Student/Alumni Kudos

April 21, 2017

Hannah Dahl won the Mark Finley Gold Pen Award in the school's spring 2017 best beginning news writing contest for JOUR 205 students on April 17. Gabrielle Mix finished second, and Michaela Webb took third. Dahl will receive $1,000 in scholarship money, followed by Mix ($750) and Webb ($500). Click here for more details.

Ciara Encinas landed a CBS News summer internship in Washington D.C. Encinas, a KOLD-TV/Tucson News Now intern and reporter for the Arizona Daily Wildcat's UATV 3, will work with the CBS Newspath team —reporting on stories, coordinating scripts and assisting on shoots, to name a few duties.

David Del Grande accepted a summer internship with NJ Advance Media and, which creates content for 15 print newspapers in New Jersey, including The Star-Ledger in Newark.

Ten students from the school's U.S.-Mexico border reporting class produced the multimedia project, "Bordering 110°," which compares the towns of Nogales with two in Montana/Alberta. Brenna Bailey, Maritza Camila Dominguez Azua, Mark Flores, Jenny Hijazi, Erik Clark Kolsrud, Genesis Lara, Chastity Eva Laskey, Julia Leon, Amanda Oien and Stephen Oliver used drones, 360° video and audio to enhance the project. See it here.

Chastity Laskey was named editor-in-chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat for the summer and fall. "I'm very thankful for all the experiences the Wildcat has given me ... every day I get to meet and work alongside great journalists and amazing people," said Laskey, a Wildcat reporter and editor for the last six semesters.

Mikayla Mace defended her master's thesis, "Newspaper Coverage of Mars in the United States and United Kingdom 2011-2016" on April 14 in Marshall 340. Mace, who wants to be a science journalist, received her B.S. from UA in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, with a minor in Astronomy. Carol Schwalbe (chair), Jeannine Relly and Susan E. Swanberg were her committee members. 

Bakina Wellars defended his master's thesis, "The Influence of Foreign News Programs on the International News Agenda of Rwandan Television and Newspapers," on April 14 in Marshall 341.Carol Schwalbe (chair), Jeannine Relly and Sally Ann Cruikshank (Auburn) were his committee members. Wellars plans to return to Rwanda and teach. 

Andrew Paxton and other students in SPJ sponsored a panel discussion, "The Future of Press Freedom in an Era of Fake News," on April 12 at the UA Main Library. David Del Grande filmed the event for Facebook live. Click here to see it. 

Justin Spears saw his Arizona Sonora News story about Tombstone charging $3 to visit the Boothill Graveyard run on A1 of the April 10 Arizona Daily Star. Read it here.

Michelle Jaquette, a Star apprentice, saw her story, "Tucson Water old treatment plant on South Side now unnecessary," published on April 15.

Isaac Andrews wrote a story for the Arizona Daily Wildcat on fake news, quoting school Director David Cuillier and Arizona Daily Star editor Jill Jorden Spitz ('88). Click here to read it.

Michelle Floyd, a UA softball pitcher and journalism major, received the Wildcat Way Award of Distinction at the April 19 CATSYS athletic awards. Floyd met Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton, a former Wildcat star who co-hosted the event at McKale.

Houston Chronicle reporter Susan Carroll ('99) contributed to a series ("Special Education Denied") that finished as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service (read her story). ProPublica and the New York Daily News won the award, led by Sarah Ryley's reporting on police abuse of eviction rules. Another J-school alum, 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner Ryan Gabrielson, works for ProPublica. 

The school welcomed three new members to its Journalism Advisory Council, all UA journalism grads: Hipolito Corella ('90), senior editor at the Arizona Daily Star; Chyrl Hill Lander ('76), former Star journalist and adjunct instructor; and Nicole Santa Cruz ('09), reporter at the Los Angeles Times. Click here to read about all the council members.

Kayla S. Samoy ('15) started last week at The Associated Press in Chicago as a news associate, responsible for South Dakota, Indiana and Texas.

Samantha Munsey ('12) of the Arizona Daily Star won two second-place awards in the regional Best of the West competition for online presentation and for border reporting in the Star's Beyond the Wall project with a team that included Curt Prendergast ('11) and Mike Christy ('11).

Savannah Guthrie ('93), co-anchor for NBC's "Today Show," gave advice and reflected on her career in a a Skype interview on April 20 with 50 students in Marshall 340. See photos here and stay tuned for a video.

Frank O. Sotomayor ('66) talked to Jeannine Relly's beginning reporting class about diversity, content and sourcing. Sotomayor, who chairs our Journalism Advisory Council, also gave insight into his new online book, "The Pulitzer Long Shot" — about the L.A. Times series he co-edited on Latinos that won the 1984 Pulitzer for public service.