SPJ selects 10 students for SPJ23 News team
Claire Regan, SPJ National President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Coordinator, email@example.com
INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists has selected 10 college students and recent graduates to be a part of the SPJ News team at the SPJ23 Journalism Convention. They will work closely with three professional journalists to cover programming at the convention in Las Vegas, Sept. 28-30.
The SPJ News team includes young journalists from colleges and universities across the country. They have experience working for their school media outlets as well as professional news organizations. Students and graduates on the SPJ News team are Rachel Andriacchi, Francisco Avila, Timia Cobb, Laura De la Garza Garcia, Tianrui Huang, Jamie Naylor, Chinanuekpele Okoli, Tania Ortiz, Uma Raja and Kristine Weller.
The SPJ News mentors this year include Bob Butler, broadcast vice president on the SAG-AFTRA national board; Lorraine Longhi, assistant city editor at the Las Vegas Review-Journal; and Justin Hinton, news anchor for “Good Morning Las Vegas.”
“We are excited to have these bright young journalists on the SPJ23 News team,” SPJ National President Claire Regan. “The experience will help the students build on their involvement in the industry and provide a wealth of knowledge they can take with them.”
The SPJ News team’s work will be posted online and shared on social media with #SPJNews23.
Rachel Andriacchi, a senior at Simmons University in Boston, is pursuing a degree in integrated media and journalism. Andriacchi been the op/ed editor at The Simmons Voice and a studio intern at WGBH, a public radio station in Boston.
Francisco Avila is from the west side of Chicago. He was a sports correspondent and sports anchor while at DePauw University, a producer and board member of D3TV News Television Station and a soccer commentator for WGRE 91.5 Radio.
Timia Cobb is a fellow with Syracuse.com at Syracuse University. During her undergraduate program at Texas State University, she served as news editor at the University Star, the university’s student-run newspaper, assistant web content manager at the university’s radio station, KTSW 89.9, and worked for Texas State’s official newsroom as a digital content contributor.
Laura De la Garza Garcia is a news producer for Univision 19. She held various student government positions at California State University-Sacramento, and then moved on to writing for her college newspaper, The State Hornet, where she reported on news, sports and entertainment. While there, she revived the Spanish section of the paper. She graduates from Cal State University-Sacramento in December.
Tianrui Huang is a philosophy-economics double major at University of California, San Diego. She has served as a senior staff member for the campus newspaper, the Guardian, and worked for the Washington Blade, Voice of San Diego and Hong Kong-based outlet RADII.
Jamie Naylor is a senior media studies major at Wright State University in Ohio. They have been a student journalist for over three years reporting on news, politics, social justice, and investigative work. They currently freelance and host the radio news show “Deconstructing the American Dream” on WWSU 106.9.
Chinanuekpele Okoli is a student journalist at Boston University with a passion for telling the stories that matter. On campus, he writes for the Daily Free Press, reports for BUTV10 and is a co-programming director at WTBU, where he started “Melanin Matters,” BU's Black radio show.
Tania Ortiz is a magazine, news and digital journalism graduate student at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She is a Newhouse Diversity News Fellow, general assignment intern at Syracuse.com and the 2023 Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium Reporting Fellow for Syracuse University.
Uma Raja is a journalism graduate student at the University of Florida and is pursuing her MFA in narrative nonfiction at the University of Georgia. She has written for National Geographic, Atrium Magazine, which focuses on Floridian narratives, and the fashion and lifestyle magazine Strike.
Kristine Weller is a recent graduate from the University of Utah. She majored in communication with an emphasis on journalism and international studies and a focus on human rights. She was previously the general assignments reporter and newsroom intern for KUER, the NPR station in Salt Lake City.
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