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11 emerging journalists and creatives join KUT and KUTX for spring internship program

Clockwise from top left: Ren Leija, Alan Tiscareno, Angela Lim, Melody Jones, Lorianne Willett, Julius Shieh, Hasina Shah and Elisabeth Jimenez. Center right: Jesus Vidales.
Courtesy photos
Clockwise from top left: Ren Leija, Alan Tiscareno, Angela Lim, Melody Jones, Lorianne Willett, Julius Shieh, Hasina Shah and Elisabeth Jimenez. Center right: Jesus Vidales.

From Harlingen to Houston and El Paso to Austin, the latest round of KUT and KUTX paid interns represent a large swath of the state — and beyond — and bring with them varied journalistic and life experiences.

Angela Lim spent 16 years in the Philippines before making her way to the University of Texas at Austin. She’s studying journalism and getting a minor in Chinese. Alan Tiscareno grew up in Mexico and is one of three of this semester’s cohort to earn an associate degree before pursuing a bachelor’s.

These interns will work alongside KUT and KUTX’s award-winning professionals to not just learn and hone their crafts, but contribute to and help shape program coverage. They will be involved from pitch to final production and will also meet regularly as a full group for training on everything from gaining support for their ideas to negotiating a salary.

Lim and Melody Jones will focus their efforts with the KUT local newsroom.

Lim has worked extensively in print journalism, serving as "The Daily Texan's" life and arts editor in spring 2023. She’s also had bylines in the "Austin Chronicle," "Community Impact Newspaper" and the Daily Dot. She was also a fellow for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project, which she says sparked her interest in audio journalism and public media.

Jones also has experience in a variety of mediums. She’s a second-year journalism major at the University of Texas with an associate degree from the College of the Mainland. Before joining KUT, she was the associate audio editor for "The Daily Texan." She also has podcast experience both with "The Daily Texan" and The Drag Audio Production House. Jones is also a producer for two shows under Texas Student Television.

Ren Leija will also work with the KUT local newsroom, though their efforts will be especially focused on supporting the digital team.

Leija earned their associate of science in biology from Palo Alto College before coming to UT Austin to study journalism. Leija is a senior news reporter for "The Daily Texan" and previously interned with "The Garnette Report" in New York City under the UTNY internship program.

Tiscareno, Jesus Octavio Vidales and Elisabeth Jimenez are working this spring to tell the stories of the state with "Texas Standard."

Tiscareno is studying multimedia journalism with a minor in Chicano Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. He earned an associate degree of arts in journalism at El Paso Community College. Tiscareno is fluent in Spanish and English and has worked as a reporter both with the EPCC "Tejano Tribune Newspaper "and with

Vidales is a fourth-year student at the UT Austin. His work with Texas Standard will be his first audio-based internship but he has extensive experience in print journalism. He previously reported for the Austin American-Statesman, Houston Chronicle, and The Texas Tribune. Vidales says he has a passion for storytelling and political coverage.

Jimenez is a senior journalism major at UT Austin, with certificates in environment and sustainability and creative writing. She has written for "The Daily Texan," the "ATX Review" and "Drift Magazine," where she currently serves as editor in chief and podcast co-director. She has also interned at the Voces Oral History Center and "Texas Monthly." Jimenez hopes to pursue environmental reporting with a focus on the intersections of climate, culture and community.

The KUT and KUTX multimedia team is getting an infusion of energy this spring from interns Lorianne Willett and Julius Shieh.

Willett is a photojournalist from Tucson, Ariz., now based in Austin. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in global sustainability at UT Austin. Willett is the photo editor at "The Daily Texan" and worked previously as a photo intern for "Texas Connect."

Shieh is a photographer and multimedia journalist graduating this spring with a B.A. in history and English at UT Austin. Shieh was previously a photo fellow at "The Texas Tribune," and prior to that, he worked as photo editor and reporter for "The Daily Texan." He has also worked as a digital intern at KTBC-7 and as a photographer at "Texas Connect."

Hasina Shah is supporting the special projects team this semester.

Shah is a junior journalism major who loves narrative feature writing and audio production. She is currently an associate producer at The Drag Audio Production House and the editor in chief of "Burnt X Magazine." She hopes to someday produce compelling audio stories at a major daily news publication.

On the music side, KUTX interns Sarah Benavides and Diego Artea will work with teams on digital and in-person efforts.

Benavides is a freshman studying public relations at UT Austin. She says her favorite bands include Pierce The Veil, Static Dress and My Chemical Romance.

Artea is a senior PR and media specialist UT Austin with an emphasis on creative marketing communication. He spends his time with KVRX as a DJ and part of the PR staff, as well as with the music publication "Afterglow."

Paid internships at KUT and KUTX are made possible thanks to support from members.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.