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Cronkite School expands high school programs

July 05, 2007

Anita Luera, a longtime journalist and past president of the Arizona Latino Media Association, is the first director of high school journalism programs for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.

Luera will oversee an expanding array of high school programs, including national training institutes for high school journalism teachers and students. She also will lead the school’s outreach programs to high schools around the region that are working to develop and improve their journalism programs.

“The Cronkite School has a rich tradition of working with young high school journalists, and in the past few months we have vastly expanded those programs,” says Christopher Callahan, the school’s dean. “We are extremely pleased to have Anita, a terrific journalist with deep roots in our community, to serve as our first director.”

Luera will focus much of her outreach on minority populations, which are under-represented in today’s professional newsrooms.

The position is made possible in part by a new grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation.

For the past three years, Luera has served in leadership roles at Valle del Sol, one of Arizona’s largest nonprofit, community-based organizations offering counseling, substance abuse, support services and leadership development programs. She is in charge of leadership development and runs the Hispanic Leadership Institute, providing leadership development for Latino professionals working in business, education and non-profit organizations in Maricopa County.

Luera also brings to the position 27 years of television news experience. She served as community relations coordinator at KPNX-TV, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, for seven years, during which time she organized and produced such community projects as the KPNX and the Arizona Republic “Season for Sharing” holiday fund drive, the “Walk to End Domestic Violence” and the “12 News Car Seat Check Up.”

She also was the producer of KPNX’s award-winning 5 p.m. news broadcast.

Before joining KPNX in 1992, Luera was the first woman news director at a Phoenix television news station, running the news department for Spanish-language Univision affiliate, KTVW-Channel 33. She also served as news producer at KTSP-TV, which now is Fox 10.

Luera holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Cronkite School. She returned last year as a faculty associate to teach a class in public relations. She was born and raised in Phoenix, where she and her husband raised two sons.

The Cronkite School plays host to the Donald W. Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, a two-week fellowship program for 35 high school journalism instructors from around the country; the Summer Broadcast Institute, a program for high school students funded by the Arizona Broadcasters Association, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; and the Summer Journalism Institute, a print program sponsored by Phoenix attorney Tom Chauncey.