Student/Alumni Kudos

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.