Student Projects @ UNITY '12

Selected Students for UNITY '12 Projects

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected to participate in the Student Projects at UNITY '12 in Las Vegas at The Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center. They will work side by side with professionals and mentors to produce solid and innovative journalism across media platforms in a "convergence" newsroom.

Jessica Savage, AAJA
San Jose State

Yuca Kosugi, AAJA
Mt. Hood Community College

Josh Morgan, AAJA
University of Arizona

Carol Kuruvilla, AAJA
New York University

Alanna Autler, AAJA
Northwestern University

Maryam Khazaeli, AAJA
University of Wollongong

Chris Soriano, AAJA
San Diego State University

Aroosa Masroor, AAJA
Northeastern University

Brian Zahn, NLGJA
University of Connecticut

Tom Naples, NLGJA
Cornell University

Stephanie Snyder, NLGJA
Arizona State University

Mark Anthony Smith, NLGJA
University of Central Oklahoma

Larry Tung, NLGJA
Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University

Emily Goldblum, NLGJA

Coner Dunn, NLGJA
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Yang Sui, NLGJA
Columbia University

Kyle Griggs, NAJA
Haskell Indian Nations University

Ashley Ignacio, NAJA
Haskell Indian Nations University

Michelle Washington, NAJA
Scottsdale Community College

Kateri Town, NAJA
Seattle University

Todd Crow, NAJA
Northeastern State University

Santee Ross, NAJA
University of Montana

Mike Huberman, NAJA
University of Montana

Stacy Thacker, NAJA
University of Montana

Morgan Aguilar, NAHJ
University of Colorado, Boulder

Brandi Parrell-Licon, NAHJ
New Mexico State University

Carolina Cruz, NAHJ
Columbia College

Brian De Los Santos, NAHJ
California State University, Northridge

Nadia Khan, NAHJ
University of Houston

Armando Montano, NAHJ
Grinnell College

Samuel Olivares, NAHJ
University of Puerto Rico

Keith Perfetti, NAHJ
University of Arizona

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Mark Dreadfulwater has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix, the country’s oldest Native American newspaper, for seven years. He serves the newspaper as a media specialist. His responsibilities include graphic design and layout of the monthly publication and he is also a skilled videographer, photographer and reporter. His versatility is a great benefit to the Cherokee Phoenix because the paper’s staff is small, and he is often called upon to fill in as a reporter or take photos at important events. Mark has served the Native American Journalist Association as a mentor since 2008. He enjoys sharing his multi-media knowledge with students and others and is always willing to help prepare the next generation of Native American journalists.

Michelle Johnson is Associate Professor of the Practice, Online/Multimedia Journalism, Boston University. Johnson is a former editor for the Boston Globe and For more than 15 years she has run student online projects and conducted multimedia training for a variety of professional journalism associations and organizations including the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, UNITY, and the Maynard Institute.


Doug Mitchell spent 21.5 years at NPR and while there founded the "next generation radio project." and developed NPR's "Intern Edition" Those programs were designed to give college students the chance to learn how to become public radio professionals through one-to-one, handson reporting bootcamps.  Today, dozens of his former students are now working professionals in media around the world.  Doug is the co-director of the UNITY "NewU" Entrepreneurs Fellowship Program where journalists of color get training in how to successfully startup and run their own business.  Also, he blogs for about life and work and is a consultant to a variety of media development projects here in the US and other countries.  Doug is a true UNITY believer as he has been a member of four minority journalist associations since 1998.

David Plazas is the community conversation editor of The News-Press, which is owned by Gannett Company, Inc. A 12-year Gannett employee, Plazas chairs the editorial board, manages the opinion pages, coordinates community outreach and supervises social media commenting. He serves on the local Gannett Foundation board, has served on corporate Gannett committees on diversity and innovation, and has recruited talent for the company across North America. He was founding editor of the award-winning Gaceta Tropical, Southwest Florida’s first weekly Spanish-language newspaper and was previously a reporter for The News-Press, covering public safety, health, government, and education. Honors include first and second place awards from the Florida Press Association/Florida Society of Newspapers Editors and Society of Professional Journalists as well as Gannett’s Supervisor Recognition Award. Plazas has been a mentor or platform lead for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists student projects since 2009. He is a lifetime member of NAHJ and also a member of The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Plazas holds a master’s in journalism and his bachelor’s, both from Northwestern University, and he received his M.B.A. from Florida Gulf Coast University. He and his partner Darren Bradford reside in south Fort Myers.

Marian Liu is the director of VOICES, a multimedia fellowship for the Asian American Journalists Association. As a journalist for the last decade, she's covered pop culture, technology and business for The Seattle Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the Los Angeles Times, Oakland Tribune, Detroit Free Press and Source Magazine – interviewing everyone from Jet Li to Katie Perry. She just finished up her Executive MBA, with an emphasis on branding, at the University of Washington. Liu also serves on the board for the Society for Features Journalism. Most of all, Liu is passionate about communicating the needs of the communities she represents: “young, immigrant and female.”

Caroline Que is an editor for Yahoo!, the premier digital media company. She has led five student projects for NLGJA and is stoked to attend her first UNITY.