Presenting the Summer 2015 Class of Chips Quinn Scholars

They number 15, come from 15 colleges and universities and are assigned to 12 media sites around the country. For many of the members of the Summer 2015 class of Chips Quinn Scholars, their passion for journalism stems from an early love of reading, writing and working with cameras. Many in the class enjoy listening to music, and one Scholar writes music, while another collects it. Other pursuits on the lists of many include being outdoors, traveling and playing video games. One Scholar likes to buy neckties for her boyfriend, while another enjoys reading comics. They also spend their free time engaged in their craft. What are they taking with them to their internships? Journalism essentials such as cameras, audio recorders, notebooks, pens and laptops, and comfortable shoes. One Scholar, a licensed high school basketball referee and baseball umpire, says he will pack his whistle “because you never know when someone needs a ref.” Read on to learn more about the newest class of Chipsters and Meagan White, a student at Middle Tennessee State University, who was invited to participate in the training.


0415_davis2TYLER DAVIS
Hometown: Chicago Heights, Ill.
College: Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Host newspaper: Journal Star (Peoria, Ill.)
What I know about my host newspaper:
The Journal Star has served Peoria, the seventh-largest city in Illinois, for more than 150 years. Owned by Gatehouse Media Publications, the paper has a weekday circulation of more than 63,000. It is one of the few Illinois publications with an in-house printing press, and it prints outside publications, as well as the paper.
How I got interested in journalism:
During my sophomore year in high school, a teacher suggested that my love of writing and telling stories and my inquisitive nature could best be used at the school newspaper. I joined as a sports writer and loved it – from writing to aggravating the school’s administrators to laying out the paper. It became a passion. At the Daily Egyptian, SIU’s student newspaper, I became addicted to investigating issues, informing the public and fine-tuning my writing. Journalism is now a part of me, and I will create a career out of it.
What I do for fun:
I love sports – playing them, playing sports video games, reading up on sports and officiating them. (I am a licensed high school basketball referee and baseball umpire.) I also like reading news, discussing social issues, being outdoors in any fashion and meeting new people.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
Besides the essentials – clothes, phone, laptop – I will bring my whistle, because you never know when someone needs a ref. I’ll also bring my books on sports journalism and my box fan, which is as essential to my sleep as my mattress.
Favorite websites:,,,,


Hometown: Cooper City, Fla.
College: University of Florida
Host newspaper: Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
What I know about my host newspaper:
The Star Tribune, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes in 2013, is the largest newspaper in Minnesota. The paper was sold to Minnesota businessman Glen Taylor in 2014, and its newsroom recently moved to the Capella Tower complex in downtown Minneapolis.
How I got interested in journalism:
I decided to go into journalism after my sixth-grade English teacher encouraged me to consider a career in writing.
What I do for fun:
I’m usually looking up new music, watching crime shows with friends or reading books.
What I will pack for my internship:
Comfortable work shoes for walking around Minneapolis, my laptop and my phone.
Favorite websites: Longreads, Twitter, Gawker, Vice News, The New York Times.


0415_fosterALISHA FOSTER
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.
College: Cornell University
Host media group: Democrat and Chronicle Media Group (Rochester, N.Y.)
What I know about my host newspaper:
It’s a Gannett paper and there have been some major changes to the newsroom recently. My college is near Rochester, so I know a little about the city and the surrounding area.
How I got interested in journalism:
I have always loved writing, and journalism struck me about two years ago as the best kind of writing career because I get to talk to people all the time about things that move them and then make a story out of it.
What I do for fun:
Write, spend time with friends, play outside. Sometimes I play guitar.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
I’ll be covering a jazz festival for part of the summer, so I want to pack a friend who knows a lot about jazz to cart around with me. We’ll see if that works out.
Favorite websites:,,


Hometown: Daytona Beach, Fla.
College: Florida A&M University
Dream newspaper or media group: The New Yorker
Why: You’ve made it as a writer once you’ve been published in The New Yorker. The magazine has such a high standard for its pieces, which are thoughtfully written, educational and thought-provoking.
How I got interested in journalism:
I excelled in my English classes throughout grade school, and I have a natural sense of curiosity. I took an aptitude test before I graduated from high school and learned that journalism was the best fit for my personality and skills.
What I do for fun:
I’m a big nerd who enjoys video games, comics, Japanese manga and animation. I also enjoy traveling to different countries, learning new languages, reading, writing, exercising and collecting music.
Favorite websites:;;


0415_hernandez2DAVID HERNANDEZ
Hometown: Santa Cruz, Calif.
College: San Diego State University
Host newspaper: El Paso (Texas) Times
What I know about my host newspaper:
El Paso Times, founded in 1881, provides daily content for the border city. It has a circulation of about 65,000 on weekdays and 125,000 on Sundays.
How I got interested in journalism:
I chose journalism as a major because of my affinity for writing. I’ve become fascinated with the many facets of the field.
What I do for fun:
I enjoy being outdoors and attending live music events.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
A new notebook, my recorder, laptop, iPhone and Paper Mate Pens.
Favorite websites: Twitter, The New York Times, Vice, Fusion, Rolling Stone.


0415_hernandez-zarateROCÍO HERNÁNDEZ
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
College: University of Nevada, Reno
Host newspaper: Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
What I know about my host newspaper:
It covers Contra Costa County and is one of the many newspapers owned by Bay Area News Group.
How I got interested in journalism:
When I was in high school, I covered a DREAM Act rally for fun. I found that I enjoyed writing and producing news.
What I do for fun:
I like shopping, especially for ties for my boyfriend. I love to read and play video games.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
My audio recorder, tablet, laptop, colorful Sharpies, some good books.
Favorite websites: Facebook,, Buzzfeed, YouTube, Pandora, Google.


0415_moreno2NEREIDA MORENO
Hometown: Colton, Calif.
College: California State University, Fullerton
Host media group/newspaper: Los Angeles News Group/Daily Breeze
What I know about my host newspaper:
In April, the Daily Breeze won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for an investigative project about the widespread corruption of the Centinela Valley Union High School District. The Los Angeles News Group comprises nine newspapers in the greater Los Angeles area.
How I got interested in journalism:
My parents used newspapers and local broadcasts to learn English after they immigrated to the United States. We had a system: I would read the front page and business sections while my dad read local and sports, then we’d trade. The news became a part of our home.
What I do for fun:
I spend all of my free time and money on concerts and coffee. Living on the border of Los Angeles and Orange County allows me to experience the best of both music scenes, from Paul McCartney at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to smaller indie festivals like Burgerama at the Observatory in Santa Ana.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
Luckily, I’ll have a short commute. My car is loaded with notebooks, pens and snacks. I also keep a sweater and extra batteries on hand.
Favorite websites:,,,, Twitter,


0415_mzezewa2TARIRO MZEZEWA
Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe
College: Columbia University
Host media group: Thomson Reuters (New York)
What I know about my host media group:
Reuters is an international news agency that provides fast, intelligent and accurate news in more than 10 languages. It has more than 200 offices in 94 countries and is relied upon by many news organizations for its timely coverage.
How I became interested in journalism:
While volunteering in high school for a nongovernmental organization that helped girls who were victims of human trafficking, I was struck by how few news stories I saw about human rights. I decided to study politics and journalism so I could find and tell the stories of marginalized people whose voices often go unheard.
What I do for fun:
Travel, spend time with friends and watch Netflix.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
Anthony Shadid’s “House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East” and my journal.
Favorite websites:, Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times blog, The Atlantic, Out of Eden Walk, Feministing, Human Rights Watch, The Broadsheet.


0415_nguyenBRIAN NGUYEN
Hometown: Milpitas, Calif.
College: University of California, Davis
Host newspaper: Chicago Tribune
What I know about my host newspaper:
The Chicago Tribune is one of the biggest papers in the nation. It’s a paper of record for the Midwest. It’s one of the more storied papers in the nation and has been influential in American history.
How I got interested in journalism:
I’ve always loved reading the news, but it became something that I thought I could do after my freshman year when my work went viral after the police used pepper spray against protesting students at UC Davis.
What I do for fun:
I go to concerts and hike.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
Good walking shoes, a rain jacket, lots of memory cards.
Favorite websites:,,,


Hometown: New Orleans
College: Louisiana State University
Host newspaper: The Washington Post
What I know about my host newspaper:
Its investigative coverage has included the Watergate scandal and the most recent Pulitzer Prize-winning story about security flaws and negligence in the Secret Service. The Post is the oldest and most-read daily paper in the District of Columbia.
How I got interested in journalism:
I was always keen on storytelling, but my experiences in Japan inspired me to become a journalist. A Japanese international bereavement camp for children of deceased parents reached out to me after learning my mother drowned in the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. A nonprofit group known as ASHINAGA flew me to Japan for the organization’s 2006 and 2007 summer camps, where I learned to deal with my loss with other children from Afghanistan, Colombia, Malaysia, Uganda and other countries. A freelance director who helped in filming the camp encouraged me to look into journalism, given my curiosity and urge to share truthful, accurate stories with people. The experience helped me to accept my past and pursue a career where I can encounter and uncover everything that’s important to American democracy and society.
What I do for fun:
When I’m not binge-watching TV shows and movies, I like to stake out public areas with shade to read my Kindle books and check out my surroundings. I play video games and discuss ways to improve the cop watchdog app I designed with a friend. I’m an avid consumer of information related to race, crime, business, technology and science. I don’t discriminate against any foods, at least not yet.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
Laptop, audio recorder, iPhone, chargers and batteries, iron, clothes, books on media law, my 1968 Olympics Black Power salute poster and my Imagination Nebula poster.
Favorite websites: Facebook, Twitter,,,,,,,


Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
College: Bowling Green State University
Dream media group: CBS or Yahoo sports, covering NCAA basketball.
Why: I’ve always wanted to cover basketball at any level, but in my two years covering BGSU men’s basketball I fell in love with collegiate basketball. Although CBS and Yahoo aren’t the biggest sports media groups, I love what they are doing and the freedom they give their beat reporters. They know they aren’t ESPN, but they still push their reporters to be the best. I admire that.
How I got interested in journalism:
I loved watching ESPN’s “SportsCenter” because of anchor Stuart Scott. His energy got my interest right way. I combined that with my love for writing and reading at a young age, and I fit perfectly in the print journalism sequence. My interest just took off from there.
What I do for fun:
I like to catch up on my favorite sports reporters’ work and play video games with friends.
Favorite websites: CBSSports, Netflix, Twitter, Bleacherreport, Boston Globe, ESPN,, YouTube.


0415_roldan2ROBERTO ROLDAN
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Fla.
College: University of South Florida
Host newspaper: The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)
What I know about my host newspaper:
The Courier-Journal is the result of a merger between two newspapers that predated the Civil War.
How I got interested in journalism:
I was hooked when I wrote my first story for The Oracle, USF’s student newspaper.
What I do for fun:
I love kayaking, hiking, seeing local music acts and drinking craft beer.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
A copy of “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White and “Writing Tools” by Roy Peter Clark.
Favorite website:


Hometown: Carlsbad, N.M., and El Paso, Texas
College: University of Arizona
Host newspaper: St. Cloud (Minn.) Times
What I know about my host newspaper:
I know that the St. Cloud Times is a member of Gannett Co., and that St. Cloud is a small town because the circulation of the newspaper is roughly 30,000.
How I got interested in journalism:
I signed up for newspaper class during my sophomore year of high school to fulfill an elective credit. I wrote a wrestling preview and assumed I needed to take photos for my story, so I went to wrestling practice one afternoon to get some shots. I didn’t know how to use auto focus, and in the wrestling room the mats were black and the walls were purple. Needless to say, it was a terrible photo situation. But I took the photos and when my journalism teacher saw them she told me she wanted me to be a photographer. Year after year, my journalistic career pretty much just fell into place.
What I do for fun:
I suppose I’m lucky because my job is what I do for fun: making photos and videos. I also enjoy running, hiking, traveling, watching documentaries and cooking.
What I’ll pack for my internship:
A sweater? I’ve been living in Arizona so anything below 80 degrees is chilly weather to me.
Favorite websites: NYTimes Documentaries, Vice News, Pinterest.


0415_tameezHANAA TAMEEZ
Hometown: West Windsor, N. J.
College: Stony Brook University
Host newspaper: The Green Bay Press-Gazette
What I know about my host newspaper:
Go Pack Go!
How I got interested in journalism:
I started in radio journalism in high school and then got into print and online media at Stony Brook University.
What I do for fun:
What I’ll pack for my internship:
Hopefully a new DSLR.
Favorite website:


0415_zarateMOZES ZARATE
Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.
College: California State University, Chico
Dream newspaper: The New York Times
Why: They have an expansive influence on public awareness.
How I got interested in journalism:
Reading reports during the recession, and later enrolling in the student newspaper at my community college. The promise of writing for a living kept me interested.
What I do for fun:
I write music and fiction.
Favorite websites: The Atlantic, Vice, LA Times, NY Times.


0515_whiteMEAGAN WHITE
College: Middle Tennessee State University
White is the editor-in-chief of Sidelines, Middle Tennessee State University’s daily online publication. She also works as the student liaison for the campus Center for Innovation in Media and as a contributing reporter for 89.5 WMOT, the campus NPR affiliate. White is a member of the Radio, Television, Digital News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

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