High school students learn multimedia journalism at ASU's Cronkite School

June 6, 2018

Twenty-eight high school students are at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication this week to receive in-depth training in multimedia journalism.

Students from Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico and North Carolina are at the Cronkite School through June 15 as part of the Summer Journalism Institute, an immersive journalism program where students attend classes with Cronkite faculty, tour local media outlets and produce a newscast and a cutting-edge news website. Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute High school students from across the country are receiving journalism instruction at ASU as part of the Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute. Photo courtesy of Megan Thompson Download Full Image

Program participants receive scholarships to attend the institute from the Arizona Broadcasters Association; Cronkite Endowment Board member Tom Chauncey; RIESTER, a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency; the Dow Jones News Fund and alumni and friends of the school. Scholarships cover the cost of meals, training and housing on ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus.

Classes include in-depth lessons on reporting, writing, multimedia journalism, videography and video editing, podcasting, and social media. At the end of the two-week program, students work with Cronkite faculty to produce a professional-level newscast, where they create news packages, write scripts and operate state-of-the-art studio equipment.

Additionally, students experience the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, staying at the Taylor Place residence hall and visiting the Sun Devil Fitness Complex.

The Summer Journalism Institute is led by Anita Luera, the Cronkite School’s director of high school journalism programs and former president of the Arizona Latino Media Association.

Classes are taught by Luera and Cronkite faculty and staff, including Associate Professor Craig Allen, Assistant Dean Rebecca Blatt, Cronkite News Executive Editor Christina Leonard, Southwest Borderlands Professor Fernanda Santos and Ethics and Excellence Professor of Practice Jessica Pucci, the director of digital audience programs. Cronkite alumna Megan Thompson, a reporter at ABC15 in Phoenix, also is among the instructors.

“Each year, the Summer Journalism Institute gets better and better,” Luera said. “These students are getting a great jump-start on their journalism careers. My greatest hope is to see many of them studying journalism at Cronkite in the next few years.”

2018 Summer Journalism Institute Participants

Pristina Benally
Chinle High School, Chinle, Arizona

Brook Bowman
Cactus Shadows High School, Cave Creek, Arizona

Kiara Cuvas
Window Rock High School, Fort Defiance, Arizona

Kiiyahno Edgewater
Hopi Jr./Sr. High School, Kearns Canyon, Arizona

Gabriel Fredericks
Hopi Jr./Sr. High School, Kearns Canyon, Arizona

Om Gawali
Hamilton High School, Chandler, Arizona

Erin Griffith
Desert Mountain High School, Scottsdale, Arizona

Breanna Gruber
Sunnyslope High School, Phoenix

Jacqueline Gutierrez
Pueblo High School, Tucson, Arizona

Gabriel Hawthorne
Chandler High School, Chandler, Arizona

Gabriella Herran
Salpointe Catholic High School, Sahuarita, Arizona

Sahra Hussen
Westwood High School, Mesa, Arizona

Helen Innes
Xavier College, Preparatory, Phoenix

Emerald Izuakor
St. Thomas More Academy, Raleigh, North Carolina

Gabriel Jerez
San Miguel High School, Tucson, Arizona

Ahlias Jones
Arizona College Preparatory, Chandler, Arizona

Michayla Lopez
Queen Creek High School, Queen Creek, Arizona

Donnie Minor Jr.
Waubonsie Valley High School, Naperville, Illinois

Juliana Ortiz
Amy Biehl High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kaitlyn Ourada
Mountain Ridge High School, Glendale, Arizona

Robbie Patla
Animas High School, Durango, Colorado

Victor Robles Hernandez
La Joya High School, Tolleson, Arizona

Aedan Rodriguez Rivas
South Mountain High School, Phoenix

Morgyn Stanley
Window Rock High School, Window Rock, Arizona

Madison Thomas 
Douglas High School, Douglas, Arizona

Madeleine Williamson
Seton Catholic Prepatory, Chandler, Arizona

Megan Yazzie
Window Rock High School, Window Rock, Arizona

Jessica Zhang
Middlesex School, Concord, Massachusetts

ASU political science student takes advantage of every ASU opportunity to excel

June 6, 2018

Political science senior Wesley Jefferies was advertising his English tutoring services when he fielded the request of an unusual patron. The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington, D.C., contacted Jefferies and tasked him with serving as a tutor and mentor for the Saudi royal family.

The Arizona State University student originally intended to become a business lawyer after spending several years in real estate since high school, but his new benefactors instead advised him to study political science after reading one of his writing samples. WesleyJefferies Wesley Jefferies in Washington, D.C. Download Full Image

Throughout his undergraduate career, Jefferies has participated in unique research, leadership, and work-learning opportunities available to students of political science with the goal of pursuing graduate study in international relations.

ASU provides more than 1,000 clubs and organizations for students to become engaged leaders. Jefferies joined Model UN at ASU and attended the Model UN conference in San Francisco, where he represented Chile. Jefferies has since helped organize two high school Model UN conferences that ASU hosts every year.

“These experiences helped me understand some of the dynamics of coalition-building, parliamentary procedure, and the importance of doing your homework and thinking on your feet in political situations,” Jefferies said.

Jefferies has published articles on geopolitics in Eastern Europe and the Middle East in the Global Affairs Theoretical and Empirical Journal (GATE), an ASU student publication dedicated to publishing peer-reviewed research articles on global issues.

“It was my first experience with publishing and I learned a great deal about the editing and revision process that comes with writing for a more general audience rather than just one’s professor,” Jefferies said.

With support from his faculty mentors at the Center on the Future of War, Jefferies received scholarship awards from the Hertog Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute Honors Program, which allowed him to study with recognized experts and practitioners in the fields of foreign affairs, national security, and domestic politics in private seminar settings in Washington, D.C.

“After my time at Hertog and AEI, they both invited me back to attend more intense and in-depth summer programs, among them a course on war and decision-making taught by Fred Kagan, one of the intellectual architects behind the ‘Surge’ in the Iraq War," Jefferies said.

This year, Jefferies participated as a student researcher at the Center on the Future of War, which links ASU to its partner New America, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank and civic engagement institution. The center hosts annual student researchers who work with affiliated faculty and Future of War Fellows on a variety of book projects and research on emerging military technologies, security in the Middle East, and more. Jefferies has been working with David Kilcullen, ASU Future of War Senior Fellow and internationally renowned counterinsurgency expert, on projects relating to Russian intervention and interference in Eastern Europe.

In April, Jefferies attended the annual Future of War Conference in Washington, D.C., and had the opportunity to talk with former ambassadors, senior military leaders and war correspondents. This summer, Jefferies will pursue a paid internship with the International Security Program at New America, an opportunity presented to him through his involvement with the Center on the Future of War.

As an aspiring foreign policy professional, Jefferies envisions himself continuing down a career in think tanks and government service. 

“The experiences, connections, and opportunities I’ve had throughout my time at ASU and the School of Politics and Global Studies have prepared me for graduate school by giving me a sense of direction in my life and where I fit in the world,” Jefferies said.

Baltazar Hernandez

Center Coordinator, School of Politics and Global Studies