Student/Alumni Kudos

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 Bailey, Nick Trujillo, Ana 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.