I was certain of one thing when I graduated from UCLA in 2008: I wanted to be a journalist in Los Angeles. It wasn’t the best time to be entering the workforce. The housing crisis and recession were upon us and Lehman Brothers was on the brink of collapse. I was aware of these major events but also knew I didn’t want to move back home like a lot of my classmates were doing.
I responded to a job posting for an editorial assistant at a newspaper downtown I’d never heard of, the Daily Journal. It focused on the legal industry, which I knew nothing about. At the interview, I learned I’d be replacing a classmate from my UCLA Italian classes. Armed with Daily Bruin clips and an Entertainment Weekly internship, they hired me.
I never anticipated that my first job would lead to a 13-year career covering law firms and litigation and land me at a national newspaper like The Wall Street Journal. This year, I switched beats for the first time and joined the Journal’s education team. It’s been an eye-opening experience learning how much has changed for students since I was last one in 2008. There are so many landmines for teachers to navigate, technology to weave into instruction and awareness of the mental-health stressors that students face. The pandemic certainly didn’t make it easier.
As I embark on my new coverage area I think back to times I felt out of my league at The Daily Bruin, like the quarter when I stretched myself to write about sports (I was mostly in it to meet the men’s tennis team) and the time I ran out of class to interview my writing hero, Gay Talese, when he called an hour ahead of schedule. It’s scary feeling like the new kid again so deep into my career, but I’m enjoying the challenge. I look forward to hearing about what challenges and surprises others have found this year when we all gather Oct. 15 on campus for the fall reunion.
Sara Randazzo ’08
On behalf of the Daily Bruin Alumni Network Board
Save the Date: 2022 Daily Bruin Alumni Network Reunion
Exciting news! The 2022 Daily Bruin Alumni Reunion will be at UCLA this fall on Oct. 15. This will be our first full in-person program since 2019, and we cannot wait to see everyone together once again on campus and in Kerckhoff 118. (We'll be following all COVID-19 protocols in place at the time.) Make sure to mark your calendar and keep an eye out for more information and registration details in the coming weeks.
Call for Nominations: 2022 Daily Bruin Distinguished Alumni Award
We’re seeking nominations for this year’s Daily Bruin Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. The award recognizes a former Daily Bruin staffer for their outstanding contributions to journalism, their profession and the community. The honor will be celebrated at the Daily Bruin Alumni Network Reunion this fall. Submit nominations by July 22.
Meet the Editor
Dear DB Alumni,
Hope you all are having a good summer! My name is Victoria K. Li (she/they), and I’m honored to be the Bruin’s editor-in-chief for this 2022–23 school year. I was previously the science and health news editor, after joining in fall 2020 as a news intern.
As I’m sure many can relate to, our paper has been dealing with many challenges due to the pandemic in the past few years and is working towards several important goals: the ever-important need to balance our print work with digital projects, as well as improving diversity and inclusion in our staff. Among these goals was strengthening our relationship with the alumni network, starting with bringing back the alumni director position, currently filled by Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso. I am excited to continue working with you all more closely as DBAN expands its scholarship, mentoring programs and involvement with our staff. Thank you to Lawrence Ma, Paul Signorelli and the DBAN board for all your guidance thus far.
I and the rest of our staff are extremely grateful for everyone’s continued support of our work, from the written critiques and workshops to mentorship and everything in between. Please feel free to reach out at any time at email@example.com. Excited to meet everyone in the future, including at October’s reunion!
If you pine for the feeling of holding a UCLA student publication in your hands again, check out this great online format for reading quarterly magazine Prime. Led by Prime content editor Abigail Siatkowski, one of our Daily Bruin Scholars, art director Emily Dembinski and director Justin Huwe, the latest issue explores the sustainability of UCLA’s power plant, the pressures facing student athletes, the history of a storied Westwood institution and more. Read it here.
Honoring One of Our Own
In honor and memory of an extraordinary journalist, brother, husband and friend, the family, friends, classmates and colleagues of Dave McNary ’74 are establishing the Dave McNary Memorial Scholarship Endowment for Journalism at UCLA. This endowment will provide perpetual scholarship support to student-journalists following in Dave’s footsteps at The Daily Bruin, where Dave began his career and which he championed enthusiastically as a UCLA alumnus and founding board member of the Daily Bruin Alumni Network. The McNary family has pledged a generous lead gift of $21,000 as UCLA alumni spanning five decades launch the campaign to build an endowment that will fund at minimum one scholarship of $2,000 per year, as early as 2023.
We’re excited to start working with Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso, exp. ’23, who takes over this year as the alumni director and our liaison to the current Daily Bruin staff. Pomeroy-Tso is double-majoring in biology and society and communication studies. She joined the Bruin as a copy intern in the fall of 2019 and worked this past school year as the copy chief. She’s also contributed to Sports, the Quad and Photo. Pomeroy-Tso is from Temple City, California.
Big thanks to our prior contact at the paper, Kari Lau, for her work with us over the last year.
“The extensive alumni network was also a formative part of my experience at The Bruin. Connecting with Daily Bruin alumni, whether they had graduated years or decades ago, showed me the breadth of impact The Bruin can have as we work toward our goals. Each alumnus I spoke with could easily detail the enormous role the paper had played in getting them to where they are – no matter the field they ultimately entered.”
Leaving the Pac-12
Former Daily Bruin Sports Editor Jack Perez ’21 interviewed current Sports Editor Sam Settleman on UCLA's big conference-switching news.
Jack Perez: What are the main reasons UCLA is moving to the Big Ten?
Sam Settleman: Unquestionably, the main driver was money. With an athletic department drowning in over $100 million of debt and the Pac-12 falling behind its Power Five counterparts, UCLA felt it had no other choice than to seek greener grass. The Big Ten and its media-rights deal gives the Bruins an opportunity to make more money and begin a slow climb out of debt.
JP: Will UCLA be more likely to win a national title in football or basketball by moving to the Big Ten?
SS: UCLA football’s chances at a national championship in the next few years are slim to none. Barring an unforeseen turnaround, the Bruins won’t even be in the conversation. In a sport in which you have to be nearly perfect to make the national title game, UCLA will be mediocre at best in a football conference that is considerably stronger than the Pac-12. For basketball, the impact should be minimal. Both men's and women's Bruin basketball squads should be in similar positions as they were in the Pac-12 when it comes to vying for seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
JP: What does this move mean for other sports?
SS: UCLA Athletics likely made little effort to take into account non-revenue sports, but it's important to consider how the move will impact the 19 other varsity teams in Westwood. The impacts are wide-ranging, but there’s one common concern: travel. Especially for teams that compete regularly and multiple times in a week, this move means that student-athletes will spend a lot more time outside of Westwood and a lot more time on a plane. The furthest Big Ten school is more than twice as far as the furthest Pac-12 program. For softball and women’s soccer, for instance, moving comes with a sizable decline in competition. This move makes little sense for most non-revenue sports on campus.
Teddy Rosenbluth ’20 joined the Raleigh News & Observer as a science reporter after two years writing for the Concord Monitor through Report for America. Teddy is an award-winning journalist whose investigations have spanned coverage of homelessness in Westwood, drug price gouging in New Delhi, and the clash between police and those facing mental-health crises in New Hampshire.
Congrats to DB staffers Megan Tagami and Shaanth Nanguneri for their selection to the 2022 AAJA fellowship program! DB alumnus Frank Shyong ’10 is serving as a mentor to the cohort.
Matea Gold ’96 and a team at the Washington Post earned the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
John Crittenden ’78, JD ’81, is starting a position as a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School of Law.
Hans Ku ’95 started a new job at Meta working as director of product management for Instagram.
Send Us Your News!
Have recent work or personal success to brag about? Email Sara Randazzo to be included in future newsletters.