Scholarships & Awards
Scott Lind Scholarship - The Daily Texan
The Scott Lind Scholarship is awarded to a student staff member at The Daily Texan. The scholarship pays tribute to Scott Lind by providing finanical assistance to students. Lind was a reporter at The Daily Texan and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with Bachelor of Journalism degree. After graduating Lind worked professional in the Rio Grand Valley and Mexico. While on assignment in Mexico City, he suddenly fell dangerously ill and was rushed back to the United States. Doctors diagnosed serious brain damage. They suspected a viral infection without ever determining exactly what happened nor, unfortunately, any way they could help him. One thing's sure: His promising journalism career, begun so long ago at The Daily Texan, was cut drastically short.
Lind's memory lives on in the awarding of this special scholarship. Read Steering Committee Chairman, Gardner Selby's letter to learn more about Lind's story.
Scott Lind Scholarship Winners
Jennie Kennedy was a staffer at The Daily Texan from 1997-2001, where she worked in the news, sports, copy desk, and design departments. Kennedy was managing editor during the 2000-2001 school year, when she was named one of Scripps Howard Foundation's Most Valuable Staffers. Kennedy graduated second in her class from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was Articles Editor of the Law Review. She worked as an associate at Hunton & Williams LLP's First Amendment Practice before returning to Texas as the University of North Texas System's Director of Policy. Kennedy currently serves on the Board for the Center for Child Protection and represents people seeking asylum pro bono. She also makes regular presentations to aspiring journalists about their legal rights. Kennedy lives in South Austin with her husband and two-year-old future Texan staffer, Ben.
Ryan Pittman was on The Daily Texan staff from 1999-2003.He worked as a general news reporter, senior news reporter, news editor, assistant managing editor, and during the 2002-2003 school year, managing editor. Pittman earned a bachelor of journalism with honors from UT. After graduation, he worked as a copy editor for the Orlando Sentinel and then held a one-year fellowship at the Student Press Law Center, an Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit group that provides free legal advice and assistance to student journalists. Pittman returned to Texas to attend the University of Houston Law Center, where he earned a juris doctorate and served as chief notes and comments editor for the Houston Law Review. Since 2007, he has worked as an associate in the Dallas office of the Texas-based law firm Jackson Walker LLP. Pittman has an active media law and First Amendment practice and regularly represents media clients in defense of libel, slander, invasion of privacy, and other claims affecting free speech rights. He also advises media clients regarding newsgathering, access to courtrooms and court records, access to governmental records and meetings under public information and open meetings laws, prior restraints, and advertising issues. He has worked for the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, the Texas Association of Broadcasters, and the Texas Press Association, among others, on a pro bono basis. Pittman lives in McKinney, Texas with his wife, Rachel, and their three dog-children, Eugene, Reba, and Busted Betsy
2002Erin Steele was an entertainment writer and editor at The Daily Texan from 1999-2003. Following graduation, she began working as a copy editor/designer at the Killeen Daily Herald before taking over as the paper’s features editor in 2004. In 2006, she began working as lead designer at the Abilene Reporter-News, and in 2007 accepted a job as an assistant news editor at The Dallas Morning News. She continues to work as an ANE at the News, where she handles various editing and design responsibilities for the paper’s news sections. In addition, Steele received her Master’s in Library Science from the University of North Texas in December 2011 and has worked part-time as a reference and outreach librarian at the Lancaster (TX) Veterans Memorial Library
Melissa Drosjack Underwood found herself filling out an application to write for The Daily Texan days before her freshman year at UT began. She worked there as a senior reporter, news editor and associate managing editor before leaving to cover the Texas legislative 2003 session for The Houston Chronicle as an intern reporter. After graduating in 2004, she trained with The Associated Press in New Orleans before relocating amid a hiring freeze to Washington, D.C., to follow a passion for politics and reporting. She worked for the FOX News Channel as a reporter for FOXNews.com in the Washington and Chicago bureaus. She reluctantly left the news business in 2008 to work for a PR and communications training company, where she planned health care communications events and developed business relationships with executives to bring customized training events to corporate headquarters. Underwood is lucky to be able to stay home with her 15-month-old son, Benjamin. She and her husband, Jeff, a UT alumnus, live in Houston.
P. Ryan Petkoff was a member of The Daily Texan staff from 2002-2003. Petkoff worked in the news department as a reporter and associate editor, and he served as the paper’s managing editor during the summer and fall semesters of 2003. Petkoff is the vice president of communications for Hunt Sports Group, the parent company of the Lamar Hunt family’s professional sports franchises – the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League, and FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer. As the principal liaison for chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and the Hunt family’s sports properties, Petkoff works closely with the leadership teams at each of the franchises with a focus on marketing, strategic communications and brand strategy. Petkoff received a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and he is a life member of the Texas Exes. Petkoff lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife Abbi and their energetic Vizsla, Bella
Noelene Clark Yano worked at The Daily Texas as (in reverse chronological order): Managing Editor, News Editor, Assistant News Editor and Senior Reporter. During college, she interned at The Seattle Times, the Austin American-Statesman, Scripps Howard, and the Waco Tribune-Herald. After graduating, she worked at the Statesman as a web producer before moving to Los Angeles, where she is now a writer and web producer at the Los Angeles Times. Currently, she works for Calendar (LAT's entertainment section), primarily for Hero Complex, a pop culture blog covering genre entertainment (sci-fi, fantasy, comic books, etc.). In her non-working hours, Clark volunteers with her church's youth program and works on short films and music videos with her creative partner and husband, another UT grad Geoff Yano.
Dean Laxamana Sagun
2006An English and Spanish major, Kimberly Garza got her start in journalism at The Daily Texan in 2004, where she worked as a general reporter and senior reporter before switching to the features department as a writer and eventually features editor by 2007. An internship at Texas Monthly turned her on to magazine writing, and after graduation she served as assistant editor at Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine in Dallas. She earned an M.A. in English-Creative Writing from UT in 2011, and her fiction and nonfiction have been published in journals like the Avalon Literary Review and travel magazines like Vacations and Travel 50 & Beyond. She lives in Houston, where she is the copy editor and contributor for Where to Retire.
Zachary Warmbrod was a Daily Texan staffer from 2005-2006. He worked in the news and features departments before serving as managing editor and later as a Texas Student Media board member. After the Texan, he had temporary assignments at the Austin American-Statesman, The Oklahoman, the Austin Business Journal and The Dallas Morning News. From 2008 to 2012 he covered the energy industry for Argus Media in Houston and Washington, D.C. Zach is now a financial services reporter at POLITICO.
Katherine Fan worked on the Daily Texan staff between 2006-2008, oscillating between hard news; photo; copy desk; and the Life and Arts/features departments. Since graduation, Fan has worked for UT as a teaching assistant for the journalism department's China Maymester program; in D.C. for legal advocacy non-profit International Justice Mission; and in sales for Austin start-ups Bazaarvoice, Software Advice, and HotSchedules as well as Google (alongside of a fellow former Daily Texan staffer). She now lives in central Austin.
2008Vikram Swaruup worked at The Daily Texan from 2006 to 2009. He held various positions in the design department and was the publication’s first Associate Multimedia Editor. He served as managing editor during the spring 2009 semester. His other journalism experience includes a design internship at the Reading Eagle in Pennsylvania and multiple stints on the Austin American-Statesman’s copy desk. In 2012, Swaruup graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where he was Senior Articles Editor of the California Law Review. He now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where he works for a federal appellate judge.
Lauren Winchester worked at The Daily Texan all four years of college. After working in the news department as a general reporter, a senior reporter, an associate news editor and news editor, Winchester moved to the editorial page. She was associate editor for a year and then editor-in-chief in 2010-2011. Winchester also interned in D.C. at a small arts & politics magazine and in the features department at the Houston Chronicle the summer after her sophomore year. Currently, Winchester is working in D.C. at an independent bookstore and applying to PhD programs in English literature.
Gabrielle Muñoz was a staffer at The Daily Texan from 2006 to 2009, where she worked in the editing, sports and news departments and served as associate managing editor. She interned at The Arizona Republic and The Boston Globe before heading to the copy desk of the Austin American-Statesman in 2009. She worked as a copy editor and designer for the Statesman until 2012 before moving to the web desk, where she now works as an online content producer for statesman.com. Gabrielle lives in South Austin with her fiancé, Noble.
Mary Kang was a photo staffer at The Daily Texan from Spring 2009 to Fall 2011, where she worked features, pictorials, documentaries, general news, sports, portraits, fashion, music, and illustrations. She worked her way up as a senior photographer, an assistant photo editor, and as head photo editor. In Fall 2011, she interned as a production assistant at Alpheus Media before graduating with Bachelor of Science in Advertising. Currently a freelance photographer, her works have been shown in Japan Times, The FADER Magazine, and the Star Tribune. In September 2012, her photo story about Bhutanese refugees she worked on for several years was published on CNN Photos. She also started Prima Luce Studio to document weddings in and around Austin, Texas.
Elisabeth Dillon was a staff member of The Daily Texan from 2011-2014. Elisabeth started out at the Texan in the photo department, eventually working her way up to photo editor. Elisabeth emphasized sports photography in her work, and travelled the country to shoot various UT sporting events, including the last football game against A&M, the 2012 NCAA tournament, and the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. She also worked on extensive photo essay documenting the Bastrop High School baseball team's journey to make playoffs following the Bastrop wildfires. After serving as photo editor, Elisabeth moved to a different side of the newsroom and worked in the copy, sports, and life & arts departments. Elisabeth then went on to serve as associate managing editor for the 2013-2014 school year, and was then appointed as managing editor for the fall 2014 semester.
Brett Donohoe worked at The Daily Texan's copy desk from spring 2013 through fall 2014. He began as an issue staffer, and he then worked as an associate copy desk chief for two semesters before working as copy desk chief in fall 2014. He is pursuing degrees in linguistics and Russian, East European and Eurasian studies and plans to continue studying these fields in graduate school after graduating in fall 2015. During summer 2014, he studied Russian literature and linguistics at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia. While there, he took courses in Russian media and its effect on domestic politics. He plans to continue being involved in journalism and, eventually, hopes to work as a reporter on Eastern Europe.