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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 31, 2003 - Issue 88


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Record Number of Native Americans in Summer Chips Quinn Class

by Kate Kennedy Freedom Forum

Credit: photo by Sam Kittner/ for the Freedom Forum

Summer 2003 Chips Quinn Scholars classThe Summer 2003 Chips Quinn Scholars class has the largest representation of Native Americans since the internship program began in 1991.

Seventy-five Chips Quinn Scholars will work in internships at 37 newspapers across the country beginning in late May. Seven Scholars are Native American.

"The strong representation of Native Americans marks an important milestone in the Chips Quinn Scholars program," Director Karen Catone said. "Native Americans are underrepresented on the staffs of daily newspapers. We're working to ensure that their voice is present in newsroom diversity."

The American Society of Newspaper Editors reported in April that of the 55,000 newsroom employees at daily newspapers, 289 are Native American, a decline from the 307 reported in 2002.

"We're pleased that a Native American student will be joining our newsroom this Summer, and we hope this will help open the door of opportunity a little wider for all young journalists of color," said John Dye, editor of the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, N.Y. "For too long, Native American journalists have not been given a consistent voice in much of the mainstream press, and it's our hope that this internship — in even a small way — helps change that."

Six of the seven Native American Scholars are graduates of the Freedom Forum's American Indian Journalism Institute, a three-week course at the University of South Dakota. The seventh Scholar applied at the suggestion of two Native American Chips Quinn alums who mentor her at the University of Oklahoma.

"In Montana, a predominately white state where Native Americans are by far the largest minority group, it is essential to have the perspective of Native American journalists in the newsroom," said Jim Strauss, executive editor of the Great Falls Tribune, which hosts a Summer Scholar.

"They offer insights that help in every step of the journalistic process — from story ideas to the final stories on the page. Without Native Americans on our staff, the Tribune has less perspective, credibility and access," Strauss said. "Try as they may, non-Native American staffers cannot see issues in the same light as Native American staffers can."

The Muskogee Daily Phoenix & Times-Democrat in Oklahoma also hosts a Summer Scholar. Said Executive Editor Kristi Fry, "The second-largest Indian tribe in America, the Cherokee Nation, is headquartered in our backyard. Native Americans are our neighbors, co-workers, etc. If their points of view were ignored, I cannot imagine why they would buy our newspaper. If Native American reporters were not a part of our news-gathering process, our coverage would not reflect nearly as well the social, cultural and political issues that are important to the Native American readers we serve.

"Chiefs and tribal councils must be monitored and held accountable for their actions just like legislators, mayors and city councils," Fry said. "They control millions of federal and tribal dollars. Tribal members rely on our newspaper to tell them how that money is being spent and why. So for these reasons, it is important to the newspaper industry that Native Americans are part of the workforce."

Other highlights of the Summer class:

  • Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans are about equally represented in the class, a first. Five class members identify themselves as multiracial.
  • Through outreach to colleges by the Freedom Forum’s Diversity Directory, eighteen universities had students selected for the first time. They are: Bowling Green State University, College of St. Catherine, Colorado College, Georgetown University, Haskell Indian Nations University, Creighton University, Loyola Marymount University, New York University, State University of New York-Binghamton, Texas A&M University-College Station, University of California-Davis, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Nebraska-Omaha, University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma, University of Texas-Arlington, University of Utah, University of Virginia and Western Washington University. This brings to 200 the number of schools that have had students selected for the program.

After successfully completing their 10- to 12-week internships at daily newspapers, Scholars receive $1,000 scholarships. With this class, more than 800 students have been Chips Quinn Scholars since the first class of six interns in 1991.

The Summer Chips Quinn Scholars and their host newspapers are:

  • Wasim Ahmad, State University of New York-Binghamton, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Rosalio Ahumada, California State University-Chico, El Paso (Texas) Times
  • Erika Alexander, Ohio University, The Jackson (Tenn.) Sun
  • Christine Armario, New York University, Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal
  • Tiffany Arnold, University of Illinois, The News Journal, Wilmington, Del.
  • Telecia Baez, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star
  • Miraj Berry, University of Rhode Island, The Providence (R.I.) Journal
  • Sharnell Bryan, Ball State University, Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y.
  • Tanya Caldwell, Florida A&M University, The Providence Journal
  • DeAnna Carpenter, Florida A&M University, The Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald
  • Fulvio Cativo, University of Maryland, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.
  • Stephanie Conduff, University of Oklahoma, Muskogee (Okla.) Daily Phoenix & Times-Democrat
  • Mike Corpos, San Jose State University, The Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune
  • Fernando Croce, San Jose State University, The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.
  • Gilbert Cruz, Georgetown University, The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News
  • Amanda Dawkins, University of Alabama, The Tuscaloosa News
  • Felix Doligosa, University of Colorado-Boulder, The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Tiffanie Drayton, University of North Carolina, The Courier-Journal, Louisville
  • Rana Elmir, Wayne State University, The Californian, Salinas
  • Gabrielle Finley, Florida A&M University, The Courier-Journal, Louisville
  • Josie Garcia, University of Texas-Arlington, The Free Press, Mankato
  • Brian Gomez, Arizona State University, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix
  • Candice Grizzell, Prairie View A&M University, The News-Star, Monroe, La.
  • Natalie Guillen, University of Missouri-Columbia, The Oakland (Calif.) Tribune
  • Asia Hamilton, Columbia College, The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wis.
  • Kawehi Haug, University of Hawaii, The Honolulu Advertiser
  • Jordan Hernandez, University of Alabama, The Times, Shreveport, La.
  • Stephen Hoffman, Santa Monica College, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton
  • Tyler Imoto, California Polytechnic State University, Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore.
  • Felicia James, Florida A&M University, Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette
  • Ailey Kato, Western Washington University, The Wenatchee (Wash.) World
  • Danielle Kawkeka, Haskell Indian Nations University, Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune
  • Sophia Kazmi, University of Southern California, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.
  • Nancy Kelsey, Creighton University, Fort Collins Coloradoan
  • Vonna Keomanyvong, University of Kansas, The Wausau Daily Herald
  • Michale Kosechequetah, University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma, The News Journal, Wilmington
  • Mike Krueger, University of New Mexico, Observer-Dispatch, Utica
  • Renaud Lajoie, University of Florida, The Dispatch, Lexington
  • John Livas, Texas A&M University-College Station, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman
  • Daniel Lopez, San Jose State University, The Californian, Salinas
  • Wendy Lopez, San Jose State University, The Santa Fe New Mexican
  • Angela Manese-Lee, University of Virginia, The Tribune, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
  • Kaeleen McGuire, Fort Lewis College, Fort Collins Coloradoan
  • Alejandro Medina, Kansas State University, Lancaster (Pa.) New Era
  • Bilen Mesfin, University of California-Berkeley, The Tennessean, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Amber Miles, Louisiana Tech University, The News-Star, Monroe
  • Stacee Millangue, St. Edward’s University, The Santa Fe New Mexican
  • Alison Miller, Vanderbilt University, The Tennessean, Nashville
  • Zach Mills, Western Kentucky University, The Tennessean, Nashville
  • Maricella Miranda, College of St. Catherine, Green Bay Press-Gazette
  • Shahien Nasiripour, University of Southern California, The Providence Journal
  • Melissa Navas, Contra Costa College, The Wenatchee World
  • Ken Pagano, University of California-Berkeley, The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Oicenth Phang, University of Florida, FLORIDA TODAY, Melbourne, Fla.
  • Shadi Rahimi, University of San Francisco, The Oakland Tribune
  • Ashwin Raman, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud (Minn.) Times
  • Rachana Rathi, University of Colorado-Boulder, The News Journal, Wilmington
  • Patricia Rengifo, Bowling Green State University, St. Cloud Times
  • Nelsy Rodriguez, California State University-Chico, Statesman Journal, Salem
  • Rion Sanders, University of California-Davis, The Tennessean, Nashville
  • Irene Scott, Bowling Green State University, El Paso Times
  • Dustin Seibert, University of Michigan, The Detroit News
  • Christopher Silva, Temple University, FLORIDA TODAY, Melbourne
  • Jera Stone, University of Central Oklahoma, Aberdeen (S.D.) American News
  • Leezel Tanglao, Loyola Marymount University, The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Sophia Tareen, University of California-Berkeley, The Courier-Journal, Louisville
  • Meena Thiruvengadam, University of Texas-San Antonio, The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Hatzel Vela, Florida International University, The Jackson Sun
  • Elvira Viveros, San Francisco State University, The Oakland Tribune
  • Amanda Wauneka, Haskell Indian Nations University, Lancaster New Era
  • Lisa White, University of California-Berkeley, The Oakland Tribune
  • Kalani Wilhelm, University of Hawaii-Manoa, The Honolulu Advertiser
  • India Williams, University of Missouri-Columbia, Poughkeepsie Journal
  • Shelley Wong, Colorado College, The Providence Journal
  • Chi Chi Zhang, University of Utah, The Salt Lake Tribune

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

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