2012-2013 Recipients 


Below are profiles of the Headliners Foundation’s 2012-2013 scholarship recipients. To read how the scholarships benefitted two of our recipients, please click here.

Founders’ Scholar


Originally from Pakistan, Ayesha Akbar grew up in the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. She is pursuing majors in government, psychology, and Arabic. Last spring, she worked as a columnist for The Daily Texan. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, Akbar plans to study Arabic abroad for a year and then pursue either graduate or law school.

Founders’ Scholar


Emily Atteberry is a junior journalism and Spanish double major at Texas Christian University. Originally from Kansas City, Emily is a News Director at TCU360.com, a digital-first and student-run publication. She has been published by the Associated Press and previously worked as a Collegiate Correspondent at USA TODAY and news intern at The Cape Cod Times. After graduation in May 2014, Emily hopes to go into political or long-form reporting.

Jack Keever Scholar


Aleksander Chan is a senior journalism student at The University of Texas and the managing editor of The Daily Texan. He previously served as the paper’s life and arts editor. He has worked as an intern for Texas Monthly and has written for The Huffington PostAskMen and The Austin Chronicle. He graduates this December.

Founders’ Scholar


Torrie Hardcastle is completing her final semester at The University of Texas, double majoring in magazine journalism and radio-television-film. During her time at UT, she interned at media outlets such as KUT News, ESPN Radio, and Austin Monthly magazine; served as Editor-In-Chief for UT’s Orange magazine; and wrote for many area publications. This summer, she moved to New York City to intern with Rodale and is now finishing her academic career as an intern for HGTV Magazine.

Susannah Jacob is a junior history major at The University of Texas. She has worked as an editorial intern at Vanity Fair and The Texas Tribune, and published articles in The New York Times. She is currently an associate editor at The Daily Texan, where she has worked as an editor and reporter for six semesters.
 Founders’ Scholar


Founders’ Scholar


Hollie O’Connor is a senior at Texas State University majoring in journalism and minoring in English. She has participated in her student newspaper, The University Star, since her freshman year. Hollie served as Editor-in-Chief of the Star her junior year, and is now the Trends section editor. Hollie has had internships at The Texas Tribune and the San Antonio Express-News, where she continues to work part time. Hollie was elected student vice president of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association last May.

Sam Wood Scholar


Sara Tirrito is a senior journalism major at Baylor University. She worked for the university’s newspaper, The Baylor Lariat, for two and a half years, serving as both a staff writer and city editor. She has also worked for New York Times bestselling author and historian Jeff Guinn as a research intern. Tirrito plans to continue researching with Guinn this fall, and after she graduates in December, she plans to pursue a career in journalism.

Joe Roddy Scholar


Jeremy Thomas is a second-year broadcast journalism major at The University of Texas at Austin. During his time there, he has published work in The Daily Texan, delivered content for Texas Student Television, and became an active member of the University’s National Association of Black Journalists. Jeremy aspires to work in sports broadcasting as a play-by-play commentator. Journalistically, he plans to take the advice of poet, Mary Oliver: “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Scholar


Alexa Ura is originally from Laredo, Texas, and is a junior at The University of Texas majoring in multimedia journalism. Currently a senior reporter for The Daily Texan, Alexa covers the UT System/Administration beat. She also serves as the copy editor for the Cactus yearbook. Alexa has worked as an editorial intern at the Texas Observer and LareDOS News-Journal, and she is currently a research project coordinator in the School of Human Ecology.

George Christian Scholar


Audrey White is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin studying Plan II Honors and religious studies, plus a journalism minor. Audrey will work at the Texas Tribune until May 2013 as a reporting intern and serves as the enterprise editor at The Daily Texan for Fall 2012. She recently spent her summer on the business desk at The Dallas Morning News after a semester as The Daily Texan‘s managing editor. She has also held past internships at the Austin American-Statesman and KUT News. After graduation, Audrey plans to spend a year in Nicaragua volunteering as an English communications and development coordinator for CEPAD, a nonprofit.