A University of New Mexico Communication & Journalism (C&J) student is being recognized as an exemplary young journalist nationwide.

UNM multimedia journalism and statistics junior Lauren Lifke was just named a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) 2024 Student Project Team. As one of just 12 chosen members, Lifke will get a once-in-a-lifetime training experience during a critical news year. 

LAURENLIFKE

I was excited and surprised when I found out I was chosen; this is a great honor and a wonderful learning experience that will help out my future career, and I am thankful to receive recognition on a national level,” she said.

Lifke will work on improving her skills in a newsroom setting during the national convention. Under the guidance of professional mentors, she will write, shoot and edit videos, photos and cover events as prep for a challenging media market. She and fellow NAHJ students will report and produce stories on the national convention and on the Latinx community for social media and the Latino Reporter Digital, the website dedicated to the Student Project.

As a journalism major at UNM, this opportunity will help to advance my career prospects in the news industry,” Lifke said. “I am excited to get to talk to and work with people in the industry outside of New Mexico, and this will provide a space for me to learn about the industry in a broader context and within the context of Hispanic communities.”

NAHJ will also provide her with an all-expenses-paid trip to Hollywood this July for its annual conference; that includes travel, convention registration, hotel and meals.

“At the conference, I will also have the opportunity to network with journalists across the country while receiving personal mentorship and guidance,” Lifke said.

As a Lobo, Lifke has made a dent in every journalistic opportunity UNM has to offer. In addition to participating in UNM’s NAHJ Chapter, Lifke is the managing editor of the Daily Lobo and has been a Local News Fund intern with the Rio Rancho Observer. 

I’m excited for this to help put UNM’s journalism program on the map,” she said. “As a Hispanic-serving institution, UNM plays an integral role in representing these communities, and I am looking forward to representing our school and our state in turn. Our journalism program is growing strongly, I am honored to show off what our school’s journalism program has to offer.”

While Lifke’s accomplishments as a young journalist are impressive enough on their own, she wants to thank those who have supported her to get this far already.

“I would like to thank Gwyneth Doland, Michael Marcotte, and all other faculty members who have helped out with UNM’s journalism clubs. I would also like to thank all of my fellow UNM NAHJ officers and members, as well as the editing and reporting teams with the Daily Lobo, all of whom have shown great work within the journalism program at UNM and have helped me strive to be my best,” Lifke said. 

NAHJ is celebrating 40 years of providing resources that help Latino journalists advance their journalism careers. NAHJ was the first diverse journalism organization to create a convention newsroom training opportunity for students. For more information about its programs at NAHJ.