Student/Alumni Kudos

March 9, 2018

Students in Susan Knight's "Inside the Beltway: Press, Politics and Power in D.C." class visited Washington with her over spring break, meeting journalists and government officials, including UA alums. The students were Madeline Dunlap, Lizzie Quinlan, Rocky Baier, Michelle Jaquette, Bennett Adamson, Jane Garza, Jack O’Sullivan, Marissa Ryan and Nick Meyers. December grad Danyelle Khmara also attended. Grads Kellie Mejdrich (CQ Roll Call), Jenny Hijazi (PBS News Hour), Mary Brandenberger (DEA media affairs) and H Darr Beiser (retired USA Today photographer), and Washington Post reporter Jack Gillum talked to students. Colleen Bagnall with the College of SBS also hosted a reception for students and alums at the Watergate Hotel with J-school grads Paul Allvin (USO), Nancy Cleeland (OSHA, Dept. of Labor), Christine Gacharna (Essay Palooza), Francesco Peganini (U.S. Aid), Paula Kelso (Washington Post), Saul Loeb (Agence France-Presse), Michele Stevenson (retired Time magazine), Margo Warren (National Institutes of Health), Pat Zapor (Catholic Legal Immigration Network) and Beiser. Intercept reporter Jim Risen also attended.
Shaq Davis is a part-time reporter at the Arizona Daily Star, covering the night police beat. Read some of his work here, including the March 6 "Tucson high school students dress up as superheroes to teach kids about personal safety."
Gloria Knott wrote, "10 reasons journalists decide to write books," for the Arizona Daily Star on March 9. She also wrote 11 stories for the Arizona Daily Star in February, 10 of which were about the Festival of Books.
Tirion Morris, an apprentice at the Arizona Daily Star, shared a byline with Curt Prendergrast ('11) with the March 1 story, "Plea: Agent wore uniform, drove stolen Border Patrol pickup in pot-smuggling effort."
J-school students Saul BookmanAlec WhiteSimon Asher, Nate Airulla, Courtney Rice, Robby Leaño  and Leonard Moody covered the UA men's basketball run to a Pac-12 Tournament title in Las Vegas for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, UATV and KAMP Student Radio. See their coverage at
Arizona Sonora News posted new stories March 2 on Dreamer parents (by Noemi Salazar Mata), soccer in Tucson (Zach Smith), a Sierra Vista domestic violence shelter (Maritza Cruz), gender wage gap Gloria Knott), Legislative roundup (Erik Kolsrud), Sonoran hot dog (Sammy Minsk), ACL tear (Conor Redmond) — and a podcast on a campaign to provide female inmates sanitary napkins (Brieana Sealy).
Carmen Valencia, Robby Leaño and Jessica Suriano spoke to 11 students from Hopi High School on March 1 about their journalism projects and life at the UA J-school.
Grad student Emily Ellis, an intern at Arizona Public Media, saw her story and radio segment on turquoise promoted by UANews in its e-newsletter. 
The UA student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists hosted a Feb. 28 talk by award-winning journalist Valeria Fernández. She helped make "Two Americans," a documentary comparing the lives of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and a 9-year-old whose parents were arrested in an immigration sweep.
Justyn Thomas, a J-school student and four-year manager of the UA men's basketball team , was honored March 3 on Senior Day by UA coach Sean Miller after the Wildcats' win over Cal. Thomas traveled to Spain for the exhibition tour in August and the Bahamas in November, and will accompany the team for the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments.
Caitlin Schmidt ('14) of the Arizona Daily Star has moved from the public safety beat to cover UA Athletics for at least the next month. Here's her recent story: "Turmoil in UA athletic department prompts review of policies involving sexual violence, discrimination."
Frank O. Sotomayor ('66), who chairs the school's Journalism Advisory Council, is covering UA track and field for the Arizona Daily Star. Read his story, "Wildcat standout Georgeanne Moline returns to Tucson with gold."
Kyle Mittan ('14) is a UA Communications specialist, helping manage content for the Lo Que Pasa employee newsletter, after previous work at the Bellingham (Wash.) Herald.
Amber Sumpter ('13) is a senior producer at News 13 in Orlando, a 24-hour cable news channel that covers Central Florida.
Bryon Wells ('99) is a writer-editor for the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of UAS (drones) Integration in Washington, D.C., after previous work at the Inter-American Foundation.
Emi Komiya ('13) is a broadcast specialist with the U.S. Marine Corps Community Services in Okinawa, Japan, after previous work as a multimedia journalist at KPNX in Phoenix and at KGRZ in Buffalo.
Devlin Houser ('11), a former Arizona Public Media contributing reporter, is a Spanish teacher at Tucson Magnet High School.
Maizie Simpson ('14) is assigning editor at Credit Karma, based in the San Francisco Bay Area after previous work at Magoosh, in Berkeley, California.