Student/Alumni Kudos

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 andShayne 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 avideo 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 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.