Freedom Forum Names 23 Chips Quinn Scholars For Summer 2012 Internship Program


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Twenty-three students and young journalists from diverse backgrounds have been named Chips Quinn Scholars for summer 2012 by the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute and participating news organizations. The Chips Quinn Scholar orientation and training will take place May 14 to 22 at the Freedom Forum’s John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn.

The 2012 scholars will work in paid internships at 21 different newsrooms across the country immediately following a weeklong orientation program and multimedia journalism class. They bring to 1,283 the number of men and women placed as reporters, copy editors, photographers, graphic artists and multimedia journalists since the program began with six Scholars in 1991. This year marks the Chips Quinn Scholar program’s 21st anniversary.

“Responsible, relevant journalism flourishes when newsrooms and news content reflect our society’s rich, vast and growing diversity,” said Jack Marsh, president of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute. “For 21 years, the Chips Quinn Scholars program has remained true to that goal.”

Chips Quinn Scholars are college students or recent graduates interested in journalism careers. After completing the intensive orientation and multimedia training program with veteran journalists, they will work in 10- to 12-week internships or in full-time jobs. Scholars are eligible for housing and travel stipends in addition to ongoing mentoring from the Freedom Forum.

“Chips Quinn Scholars bring talent and energy to their internships and add much-needed diversity in our content and newsroom,” said Bob Nishizaki, executive news editor of the Bay Area News Group. “We are extremely pleased to be able to maintain our long-standing relationship with the Chips Quinn Scholars, even during austere times.”

The training sessions in Nashville will include presentations and teaching by experienced journalists and industry leaders. Among the speakers are John C. Quinn, founder of the Chips Quinn Scholars program; John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center; Jack Marsh, president and chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute; Ken Paulson, president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center; Val Hoeppner, director of education at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute; Julia Wallace, market vice president, Cox Media Group; Don Campbell, former editor at USA Today and Gannett News Service; and career coaches Colleen Fitzpatrick and Mary Ann Hogan.

The Chips Quinn Scholars program (freedomforumdiversity.org) is an initiative of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute to help news organizations increase diversity in their newsrooms.

Former Freedom Forum trustee John C. Quinn and his late wife, Loie, established the Chips Quinn Scholars program in memory of their son John C. “Chips” Quinn Jr., who was managing editor of the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal when he died in an automobile accident in 1990 at the age of 34.

The summer 2012 scholars, their schools and sponsoring media organizations are:


Melvin Backman
University of North Carolina
Thomson Reuters (New York, N.Y.)

Hongfei (Frank) Bi
University of Minnesota
Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle

Brandon Blackwell
Cleveland State University
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)

Riley Blanks
University of Virginia
The Tennessean (Nashville)

Keiara Carr
Indiana University
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)

Angela Chen
University of California, San Diego
The Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington, D.C.)

Nicholas (Nick) Creegan
University at Albany
ESPN (New York, N.Y.)

Krishana Davis
Morgan State University
The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

Donyelle Davis
Louisiana State University
Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle

Elisa Eiguren
University of Idaho
St. Cloud (Minn.) Times

Marissa Evans
Marquette University
The Washington Post

Anna Gallegos
University of Houston
The Oakland (Calif.) Tribune

Maya Jones
Xavier University of Louisiana
The Detroit News

Ignacio Marquez
California State University-Northridge
Ventura County (Calif.) Star

Joshua Morgan, Jr.
University of Arizona
Victoria (Texas) Advocate

Holly Pablo
San Diego State University
The Bulletin (Bend, Ore.)

Crissinda Ponder
University of Georgia
Bankrate.com (North Palm Beach, Fla.)

Alexander (Alex) Prewitt
Tufts University
The Boston Globe

Candace Rojo
University of Montana
St. Cloud (Minn.) Times

Danielle Urbina
University of Texas-El Paso
Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette

Norma Vasquez
University of Houston
Catholic News Service (Washington, D.C.)

Marina Villenuve
Dartmouth College
Newsday (Melville, N.Y.)

Kiali Wong
Arizona State University
The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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