Welcome to the Summer 2019 class of Chips Quinn Scholars! This is the second of three posts introducing the scholars in advance of the 49th CQS orientation and multimedia training in Nashville, Tenn., in May. Meet the second group of nine scholars. (Here’s the first group, ICYMI.)
Name: Juliana Kim
Hometown: New York City
College: Barnard College
Host newspaper: The Baltimore Sun
How I got interested in journalism: I was drawn to journalism early. At my mother’s nail salon, I would steal copies of The New Yorker from the coffee table and hide in the massage room. There was a superhero element to the stories I read and saw on the news. I decided if there was a way I could help families, neighborhoods and schools like the ones I grew up in, it was going to be through journalism.
For fun I watch documentaries, take photos while strolling through my neighborhood and browse through the nonfiction aisle of my public library.
Journalism idol: Jennifer Gonnerman, staff writer for The New Yorker, who wrote about Kalief Browder in “Beyond the Law.” Browder killed himself after spending three years in Rikers Island without having been convicted of a crime. I admire Gonnerman’s determination and persistence as she exposes the faults of our criminal justice system and her empathy and gentleness toward her sources. One of my sources in Harlem, Taylonn Murphy, was once profiled in The New Yorker, and Murphy raved about the journalist who spent time with him, noting her kindness and compassion. I thought, “That’s the kind of journalist I want to be.” Funny enough, it was Jennifer Gonnerman.
Boldest thing I’ve done in life: During a community board meeting I was reporting on, I noticed that the man sitting next to me was an important member of the board. He had a manila folder full of documents, one of which bore a “Columbia University” letterhead stamp. When he went to the bathroom, I read the documents in the folder and took photos. The information propelled me to investigate unmet housing promises made by Columbia. Looking back, I probably didn’t have to pull an “Oceans 8” moment to complete the story.
Favorite podcast: The New York Times’ “Caliphate” by Ruchmini Callimachi.
For my internship I’ll pack essential reporting gear: pen, paper, hair tie. I’ll also bring my camera equipment.
Name: Margo Snipe
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
College: Georgetown University
Host publication: The Marshall Project (New York)
For fun I drink coffee, run near the D.C. monuments, bake pies, debate social issues with family, go out for sushi or dessert with friends.
Dream journalism job: Any reporting that sparks meaningful conversations, adds stamps to my passport and sends me to meet new people.
Most important quality a journalist can have: An unwavering devotion to thoughtful reporting – comprehensive research, intentional listening, fair word choice, honest presentation of the facts and eloquent writing.
Boldest thing I’ve done in life: Make my wildest dreams life goals! CNN hired me this spring, and I got to work for and around reporters I’ve watched for years: Jim Acosta, Kaitlin Collins and Abby Phillips. Beyond my career, being a volleyball player at Georgetown University was a dream come true.
Journalism work I’m proud of: The GU272 and Georgetown University’s history with slavery. I traveled to Maringouin, La., to report on the modern-day implications of a 180-year-old decision by the Maryland Jesuits to sell 272 slaves from Georgetown’s campus to Louisiana plantations.
For my internship I’ll pack my subway card to get around New York City.
Name: Edward Moreno
Hometown: McAllen, Texas
College: University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley
Host newspaper: The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)
In my free time I chip away at my queue of books and watch documentaries and YouTube videos.
Most important quality a journalist can have: You need a certain level of humility to be successful in this industry. If you aren’t able to accept feedback and criticism, I don’t think you’ll last very long in the field.
Favorite journalism movie: “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”
Favorite podcast: It’s difficult to choose, but the one I enjoy the most would have to be “AsÍ Como Suena.” It’s like a Mexican version of public radio’s “This American Life” (also a favorite).
I get my news from Twitter, then depending on how interested I am, I’ll visit the websites of The New York Times, Vox or Apple News.
For my internship I’ll pack books I want to finish, some of my mom’s cooking and a lot of sunscreen.
Name: Joseph Choi
Hometown: Gwangju, South Korea
College: Middle Tennessee State University
Host newspaper: The Tennessean (Nashville)
How I got interested in journalism: I always had an interest in writing but never truly connected with fiction writing. Seeing in the news how journalists were being imprisoned and persecuted inspired me to pursue journalism as a career. I saw the important role that free and open media played in the lives of everyday people and the undeniable value in investigating people in power.
I’d give an eyetooth to interview whoever takes over after Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika fully resigns from office. The actions of his successor have enormous implications in a region that still hasn’t fully recovered from the Arab Spring, and it seems that the military may be taking power.
Book I’m recommending to fellow journalists: “Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel,” by George Saunders. In this book of fiction Saunders intersperses real-life accounts of President Abraham Lincoln around the time his son William died. It’s always good to remember that journalists are the first to capture history and that our work, regardless of its size or immediate relevance, can serve countless people in the future.
Journalism idol: Katie Couric. She has maintained a long and steady career without major faults. She also spearheads and promotes innovation in the next steps of what journalism is becoming.
Dream journalism job: I would love to work for a wire service abroad.
Boldest thing I’ve done in life: Produce and publish my own podcast, “Off Paper.” Searching for subjects to interview was a long, tedious process, but it was a great learning experience in how to treat people when acting as a member of the media.
Name: Ava Garcia
College: University of Arizona
Host newspaper: The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)
How I got interested in journalism: I’ve always been curious about the world around me. At age 8, I started a newspaper detailing family events for my family and friends. It was something fun to do to satisfy my curiosity and share news with others. As I got older, I realized it wasn’t just a hobby but rather something that could actually help people make informed decisions. I was hooked.
For fun I run and hike. I love being outside and enjoying nature and also going to concerts and community events.
Dream journalism job: Covering climate change around the world. It’s an important global issue, and I would love to devote my work to understanding how people around the world are coping with it.
Favorite journalism movie: “Spotlight.” It tells an important story and depicts the work journalists must do to uncover it.
Favorite app: Apple News, because it aggregates news from different sources so I get a mix of perspectives and voices.
I get my news from local media outlets including The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Local Media and The Arizona Republic. Also, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Atlantic, Vox, NPR and more.
Name: Nirmal Mulaikal
Hometown: Aurora, Ill.
College: Northwestern University
Host newspapers: Treasure Coast Newspapers, USA TODAY Network (Stuart, Fla.)
For fun: I am an avid fan of watching basketball and boxing, reading books, listening to jazz and R&B music and listening to investigative podcasts.
Book I’m recommending to fellow journalists: “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis, because it an excellent example of enterprise reporting and highlights unknown facts about the U.S. government.
Dream journalism job: I would love to work at Netflix’s “Patriot Act,” or as part of an investigative team at a national outlet.
Most important quality a journalist can have: Resilience and adaptability.
Favorite podcast: “Stuff You Should Know,” co-hosted by Charles Bryant and Josh Clark. I learn something new every time.
For my internship I’ll pack beach clothes, a basketball and lots of books.
Name: Riane Roldan
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
College: Emerson College
Host publication: The Texas Tribune (Austin)
How I got interested in journalism: Working at my first college newspaper, The Reporter, at Miami Dade College.
For fun I like to shoot photos of my friends on film and develop them.
Favorite journalism movie: “The Post.”
Journalism work I’m proud of: “Code of Silence,” about an imprisoned Miami man who was awaiting a new trial after new evidence was discovered.
I get my news from NPR or The Daily in the mornings, Twitter in the afternoon.
For my internship I’ll pack running shoes.
Name: Rebekah Tuchscherer
Hometown: Milbank, S.D.
College: Augustana University
Host newspaper: USA TODAY (New York)
How I got interested in journalism: My mom is a high-school English teacher and encouraged me not only to write well but also to write about things that matter. This manifested in a huge love for reading, some extra English courses and a decision to major in journalism. Even while working at my college newspaper, I’ve seen the awareness that good, empathetic reporting can create, and I can’t wait to pursue a career reporting stories that spark important change.
In my free time I love diving into a good book, accompanied by a steamy, slightly-too-large cup of black coffee. I’ve recently gotten into some minor league bird-watching but can only spot the robins, Canada geese and black-capped chickadees. I’m always down for a good bike ride or music festival, or even just jitterbugging on the kitchen tile.
Book I’m recommending to fellow journalists: Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” a collection of short stories based on O’Brien’s time fighting in Vietnam. This book taught me that emotions can never be fully dissociated from numbers, death tolls and foreign experiences, regardless of how hard we might try to do so when researching or experiencing difficult situations. O’Brien’s writing style reminds me that no matter how sterile a story might seem on the surface, there’s always an underlying human factor that merits important and careful reporting.
Most important quality a journalist can have: Empathy. While a good journalist needs hard facts, a strong curiosity and love for truth, all stories stem from some kind of human action. An empathetic journalist knows not only the right questions to ask in an interview, but how to ask them in order to maintain an equal and honest relationship with sources.
Journalism work I’m proud of: I wrote an investigative article last summer on outdated surface-water discharge permits in South Dakota. The state wasn’t following guidelines set by the federal Clean Water Act, and rivers and streams were being contaminated. Reporting this story allowed me to combine investigative journalism with a science background, resulting in an important story about South Dakota and its environment.
Favorite podcast: Public radio’s “This American Life” is my go-to podcast for getting ready in the morning. I love the storytelling threads and how they connect current issues with strange, funny or inexplicably sad topics. They did a Valentine’s Day episode themed around “When Harry Met Sally,” and it was so pure that my heart melted three times.
Name: Leslie Ignacio
Hometown: Canoga Park, Calif.
College: California State University, Northridge
Host television station: Telemundo52/NBC4 (Los Angeles)
How I got interested in journalism: In my senior year of high school I was trying to figure out what I wanted to major in and had too many options in mind. My advanced placement English teacher asked if I’d thought about journalism. That’s when I began to search more into what the field consisted of and fell in love with it.
For fun I dance ballet folklorico, which is traditional Mexican dancing and something I have found a great love for since joining the group at my university. It helps me feel more connected to my roots.
Most important quality a journalist can have: Drive, because if you have a drive for truth, representation or whichever point of view you want to be able to represent or expose in the world, you will go out and find fascinating stories to share.
Favorite journalism movie: “Spotlight,” because it captures the importance of truth within the journalistic field no matter how deep you may have to go. It also shows the older style of journalism, with the clippings, which fascinates me.
Journalism work I’m proud of: The first podcast I created. I told the story of a young Oaxacan undocumented student and her drive for educational success for her and those just like her.
I get my news from anywhere, really. With so many news channels embracing many platforms, I can watch news on Instagram, read updates from Twitter or continue watching from my television in my living room.