As we continue to grow and support student journalists in our communities, Arizona Luminaria is excited to welcome two interns this fall.

Their semester-long internships will bring you more stories in Spanish and English that center Arizona communities and help you understand how to take action on the topics you care deeply about.

Noor Haghighi is a junior at the University of Arizona studying journalism and pursuing three minors in environmental sciences, environmental studies and Spanish. She is a local Tucsonan whose first language was Farsi, second language was Spanish and third was English, although it is now her most conversant language. She hopes to reach a wide spectrum of community members in Tucson and beyond with the insight that learning languages has brought her.

“We are lucky to have Noor join our Arizona Luminaria team. She is a rising star in local journalism who shares our value of centering and amplifying the voices of people in our communities,” said Becky Pallack, co-founder of Arizona Luminaria. “Noor is part of the next generation of journalists who will help craft local news coverage that is a community service.”

Noor is an opinions writer and photography editor for the university newspaper, the Daily Wildcat. She is looking forward to furthering her local journalism experience with Arizona Luminaria. 

“I believe journalism is a key into learning about whatever sparks my curiosity,” she said. “The researching, interviewing, photography and writing processes also allow me to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on service to the community.”

Before college, Noor had difficulty choosing one career path to stick with forever. Journalism became the one that could give her a look inside nearly any facet of life that interested her.

“Reporting for Arizona Luminaria and receiving their mentorship will guide me into the hands-on journalistic approach,” she said. “At The Wildcat, I write opinions from personal anecdotes and feelings, and don’t always get out there to really talk to people. With this opportunity, I will, in essence, become a reporter and not just a writer.”

“I am ready to be critiqued and encouraged to improve myself as a journalist, but also as someone who understands the tribulations that locals face,” she said. “I hope to strengthen that analytical, yet empathetic perspective when asking questions about what being a Tucsonan means.”

Noor is most at peace when she is photographing nature. As a passionate animal lover, she is often found connecting with wildlife through the lens on hikes or just around the neighborhood.

Welcome back!

Teressa Enriquez returns this fall semester after a summer internship filled with interesting stories about people taking action to strengthen our communities

“It really was an honor to be offered an opportunity to work with Arizona Luminaria again. I had the privilege to work with this incredible and small team of dedicated reporters, who try to completely give themselves to their communities,” Teressa said. “They know the importance of not only informing a community but more than anything, bringing them together.”

Last week, we introduced you to Carolina Cuellar, our newest full-time reporter. Noor and Teressa are now the latest journalists helping Arizona Luminaria grow so we can bring you more stories. (Watch for another big announcement on the horizon.)

“As a women-led and women-co-founded nonprofit newsroom, we are thrilled to support the next generation of Arizona’s rising women leaders in journalism,” said Dianna Náñez, executive editor and co-founder of Arizona Luminaria.

“Teressa seeks ambitious stories that shed light on traditionally underrepresented communities and puts her Spanish-language skills to work for bilingual journalism that connects with our communities. She joins us in working to rebuild and rethink local journalism so it is a more equitable and ethical system and space for journalists and communities of all backgrounds.”

Rising environmental focus

Teressa is shifting her role this fall to work as a RISE intern hosted by Arizona Luminaria.

The Resilience Internships and Student Experiences, or RISE program, is a result of a partnership between the Arizona Institute for Resilience and the Arizona Initiative for Resilience and International Development at the UA. Their goal is to “turn science into actionable, community-oriented solutions.” The program helps students gain work experience related to resilient environments and societies. 

Resilience is key, so the interns seek ways to integrate and anticipate innovation into their communities. It is a valued partnership for Arizona Luminaria as our team works toward more solutions journalism stories for Arizona.

Teressa will focus on stories about our changing desert environment in Arizona. She’s interested in digging into environmental resilience and learning more about food sourcing, solar power, as well as mining in rural areas.

“I think that we all are aware that the world is going through an environmental crisis and it can be overwhelming,” she said. “This can be a great opportunity to take those huge, environmental issues and scale them down to a local perspective.”

She is a senior this year in the UA’s journalism program. Teressa never thought the day would come that she would be graduating. She was originally supposed to graduate in 2018. Instead, she decided to see the world.

She worked at a commune that believes in celestial beings, cleaned hostels in Israel and Budapest, learned to cook Indian food in India, and then took on baking lilikoi pastries in Hawaii. She’s also served as an international volunteer, including at a children’s camp in Transylvania, Romania teaching English. (Ask her about it!)

Now, almost 10 years later, she decided it was time to finish her degrees in journalism and German with a minor in Spanish.

Teressa’s love for journalism was influenced by her extensive travels, where she met incredible people, learning about their countries and cultures and wanting to share their stories. 

She is excited for a “Round 2” with Arizona Luminaria.

“Seeing the hard work the team does, to a certain extent, can seem intimidating at first, as a young reporter, but by the end of my summer semester it was nothing more than inspiring,” she said. “They showed me what a real force of nature they can be and the power behind community journalism.”

“We’re thrilled to support Teressa’s next big leap in her journalism journey, as she centers Arizona’s stories of environmental resilience,” Dianna said. “She is committed to making newsrooms and local news more inclusive and trustworthy, as well as accountable to people who want information so they can take action and create change.”

Please give Noor and Teressa a big bienvenidos and share your story ideas with them by emailing

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print.

Becky Pallack is the Operations Executive at Arizona Luminaria. She's been a journalist in Arizona since 1999.

Dianna Náñez is Arizona Luminaria's Executive Editor and co-founder. She is an investigative journalist, narrative writer/editor and storytelling coach whose story of Indigenous and borderlands communities...