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UA Journalism Gets National Multicultural Recruitment Award
The school is selected for the Robert P. Knight Award as it celebrates its 30th anniversary of training Arizona high school students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in journalism. The workshop takes place June 5-13.
For its efforts in making significant contributions to promoting diversity in high school journalism programs, the University of Arizona School of Journalism has been named the 2010 Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award recipient.
The UA's School of Journalism has a long history of recruiting and training high school students from diverse backgrounds during its yearly Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
"The workshop has always been about more than journalism training. It is also about exposing young minds to a bigger world than they might have previously known and to the benefits of higher education," Lisa Button, director of the workshop, said in the University's nomination letter.
More than 500 high school students – many of whom have gone on to journalism careers – have been trained in the workshop. This year's workshop began on June 5 and will end on June 13 and has already offered students an opportunity to interview Gov. Jan Brewer.
Button highlighted three areas of multicultural distinction offered as part of the workshop that impressed the judges.
Since 2005, the articles written by the student journalists published in The Chronicle have been translated into Spanish and occasionally into Hopi.
The workshop also includes the involvement of college students of Native American, Hispanic, African-American and Asian origin who serve as role models and mentors to students enrolled in the workshop. In addition, students have the opportunity to write for an online publication companion to the print publication giving students the opportunity to learn to tell stories using digital media.
The primary sponsor of the workshop is the Dow Jones News Fund.
"This program is not only a great opportunity for these students to learn from dedicated working journalists and academics, but to physically place the students in an environment of higher learning – often for the first time, and with the intent of helping them overcome any reticence they might have about higher education," Alfredo E. Araiza wrote in a nomination letter for the program. Araiza is a photojournalist for the Arizona Daily Star and this summer's workshop marks his 25th as a guest lecturer.
Former workshop participants are evidence of the program's success in exposing young minds to careers in journalism.
Veronica Cruz, who took part in the workshop in 2003, graduated from the UA in 2010 with a degree in journalism. She was one of only 23 students selected nationally to participate in The New York Times Student Journalism Institute in January. She spent this spring as a Chips Quinn scholar reporting for the Santa Fe New Mexican and will be the workshop's assistant director this summer.
In addition, 2009 workshop participant Leigh Jensen was recently named a winner of a national Dow Jones News Fund college scholarship. She'll attend the UA this fall.
The Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award is named for Robert P. Knight, a professor in the University of Missouri School of Journalism who served as director of the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association from 1965 to 1992. He received the award in 1990.
The award will be presented on Aug. 6 at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Convention in Denver, during the annual luncheon co-sponsored by the Scholastic Journalism Division and the Minorities and Communication Division.