Chips Watch: The Latest Alumni News

Chipsters bring home a team Pulitzer Prize and other journalism awards. Sports reporters are on the move. And one Chipster goes to Dollywood. Read the latest CQS alumni happenings here. 

Promotions and internal moves

Stu Woo at an unrestored part of the Great Wall in China in April.

Stu Woo (Summer 2007) is reporting from Beijing, covering Chinese technology for The Wall Street Journal. Previously he was assigned to WSJ’s London bureau.

Elizabeth Hernandez (Summer 2014) is the higher education reporter for The Denver Post. Previously she was a breaking news reporter with a focus on education.

J. Gabriel Ware (Summer 2017) has been hired by his internship site, ABC News, as a digital news associate in New York.

Tariro Mzezewa (Summer 2015), left,  is a travel reporter for The New York Times. Previously she was a staff editor. Tariro recently talked with Dolly Parton about the expansion of Dollywood, why she sleeps with makeup on and why she never rides the rides at the park for this Q&A feature. “Dolly is hilarious and a badass,” Tariro says. (Photo: Mike Belleme)


New jobs

Joel Marino (Summer 2006) is the strategy and careers editor for Business Insider in New York. Previously he was assistant editor at World Screen.

Kiah Haslett (Spring 2010) is managing editor of Bank Director magazine in Nashville, Tenn. Previously she was a reporter for S&P Global Market Intelligence in Charlottesville, Va. 

Shemar Woods (Summer 2011) is a senior editor for Sports Illustrated’s SI Now. Previously he was night homepage editor for

Cameron Teague Robinson (Summer 2015), is the Louisville football reporter for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky. Previously he was the University of Missouri men’s basketball reporter for the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune. The Courier-Journal welcomed Cameron with this story and video.

Briana Sanchez (Summer 2015), left, is a videographer and photographer for the El Paso Times in Texas. Previously she was a photographer and videographer for the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D. “I grew up in El Paso, (Texas) and went to college in (Arizona) so I’m finally returning to the Southwest after four years in the Midwest,” Briana says.

Khorri Atkinson (Summer 2016) is the D.C. courts reporter for, covering the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia and federal district courts in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Va., and Greenbelt, Md. Previously he was a Washington, D.C.-based reporter with Axios.

Joon Lee (right) with ESPN colleague Coley Harvey at Yankee Stadium in May.

Joon Lee (Summer 2016) is a staff writer for ESPN in New York, “covering baseball and a little bit of everything else,” he says, adding, “I’ll also be making stuff for the YouTube channel.” Previously he was a staff writer for Bleacher Report.

Nathan Ruiz (Summer 2016) is a sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun, covering the Orioles. Previously he was the Oklahoma State University athletics beat reporter for The Oklahoman.

Wynston Wilcox (Summer 2016) is a sports reporter for The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle. Previously he was a high school sports reporter for the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Pablo De La Hoya (Summer 2017) is an interim contributing editor at Boyle Heights Beat, a bilingual community news site produced by high school youth and community-based contributors as a collaborative project of USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism and Hoy. Pablo, a Los Angeles freelancer, has produced a short documentary film “Caminos de Boyle Heights” about the Los Angeles neighborhood.


Abbey White (Summer 2016) is an arts and entertainment intern at Philadelphia Media Network. She also recently started freelancing for The Hollywood Reporter. Abbey is enrolled at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.


Leezel Tanglao (Summer 2003), owner of the consulting firm StatFury in New York, has been named a 2019-2020 fellow of the Missouri School of Journalism’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. During the eight-month fellowship, Leezel will develop a tool that will help provide a “more objective, actionable and holistic view into how a news story impacts a community.”


Tonya Alanez (Spring 2004), a reporter at the South Florida Sun Sentinel, and her newsroom colleagues won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service “for exposing failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the deadly shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School” in Parkland, Fla.

Tonya and two other Chipsters received recognition in the 2019 News Leaders Association (NLA) Awards:

    • Associated Press reporter Mary Hudetz (Summer 2007) and two AP reporter colleagues won the Dori J. Maynard Award for Justice in Journalism for “Missing in Indian Country.”
    • The staff of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, including reporter Tonya Alanez (Spring 2004), won the O’Brien Fellowship Award for Impact in Public Service Journalism for “Parkland.” 
    • Photographer Santiago Mejia (Summer 2016) and colleagues at the San Francisco Chronicle were finalists in the Visual Journalism Award for “Inferno in Paradise.”

NLA is a merger of the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and Associated Press Media Editors (APME).

Tony Gonzalez (Summer 2007), enterprise reporter at WPLN/Nashville Public Radio, was named Tennessee’s top radio journalist for 2018 by the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors. Also in that contest, Tony won first place in the sports feature category for “For This World Cup, Nashville Latinos Have Space for Epic Viewing Parties.” Tony also won first place for work he did with colleagues in the digital coverage category for the Curious Nashville podcast and in the long public affairs category for “Nashville Transit Referendum.”

In the same contest, Julieta Martinelli (Summer 2017), a former WPLN fellow, won first place in the investigative reporting category for “As He Heads Back to Prison, a Nashville Man Says “Goodbye” to the New Life He Hoped to Build.” That story also earned her a 2019 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award in feature reporting from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association. Julieta is shown at far left in photo.

Elida Perez (Summer 2008) was recognized by Texas APME for “Dangerously Long Shifts,” an investigation she conducted of El Paso police overtime while she worked as a reporter for the El Paso Times. The project, produced through a collaboration with Reveal, won second place for community service, third place for Freedom of Information and an honorable mention for Star Investigative Report of the Year. Elida is a field agent with American Income Life Insurance Co. 

Leadership and professional development

From left, Mariecar Mendoza, Emma Carew Grovum, Tianna Mañón

Mariecar Mendoza (Spring 2007), senior digital arts editor at The San Francisco Chronicle, and Tianna Mañón (Summer 2014), editor in chief of Open Mic Rochester in New York, participated in The Poynter Institute’s 2019 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. They were among the 29 women selected to participate in the spring academy, designed to enhance participants’ leadership skills and cultivate their careers in digital media news organizations. Academy instructors included guest faculty member Emma Carew Grovum (Summer 2009), a freelance journalist and project manager and herself an academy graduate. 

In the news

Martin Reynolds (Summer 1995), co-director of The Maynard Institute, co-authored a piece for Medium on the role of the Maynard 200 project in increasing newsroom diversity.

Sarah Broom (Summer 2000) has been named one of 15 women to watch in 2019 by the editors of BookPage. Her debut book, “The Yellow House,” (Grove Press) tells the tale of growing up in a shotgun house in the New Orleans East neighborhood. It arrives in bookstores Aug. 13.   

Emma Carew Grovum (Summer 2009), multiplatform storyteller, product thinker and media diversity advocate based in New York, was among the panelists who discussed the importance of newsroom diversity at the Truth and Transformation Conference at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., in March. MPR News host Angela Davis published the discussion.

Mercy Quaye (Spring 2014) is writing a weekly column for Hearst Connecticut Media newspapers that offers readers “a lesser-examined perspective on topics affecting local communities and Connecticut, including the racial, socio-economic and generational roots and ripple effects of any given issue,” according to an announcement in the Connecticut Post. Mercy is the communications officer for the Office of Cooperative Research at Yale University.

Elizabeth Hernandez (Summer 2014), the higher education reporter for The Denver Post, is the subject of a podcast interview by the Education Writers Association. “You can hear me talk about my nutty job, how I use Twitter to engage with readers, how becoming a face of the local news crisis in our country has impacted my reporting and more,” Lizzy says.

Tsanavi Spoonhunter (Summer 2019) was introduced to readers of Indian Country Today in advance of her CQS internship at the publication in Phoenix this summer.

Other news

Juan David Romero (Spring 2015), a filmmaker based in France, has released his second film, “An Iraqi Belly Dancer,” which was shown in April at the Phenicien International Film Festival in Lyon, France. “I feel so utterly blessed to be bringing this LGBT/Refugee story to the people of Lyon,” Juan David says. His first film, “Unbroken Paradise,” was shown most recently in March at the Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival in France. 

Aleanna Siacon (Summer 2017) begins classes at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit in August. She graduated from Wayne State in May with three bachelor’s degrees, in journalism, political science and history.


An Rong Xu (Summer 2011) and Jennifer Yang were married Dec. 8 at The Okura Prestige hotel in Taipei, Taiwan. “We held the wedding in Taipei because she has a big family and most of them are in Taipei,” An Rong says. The couple live in New York City, where An Rong is a photographer and director and Jennifer is a fashion buyer. (Photo: Sean Marc Lee)



Brian Slodysko (Summer 2008) and Amanda Lonick Slodysko welcomed their first child, Orion, on March 29. Born at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., he weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces. “We know so far that he’s got his mama’s dark hair and stubborn side,” says Brian, who covers campaign finance and the 2020 election for The Associated Press in Washington.  

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