2017-2018 Recipients 

Below is a listing of the Headliners Foundation’s 2017-2018 scholarship recipients. Click here for the Foundation’s media release announcing scholarship recipients.

Sarah and Ernest Butler Scholar


Cat Cardenas is a junior at the University of Texas studying journalism and anthropology. Over the past year, she has worked at the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, as well as a freelancer. In the summer of 2016, she competed at the Hearst National Journalism Awards in San Francisco as a finalist in the multimedia category. Later that summer, she was chosen along with four other students to report on the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. There, she wrote stories for the Rio 2016 English language site, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and The San Antonio Express News among other newspapers. She’s previously worked as an intern at Texas Monthly and spent three years at The Daily Texan serving as the Life&Arts editor and managing editor. She will graduate in May 2018 and hopes to work as a features writer and multimedia journalist.

Stuart Long Memorial Scholar


Victoria Cavazos is a senior at St. Edward’s University studying Spanish literature and journalism. For the past three years, Victoria has served as both the news and viewpoints editor at her university’s award-winning student newspaper, Hilltop Views. She also interned at the Brownsville Herald, a newspaper on the U.S-Mexico border during the Summer of 2015 and has earned individual and group awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association for reporting. When Victoria isn’t reporting, she can be found working at her part-time retail job, playing Tennis or reading. This fall she will be studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, and will graduate the following May of 2018.

George Christian Scholar


Marisa Charpentier is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin studying journalism and Plan II Honors. She has a Spanish minor and is part of the Creative Writing Certificate program. Since the first semester of her freshman year, she’s been writing for publications in Austin, including The Daily Texan, Austin Woman, The Alcalde, and Texas Monthly. Her main interest is long-form journalism. Over the course of the next year, she will be working on her Plan II Honors senior thesis, for which she is writing a creative nonfiction work about housing issues in Austin. Upon graduation, she plans to keep pursuing her goal of becoming a magazine writer and editor.

Sam Wood Scholar


Corrie Coleman, from Dallas, is a sophomore at Baylor University. She is studying journalism new media and nonprofit marketing. She has worked for the Bundle and Focus Magazine, both student-run publications at Baylor. She is currently spending a semester studying abroad at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Last summer, Corrie interned for Gateway of Grace, a large nonprofit aiding refugees in Dallas. This summer, she will be a marketing intern for Dallas Christian Women’s Job Corps, taking photos and writing stories about women who are one step out of a crisis. She will also design and manage fundraising materials for print and online. Corrie will graduate from Baylor 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.

Founders’ Scholar


Jacquelyn Elias is a rising senior at Southern Methodist University triple majoring in journalism, creative computing and computer science. While at SMU, she has achieved many honors such as being inducted SMU’s Hyer Society, an honors organization composed of around 80 of the university’s top students, being named “Resident Assistant of the Year” and receiving 2nd place for one of her informative graphics at the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention. She plans to pursue a career in computational journalism where she can explore the intersections of storytelling and code. Jacquelyn believes that this intersection can tell more accurate and engaging stories to best represent her sources. Jacquelyn practiced these skills firsthand in her internship in the spring of 2017 with the data and applications team at the Dallas Morning News. She has also held a variety of positions on her collegiate paper, the SMU Daily Campus where she currently serves as Online Editor. This summer, Jacquelyn will be in London continuing her research project on the media’s coverage of Brexit, holding a database analysis internship with Walkabout Foundation as well as serving as a program assistant to an SMU study abroad program. 

Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Scholar


Hannah Ellisen is a senior at Southern Methodist University studying journalism and public relations. Since her sophomore year, Hannah has worked as a crew member for The Daily Update, SMU’s daily student run show. In spring 2017, she worked as a reporter for the on-campus newspaper, The Daily Campus. Her main interest is investigative journalism, and she hopes to work as a reporter at a major news organization covering human rights issues.

Jack Keever Scholar


Eva Frederick is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin studying journalism and biology. She has worked for the UT newspaper, The Daily Texan, for the past two years, and has served as a reporter, editor, and co-founder of the Science&Technology section. In the summer of 2017 she will take on the role of managing editor of The Daily Texan. 

In the summer of 2017 she will take on the role of managing editor of the Texan. Eva has also written a weekly column for her hometown newspaper, The Dublin Citizen, since 2014. After she graduates from UT in December of 2017, she plans to pursue a career in science journalism. 

Founders’ Scholar


Ala’a Ibrahim is a senior studying multimedia journalism and business at the University of Texas at Austin. Ala’a is currently a video intern at Austin’s NPR affiliate KUT. She also serves as president of UT’s chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. In the past, Ibrahim has held positions at various media companies including NBCUniversal’s Meet the Press Daily, KXAN-TV’s investigative unit, The Daily Texan, REVELATOR, and TSTV. She is one of nine Roy W. Howard Fellows at the Scripps Howard Foundation and will be studying foreign correspondence in Japan with the program this summer. Upon arrival to the United States, Ibrahim will join the TODAY Show in New York City as a Fellow. Ibrahim is also the 2017 UNITY Fellow. She will represent UNITY at five annual journalism conferences focused on diversifying newsrooms and the stories they tell. Ibrahim will graduate in December 2017.

Founders’ Scholar


Sunny Kim is a sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin studying journalism and pursing a minor in Korean language. Sunny has worked at several Texas Student Media organizations, starting out as a section editor at The Cactus Yearbook, writer and layout at SPARK fashion magazine, writer at BurntX and columnist, reporter and news desk editor at The Daily Texan. Sunny is also the founder and president of the Asian-American Journalists Association at UT Austin with the help of her advisor and professor Robert Quigley and her two wonderful friends and officers, Sungjai Lee and Jina Chung. She is humbled to receive the Headliners Foundation Founder’s Scholar Award and is grateful for her loving and supportive family members. She hopes to inspire other Asian-Americans to pursue their dreams with her passion in journalism. Sunny’s main interest is long-form writing and she hopes to work as a reporter in a major news publication covering a variety of business and environmental issues and eventually work as a foreign correspondent in Seoul, South Korea. 

Founders’ Scholar


Parastoo Nikravesh is a junior journalism major at Stephen F. Austin State University minoring in political science. She has worked for The Pine Log, SFA’s student-run newspaper, since her first semester and has moved from staff writer to news editor, to managing editor, and in the fall of 2017, she will begin her new post as editor-in-chief. In high school, she worked for her local newspaper The Jacksonville Progress as a special contributor, and she contributed to the county paper, The Cherokeean. Since working on The Pine Log, she has been awarded scholarships from the Society of Professional Journalists Fort-Worth professional chapter and from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. She is currently in the honors program at SFA and hopes to graduate as a University Scholar in May 2019. Post-graduation, she hopes to work as a reporter, specializing in political coverage and long-form journalism.

Founders’ Scholar


Hannah Onder is a sophomore mass communication major at Texas Wesleyan University. She has a passion for telling stories built from her love of reading them. Before college, Hannah was editor-in-chief of Chisholm Trail High School’s yearbook The Frontier for three years. She applied to her college paper that summer and was hired onto The Rambler after her first day of classes in the fall of 2016. Hannah loves feature writing and design so it wasn’t long before she was getting assigned stories left and right. She was awarded Rambler Media Group’s Reporter of the Year after publishing over 30 stories for the year of 2016-2017 and will begin her third semester working for The Rambler in the fall of 2017. Hannah’s 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. Hannah hopes to hold an editor position in future years and looks forward to the laughs and the journey ahead. She’s thankful to the Headliners Foundation of Texas for going out on a limb and offering their support in her journalism endeavors. 

Founders’ Scholar


Erin Ratigan is a journalism major and sociology minor at Texas Christian University, where she is a member of the Sociology Society student organization and Mortar Board honors society. This year she was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists’ Jerry Flemmons award for feature writing. In 2015 she worked as an intern for the Fort Worth Weekly newspaper, where she now serves as a freelance writer. She has also worked for several student newspapers, starting as a news editor for The Collegian at Tarrant County College (2014) before becoming a beat reporter for The Shorthorn at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her work at the Collegian earned her state and regional honors in columns/headline writing, in-depth reporting, and feature writing. 

Founders’ Scholar


Brianna Stone is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin studying journalism. During spring 2016, Brianna worked as a breaking news intern for The Austin American-Statesman and as a digital producer for USA TODAY College. Previously, Brianna wrote for The Daily Texan as a general reporter during summer 2016 and then as a senior investigative reporting during fall 2016. Brianna has also been involved with Texas Student Television’s Good Morning Texas and KVR News shows, as well a social media co-editor for Burnt X. Brianna has been an active member of UT’s chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists since 2015– She served as the 2016-2017 Secretary and will serve as the President for the 2017-2018 year. Brianna will graduate in May 2018 and hopes to pursue a print/digital career in journalism, focusing on social issues and immigration. She is honored to have been accepted as a Headliners Founders Scholar.

Stuart Long Memorial Scholarship for Aspiring Journalists


Darcy Sprague is an aspiring humanitarian and political journalist just finishing her third year at Texas State University. Her reporting has taken her many places from Republican National Convention in Cleveland to Nicaragua. Currently, she is a reporting intern with Folo Media–a nonprofit media startup in San Antonio tasked with reporting on income inequality and distressed families–where she is working in a data-driven investigative project. With a deep passion for learning, Darcy is developing skills to code in Python, speak Spanish and operate a drone. Darcy will graduate in the top ten percent of her class with a BS in journalism and a minor in Honors studies and will write a thesis about the state of media in Syria. Darcy plans to work as an investigative or data journalist before pursuing her masters and doctorate so that she can one day become a professor like the women who have inspired her at Texas State University.

Jack Keever Scholar


Michelle Zhang is a third-year student at The University of Texas at Austin studying business and Plan II Honors. In fall 2017, she will be the managing editor of The Daily Texan after previously having worked as associate copy desk chief and associate managing editor. She is also the managing director of Project Consent, a nonprofit combating sexual assault and rape culture. She plans to pursue a career in YA publishing, filmmaking, or any format where stories can be told.2018-2019 Recipients