Below is a listing of the Headliners Foundation’s 2017-2018 scholarship recipients. Click here for the Foundation’s media release announcing scholarship recipients.
Ellie Breed is a junior at The University of Texas at Austin studying public relations and business. She was the managing editor of The Daily Texan in the spring of 2018 and will return as managing editor this fall. She has worked at The Daily Texan for three years, first as a reporter and then as news editor. Ellie was awarded The Daily Texan’s Paul J. Thompson Award in May of 2017 for her “devotion to duty and concern for high ethics” after she helped lead The Daily Texan through its nationally recognized coverage of the on-campus stabbing of May 2017. Ellie has also worked as a marketing and analytics intern and a writing instructor. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 and hopes to pursue a career in media relations.
Sahar Chmais is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin studying journalism and has a special interest in world relations. She recently began writing lifestyle articles for the Odyssey Online and is a participant of ALDPES National Honors Society. She has travelled to several countries by herself and found her passion for journalism. She works for an auto-shop where she runs social relations and mediation. Sahar plans to travel back to her hometown over the summer to write about the situation and difficulties that the country’s people face. She likes to report about science, drugs, and world relations. Post-graduation, she hopes to report to and from the Middle East.
Paul Cobler is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin studying journalism. Paul is currently a fellow at the Texas Tribune, spending 2018 covering Texas water news and serving on the investigative team. He has had his work appear in newspapers across Texas, previously working at the Houston Chronicle, The Monitor (McAllen), the Victoria Advocate and The Daily Texan. Paul will intern at the Austin American-Statesman in fall 2018 before covering the Texas Legislature in the spring for the San Antonio Express-News. He graduates in the spring of 2019.
Corrie Coleman, from Dallas, is a junior at Baylor University. She is studying journalism, nonprofit marketing and poverty studies. She has worked for the Bundle, Focus Magazine and the Baylor Lariat, all student-run publications at Baylor. Last summer, Corrie interned with Dallas Christian Women’s Job Corps, a nonprofit that provides job and life skills training to women transitioning out of prison, homelessness, or addiction. This summer she traveled to Sicily, Italy with the Baylor journalism department to document the refugee crisis in Europe. After the trip, Corrie will be a media intern with Buckner International, writing stories and taking photos for a social enterprise seeking to empower impoverished artisans from around the world. Corrie will graduate in May 2019 and hopes to pursue a career in photojournalism and marketing for a nonprofit, giving a voice to those who feel they have none.
Laura Hallas is a junior at The University of Texas at Austin where she studies Plan II honors, economics, and health and society, and is concurrently pursuing a Masters in Public Health. She was elected the editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan, serving during the summer, fall and spring semesters of the 2017-2018 academic year. Previously, she worked as a columnist, senior columnist and copy editor at the Texan as well as a page designer at Spark magazine. In addition to her work in student media, Laura has conducted public health research projects and interned with development nonprofits. She worked at The Dallas Morning News as an editorial intern during summer 2018, and will graduate in May 2019.
Luke Henkhaus is an economics junior with a journalism minor at Texas A&M University. Luke served as news editor of the university’s student-run newspaper, The Battalion, during the 2017-2018 school year and will serve as managing editor for the 2018-2019 school year. He was part of the award-winning multimedia team that covered a speech by white nationalist leader Richard Spencer on the A&M campus in 2016, along with the protests and counter-events held in response. Luke’s reporting focuses primarily on the effects of public policy on higher education and student life. While finishing his undergraduate studies, he hopes to enter an accelerated master’s program with the Bush School of Government and Public Service with goals of becoming an education reporter or an international correspondent.
Sierra Juarez is a junior studying journalism and Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin. Over the past year, she’s served as an audience engagement fellow at The Texas Tribune and a digital intern for the Austin American-Statesman. Previously, she’s interned for Austin’s NPR station KUT and the San Antonio Current. During 2018, she’s helping to lead her school’s chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists as its vice president. During summer 2018 she interned at the Arizona Republic as part of the Dow Jones News Fund. During fall 2018 she will be studying abroad in Mexico, where she hopes to work as a freelancer. Her ultimate goal is to become a multimedia journalist, covering Latin America.
Catherine Marfin is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin studying journalism and public relations, and pursuing a minor in sociology and a certificate in forensic science. Catherine found herself in the news department of The Daily Texan basement during her first week of class at UT, and she hasn’t left since. She has worked in the news department as a senior reporter, news desk editor and most recently, news editor. During summer 2018 she served as managing editor at the Texan. In the summer and fall of 2017, she worked as a CodeNEXT intern at the Austin-American Statesman, and spent the spring of 2018 interning in the public information office of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. When she isn’t reporting, you can find Catherine playing piccolo in the Longhorn Marching Band. Catherine will graduate in the fall of 2019 and hopes to pursue a career in print journalism.
Dani Matias is a junior at the University of Texas studying journalism and pursuing a minor in Spanish. During her college career, she has interned for KUT radio station in Austin, The Texas Standard and KERA radio station in Dallas, was chosen as a finalist for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project and is the podcast technical producer for The Daily Texan newspaper. Dani is passionate about her Mexican-American background and loves learning about different cultures and communities. She serves as treasurer for a South-Asian interest sorority called Kappa Phi Gamma, and is an active member of The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, The National Association of Black Journalists and The Asian American Journalists Association. During summer 2018 she interned for WAMU radio station in Washington, DC and is set to graduate in May 2019. Post-graduation, Dani hopes to work for a local NPR affiliate as a reporter covering underrepresented communities, helping to give their voices agency.
Hannah Onder is a junior mass communication major at Texas Wesleyan University. Hannah has a passion for storytelling built from her joy of reading them. Before college, Hannah found her love for journalism in high school by serving as editor-in-chief of Chisholm Trail’s yearbook, The Frontier for three years. After graduating, she was hired onto her college newspaper, The Rambler after her first day of classes in the fall of 2016. Working as a content producer, She was awarded the Rambler Media Group’s Reporter of the Year after publishing over 30 stories during 2016-2017. Hannah is always willing to take on whatever story comes her way and isn’t afraid to hand everyone she passes by a newspaper on distribution day. After working three semesters for The Rambler, Hannah took on the position of editor-in-chief for her fourth semester and plans to continue during fall 2018. As editor-in-chief, she worked to redesign the front cover of the paper, develop her editorial writing skills, and revive the newspaper’s editorial cartoons. Hannah has also worked to incorporate more non-staff pieces to increase content and combat budget cuts. Hannah hopes to continue to work to improve her university’s paper and looks forward to the new challenges ahead.
Allyson Ortegon is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin studying journalism. She has worked in print, video and multimedia, including campus publications such as The Daily Texan, ORANGE Magazine and KVR News. She has written freelance stories for Schertz Magazine, a local magazine published close to her hometown. A member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, she has been recognized at the Moody College of Communication Honors Day as a College Scholar. In addition, since her freshman year, she has been a member of the honors organization ALPDES for maintaining a GPA above 3.5. This past summer she was accepted to and attended a program to study and conduct independent research in New York City. Upon graduation, she plans to continue to pursue her passion for storytelling through multiple platforms.
Megan Rodriguez is a senior at Texas A&M University in College Station, majoring in communication with a minor in journalism and a certification in strategic communication. Megan served as a news reporter at The Battalion, A&M’s student-run newspaper, during her freshman year before becoming a news editor her sophomore year. Megan continued to serve at The Battalion while writing at Insite Brazos Valley, a lifestyle magazine in Bryan, and working as a production assistant for The Texas Bucket List television show. Megan will write at the San Antonio Current this summer before she serves as The Battalion’s editor-in-chief for the 2018-2019 school year. Megan plans to pursue a career in print journalism after she graduates in May 2019.
Ashley Skinner is a junior at Texas State University majoring in journalism and minoring in psychology. She was recently inducted to the Council of Scholars, a prestigious honor society for students who have been on the Dean’s List for three consecutive semesters and which includes only five percent of the College of Fine Arts and Communication students. Ashley was a reporter for the school’s newspaper, The University Star, and eventually took on the News Editor position. In January 2018, she went to Guyana as a member of the Global News Team to report on Texas State’s Respiratory Care team giving aide to the developing country. In high school, Ashley interned for her hometown’s local newspaper, The Bandera Bulletin, was the State Champion of the UIL News Writing competition, Editor of the Bulldog Times, Co-Editor of the Bulldog Nation News broadcast and the head yearbook photographer. She is scheduled to graduate a year early, in May 2019, and wants to become a news reporter or editor for a widely known newspaper.
Caleb Wong is a Plan II and government senior at the University of Texas at Austin. Caleb has worked seven semesters at The Daily Texan as a reporter, news editor, associate opinion editor and columnist. He edited the culture section of the The New York Times as a copy editing intern during the summer of 2016. He also worked as a social media intern at the Austin American-Statesman during the spring of 2017. During the summer of 2017, he wrote and edited science articles for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum as a digital content intern. Caleb will graduate in December 2018.