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Latest News in Tucson, AZ

Hispanic Alumni Club celebrates 40th anniversary

TodayThe University of Arizona Hispanic Alumni Club, founded in 1982 to support the college-going dreams of Hispanic students across Arizona, will look back in order to move forward, observing its 40th anniversary during a celebration later this month.The event, happening Sept. 23 at Casino Del Sol Resort, is part of the campuswide recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15-Oct. 15. It also will serve as an opportunity to remember the late Anna Marie Chalk, a longtime advocate for UAHA scholars.UAHA prov...

Today

The University of Arizona Hispanic Alumni Club, founded in 1982 to support the college-going dreams of Hispanic students across Arizona, will look back in order to move forward, observing its 40th anniversary during a celebration later this month.

The event, happening Sept. 23 at Casino Del Sol Resort, is part of the campuswide recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15-Oct. 15. It also will serve as an opportunity to remember the late Anna Marie Chalk, a longtime advocate for UAHA scholars.

UAHA provides scholarships and retention programming for more than 100 UArizona students each semester. Since 2011, UAHA has awarded 1,085 scholarships worth more than $3.4 million, supporting both undergraduate and graduate students — specifically, those who intend to give back to Tucson and Arizona's Hispanic communities.

Two former scholarship recipients – Celina Urquidez and Letty Molina-Gutierrez – are current university employees and co-chairs of the 40th anniversary celebration planning committee. Urquidez is an education coordinator in the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities and Molina-Gutierrez is a senior academic adviser in the College of Education.

"They don't just give you the money and send you on your way to deal with navigating school on your own," Urquidez said. "When I was involved in the scholarship program, they really took care of me and mentored me in a way that I would not have had access to otherwise."

The club grew out of a group called Los Universitarios, which was founded in 1955 by John Huerta. Los Universitarios was intended to ease the passage of Hispanic students through the halls of the university.

UAHA has carried forward and expanded upon that legacy, its alumni becoming leaders both in Tucson and across the country. Those leaders include Marty Cortez, a UAHA co-founder and former president who served on the Pima Community College Board of Governors.

"The interest, of course, was, 'How are you going to expand your touch with the Hispanic community?'" Cortez recalled. "‘And how are you going to get involved to progress and participate among the Hispanic community members and work to fulfill that?'"

UAHA awarded its first scholarships in 1986 and launched its retention program in 1998. The retention program, a partnership among UAHA, the Department of Mexican American Studies and the Adalberto and Ana Guerrero Student Center, helps students develop skills in networking and public speaking, remaining mindful of heritage.

For Manny Felix, founder and chief executive officer of AZ Cyber Initiative, a nonprofit bringing awareness of cyber-related careers to young Arizonans, the club became almost like family.

"When you feel like someone believes in you and you're part of a community that is supportive, that will vouch for you, that will fight for you so you can have a better experience than they did — that's what the scholarship was like," he said.

Steven Harshman, a student in the College of Medicine – Tucson, echoed Felix's sentiments.

"It's alumni coming back and helping students go through college and have a good foundation to be successful throughout the four years," he said. "And it's people who have been in our situations coming back and giving money and time so that people with similar backgrounds can have an easier and more successful time moving through college."

Learn more about the anniversary celebration on the Arizona Alumni website.

Other events and celebrations planned for Hispanic Heritage Month are listed below.

This is a version of a story written by Matt Morris with the University of Arizona Foundation. You can learn more about UAHA and its 40th anniversary on the foundation's website.

Arizona Cross Country, Track and Field adds Priscilla Schultz as Assistant Coach

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona Cross Country and Track & Field program announces Priscilla Schultz as Assistant Coach to help lead the distance runners.Schultz spent the last two seasons as the Head Cross Country Coach at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz, and was an assistant for the track team as well. She is a local product, having been born and raised in Prescott, Ariz. After high school she ran at the Division I level for Arizona State University and as a professional athlete upon her g...

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona Cross Country and Track & Field program announces Priscilla Schultz as Assistant Coach to help lead the distance runners.

Schultz spent the last two seasons as the Head Cross Country Coach at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz, and was an assistant for the track team as well. She is a local product, having been born and raised in Prescott, Ariz. After high school she ran at the Division I level for Arizona State University and as a professional athlete upon her graduation.

"I am very excited to have Priscilla Schultz as the Assistant Coach for Cross Country," said Head Cross Country Coach Bernard Lagat. "Priscilla was a DI All-American in Track and Field and Cross Country and brings to us her experiences as a professional runner, an experienced coach, and a mentor to many young athletes. Her caring, hard-working, and driven nature are all the qualities that we value greatly in this Wildcat team and family."

Not only will Schultz assist Lagat with coaching, but she will also take the lead in recruiting for the distance program with her wide array of experience at all levels. She has her own local Youth Track/Cross Country Club called the Chandler Gazelles. This experience mixed with being raised in Arizona has helped her become very familiar with the Arizona High School programs and coaches, along with elite high school races on the west coast.

Fred Harvey, the Director of Cross Country/Track & Field, also expressed his excitement with the new coaching addition. "We are very excited to announce the hiring of Priscilla Schultz as our next Assistant Distance Coach," said Harvey. "She will assist Coach Bernard Lagat with both the Men and Women distance groups in Cross Country, as well as Track and Field." He added, "We have a long storied history of greatness here at the University of Arizona in our distance programs, and I feel with Priscilla's experience as an elite athlete, with college and high school coaching experience, will help continue this great tradition. Please welcome Coach Priscilla Schultz to 'Wildcat Country."

Schultz's knowledge of the sport is vast as she also has experience as the Director of Ops at a PAC-12 school and broke records at both the high school and collegiate levels as an athlete. While at Arizona State, Schultz was the first Cross Country All-American in school history. She also qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 800m and 1500m after graduating from school. Additionally, she also became a National Champion at the USA Fall Cross Country Championships.

"I am so grateful to begin working as an assistant coach at the University of Arizona. I would like to thank Coach Harvey and Coach Lagat for this excellent opportunity," said Schultz. "Throughout my conversations with the Wildcat Track and Field coaches and support staff, I got a true sense that the Wildcat Athletic Department truly cares for their student-athletes. My vision on how to coach student-athletes align with the Wildcats and I am happy to be a part of the team!" She also added, "I look forward to this cross-country season with our distance athletes and assisting Coach Lagat in his plan to produce Wildcat Championships. Bear Down!"

Schultz graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in Exercise Science. She is married to her husband Jay and has three daughters: Abbey, Maddie, and Sophia.

Sonoran Restaurant Week brings fresh flavors, new culinary experiences to Tucson

To newcomers, southwestern cuisine may seem straightforward. Maybe they think of Tex-Mex or their local Mexican restaurant or chimichangas and spicy flavors.While you can find all of these things in a place like Tucson, southwestern food, specifically Sonoran cuisine, is more complex.In 2015, Tucson was designated as the country’s first City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO. Not only did this designation come from how creative our local restaurants are with f...

To newcomers, southwestern cuisine may seem straightforward. Maybe they think of Tex-Mex or their local Mexican restaurant or chimichangas and spicy flavors.

While you can find all of these things in a place like Tucson, southwestern food, specifically Sonoran cuisine, is more complex.

In 2015, Tucson was designated as the country’s first City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO. Not only did this designation come from how creative our local restaurants are with fusing principles from different countries, it also came from the ancient tradition Tucson’s restaurants bring to the table.

“[The designation] has to do with heritage grains and the use of ancient cultivation here in the region,” said Sally Kane, owner of The Coronet at 198 W. Cushing St. downtown. “Restaurants use those products to celebrate ancient grains and heritage items.”

Since then, Tucson’s been officially put on the map as a safe haven for foodies; however, the restaurant scene has been slow-baked into this region long before the city’s designation.

“Food is a part of culture, but food is the culture here,” said Caleb Orellana, owner and baker of Cal’s Bakeshop, a home-based bakery that is participating in the 2022 Sonoran Restaurant Week.

The week kicked off on Friday, Sept. 9, and runs through Sept. 18.

Since 2019, Sonoran Restaurant Week has served as a celebration of Tucson’s gastronomy scene.

This year’s event features more than 100 restaurants all across town. Food lovers can enjoy set-price menus featuring $25, $35 and $45 dishes from restaurants including Ghini’s French Caffe at 1803 E. Prince Road and the historic El Charro Café, whose flagship restaurant at 311 N. Court Ave. is celebrating its 100th year.

“Events like [Sonoran Restaurant Week] create a time to intentionally celebrate our food, not just when you feel like it,” said Shazieh Gorji, owner and operator of Agave Pantry at 4752 E. Third St., which will be offering Persian Love Cakes and specialty caramels for the event.

Sonoran Restaurant Week allows the Tucson community to try new flavors, twists on dishes from their favorite places and a fresh way to experience food. So what do the restaurants that make this event possible think of Sonoran Restaurant Week and its Sonoran cuisine roots?

Diverse but authentic, innovative and yet still true to Tucson, Sonoran Restaurant Week is a beautiful contradiction. The event can be explained in many different ways.

“The way this event is set up, it’s meant to be extremely inclusive,” said Courtney Fenton, director of operations at her family’s Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink, 101 E. Pennington St. downtown. “It’s a great introduction to the food scene in Tucson, and it’s a fun way to taste your way through different restaurant offerings.”

Even though this is only the fourth annual Sonoran Restaurant Week, celebrating Tucson’s rich and diverse restaurant scene has been at the forefront of restaurants’ minds for much longer. Paul Murrell, general manager of The Monterey Court Café at 505 W. Miracle Mile, believes that events like these should be of the utmost importance to the Tucson food community.

“If you don’t support the local scene, your downtown and Fourth Avenue is going to Applebee’s, TGI Fridays ... I mean do you really want your downtown food scene to be Panera?” Murrell said.

“A lot of what we do is based on uniqueness,” said Reza Shapouri, owner of Harvest Restaurant at 10335 N. La Canada Drive in Oro Valley. “I want to put something on the menu that no one else is offering. And if you can find something like it, you’re not getting the full experience.”

*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.

Arizona football dwells on the wins despite loss to Mississippi State

TUCSON – Spirits remain high in Tucson and the rebuild continues for University of Arizona’s football team despite falling in its home opener to Mississippi State after an impressive road victory at San Diego State in Week 1.Arizona coach Jedd Fisch has preached that this season is the start of a build-up of his program, as they look to completely revamp after only posting one win over the last two seasons.“As we continue on this build, we’re gonna go through some ebbs and flows,” Fisch said after ...

TUCSON – Spirits remain high in Tucson and the rebuild continues for University of Arizona’s football team despite falling in its home opener to Mississippi State after an impressive road victory at San Diego State in Week 1.

Arizona coach Jedd Fisch has preached that this season is the start of a build-up of his program, as they look to completely revamp after only posting one win over the last two seasons.

“As we continue on this build, we’re gonna go through some ebbs and flows,” Fisch said after Saturday’s loss. “We have a lot of young (players), we have a lot of new (players), and we’re continuing to try to improve every single day, which we will.”

The Wildcats had the 22nd-ranked recruiting class in the country this offseason, according to 247 Sports, which ranked third in the Pac-12 behind only USC and Oregon. In total, Arizona welcomed 50 newcomers this season.

Transfer quarterback Jayden de Laura, who won the 2021 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year award with Washington State, and wide receiver Jacob Cowing, who had 1,354 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2021 at UTEP, shined in the Wildcats’ season opener in San Diego.

De Laura had 299 passing yards and four touchdowns—three of which went to Cowing, who also tacked on 152 receiving yards. His other passing touchdown went to the Wildcats’ highest ranked recruit of 2022, wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan, who was graded as a five-star by some recruiting sites.

Against Mississippi State, Cowing once again reeled in a touchdown from de Laura and McMillan led the team in receiving yards (69), but the game was an overall struggle for de Laura, as he went 23-for-45 with 220 yards and three interceptions.

“I think he probably had some ups and downs,” Fisch said of de Laura. “There were some good plays that he made … but there were just too many critical errors that we need to improve upon, and I can help him out better.”

One question mark coming into the first home game that ended up standing out to Fisch and his players was the fan turnout at Arizona Stadium.

“Our second section was incredible tonight,” Fisch said. “You know, people have told me about people leaving early at halftime, but it was packed … It was packed really all the way through, we made a couple shoot stops on third and fourth down because of the students section. They were awesome … And as we’re building our program, we need them to keep up, keep fighting with us, and keep building with us.”

The official attendance for the game was 46, 275, which was higher than any game last season. Running back Michael Wiley, who had a 34-yard rushing touchdown on the opening drive of the game, pointed to Saturday’s fan turnout as “a major key in winning football.”

“Just with success in general, having a crowd like that brings the juice and gets everybody going even when you’re sometimes not motivated,” Wiley said.

Even though the Wildcats allowed 39 points to the Bulldogs, Fisch was very impressed with his team’s defense against Mississippi State’s tricky air-raid offense, as they forced three turnovers and had a couple of sacks that both came on third downs. Because of his defense, he said they were never really out of the game and wants them to keep up the effort moving forward.

“We’re not going to give up,” said defensive end Jalen Harris, who had six tackles and a half sack. “We’re gonna keep battling and we’re gonna come out of every series and battle.”

Something new the defense is doing this season to bring even more energy to the team is having a “turnover sword” on the sideline, where they hold up a sword with a deflated football in front of the fans after a turnover.

“It makes you want to go and get a turnover so you could hold that sword,” Harris said. “We go to the sideline and get to hold that thing up in front of their student section and have your teammates around you, so that’s very fun.”

With Mississippi State being Arizona’s first game against an SEC opponent since 2006 coupled with a road appearance last week against San Diego State, which had 12 wins last season, the Wildcats’ 2022 season started with a bang, and they are not hanging their heads after the loss.

“I think our locker room was very encouraging,” Wiley said. “It was guys reiterating, ‘We’ve got 10 more games, and I think we don’t need to dwell on this loss, all we got do is just play week by week,’ so we’re going to look at the film, see what we need to get corrected but we are going to move onto North Dakota State.”

The last game before Pac-12 play against North Dakota State Saturday will offer yet another test for Arizona as the Bison have beaten six straight FBS opponents dating back to 2010.

Frog & Firkin Football Frenzy: A look at Week 5

A LOOK BACK TO WEEK FOURSalpointe 35, Boulder Creek 22Marana 35, Buena 0Cactus Shadows 17, Sunnyside 14Paradise Valley 37, Flowing Wells 0Higley 49, Mountain View 7Skyline 47, Tucson 28Copper Canyon 12, Rincon/UHS 6 (OT)Cholla 14, Sahuarita 11Pueblo 35, Safford 27Sabino 41, Sahuaro 20Walden Grove 48, Greenway 7Bradshaw Mountain 41, Mica Mountain 14Pusch Ridge 34, Catalina Foothills 9Pima 43, Tanque Verde 0Benson 55, Bisbee 18Tombstone 47, Globe 8Willcox 49, Sequoia Pathway 0St. David 52, Duncan 0Baboquivari 24, Valley Union 16San Manu...

A LOOK BACK TO WEEK FOUR

Salpointe 35, Boulder Creek 22Marana 35, Buena 0Cactus Shadows 17, Sunnyside 14Paradise Valley 37, Flowing Wells 0Higley 49, Mountain View 7Skyline 47, Tucson 28Copper Canyon 12, Rincon/UHS 6 (OT)Cholla 14, Sahuarita 11Pueblo 35, Safford 27Sabino 41, Sahuaro 20Walden Grove 48, Greenway 7Bradshaw Mountain 41, Mica Mountain 14Pusch Ridge 34, Catalina Foothills 9Pima 43, Tanque Verde 0Benson 55, Bisbee 18Tombstone 47, Globe 8Willcox 49, Sequoia Pathway 0St. David 52, Duncan 0Baboquivari 24, Valley Union 16San Manuel 48, Mohave Accelerated 0Phoenix Cortez over Catalina (forfeit)Palo Verde over Santa Rita (forfeit)

A LOOK AT WEEK FIVE

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15Mica Mountain (1-1) at San Tan Valley Poston Butte (1-1)Catalina (0-3) at Kingman Academy (1-3)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16Basha (1-0) at Salpointe (1-1)Desert View (0-1) at Canyon del Oro (1-0)Goodyear Millennium (2-0) at Cienega (1-0)Buena (1-1) at Nogales (0-1)Douglas (1-0) at Cholla (1-1)Rincon/UHS (0-2) at Phoenix Alhambra (0-2)Phoenix Thunderbird (1-1) at Amphitheater (0-1)Walden Grove (1-1) at Chandler AZ College Prep (1-1)Phoenix Sierra Linda (2-0) at Empire (1-0)Rio Rico (1-0) at Flagstaff (0-2)Sabino (3-0) at Palo Verde (2-2)Benson (3-1) at Pusch Ridge (4-0)Santa Rita (0-3) at Phoenix Cortez (2-1)Willcox (3-0) at Morenci (3-0)Tombstone (1-2) vs. St. John Paul II at Sierra Linda (0-3)Gilbert San Tan Charter (3-1) at Tanque Verde (1-2)Bisbee (1-2) at Phoenix Veritas Prep (1-3)Baboquivari (2-2) at Kearney Ray (1-3)Heber Mogollon (3-1) at St. David (4-0)San Manuel (3-1) at Valley Union (0-4)

BYES: Flowing Wells (1-1), Marana (2-0), Sunnyside (1-1), Ironwood Ridge (0-1), Mountain View (0-2), Tucson (1-1), Catalina Foothills (0-2), Sahuarita (0-2), Sahuaro (1-1), Pueblo (2-0).

A LOOK AHEAD TO WEEK SIX

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23Salpointe at CienegaSunnyside at Waddell Canyon ViewIronwood Ridge at Goodyear Desert EdgePhoenix South Mountain at TucsonCanyon del Oro at MaranaCatalina Foothills at Mica MountainMesa Red Mountain at Mountain ViewSafford at SabinoPusch Ridge at ThatcherNogales at SahuaroAmphitheater at Tempe Marcos de NizaCholla at BuenaSahuarita at Rincon/UniversityRio Rico at DouglasPueblo at Walden GroveFlowing Wells at Avondale Agua FriaMorenci at TombstoneEmpire at Glendale Deer ValleyPima at WillcoxPhoenix North Pointe Prep at Tanque VerdeSanta Rita at Whittmann MountainsideGlobe at CatalinaPalo Verde at BensonPhoenix NFL Yet at BisbeeSt. David at Valley UnionDuncan at BaboquivariBYE: Desert View.

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