Presenting the Summer 2019 Class of Chips Quinn Scholars

Welcome to the Summer 2019 class of Chips Quinn Scholars! This is the final post introducing the 28 scholars in advance of the 49th CQS orientation and multimedia training, which begins Monday in Nashville, Tenn. We present the remaining 10 scholars here. (The first  and second groups, ICYMI.) 

Name: Tsanavi Spoonhunter
Hometown: Big Pine, Calif.
College: University of California, Berkeley
Host media site: Indian Country Today (Phoenix)
In my free time I attend cultural events with my family, work on traditional crafts and participate in most outdoor activities.
I’d give an eyetooth to interview: Trevor Noah, because he’s able to enlighten his audience on issues within the government but in a way that is engaging and lighthearted. I’d like to know how he crafted his unique voice and why he isn’t afraid to share his opinions.
Book I’m recommending to fellow journalists: Matthew Desmond’s “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” The book challenged my thoughts on decision-making in response to ethical issues journalists face.
Dream journalism job: To work on stories I want to work on and having the time to do so in a thoughtful, thorough manner.
Favorite podcast: “All My Relations,” by Matika Wilbur, a member of the Swinomish and Tulalip tribes, and Adrienne Keene, a Cherokee Nation member.
I get my news from Indian Country Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, High Country News and NPR, among others.

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Name: Lorenzo Morotti
Hometown: San Pablo, Calif.
College: San Francisco State University
Host newspapers: Gannett-Southwest Florida (Naples, Fort Myers)
Statement: I’d given up academic life after high school. After a few years of working dead-end jobs and blowing my money on the weekends, I changed my mind. During that time, I found my passion. I’m good at listening to people and sharing stories. Not just any story would do, though. I wanted to be a muckraker. My goal as a journalist is to speak truth to power like Ida B. Wells or Upton Sinclair. Journalism became my profession the moment I enrolled in Contra Costa College and began working at the campus newspaper, The Advocate, in 2013. I took a risk, quit my crappy part-time job and dedicated my time to journalism. Within a year I became editor-in-chief of the paper. I transferred to SF State in 2017. Now, as editor-in-chief of the student-run Golden Gate Xpress, I am helping communities of color, women and other marginalized people by covering topics mainstream news outlets wouldn’t touch. After I graduate I plan on creating a subversive news-documentary organization that focuses on breaking racial and class stereotypes. I’ll do this with the talented people I’ve met while pursuing the profession I love.

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Name: Alexis Clark
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
College: Tennessee State University
Host newspaper: The Tennessean (Nashville)
How I got interested in journalism: When I was younger I loved writing, especially a story, essay or thought. As I got older I noticed I love finding a story and spreading awareness to others. I naturally fell in love with watching anchors or hosts on TV and always knew this was going to be my calling.
For fun I make pottery and other ceramics.
Journalism idol: Oprah Winfrey, because she is a multimedia mogul who also attended Tennessee State. I love how dedicated she is toward her career. She inspires me to become a better individual and journalist.
Most important quality a journalist can have: Being passionate and fearless.
Boldest thing I’ve done in life: I went hiking in the mountains in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and zip-lined across a body of water (my biggest fear).
I get my news from CNN, The Tennessean, The New York Times.

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Name: Héctor Arzate
Hometown: Richmond, Calif.
College: Humboldt State University
Host publication: Education Week (Bethesda, Md.)
How I got interested in journalism: I started writing for my college’s bilingual newspaper, El Leñador. At the time, it was the only news publication in northern coastal California to be producing content in Spanish. I had never written anything outside of a class assignment, but I learned how to report on people and communities whose stories don’t always get told, let alone translated. Sharing their stories is what stuck with me.
In my free time I cook. I love coming home after a long day and putting together a quick dinner, or waking up early on the weekend to start an endeavor. I even call my mom when I miss her cooking to learn her recipes. I can never get it right like she does, though.
Journalism idol: Ta-Nehisi Coates, because of his push to hone his writing skills and his focus on reading and research, and because his voice compels readers to think about social and political issues in the U.S.
Journalism work I’m proud of: An investigative piece about the unsolved murder of an African American student whose death drew parallels to that of another student 16 years later.
Favorite podcast: “Still Processing,” by The New York Times.
For my internship I’ll pack a collection of short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, an old 35 mm camera, my Oakland A’s baseball cap, a tortilla press and a comal so I can make my own tortillas.

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Name: Zoë Jackson
Hometown: Detroit
College: Western Michigan University
Host newspaper: Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Book I’m recommending to fellow journalists: “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea,” by Barbara Demick. The series of interviews with North Korean refugees reminded me of the importance of storytelling during a time when I needed the reminder. Demick’s book took me to a place that can sometimes be difficult to imagine. I read the book when I was in the 11th grade, but I think of it often.
Dream journalism job: I would love to pursue a political reporting career with a focus in print and digital. I am also interested in engagement and travel reporting.
Journalism work I’m proud of: The idea for my story “Local man rebuilds skatepark for Flint kids” came from a GoFundMe post on Facebook and became a human-interest piece with a spark of city politics. I found out later that its publication helped to raise the last of the funds needed to renovate the park.
For my internship I’ll pack a few books I’ve been meaning to read all semester, my Chacos sandals and the list of places to check out in Minneapolis that I’ve been building up.
Boldest thing I’ve done in life: Deciding to study abroad in Spain this fall! I am looking forward to studying Spanish and exploring the country.
Most important quality in a journalist: Perseverance. Whether it’s chasing a story, working on internship applications or tracking down a source, so much of this job is focused on determination.

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Name: Clevis Murray
Hometown: Boston
College: Suffolk University
Host newspaper: The Tennessean (Nashville)
How I got interested in journalism: I liked reading and writing.
In my free time I read.
Book I’m recommending to fellow journalists: “Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership from the Twentieth Century’s Greatest Winner,” by Bill Russell.
Most important quality a journalist can have: Being personable.
Favorite app: Twitter.
I get my news from social media.

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Name: Olivia Sanchez
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
College: University of Oregon, University of Portland (B.A.)
Host newspaper: USA TODAY (McLean, Va.)
How I got interested in journalism: I studied psychology as an undergrad because I am fascinated by people. I loved to write so I joined the school paper and quickly realized that reporting fused my passions in the most perfectly challenging way.
For fun I try to make art or dance or do both every day.
I’d give an eyetooth to interview the Rev. Mark Poorman, president of the University of Portland, because I do not understand his leadership style or any of the major decisions he makes, but I want to. The community, which I care about deeply, would benefit from some transparency and dialogue.
Book I’m recommending to fellow journalists: “If You Feel Too Much,” by Jamie Tworkowski. I believe in prioritizing and destigmatizing mental health, especially among journalists.
Favorite podcast: “In The Dark” (season 2).
For my internship I’ll pack my cat Franny.

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Name: Kalaisha Totty
Hometown: Born in Oakland, Calif.; living in San Pedro and Long Beach, Calif.
College: California State University, Long Beach
Host newspaper: The Press-Telegram (Long Beach)
In my free time: I’m a dancer, currently taking a break from my dance company. I like to cook and I’m beginning to master the art of baking.
I’d give an eyetooth to interview: Cristi Hegranes, founder of Global Press Institute. She was the keynote speaker at a journalism conference I attended, and her mission and company have ignited such promise for women of color, women around the world and women in journalism. I would love to interview her. I hope one day to work with or for her.
Dream journalism job: Traveling the world, telling feature stories about people and their communities through multimedia storytelling.
Most important quality a journalist can have: Fearlessness. To stick to your guns, to tell the truth no matter how dirty or scary it is, to stay true to oneself in a world of corruption.
Favorite journalism movie: “All the President’s Men,” about the two Washington Post reporters who covered the Watergate scandal.
Journalism work I’m proud of: Covering victims of torture in Turkey and the human rights organizations fighting for them.

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Name:Barbara Smith
Hometown: Northville, Mich.
College: Arizona State University
Host media site: Thomson Reuters (Chicago)
How I got interested in journalism: It was always around me as a kid. My dad has had a subscription to Time and Entertainment Weekly, my mom read the Detroit Free Press, and I would sit and watch the nightly news with my grandfather.
In my free time I shop, find recipes to cook, go to the gym, put together outfits I want to wear in the future, look up unsolved missing-person cases.
Dream journalism job: Covering art in Miami.
Most important quality a journalist can have: The ability to connect with people. No one likes an awkward interview.
Boldest thing I’ve done in life: Getting a nose ring because I was bored, or moving 2,000 miles away from everything I’ve known just to attend my dream college. It’s a toss-up.
For my internship I’ll pack plenty of pens, because they just disappear for no good reason. Also my AirPods, so I can dramatically take one out when people feel the need to talk to me.

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Name: Nugesse Ghebrendrias
Hometown: Fresno, Calif.
College: California State University, Fresno
Host media site: In progress
For fun I like to ride bikes. There are many beautiful trails and parks in California, so having that has been great for me.
I’d give an eyetooth to interview Actor Don Cheadle. He’s just so cool.
Journalism idol: The late ESPN sportscaster and anchor Stuart Scott was a great example of a journalist. His enthusiasm and his knowledge of the subjects he covered showed how much he loved what he did. I want to find that same passion.  
Dream journalism job: Being a beat reporter for the New York Mets, or maybe being a part of the ESPN FC team covering European soccer.
Most important quality a journalist can have: Curiosity. A good journalist should be curious about all things and always want to know more.
I get my news from The New York Times, BBC or CNN. I can’t say I rely on a specific one; reading multiple publications fits my interests well.

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