Thursday, May 19, 2022

State News Alumni Notebook for Summer 2020

S'News alum summer happenings include exciting advancements and sorrowful good-byes

Photo by Omar Sofradzija | The State News

A quick recap of just some of the great things happening to your fellow S’News alums and friends of The State News as of late:

  • Arthur Bridgeforth Jr. passed away July 5 at the age of 54. He was recently remembered as the "last of the old style newspapermen" by fellow alum Joseph Serwach on Medium.
  • Sue Burzynski Bullard retired in May after 12 years of work as an associate professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to that, she was an editor in residence at Michigan State University and she served as managing editor of the Detroit News from 2004 to 2007.
  • Romando Dixson was named executive editor of the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star in June. In being selected, he became that newspaper’s first Black top editor. Prior to that, he had been sports editor at the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger and also worked in South Carolina as an editor, breaking news reporter and digital producer.
  • Aaron Foley was named founding director of the Black Media Initiative at the Newmark Graduate School's Center for Community Media of the City University of New York, where he will help Black press outlets grow and innovate.
  • Lauren Gerwitz was sent back to her hometown of Holt from New York City this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there she continued her part-time role as a sports page designer for The New York Times, according to the MSU School of Journalism’s Facebook page. She hopes to get back to NYC sometime this year.
  • Jemele Hill will be a producer for an ESPN documentary series exploring the last 5 years of the life of activist football player Colin Kaepernick, The New York Times reported. “Colin’s vision for this collaboration isn’t just about content, but empowerment. He was adamant that his work be surrounded by black and brown voices. It also was important for me to use my influence to elevate these voices, particularly inside of ESPN. I am truly grateful,” she tweeted. She was also the recent subject of a Q&A with Front Office Sports.
  • Sylvia Jarrus had her photo of Stacey Abrams protesting police misconduct in Detroit featured by Time magazine’s June 15 print issue in a photo essay titled, “Through Their Eyes.” She also shot freelance for The New York Times this summer.
  • Ian Kullgren joined Bloomberg Law in May as a labor reporter this spring. He had been at Politico covering employment and immigration.
  • Jon LeBlanc joined The Bryan (Ohio) Times as a sports writer in July.
  • Jon Schultz was promoted to deputy sports editor in March at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he had been assistant sports editor.
  • Stan Soffin, a State News Hall of Famer who led the MSU School of Journalism from 1982 to 1998, passed away July 9 at the age of 78. The Detroit Free Press ran a tribute to Soffin authored by S'News alum M.L. Elrick.
  • Ryan Squanda is enrolling in a transitional secondary education program at Eastern Michigan University this fall, in hopes of becoming a teacher and coach. He had been a sports writer at The Bryan (Ohio) Times.
  • Craig Trudell is moving to London to lead Bloomberg News’s coverage of the European auto industry. He has been working for Bloomberg in New York City, and previously in Tokyo. He is married to fellow S’News alum Petra Canan Trudell, a freelance writer and editor and creator of

Do you have a status update to share with the S’News? Please let us know and we’ll consider it for publication in the next newsletter and on SNAA social sites! Email your news to

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