein worked under Guidi, who oversaw the project with help from former adjunct instructor Tom Beal.

Alana Minkler is covering breaking news for the Arizona Republic as a summer intern. Read her stories at

Anika Pasilis is quoted in a New York Times obit of her grandmother, Sally Rowley, who died from COVID-19. In case you missed it, Anika also wrote an opinion piece for the Arizona Daily Star at

Diana Ramos, a high jumper for the Arizona track and field team, made the Pac-12 Conference’s Spring Academic Honor Roll. She also volunteered at the campus pantry in May.

Elizabeth Humston ('20) started a job as a producer at KREM-TV in Spokane, Washington, on June 1. She interned at KVOA-TV in Tucson, produced the school's Arizona Cat's Eye news show last fall and was a UATV3 reporter.

Arizona Daily Star reporter Shaq Davis ('18) and J-school student Ella McCarville of the Arizona Daily Wildcat covered the Black Lives Matter rally on campus. Read Davis' story here. McCarville's is at

Other alums covered the aftermath of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. In Sacramento, Sam Stanton of the Sacramento Bee was tear-gassed twice, then knocked down by two men who stole his colleague's camera. Ciara Encinas of KGUN-TV saw her photo colleague pushed down, and recent grads Jasmine Demers, Caitlin Schmidt, Eddie Celaya and Justin Spears joined other Arizona Daily Star staffers covering the protests downtown with poise.

Janelle Ash ('20) started as a production assistant at TMZ in Los Angeles. Ash interned at the Arizona Daily Star, the OC Weekly and Hollywire, and worked for the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Mac Colson ('16) and Kylie Warren ('17) helped KVOA-TV produce live news shows on the wildfires in the Catalina Mountains. Colson is executive producer at KVOA and Warren is a producer.

Maritza Cruz ('18) is pursuing her M.F.A. in Film & TV Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. "I’m thrilled to start this journey at a school where so many greats have roamed the halls like George Lucas, Rian Johnson, John Singleton, and Kevin Feige to name a few," she said. Maritza, a 2018 Chips Quinn Scholar, was a media specialist at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, and she interned at the San Jose Mercury News and Arizona Daily Star.

Simon Asher ('18) was featured on the Arizona Athletics website with his "Behind the photo" segment on gymnast Courtney Cowles. "She had such confidence that I felt a subconscious need to capture the exact crescendo of her routine on beam," Simon explains. "The look on her face says it all­: bold determination, a nonchalant strength that comes with the tenure as a gymnast."

Jessica Suriano ('19 M.A., '18 B.A.), an editorial intern at The Nation in New York, wrote on May 19 about whether state child welfare systems will keep older youths in their care during the pandemic.

Arizona Republic reporter John D'Anna ('83) published a story on the Navajo Nation's fight against the coronavirus. John is a member of our Journalism Advisory Council.

Crystal Bedoya ('15) started a YouTube channel to talk about her journey with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). After graduation, Bedoya worked as a digital content producer at television stations in Yuma and Denver.

A remembrance for Geraldine "Jeri" Sullivan-Carlile, a 1990 J-school grad, was held June 6 at a small park in downtown Tucson. Sullivan-Carlile 76, died Feb. 14. She received her J-degree after working as a journalist at the Tucson Citizen and starting a family. Her children — Tim, Jim and Lorrie — hosted the gathering.

May 18, 2020

Vanessa Ontiveros, Rocky Baier, Tommie Huffman and Dominika Heusinkveld captured top honors May 13 at the school's 54th Just Desserts student awards celebration. Read the school's website story, watch the Facebook Live video and read the program to see all the awardees and scholarship winners. Ontiveros received the Philip Mangelsdorf Award for Outstanding Newsperson of the Year. Baier captured the Sherman R. Miller 3rd Award for Outstanding Senior. Huffman received the Brewster P. Campbell Award for Outstanding Junior. Heusinkveld was named the Outstanding Graduate Student. Bethany Barnes ('13 M.A.) gave closing thoughts on why journalism matters.

Broadcast students produced three Arizona Cat's Eye shows during the spring semester despite the pandemic. The "work-from-home" television edition featured anchors Renee Torres-Cook and Alyssa Grabinski and was executive-produced by James Parisi. For the first time, students also produced a news radio show with anchor Harrison Moreno and a sports radio show with anchor Damon Fairall. Other students contributing to the shows included Felizardo Camacho, Bivian Contreras, Michelle Trujillo and Rachel Waller.

Marison Bilagody captured the spring 2020 Drew Gyorke Memorial Photojournalism Award for his image of the Rialto marquee, while Madison McCormick took second (tattoo shop) and Mackenzie Payton third (calf roping). The contest featured nine other finalists from Prof. Kim Newton’s JOUR 203 photography class: Lizette Arias, Paige Balota, Olivia Bryan, Hannah Cree, Brody Dryden, Sara Richards, Rina Saito, Cody Sinks and Parker Winn. Story

Sasha Hartzell received a scholarship from the Arizona Press Club. ASU students won the other four scholarships. The contest required students to submit their career plans and three published clips.

Anika Pasilis published an emotional column in the Sunday, May 17, Arizona Daily Star about her grandmother, Sally Rowley, who died from the coronavirus. "My grandmother deserved better than 'goodbye' through a window."

Rocky Baier and Sarah Kezele ('11) played a part in the May 15 digital broadcast of the university's 156th commencement. Baier's campus a cappella group, Amplified, performed "Saturn," which helped them place first at the international collegiate quarterfinals earlier this year. Kezele was the commencement emcee. She also co-emceed the J-school's inaugural Hall of Fame event in 2018.

Alisa Ivanitskaya defended her master's project, "Food and the Desert: Fighting food insecurity in Arizona," via Zoom on May 1. Her committee members were Profs. Kim Newton (chair) and Maggy Zanger. See the project at

Katelyn Caldwell defended her master's thesis, "Reporting on mass shootings: An analysis of journalists’ perceptions of mass shooting coverage and the impact it has on their professional work and personal lives," via Zoom on May 1. Her committee members were Profs. Jeannine Relly (chair), Celeste González de Bustamante and Carol Schwalbe. Her thesis will be available later at

Meredith O'Neil defended her master's project, "A Handful of Spice: A podcast that looks at belonging and nostalgia through food," via Zoom on May 4. Her committee members were Ruxandra Guidi (chair) and Michael McKisson. View and listen to her project at

Dominika Heusinkveld defended her master's project, “Flying Car: Why personal flying vehicles never took off,” via Zoom on May 6. Her adviser was Prof. Carol Schwalbe. Heusinkveld is turning the project into a book.

Tony Perkins defended his master's thesis, “Critical Choice: Newspaper Framing of China’s High-Speed Rail Coverage 2004-2019,” via Zoom on May 5. Profs. Carol Schwalbe (chair), Jeannine Relly and Maggy Zanger were his committee members. His thesis will be available later at

Nina Kolodij defended her master's project, “Speaking Science-ese: Understanding the Science of Science Communication,” via Zoom on May 6. Her adviser was Prof. Susan E. Swanberg. See the project's website at

Matt Brockman defended his master's thesis, “Leveraging Predictive Power to Estimate Intermedia Agenda Setting," via Zoom on May 7. His committee members were Profs. Jeannine Relly (chair), David Cuillier and Chris Vargo. His thesis, which includes info on predicting news coverage, search trends and the president’s tweets, will be available later at

Justin Wylie defended his master's project, "Just a Kid & a Ball," May 8 via Zoom. Prof. Ruxandra Guidi advised his podcasts, which explore the challenges African-American student-athletes face. Listen at Wylie, a former UA baseball player, has signed on to play professionally for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in North Dakota.

Sascha Fruehauf defended her master's project, "In the Face of Globalization: Exploring Taiwan's Cram Schools and Endangered Indigenous Languages," on May 13 via Zoom. Profs. Celeste González de Bustamante and Rogelio Garcia were her advisers.

Maury Urcadez had her first radio feature May 1 on Arizona Public Media's “The Buzz” at (20:05 mark). Maury, who was in Prof. Ruxandra Guidi's capstone audio class, talked about quarantining with her mom, who runs a day care service out of their house.

Vianney Cardenas published her final story as an apprentice reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, "Social media sites a good place to find puppies, cars and smuggling gigs." The story ran at the top of the Tucson & Region section in the Sunday, May 10, edition.

Alex Eschelman ('19) started this month as a sports reporter for ABC Fox Montana in Bozeman. See her "Get to know me" video at After graduation, Eschelman was a full-time content intern at Pac-12 Networks in San Francisco. As a J-school broadcast student, she interned at Fox Sports Arizona, KOLD-TV in Tucson and KRCA-TV in Sacramento and worked for UATV-3 and Arizona Athletics. 

Ciara Encinas ('18) started a new job as a multimedia journalist at KGUN-TV in Tucson after two years at KYMA-TV in Yuma. See her report from Tombstone at

Kyle Johnson ('14) received his MBA from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Kyle, a former Arizona Daily Star copy editor and Daily Wildcat sports reporter/editor, did internships with the Los Angeles Angels and PolyOne during his MBA program after working for the Avis Budget Group in Phoenix ( 

April 27, 2020

Laura Fuchs, a graduate student, won a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence regional award in general news reporting for a story on "Tucson’s ubiquitous shopping cart.” National winners will be announced soon. Arizona Sonora News/El Inde published the story, which originated in Prof. William Schmidt's features class from an assignment to write about an ordinary object and bring it to life.

Border reporting students  produced two "Against the Wall" podcast episodes in Prof. Celeste González de Bustamante's class for The students were Meredith O'Neil, Claude Akins, Rocky Baier, Reed Battles, Makenzie Carolan, Sascha Fruehauf, Audry Herran, Aimee Rodríguez, David Thalenberg, Briannon Wilfong, Ashley Fredde, Vianney Cárdenas, Rosa Garcia, Kathleen Giles, Jillian Hanlin, and Michelle Rascón-Canales. Listen to Episode 1: Deterrent and Episode 2: Sanctuary Cities.

The spring 2020 issue of The Blue Guitar magazine, which is a project of the Arizona Consortium for the Arts and co-edited by alums Rebecca Dyer and Richard Dyer, published the personal essays of eight students, including five from Prof. Carol Schwalbe's Travel Writing course and three who had Prof. Susan Swanberg:

  • “A Peaceful Day in Panama” by Mackenzie Payton
  • “Le Beak: A Journey of Disappointment and of Triumph” by Alana Minkler
  • “Beautiful But Dangerous” by Mingjun Zha
  • “The Hostel Hitch” by Betty Hurd
  • “Lessons from Nicaragua” by Mandy Loader
  • "A Breath of Fresh Air” by Alexandra Pere
  • “The View From My Window” by Pamela Pelletier
  • "Finding Life in the Desert” by Brittany Uhlorn

Vianney Cardenas, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, shared a March 30 front-page byline with Curt Prendergast ('11 M.A.) for the story, "Travel restrictions slamming U.S. retailers along the border." She also wrote an April 20 story on environmental grants for the Arizona-Sonora border region.

Jamie Donnelly, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published a series of vignettes after talking to employees and business owners affected by COVID-19 and the city's new business limitations.

Briannon Wilfong, a features apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, wrote the April 16 cover story in Caliente, "Tucson's female hip-hop artists make the world flow round."

Anika Pasilis published an op-ed column in the April 1 Arizona Daily Star, "I've lost classes, job and internship — but not hope — to coronavirus." "It is hard to feel anything but stressed," writes Anika, whose internship at Arizona Public Media and her retail job were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Adrian Ford published an op-ed in the April 5 Arizona Daily Star, "An uplifting message, amid COVID-19, from and for the Class of 2020."

Noah Cullen published an op-ed column in the April 19 Arizona Daily Star, "Study abroad cut short by COVID-19, but friendships remain." Cullen is a double major in journalism and creative writing.

Vanessa Ontiveros described her experience balancing classes and a pandemic in a March 27 essay for Arizona Public Media. Ontiveros is a student production assistant for AZPM.

Grad students Sascha Fruehauf and Meredith O'Neil showed students at Nogales High School how drone photography can be used in journalism in early March as part of Prof. Celeste González de Bustamante's FronteraBeat mentoring program. Photo

Brittany L. Uhlorn, a doctoral candidate in cancer biology studying science communication, published an op-ed column, "Like COVID-19, fear, anxiety are infectious and here is how I'm fighting back on the importance of mental health" on April 7. Uhlorn published earlier stories for the Star that she wrote in Prof. David Cuillier's reporting class.

Caitlin Schmidt ('14) of the Arizona Daily Star helped launch the school's new Investigative Reporters Club in the reading room March 3. Schmidt, an award-winning investigative reporter, told students to "keep pushing" to uncover stories and data. "It’s terrible when you get a 'no comment,' but you always can get an answer from public records," she said. Prof. David Cuillier, the club's adviser, and student Alana Minkler organized the talk. Photos

Students at the Arizona Daily Wildcat posted the first clip on April 9 from a long Zoom video interview with UA President Robert C. Robbins about when in-person classes might be held at the university.

Francesca Neubauer, a swimmer, and J-school minor Asia Rose Duvernay, a gymnast, made the Pac-12 academic honor roll. Details

Andrew Paxton was named editor of San Pedro Valley News-Sun Media in Benson. "Proud to take over for a newspaper with more than 120 years serving the community, and looking forward to bringing important news to their audience," he said. Andrew will continue his duties as city editor for Herald/Review Media, another Wick Communications outlet in Sierra Vista.

Arizona Daily Star staffers, many of whom are UA J-school alums, learned of furloughs on April 1. Story. Newspapers across the country, including the Arizona Republic, have announced furloughs, pay cuts and layoffs. The Star continues to update its COVID-19 stories and its restaurant database at Star reporters include recent grads Justin Sayers, Jasmine Demers, Danyelle Khmara, Stephanie Casanova, Gloria Knott, Alex Devoid and Shaq Davis as well as grads Caitlin SchmidtCurt Prendergast, Carmen Duarte and other alums.

Sam McNeil ('14 M.A.), an Associated Press video journalist, saw his April 23 story, "Leaving Wuhan: Getting into virus-hit city was the easy part," picked up by major news outlets. McNeil wrote about green codes, biosecurity and DNA tests. More photos

Copy editor Kristina Bui ('13) took a buyout from the Los Angeles Times to work as a campaign lead/organizer for the Media Guild of the West. Follow her on Twitter.

Ryan Gabrielson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who works for ProPublica and a J-school alum, helped organize "Microloans for Journalists" to help reporters and editors who have been laid off, furloughed or taken pay cuts.

Savannah Guthrie ('93), co-anchor of NBC's "Today" show, posted a pep talk to University of Arizona students on Twitter. In March, Guthrie did her broadcasts from home as a precautionary measure because she had a “mild sore throat and runny nose.”

Jamie Maese ('19) started a job as a production assistant at MSNBC in New York City. Maese interned at "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" in 2018 and graduated with a certificate of merit from the J-school. 

Saul Bookman ('18 M.A.) of Fox Sports Arizona and Justin Spears ('17) of the Arizona Daily Star started a new podcast named after their initials, "Total BS." Their April 19 debut show included analysis of ESPN's new documentary series on Michael Jordan.

Taylor Dayton ('17), the morning meteorologist for WDIO-TV in Duluth, Minnesota, converted his basement into a remote studio during the COVID-19 outbreak. His wife and children helped him paint the walls. The basement doubles as his wife's furniture painting shop. "Not sure if and when I will be staying home to do the weather, but I am ready!" he said. Photo

The Los Angeles Times praised reporter Brittny Mejia ('14) on Twitter the week of March 16. Her story, "With masks at the ready, ICE agents make arrests on first day of California coronavirus lockdown," is at Fellow J-school alums Nicole Santa Cruz, Melissa Gerber, Luke MoneyHillary Davis (Daily Pilot) also are doing stories for the L.A. Times.

Lorraine Rivera ('04) of Arizona Public Media, Brandon Mejia ('17) of Yuma's KYMA-TV and Journalism Advisory Council member Valerie Cavazos of KGUN-TV joined others in introducing the April 2 Arizona COVID-19 town hall. The Q&A with Gov. Doug Ducey and other officials aired on 50 TV and radio stations statewide. It was organized by Arizona Broadcasters Association president Chris Kline, also a member of the school's advisory council.

Jeanie Bergen ('07), a television writer in Los Angeles, published an essay, "Don't forget about people with disabilities," on March 25 for

Christian Wlach ('15) is the new producer of KGUN-TV's "Tucson Morning Blend" after earlier work at Madden Media and KVOA-TV.

Dalal Radwan ('19 M.A.), a Fulbright student here, has a full-time job as a journalism instructor for An-Najah National University (ANU) in Nablus, Palestine.

Anthony Gimino ('90) has joined the Pima County Communications office after previous work at, the Tucson Citizen and Arizona Daily Star.

Jamie Verwys ('18) moved to the Green Valley News/Sahuarita Sun ( as a reporter after previous work at the Tucson Weekly and Herald/Review in Sierra Vista.

Zack Rosenblatt ('13), a former Arizona Daily Star sports reporter, switched beats from the Philadelphia Eagles to the New York Giants for

Yoohyun Jung ('15) is a criminal justice reporter at Honolulu Civil Beat ( after work at the Korea Broadcasting System and Arizona Daily Star.

Meryl (Engle) Feld ('16) accepted a job as editor of the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle ( after previous work as a teacher and a program coordinator at NBC Dateline.

Jordan Glenn ('17) joined the Circle All Access team in Nashville ( to help launch a country music and entertainment network after two years at Tucson's KOLD-TV as a marketing and digital producer.

La Monica Everett-Haynes ('01) was named associate vice president and chief communications officer at San Diego State University ( after having the interim title for a year.

Kendra Hall ('15), a public information officer for the City of Tucson, and her colleagues have been busy keeping residents informed about the COVID-19 outbreak. UA J-school alums Mark EvansKate HarrisonAnthony Gimino and Marcia Zamorano are doing the same for the Pima County communications office along with alums Randy Metcalf, Jason Ground and Patrick McNamara.

Bill Walsh ('84), a Washington Post copy editor who died in 2017, was remembered in a March 28 New Yorker essay by Mary Norris. Walsh's widow, Jacqueline Dupree, who accepted his UA Journalism Hall of Fame plaque in 2018, works at the Post and is helping the paper track the novel coronavirus state by state from her home office. Watch Dupree's Hall of Fame speech at (2:07.20 mark).

In memoriam
Robert Crawford ('59), a longtime sports editor at the Phoenix Gazette and an early member of the school's Journalism Advisory Council, died April 9 after battling leukemia. He was 82. Crawford joined many alums in helping save the UA journalism program from closure in the mid-1990s. Crawford, who also worked for the Arizona Diamondbacks, started his career at the Tucson Citizen before moving to the Gazette, where he also was assistant managing editor. He's a member of the Arizona Daily Wildcat Hall of Fame. Read Arizona Republic sports reporter's obit. “He was one of the kindest, most wonderful people in the world,” said Crawford's wife, Jo Anne. A celebration of Crawford's life is expected later, she said.

March 3, 2020

Sasha Hartzell, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, produced the A1 centerpiece story Feb. 11, "Tucson middle-schoolers get crash course in financial literacy." She also published a story Feb. 27 as the metro front, "This 50-year-old Tucson charter school takes alternative approach to educating children."

Alana Minkler, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, published a story on Feb. 13, "From floods to school violence, Marana’s emergency operation plan prepares for it all," and a B1 story on Feb. 15, "County program offers residents $150 vouchers for trading in gas-powered mowers."

Vianney Cardenas, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, published an A1 story on March 3, "Feds: Forest Service worker in Arizona used government truck to pick up migrants."

Briannon Wilfong, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, published a story on Feb. 20 in Caliente, "Groundworks finds a home: youth center one step closer to opening," and a story on March 3, "Get your car show fix at the annual Fords on Fourth event."

Jamie Donnelly, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, published a story on Feb. 27, "These are the most popular items of 6.3M checkouts at the Pima County Public Library in 2019," and on Feb. 21, "Oro Valley agrees to lease-back agreement for Pusch Ridge golf course."

Master's student Alisa Ivanitskaya, a student employee at Arizona Public Media, produced an "Arizona Spotlight" segment in the series "Arizona Addicted" about a local program offering mothers help with opioid addiction.

Master's student Nina Kolodij presented her research on using art to communicate science to the public the February meeting of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWAPACA) in Albuquerque. The project was developed during Nina's fall 2019 independent study with Assistant Professor Susan E. Swanberg, who accompanied Kolodij on the trip to New Mexico.

Students from the school's Society of Professional Journalists and First Generation Students chapters — Pascal Albright, Mandy Loader, Laura Fuchs, Jeffrey Roberts, Bryan Savic and Pei-yu Lin — helped organize the Feb. 26 talk "Going Viral: Covering Coronavirus, Flu and Other Contagious Illness Without Creating Hysteria" at the UA Main Library.

Pascal Albright and Mandy Loader, officers for the school's Society of Professional Journalists chapter, sold journalism buttons to benefit the club before and after the Feb. 23 Journalism on Screen film "Mike Wallace is Here" at The Loft Cinema — including a special Wallace button: "All I'm armed with is research."

Mariana Dale ('14) of the Los Angeles NPR affiliate KPCC and its website, offered audience engagement tips while she builds up her early childhood education beat.

Dalal Radwan ('19 M.A.)a former Fulbright student, has a full-time teaching job as journalism instructor for the An-Najah National University (ANU) in Nablus, Palestine. She's a member of the university's communication and digital media group in Economics and Social Sciences.

Melanie Hunter ('12), a traffic anchor and reporter at KCRA-TV in Sacramento, filled in as a morning news anchor for the first time Feb. 25 (see a snippet at Hunter worked at KVOA-TV in Tucson, another NBC affiliate, before leaving for Sacramento in late 2017.

Madison Brodsky ('17) started a new job in Los Angeles as a senior booking producer and host for Crave News, a digital news startup that promises to have "edgy, entertaining, yet informative" interviews with celebrities, politicians and athletes. Brodsky previously worked at Entertainment Tonight and TMZ.

David Dykes ('73) is the new editor of the Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly and Charleston Business Magazine in South Carolina. He joined other key alums in the mid-1990s to help persuade administrators from eliminating the UA journalism program. Story

In memoriam
Geraldine "Jeri" Sullivan-Carlile ('90) died Feb. 14 at age 76. She worked as a journalist at the Tucson Citizen. Alumna Sheryl Kornman, her friend and a former Citizen reporter, said: "Jeri went from writing about how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey for the women’s section (where I met her) to the business section and later was the communications chief for an electricity co-op in southern Arizona. She lived among the Navajo and Hopi for a time, after leaving the Citizen, with her family while her first husband worked for the federal government as a small animal specialist. She researched her family’s genealogy and compiled hundreds of pages of data. Her father was a Tucson Police officer who directed traffic downtown. She was a self-made success." Jeri, a Tucson High grad who met regularly with some of her former classmates, is survived by her three children — Jim, Tim and Laurie — and her grandchildren. The family plans a memorial in June.

Feb. 10, 2020

Students in the fall 2019 Arizona Sonora class published an El Inde magazine, "Invested Interests." Features include a mixed martial arts athlete fighting depression by Phillip Bramwell, a child of Indian immigrants searching for her identity by Hayat AlQattan, a basketball coach who trains players for college by Mark Lawson, sneaker footwear by Ahmaad Lomax and a stargazing photo spread by Griffin Riley. Other profiles include a house painter by David Skinner, a UA police officer by Johnny Maccaslin, a therapeutic horse center by Taylor Gleeson, an astronomer by Nicole Gleason, a hiking couple by Kacey Seeloff, a bird expert by Kelly Huang, an earring shop owner by Hayden Rae Gambee and a jazz musician by Ella Ford. Alisa Ivanitskaya, Alexandra Pere and Nicholas Trujillo designed the magazine. See more stories at

Priya Jandu, the school's Bolles Fellow who is covering the state Legislature, published her first story Feb. 4 on a bill that would restrict high school, college or university ID cards being used as identification when voting in Arizona.

Sasha Hartzell published her first story as an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, "Initiative seeks to help Tucson Latinos, Native Americans 'Reach the Loop' " on Feb. 7. The story was the centerpiece on the Tucson & Region page (B1).

Briannon Wilfong, an Arizona Daily Star features apprentice, published several stories, including "Club Congress hosts Australian bushfire benefit concert" and "Flagstaff DJ duo making Tucson debut at Gem & Jam."

Jamie Donnelly, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, published a story, Kara Riley, new Oro Valley police chief, hopes for 'continuous improvement' " on Feb. 9.

Vianney Cardenas, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, contributed to a Sunday front-page story by Curt Prendergast ('11 M.A.), "Migrants biding time in Sonora are in scramble for medical care" on Feb. 2. 

Sebastian Janik, a master's student, published a story on a local whiskey distiller in the Jan. 30 Tucson Weekly. He wrote the piece in Prof. David Cuillier's reporting class.

Ahmaad Lomax ('19) is now the full-time social media editor for Arizona Public Media. Lomax had been a part-time assistant at AZPM and a media relations intern for the Tucson Sugar Skulls football team. Follow AZPM at and at

Luke Money ('12), now a Los Angeles Times breaking news reporter, saw his first story appear on A1. He interviewed people in Newport Beach about Kobe Bryant's ties to the community and what his loss meant. Money, a former assistant city editor and reporter at The Daily Pilot, joins fellow J-school grads Brittny Mejia ('14), Nicole Santa Cruz ('09), Marisa Gerber ('11) and Kristina Bui ('13) at the L.A. Times. Hillary Davis ('06), a reporter with The Daily Pilot, helped with Money's story.

Hannah Gaber ('16 M.A.) and John D'Anna ('83) were reunited in the Washington Bureau of USA Today. Gaber is a video producer at USA Today after previous work at the Arizona Republic. D’Anna, a senior reporter with the Republic, was on loan to USA Today to help with impeachment coverage.

April Lanuza ('19 M.A.) is a digital producer at China Global Television Network (CGTN) ( in Washington, D.C.

Jessica Suriano ('19 M.A.) is an editorial intern at The Nation magazine ( in New York City after freelance work for MTV News.

Noelle Haro-Gomez ('15) is a staff photographer for University of Arizona Health Sciences communications after work at the Tri City Herald in Kennewick, Washington.

Alex Dalenberg ('10) became the recommendations editor at Pocket, part of Mozilla, in Brooklyn, New York, after previous work at The Week magazine.

Caitlin Schmidt ('14), an Arizona Daily Star reporter, was named Arizona's co-sportswriter of the year with Doug Haller of The Athletic Arizona by the National Sports Media Association (

Former student Dylan Smith, former master's student Paul Ingram and former J-school adjunct instructor Blake Morlock were among the Tucson Sentinel journalists recognized by the Pima County Board of Supervisors on the Sentinel's 10-year anniversary. Story

In memoriam
Fernando Galvan ('15) died Jan. 15 at age 36. An Army veteran who served in Iraq from 2006-07, Fernando won the school's Kathryn Anne Governal Perseverance Award, took classes as a graduate student and traveled with border reporting students to Mexico City. He also directed and covered sports for KAMP Student Radio and the Arizona Daily Wildcat, and apprenticed at the Arizona Daily Star. The family suggests donations to

Jan. 13, 2020

Broadcast students wrapped up production of two Arizona Cat's Eye news shows and one sports edition. The first news episode, anchored by Ireland Stevenson and Adrian Ford, is at The second, anchored by Jack Cooper and Carla Litto, is at The sports show, anchored by Alec White and Cooper, is at

Jacqueline Canett won the fall 2019 Drew Gyorke Memorial Photojournalism Award for her image of a man playing with his dog. Sunday Holland took second with a photo of a diver, while Nathan McComb placed third for his Day of the Dead image. The contest featured 12 student finalists from Prof. Kim Newton’s JOUR 203 photography class. Go to to see all the images, which will hang in the J-school hallway.

Students in Celeste González de Bustamante's and Linda Green's border reporting class presented two podcast episodes in December in Marshall 340: one on the Scott Warren trial and the criminalization of border activists, and the other on the issue of sanctuary cities. Photos. Four of the students — Sascha Fruehauf, Audry Herran, Aimee Rodriguez and David Thalenberg – met with members of No More Deaths and Samaritans in October and were featured in an Ajo Copper News story on Page 8.

Rocky Baier landed a summer internship at The Wall Street Journal in New York City. Baier was a fall apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, where she co-reported a front-page story with her mentor, Curt Prendergast ('11 M.A.), on water usage connected to the border wall (

Four students in Prof. David Cuillier's advanced reporting class published stories in the Arizona Daily Star over the holiday break: Brittany Uhlorn, "Some University of Arizona graduate programs no longer require GRE scores from applicants"; Rebecca Thompson, "Tucson couple part of LA's gang world now lead church"; Mary-Belle Cruz, "Working for water sustainability in Sonoran Desert"; and Conor Villines, "UA expands footprint for soccer fields."

Graduate student Laura Fuchs will make a research-in-progress presentation titled, "Defining the Role of Science Journalism in an Era of Change: Science Service Reports on Darwin, the Scopes Trial and Developmental Embryology," at the Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference (JJCHC) in March at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. The project was developed during Fuchs' fall 2019 independent study with Assistant Professor Susan E. Swanberg.

Graduate student Nina Kolodij will make a research presentation titled, "Art and Music as a Means of Conveying Information About the State of the Planet," at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference (SWPACA2020) in Albuquerque, New Mexico in February. The project was developed during Kolodij's fall 2019 independent study with Assistant Professor Susan E. Swanberg.

Vanessa Ontiveros became a student employee at Arizona Public Media for The Buzz podcast and radio show ( with adjunct instructor Christopher Conover. The show runs Fridays at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 89.1-FM and 1550-AM.

Four master's students successfully defended their M.A. projects in December: Angelo Lavo, "Entrepreneurial & Hyperlocal Journalism: For Increased Government Accountability and an Informed Low-Income Community"; Lauren Trench, "Ironwood Forest National Monument"; Justin Sayers, "Redistricting Arizona in 2020: Could an Increasingly Politically Diverse Arizona Remain a Republican Stronghold?" and Alexis Richardson, "Thank You for Your Service: A Look Inside the Lives of Military Children."

The J-school honored its 2019 winter grads at the Arizona Daily Wildcat's semester-end bash, including Mark Lawson, who received a J-school notebook and pen from Michael McKisson. The others set to graduate were Katelyn Berto, Phillip Bramwell, Taylor Gleeson, Loring Hartmann, Tianjiao Huang, Leia Linn, Ahmaad Lomax, Maya McDowell, Andrew Norin, Juan Quiroz, David Skinner, Addie Stansbury and Shayne Tarquinio. Norin, Huang, Lomax, Lawson, Skinner and Stansbury met for photos with Academic Adviser Paloma Boykin on graduation day.

Justin Sayers ('19 M.A., '14 B.A.) of the Arizona Daily Star saw the first part of his master's project on "Redistricting Arizona" published on A1 in the Jan. 5 Sunday Star. To read the whole project, go to

David Skinner ('19) accepted a job as a content producer for KVOA-TV in Tucson. He interned at KVOA during the past year.

Rob Kleifield ('19) is starting a sports internship at the Arizona Republic and while pursuing his master's in sports journalism at ASU.

Michelle Floyd ('17), a pro softball player and ESPN production assistant, is working for the Atlanta Braves as a corporate partnerships-sponsorships trainee.

Erica Rankin ('11) was promoted to manager for video content at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

Natalia Navarro ('17 B.A., '18 M.A.) saw NPR pick up her story about unusual drone sightings in northeastern Colorado. She's s a reporter for Colorado Public Radio and did a video chat with students last semester. Hear the NPR segment.

Brittny Mejia ('14), a reporter at the L.A. Times, wrote another "beautifully human and revelatory piece," Prof. Susan Knight says, with her story, "A civil war tore them apart. Their high school reunion brought them back together."

Paige Kuhn ('14), an associate editor at Bleacher Report, helped cover the College Football Playoff National Championship between LSU and Clemson in New Orleans.

Austin Counts ('11), a new reporter for the Tucson Weekly, looked at the ongoing efforts to reduce gun violence ( on the ninth anniversary of the Tucson mass shooting that killed six and wounded 13 others, including former Reps. Gabrielle Giffords and Ron Barber ( Counts, a local musician and former deli owner, is also covering sports for Tucson Local Media.

Rebecca Sasnett ('15), a full-time photo intern at the Arizona Daily Star, posted her five favorite images she took in 2019.

Brandon Mejia ('17) was promoted to co-anchor at KYMA-TV in Yuma. He handles the evening broadcasts with Jenny Day, who introduced Mejia on a broadcast.

Marissa Sites ('03), an associate attorney at Karp & Weiss who minored in journalism at UA, was named a "40 Under 40" winner by the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. See the winners at

Lorraine Rivera ('04) also was honored as a "40 Under 40" winner at the JW Marriott Starr Pass resort. The event, co-hosted by the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, honors young leaders and business professionals each year. Rivera hosts and co-produces Arizona Public Media's "Arizona 360" news show and has taught at the J-school as an adjunct instructor.

Nov. 30, 2019

Priya Jandu received the school's prestigious Don Bolles Fellowship for spring 2020 and will cover the Arizona Legislature for Arizona Sonora News. Story

Denali Keefe captured the fall 2019 Mark Finley Gold Pen Award for best beginning news writer. Sunday Holland finished second and Jake Tooleplaced third. Thirteen students selected by their JOUR 205 instructors competed in the contest, writing a deadline story after interviewing TUSD board member Kristel Ann Foster. Story 

Rocky Baier, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, made the front page on Nov. 10 with her story "Water woes rise with border wall in Cochise County." She shared the byline with Curt Prendergast (M.A. '11).

Alisa Ivanitskaya, a digital apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, wrote a story and produced a video "University of Arizona working toward zero-waste football games."

Davina Dobbins' story "Tucson pediatrician channels her inner child as she relates to patients" was the Nov. 30 Tucson & Region centerpiece in the Arizona Daily Star. She wrote the story in Prof. David Cuillier's introductory and advanced reporting class (JOUR 506). Dobbins, a dual-degree master's student in business and public health, is working on a graduate certificate in science communication.

Brittany L. Uhlorn published a front-page story in the Nov. 4 Arizona Daily Star, "Additional counselors cut UA student appointment wait times in half." Uhlorn, a doctoral candidate studying cancer biology and science communication, produced the story in Prof. David Cuillier's JOUR 506 class.

Sasha Hartzell, an intern at Arizona Public Media, published a story and audio report, "State board to consider banning sale of vaping products at universities," on Nov. 20.

Clara Migoya published a freelance story in the Tucson Weekly, "Dancing to a New Tune” in the Nov. 28 edition. She wrote the story in Prof. David Cuillier's JOUR 506 class.

Pei-Yu Lin published a freelance story in the Arizona Daily Star on Nov. 27, "Hongkonger attending UA says studying political science changed his life." She wrote the story in Prof. David Cuillier's JOUR 506 class.

Alexandra Pere, a photo apprentice for the Arizona Daily Star, published an A1 photo of the Ochoa neighborhood in the Nov. 16 edition. She also published photos of Ranger Ainsley, a golden lab that helps with children’s programs, and a home construction worker. Photos

Shayne Tarquinio, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published the Tucson & Region centerpiece on Nov. 11, "Tucson police work to resurrect neighborhood watch groups, community collaboration."

Lee Jaramillo, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published a story for El Tour de Tucson, "Love of cycling leads Marana lawyer to new career" and "'Crow' creator O'Barr one of many big names at Tucson Comic-Con."

Mark Lawson, a sports apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published several stories, including "Salpointe Catholic's Bijan Robinson eager to face biggest challenge of Lancers' season" and "Yuma Gila Ridge scores game's final 21 points to eliminate No. 1 Sahuaro." He also published "Sahuaro's rushing attack, led by lights-out Izaiah Davis, inching closer to state championship" and "No. 1-seeded Sahuaro pulls away to beat Glendale by 21." Finally, he did a profile, "First-year coach James Hardy has I-Ridge in division title mix heading into regular-season finale."

Janelle Ash, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published several stories, including "The Shepherdz rule YouTube at the University of Arizona" and "More than 150,000 people expected at the All Souls Procession this Sunday."

Pascal Albright and the school's chapter of Society of Professional Journalists hosted a Nov. 1 "Tools Training for Journalists" on how journalists can leverage Facebook and Instagram for their reporting projects. Watch the seminar, taught by award-winning multimedia journalist Adrienne Luis.

Students in the school's chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored slain Latinx journalists on Oct. 30 in front of the Marshall Building. They decorated a Día de Muertos altar and sold pan dulce, champurrado and coffee to raise money. "I am so proud of this outstanding group of bilingual journalism students," said Prof. Jessica Retis, adviser for the NAHJ chapter. "They researched information about Latino journalists that were killed on duty and took the time to share their bios with everyone that passed by." Photos

Alumna Carmen Valencia, a multimedia journalist for KYMA-TV in Yuma, talked Nov. 5 to Prof. Jessica Retis' grad class and to the school's National Association of Hispanic Journalists chapter about diversity in the newsroom and broadening Latino and migration narratives. Clara Migoya, a master's student and the school's NAHJ chapter co-chair, introduced Valencia.

Kendal Blust ('16 M.A.) and alum Murphy Woodhouse covered the funerals of the nine Mormons killed in Mexico for NPR's "Morning Edition." Blust and Woodhouse work out of KJZZ Phoenix's Frontera desk in Hermosillo, Mexico.Audio report

Hector Ponce ('19) started as a multimedia producer at KSTU Fox 13 television ( in Salt Lake City.

Danielle Fork ('17) accepted a position as director of development and marketing at Youth 180 in Dallas ( after previous work at Promise House.

David J. Del Grande ('18) is a customer support specialist at Friends of the Pima County Public Library ( and a freelance journalist.

Savannah Guthrie ('93) suffered a torn retina when her son accidentally hit her in the right eye with the pointy end of a toy train (see story). The "Today" show co-anchor made a quick recovery and helped host the Macy's Thanksgiving parade for NBC.

Oct. 28, 2019

Alec White, a senior, hit the ground running in his new job as a digital sports producer/reporter for the Arizona Daily Star. His first story, on quarterback Khalil Tate's top passing games, appeared after Saturday's UA win over Colorado. Read it at White also did video interviews during media day for the UA women's basketball team.

Sasha Hartzell, an intern at Arizona Public Media, published a story, "Tucson cutting, but not canceling recycling pickup," that includes an audio clip.

Shayne Tarquinio, an Arizona Daily Star news apprentice, published a front-page story, "Improved tracking of hate crimes is goal of new Tucson police data collection" on Oct. 26, and a B1 metro story, "Hazing probe at 2 UA frats belies larger effort to shed 'Animal House' reputation" on Oct. 20.

Alexandra Pere, an Arizona Daily Star photo apprentice, published a front-page photo to go with masters student Justin Sayers' story, "Pandemic flu exercise at UA simulates statewide outbreak" on Oct. 26.

Janelle Ash, an Arizona Daily Star features apprentice, published a story, "Tucson restaurants have a shot at UNESCO stamp of approval" on Oct. 26.

Mark Lawson, a sports apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published several stories, including "Wu-Tang Clan bringing 25th anniversary show to Tucson" on Oct. 27, "Rincon/University's academic approach to football is working; they're Tucson's turnaround team" on Oct. 25, "Lancers' line has been a major reason for Salpointe's so-far undefeated season" on Oct. 24, "CDO back to full strength, ready for Game of the Week against Sahuaro" on Oct. 24, "Sahuaro ready for 'measuring-stick game' against fellow unbeaten Salpointe Catholic, star Bijan Robinson" on Oct. 3, "Senior-laden line has been secret to Pueblo's 4-0 start to 2019 season" on Sept. 26 and "First-year coach Mike Wells hopes to lead by example, make Palo Verde winners again" on Sept. 19.

Alisa Ivanitskaya, a multimedia apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published "Puerto Rican street food one of the new offerings at this year’s Tucson Meet Yourself" on Oct. 11.

Lee Jaramillo, a features apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published, "Tucson Meet Yourself starts today. Here's what you need to know" on Oct. 11.

Pascal Albright and Mandy Loader, officers for the school's Society of Professional Journalists chapter, led a group of students at the 2019 James W. Foley Freedom Run on Oct. 20 on the UA campus. The 5K run and walk, held across the nation, honors Foley, a freelance journalist killed by ISIS in 2014. Andrew Paxton, who now works for Herald/Review Media in Sierra Vista, drove north to Tucson to participate.

Alana Minkler and Marison Bilagody with our Native American Journalists Association chapter and NAJA adviser Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan represented the J-school at the Oct. 14 Indigenous Peoples' Day on the UA Mall. Ned Norris Jr., chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, was the keynote speaker. Photos

Four students and three alums shared job and internship tips at the Oct. 16 Pizza and Portfolios. The panel included: Alec White, digital sports reporter at Arizona Daily Star and FOX Sports Arizona intern; Savanah Modesitt ('19), public relations specialist, McFadden Gavender Advertising; Angela Martinez ('18), communications specialist, Carondelet hospitals; Justin Sayers ('14), Arizona Daily Star reporter and current M.A. student; Laura Seversen, Chicago FOX 32 intern; Justin Pierce, NBC News San Diego intern; and Rocky Baier, Arizona Republic breaking news intern.

Alana Minkler, recipient of the Sandra Ann Kelly Ramirez Memorial scholarship, met Oct. 7 with Sam Ramirez ('80), his brother Billy and Suzanne Fender (Sandra's sister). Sam started the scholarship to honor his late wife, Sandra, and benefit Native American students preparing for a career in news media. Minkler, who is Navajo, is investigative editor at the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Sam is wire editor for the Southern California News Group in Monrovia, Calif. Photos

Natalia Navarro ( '17 B.A., '18 M.A.), a general assignment reporter for Colorado Public Radio in Denver, talked about audio journalism via Zoom to our Arizona Daily Star apprentices and Prof. Jeannine Relly on Oct. 23 in Marshall 340. To see Navarro's work, go to and

Ryan Finley ('02) and Justin Spears ('17) of the Arizona Daily Star spoke to Prof. Susan Knight's Principles of Journalism class on Oct. 8 in Chem 111. Finley, sports editor, encouraged students to work at the Arizona Daily Wildcat, where he was editor. Spears, a sportswriter and digital producer, told students to get involved in J-school activities and work hard in their internships. Spears, a Daily Wildcat and UATV 3 alum, interned at 1490-AM and now hosts ESPN Radio's "The Sports Exchange," in addition to his duties at the Star. Photos

Mariana Dale ('14) left her reporting job at KJZZ public radio in Phoenix to cover early childhood education for Los Angeles NPR affiliate KPCC ( and its website, Dale emceed our Zenger Award for Press Freedom dinner in 2015. Check out her latest story for KJZZ, "A space for Arizona moms of children with disabilities," at

Curt Prendergast ('11) and Alex Devoid ('17 M.A.) of the Arizona Daily Star analyzed 750 federal drug-smuggling cases to see what types of drugs Arizona's new border wall would slow down. They found out the wall cuts through routes for marijuana — not hard drugs, such as meth and cocaine — at a time when marijuana smuggling is decreasing. Story and multimedia package

Teagan Rasche ('19) accepted a full-time job as a TV reporter with KSWT in Yuma ( She was a javelin thrower for the UA track team.

Alex McIntyre (‘17) is a staff photographer at the Greeley (Colorado) Tribune ( after previous work in Bloomington, Indiana.

Natalie J. D’Anna ('16) graduated in July with a M.S. in integrated marketing from the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. Natalie, daughter of Arizona Republic reporter John D'Anna ('83), is an assistant sports information director at Loyola Marymount in L.A. (

Sept. 29, 2019

The school's SPJ club was named the top chapter in Region 11 of the Society of Professional Journalists. Prof. Susan Knight, adviser of SPJ-UA, thanked last school year's officers — Ava Garcia, Dalal Radwan and Pascal Albright — for engaging "their classmates in learning more about the importance of journalism in a democracy." Albright is president this school year. Story

Alec White, a senior, has been hired as the Arizona Daily Star's new digital sports producer/reporter. "Honored and humbled to start my sports career in my hometown," said White, former sports editor at the Arizona Daily Wildcat who received the school's Brewster P. Campbell Award for Outstanding Junior in May.

Nick Smallwood, a master's student, produced a photo gallery from the Zenger Award lunch honoring CNN's Christiane Amanpour and 12-year-old Hilde Lysiak. 

Alec White produced a 6-minute video of the school's Zenger Award for Press Freedom lunch honoring Christiane Amanpour and Hilde Lysiak, 12. For extended video segments of the ceremony, go to the school's YouTube channel at

Ireland Stevenson interviewed Amanpour afterward in the school's reading room, where the Center for Border & Global Journalism hosted a get-together for students.

This semester's Arizona Daily Star apprentices are Janelle Ash, Rocky Baier, Alisa Ivanitskaya, Lee Jaramillo, Mark Lawson, Alexandra Pere and Shayne Tarquinio. On Sept. 11, they listened to Arizona Daily Star science reporter Jasmine Ann Demers ('19 M.A.), herself a former apprentice. The apprentices are being mentored by Prof. Jeannine Relly and adjunct instructor Sarrah Garrecht Gassen, opinion editor. You can read Demers' Star stories at

Alisa Ivanitskaya, a multimedia apprentice at the Star, produced a preview, "Annual Tucson Pride parade, festival pays tribute to 50th anniversary of Stonewall," and interviewed the president of the event. She also produced a video of the climate protest in Tucson on Instagram.

Shayne Tarquinio, a news apprentice at the Star, published a B1 metro story, "Grant-paid software upgrade to make Marana police traffic stops safer, more efficient" on Sept. 16 and "Vail to form Community Justice Board to give youths 'restorative justice'" on Sept. 30.

Rocky Baier, a news apprentice at the Star, published a C2 metro story, "Border wall in Organ Pipe could destroy artifacts, park service warns," on Sept. 29.

Mark Lawson, a sports apprentice at the Star, published a high school feature, "Former Palo Verde, Pima College star Sydni Stallworth's hustle extends well beyond basketball court," on Sept. 10.

Janelle Ash, a features apprentice at the Star, published "Tucson hip-hop barbecue includes low-rider car show, live music," "Hawaiian reggae band 'The Green' bringing Island vibes to Rialto" and "UA senior makes list of faves as she's starting to make a name for herself." 

Lee Jaramillo, a features apprentice at the Star, published "4 places close to Tucson for the perfect, outdoorsy fall getaway" on Sept. 28.

Alexandra Pere, a photo apprentice at the Star, published two images in theSept. 28 high school football gallery (near the bottom).

Three grad students talked about their summers at the school's first Talk & ’Tizers of the semester on Sept. 11. Alisa Ivanitskaya was a multimedia fellow for Wisconsin Watch. Sascha Fruehauf spent time in Taiwan filming and interviewing for her master's project, while Nina Kolodij was an intern at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Students walked over to Gentle Ben's afterward for appetizers.

Monica Gumina, a UA swimmer and J-school student, was named one of four C.A.T.S Academics Student-Athletes of the Month for July.

Hannah Gaber ('16 M.A.), a video producer at USA Today, spoke to new graduate students on Aug. 23 at the J-school. Graduate Studies Director Maggy Zanger also welcomed Sebastian Janik, Pei-Yu Lin, Mandy Loader, don-E Merson (Ph.D. minor), Alexandra Pere, Tayde (Sofia) Revilak, Rebecca Thompson (Ph.D. minor), Conor Villines and John Perugini (Ph.D. minor).

Alexis Bechman ('08), editor of the Payson Roundup, was named 2019 Journalist of the Year in the non-daily category by the Arizona Newspapers Association. She was among a dozen-plus UA grads who won top honors at the annual award ceremony. Other first-place winners were: Kendal Blust ('16 M.A.), Mike Christy ('11), John D'Anna ('83), David Fitzsimmons('77), Rodney Haas ('10), James Kelley ('15), Kathleen Kunz ('19), Genesis Lara ('18), Patrick O'Grady ('93), Dan Shearer ('85) and Kim Smith ('89). The Arizona Daily Wildcat, under adviser Brett Fera ('05), won the general excellence award in the college division, while the Arizona Daily Star won six overall awards under Editor Jill Jorden Spitz ('88), including best editorial page under adjunct Sarah Garrecht Gassen ('95, '10 M.A.). Those with J-school ties also took at least a combined 24 second- or third-place awards. Click HERE for the full list of winners. 

At least 10 journalists with UA J-school ties are 2019 Rocky Mountain Emmy Award recipients. Ernesto Romero (‘07), Carmen Valencia (‘18) and Ciara Encinas (‘18) of Yuma’s KYMA-TV shared an award for best newscast in smaller markets for “News 11 Early Edition: Crisis on the Border.” Lorraine Rivera (’04) and Kassandra Lau (‘11) of AZPM’s Arizona 360 won for best politics/government program for “El Paso Road Show." Jordan Glenn ('17) of KOLD-TV shared first place in short form photography for “Arizona Weekend Cinematography.” Others included Prof. Michael McKisson ('08), Sandra Westdahl ('12) and adjunct Andrew Brown of Arizona Public Media, and Silvia Sanchez ('16) of Univision Arizona.

Kristan Obeng ('19 M.A.) landed a reporting job at the Lansing State Journal, a Gannett newspaper in Michigan. Obeng finished a Pulliam Fellowship at the Arizona Republic, where she was a digital producer and worked with copy editor Becca Dyer, a 1985 J-school grad.

Ty Hudson ('19 M.A.) is a breaking news intern for the Arizona Daily Star. Clickhere to read his work.

Emmalee Mauldin ('19) accepted a full-time job as a media/social media specialist for NASA's Human Research Program at Johnson Space Center in Houston. She's a former intern at NASA. 

Carmen Duarte ('80), a versatile reporter and feature writer for the Arizona Daily Star for the last 38 years, talked to Prof. Jeannine Relly and the Star's apprentices Sept. 18 in Marshall 340. Duarte reports on the aging population and helps with general assignment, crime and breaking news stories. She's also covered immigration, education, social services, federal courts and stories in Mexico. She spoke about the many diverse communities in the region, conducting interviews in investigations related to sensitive cases, and self-care for journalists when working on projects that involve trauma.

Caitlin Schmidt ('14), an Arizona Daily Star reporter, has moved to the sports desk to cover investigations and long-form features full-time.

Jeff Feld ('10) has been named the general manager of the Northern Arizona Suns, an NBA G League basketball team based in Prescott Valley. Feld, who has written for Forbes and the Athletic, worked as a UA staffer under Lute Olson, two interim head coaches and Sean Miller from 2006-10. He also worked as a scout with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kyle Hansen ('16) has left the Missoulian as a sportswriter to be a sports reporter at KPAX News, a CBS television affiliate for Scripps, covering western Montana sports in Missoula.

Eddie Celaya ('19), an opinion writer at the Arizona Daily Star, wrote a column after the Zenger Award for Press Freedom on President Robbins' statement that the UA School of Journalism needed a new building. Click here to read it.

Sarah Garrecht Gassen ('95, '10 M.A.), opinion editor at the Arizona Daily Star and an adjunct instructor, published a Sunday Q&A with Christiane Amanpour, the school's Zenger Award honoree, on Sept. 8.

Kellie Mejdrich ('12) has been hired as a financial services reporter covering capital markets for POLITICO Pro. She previously was a budget and appropriations reporter for CQ Roll Call.

Jordan Williams ('19) began working in August at FDANews, a Washington, D.C.-area publication that covers the FDA and pharmaceutical industry. Williams, the school's spring 2019 Bolles Fellow, is reporting on drug approvals and industry litigation for the Drug Industry Daily newsletter. "My time in the J-school and my internships were the exact preparation I need for this job," she said.

Shane Dale ('04) has left ABC15 in Phoenix and is a digital journalist with the City of Goodyear. He also plans to start a new sports website/blog.

Sarah Kezele ('11), who co-emceed the school's Hall of Fame ceremony in 2018, is back as the in-game host for UA football home games. She also works for the USA Today Sports Media Group in Phoenix.

Robby Leaño has joined the 1290-AM sports radio crew. Leaño is a board operator but also fills in as a co-host and as a field reporter. He manages social media and video/audio after home football games. Leaño also is a podcast manager for Five for Howling for Arizona Coyotes fans.

Natalie J. D’Anna ('16) graduated in July with a master of science degree in integrated marketing from the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is an assistant sports information director at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Justyn Thomas ('18) is now a UA men's basketball graduate assistant. Thomas, who is studying educational leadership, was a UA student manager from 2014-18. He spent last year working in California for the West Contra Costa Unified School District and as an assistant basketball coach at El Cerrito High.

Mariana Dale ('14) of KJZZ Phoenix and Lily Altavena of the Arizona Republic collaborated on "A position of trust," an investigation of the pitfalls in the accountability system for Arizona teachers accused of sexual misconduct. 

Jessica Suriano ('19 M.A.) published another freelance story for MTV News about how delivery drivers are being shortchanged tip compensation from digital apps. Story

Justin Sayers ('14) returned to Tucson to finish his master's degree at the J-school. He also was hired as a government reporter for the Arizona Daily Star — covering Marana, Oro Valley and the Arizona Board of Regents — after a three-year stint as a news and sports reporter at the Louisville Courier Journal.


David Feldman ('51), 91, died on May 16. The San Diego and Tucson journalist taught at UA. Obit

Aug. 19, 2019

Rocky Baier had a productive summer internship at the Arizona Republic and, including a front-page story Aug. 9 on a Jehovah's Witnesses convention in Phoenix ( and coverage of the El Paso and Dayton shootings ( She also attracted 30,000 page views for her story on a woman's extreme weight loss journey ( 

Vanessa Ontiveros, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, wrapped up her internship with several stories, including: "Program to aid victims of hate crimes to be revived by Tucson police," and "Victims Services volunteers provide support to community members, and each other."

Mark Lawson, a summer features apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, wrote an Aug. 17 sports story for the Star, "Palo Verde grad Bryce Cotton constantly working as he masters new-look Australian league."

The Arizona Daily Wildcat's Campus Guide '19 hit the stands in early August. It includes a Q&A with President Robbins (, who was interviewed by grad student Claude Akins and Editor-in-Chief Nick Trujillo.

Justin Sayers ('14) is returning to Tucson to finish up his master's degree at the School of Journalism and to be a government reporter at the Arizona Daily Star. Sayers had been a news and sports reporter at the Louisville Courier Journal. 

Jamie Verwys ('18) captured first place in the national AEJMC Student Magazine Contest in the investigation and analysis category for “Exploring gender (pay) gap in Arizona’s college leadership." She wrote the story — at — for Arizona Sonora News as a senior in retired Professor Terry Wimmer's capstone class. "Jamie finds clarity in data and communicates it to her readers," Wimmer said. More details

Courtney Rice ('18) is joining the National Football League's social media team as a social content editor. Rice, who had been a social media intern for the Arizona Diamondbacks, will be in charge of posting game coverage, highlights, graphics and other content to all @NFL accounts on all social media platforms. "I'm super-excited for what’s to come," she said. "Living my dreams, working for the NFL!"

Alex Gonzalez ('19) joined KSBY News TV as a multimedia journalist in San Luis Obispo, California (

Emmalee Mauldin ('19) accepted a full-time job as a media/social media specialist for NASA's Human Research Program at Johnson Space Center in Houston. She is a former intern at NASA.

Alex Eschelman ('19) is a content intern at Pac-12 Networks ( in San Francisco. 

Rob Kleifield ('19) was admitted into the sports journalism master’s program at ASU's Cronkite School. "I’ll always bleed red and blue, but I’m thrilled to rep such a prestigious program this fall," said Kleifield, an Arizona Daily Wildcat alum and former Arizona Daily Star sports apprentice.

Anna Augustowska ('14 M.A.) and her UA College of Social & Behavioral Sciences colleagues Jenna Rutschman, Miles Fijimoto, Lori Harwood and Shoshana Mayden won a national Telly Award for their alumni spotlight video of 2010 graduate Alex Prewitt. Click here for more details and see the video at

At least 10 nominees with UA J-school ties are up for Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards. They include Carmen Valencia ('18), Ciara Encinas ('18) andErnesto Romero ('07) of KYMA-TV in Yuma for "Crisis on the Border," and Professor Mike McKisson ('08) and Sandra Westdahl ('12) for Arizona Public Media's "When Dreams Die" and "When Sarah Runs." Other multiple nominees include Jordan Glenn ('17) of KOLD-TV; Lorraine Rivera ('04), Kassandra Lau ('11) and adjunct instructor Andrew Brown of AZPM; and Morgan Loew ('96) of KTVK/KPHO in Phoenix. Click here to see the full list of nominees.

Briana Sanchez ('15), a photographer for the El Paso Times, helped cover the Aug. 3 mass shooting at a Walmart. See some of her images at

Tim Fuller ('75) wrote about how his Woodstock experience 50 years ago helped jump-start his photography career. His cover story for the Tucson Weekly includes a photo of Jimi Hendrix. Fuller is a former Arizona Daily Wildcat photog who interned at the Tucson Citizen for three summers.

Kristen Cook ('92), an award-winning journalist at the Arizona Daily Star who left in 2017, wrote and self-published her first book: "This." The collection of short, funny essays about raising three kids and living life is on Amazon at Read more at, and watch her interview last month with KGUN-TV's "Morning Blend."


Lauren (Lund) Lewis ('06) died Aug. 10 of cancer. Lewis, an Arizona Daily Wildcat alumna, was director of marketing and communications at Five Guys Enterprises in the Washington D.C. area. Friends set up a college fund for her two young boys and to help her husband, Brian, at

Jeffrey Williams ('00) died Aug. 7 of pneumonia. Williams, who earned his Ph.D. in education from ASU in 2013, was assistant principal of instruction for the Phoenix Union High School District. Professor Susan Knight called Williams one of her favorite students. Another friend wrote on Facebook that Jeffrey "impacted lives with his loyalty, humor, sarcasm and huge heart."Services were Aug. 17.

July 29, 2019

Shayne Tarquinio’s profile of the Raging Sage coffee shop captured first place nationally in the 2019 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Student Magazine Contest in the specialized business category. Tarquinio wrote the story in William Schmidt's feature writing class and published it on Arizona Sonora News. “Shayne wrote a meticulously crafted profile of exactly what a small business story like this should be,” judge Rob Marvin of PC Magazine wrote in his comments. Story

Graduate student Monika Damron, an intern at Arizona Public Media, produced several radio stories, including a piece on a pedestrian tunnel in Nogales. For more of her work, go to

Graduate student Meredith O'Neil, an intern for Tucson Local Media, has published numerous stories for the Northwest Explorer and other publications, including "Community help ensures every child is ready for school" and "Detailing Tucson’s 1950s rebels" about Mexican Americans growing up in Southern Arizona. Click here for more of her work. O'Neil also has contributed to the Tucson Weekly (see stories).

Graduate student Ambur Wilkerson, an intern at the Tucson Weekly, published "Taco Sauce talks their latest tour," about a local garage rock/surf-punk rock group. Click here to see her other work. 

Grad student Alisa Ivanitskaya spent the summer as an Edmund S. Muskie fellow for Wisconsin Watch ( at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism in Madison. The Fulbright scholar from Russia produced graphics and photos in her fellowship — and enjoyed a recent visit to Chicago.

Grad student Ty Hudson, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, wrote a front-page story, "Ancient Tohono O’odham custom of saguaro fruit harvesting kept alive," with photos from apprentice Griffin Riley.

Mark Lawson, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, produced a Caliente cover story on Patagonia Lake, "Short drive takes you a world away from Tucson."

Jesse Tellez, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, wrote a feature story, "Tucson teens eat, breathe and sleep theater for upcoming summer performances." He also wrote "Mount Lemmon: Escape the Tucson heat at 9,000 feet," with photos from apprentice Griffin Riley.

Vanessa Ontiveros, an Arizona Daily Star apprentice, reported on "Animal hoarding cases common in Pima County."

Mark Lawson, Ray Diaz and Chris Vizcarra led the Arizona Daily Wildcat's coverage of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, including video segments about how the six ex-UA players fared ( and about the L.A.-area earthquake that disrupted play ( For more coverage, including interviews with former UA players Brandon Ashley and Rawle Alkins, go to

Alec White, a Fox Sports Arizona intern, helped with the television station's coverage of the Arizona Diamondbacks' July 12-14 weekend series in St. Louis.

Jessica Suriano ('19 M.A.) freelanced a story for MTV News, "Meet the teens suing the U.S. government over the climate crisis." Christianna Silva ('17), editor of social impact for MTV News, was an editor on the story.

Luke Corvello ('19) landed a production internship at ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York.

Jay Gonzales ('80) was named president of the Tucson Sugar Skulls indoor football team. Read the Arizona Daily Star's story and the team's announcement. During the inaugural season, Gonzales mentored several J-school students who helped the team with communications.

Shea Sorenson ('14) has returned to Tucson as the morning and noon meteorologist for KVOA-TV after previous work in Knoxville, Tennessee, and South Bend, Indiana.

Los Angeles Times reporter Brittny Mejia ('14) was one of eight journalists nationally to be awarded a 2019-2020 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism by The Carter Center (

Kendra Paige Hall ('15) left Tucson's KVOA-TV as a reporter to be the city's environmental services public information specialist. She'll be shooting video, writing stories and doing graphic design. Kendra, who started her TV career in Amarillo, Texas, has been a good friend to the J-school and spoke to students at a spring career forum. Watch her send-off on Channel 4.

Nicole Cousins ('15) left ABC 8 Eyewitness News in Lincoln, Nebraska, to join the marketing/PR team at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln.

Devin Simmons ('09) and Shalane Simmons ('09), who both work for Raytheon, are featured in the UA Alumni Association's "10 by 10" for the Class of 2009.

July 8, 2019

Ava Garcia ('19 M.A.) was named a prestigious Chips Quinn Scholar and is working on the features desk at the Arizona Republic and this summer. See her work at and a list of scholars at And check out UA's nearly 40 scholars since 1991 at

Vanessa Ontiveros, a summer apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, produced a front-page centerpiece story on June 24, "Summer program gives Tucson teens an inside look at court system"; and shared a byline on July 3 with Caitlin Schmidt ('14), "UA's 'Controversial Issues' symposium addresses student-athletes, Title IX. On June 11, she published two stories: "Despite passage of Arizona criminal justice reform bill, more work needs to be done, advocates say" and "After-hours court event provides opportunity to resolve warrants, other issues."

Jesse Tellez, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, wrote about a Mexican food festival and contributed to a Gaslight Theater review of "Space Trek." (

Junior Pascal Albright helped mentor 16 teens at the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students. He also designed the workshop's newspaper, "The Chronicle." Other mentors included senior Alana Minkler, master's student Alexis RichardsonJane BendicksonJamie DonnellyJackie GonzalesMadeline Richardson and John Soriano. Albright, Bendickson, Gonzales and Madeline Richardson are graduates of the workshop. Arizona Republic reporter John D'Anna ('83) also pitched in as a writing coach, and Frank Sotomayor ('66) led the opening session on diversity.

Mark Lawson, Ray Diaz and Chris Vizcarra led the Arizona Daily Wildcat's coverage of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last week, including a video segment in which Lawson and Vizcarra talked about the earthquake that disrupted play. For other stories, go to Lawson is also an Arizona Daily Star summer apprentice and wrote about a "Georgia singer-songwriter doing double-duty in AZ" in the Caliente section.

Mariana Dale ('14) and Sandra Westdahl ('12) had a hand in winning national Edward R. Murrow Awards. Dale and KJZZ-FM in Phoenix took first place in continuing coverage for their Arizona teacher strike reports ( Westdahl produced Arizona Public Media's "Where dreams die" (, which placed first in feature reporting and told about migrants who've perished while crossing the desert.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Bethany Barnes ('13 M.A.) is one of six journalists elected to the Investigative Reporters & Editors board. She came in second in voting among the eight candidates. Read more at

Tirion Morris ('18) started this week as the nightlife reporter on the food desk at the Arizona Republic/ She had been the web editor at the Tucson Weekly.

Jamie Verwys ('18) is the new web editor at the Tucson Weekly after spending a year as a reporter at Herald/Review Media in Sierra Vista.

Maritza Camila Dominguez Azua ('17) was hired last month as an audio producer for the Arizona Republic and, working on podcasts called Valley 101 and The Gaggle.

Danielle Fork ('17) is now development coordinator for the Promise House in Dallas. She  helps with the writing and reporting of government, foundation and corporation grants for the charitable group that focuses on helping youths (

Luke Money ('12) was promoted to assistant city editor of The Daily Pilot, a community publication of the Los Angeles Times.

Abby Friedemann ('16) is now a communications specialist at Dignity Health in Phoenix after previous work as a news producer at KVOA-TV in Tucson.

Stephanie Casanova ('14) is a breaking news reporter for the Arizona Daily Star after previous work at Today's News-Herald in Lake Havasu City and the Manhattan (Kansas) Mercury.

Christianna Silva ('17) is editor of social impact at MTV News (Viacom) in New York City, after previous work at Newsweek and other outlets. 

NBC "Today" show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie ('93) received positive reviews from Brookings ( for her moderating skills during last week's Democratic debates. "So proud," said her mom, Nancy Guthrie ('87 M.A.), a former member of our Journalism Advisory Council.

Shane Bacon ('06) helped announce the U.S. Open men's golf tournament at Pebble Beach for Fox Sports. Bacon came close to playing in the tournament. He qualified for the U.S. Open sectional after shooting a 3-under-68 in Phoenix last month. Bacon's website.

Frank O. Sotomayor ('66), who wrapped up his second year as a sports stringer for the Arizona Daily Star, wrote about his journalism career coming full circle in a Star column. Frank, vice chair of our Journalism Advisory Council, started at the Star as a correspondent nearly 60 years ago. The Pulitzer Prize winner says he'll keep writing but let others cover the week-to-week meets next season.

Danyelle Khmara ('17) has a new beat at the Arizona Daily Star covering mental health and issues concerning veterans, homelessness, addiction and housing. "I’m excited to cover these important topics for my community and to tell people’s stories," she says. Read her first story on the new beat.

Alex Devoid ('17 M.A.) has accepted a job at the Arizona Daily Star as a data/investigative reporter after previous work as an environmental reporter at the Arizona Republic. Alex joins a slew of recent J-school grads hired at the Star, including Eddie Celaya ('19), Jasmine Demers ('19 M.A.), Andrew Koleski ('18), Stephanie Casanova ('14), Shaq Davis ('18), Gloria Knott ('18), Danyelle Khmara ('17) and Justin Spears ('17).

Carsyn Currier ('19) accepted a job as a reporter at KTLV-TV in Medford, Oregon, a CBS affiliate with the Sinclair Broadcast Group. She follows another J-school grad, Kimberly Kolliner ('15), who started in Medford before moving to Sinclair's Fox affiliate in Fresno, California, last year.

Christopher Rowland ('86), a health care business reporter for the Washington Post, is getting national attention for his story, "Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?" A former editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, he joined the Post in October after heading the Boston Globe's Washington bureau.

June 2, 2019

Recent master's grad Zeina Cabrera-Peterson won a top student paper award in the Minorities and Communication Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication or the summer AEJMC conference in August. It was a paper based on her thesis, "Politicking While Black." She also won the J-school's Excellence in Research award at the 2019 Just Desserts celebration.

Students in Linda Lumsden's History of American Journalism class produced new oral history podcasts for the Sonoran Desert Journalists website. They include: KJZZ-FM reporter Kendal Blust by graduate student Claude Akins; Arizona Daily Star photographer Mike Christy by Christopher Vizcarra; Arizona Reporter senior reporter John D'Anna by Julia Knoell; Jason Davis of The Planetary Society by Hayden Gambee; former Tucson Weekly editor Mari Herreras by Brianna Wilfong; Star senior editor Debbie Kornmiller by Elliott McVeighArizona Illustrated host Tom McNamara by Georges Chavez; AZPM senior reporter Nancy Montoya by Phillip BramwellCochise County Record publisher Lupita Murillo by Matt Brockman; Tucson Weekly editor Jim Nintzel by Lorraine Turpault-d’Huve; Star "La Estrella" editor Ernesto Portillo by Felizardo Camacho; music journalist Linda Ray by Marissa Latzman; AZPM Arizona 360 host Lorraine Rivera by Micheal Romero; KVOI sportscaster Steve Rivera by Ray Diaz; ESPN and Star sports reporter Justin Spears by Leonard Moody; former CNN anchor Lou Waters by Ty Hudson; and KVOA videographer Edgard Ybarra by David Skinner.

Ashley Fredde and recent master's grad Dalal Radwan received Journalism in the Era of Disinformation fellowships. They joined 14 other students from U.S. and Germany this week in Washington, D.C., for training with professionals and academics on navigating disinformation and fake news. Read more at, and follow their #JED19 updates at

Master's student Justin Wylie hit two homers in his last collegiate game and was named Pac-12 Player of the Week. Overall, he batted .667 with three homers and seven RBIs in a three-game sweep at Washington State. UA fell just short of the NCAA baseball tournament despite winning its last 10 games.

AJ Camacho, one of the student managers for the UA softball team, celebrated the Wildcats' appearance in the Women's College World Series.

Recent J-school grad Eddie Celaya, a new opinion writer for the Arizona Daily Star, introduced himself to readers in the June 1 paper with his column, "A local kid's letter of hello as the Star's new opinion writer." "I love Tucson," he says, but "I promise to never shy away from covering stories that expose a need for change."

Recent graduate Marissa Heffernan has accepted a job as an education reporter at the Daily News in Longview, Washington. Heffernan, who received the school's Sherman R. Miller 3rd Outstanding Senior Award on May 8, will join fellow J-school grad Courtney Talak ('18), a photojournalist in Longview (

KJZZ's Fronteras senior field correspondents Kendal Blust ('16 M.A.) and former student Murphy Woodhouse spoke to Jeannine Relly's research methods graduate course students, virtually, on the last day of class (May 1). Woodhouse and Blust discussed setting up the bureau in Hermosillo, Sonora, and took questions. They also provided a virtual tour of the bureau.

"Let me tell you about the Pulitzer Prize," Frank O. Sotomayor ('66) said at the kickoff for the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students on June 1. Sotomayor talked about the importance of a diverse newsroom and the 1984 Pulitzer-winning Latino series he and his L.A. Times colleagues produced. After saying bye to their parents for a week, students brainstormed story ideas with Arizona Republic reporter John D'Anna ('83) and other mentors.

Andrew Koleski ('18) will return to the Arizona Daily Star in July to be a copy editor after work at the Yuma Sun and a Star apprenticeship.

Brandon Dawkins ('18), former UA quarterback and Arizona Cat's Eye anchor, has moved to Portland to work in sports marketing for Adidas Football.

Eric Madeen ('81), an associate professor of English at Tokyo City University and adjunct at Keio and Aoyama Gakuin universities, saw his second novel, "Massage World," released in December by Anaphora Literary Press.

Stevie Katz ('17) is a digital producer for the NFL's Washington Redskins in Ashburn, Virginia.

Andrew Paxton, a recent alum, is now an assistant editor/city editor at the Sierra Vista Herald/Review after previous work at the Green Valley News & Sahuarita Sun.

Kim Smith ('89) is now an assistant editor/reporter at the Green Valley News & Sahuarita Sun.

Tampa Bay Times investigative reporter Bethany Barnes ('13 M.A.) is running for the board of Investigative Reporters & Editors. If you're an IRE member, you can vote for her. "I'm doing this because I believe representation from local journalism matters," she says. 

Diana Steffen (’03), a lifestyle blogger, photographer and graphic designer in Phoenix, was featured in a UA Alumni Association story, "How to turn your hobby into a career." The J-school and Arizona Daily Wildcat/UATV3 alumna tells how she became a successful entrepreneur after working for E! Entertainment and the Arizona Republic.

Tucson Citizen alums, including many who learned their craft at the J-school, marked the final edition of the newspaper 10 years ago on May 16. Read Daniel Buckley's opinion piece in the TucsonSentinel and a photo gallery blog post by H. Darr Beiser ('76) at

Edith Sayre Auslander ('61) received the UA Foundation's Leo B. Hart Humanitarian Award this week. A former J-school professor and member of the Arizona Board of Regents, Edie established the Arizona Assurance Scholarship program in 2008 and helped provide more than 6,000 students a chance to graduate from UA debt-free. More details.

May 10, 2019

Jasmine DemersMarissa HeffernanAlec White and Jessica Suriano took top honors at the 53rd annual Just Desserts student awards ceremony May 8 at the Arizona Historical Society. Read the full story, see Nick Smallwood's photo gallery, watch the Facebook Live video and read the program. Demers, a graduating master's student, received the Philip Mangelsdorf Award for Outstanding Newsperson of the Year. Heffernan captured the Sherman R. Miller 3rd Award for Outstanding Senior. White received the Brewster P. Campbell Award for Outstanding Junior. Suriano was named the Outstanding Graduate Student.

Pascal Albright and Quincy Sinek captured the Mark Finley Gold Pen Award in the J-school's best beginning news writing contest for fall 2018 and spring 2019, respectively. James Parisi and Aiya Cancio finished second, and Jamie Donnelly and Seth Markowski placed third in the contests. The 22 competitors, selected by their JOUR 205 instructors, interviewed Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and wrote a news story. Story

Marisa Latzman won the spring 2019 Drew Gyorke Memorial Photojournalism Award for her image of a cemetery worker. Rebeca Moreno took second with a photo of a girl helping her family sell Girl Scout cookies, while Lexi Horseyfinished third with an action shot of UA women's basketball star Aari McDonald. The other nine finalists from Prof. Kim Newton’s JOUR 203 photo class were  Eissa AbbasLuis AguirreAndrew CamachoClaudio CerrilloAnika PasilisAugust PearsonJackson PetersMarissa Ryan and Lauren SalgadoStory and photos

The student duos of Erin Thomson and Phillip Bramwell and Ava Garcia and Rocky Baier "crushed it" with their accessibility app and mobile health website projects, respectively, for the Arizona Daily Star, according to Prof. Mike McKisson. Read Mike Chesnick's story for UANews and see the story and more photos at

Vivian Colter defended her master's project, "People Who Look Like Me: Media Influence on Racial Identity," on May 1 in Marshall 344. Go to to see her work, including her main documentary. Her committee members were Celeste González de Bustamante (chair), Jeannine Relly and Rogelio Garcia.

Jasmine Ann Demers defended her master's project, "42 Repeats: A Family's Multigenerational Battle with Huntington's Disease," on May 3 in Marshall 341. See her project and emotional video at Committee members were Celeste González de Bustamante (chair), Mike McKisson and Carol Schwalbe.

Ava Garcia defended her master's project, "Where Does Arizona Go from Here? Efforts to Mitigate and Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change in Arizona," on May 2 in Marshall 340. See her stories, videos and graphics at Committee members were Celeste González de Bustamante (chair), Carol Schwalbe and Rogelio Garcia

April Lanuza defended her master's project and thesis, "Boom: Latinos, The Modern Pioneers," on May 3 in Marshall 340. She showed her documentary and unveiled it publicly May 11 at the Screening Room downtown. Watch it hereor on her website. Committee members were Celeste González de Bustamante (chair), Jeannine RellyKim Newton and Daniel Duncan.

David Martinez defended his master's project, "Speak No Evil: The Reality of Hate Speech and Social Media," on April 30 in Marshall 340. See his project. Committee members were Celeste González de Bustamante (chair), Kim Newton and Michael McKisson

Shanshan Niu defended her master's thesis, "Framing of China's Belt and Road Initiative by the U.S. and Indian Media," through a video chat on April 30 in Marshall 340. See her Powerpoint. Committee members were Jeannine Relly (chair), Carol Schwalbe and Linda Lumsden.

Kristan Obeng defended her master's project, "Compromised Freedoms & Checkpoint Trauma: A 14-month Investigation into What It's Like to Be an American in the Arizona Borderlands," on April 29 in Marshall 341. See the multimedia project, which includes public records data from 154 checkpoint complaints, at Committee members were Celeste González de Bustamante (chair), Jeannine Relly and Kim Newton

Dalal Radwan defended her master's thesis, "Framing Palestine: News Framing of United Nations Resolutions on Palestine in U.S. and British Newspapers, 1993-2017," on May 2 in Marshall 340. See her Powerpoint. Her family from Palestine watched Radwan, a Fulbright scholar, through a video chat. Her committee members were Linda Lumsden and Jeannine Relly (co-chairs), Maggy Zanger and Maha Nassar.

Jessica Suriano defended her master's project, "Prove it: The Social & Institutional Factors Contributing to Sexual Assault at the University of Arizona," on April 23 in Marshall 341. See the project — which includes reporting, video interviews with UA students, a map and notes — at Committee members were Nancy Sharkey and Jeannine Relly (co-chairs) and Rogelio Garcia.

Rocky Baier and Mark Lawson were among five students in the state to receive an Arizona Press Club Scholarship. The others were Amaris Encinas (Pima Community College), Corderro McMurry (ASU) and Bryan Pietsch (ASU). See past winners at

Eddie Celaya accepted a job as an opinion writer at the Arizona Daily Star beginning in late May. Celaya, formerly the Arizona Daily Wildcat's engagement editor, is a former Star apprentice and Tombstone Epitaph editor.

Jasmine Demers accepted a job at the Arizona Daily Star as a science reporter. She was a features apprentice at the Star and editor-in-chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Olivia Jackson accepted a job as a real-time editor at KGUN9-TV in Tucson. She was the manager of UATV3.

Marissa Heffernan, the Arizona Daily Star's NASA Space Grant intern, produced several front-page packages and other stories, including UA researcher: Studying how brain processes metaphors could aid efficient learning (April 21), UA faculty, students part of global team that releases first photo of black hole (April 10), UA team working on new method to remove PFAS contaminants from water (May 6),  Arizona Mushroom Society promotes interest in state's wild fungi (April 30), UA Truman Scholar seeks to change lives through emergency medicine (April 29) and “Prevention vs. Intervention” (April 21).

Dalal Radwan, a digital apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, produced a video on the Fox Tucson Theatre bringing back a signature piece of its early entertainment history: the Mighty Wurlitzer organ. 

Jasmine Demers, a features apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, produced Caliente cover stories, "Street sounds: Musicians turn Fourth Avenue into their stage" (May 2) and "Tucson's 'I Dream in Widescreen' showcase: UA film students premiere their movies" (April 25).

Megan McDonald published "‘Sugar-dating’ and college dilemma$" for Arizona Sonora News.

Kirshana Guy published "The final (plastic) straw? Tucson company does brisk business making designer glass drinking straws" for Arizona Sonora News.

Emmalee Mauldin produced "A blooming treat in the desert" for Arizona Sonora News.

Gabrielle Mix published "Is Coachella a fashion show as much as a music festival?" for Arizona Sonora News.

Julia McAlonan published "You went to Coachella? It probably cost ya" for Arizona Sonora News.

Jordan Williams, the school's Bolles Fellow covering the state Legislature, published "As Colorado River plan advances, wrangling continues" for Arizona Sonora News.

Emmalee MauldinNicole Reiley and Ambur Wilkerson published "Intimidated by the gym? There’s a word for that, and there are ways to cope with ‘gymtimidation’ " for Arizona Sonora News.

Shayne Tarquinio published "A coffee shop where the range of Tucson culture mingles" for Arizona Sonora News.

A new space for Student Media in the University Services Building has been identified, and the process of designing, organizing and moving into the space this summer has begun, according to outgoing Arizona Daily Wildcat editorJasmine Demers. The facilities include a footprint significant enough to house both the Daily Wildcat and UATV workstations in the Sherman R. Miller 3rd Newsroom, the Morley/Kennedy Business Development Center, a dedicated space for KAMP student radio and all professional staff in dedicated offices. UA Global is taking over Park Student Union, which is forcing Student Media to move.

Staff members of the Arizona Daily Wildcat produced their final issues of the spring semester, "Oh, the places you'll go," and "Year in review, 2018-19." Read them at

Camila Wesbrooks, a UA tennis player, was one of four to be honored as student-athletes of the month in April from the university's C.A.T.S Academics.

Teagan Rasche, a javelin and hammer thrower for the UA track and field team, was featured in a recent Arizona Athletics story. "I have grown a lot as a person, as a student and as an athlete," she says. "My goal is to become a sports broadcaster. I fell in love with journalism more than I ever thought possible."

Former master's student Paul M. Ingram of the Tucson Sentinel was named the community journalist of the year by the Arizona Press Club. Other alums who took first places included Caitlin Schmidt ('14), John D'Anna ('83), Danyelle Khmara ('17), Dave Ord ('84), David Diaz ('09), adjunct instructor Sarah Garrecht Gassen ('95, '10). Other winners were former J-student Dylan Smith, former adjunct instructors Stephanie Innes and Jim Nintzel and former master's student Christopher Boan. Clickhere to see all the award recipients.

J-school alums won Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards this week, including Murphy Woodhouse of KJZZ Phoenix in the radio hard news category for his story on Central American migrants. Others included KJZZ's Mariana Dale ('14), radio team continuing coverage, Arizona teacher strike (; and Sandra Westdahl ('12) of Arizona Public Media, television excellence in video, "The Survivor," and television feature reporting, "Where Dreams Die" ( 

Robert Alcaraz ('12), the lead videographer at the Wall Street Journal, helped the paper earn a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Rob received a producer credit at the end of the video, "What Trump Did to Silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal," part of the Journal’s 10 entries in the category. Watch it at, and see the Journal's winning work at

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editor Gilbert Bailon ('81) and former South Florida Sun Sentinel reporter Brian Ballou ('92) saw both newspapers win Pulitzer Prizes. Post-Dispatch metro columnist Tony Messenger won the Pulitzer for commentary ( on debtors prisons. Bailon, a member of the J-school's Hall of Fame, called Messenger’s reporting “tenacious,” citing courts and judges who tried to block the columnist’s access to public records and hearings. The Sun Sentinel was awarded the Pulitzer for public service for its coverage of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Ballou wrote stories related to the shooting before becoming an information specialist with the Miami-Dade Police Department last spring.

Bethany Barnes ('13 M.A.), now a reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, is a finalist once again for the Livingston Award, which honors journalists under the age of 35. Barnes is a finalist in the local reporting category for “Targeted, A Family and the Quest to Stop the Next School Shooter," which was published by The Oregonian/OregonLive in June 2018. Recently, Barnes wrote a story on the military-chartered plane that skidded off a Jacksonville runway and into a river.

Mike Christy ('11), a photographer at the Arizona Daily Star and a former adjunct instructor for the J-school, is leaving the newspaper after seven years to be the director of photography for University of Arizona Athletics. 

Nickella Pierre, a December 2018 grad, is a news writer at Miami's WSVN-TV, a Fox-affiliated station.

Jenny Hijazi ('17 M.A.) is now a legal reporter at E&E News in Washington, D.C., covering climate change in the judiciary.

Alison Dorf ('14), a news producer at Tucson's KOLD-TV, is moving to ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon.

Briana Sanchez ('15) became a photojournalist at the El Paso (Texas) Times after nearly two years at the Argus Leader in South Dakota.

Photographer Alfredo Edwardo Araiza ('80) retired from the Arizona Daily Star. In addition to chronicling events and everyday life in Tucson with his keen eye and professionalism, Araiza also took the time to help mentor our students and apprentices. Click here to see a collection of his images.

Savannah Guthrie ('93), co-host of NBC's "Today" show, thanked former UA adjunct instructor Ted Robbins of NPR for making her "dream big" in a May 8 segment. You can watch a longer version at, part of Teacher Appreciation Week. 

Sam Ramirez ('80) donated $2,500 to start the Sandra Ann Kelly Ramirez Memorial Scholarship for Native American J-school students in memory of his wife. "Sandy understood the importance of a free press and advocated equality and fairness for all," said Sam, wire editor for the Southern California News Group. You can contribute to the scholarship at

April 8, 2019

More than 60 staffers from the Arizona Daily Wildcat, UATV and KAMP Student Radio signed a letter of concern and sent it to President Robert Robbins over the UA's plan to remove Arizona Student Media from the Park Student Union to make room for the UA Global Center. Marrissa Heffernan broke the story for the Wildcat, and Kathleen Kunz wrote a story for Tucson Weekly. KOLD-TV also ran a story. Wildcat Editor Jasmine Demers thanked Wildcat alums for their support on social media and said she received an official response from the provost on behalf of Robbins. "The gist of the response," Demers wrote, was: "They will not move us until an adequate space is found. They have expressed that finding this space is a priority. They said they welcome input from students and alumni as they continue the planning phase for the UA Global Center."

Marissa Heffernan, the Arizona Daily Star's NASA Space Grant intern, wrote several A1 centerpieces and other stories, including "New Banner-UMC tower to open, focuses on technology, patient comfort" (April 7), "University of Arizona archaeology program helps high schoolers link the past to the future" (April 5), "UA researchers studying effects of smartphones on personal relationships" (March 27) and "Teaching empathy in health care with the arts" (March 29).

Jordan Williams, the school's Bolles Fellow covering the state Legislature, wrote "Bill addresses political speech and the classroom" (April 5) for Arizona Sonora News.

Holland Scattergood of Arizona Sonora News wrote "Campus fashionistas and a $292 billion industry" (April 2).

Emmalee Mauldin, an intern at Arizona Public Media, published "SPHEREx Mission Will Look at the Universe With '3-D Glasses' - AZPM (March 25), "Endangered Black-Footed Ferret Count Falls Short of Agency Hopes ..." (April 5).

Jasmine Ann Demers, an apprentice arts reporter at the Arizona Daily Star, wrote the March 26 centerpiece story, "Amphi, Tucson high schools use theater to address tough issues," including gun violence and immigration, and "This weekend's Tucson Folk Festival is ladies night out" (April 4). Demers is editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Rob Kleifield, an apprentice sports reporter at the Arizona Daily Star, published "Sweet-swinging senior Bianca Pagdanganan has Wildcats poised to repeat as national champs" (April 3).

Ashley Fredde, an apprentice reporter at the Arizona Daily Star, published "Summit gives Tucson youth a lesson in leadership, networking" (April 8) and "Court Night this week offers free Tucson sessions on legal issues" (March 25).

Dalal Radwan, a digital apprentice for the Arizona Daily Star, published "Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Corteo’ arrives in Tucson next week" (March 27).

Alex Muñoz, an apprentice sports reporter at the Arizona Daily Star, published "Arizona Wildcats hockey team rested, ready for start of ACHA playoffs in Texas" (March 22).

Students attended an all-clubs diversity discussion and mixer April 4 at No Anchovies. Pascal Albright (First Gen), Claudio Cerrillo (NPPA), Vivian Colter (NABJ), Ava Garcia (SPJ), and Ty Hudson and Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan (NAJA) spoke about their clubs, and students discussed cultural sensitivity in reporting with Marian Binder, director of counseling & psych services for Campus Health Service, and faculty. Photos

Alec White and Savannah Hughes landed digital and social media internships at FOX Sports Arizona this summer. They'll be welcomed by Saul Bookman ('17 B.A., '18 M.A.), social and digital media content manager for FSAZ in Phoenix. White is sports editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Hughes is an English tutor at UA and a 2016-17 member of the Eller College of Management Elite program.

Ava GarciaDalal Radwan and Pascal Albright represented the school's Society of Professional Journalists chapter at the SPJ Region 11 conference in Las Vegas.

Robby Leaño and incoming major Brody Dryden helped chronicle the UA women's basketball team's run to the WNIT championship at McKale Center. Leaño did the play-by-play for KAMP Student Radio as UA beat Northwestern for the title and beat TCU in the semifinal, and Dryden helped call the TCU game with Cindy Brunson of Pac-12 Networks.

Grad students and alums participated in the March 29 "Preserving the Voices of Arizona's Diverse Communities" at UA Main Library, including M.A. candidates Ava GarciaMatt Brockman and Ty Hudson — and reception panel members Frank Sotomayor ('66), Navajo Times Publisher Tom Arviso Jr. and Bobbie Jo Buel ('79). Go to for more info.

Victor Garcia Rodriguez helped cover the Arizona Wildcats hockey team's appearance at the ACHA National Tournament in Frisco, Texas. Arizona lost 7-2 to Liberty on March 23, but Rodriguez got a shoutout from the team for working "so hard ... plus 30 hours on the bus and a winner's attitude." Rodriguez is also a video producer at the Arizona Daily Wildcat's KAMP Student Radio. 

Andrew Paxton is helping produce the Sidney (Montana) Herald after its editor left last week. Paxton is assistant editor at the Green Valley News and Sun, also a Wick newspaper. The Herald ( is a twice-a-week daily near the North Dakota border.

Dylan Smith, editor of the Tucson Sentinel and a former J-school student, wrote a story on the Arizona Daily Star's decision to begin printing in Phoenix on May 21 and shutting down its aging press at the corner of Irvington and Park. The Star said the change will eliminate about 60 jobs in its Tucson printing and packaging operations. Read the Star's story.

J-school alums Michael Schwartz ('08) and Eitan Cramer ('12) and UA alum Danny Corrales, producers of ESPN's "The Jump," saw their NBA show receive a Sports Emmy nomination in the "Outstanding Studio Show — Daily" category. Other nominees are "The Dan Patrick Show (DIRECTV/NBCSN), "MLB Tonight" (MLB Network) and ESPN's "Outside The Lines" and "Pardon The Interruption." The awards ceremony is May 20 in New York. Read an earlier story by Justin Spears ('17) of the Arizona Daily Star.

Kyle Hansen ('16) covered the March 21 NCAA tournament game between Montana and Michigan in Des Moines, Iowa. Check out his followup story, and track his Twitter feed at

Sarah Kezele ('11) joined the USA Today Sports/SMG team as a video host from Phoenix

Kedi Xia ('13), an associate visiting scholar at the J-school, was admitted to the M.S. Data Journalism program at Columbia University in New York.

Rhonda Bodfield ('92), director of communications for Tucson Medical Center, is taking part in the April 20 Dancing with Our Stars, a fundraiser for the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona (

March 18, 2019

Graduate students Ava Garcia and Kristan Obeng were awarded Pulliam Fellowships this summer at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. Garcia will be a reporter, and Obeng will work with the digital team.

The Arizona Daily Wildcat won three awards at the Associated Collegiate Press national college journalism convention in La Jolla, Calif.: second place each for best website and best weekly newspaper and fifth for best special edition. Editorial board members Nick TrujilloAriday SuedEddie CelayaJasmine Demers and Pascal Albright joined Student Media Adviser Brett Fera in celebrating the awards and taking a side trip to UCLA to visit with the Daily Bruin staff. See the awards at

Marissa Heffernan, a NASA Space Grant intern, wrote a front-page centerpiece for the Arizona Daily Star on March 5, "Researcher studies space dust, but stays grounded by mentoring Tucson youth."  Go to to see all of her work.

Megan McDonaldMonika Damron and Elizabeth Quinlan worked together on a story for Arizona Sonora News, "U of A rodeo team gallops on, spurred by new status."

Gabrielle Mix wrote a story for Arizona Sonora News, "Street, online harassment? Me too, many women say."

Julia McAlonan wrote and took photos for the Arizona Sonora News story, "Who wants a fat lip? Sorority women, have we got a special for you!"

Jasmine Demers, a features apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, had more articles published in Caliente: "We found you a live music weekend in Tucson on a budget" and "Passion is the theme of upcoming UA dance performance." She also wrote, "Feminism is the theme in Hawkinsdance premiere."

Dalal Radwan, a digital news apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, wrote a short brief about an event: "Second Annual Walk a Mile in a Refugee's Shoes."

Kathleen Kunz wrote the cover story for the March 7 Tucson Weekly, "Scam Alert: These six con jobs cost Arizonans millions of dollars every year."

Ian Green, a Tucson Weekly intern, did a piece on the "Rock the Bald" head-shaving event to defeat pediatric cancer. 

Briannon Wilfong, an intern at the Tucson Weekly, published several articles, including "Tentacles of Love" and "From volunteer to star: UA student to perform at Hip Hop Festival."

Jordan Williams, the school's Bolles Fellow covering the Legislature, saw her Arizona Sonora News story on "Defining ‘meat,’ Arizona livestock industry sizzles over selling plant-based ‘meat,’" published in the Daily Territorial on March 7. She also wrote, Ban on driving while ‘distracted’ advances in capitol, and "‘Milk’ joins House bill on labeling of ‘meat.’

Rob Kleifield, a sports apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published, "Host Arizona Wildcats shine at first day of Willie Williams Classic" and "Latvian-born hurdler Maksims Sincukovs found tougher competition, better coaching at the UA" and "Arizona's Ethan Marcus hopes to cap college career with his second NCAA golf championship." Others were "Arizona's Yu-Sang Hou never thought she'd play in college; then she won a national championship" and "'Neysia Howard — who is that?' UA freshman already making a name for herself" and "Wildcats 'have to work twice as hard' to repeat as national champs — starting Sunday."

Alex Munoz, a sports apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, published, "Wildcats club hockey team will wrap home schedule with pair of games against rival ASU."

After UA's early exit at the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament, Arizona Daily Wildcat staffers Robby LeañoAlec WhiteAmy BaileyJack CooperZach Lazarus and Mark Lawson continued to provide coverage from Las Vegas, including a news conference with Larry Scott and other multimedia at

Alex Eschelman sat in on the show of Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear over spring break, along with commentator and former NBA player Doug Christie. "Great having @alexeschelman in studio today!" Napear tweeted. "She is on her way to a great career in the business! Bright future!"

Caitlin Schmidt ('14) of the Arizona Daily Star published the last story March 14 in her investigative series on Title IX, "Stopping sexual misconduct on campus," which saw her report on Baylor, Oregon and Utah, as well as UA. Click here to read the entire six-part series. "The deep dive into Title IX improvements and enforcement is believed to be one of the first of its kind," the Star said. Poynter featured Schmidt's series in its Sunshine Week coverage.

Mikayla Mace ('17 M.A.) accepted a job as a science writer for UA Communications after nearly two years as the science and higher education reporter for the Arizona Daily Star

Carmen Valencia, a recent alumna, anchored the 9 p.m. Fox 9 newscast for Yuma's KYMA-TV for a few weeks. See a clip at

Julia Leon ('18) is a digital content producer for KVOA-TV (NBC) in Tucson.

Ann Chihak Poff ('97) moved back to Tucson from Portland in October to become the administrative coordinator at Pima County Medical Society, where she edits and coordinates the website, newsletter and social media. She's also a teacher at Mindful Yoga.

Steve Hirsch ('77), an esteemed Arizona attorney who died in December 2016, was honored posthumously March 15 at the Arizona Region of the American Jewish Committee's annual Judge Learned Hand Award luncheon in Phoenix. Hand was a pioneering champion of free speech. Retired Prof. Jim Mitchell said on Facebook: "Steve was a valued member of the UA School of Journalism Advisory Council, a graduate of the program and the UA law school. Nobody gave more to his community and had such fun doing it. A truly wonderful man." 

Justin Sayers ('14), a reporter at the Louisville Courier Journal, won a national Top-10 award in breaking news in the Associated Press Sports Editors contest with colleague Jake Lourim. Their story, about a football player accused of rape days before a game, is at For all the APSE winners, go to

Author A.J. Flick ('83) spoke at two crime panels at the March 9-10 Tucson Festival of Books. Her novel, “Toxic Rage: A Tale of Murder in Tucson,” is based on the Brian Stidham murder trial that she covered for the Tucson Citizen in 2004.

Maggie Whiting ('02) works at Target headquarters in Minneapolis as a lead copywriter for brand design and packaging. Go to for a UA Alumni Q&A with Whiting.

Jackie Tran ('11), a staff writer and photographer at Tucson Foodie, saw his photo recently used on a downtown billboard.

Karen Cruz-Orduña, who studied at the J-school in 2016 through the National Student Exchange (NSE) program, accepted a job as a production assistant at CBS Los Angeles.

Feb. 26, 2019

Senior Marissa Heffernan, a NASA Space Grant intern at the Arizona Daily Star, saw her story, "UA program supporting school gardens now covers 19 campuses in Tucson," run as the A1 centerpiece on Feb. 25. She is also managing editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Emmalee Mauldin, an intern at Arizona Public Media, published these stories for AZPM: "Asian lantern festival shines light on multiculturalism" (Feb. 26) and "Researchers warn of potenial health impacts of secondhand vapor for e-cigs" (Feb. 14). She also published a story for Arizona Sonora News, "‘Shooting stars’ and the quest to collect meteorites," on Feb. 8.

Grad student Alexis Richardson wrote the Feb. 20 cover story for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, "The harms of unprescribed Adderall."

Alexandra Sharon Pere, an intern for the Arizona Jewish Post, wrote a story, "Longtime camper draws on memories to make summers special at Camp J" in the Feb. 22 issue.

Bolles Fellow Jordan Nichelle Williams saw her first story as a legislative reporter for Arizona Sonora News, "Republicans introduce bills to lighten criminal sentencing," picked up by the Arizona Capitol Times and other state media outlets. Her ASN story, "Arizona livestock industry sizzles over selling plant-based meat" was picked up by the Arizona Daily Independent and other outlets. Read her other stories at

Gabrielle Mix published a story for Arizona Sonora News, "Hard-core work to get to the corps de ballet," on Feb. 20.

Grad student Monika Damron published a story for Arizona Sonora News, "Catch of the day and then some: A holistic U.A. exhibit on trawling for shrimp," on Feb. 14.

Arizona Daily Star apprentice Ashley Fredde, published several stories, including "UA expels fraternity" (Feb. 10) and "Free weekly legal defense clinics give convicted felons second chance" (Feb. 25). Fredde is also executive producer at the Arizona Daily Wildcat's UATV3.

Arizona Daily Star apprentice David Martinez saw some of his photos published Feb. 6, "Wounded soldier receives new home." Martinez teamed up with Star photographer Mike Christy ('11).

Amy BaileyNick TrujilloAna Beltran and Pascal Albright of the Arizona Daily Wildcat shared photo credits in a "Snow Day at UA" slideshow on Feb. 22, while Mike Christy ('11) contributed to an Arizona Daily Star slideshow with more images of snow around Tucson.

Grad student Kristan Obeng read to students at Booth-Fickett K-8 Math/Science Magnet School during last week's national African-American Read-In. Tucson Unified School District posted a photo on its website.

Arizona Republic reporter John D'Anna ('83), a member of the school's Journalism Advisory Council, talked to several classes on Feb. 6, including Mort Rosenblum's students (see photos). D'Anna detailed how he helped solve a 1931 mystery about a "miracle baby" found on a roadside, which ran as a 10-part series (

Brandon Mejia ('17) was promoted to the evening anchor for KSWT Channel 13, the CBS affiliate in Yuma.

Natalie D'Anna ('16) is an assistant sports media relations manager at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles ( She is the daughter of Arizona Republic reporter John D'Anna ('83).

Sarah Kezele ('11), a freelance broadcast reporter in the Phoenix area, was the in-game host for the UA baseball team's home opener on Feb. 15 at Hi Corbett Field.

April Warnecke ('00), a meteorologist for 3TV CBS 5 in Phoenix, interviewed UA athletic director Dave Heeke about the new Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center across from Arizona Stadium.

Lynne Olson ('69) published her eighth book, "Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler." The Random non-fiction book received positive reviews from Publisher's Weekly ( and Kirkus ( Olson is a member of the UA School of Journalism Hall of Fame ( and

David Dykes ('73), a freelance finance reporter and editor, highlighted the issues of journalism's changing business model to students at Nagpur University in India in late January. Content is still key, he said, adding: “Press in a community works as a watchdog and one must never underestimate the power of good journalism." Dykes, a longtime Greenville (S.C.) News journalist, joined other key alums in the mid-1990s to help dissuade administrators from eliminating the UA journalism program. Last year, he gave the school all of his files from that save-the-department campaign.

Feb. 2, 2019

The Arizona Daily Star apprentices for the spring 2019 semester are Ashley Fredde, David Martinez, Alex Munoz, Jasmine Demers, Rob Kleifield and Dalal Radwan.

Pascal Albright helped faculty and staff present a journalism workshop on Feb. 2 to 150 Phoenix-area high school juniors at Mesa Community College.

Master's student Jasmine Demers, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, saw her story on Tucson playwrights run as the cover package in the Jan. 23 Caliente. She also published a preview, "Invisible Theatre's 'Dancing Lesson' tackles the difficulty of connecting," on Jan. 29.

Dalal Radwan's first apprentice story for the Arizona Daily Star on an Asian lantern festival was published on Page 4 of today's Caliente. Radwan, who works on the digital desk, covered the event on Feb. 2 on Instagram and produced a video for the event.

Alex Munoz published his first story Jan. 26 as a sports apprentice for the Arizona Daily Star on the UA hockey team.

Rob Kleifield had his first apprentice sports story, "Arizona golfers David Laskin, Trevor Werbylo think Wildcats can make run at national title," published Jan. 27 in the Arizona Daily Star.

Marissa Heffernan, a NASA Space Grant intern for the Arizona Daily Star, had the A1 centerpiece in the Jan. 28 paper with a science story, "UA researchers seeking to create mosquito birth control to curb tropical diseases." To read all her work, go to

Jeremiah Morrow, a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience, wrote a story on UA's "meat lab" for Tom Beal's science journalism class last semester. The Arizona Daily Star published it on the front of Sunday's Home & Life page.

Griffin Riley and other students are enjoying the new smart whiteboard in the Reading Room. It works with a smartphone to save screen shots to students' phones and creates a digital archive, says Prof. Michael McKisson, who secured funding for the board through an Online News Association grant.

Courtney Talak ('18) is a staff photographer and reporter for the Longview (Washington) Daily News. See her first photo assignment of 2019, the first baby born in PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center.

Courtney Rice ('18) is a social media intern with the Arizona Diamondbacks and a Live Social Contributor with the NHL.  

Danyelle Khmara ('17) received a lot of positive feedback from readers for this Jan. 25 Good Samaritan tale, "Tucson man helps save woman with CPR he learned from TV's 'The Office' " in the Arizona Daily Star.

Christianna Silva ('17) has started a new LGBTQ newsletter in New York. Click here to check out a Q&A between J-school student Jesse Tellez of the Arizona Daily Wildcat and Silva. 

Malena Larson ('16) is a freelance production assistant for Fox Business Network. She works on two shows: "Mornings with Maria" and "Varney & Co."

Rogelio "Roy" Olivas ('85), news editor at the Yuma Sun, was named manager of the year by the newspaper. Olivas, a former Tucson Citizen journalist, showed off his award with Andrew Koleski ('18), another J-school grad and a Sun copy editor.

Photojournalist Rebecca Noble ('17) joined the Jackson Hole (Wyoming) News & Guide as a multimedia intern ( She also became an associate member of American Reportage for 2019.

Justin Spears ('17) of the Arizona Daily Star wrote a story about three UA alums who produce ESPN's "The Jump" basketball show: Danny Corrales (below) and J-school grads Michael Schwartz ('08) and Eitan Cramer ('12).

Poynter says "Today" show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie ('93) "was criticized from all sides" following her interview with Nicholas Sandmann, the high school student who stood face-to-face with a Native American elder in Washington, D.C. "When you’re getting criticized from both sides, there’s a decent chance you did a good job," Poynter's Tom Jones writes.

Jan. 11, 2019

The team of Ava Garcia and Rocky Baier and the duo of Phillip Bramwell and Erin Thomson each will receive $4,700 to work with the Arizona Daily Star on producing news apps for readers. The two teams and other students in Professor Michael McKisson's product development class gave their final pitches to the Arizona Daily Star on Dec. 10. Garcia's and Baier's winning proposal, "Tu Salud Tucson," aims to be a healthcare app in English and Spanish to help people from the Latinx community. Bramwell's and Thomson's winning proposal, "AccessAbility," aims to be a hub for people with physical disabilities to find information on access, such as restaurants. Click here to see all the students' product pitches.

Broadcast students produced two "Arizona Cat's Eye" episodes last month. The first show featured anchors Lorren Walker and Alexis Whitaker; executive producer Walker; and staffers Jazz Ramos, Eileen Kerrigan, Sierra Burk, Morgan Buttafuoco and Sienna Leone. The second show featured anchors Hector Ponce and Sascha Fruehauf; executive producer Carsyn Currier; and staffers Olivia Jackson, Micheal Romero, Lori Lipson and Ashley Agbede.

Alex Eschelman interviewed UA basketball player Dylan Smith for Arizona Athletics after the Wildcats' overtime win over Utah on Jan. 5. See the video.

Winter grad Simon Asher became the first J-school student to earn his remote pilot license to fly a drone. Professor Michael McKisson also earned his recertification. The two have worked on drone videography projects together for Arizona Public Media. Go to for info on how to hire students for digital services.

Zac Ogden finished his fall internship at Tucson Local Media and the Tucson Weekly. One of his stories included "SaddleBrooke Ranch residents enjoying new community brewery."

Brianna Lewis wrapped up her internship at Tucson Local Media and the Tucson Weekly. One of her stories included "Traveling Witness: Why author Jesse Sensibar records death on the highway."

Chandler Donald finished his internship at Tucson Local Media and the Tucson Weekly. One of his stories included "Seeking Support: Nonprofit celebrates 20 years of supporting transgender folks and their families."

Micheal Romero wrapped up his fall internship at the Arizona Jewish Post. He wrote more than a dozen stories, including "Hadassah Southern Arizona fashion show will be celebration of diversity."

Tom Collins received a kidney from fellow 1998 J-school graduate Bryan Hance. The two are also Arizona Daily Wildcat alums. Click here to read 2002 grad Jeremy Duda's feature. 

Arizona Republic reporter John D'Anna ('83) wrote a 10-part series on the "Hatbox Baby," a 1931 Arizona Christmas mystery, and how he helped solve it. Read the first story, and watch David Wallace's accompanying documentary

Los Angeles Times copy editor Kristina Bui ('13) helped negotiate stronger hiring and diversity protections for staffers at the newspaper in a Dec. 20 agreement. Click here to read the story.

Michelle Floyd ('17), a former UA softball pitcher who is playing professionally in Italy, worked with production units at the Arizona Bowl in Tucson (CBS Sports Network) and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena (ESPN). She's also working on her master's in strategic brand communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Student Media Director Brett Fera ('05) welcomed back Kyle Hansen ('16), who covered the Montana-UA men's basketball game at McKale Center in December. Kyle is the beat writer for the Missoulian and covered the UA team for the Arizona Daily Wildcat in 2015-16.

In memoriam
Yvonne Ervin, a 1984 J-school and Arizona Daily Wildcat alumna and founding director of the Tucson Jazz Society, died Dec. 26 after suffering a heart attack after liver transplant surgery. She was 59. She and her husband, Alan Hershowitz, regularly participated in homecoming events with the J-school and the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. This year, she and the Jazz Festival Foundation sponsored SBS’s Downtown Lecture Series. Read adjunct instructor Cathy Burch's obit on Ervin in the Arizona Daily Star.

Shelley Shelton ('04) has been in ICU at Banner University Medical Center with an autoimmune muscle disease since November. Shelley, an Arizona Daily Wildcat alumna, is a content specialist at Madden Media and a former Arizona Daily Star journalist. Her husband, Marcus Coltrin, and friends have set up an online campaign to pay for part of her medical bills.