October 16, 2021

2021 Staff

Meet the staff of the 2021 Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute! Despite the program going virtual for the summer of 2021 due to the pandemic, this staff came together from all across the country to further their journalistic pursuits.

Maria Anderson

Maria Anderson is a rising junior at Davis School for Independent Study/Davis Senior High School in California.  After completing introductory journalism class, she applied and was accepted for the producer position for the broadcast portion of the high school’s newspaper, The HUB.  This summer is jam-packed with journalism: on top of attending the ASU Summer Journalism Institute, she is also taking a communications course at a local community college.  Maria hopes that all of this will culminate into attending the ASU Cronkite School and ultimately getting a job working as a morning news reporter.

Silvia Arteaga

Silvia Arteaga is a rising senior at Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy in Houston, Texas. She has an interest in the arts, writing, and politics and is looking to gain more experience in journalism to combine these interests in a new and exciting way. By attending the Cronkite School’s Summer Journalism Institute, Silvia was exposed to the different aspects of journalism and the career options available to her.

Andrea Basuroski

Andrea Basuroski is a rising junior from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Although she has never taken journalism classes, she is the head editor of her school’s literary magazine, and she also managed the blog and interviews for the club she founded, the East Chapel Hill Hill High School Women in STEM club. She also wrote a few articles for an international student lead Music magazine, the Harmonic. Her other interests include robotics and engineering, as well as Astronomy and Chemistry. Other than writing articles, she enjoys writing short stories and essays.

Alex Bishara

Alex Bishara is a rising senior at Santa Fe Christian High School in San Diego, California. Ever since the beginning of high school Alex has found and learned more about his interest in broadcast journalism. He has worked with broadcasting news scripts for stories for his school, produced sports games such as football and soccer, and has edited many packages for broadcasts. Alex also loves sports, including his favorite sports teams such as the Dallas Maverick and the Dallas Cowboys. He hopes that in the future he would be able to work with sports teams and do broadcasts and make stories about them.

Shiara Bradley

Shiaira Bradley is a rising senior at University High School in Tolleson, Arizona. She has worked as the social media coordinator of her school’s yearbook, as well as a staff writer on the online publications ASU Odyssey and Raindrop Magazine. Her other interests include creative writing, acting, dancing, and cooking.

Bennie Chang

Growing up in San Jose, California, Bennie Chang is a rising senior at Lynbrook High School. As an avid student journalist, he has been involved in his student publication and loves meeting new people and telling others’ stories. Utilizing his scholastic experience, he has been able to pursue his interest in politics by interviewing both local and state political officials and federal lawmakers, not only learning more about government but also allowing other high schoolers to know more about public policy and politics. At school, he is involved in student government and his school’s politics club and is elated for senior year. During his free time, you can find him participating in class events, taking photos of his dog and watching action and romcom movies.

Fatima Gabir

Fatima Gabir is a rising senior at Pinnacle High School in Arizona. Fatima’s an online editor for her school publication, Blueprint Magazine, and published three articles for her online publication. She also was part of a digital media program called Spot 127 where she got the opportunity to do podcasts and work in photoshop. Next Year, Fatima will be working on an investigative story about bullying and prejudice on her school campus with one of her peers. She hopes that after she graduates she can go to ASU Cronkite to pursue journalism. Outside of journalism she’s passionate about social justice and activism and wants to help her community as best as she can.

Annie Goodykoontz

Annie Goodykoontz is a rising junior at Tempe Preparatory Academy in Tempe, Arizona. She has worked on her school’s newspaper club for the past two years, with multiple front page stories. She has written creative stories since a young age, and has been exposed to journalism all of her life. She is interested in a career as a journalist. Other interests of hers include writing essays, cheerleading, and cooking.

Dylan Graff

Dylan Graff is a rising sophomore at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, California. Although he only has one year of experience writing for his school’s paper, Graff has really enjoyed his experiences in Journalism and hopes to continue it throughout his education. As someone who is half-Japanese, Graff has a great interest in writing about Japanese-American issues as well as events that impact the Asian-American community as a whole. Outside of Journalism, Graff enjoys being a member of the wrestling team and is a die-hard New York Jets, Mets, and Knicks fan.

Kevin Hwang

As an upcoming senior for the class of 2022, Kevin Hwang is a Korean-American student at Crescenta Valley High School. Currently acting as a student reporter at the Korea Daily, he has participated in local community events and written several news articles over the course of the pandemic. Hwang’s passions also spread through various fields, such as being a violinist in the Colburn Sinfonietta Orchestra, the Corps Commander of CVHS’s JROTC, and an Eagle Scout in his boy scout troop. Although a bit shy, he does enjoy meeting new people and learning more about the differences of people. Through writing, he hopes to expand his knowledge outside of his local bubble, and make the world a better place.

Sarai Juarez

Sarai Juarez is an incoming junior at Sunnyside High School. Based in Tucson, Arizona, she is the secretary for her school’s Student Government. Juarez also has a focus on Law Enforcement as part of her school’s career and technical education. Juarez wishes to combine her interests in law and writing in the form of journalism. She wishes to honor the stories pertaining to social justice and explore the lives of others. She also wishes to make written media about hard topics more accessible to others. Sarai will continue to nurture her interest in writing and hopefully reach her goal of becoming a journalist.

Aiden Kephart

“I have been a heavily involved member of my school’s sports broadcasting program,  WCAT, in both my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I have served as a play-by-play announcer, color commentator, sideline reporter, and also have experience behind the camera. I am interested in a career as a journalist.”

Jaden Kolenbrander

Jaden Kolenbrander is a rising junior at Cedar Park High School in Cedar Park, Texas. He has enjoyed writing since middle school and hopes to convert his experience into articles that help him and others better understand the world around him. He has spent 2 years in journalism, joining the newspaper team as a reporter in his sophomore year. Outside of writing, he enjoys video games and browsing the web.

Lauren Koong

Lauren Koong is a rising senior at Lamar High School in Houston, Texas. At her school, she is the editor-in-chief of Lamar Life, her school’s only news publication, a position she has held since her freshman year. Her passion for journalism began in middle school, where she was a junior reporter for her local town newspaper. Since then, she has fallen in love with journalistic writing and has been published in the New York Times. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism and is so excited to learn at the Cronkite Summer Journalism Camp.

Julia Kwon

Julia Kwon is a rising senior from Dana Point, California. She has been on Sage Hill School’s Publications staff since freshman year and has enjoyed her role as a photographer for both the yearbook and the newspaper. Kwon was Photo Editor this past year and will be Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook, The Storm, next year. She is excited to bring what she learns at SJI back to her school. Along with photojournalism, Kwon also has a passion for creative writing and videography.

Maria Macaraig

Maria Macaraig is a student journalist going into her sophomore year at Tuba City High School in Arizona. She enjoys writing very much, and has learned a lot from the Cronkite Summer Journalism Camp. She is an honors student at her school, and hopes to find a future in journalism.

Abigail Manrique

Abigail Manrique is a rising senior at University High School in Tucson, Arizona. She is mainly known for her optimism and love for talking to new people. She was a head photo and writing editor for both middle and high school yearbooks, as well as an active member at her school’s creative writing club, Author’s Ink. While Abigail’s main focus is publishing informational pieces regarding hispanic, LGBTQ+ and mental health issues online, she has also studied in her school’s creative writing class, as well as published poetry and short stories through her school. Besides writing, Abigail is currently a member of Esperanza Dance Project which utilizes modern dance as a way to eradicate the stigma, secrecy and shame associated with surviving childhood sexual violence.

Richard McCain

As a recent Campo Verde High School graduate, Richard McCain plans to pursue a career in journalism. He has special interest in neo-divergent and LBGT+ issues, advocating for marine health, and finding a philosophical view on a variety of topics. Throughout all four years of high school McCain studied french under Madame Sue Fry and in his fourth year she introduced him to the Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute, bringing to life his passion for journalism. He had a track record of writing essays for fun and even submitting pieces to the Coyote Howl, his high school’s zine, as well as making informational social media posts about current events. Spreading news has always been something he loved to do and while he had been for quite some time only recently did he become aware of it.

Alexia Nastasia

Alexia Nastasia is a rising senior pursuing the International Baccalaureate at Lindbergh High School in Saint Louis, Missouri. She has also participated in collegiate experiences for example with Columbia University, Brandeis University, the University of Nevada Reno, and currently with Arizona State University, in order to broaden her understanding of concepts from across disciplines and their application to improving communities. At school, she is involved in Link Crew, Mock Trial, Key Club, and the National Honor Society. She is also an editor for the high school’s art magazine. In community settings, she is an apprentice with the Missouri Historical Society and has taken part in Model UN, various leadership programs such as Cultural Leadership and Youth Empowerment, the Saint Louis Children’s Choir, as well as many service activities. Across these activities, she has sought to refine her writing, speaking, and advocacy skills in order to be able to address causes she is passionate about related to social justice, inclusion, and equitable access to resources.

Ayisi Ni

“This year I have been taking Journalism 1, which is
the entry level course that is available to sophomores
and up. I have honed my writing skills, as well as
learned more about audio/video editing. I am advancing
to the next level class this fall, as well as being selected
as next year’s print/web news editor for our newspaper.
I have always had a passion for journalism.”

Spencer Nuttall

Spencer Nuttall is a student journalist and a senior at Perry High School in Arizona. He has an interest in photography and writing, and has a goal of being a war correspondent. Spencer attended the Summer Journalism Institute at ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to develop the skills required for a career in journalism.

Genesis Ordonez

Rising senior Genesis Ordonez attends Camelback High School in Phoenix, Arizona, where ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication originates.Throughout most of her life, Genesis has never necessarily known what career she wanted to pursue and was passionate for. She does KNOW one thing though; she NEEDS to create and write- it’s a necessity. Fortunately, ASU’s 2021 Summer Journalism Institute has given her the opportunity to do so. As she now ventures into her last year of high school, Genesis leaves with new acquired skills in broadcast and digital journalism, along with a sense of accomplishment, innovation and aspiration.

Ashanthi Otero

Ashanthi Otero is a rising junior at Ironwood Ridge High school in Tucson, Arizona. She has always loved writing and telling stories ever since she was young. Once entering high school she joined the school newspaper staff and fell in love with the process. Writing is one of her many creative outlets along with drawing and painting. She hopes that one day she can make a difference with her writing and inform people about topics that she is passionate about.

John Ramos

John Ramos is a high school student and amateur journalist who puts his focus on issues that might not always be the most pleasant to talk about. He lives at home with his exuberant younger brother, charming parents, and an elderly but lovable dog named “Superdog”.

Fatima Sagnia

“This program is vital to me and my college plans because this particular program would help me excel in my writing, and it would prepare me for the real world in journalism and as a prospective Cronkite student. This program fits into my career plans because going through college and into the journalism industry will help me tell my story on every platform.”

Eva Shen

Eva Shen is a rising senior at Dougherty Valley High School in California. Next year she will serve as the Editor-in-Chief of the Wildcat Tribune, their award-winning student newspaper, having served as Managing Editor, A&E Editor, and Staff Writer in the past. She hopes to use journalism as a means to tell people’s stories and spotlight environmental issues in a compelling narrative form. Outside of journalism, she enjoys creative writing, running cross country, and long rambling walks.

Kenya Sykes

Starting her senior year with ASU Prep Digital, Kenya Sykes is putting in effort to begin her journalism career. She started gaining writing experience in middle school after taking her first journalism class. This caused her to absolutely fall in love with the occupation and inspired her to work towards a writer. After living in Tucson, Arizona for about three years, she’s been putting everything she has into becoming the best journalist that she can. Her main career goal is to speak up for minority voices, and to give a platform to those who have been silenced. This pushes her to do her absolute best and confront any challenge she is met with.

Catherine Xie

Catherine Xie is a Chinese-American student at Weston High School in the class of ’22. Before her sixth birthday, she moved a total of fifteen times – twice because her house burned down, once because of a tornado, once because of a hurricane, and the rest because of her parents’ general restlessness. Growing up, Catherine has always loved creative writing. Many of her pieces are food-centered, but she’s not sure if it’s because she likes the imagery or if she’s just always hungry. She hopes to continue her love of writing in college