Meet Our Scholarship Winners

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Through the generosity of the Thornburg Foundation we are able to offer scholarships to journalists from outside the larger urban corridors in New Mexico to attend our training on campaign finance offered by the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

Susan DunlapSusan Dunlap is a news reporter for the Silver City Sun-News, an edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Benjamin Fisher




Benjamin Fisher grew up in rural Indiana, where he graduated from Franklin College with a degree in News/Editorial Journalism. He covered Indiana State legislature for a regional wire service and wrote for the Spencer Evening World, before looking for work in New Mexico. He moved to Silver City in October 2012 to build a career in journalism. Now, he is a news and features reporter for the Silver City Daily Press, a locally owned newspaper which almost closed recently after nearly 100 years of publication. He and his team at the Daily Press work every day to restore the paper and provide Silver City with a trustworthy, truly local, news source. Ben has written for Indianapolis Monthly magazine, the Howey Political Report, The Spencer Evening World, Silver City Sun-News, and Silver City Life and New Mexico Traveler magazines among others. He has published poetry in a number of journals.

EricHeinzBorn in Denver, Colorado, Eric Heinz moved to Greeley Colorado in 2006 where he attended the University of Northern Colorado. In finding himself through journalism, he quickly became the news editor for the UNC publication The Mirror, which he held for two years before being selected at the editor-in-chief. His first internship in summer 2010 was at the small weekly in Johnstown, Colorado, The Johnstown Breeze. After graduation in 2011, Eric worked with many reputable young journalists at the Rawlins Daily Times in Rawlins, Wyoming for a summer internship. Shortly thereafter, Eric was hired for his first professional job at the Sangre de Cristo Chronicle in Angel Fire, New Mexico. There, Eric took on many governmental and community stories as well as honed his photography. Eric holds 11 New Mexico Press Association awards for his time at the Chronicle, a general excellence award with the staff for the 2013 National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper contest and is awaiting the results of an individual award for the 2014 national contest. Eric joined the El Defensor Chieftain in June of this year.

Stuart McClinticStewart McClintic is a Journalist and Photographer working for the Silver City Daily Press in Silver City, NM. He graduated this year from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. with a degree in journalism.  In college Stewart worked for the UA’s daily newspaper the Arizona Daily Wildcat. He has a passion for the outdoors and for the last five summers of his life he worked as a wilderness canoe trip guide in Temagami, ON, Canada. Stewart has been living in New Mexico for about two months and he lives on the Daily Press Publisher’s porch.

Cassie McClureCassie McClure is a freelance writer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. A 2006 New Mexico State University alumna who wrote for the student paper The Roundup, Cassie has bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and German, and also has a master’s degree in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. She is the vice president of the Las Cruces Press Women and the secretary of the New Mexico Press Women. She currently writes for the Las Cruces Sun-News, SuCasa Magazine, and Southwest Senior. Since 2012, her day job is as senior library specialist in the Technical Services department at the NMSU Library. Before that, she came from NMSU’s PREDICT Open Source Intelligence Laboratory, but was previously also a library specialist at NMSU Archives from 2008 to 2010. Cassie lives in Las Cruces with her husband Jorge and her two-year-old daughter Evelynn. She enjoys learning about random life stories from the assignments she gets and is thankful for receiving the travel scholarship through SPJ for the event.

Andrew OxfordAndrew Oxford is a reporter and digital coordinator for The Taos News. Born and raised in San Antonio, Tex., he formerly roamed his home state as a freelancer for public radio programs such as Marketplace and Free Speech Radio News. His work has also appeared in The San Antonio Current and In These Times, where he was an intern. Though Andrew covers everything from crime to health care for The Taos News, he is particularly interested in the intersection of those issues. In his other lives, Andrew is a peak bagger and aspiring children’s book author.

Dan SchwartzDan Schwartz covers city and county government for The Daily Times in Farmington, N.M., and sometimes also writes about the police. Before New Mexico, he was a city reporter for a small newspaper in Kenai, Alaska. Dan didn’t study journalism, but did study to be a wilderness guide in northern Vermont, at Johnson State College. He is 25 and has been a daily news reporter for more than two years.





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