Meet PRNDI's 2019 Early Career Scholarship Winners

Jun 13, 2019

For the last few years, PRNDI has awarded two scholarships for early career journalists to attend the annual PRNDI Conference. This year, we had over 20 applicants for these two scholarships, and the decision wasn’t an easy one.  Please join us in congratulating our two winners - Daisy Contreras and Andrea Gutierrez.

“I so loved going through these applications,” says PRNDI President Alicia Zuckerman. “They were heartfelt and smart, and at least one made me laugh hard -- in a good way. They demonstrated such a range of who’s coming into public radio, and why. They showed plenty of reasons to feel very hopeful about the future of public media, and we’re so excited to welcome Daisy and Andrea to our conference.”

Daisy Contreras is a statehouse reporter for NPR Illinois. Prior to her start as a full-time staff reporter there, Daisy completed the Public Affairs Reporting graduate program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, where she learned the ins and outs of covering the statehouse. During that time, she interned for Illinois Issues magazine, the station's digital publication, learning how to write radio features and daily spot news.


Daisy helped cover the state’s two-year budget impasse — the longest of any state —​  and continues to cover the aftermath of cuts to social services.


Before going into journalism, Daisy was working with nonprofit organizations in Chicago, doing public relations work. She has a bachelor’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she pursued a major in science communication and a minor in pre-med.


Daisy grew up in Chicago, and was born in Mexico City. She is fluent in Spanish, and although she has used her bilingual skills to connect with sources, she hopes to one day produce radio stories in Spanish, so her parents (and extended family in Mexico) can fully appreciate the art and creativity of radio journalism. Daisy lives in Springfield, IL with her cat Tori.


Andrea Gutierrez is an apprentice news clerk for The Frame, KPCC’s daily arts and culture show. She's drawn to stories at the intersections of gender, race, class, and ability in arts and culture.

Prior to beginning her career in media, Andrea spent almost 15 years as a higher education administrator. She taught, counseled, and mentored students at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Riverside, and Cal State LA.

Besides the Frame, her work has appeared in various outlets, including the BBC World Service, The Current (CBC), LAist, The California Sunday Magazine, Marfa Public Radio, Bitch, make/shift, Huizache, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

In 2018, Andrea was selected as a cultural policy fellow for the ACTIVATE Arts Advocacy Leadership Program by Arts for LA and received an AIR New Voices honorable mention.

Andrea received an MFA in creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, and B.A. in German studies at Scripps College. She's an alum of the Transom Traveling Workshop and the VONA Voices Workshop for writers of color.

If you see our early career scholarship winners at the conference, please take a moment to say hello.