The Students

Shaheen Ainpour

I am a native of Southern California and a finance major at Cal State Long Beach. I have been listening to NPR since high school and have always considered myself more attuned to the news than my piers. The financial crisis of 2008 is really what compelled me to study finance as well as journalism. The work of great journalists (some at NPR) was invaluable to my understanding of the crisis and solidified the importance of this work for me. I am also fluent in Farsi.

Claudia Buccio

I am a proud Mexican-American woman. I was born and raised in California, but my family and I moved to Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico when I was 9 years old. I grew up working at my parents’ restaurant while studying at a small Catholic high school. When I turned 18, I made the decision to move back to California to pursue my college education. After two years of community college, I transferred to my dream school: USC. A couple of other fun facts about myself are that I love to travel, take photos, dance salsa, drink coffee, and sing.

Stefanie De Leon Tzic

Stefanie De Leon Tzic is a Guatemalan-native living in Los Angeles. She is a master's student in the Specialized Journalism program at USC, focusing on human rights. Prior to USC, she was a fill-in producer at Southern California Public Radio, where produced stories on a range of topics, from a Korean-American rapper tackling the lack of diversity in Hollywood to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

Intisar Seraaj

Intisar Seraaj is a journalist based in Los Angeles, Calif. She has six years of professional journalism experience. She specializes in radio, writing for web and print, and social media. Seraaj has developed a voice representing the Muslim, African American and feminist communities. Overall, she enjoys cultural reporting, profiles and features. She’s a graduate of Georgia State University (bachelor’s degree) and an upcoming graduate of the University of Southern California (master’s degree). She enjoys fashion, cooking, traveling, Zumba and African dance, theatre, poetry and outdoor activities.

Tomas Rodriguez

I’m a first-generation college student and Latino journalist. These are two cultures that I most identify with. My passion for journalism started at junior college. It has led me to new and humbling experiences. As a journalist, I have a responsibility to tell the truth and report on the injustices many people face. But being of Mexican descent, I feel I have an obligation to tell the untold truth. Our minority communities are often misrepresented in current news media. My goal is to graduate next year and be the first in my family to accomplish so.

Michelle Salinas

Michelle Salinas is a first-generation, queer Chicana born and raised in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California. She graduated from UCLA with a BA and MA from a dual-degree program in Latin American Studies along with a Labor and Workplace Studies minor. Michelle dedicated her five years at the university to a campus newsmagazine, as a writer and eventually Managing Editor.

She continues to practice her storytelling craft through poetry, music journalism, short films and is always exploring new ways to express and document.

When she’s not reading, writing, or simply creating, you can find her at your local cumbia show.