DTH welcomes first cohort of student journalists to the Sharif Durhams Leadership Program


The Daily Tar Heel is pleased to announce the first cohort of the first year of Sharif Durhams Leadership Program, a talent and leadership development course for DTH students from underrepresented groups.

The program's goals are to create equity, inclusion and opportunity at The Daily Tar Heel and to connect students to professional opportunities upon graduation.

For the 2019-20 school year, the program accepted a cohort of 10 students from all class years. The program will include: Programming throughout the school year (exceptions will be made for students who choose to study abroad one semester), mentorship relationship and career prep. Every effort will be made to match students in the cohort with paid summer internships.

The program is named for Sharif Durhams, a Senior Editor for CNN Digital who was honored as the DTH Distinguished Alumnus in 2019. Watch this video about Sharif

Here are the students in our 2019-20 cohort: 

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Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez
Class of 2020
DTH Managing Editor
@marcoquiroz10

Marco is a senior business journalism major from Wake Forest and student leader of the program. He worked on the university desk at The Daily Tar Heel until his senior year. He is now the managing editor of The Daily Tar Heel and works to direct coverage and edit stories every weekday. This summer, Marco interned at The Charlotte Observer on the business news desk. Eventually, he hopes to work as a business journalist covering the banking industry. In his free time, Marco likes to spend time with his dog Coco. 


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Raymond Chen
Class of 2021

My name is Raymond Chen and I am a junior studying computer science and math at UNC. I have written for Udesk and sports desk and this year I am writing for our investigations team. One fun fact about me is that I was born in Canada and I plan to go to Vancouver during winter break!


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Aysha Diallo
Class of 2021
@AyshaDiallo12

Aysha Diallo is a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying economics and journalism. She is on the board of directors for The Daily Tar Heel where she serves as treasurer. She works on budgeting and overseeing the funds for the campus and community wide paper. In her free time, Aysha enjoys spending time with her friends, learning new things, and being a DJ and on management for WXYC, UNC’s 24-hour radio station. 

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Bethany Lane
Class of 2020

I was hired at the DTH in the spring of my freshman year as an unpaid junior account executive…meaning I barely made the cut. That summer I worked with the Ad Director twice a week and learned everything I possibly could about my role and sold lots of ads. By that fall I became an actual paid account executive and have since become a senior account executive. As this is my last year at UNC, my goals for my future at the DTH just include gaining more warm clients for the staff to rely on in the future, and helping to train junior account executives. A fun fact about me is I eat avocado toast at least 5 times a week. I love avocados.


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Ramishah Maruf
Class of 2021
@ramishahmaruf_

Ramishah Maruf is a junior journalism and political science major and creative nonfiction writing minor at UNC Chapel Hill. This summer, she interned at CNN Opinion and served as the opinion editor at The Daily Tar Heel and print editor-in-chief of the Durham VOICE. This semester, she's back at the DTH as a senior writer. She loves to write about University politics, the Muslim-American experience and her beloved home state of Florida.

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Zayrha Rodriguez
Class of 2020
@ZayrhaRodriguez

Zayrha Rodriguez is a senior majoring in journalism with a focus in video and photo, and minoring in history. She was born in Bogota, Colombia and in 2011 she moved to Miami, Fla. There she completed high school and two years of college. After completing her A.A. in International Relations she decided to transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill to complete her Bachelor's degree. 

She has been part of the Daily Tar Heel photo staff since Spring 2018. As part of the staff, she was able to choose her path in journalism and saw the impact of visual storytelling. Also she has being part of Que Rico, UNC’s Latin Dance Team, where she has been able to stay in touch with her Latin roots. For the future, she hopes to be working on national publication as visual journalist and bring up voices of Latinos and immigrants. 


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Praveena Somasundaram
Class of 2022

Praveena Somasundaram is a sophomore at the UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in biology and journalism. Praveena is currently a senior writer for the University Desk of The Daily Tar Heel and has written for the paper since Fall 2018. Previously, she wrote for and edited the Features section of The Guilfordian, Guilford College’s student-run newspaper, and was a Campus Consortium Fellow of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. This past summer, she was a global health fellow in Uganda. Praveena hopes to combine her interests in healthcare and reporting for future journalism projects. Outside of writing, she enjoys reading and dancing with UNC Ek Taal, the university’s Indian classical dance team.


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Brandon Standley
Class of 2021
@branstans

My name is Brandon Standley and I am an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Media and Journalism, with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations, and Psychology. I work for Carolina Housing as a Resident Advisor and I am also the Copy Chief and Social Media Manager at The Daily Tar Heel, our student-newspaper in Chapel Hill. Originally, I am from Kinston, North Carolina, a small town near the coast of N.C., and lived there for most of my life. 

When I’m not working or visiting with family and friends, I enjoy baking, taking lengthy naps and marathoning any and all Netflix shows that I can. 

My experiences at UNC-Chapel Hill have combined with my upbringing in a rural, eastern North Carolina town to create an eye-opening experience for me in college and my adult life.  Not only have I been challenged day-in and day-out to remove ideologies with negative-connotations like unconscious and implicit bias from my life; but I have also been thrown into an environment where I stand-out in more than one way — for better or for worse — and have been made to navigate the tides associated with that, alone.


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Hanna Wondmagegn
Class of 2021
@hannawon72

My name is Hanna Wondmagen and I am a junior majoring in photojournalism and food studies. I joined The Daily Tar Heel spring semester of 2019 (last semester) and I worked as a staff photojournalist. I want to continue expanding the stories of people of color and minorities on campus and in the community because I believe it is important for us to see our stories represented. A fun fact about me: I put mayonnaise literally on anything so I apologize in advance if you are sitting in front of me while I'm eating!  

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Crystal Yu
Class of 2022

Fun fact: I'm from another little southern place called Shenzhen. It's on the coast of South China Sea, bordering Hong Kong.”

I've enjoyed writing for the City& State desk at the DTH since my freshman year. Starting this semester, I'll focus more on projects related to the economic development of our town and the local area.


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