The L.A. Times welcomes its Class of 2021 summer interns

The Los Angeles Times 2021 summer interns
The members of the Los Angeles Times 2021 summer intern class are, top row from left: Andrew Mendez, Ariella Plachta, Ashlea Brown, Claire Reid, Danielle Broadway, Ethan Sears, Madeline Hordinski, Marisa Martinez, Meena Venkataramanan and Sasha Hupka; middle row from left: Austin Martinez, Carly Olson, Caroline Petrow-Cohen, Gabrielle Chenault, Gillian Moran-Perez, Jireh Deng, Melissa Hernandez, Natalia Gutiérrez, Nico Chilla and Siena Giljum; third row from left: Celina Tabor, Christopher Kuo, Christopher Parker, Jacob Moscovitch, Jason Sanchez, Jorge Garcia, Robin Estrin, Rosmery Izaguirre and Ruth Etiesit Samuel.

The following announcement was sent on behalf of Angel Jennings, The Times’ assistant managing editor of culture and talent, and Joseph Serna, deputy editor of culture and talent.

How we cover and report the news continues to expand as we tap into new ways of serving our audience. For proof of this, look no further than our recently released daily podcast, The Times.

So, it’s only right that we also train the next generation of audio reporters.


It’s with great pleasure that we announce our first podcasting intern, Spelman College and UC Berkeley master’s graduate Ashlea Brown. She will be joined by our first Times en Español intern, Cal State Northridge graduate student Gillian Moran-Perez, along with 27 other bright talents.

The Times recognizes its role in the journalism ecosystem and has expanded the summer internship program to provide more opportunities. We have increased the number of paid positions to 21 interns this year, up from nine in 2020. Other young journalists will continue to join us and be paid through university partnerships and other outside programs, including our first intern brought in through the Facebook HBCU News Fellowship program. Gabrielle Chenault, who recently graduated from Hampton University and will start at USC as a graduate student this summer, will join the audience engagement team. These partnerships will bring our Class of 2021 summer interns to a total of 29, one of our largest classes.

We selected this year’s contingent from more than 1,100 applications from across the country and abroad.

Starting June 1, the first summer interns will arrive in our virtual newsroom. The Class of 2021 summer interns include emerging journalists who have honed their craft reporting, shooting, editing and designing stories from coast to coast. They will bring their perspectives to virtually all corners of our paper, from our Foreign, National, Metro, Opinion and Business desks to Visual Journalism, Multiplatform Editing, Design and Data.

Interns covering local news, sports and capturing California in video and photo will be based in the Golden State. Others will help us find new audiences, tell stories and design graphics from Washington state to New York.

The interns are paid to work and train alongside some of the best journalists in the world. They will be with The Times for 10 weeks.

Over the years, some Times interns have landed full-time positions in the newsroom. Matt Hamilton, an intern in 2013, went on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for investigating a USC gynecologist accused of violating hundreds of young women. Summer 2010 intern Rosanna Xia was a Pulitzer finalist last year for explanatory reporting on sea-level rise. Interns have gone on to work in nearly every department, including the masthead.

We’re excited to continue this tradition of nurturing and developing talent.

Please join us in welcoming them.

Andrew Mendez is a rising senior at the University of Nevada, Reno, double majoring in journalism and Spanish literature. Originally from Las Vegas, he started his career at the independent student paper, the Nevada Sagebrush, and founded its Spanish section. His work can be found on KUNR Public Radio, and in the Reno Gazette-Journal, the Nevada Independent and the Santiago Times. When he is not busy reporting, he’s spending time with friends, reading or listening to music. He joins The Times on June 1 as a Business reporting intern through his school’s Reynolds Journalism Institute, working from Los Angeles. @Amendez2000

Ariella (Ari) Plachta is a graduate student at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley and recently worked at the Los Angeles Daily News. She got her start in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, where she was an editor at Haaretz and freelanced in audio and print. On days off, you’ll find her at the park admiring other people’s dogs or trying the tastiest things to eat about town. She joins The Times as a Sacramento bureau intern June 14. @AriPlachta

Ashlea Brown is a native of North Carolina who credits attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chuck Stone Program for Diversity in Education and Media program in the summer of 2014 as driving her to get into journalism. Shortly after graduating high school, she went to Atlanta and attended Spelman College, where she majored in English. During her time at Spelman, she worked on her college’s newspaper, the BluePrint, and became a member of the National Assn. of Black Journalists. Compelled to learn more after graduating in 2019, she enrolled at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and graduated in May. At Berkeley, she discovered a love for audio reporting and is excited to join the audio team as an intern June 14, based in Oakland. @_ashSAID

Austin Martinez (she/her, ella) is a concert and taco enthusiast from San Antonio. A rising senior at the University of Texas at Austin, she studies journalism and is building a digital publication to document Latinx communities in Texas. Martinez is a podcast host for Moody College of Communication as their brand storytelling intern and is the digital content and marketing coordinator for the UT Austin chapter of the National Assn. of Hispanic Journalists. She joins The Times on June 1 as an audience engagement intern working remotely in Los Angeles. @austinmxrtinez

Carly Olson is a journalism graduate student at UC Berkeley. She was previously an editor at Architectural Digest magazine and has been published in House Beautiful and Surface Magazine. Olson was editor-in-chief of the campus news magazine at Tufts University and a features writer for the Metro Boston newspaper. A Northern California native, Olson is excited to swim in the ocean and wear something other than a hoodie with jeans while in Southern California. She will be based in San Mateo and joins Business as an intern June 1. @CarlyOlson_

Caroline Petrow-Cohen is a rising senior at Duke University, where she studies journalism, English and environmental science and policy. She spends much of her time covering Durham, N.C., for local papers, including the 9th Street Journal and Indy Week. Petrow-Cohen’s love of writing and storytelling has led her to cover a range of beats, including state politics and public safety. When she’s not reporting, she likes to hike, snowboard and travel. She joins The Times on June 1 as an Opinion intern in Los Angeles through a partnership with Duke. @caroline_petrow

Celina Tebor is a Portland native who decided to spend her college years in the sun at the University of San Diego, where she graduated in May with degrees in political science and communication studies. She was the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, the USD Vista, where she worked since her freshman year. Tebor’s love for her home state of Oregon led her to intern as a production assistant at Oregon Public Broadcasting’s news show, “Think Out Loud,” and as a breaking news reporter for the Oregonian. She also interned at the San Diego Union-Tribune covering immigration and enterprise in 2019. Her second career choice is becoming a pastry chef. Tebor joins The Times as an intern on the Foreign and National desk June 14 from Los Angeles. @CelinaTebor

Christopher Kuo is a student at Duke University studying journalism, English and political science. He serves as the enterprise editor for the Duke Chronicle, and he co-led the elections team for the Chronicle in the fall of 2020. He has published articles in INDY Week, Durham’s alt-weekly. Kuo is originally from Massachusetts, but he has also lived in China and in Southeast Asia. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, watching movies, arguing about constitutional law and hosting a podcast. He joins The Times as a Metro intern through a partnership with Duke starting June 1 in Los Angeles. @chriskuo17

Christopher Parker is a London-born, New York-raised junior at the University of Notre Dame, where he studies history, Latin and journalism. He is terrified of the question, “What’s your plan after graduation?” At school, he works as the digital editor of the campus publication Scholastic Magazine and was a founding member of the social media team for the Observer, Notre Dame’s student-run independent daily newspaper. He spent last summer at the Berkshire Eagle in western Massachusetts, reporting and working with data analytics to boost its Instagram presence. He is an avid musician, reader and swimmer and will join The Times as an audience engagement intern June 1 through a partnership with Notre Dame, based in Tacoma, Wash. @cparkernews

Claire Reid was born and raised in Madison, Wis. She is an incoming junior studying visual communication design, film and television production and journalism at the University of Notre Dame and will graduate in 2024. At Notre Dame, Reid has worked as a photo and video editor and a news writer for the on-campus newspaper, the Observer, and currently works as a graphic designer for the Notre Dame Student Activities Office. Reid is a club cross-country and track runner and hopes to complete her first marathon soon. She joins The Times as a design intern June 1 through a partnership with Notre Dame and will be based in South Bend, Ind. @clairereidjed

Danielle Broadway recently graduated with her master’s in English literature from Cal State Long Beach, where she also received her bachelor’s degree. Broadway is a freelance writer and editor who has published with L.A. Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Byrdie, Black Girl Nerds and others. She’s an associate editor for the L.A. arts and culture publication Angels Flight-literary west and previously worked as an editor at Cal State Long Beach’s Dig Magazine and Watermark, its annual peer-reviewed scholarly journal. She is a nerd who loves Marvel, gaming and Studio Ghibli Films and an educator who’s inspired by her family to make social change. She joins The Times as an intern in Arts & Entertainment on June 1 from Artesia. @DanielleBroadw1

Ethan Sears graduated from the University of Michigan in May with a major in political science and a minor in history. He spent two years as the co-managing sports editor of the Michigan Daily, during which the Daily won Best College Sports Section from the College Media Assn. in 2019 and an honorable mention in 2020. Sears also covered Michigan football and basketball during his time at the Daily, as well as helping spearhead the launch of a weekly podcast. He’s interned for the sports sections at the Indianapolis Star and his hometown New York Post. He joins The Times as a Sports intern in Los Angeles on June 14. @ethan_sears

Gabrielle Chenault is a recent graduate of Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. She majored in print journalism and her area of emphasis was in political science. At Hampton, she was a staff writer of the female-run online news organization Her Campus, the lifestyle, local and world section editor of the Hampton Script and a student athlete. Growing up in Queens, N.Y., she had always been interested in journalism, but due to the lack of resources at her high school, wasn’t able to pursue it. Chenault is most passionate about race and social justice and international reporting. She joins the audience engagement team as an intern June 1 through the Facebook HBCU News Fellowship program. She will be based out of Queens and starts the master’s program in specialized journalism at USC this summer. @Gabrichenault

Gillian Moran-Perez was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and will graduate this year from Cal State Northridge, where she is studying English with an emphasis in creative writing in the master’s program. Moran-Perez has covered a wide range of topics for her campus newspaper, the Daily Sundial, and is most passionate about narrative journalism that dives into underserved communities. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of many journalists-turned-novelists. In her spare time, she can be found walking her dogs, practicing the art of making tortillas, reading or working on her plays. She joins the Los Angeles Times en Español team as its first reporting intern June 14. @gillicansisland

Jacob Moscovitch is a first-generation, Israeli American queer journalist who was born and raised in Southern California. He is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri, where he studied photojournalism. His passion for intersectional visual storytelling has led him to work as a photographer, photo editor, print designer and, most recently, as the assistant director of photography at the Columbia Missourian. During his two years at the local paper, Moscovitch’s byline has also appeared in the New York Times, NPR and Getty Images. Moscovitch joins The Times as a photo editing intern July 5 from Thousand Oaks. @JacobMoscovitch

Jason Sanchez is a native Southern Californian who recently graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in communications and an emphasis in journalism. Sanchez served on the student newspaper staff and hosted a hip-hop show for the campus radio station. He enjoys discovering new TV shows, movies and music in his free time, as well as revisiting old favorites. Bringing a passion for reading and writing, Sanchez will join The Times’ copy desk June 1 as the Dow Jones News Fund’s multiplatform editing intern and will be based in Norwalk. @jasongsanch

Jireh Deng (she/they) is a writer and poet born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley. She is a third-year student studying economics and international studies at Cal State Long Beach. Deng was the assistant opinion editor of the university’s Daily 49er student newspaper and the managing editor of 22 West Magazine. She is also the student board representative of the Asian American Journalists Assn.’s Los Angeles chapter. An interdisciplinary artist, her work appears with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the podcast “VS,” Level Ground and the Youth Speaks’ anthology “Between My Body and the Air.” She is also a performing artist. Additionally, you can find her typing out poems, collaging love notes and making earrings for her friends. She joins The Times as an Editorial Page intern June 1, based in San Gabriel. @jireh_deng

Jorge Garcia was born in Durango, Mexico, raised in Southern California and graduated as a journalism major from Cal State Los Angeles, making him the first in his family to graduate college. He has contributed video, audio and text stories and photojournalism work for his college paper, the University Times, and the program’s newscast. He fell in love with storytelling as a child reading the Los Angeles Times’ sports coverage — especially Bill Plaschke’s columns. He has interned at EdSource and is now interning at KQBH-FM (101.5), creating audio and video stories. He enjoys playing soccer and listening to old vinyl records. He joins The Times as a video intern June 1 out of Sherman Oaks. @Georgeknows_

Madeleine Hordinski was born and raised in Cincinnati. In December 2020, she graduated with degrees in photojournalism and anthropology from Ohio University. Her favorite kinds of stories and photographs examine memory, community and family. Hordinski’s work has been featured on BBC, PDN and PBS’ “Frontline.” In her free time, she likes to hike, listen to podcasts or hang out with friends. She joins the visuals team as a photo intern July 5. @MHordinski

Marisa Martinez (she/her) is a former intern at EdSource and, where she covered higher education and local city government, respectively. More recently, as a fellow at CalMatters, she produced audio stories for KQED and contributed to the Jan. 6 insurrection coverage. Martinez is a recent graduate of Cal State Los Angeles, where she worked at various times as managing editor, digital editor and editor-in-chief of the University Times student newspaper. A native Angeleno, Martinez also attended Santa Monica College, where she was photo editor and editor-in-chief of the Corsair newspaper. When Martinez is not at her desk, she enjoys long drives with her husband and catching up on the latest streaming network shows. She joins the News Desk on June 1. @MarVasMartinez

Meena Venkataramanan is a recent graduate of Harvard University, where she studied English and South Asian studies. At Harvard, she co-founded a multimedia immigration and border storytelling initiative, “Stories From the Border.” She spent her senior year as a Ledecky editorial fellow at Harvard Magazine and, last summer, reported for the Texas Tribune. Her byline can also be found on Politico and ABC News. A proud desert dweller originally from southern Arizona, Venkataramanan is thrilled to represent the Southwest in The Times’ Washington, D.C., bureau, where she’ll begin July 12. @mvenk82

Melissa Hernandez was born and raised in Miami and is a recent graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, where she majored in journalism and environmental science. During her time at UF, she was an investigative/enterprise reporter for Fresh Take Florida, an NPR-affiliated news service offered by the university. Her bylines can also be found in the Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and Associated Press. Her biggest passion is long-form investigative journalism. When she’s not digging for public records or chasing sources for interviews, she can be found sitting behind a piano tickling the ivories, out getting ice cream or binge-watching “The Golden Girls.” She joins The Times in Los Angeles as a Metro intern June 14. @melissamh_

Natalia Gutiérrez is the founder of “Colectiva,” a Spanish-language newsletter on mental health, through which she is working to build a community and foster a space to discuss human habits. After living in Venezuela for many years, she settled in Mexico City, where she worked as an audience engagement editor for different outlets, including the New York Times en Español. She is currently studying engagement journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, where she’s focusing on the feminist community in New York and Mexico City. She joins The Times on June 1 as an audience engagement intern through a partnership with CUNY and will be based in New York. @natsinats_

Nico Chilla is a Bay Area native and a junior at Parsons School of Design studying design and philosophy. He has worked as both a reporter and creative director for his college paper, the New School Free Press, where he led the transition from newspaper to magazine and designed three print issues. More recently, he has been working on web design and development for organizations in his college community. Chilla is passionate about using interactive storytelling to communicate ideas and engage with reporting. He’ll join The Times as a design intern June 1, based in San Jose. @nicochilla

Robin Estrin is a recent graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she freelanced for the New York Times, CalMatters, KQED and Lookout Santa Cruz. Before she was a reporter, Estrin studied creative writing and political science, which inform her mission today — to tell human stories that drive into centers of power. She spent much of the pandemic investigating a small but mighty facet of the U.S. healthcare system (story pending) and daydreaming of her return to Los Angeles, where she was born and raised. She’ll join The Times as a Metro intern starting July 26. @robin_estrin

Rosmery Izaguirre is a recent graduate of the University of Florida, where she studied journalism specializing in web apps, and data journalism with an outside concentration in computer science. While at the University of Florida, Rosmery worked for the Independent Florida Alligator as a reporter, visualization producer and a digital managing editor. During her time at the paper, she created charts and maps to track COVID-19 cases locally and oversaw the transition to a new content managing system for the website. Her byline can also be found in the Miami Herald, where she worked as an intern on the investigative desk reporting and collaborating on stories and visuals. She joins The Times as a Data and Graphics intern on June 1 out of Miami. @rgizaguirre

Ruth Etiesit Samuel is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and Hispanic studies. At UNC, she led and wrote for the Bridge, a publication for women and nonbinary people of color at UNC and Duke, as well as UNC’s premier fashion magazine, Coulture. She has interned at Radiolab and the Today Show and has bylines in Teen Vogue, Allure, Glossy, Gothamist and more. She claims Macon, Ga., as her hometown despite her family moving over six times in 21 years. Storytelling, however, has always been a constant for her. Working from Chapel Hill, N.C., she is excited to join The Times on June 1 as an Arts & Entertainment intern. @ruthesamuel

Sasha Hupka is a graduate student at UC Berkeley. She is a first-generation Russian American and was born and raised in upstate New York. During her undergraduate years, she interned for a small daily paper in Pennsylvania and later covered state politics in Harrisburg, racking up bylines in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PennLive and the Caucus. Most recently, Hupka covered local government as a Pulliam fellow on the city team at the Arizona Republic, where she wrote about casinos opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, land use in fast-growing Phoenix suburbs and city police budgets. As a runner, hiker and all-around lover of public lands, she also marveled at saguaro cacti, suffered several sunburns and (almost) got used to temperatures of more than 115 degrees. She starts June 1 as an intern in the D.C. bureau. @SashaHupka

Siena Giljum is studying journalism with minors in Spanish and film and television at Boston University’s College of Communication. Having written for publications across campus and the Boston area, including for the university’s website, BU News Service, and the Brookline TAB, Giljum is overjoyed to be returning to California to intern for The Times (and for the much tastier West Coast avocados). She has also worked as a summer camp counselor in Monterey and as a tour guide at a house museum in Boston. She is passionate about arts and culture reporting, localizing national stories, and hiking and cooking with her family in Altadena. Giljum will join The Times on June 1 as a lifestyle and features intern. @sienagiljum