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DBAN Newsletter

Daily Bruin Alumni Network Newsletter – Spring 2020

Daily Bruin senior staff Kristie-Valerie Hoang ’20, Amy Dixon ’20, Axel Lopez ’20, Liz Ketcham, exp. ’21, and MacKenzie Coffman ’20 at last fall’s rivalry game against USC. 

When Kristie-Valerie Hoang ’20 started at UCLA in 2016, she had every intention of becoming a doctor. She joined the Daily Bruin that fall as a photographer, expecting to take a few photos as a nice diversion from her medical studies. But like so many students before and since, Kristie became engrossed in the Bruin. By the end of her freshman year, deadlines came and went to apply to internships at local hospitals. Instead, she applied for and became the assistant photo editor. The next year, she took on the role of social media director and this year served as digital managing editor.

Kristie received one of the Daily Bruin Alumni Network’s inaugural scholarships last year, money she says helped ease the financial burden on her parents, who are sending two kids through college. Her medical aspirations have been fully replaced with a commitment to journalism. She landed a coveted internship at the Washington Post that she had expected to start in a few weeks, only to have the paper cancel the program in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Now, she’s exploring her options, and preparing to be one of the speakers at UCLA’s graduation. Her speech, she says, will focus on how much her classmates love UCLA. “School ended too early,” she said of having to finish the year remotely. “I among so many really miss UCLA.”

As our alma mater and the rest of the world grapple with this unprecedented global health crisis, we as the Daily Bruin Alumni Network plan to continue to support the current students in every way we can. Most critically, we are working to raise the next $10,000 for our scholarship fund so more students like Kristie can receive much-needed money. This year we’ve decided to award five $2,000 scholarships, instead of four $2,500 awards. We can’t do this without your help. Training future journalists is as crucial now as it’s ever been; local news outlets have been a lifeline to those in quarantine, informing us about the world outside our homes and when and how it’ll be safe to emerge back into society. 

As we raise a virtual glass to this year’s graduating seniors, we hope all of you are staying safe and feel supported by the network. And please, help us hit our $10,000 scholarship goal by chipping in any amount you can, large or small.

Sara Randazzo ’08,
On behalf of the Daily Bruin Alumni Network Board

Give Back

Working at the Daily Bruin has never been about the money, but today’s students earn stipends that hardly make a dent in rising tuition and housing costs — and have been slashed further since the pandemic sent students home. Editors today are paid between $90 and $160 every two weeks. The $2,000 scholarships we plan to award make a difference. Donate now.

A New Normal

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives, and we have a “new normal” for a good while longer. But as long as the student-staffers at the Daily Bruin are still reporting the news, the DBAN will carry on with our mission to support the Bruin, the staffers and alumni.

By all indications, social distancing and other public health directives will be in place for months. Thus, the board has regrettably cancelled this year’s reunion and scholarship dinner, scheduled for Oct. 17. We plan to return to Westwood in fall 2021, to honor our Daily Bruin scholars, thumb through the archives and visit with old friends. In the meantime, we are working on a few digital events to help us stay connected.

Other aspects of our network continue to flourish. With your help, fundraising is underway. As you run out of things to watch on Netflix and yearn to reconnect, why not become a mentor to our student-staffers? New DBAN board members Maryia Krivoruchko ’11 and Cuauhtemoc Ortega ’03 are developing ways for alumni to get involved from the comfort and safety of our homes. Alumni critiques of the paper will be back this fall. The DBAN is developing its own private group page on UCLA ONE , the UCLA Alumni Association’s proprietary one-on-one mentoring platform. Training sessions for students are being planned for the fall. Look for more soon from Maryia and C.O. or email them to volunteer.

Until we can meet again at Kerckhoff Hall, please visit our Facebook group and invite your classmates to come home. Take good care of yourself and your family, and Go Bruins!

Lawrence Ma
President, Daily Bruin Alumni Network Board

A Digital-Only Paper Under COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has pushed the Bruin to cease print and move entirely online. With staffers scattered across continents and different time zones, the newsroom’s usual production schedule has shifted to accommodate the new limitations they face. Regular Zoom meetings and constant Slack updates are the norm now as staffers work hard to produce daily content for the Bruin’s website, social media platforms and newsletter. Read the impressive coverage still underway from the remote-working staff, and listen to a new Bruin podcast (including an episode featuring alumni!).

Our New Alumni Liaison

We are happy to announce third-year English and economics student Marilyn Chavez-Martinez, exp. ’21, as our new alumni and outreach director for the Daily Bruin. Marilyn joined the Bruin her freshman year as a writer for the campus politics beat and rose to assistant news editor for the section. As our new alumni liaison, she hopes to take her love for journalism and create a stronger relationship between the student body, the paper and our alumni network.

 

Additionally, we can’t say enough to thank Jacqueline Alvarez ’20, who has been our connection to the Bruin since DBAN got its start in 2018. She has been a creative and energetic force from the early days of the network, including working tirelessly on these quarterly newsletters, helping with events and keeping us informed about the current state of the paper. We wish her all the best after graduation.


 

Class Notes

Congratulations to Robert Faturechi ’08 for winning the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. He and a team from ProPublica spent a year and a half reporting on three deadly accidents in the Marines and Navy, uncovering culpability for the disasters stemming from the highest levels of the organizations. Read their “Disaster in the Pacific” series.

Robert got his start as an investigative reporter at the Bruin, where in 2007 he wrote about UCLA’s dental school saving admissions slots for donors’ relatives.

 

 

 

Further kudos to Courtney Kan Alcantara, a designer at the Washington Post who contributed to the paper’s Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting for a series on climate change and their recognition as a finalist for a series on the opioid epidemic.

 

 

 

 

We are mourning the loss of Adam Corey Gold 82, who died March 16 in the Seattle area from the novel coronavirus. He was 60 years old.

As a senior at UCLA, Adam edited the Daily Bruin’s Viewpoint pages while also tapping his creativity as editor of a new weekly section called Et Cetera, exploring topics that didn’t fit neatly in the newspaper’s traditional departments.

The West Los Angeles native took his degree in communication and media studies and rose quickly in the TV industry, becoming vice president for research at Lorimar, CBS and later Scripps Networks, where he worked with the Food Network and helped to launch the cooking show “Iron Chef America.”

After moving to Seattle with his wife Alicia and three children and starting his own TV production company, Adam opened a restaurant in Woodinville, Wash., called Gobble. The restaurant featured “turkey in a gazillion different forms,” he told one of several local reporters who wrote about the venture. It lasted nearly six years.

Adam’s sense of humor — often self-deprecating — was on display in his LinkedIn bio when he described his time as a restaurateur: “Creator, owner, manager of the most creative and original quick serve restaurant in the country. Unfortunately, no one else thought this way.”

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Have recent work or personal success to brag about? Email Sara Randazzo to be included in future newsletters.

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Daily Bruin Alumni Network Newsletter – Winter 2020

Jim Stebinger, Cassy Cohen Muronaka and Dave McNary

This photo was taken in early 1974 by Daily Bruin photographer Terry Colvin ’73. Jim Stebinger ’77, Cassy Cohen Muronaka ’74 and I are on top of an elephant7named Spot at Cal Worthington’s car dealership in Huntington Park. Cassy had become fascinated by Cal’s relentless advertising on local TV, which would always begin with “Here’s Cal Worthington and his dog Spot” and end with “Go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal.” Spot was never a dog. So Cassy, who was the managing editor, arranged for an interview and the four of us went there. 
 
I went because it sounded incredibly interesting, if a bit offbeat. Cassy’s news instincts turned out to be excellent. Cal, who was in his trademark suit and cowboy hat, explained very politely how he needed to make himself stand out by being outrageous and freewheeling, professed to love Spot, and seemed genuinely puzzled why UCLA students would care about him. The story ran with photos of Cal on the phone and posing atop Spot. 
 
I think it says a lot about the value of the Daily Bruin that we had the freedom to occasionally do a strange story. The postscript to all this was that Cassy told the campus events people about Cal and a couple of weeks later, Cal brought Spot to Bruin Walk and they were greeted warmly. 

Dave McNary ’74,
On behalf of the Daily Bruin Alumni Network Board

Mentoring

Our alumni board is happy to introduce a new mentoring committee to support Daily Bruin staffers on skill and career development. Maryia Krivoruchko 11 leads our committee of mentors that includes Rick Penn-Kraus 84, Laureen Lazarovici 89, Alice Short ’77,  Victoria Gomelsky 95 and Sara Randazzo ’08.

Rick began our workshop series earlier this month with a creative training session for student illustrators at the Bruin. Next month, Maryia will host a career workshop for résumé building and skill marketing to aid students in their job search. If you are interested in volunteering on our committee, please email maryia.krivoruchko@greendot.org

Join the DBAN Group on UCLA ONE

We created a new space on UCLA ONE, the University’s networking and mentoring platform, exclusively for Daily Bruin alumni and staffers. The site makes it easy for alumni to connect with students to provide mentorship, informational interviews, industry advice and other professional development opportunities. Sign up at www.uclaone.com and join the group “Daily Bruin Alumni Network.”

Critique the Daily Bruin

Sign up to provide feedback to the current student-staffers on what you liked and what they can do better.

 

Around the World for the Daily Bruin

Daily Bruin staffers Teddy Rosenbluth ’20, Keshav Tadimeti ’19 and Liz Ketcham 21 traveled to India this summer to report on a controversial move by UCLA to protect the patent on a prostate-cancer drug, which could make the drug unaffordable to those who need it most. Their travel was made possible by the Bridget O’Brien Travel Grant, named for a Daily Bruin photojournalist who died in 2007. The results of their reporting ran as stories and a podcast at the Daily Bruin and in Los Angeles Magazine

Teddy shared this about their travels:

After months of meeting with doctors and advocacy groups, we boarded a plane and flew halfway across the globe to try to figure out how this patent war was affecting real people.

During the day, we visited countless pharmacies, begged doctors and even stood outside a hospital in 100-degree heat to find patients willing to talk. At night we brainstormed questions and transcribed interviews until jet lag set in and we collapsed into bed. We were drained but also determined to find our story.

Over 10 days, we realized reporting in India involved challenges we didn’t experience in the States. When we interviewed sources, they seemed more skeptical of journalists. One man shook his head vehemently in disapproval when I took out my recorder. Another made me swear I would check every fact with him before we published.

Some aspects of reporting, however, felt familiar: the doctors were earnest, the patients were worried. Rupam Borah agreed to speak to us on the day before we flew home. His father was taking the medication we were reporting on, so we drove to a small cafe on the outskirts of Delhi.

“What will you do if the price of the medicine increases?” I asked him over the clay cups of chai he insisted on giving us. “We will have to live by the reality that he will have to pass away sooner,” he said.

Fundraising

Thanks to the generosity of so many alumni and friends of The Daily Bruin, we met our goal of raising $20,000 during this centennial year. We awarded our inaugural Daily Bruin Scholarships of $2,500 each to four stellar student-staffers at the 2019 DBAN alumni reunion dinner in October. This quarter, we are working with the staff to further put that money to work on newsroom upgrades.  

Our thanks once more to Matt Stevens ’11 and Kelly Rayburn ’04 for their contributions to our fundraising efforts. If you would like to join the DBAN Scholarship Committee, please contact Lawrence Ma ’95. To help us jump-start the campaign for this year’s scholarship, why not contribute today with a tax-deductible gift? Donate here.

New Board Member Welcome

Welcome to our newest board member, Cuauhtemoc Ortega 03. Ortega studied political science while at UCLA and was editor-in-chief of the Bruin in 2002-2003. He earned a law degree from Columbia Law School and is now a supervising federal public defender at the Central District Court of California, based in Los Angeles. 

Send Us Your News!

Have recent work or personal success to brag about? Email Sara Randazzo to be included in future newsletters.

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