Walking through the doors into the Daily Bruin office for the first time can be a transformative experience. It is that moment of transition between feeling as if you are not quite sure where life might take you and feeling as if a roadmap to the rest of your life is becoming (ever so faintly) visible to you.
The welcoming atmosphere, the sense of camaraderie, having an on-campus learning lab and the opportunity to hone skills to prepare you for opportunities you cannot even begin to imagine provide a glimpse as magical and mystical as any I have ever found in the most well-crafted movie or fantasy novel. But there is no fantasy there: just a gateway into the world of journalism and other endeavors.
Some of us graduate into a world where journalism becomes a lifelong adventure. Some of us go much further afield from the day-to-day reporting that is such an essential, cherished part of our experiences at UCLA. I’ve worked under intensive deadlines covering county government, the local crime beat, and agriculture and water-use issues; taught English in Japan; worked in the publications office at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; run the staff training and volunteer programs for the San Francisco Public Library; and, for the past 15 years, written a couple of nonfiction books, and been immersed in training, teaching and learning at a variety of levels. This mix is often confusing to people who try to figure out what it is that I actually do…but they are only confused until they realize that everything is connected to the writing, communication and management skills I acquired at UCLA.
But there’s a punchline that is often overlooked when I reflect upon what UCLA and its lovely Daily Bruin give us: the lifelong friends with whom we share transformative experiences. That is the greatest gift provided through my affiliation with the Daily Bruin.
— Paul Signorelli ’76
On behalf of the Daily Bruin Alumni Network Board
Network of the Year
We're proud to announce that the Daily Bruin Alumni Network is the recipient of the 2023 UCLA Award for Network of the Year. After launching in the fall of 2018, we've committed to giving back to UCLA in the form of fundraising for scholarships, mentoring DB staffers and assisting with their career development. Since 2019, we've awarded 19 scholarships and built a strong community in support of students, alumni and the University. All the recipients for this year's UCLA Awards will be honored at a reception on campus on Saturday, May 13.
Last fall, the DBANxSpark 2022 campaign set out to raise $15,000 to support scholarships for DB staffers interested in pursuing journalism. Thanks to the generosity of so many alumni and friends of The Bruin, we crushed our goals, racking up $36,601! That includes a $10,000 gift from Eric and Laura B. Lamison. Laura Baker Lamison ’88 was a DB Advertising staffer when she was at UCLA – so were her sisters Celia and Paula. The Lamisons are the proud parents of a current UCLA student, and they were delighted to visit the DB newsroom over Bruin Family Weekend. We are so very grateful to the Lamison family and our 100-plus donors for this record-setting Spark campaign.
With all of the funds raised, we are pleased to announce that the DB Scholarship program will be awarding seven scholarships of $2,500 each, totaling $17,500, in 2023-24. The application will open in spring quarter, and we look forward to presenting the expanded class of DB scholars at the 2023 DBAN Reunion! Thank you again for your support!
Our mentorship program continues to pair students and alumni together to forge rewarding relationships. Here, two pairs in the program share what they’ve gained.
Matthew Beymer and Patrick Healy ’76
From Patrick: The DBAN mentorship program arrived at the perfect time for me. I had just retired after 50 years in broadcast journalism and was looking for new ways to stay engaged. Matthew Beymer and I made a good match right off the bat, given Matt’s interest in using video to tell stories. But everything has been complicated by the impact of COVID, which meant that rather than learning the ropes in the Daily Bruin newsroom, Matt’s cohort had to do it remotely, raising the difficulty level by an order of magnitude. Fortunately, The COVID stress eased somewhat as 2022 progressed.
As it was, our conversations did not stay limited to video journalism, because, as I soon learned, Matt has a whole spectrum of academic interests, and to my surprise, he was interested in my thoughts on them. I tried to move past offering merely technical help (best angle for a two-shot, when a cut is better than a dissolve, what other points of view would benefit a story?), and help Matt frame and prioritize his interests. And above all, to assure him it was OK to lower his level of DB involvement during a quarter when he had opportunities to produce outside videos and exercise his acting skills in a theater production.
His interest in the ethical issues and responsibilities of journalism strikes me as a good omen for the future of the craft. With journalism — as with all his endeavors — Matt brings a commitment to doing it better, and I believe the DBAN mentoring program has nurtured that.
From Matthew: The mentorship program has been an undeniable highlight of not just my experience in the Bruin, but my experience at UCLA overall. Patrick has been a fantastic mentor since we were paired together a year ago. With our mutual interests in broadcast journalism and video journalism, we have had multiple conversations about unique angles for framing stories, interview techniques and equipment recommendations. We also share a strong interest in technological issues — Patrick studied engineering during his undergrad years and I'm studying digital humanities and information studies alongside my undergrad theater studies. I am so extremely grateful for the strong feedback Patrick provides about my work in the Daily Bruin!
Abigail Siatkowski and Alice Short ’77
From Alice: I’m not sure I knew it at the time, but the Daily Bruin provided me with invaluable experience that helped to fuel a career in journalism. The paper is near and dear to my heart, which is why I joined the Bruin alumni group.
I figured out that Abi was something special soon after we met. We’ve spent a fair amount of time with each other over the last 18 months, and I continue to be amazed by her energy, her ability to balance various demands in her life and her ability as a leader. When I ask her if she’s thought about this or that, she is frequently one step ahead of me.
She is a manager of other student journalists who actually thinks about management strategies. (Seriously!) She is thinking about her future and is open to many possibilities. (Did I mention she is polite and fun to be with?) Abi is so far ahead of my 21-year-old self it makes my head spin. I got lucky.
From Abi: After being matched in early 2022, Alice and I first met about a year ago. Since then, Alice has become my favorite person to share my work with. I always look forward to giving her a copy of the latest issue of PRIME or sending her our latest online project. I know I can always come to her for advice when I feel I'm at a crossroads in my work. She's been there for whatever I needed, and my section has benefited greatly from it. The excitement on my writers' faces when Alice came to our section meeting and discussed their ideas with them was so amazing for me to see. I'm excited to continue working with Alice to push the creative boundaries of PRIME this year.
We've Been Busy
Event Recap: “Standing Above the Crowd: Seeking Internships and Job Opportunities”
There is no better champion for a DB staffer looking to break into journalism right now than L.A. Times reporter and DBAN board member Jeong Park ’17. In late February, Park and Paul Signorelli led the DBAN workshop on internships and introduced the students to the DB jobs database that Park has built and maintained pro bono. Students also learned to develop an "elevator pitch," in case they're shoulder to shoulder with the editor of The Times. In collaboration with the Alumni Association, DBAN is creating a YouTube library of our workshops and events. Visit the DB Jobs and Internship Board here.
Event Recap: “The Relationships Behind the News: Sourcing Our Stories”
In late January, DBAN hosted a productive session for students on how to build and connect with sources, panelists including Paul Signorelli, Connie Guglielmo from CNET, Claire Fahy from the New York Times, Patrick Healy (retired) from NBC4 LA and Megan Tagami at the Daily Bruin! Discussion included:
How to make source meetings a routine part of our job as reporters.
Knowing how to find sources, especially on deadline and over social media.
How to gather information, knowing you won't use it right away but store it for later, deep dive stories.
Event Recap: DB Sports Alumni and Staffers Pizza Social
DB Alumni Coaches Joe Yogerst ’78, Bob Heber ’78 and Jason Drantch ’15 convened over winter quarter for a coaching session with current Sports Editor Sam Setttleman and staffers at Kerckhoff. Alumni Kevin Modesti ’83, Grant Sugimura ’19 and Michael Hull ’19 joined as well. It was great to work with the students live in the DB newsroom, our natural habitat, after three years of connecting remotely. The session covered story mix, headline writing, layout, chasing down sources and more.
If you’re interested in mentoring your old section, as the paper continues to rise out of the COVID disruptions, please visit this page.
Kristie-Valerie Hoang ’20, now studying at Boston College Law, was named a Don H. Liu Scholar in recognition of her exceptional academic accomplishment and leadership. Honorees receive a $15,000 scholarship and receive mentorship and career development assistance. The program is meant to identify and support future Asian American leaders by addressing barriers to advancement in the legal profession.
Alejandra Reyes-Velarde ’17 has joined Cal Matters. She'll be writing for the California Divide team about inequality in Los Angeles and the obstacles Angelenos face in moving up the socioeconomic ladder.
We say goodbye to former Daily Bruin Editor in Chief Mort Saltzman ’67, who died in November at age 82. A Minnesota native born Feb. 8, 1940, Saltzman attended UCLA and became editor of the Daily Bruin. Days before the 1960 election, the head of the Los Angeles County Republican party sent telegrams to university officials and the Board of Regents, accusing the Daily Bruin of using “smear tactics” in its coverage of the GOP presidential nominee, Vice President Richard Nixon. Under Saltzman’s editorship, DB ran an editorial cartoon of Nixon with the caption "Would you buy a used car from this man?" in 1960, which went viral in an era well before the internet. Saltzman spent much of his 40-year career in journalism as an editor at The Sacramento Bee.
DBAN’s fearless leader Lawrence Ma ’95 spoke about fundraising at the UCLA Alumni Leadership Conference in February.
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