SJI Class of 2021

Meet
Meghan Rominger
Graduate Student
School:
IUPUI
Host:
Sports Illustrated

Hello everyone, my name is Meghan Rominger, and I’m currently a sports journalism graduate student at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Growing up, I always wanted to be the general manager of the New York Yankees because I was confident that I was Brian Cashman’s natural successor. I even got the Yankee logo tattooed on my arm, but that has so far not helped my career. As I approached the end of high school and began planning for college, I decided to focus on a future in writing because I loved to read and imitate my favorite authors. I enrolled at UCLA for my undergraduate degree, and I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English a few years later. After graduating, I worked at a non-profit for a few years — a career path that I still really love — but decided to enroll in the Sports Capital Journalism Program at IUPUI in 2019 to transition back to my goal of combining my love of writing with my love of sports.   My interest in journalism has always been to tell stories that I would want to read, and I try to write in a way that is informative but still relatable. I’m excited for SJI’s bootcamp experience because I know it will teach the SJI ‘21 students about so many aspects of journalism that we haven’t yet encountered. I’ve also really enjoyed my interactions with my classmates so far; they’re all incredibly smart and welcoming people. This summer, I’ll be interning remotely with Sports Illustrated, and I’m looking forward to working with Sports Illustrated’s editors and writers. 

Meet
Christian Ortega
Senior
School:
University of Florida
Host:
USA Today

I’m a senior studying journalism at the University of Florida, and I grew up in Miami, Fla. In my two years at UF, I worked with the student newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator, where I served as a sports writer and later became the editor-in-chief. In my final semester at the newspaper, I worked as the sports editor. Before that, I studied at Miami Dade College and worked as a writer and then editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Reporter. I grew up in Miami and avidly followed the local professional sports teams. The 2003 Florida Marlins World Series run fostered my love of sports, and then Dwyane Wade’s heroics in the 2006 NBA Finals turned that love into a passion. My favorite stories to write are features highlighting who athletes are beyond their sport. After the SJI bootcamp, I will write for USA Today Sports.

Meet
Victor Prieto
Senior
School:
University of Florida
Host:
The Tennessean

I’m a recent graduate of the University of Florida, where I studied Journalism with a specialization in Sports & Media. I grew up in Miami, Fla., as a Gator with both my parents attending UF. I joined my high school’s award-winning broadcast journalism program as a freshman and worked as a sports anchor, reporter, broadcaster and writer. When I was honored at the 2017 Sports Emmy Awards as the Jim McKay Memorial Scholarship Recipient, I knew I was in the right field. I loved in-depth multimedia sports reporting, telling the stories that go beyond box scores and stats. At UF, I worked at the Independent Florida Alligator to receive reporting experience at a traditional print publication, but I found myself returning to video when I joined WUFT News, where I worked as an anchor and reporter, covering sports ranging from Florida basketball and football to wheelchair tennis and underwater hockey. In June I will represent UF in the Hearst Multimedia National Championships. I hope SJI will help me improve my writing and storytelling abilities so I can one day become a sports feature reporter, creating inspiring pieces about the extraordinary people in the world of sports. Following SJI bootcamp, I’ll move to Nashville and intern at the Tennessean.

Meet
Amna Subhan
Senior
School:
Arizona State University
Host:
Southern California News Group

I’m a senior at Arizona State University studying sports journalism. I grew up in Kingman, Ariz., which is a small town in northwest Arizona. My passion for sports came from my father, who sought refuge in following the Los Angeles Lakers after emigrating to the area from Pakistan. While I felt I never really fit in, I found a home in basketball, just as he did. Writing became my first love and basketball my second, but I never put them together as a career choice. As a Muslim-American woman of Pakistani descent, I didn’t see myself in the industry. After a couple of years struggling to find my purpose after high school, I fell back in love with sports. I realized that if I couldn’t see myself in sports, it was that much more important to follow my dream. In 2019, I transferred to Arizona State to get a taste of sports reporting. Since then, I’ve covered high school and collegiate sports for The Arizona Republic and Cronkite News — ASU’s news division of Arizona PBS. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to tell deeper stories on the intersection of sports and culture when the pandemic shut down the sports world and beyond. I’ve found those are my favorite stories to tell because that’s how my journey with sports began. I look forward to expanding my reporting and storytelling skills at SJI bootcamp, as well as this summer as an intern with the Southern California Newsgroup.

Meet
Claire Kuwana
Junior
School:
Northwestern
Host:
Memphis Commercial Appeal

My name is Claire Kuwana, and I am coming off my junior year at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. I double major in journalism and economics. I first got involved in journalism when I joined my high school’s student paper. However, I didn’t do any true sports reporting then because was always the one on the field. Once I got to Northwestern, I realized how much I missed playing sports and decided to try my hand at reporting on them. I joined InsideNU, a student-run publication owned by SB Nation. My first year on staff, I served as the beat reporter for women’s lacrosse and even traveled to the Final Four to cover the team in the NCAA Tournament that spring. As a sophomore, I helped restart InsideNU’s podcast in addition to covering revenue sports, writing everything from analytical pieces to game recaps to features. Along with two others students on staff, I hosted, edited and produced the weekly podcast for nearly a year. I also have experience doing broadcast and have served as a color commentator for women’s lacrosse games streamed nationwide on BTN+ and WatchESPN. After completing bootcamp this month, I will be heading to Tennessee to intern at the Memphis Commerical Appeal, where I will challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and gain confidence in the stories I tell. 

Meet
Ryan McFadden
Senior
School:
University of Maryland
Host:
The Baltimore Sun

I recently earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland in College Park. Prior to attending graduate school, I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. I grew up in Prince George's County, Md., and attended DeMatha Catholic High School. I got into journalism after passing out during junior varsity basketball tryouts and realized I needed to go a different direction in life. I wrote for my high school newspaper and created a sports blog, which covered high school and college sports in the D.C. area. At Iona, I was the sports editor for three years, and I was fortunate to cover two NCAA men’s basketball tournament games. Over the past two years, I have written about high school sports for the Washington Post and covered Super Bowl LIV for Capital News Service. The best part of being a journalist is telling stories about people from different walks of life. This summer I’ll be interning at the Baltimore Sun. I hope to enhance my reporting and writing skills while learning to incorporate my voice into stories.

Meet
Myah Taylor
Junior
School:
University of Texas at Austin
Host:
Yahoo! Sports

I am a rising senior at the University of Texas at Austin where I study journalism. I am a military brat, but I spent my formative years in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was set on moving to New York City after high school to pursue fashion for much of my early life. But all of that changed after I started my personal blog when I was 16 and I realized how much I love to write. That newfound passion, coupled with my curiosity about the world and love for stories and media, inspired me to pursue journalism instead. My sports journalism career began in spring 2019 when I covered the Texas track and field team for UT’s student newspaper, The Daily Texan. In subsequent semesters at the Texan, I covered UT’s women’s basketball and football teams and served as sports editor for the paper. I’ll be the managing editor for the Texan this fall. Journalism has made me feel more connected to the world around me and the people in it. Sports reporting, specifically, has taught me that behind any great athlete is just a regular person with hopes, struggles and fears like the rest of us. It’s also reminded me that sports are more than just games to be played; they’re an integral part of our society. I’m excited to learn even more about why sports reporting is so special in the SJI program this summer. Once the Bootcamp concludes, I will be sure to apply all that I’ll learn about writing and reporting in the work I do during my internship with Yahoo! Sports. 

Meet
Cora Hall
School:
Ferris State University
Host:
Kansas City Star

I graduated from Ferris State University in Michigan, where I majored in journalism and technical communication and minored in psychology. I grew up in East Lansing, Michigan and first got involved in journalism when my high school started up our newspaper my senior year, and I was Co-Editor in Chief. I’ve been involved in student journalism ever since, applying for Ferris’ student newspaper, The Torch, the first weekend on campus. I started out as a news reporter, then news editor and eventually moved to sports editor, where I found my passion in the field. I grew up eating, breathing and sleeping sports and with an older brother and boy cousins down the road, I was definitely one of the boys growing up. Since then, I’ve grown to love all sports, especially women’s soccer. At The Torch, I was able to cover football, soccer, basketball and Division I hockey. My senior year, I was Editor in Chief and organized special editions dedicated to the 2020 election, Black History Month and Women’s History Month. I was also able to study abroad for the spring semester of 2020 in the Netherlands, where I participated in the university’s journalism program and wrote about COVID-19’s impact on the women’s professional soccer league. I was selected as one of the Michigan Press Association Scholars in 2020. This year, I was awarded the Jimmie & Suey Fong Yee Fellowship through the Asian American Journalists Association. I am thrilled to be a part of SJI because I want to dedicate my career to telling the stories of those in sports who traditionally were never given a voice. After the program I will be interning at the Kansas City Star.

Meet
Kennedy Byrd
Junior
School:
North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Host:
ESPN

I am a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Broadcast Journalism with minors in Entrepreneurship and Social & Economic Justice. I grew up a dancer. As a little sister and the only girl cousin in my family, I was around sports often. I’ve spent time at basketball games, track meets, football games and golf tournaments. Also, I am a Tar Heel born and bred as I followed in my dad’s footsteps. During my time at Carolina, I’ve worked on the student produced sports show, Sports Xtra, through the Hussman School of Journalism and Media. I have contributed as an anchor, reporter and technical director. Also, I was fortunate to work with UNC-Chapel Hill Olympic sports through the ACC Network on campus. My favorite opportunity has been joining UNCUT Chapel Hill. This is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is student-led and athlete-driven with a commitment to telling authentic stories through short-form videos, long-form videos, or articles. I enjoy being able to tell stories about athletes within and outside their sport. I look forward to refining my journalistic skills this summer. After bootcamp, I will be interning virtually with ESPN.

Meet
Carly Ebisuya
Senior
School:
University of Oregon
Host:
Denver Post

I’m currently finishing up my senior year at the University of Oregon. I’m a double major in journalism and public relations, with a double minor in sports business and business administration. I grew up 15 minutes from Disneyland in Irvine, California. I’ve been playing sports since I was 5 years old and have attended Lakers games ever since I can remember. When I committed to Oregon, I had no idea what I wanted to do or study until I took my first journalism class. I was, however, aware that the university had some of the top athletic programs in the nation. So I thought, why not combine my love for sports and passion for journalism into one career? I joined The Daily Emerald, UO’s student-led newspaper, my sophomore and have covered basketball, track and field, tennis and softball. My favorite moment as a sports journalist was covering the Oregon women’s basketball exhibition game against Team USA in 2019, when I got the opportunity to interview Diana Taurasi and Kelsey Plum. Even though this year’s SJI bootcamp is virtual, I’m so excited to be a part of this year’s class and am looking forward to improving my journalism skills during the week. After the program and graduation in June, I’ll be heading to Colorado to intern at The Denver Post.

Meet
Siera Jones
Sophomore
School:
Norfolk State University
Host:
Louisville Courier Journal

I just finished my sophomore year at Norfolk State University, where I play volleyball and major in mass communications with a journalism concentration. I was raised in Bridgeville, Del. In high school I discovered my love of writing. As an athlete and a sports enthusiast, I saw journalism as a path that would combine those two passions in one career. My father, a sports journalist, inspired me to follow in his footsteps as I chose my field of study at NSU. During my freshman year, I began writing for the university newspaper, The Spartan Echo. Since then, I’ve been able to cover all sports on campus and write stories about my fellow athletes and teammates.  I chose SJI because I want  to enhance my writing and reporting skills and use the experience to improve as a journalist. After the program, I will intern at the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Meet
Daniela Perez
Senior
School:
University of Texas at Austin
Host:
Orlando Sentinel

I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where I double-majored in journalism and Latin American studies. I grew up in Boca Raton, FL., an hour north of Miami. I began my journalism career in high school, where I covered my school’s lacrosse team and found that I really enjoyed telling the team’s stories and following the season. I decided to attend Texas because I wanted a college with a great journalism program and big football. Though staying in Florida could have provided me those opportunities, I was ready to leave my home state and challenge myself in a new environment. I’m so glad I did—Texas has helped me achieve all of my dreams and more. In school, I was part of The Daily Texan, our student-run newspaper, where I had the opportunity to cover women’s soccer, baseball, football, and volleyball. I was also the Web Director for Spark Magazine, a student-run fashion magazine in Texas, and UT’s APSE chapter vice president. Outside of school, I interned at Boca Magazine, The Palm Beach Post, Sports Illustrated, and Texas Monthly. I love sports journalism because sports are a great vehicle to call attention to issues within our world, whether that be race, politics, and gender. I’ve found that the stories that have stuck with me all these years are the sport’s stories that tackle real-world issues. I hope the Sports Journalism Institute will help my reporting skills in these topics and provide me tools I can take with me as I step into the next chapter of my life. After SJI, I will be heading back to my home state to intern at the Orlando Sentinel.

Meet
Francisco Rosa
Junior
School:
University of South Florida
Host:
Knoxville News Sentinel

I’m a rising senior at the University of South Florida majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in Broadcast News. I was born in Hollywood, Fl., about 25 minutes from Miami. Being so close to South Beach, I became obsessed with sports at a young age, especially basketball and the Miami Heat during the Big 3 era. Sports quickly became my passion and I first realized that I wanted to be a sports journalist was during the summer before entering high school. I truly enjoy writing and telling stories and combining it with my passion for sports. My high school didn’t have a school newspaper. I first ventured into sports writing as a sophomore at USF when I joined the student newspaper, The Oracle, where I’m now the sports editor. At the Oracle, I’ve had the opportunity to cover baseball, basketball, football, soccer and softball. I’ve also cohosted, edited and produced The Oracle’s sports podcast, which has been a really fun experience. My favorite part of being a journalist is finding unique and untold stories of people in sports, talking to them, getting to know their individual experiences, and then sharing those stories to the world. At SJI I am hoping to soak up as much knowledge and information as possible and sharpen my journalistic tools. Following boot camp, I will intern at the Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee.

Meet
Trevor Trout
Senior
School:
University of Southern California
Host:
Fox Sports

I just finished my junior year at the University of Southern California, where I'm majoring in journalism. I grew up outside St. Louis, in Ferguson, Mo., where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot in 2014. My high school newspaper was great but I worked on production in the broadcast journalism department. There, I began to play with script writing, sound and some of the other basics of that medium. I found it all interesting, but I was a high-level football player and came to USC on a football scholarship. Then a lower-back injury led to my retirement from football last August--so here I am, following one of my original passions, sports journalism. My dad was a contractor and my mother has worked at Quest Diagnostics for over 30 years, so I know there’s more to life than football. I also grew up knowing it’s important to go to college, but aside from sports, I didn’t put a lot of work into anything until I got to USC. After my injury, I returned to my love of media, with a strong desire to create something on my own. So I started Elite Media Group, a hub for sports, culture, and conversation. I want to tell stories: accurate, in-context stories that matter to both readers and the athletes involved. I think SJI can help me do that and, with the opportunity I have to learn more at FOX Sports this summer, I believe I can begin to reach my potential.

Meet
Jarod Hamilton
Senior
School:
North Carolina A&T State University
Host:
Tuscaloosa News

I just finished my senior year at North Carolina A&T State University where I graduated magna cum laude, and I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and mass communication. I am an army brat and was born in Ft. Riley, Kansas (Located 15 minutes from Manhattan near Kansas State University). I have lived in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, Ft. Irwin, California, and Charlotte for the last 12 years. I have been called Stuart Scott Jr. since I was three years old (I could only hope to be as good as him) for my propensity to look up stats and trends and be able to debate anyone about sports. Sports journalism has always been something I wanted to do. It only became real when I did not make my high school basketball team. I realized that my NBA dream was dead and needed to focus on a viable career path. My high school did not have a newspaper. Still, I joined the A&T Register newspaper when I was a freshman and held a position at each level of the paper (contributor, reporter, sports editor, Editor-in-Chief). This year I led the A&T Register to a top-five finish in N.C. College Media Awards (which made us the No. 1 HBCU paper in N.C). I have a YouTube show called “On the Court; Off the Street,” where I interview people who share their early career stories. I love the creativity of journalism and am excited to be participating in this internship at Tuscaloosa News.

Meet
Ryan Herrera
Senior
School:
University of Missouri
Host:
Houston Chronicle

A graduate of the University of Missouri, he currently works as a seasonal reporter with MLB.com. Ryan interned with the Houston Chronicle through the Sports Journalism Institute this past spring, covering sports ranging from the Houston Rockets to Houston-area skateboarding. Ryan graduated from Mizzou with degrees in journalism and secondary English education.

Meet
Kris Rhim
Senior
School:
Springfield College
Host:
The Boston Globe

A recent graduate of Springfield College, he’s interned at USA TODAY and is an alum of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute. Kris was a fellow at Philadelphia Magazine and his reporting has also appeared in ESPN's The Undefeated and Men's Health Magazine. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.