Chips Watch: The Latest Alumni News

A National Book Award winner, a wedding, a baby and many new jobs and promotions. The latest Chips Watch has this alumni news and more.  

Adam Causey

Edgar Sandoval (1999) has been hired by The New York Times as a Metro reporter covering law enforcement, crime, courts and general assignments. He joined the Times in 2018 as a stringer and before that was a New York Daily News reporter.

Adam Kealoha Causey (2006) has been promoted to news editor for The Associated Press, overseeing Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Previously he was AP’s administrative correspondent and interim news editor in Oklahoma City.

Tony Gonzalez (2007) has been promoted from enterprise reporter to editor at WPLN/Nashville Public Radio in Tennessee.

Lindsey Ford (2013) is a “Daybreak” news anchor for WXOW News 19 in La Crosse, Wis. Previously she worked for sister station WQOW News 18 in Eau Claire.

Andy Mai (2014) has been hired as a producer at WNYC, the NPR affiliate in New York, after filling a temporary news position at the station. He is responsible for news and conversations during “Morning Edition.”

Dalton Walker (credit: Taté Walker)

New jobs
Tonya Alanez (2004) is a reporter for The Boston Globe, covering federal and state superior courts. Previously she was a reporter for the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Dalton Walker (2005) is a national correspondent for Indian Country Today in Phoenix. Previously he was a senior reporter for O’odham Action News in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Shemar Woods (2011) is director of digital sports at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Previously he was a senior editor at SI Now.

Kellie Mejdrich (2013) is a financial services reporter for Politico. Previously she was a staff writer for CQ Roll Call.

Jordan Gass-Poore’ (2014) has been a producer with The Advocate’s podcast LGBTQ&A since August, and this spring will produce the New York publication’s limited-run investigative series called The Ten. Jordan also co-founded the women-led, hyperlocal podcast called Local Switchboard NYC. Previously she was a senior fellow with Mother Jones and a freelance audio producer.

Mariana Dale (2015) has joined Southern California public radio station KPCC in Pasadena as a reporter covering early childhood education. Previously she was a senior field correspondent for KJZZ public radio in Phoenix.

Rocío Hernandez (2015) will head next month to Phoenix to report for KJZZ public radio, after wrapping up her duties at KUER public radio in Salt Lake City.

Haana’ Tameez (2015) is a staff writer for Nieman Journalism Lab in Cambridge, Mass. Previously she was a freelance newsletters editor for WhereBy.Us and in 2018 was the diversity reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Mozes Zarate (2015) is assistant arts and entertainment editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. He is former managing editor at Sacramento News & Review.

Jadyn Watson-Fisher (2018) is the sports data journalist for the Greeley (Colo.) Tribune.  Previously she was reporter for the Times Record in Fort Smith, Ark.

Nugesse Ghebrendrias (2019) is the sports reporter for the News-Times in Newport, Ore. Previously he wrote about local sports for the Clovis (Calif.) Roundup and other publications.

Dani Matias (2019) is a “Morning Edition” host and newscast reporter for KUT public radio in Austin, Texas. She was a reporting fellow for NPR in Washington, D.C., last summer.

Emma Carew Grovum (2009), left, and Tracie Hunte (2002)

Emma Carew Grovum, left, and Tracie Hunte

Leadership and professional development
Tracie Hunte (2002), a reporter for Radiolab at WNYC Studios, and Emma Carew Grovum (2009), New York-based newsroom consultant and leadership coach, attended the Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative for public media leaders at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix in January. Tracie is participating in the initiative as a fellow, Emma, as a coach. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds the program, which is training 100 public media’s most promising newsroom leaders over two years.

Leezel Tanglao (2003), senior managing editor for membership and innovation at HuffPost, is among the 28 fellows making up the 2020 class of Women inPower, a fellowship program to help senior-level women advance to the highest levels of leadership across sectors. The program is offered by the 92nd Street Y’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York. Asian Journal’s MDWK Magazine featured Leezel in its Dec. 18 issue for her fellowship selection and other activities.

Victor Kulkosky (credit: 13WMAZ-TV)

Awards and recognition
Two local sports reporters received recognition last fall for their work:

  • Victor Kulkosky (1997), news editor of The Leader-Tribune in Fort Valley, Ga., was named Team 13 MVP and featured in a story and video by WMAZ-TV Channel 13 for his coverage of high school sports. “I kind of stumbled into covering high school sports…but now I’m a virtual family member to players, coaches, parents and fans,” Victor says. “Last year, at a football game, I was hit on the sidelines while taking photos and suffered a broken hip. After months of rehab, I’m back in business and returned to the sidelines.”
  • Charles Pulliam (2008), a multimedia reporter at the Williamson (Tenn.) Herald, was honored with an A.F. Bridges Award as contributor of the year in Athletic District 6 of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. The newspaper featured Charles in a piece written by the publisher.

Sarah Broom

LaSharah Bunting (1999), director of journalism for the Knight Foundation, was named by Legacy Miami as one of the city’s most influential and prominent black women in business and industry for 2019.

Sarah Broom (2000) received the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction for “The Yellow House”  (Grove Press), about her childhood home in New Orleans. Her acceptance speech starts at about 2:12 in this awards-night video, shot in November.

Mercy Quaye (2014) has been recognized by Connecticut Magazine in the “40 under 40: The Class of 2020” cohort for her work as a social change communicator. Mercy, who also writes a column for Hearst Connecticut Media Group, “combats injustice through The Narrative Project, a mission-driven communications firm based in New Haven,” according to the magazine. Mercy is the project’s founder and principal consultant.

Tyler Davis (2015), a reporter at the Des Moines Register, won first place, personality feature story, Daily II division, in the Iowa Newspaper Association and Foundation’s 2020 journalism awards.

Marie De Jesús, left

Sarah Welliver (2007), a former journalist and current public information officer for the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, has written a guide for journalists on how to cover child abuse.

Stu Woo (2007), technology reporter for The Wall Street Journal in Beijing, returned to his grade school, West Portal Lutheran Church and School in San Francisco, in January to talk to 200 students about being a journalist.

Marie De Jesús (2010), a photographer at the Houston Chronicle, was re-elected this month to a second two-year term as national secretary of the National Press Photographers Association.

Marina Villeneuve, center

Marina Villeneuve (2012), a reporter assigned to The Associated Press’ Albany bureau, was a guest on WMHT-TV’s “New York Now” on Jan. 31, discussing bail reform, the state budget and other New York issues.




William Camargo (2014), who is studying for his master’s of fine arts degree at Claremont Graduate University, is one of four artists whose work is displayed in “A trace is not a map,” an exhibition at the Irvine Fine Arts Center in California that runs through March 7.

Margo Snipe

Personal achievement
Margo Snipe (2019), senior captain of Georgetown University’s volleyball team, received Georgetown Athletics’ PNC Achievement Award, which recognizes a male and a female student athlete who are top achievers in athletics and academics. She writes, “I am incredibly grateful to be recognized for all the blood, sweat and tears I have put into becoming the best athlete, scholar and young woman I can be! I hope that I can inspire others young black female athletes to also unapologetically chase their dreams.” Margo is in her final semester at Georgetown and is a news intern at CBS News in Washington, D.C.



Mariecar with Erik Lacayo (credit: Hitched Photo)

Mariecar and Dan, with Kellie Hwang at left (credit: Hitched Photo)

Mariecar Mendoza (2007) and Dan Wood were married on Jan. 3 at The Merchant’s Exchange in San Francisco. The reception followed in its Julia Morgan Ballroom. Helping the couple celebrate were Chipsters Kellie Hwang (2007), who was maid of honor, husband-and-wife team  Erik Lacayo and  Vanessa (Delgado) Lacayo (both 2005), Adam Kealoha Causey (2006) and Mozes Zarate (2015). Mariecar, senior digital arts and entertainment editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, writes, “Because I’m a journalist it was really important for me to incorporate that part of my life into the wedding. I used a heart-shaped tool to cut out the “petals” for my flower girl, whose parents are both journalists, out of the Chronicle‘s Sunday Datebook. That tabloid section is printed on pink-hued newspaper. My florist also used typewriter print to add ribbons of the lyrics from Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” to my bouquet and my husband’s boutonniere. It’s the song Dan sang to me when he proposed to me. We also got our dear friend and Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, David Ono, to officiate.” Mariecar and Dan met in 2009 in Palm Springs, Calif., while she was a reporter at The Desert Sun. He is the technology director at Critical Mass, a digital experience agency in Sunnyvale. The couple went on a “mini-moon” in Palm Springs. Writing for her newspaper, Mariecar offers her personal take on love and romance — with “The Bachelor” as backdrop.

Bowdeya and his family

Bowdeya Tweh (2007), his wife Shavonne Fagan and their daughter Brooklynn, 6, welcomed Sahara Amber-Annette on Nov. 20. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces. Bowdeya, technology news editor for The Wall Street Journal in New York, writes, “We’re getting a little bit more sleep these days. But funny enough, she slept through the entire night for the first time between Sunday-Monday (Feb. 2-3), but since I stayed up late to watch the Super Bowl and resulting coverage, I didn’t fully enjoy the benefits.”







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