Meet the 2010 Spring Class of Chips Quinn Scholars

They number 12, and they are headed this spring to news organizations from Washington, D.C., to Illinois to New Mexico. Most members of the 2010 Spring class of Chips Quinn Scholars like to spend time with their family and friends, many enjoy reading, and one likes to sweep her dorm room for fun. All are passionate about journalism. Read on to learn more about the Spring 2010 Scholars who meet next week for orientation and multimedia training in Nashville, Tenn.

Kristy Chu

Hometown: Carrollton, Texas
College: University of North Texas
Host newspaper: The Orange County Register
What I know about my host newspaper:
The Orange County Register is a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper and is one of the biggest dailies in Southern California. The paper takes a hyper-local approach to journalism; the main office in Santa Ana works with the other local bureaus around Orange County to provide a highly personalized experience for readers.
How I got interested in journalism:
I had always been interested in being a writer, but I never knew what I wanted to do with it until college when I started studying journalism. Through my classes, campus news involvement and internships, I discovered my desire to be involved with my community and to do my part to better serve the people in it.
What I do for fun:
Writing, reading, going to concerts and shows, going to (and following) sporting events (especially football games), dancing, playing the piano and violin, traveling, cooking, eating and trying new foods, engaging in retail therapy, and spending time with family and friends.
Favorite Web site(s):,,,,,,

Veronica Cruz

Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
College: University of Arizona
Host newspaper: The Santa Fe New Mexican
What I know about my host newspaper:
It was first published in 1849 and at 161 years old it is the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi.
How I got interested in journalism:
I’ve kept a journal since elementary school, and documenting my life made me interested in wanting to tell the stories of others. I was involved with my high school newspaper for four years and fell in love with the newsroom.
What I do for fun:
I have been a dancer for nine years and enjoy taking dance classes. I also enjoy trying new restaurants with friends.
Favorite Web sites:
Google,, Facebook

Kiah Haslett

Hometown: Bellevue, Neb.
College: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Host newspaper: Chicago Tribune
What I know about my host newspaper:
The managing editor, Jane Hirt, is a graduate of UNL’s College of Journalism. The Tribune owned the Chicago Cubs for a time, and filed for Chapter 11 in 2008. The newspaper endorsed Barack Obama for president.
How I got interested in journalism:
As bad as it sounds, reading fashion and teen magazines led me to love journalism. My interest in it grew when I realized that someone talked to those interesting people and wrote those amazing articles, and that I could be that person. As I grew older, I realized that fashion magazines are more fun to read than write, so I allowed my interest to change to something newsier. It helped that a lot of my friends in high school were on the newspaper staff and that I met my best friend in college across the table at a budget meeting.
What I do for fun:
I love to shop, read Jane Austen and watch movies. I like to hang out with my friends and play Rummikub and make food, especially desserts. I like working out, dancing and watching “Jersey Shore.” I referee soccer in my spare time.
Favorite Web sites:,,

Diane Lee

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
College: Bradley University
Host newspaper: The Bulletin (Bend. Ore.)
What I know about my host newspaper:
It’s a family-owned newspaper dedicated to community journalism, serving readers of Central Oregon.
How I got interested in journalism:
For my first news story, I profiled Hawaii’s first and only female sports anchor when she visited my college campus. She encouraged us to find a career we’re passionate about, so that every day would be fun, not work. I didn’t think much about making a career in journalism until I wrote about a former alcohol and drug addict who turned his life around by helping others as a substance abuse counselor. I discovered that journalism was my calling. I’ve worked as a waitress, cashier and taxi dispatcher, but reporting and storytelling remains my true passion.
What I do for fun:
I love reading nonfiction books and books about writing, and watching and listening to the news. I almost always have a camera by my side to capture candid and special moments. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, often experimenting with cooking. During the summer, you can find me outdoors biking, swimming and walking. During winter, you can find me there, too — mostly playing in the snow.
Favorite Web sites:
Poynter, NPR, BBC News, AAJA, St. Petersburg Times, National Geographic, Twitter, Amazon, Craigslist.

Luis Lopez

Hometown: San Fernando, Calif.
College: Arizona State University
Host media organization: Hispanic Link News Service (Washington, D.C.)
What I know about my host media organization:
Hispanic Link News Service is a weekly newsletter that gets syndicated by a number of Scripps Howard publications and Latino publications.
How I got interested in journalism:
When I was younger, I wanted to write and travel. When I sat down to think about future plans, I had a revelation. Love for writing + desire to travel = journalism, and “All the President’s Men” and “Spy Game” didn’t hurt, either.
What I do for fun:
I play drums and basketball, watch a lot of movies and try to get into community theater when I have a chance.
Favorite Web sites: CNN, ESPN

Elvia Malagon

Hometown: East Chicago, Ind.
College: University of Indiana-Bloomington
Host newspaper: The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)
What I know about my host newspaper:
I have read The Courier-Journal, since I go to school in Bloomington, Ind., and Louisville is not far away. I also know it is one of the largest dailies in Kentucky and has won Pulitzer prizes.
How I got interested in journalism:
I’ve always loved to write and read. Growing up in Northwest Indiana, I also got to see the power of journalism because the political coverage really made a difference in the area. I got serious about journalism in college when I started to work at the Indiana Daily Student. I instantly fell in love because covering different things and meeting people I usually would not get a chance to interact with was interesting.
What I do for fun: I like to relax and watch television or read books. I also love going to downtown Chicago with my older sister and walking around the city. I love to travel anywhere, especially to Mexico to visit my family.
Favorite Web sites:,,,

Ashley Marchand

Hometown: Houston, Texas
College: Houston Baptist University
Host publication: The Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington, D.C.)
What I know about my host publication:
The Chronicle of Higher Education is the number-one source of news, information and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators, with a total print readership of 350,000. The Chronicle’s Web site boasts 12 million page hits per month.
How I got interested in journalism:
My younger sister loved writing fictional stories and I loved editing them. In college, I was interested in pursuing editing as a career. I learned that I had to learn to write well before I could edit well.
What I do for fun:
I love to travel, take photographs, write, visit museums (both traditional and obscure) and spend time with family and friends. I also love spending time outside.
Favorite Web sites:,,, Facebook

Alejandra Matos

Hometown: El Paso, Texas
College: University of Texas-El Paso
Host media organization: Hispanic Link News Service (Washington, D.C.)
What I know about my host organization:
Hispanic Link, also known as The Link, is a news service based in Washington D.C. It covers events, news, media and other areas of interest to the Latino population of the United States. It was established in 1980 by Sebastiana Ericksen-Mendoza, Charles A. Ericksen and Héctor Ericksen-Mendoza.
How I got interested in journalism:
I became interested in journalism during my freshman year in high school. I took a basic journalism course and began writing feature stories for the yearbook and newspaper and quickly realized how much I loved reporting. I love writing and talking to people, and journalism allows me to do both.
What I do for fun:
I love to read and watch movies at home or at the movie theater.
Favorite Web sites:
Facebook, MSN,

Nicole Norfleet

Hometown: Voorhees, N.J.
College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Host newspaper: The Washington Post
What I know about my host newspaper:
The Washington Post is regarded as one of America’s leading daily newspapers, not just because of its political coverage and Web packages but also due to its enterprising business stories. The newspaper is a frequent winner of reporting awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
How I got interested in journalism:
My local newspaper started a teen section when I was in high school. It gave me the opportunity to get my byline published at a relatively early age. I have had the bug ever since.
What I do for fun:
Travel, listen to live music, watch kung fu movies, play computer and video games.
Favorite Web sites:,,,,

Tasnim Shamma

Hometown: Jamaica, N.Y.
College: Princeton University
Host newspaper/media group: Newsweek Magazine/The Washington Post Company
What I know about my host newspaper/media group:
Newsweek is one of the largest news weekly magazines in the country and has dedicated reporters, columnists and artists. It recently went through a major redesign and is currently the only news organization with an amazing Tumblr page.
How I got interested in journalism:
As a high school junior, I attended an 11-day summer journalism program called the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program for low-income students, which is directed by former editors of The Daily Princetonian. When we were interviewing Harlem residents affected by gentrification efforts in 2006, I saw the opportunity it offered them to tell their side of the story. I have been obsessed since then.
What I do for fun:
Read physical newspapers and sweep my dorm room.
Favorite Web sites:,,,,,,

Lisa Song

Hometown: Chelmsford, Mass.
College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Host magazine: High Country News, Paonia, Colo.
What I know about my host magazine:
High Country News is a nonprofit, independent news magazine that reports on land use, policy and environment in the 11 western states.
How I got interested in journalism:
As an undergrad I took a radio class and helped design science museum exhibits.
What I do for fun:
Play the piano and flute, ski, read French books.
Favorite Web sites:,,,

Richard White

Hometown: Houston, Texas
College: Prairie View A&M University
Host publication: The Chronicle of Philantrophy (Washington, D.C.)
What I know about my host publication:
It’s the newspaper of the nonprofit world and prints 18 times a year.
How I got interested in journalism:
I got interested in journalism in high school, and once I got to college everything just fell into place.
What I do for fun:
For fun, I enjoy tweeting, watching movies, keeping up with family and friends and watching anything on Sportscenter.
Favorite Web sites:,, ESPN, YouTube



  1. Kimberly M. Gay

    Congratulations Mr. White, you take pride in your educational endeavors, literacy and writing skills and life-long learning aspects. These features of your character will prove valuable as you are able to be an excellent 2010 spring Chips Quinn Scholar.

    I am a Chips Quinn Scholar Summer 2001. I did my internship with The Times newspaper - Shreveport, Louisiana. I work at Prairie View A&M University as an Academic Reference and Instruction Librarian.

    The Chips Quinn Scholars Program is an excellent journalism internship opportunity for budding journalist. Your hosts of mentors and reporters have a wonderful enthusiasm for helping the Chips Quinn Scholars pursue their journalism endeavors.

    Kimberly M. Gay, B.S.; M.L.S
    January 15, 2010

  2. Congratulations Chipsters! Enjoy the Feed’em Forum… you’ll get that joke soon enough. Bring elastic pants. And an open mind. And be well rested cause you’ll work hard and leave prepared and inspired.

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