Chips Watch: The Latest Alumni News

High-profile promotions and new jobs top the many highlights contained in the latest edition of Chips Watch. Read about career moves and other activities of alumni of the Chips Quinn Scholars Program.


Denise (Biddle) Ritter (1996) is managing editor, night production for The Villages (Fla.) Daily Sun. In her promotion from her former position of senior production editor, Denise skipped over the associate managing editor rank.

Krissah Thompson (photo: Marvin Joseph, The Washington Post)

Krissah (Williams) Thompson (1999) is The Washington Post’s first managing editor for diversity and inclusion, a position created in response to “a broad reckoning among news organizations in the wake of nationwide protests over racial inequities,” according to a story about the announcement. With the appointment, Krissah also becomes the first African American woman to become a managing editor in The Post’s 143-year history. She went to The Post as a summer intern in 2001 and never left, working over the last two decades as a reporter or editor. Most recently she was an assignment editor in the Style section. Watch a brief interview with Krissah.



Anthony McCartney

Anthony McCartney (2001) has been named global entertainment and lifestyles editor for The Associated Press. Based in Los Angeles, he leads a team of more than 40 text and visual journalists in New York, London, Seoul, Nashville, Tenn., and Los Angeles. Anthony has worked for AP since 2007, and since 2017 has been the West Coast entertainment editor, overseeing film, television, celebrity and awards season coverage, as well as breaking news.

Talia Buford (2004), a reporter at ProPublica since 2017, is the newsroom’s first-ever talent development director. Talia will “work across the newsroom to oversee staff development initiatives and ProPublica’s recruitment efforts,” according to a press release announcing several personnel moves. “She will also supervise ProPublica’s Emerging Reporters program, a fellowship for students of color working at college journalism outlets.”

Joel Marino (2006) is Business Insider’s inaugural director of editorial training. Previously he was the strategy and careers editor. He’s also teaching as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute this fall. “Both roles give me the chance to help others trying to make a life in this uncertain industry — and after a literal lifetime in journalism, I’m ready to give back however I can,” Joel says.

Siandhara Bonnet (2019) covers Rapid City for the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota. Previously she covered the Northern Hills beat.

New jobs

Stephanie Clary

Stephanie Clary (2006) is vice president of content for Vice Media Group. Previously she was director of social publishing for CNN.

Cynthia Hernandez (2006) is a copy editor and page designer for the Lawrence (Kan.) World-Herald. Previously she was a page designer for The Hutchinson News in Kansas.

Carolina Hidalgo (2011) produces the “Radio Rookies” youth radio program for WNYC in New York. Previously she was a reporter and photojournalist for St. Louis Public Radio in Missouri.

Tyler Davis (2015) is assistant sports editor at the Detroit Free Press. Previously he was a reporter at the Des Moines Register.

Riane Roldan (2018) is a Report for America fellow at KUT News in Austin, Texas, reporting on stories in Central Texas.

Margo Snipe (2019), a summer intern on the politics team for the Tampa Bay Times, has been hired full time as the newspaper’s health equity reporter. Margo graduated in spring from Georgetown University.


Irena Hwang (2019) is a data journalism intern for The Associated Press in Atlanta. She graduated in June from the journalism program at Stanford University with a master’s degree. Irena writes that she’s “excited to figure out exactly what combination of data and reporting I want to embark on in my new career.”

Leslie Ignacio (2019) is an editorial intern with dot.LA. She was a news intern last summer for Telemundo52/NBC4 in Los Angeles.

Laura Zornosa (2019) is an arts and entertainment intern at the Los Angeles Times and a reporting fellow at the Pulitzer Center.

Leadership and outreach

Three alums are among the 32 journalists selected to participate in the Poynter Institute’s fifth Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media. Nancy Flores (2001), a journalist in Austin, Texas, Diane Lee (2010), left, multimedia and engagement editor for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Frank Bi (2012), senior editorial engineer for Vox Media’s SB Nation, will meet with other participants for online training sessions through next spring. The Washington Post is a partner in the academy.



Nancy Flores (2001), a journalist in Austin, Texas, covering Latino arts and culture, has been selected to participate in the 2021 Hispanic Austin Leadership Program of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The class of 29 meets throughout the academic year, and the program culminates in May, when teams will present projects that have a community impact in the areas of arts and culture, civic engagement, education, environmental sustainability, financial stability and healthcare.


Frank Bi (2012), of Vox Media, and Freedom Forum Fellow Gene Policinski were co-presenters at an August webinar on election reporting, presented by the Washington, D.C., Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Frank, a Google News Initiative trainer, spoke about using Google search and geolocation tools. Gene gave an overview of the free toolkit, Report the Vote: Election 2020, prepared by the Freedom Forum and the Fors Marsh Group. Gene will also talk about the toolkit at the Excellence in Journalism virtual convention Sept. 12-13.


Elizabeth Hernandez (2014), higher education reporter for The Denver Post, was among the local journalists who participated as panelists in an interactive webinar in August hosted by PEN America and the Denver Public Library to discuss reporting in the disinformation age.

Ruthy Munoz (2016), a freelance journalist in Houston, chairs the communications and membership committees for the relaunched Houston chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Ruthy was also a panelist in July for a live Facebook discussion hosted by Latinas Rising about sexual assault and harassment in the military following the disappearance and death of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen.

Virtual National Conventions 

  • Society of Professional Journalists, RTDNA | Excellence in Journalism Convention, September

Jordan Gass-Poore’ (2014), a New York-based independent multimedia journalist, is scheduled to speak at this weekend’s conference about collaboration between local and national journalists.

  • Asian American Journalists Association, August

Leezel Tanglao (2003), of HuffPost, and Frank Bi (2012), of Vox Media, helped plan the convention programs and also served as speakers. Other Chipsters who presented or moderated sessions included LaSharah Bunting (1999), of Knight Foundation, Stephanie Clary (2006), of Vice Media Group, Kellie Hwang and Mariecar Mendoza (both 2007), of the San Francisco Chronicle, Nicole Dungca (2007), of The Washington Post (and AAJA senior vice president) and Sally Ho (2008), of The Associated Press.

  • National Association of Black Journalists | National Association of Hispanic Journalists, August

Nolan McCaskill (2014), of Politico, moderated a panel on reporting on minority communities beyond 2020. Danese Kenon (2000), of The Philadelphia Inquirer, was a mentor for NABJ Student Projects and Carolina Hidalgo (2011), currently of WNYC Public Radio in New York, was a mentor for NAHJ Student Projects.

In the News

Staff members of the Los Angeles Times formed the Latino Caucus of the L.A. Times Guild in July to protest coverage of the Latino community “in dehumanizing ways, painting us as criminals or victims or simply ignoring us,” according to a letter to L.A. Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. The caucus listed 14 demands, including greater representation in the newsroom. Eight Chipsters were among the signatories: Hector Becerra (1997), Cindy Carcamo (1999), Nicole Santa Cruz (2009), Taryn Luna (2010), Brittny Mejia (2013), Melissa Gomez (2017), Jackeline Luna (2017) and Laura Zornosa (2019).

Sarah Broom (2000) was interviewed about her reading preferences and habits by The New York Times Book Review for its “By the Book” feature on July 12. Sarah was awarded the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction for “The Yellow House,” published by Grove Press.

Kristin Boyd Edwards (2002), communications director for the Reading School District in Pennsylvania, sought to reassure everyone about the return to school, remotely, and took inspiration from the Kid President/Soul Pancake videos as she wrote a video script. Her 9-year-old son, Jermaine Edwards II, stars in the video. It aired on “CBS This Morning,” “Good Morning America” and other programs. Watch the GMA clip, which includes an interview with Kristin and Jermaine, and the full video of Kid Superintendent – Opening Day.

Melissa Gomez (2017), a Los Angeles Times reporter, is on a team of journalists who are highlighting the importance of local news through Local Matters, an Investigative Editors and Reporters’ weekly newsletter digest of the best local watchdog reporting around the country. Columbia Journalism Review published an op-ed about the IRE team in July.

Beyond Journalism 

Deidra Lemons Johnson (2002) is the director of multicultural leadership operations and strategy for AARP in Washington, D.C. Previously she was director of strategic operations for AARP.

Adam Behsudi (2005) is a communications officer for the International Monetary Fund. Previously he covered international trade for Politico for seven years.

Sharon Nunn (2017) is a research associate at Yale School of Management’s Program on Financial Stability. Previously she worked for a Washington, D.C.-based global financial services litigation firm, after covering economics for The Wall Street Journal for two years.


Tsavani Spoonhunter (2019) has received a grant from the Berkeley FILM Foundation for her documentary film “Crow Country: Our Right to Food Sovereignty.” The film, which was the basis of her thesis for her master’s degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, follows several tribal members from the Crow Tribe of Montana as they navigate a food apartheid.


Houston Business Journal has recognized Tiffany Williams (2010), CEO and creative director of the Twice Media Productions, as an honoree in its 2020 Women Who Mean Business Awards. The publication will feature the honorees in its Oct. 16 weekly edition. In addition to founding her video technology company, Tiffany is the co-founder and managing director of Diversity Fund Houston, a micro venture capital fund created to invest in early-stage Black and brown technology founders.


Marcella Corona Ellsworth (2013) and Byron Ellsworth welcomed Jiraiya James Ellsworth on Aug. 29. Marcella covers breaking news, courts and crime for the Reno Gazette-Journal in Nevada.







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