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Student to play major role in All-American City competition

June 08, 2009

Tania Mendes, a sophomore broadcast major in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, will play a major role in the All-American City competition that takes place June 17-19 in Tampa, Fla.

 Phoenix is among 29 finalists competing for the title of All-American City. The city held the title in 1950, 1958, 1980 and 1989. 

During the three-day competition, a delegation from each city makes a presentation to a jury of national experts from across the country. They tout accomplishments such as job creation, downtown revitalization, crime reduction, community-based problem solving, grassroots civic engagement and cooperation between public, private and non-profit sectors. Ten cities will be awarded the All-American City honor.

“I’m confident our city will win since I truly do believe it is the greatest city in America,” Mendes said.

Mendes will play the part of a newscaster in the competition, discussing amenities and attractions that make Phoenix special. She began taking classes at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus in August of 2008 after being admitted to the Cronkite School.

“I was accepted to other schools that were closer to home, but I was looking for something more. When I received my acceptance to the Cronkite School, I had to jump at the chance to attend one of the nation's top journalism schools,” Mendes said. “I have lived in Arizona for about a year now, and I have fallen in love with everything about it. The downtown atmosphere is unlike any other, and the fact that Phoenicians can see the city grow before their eyes is undeniably exciting.” 

Light-rail service, the opening of the downtown Civic Space park and plentiful internships at local media outlets are a few of the things that Mendes likes most about going to school in Phoenix.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said the ASU Downtown Campus has brought new vitality to the city.                              

“Our downtown campus is the cornerstone of our new downtown,” he said. “Just to match the number of people this brings us – it would have taken five new high-rise office buildings, filled to capacity, to equal what we’ve gained with our campus. The progress in every area, including housing and retail, would have taken decades to achieve incrementally. In a phrase, ASU Downtown is huge.”