NAHJ is pleased to announce this year’s scholarship recipients. They represent colleges and universities from across the country.

A very special thank you to NAHJ founding member, Maria Elena Salinas for her continued support and for providing scholarships to students.

This year, scholarships were given in three categories:

Ruben Salazar/NAHJ General Scholarships Fund: Named after the Mexican-American journalist who was the news director for the Spanish-language television station KMEX and a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. These scholarships are awarded to college-bound high school seniors, college undergraduates and graduate students pursuing careers in English or Spanish-language print, photo, broadcast or online journalism.

NAHJ Maria Elena Salinas Scholarships: Established in 2002, this program awards scholarships to students who demonstrate a strong desire to pursue a career as a Spanish-language broadcast journalist. This program is made possible through a donation from Univision network news anchor, and NAHJ founding member, Maria Elena Salinas. This scholarship is awarded to college undergraduate and graduate students.

NAHJ Rick Ramirez Scholarship: Named after a former mentor of the NAHJ student projects, and close friend of current NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina who is funding the scholarship. Rick Ramirez was a photojournalist at ABC15 in Phoenix. He lost his battle with cancer in 2015 at age 40. The scholarship is awarded to a student demonstrating a passion for photojournalism, fairness and journalism excellence.


The students are listed under the scholarship they received.

Ruben Salazar Scholarship:

Nuran Alteir, Coastline Community College

Mercedes Barba, New York University

Cora Cervantes Sandoval, Columbia University

Brandon Gomez, New York University

Elena Gomez, San Diego State University

Heidi Harrington-Johnson, New York University

Daniel Litwin, University of Missouri, Columbia

Kristen Luna, Pasadena City College

Marcos Martinez Chacon, University of California, Berkeley

Valeria Masssarelli, Georgetown University

Zeemena Mejia, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Erendira Morales, Central Wyoming College

Anna Muckerman, University of Maryland, College Park

Lauren Lopez Negrete, Arizona State University

Rita Oceguera, Northwestern University

Amanda Ortiz, Universidad del Sagrado Corazon

Bianca Portillo-Maldonado, The Pennsylvania State University

Tomas Rodriguez, Los Angeles City College

Araceli Roman, Texas A&M University

Jose Romero, California State University, Northridge

Rochelle Romero, Arizona State University

Wyatt Salsbury, New York University

Maylan Studart, New York Institute of Technology

Francisco Vara-Orta, University of Missouri, Columbia

James Villalobos, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Rick Ramirez Scholarship:

Karla Estrada, University of North Texas


Maria Elena Salinas Scholarship:

Claudia Buccio, University of Southern California

Mariela Patron, University of California, Berkeley

Gil Rivera Torres, Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo