Welcome the 2023-2024 S&S Editors

Vincent Tsai, Staff Writer

The 2022-2023 school year is nearing an end at UHS, and a new editing staff will be coming in to replace this year’s staff for the Sword & Shield (S&S). Juniors Arjun Gupta and Jonathan Rho will be the 23-24 Editors-in-Chief running overseeing the production of all aspects of the class.  The incoming editors for each section are sophomores Sarah Chen and Nikki Piedad for News; sophomores Victoria Fang and Bruno Rodriguez Diaz for Features, sophomores Sabrina Bahrun and Leyah Eagar for Opinion, sophomores Nazanin Ghiassi and Jonathan Szeto for Arts and Entertainment (A&E), sophomore Vincent Tsai for Sports and sophomore Roshana Akhtari for Photos and Graphics (P&G).

In addition to the editors, junior Alexandra Suttner will serve as the Publicity Coordinator, junior Karolyn Maeda will serve as the Lead Creative Designer, junior D’artagnan Osier will be the Podcast Content Manager and junior Ryan Noorizadeh will be the Podcast Editing Manager.

To get to know these new editors, we’ll take a deeper dive into their reasons for becoming editors and their goals for the upcoming school year.  

Arjun Gupta, Editor-in-Chief

Gupta has been involved with journalism for several years now, and for his last year with the Sword & Shield, he will be stepping up as one of the two Editors-in-Chief. 

“I have always been infatuated with the idea of creative writing and journalism specifically,” Gupta said. “During middle school, one of my friends at UHS, [alumni] Pranav Moudgalya, introduced me to the journalism elective class and suggested that I join the community. Since I joined journalism, I have been able to develop my skills as both a writer and an editor, and I have realized that writing is one of my strengths and passions.”

Much like Akhtari, Gupta joined an elective class during middle school that exposed him to journalism. Knowing that he wanted to pursue journalism in high school, he completed the Beginning Journalism course during his freshman year. The following year he worked as a Staff Writer, took up an editor position in the Opinion Section this past year as a junior, and will be one of the Editors-in-Chief next year.

“After having the experience of being an editor in the Opinion Section, I wanted to become an Editor-in-Chief to become more involved in the intricacies of how our [magazine] functions in addition to helping the topics the writers and editors are passionate about come to light,” Gupta said.

Gupta has goals to improve the Advanced Journalism team for next year by hosting section-specific workshops so writers and editors can garner a better understanding of how they should write and what should be seen in their articles.

“I am most excited to work with everyone and . . . create a positive, collaborative environment that is enjoyable to everyone involved in the Sword & Shield,” Gupta said.

Jonathan Rho, Editor-in-Chief

“I wanted to become an editor because journalism has always been a passion of mine, and I had such a great experience in Beginning Journalism that I knew that I wanted to write for the school newspaper and become an editor,” Rho said. “I love writing in my free time and reading News articles.”

This past year, Rho took up an editorship position in the A&E Section, as he has engaged in different types of art, such as photography, film and music.

“As an editor, my main goal was to make the writers feel confident in their writing abilities by developing their own passions,” Rho said. “I made sure my writers wanted to write about what they wanted to and that they saw writing articles as an exciting opportunity rather than another homework assignment.”

Journalism is meant to be a fun class at UHS, so Rho plans on keeping it that way while also improving the journalism program at UHS as an Editor-in-Chief alongside Gupta next school year.

“I’m super excited about developing the magazine,” Rho said. “I think it’s a great switch from the original newspaper, and students are much more excited about it. Now that we have a dedicated design team for next year, we can really focus on the visual aspect of journalism, which is equally important as the actual writing.”

Sarah Chen, News Editor

“I wanted to become an editor because I love journalism,” Chen said. “It has been a very rewarding experience learning over the past year as a writer, but I feel like I could do more for the News Section as an editor. I hope to help future writers and the broader magazine through my article ideas and revisions.”

Chen finds the fast-paced and diverse nature of student life interesting, which influenced her choice to be a News Editor. Being in the News Section encourages Chen to acquire information about what goes on at school and outside of school. To continue both her journalism journey and that of her writers, Chen has several goals for next year that she hopes to accomplish.

“It is my goal to keep UHS students and staff updated with newsworthy events happening in the local community and [around] the world,” Chen said. “I hope to develop my passions for journalistic writing and editing as a staff member. It is also my goal to help news writers sharpen their skills and learn how to get their message across to audiences.”

With these goals in mind, Chen’s journalism experience will be full of direction and purpose.

I hope to meet new people, hear new ideas and collaborate with others,” Chen said. 

Nikki Piedad, News Editor

Piedad chose to apply for an editorship in News because she has spent the past school year writing for the section. Having written for News already, she felt more qualified for the section than any other.

“I’m interested in journalism in general, and being an editor is a good opportunity to become more involved in the class and take a leadership position,” Piedad said.

While Piedad is looking forward to experiences outside the classroom that will help her grow as a writer, she’s also anticipating the new experiences that will come with being an editor.   

“I’m excited about meeting writers and coming up with article pitches throughout the year,” Piedad said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to highlight a lot of different communities this year and their accomplishments around campus, especially those that aren’t as well known.”

Bruno Rodriguez Diaz, Features Editor

Rodriguez Diaz is currently one of the two editors for A&E, however, he will be switching to Features to continue his experience as an editor while expanding his journalism repertoire.    

“Serving as an editor for A&E this year was an amazing experience,” Rodriguez Diaz said. “Running a section within a student-run newsroom is an incredible experience with the chance to give crucial communities on campus coverage. I knew I wanted to be an editor again this year.”

Rodriguez Diaz has had an interest in journalism since his freshman year, even writing two columns for the LA Times High School Insider since then. As he mentioned, he became an A&E editor for S&S this year as a sophomore.

“[Being an A&E editor] means I edited everything from traditional news articles on school performance to opinion-based movie reviews,” Rodriguez Diaz said. “This diversity was a great experience, but I wanted to concentrate on a more specific type of journalism in my second year with the S&S.”

As the school’s Club Commissioner for the next year, Rodriguez Diaz will be able to bridge his two leadership roles as both an ASB member and an editor by highlighting clubs and communities on campus. 

“Features is supposed to be about spotlighting communities and experiences on campus,” Rodriguez Diaz said. “I’m super excited to assign and edit unique articles on all sorts of communities, such as clubs and programs here at UNI.” 

Victoria Fang, Features Editor

Fang is currently one of the News Editors, however she will be moving to the Features Section as an editor for the 2023-2024 school year.

“I’ve learned so much while being a part of the Sword & Shield and have made many really special friendships here,” Fang said. “And so, being able to give back to this community and reach out with both fun and informative topics is a large part of why I wanted to become an editor!”

Having fun is one of Fang’s priorities when it comes to journalism. It’s one thing to enjoy journalism, but it’s another to be skilled at writing articles. However, Fang is an excellent writer, and is able to balance both the technical and more experimental aspects of writing for Features.

“I [chose Features] because of the almost limitless ideas and creativity one can express,” Fang said. “Whether it’s a uniquely structured article or it goes into the specific behind-the-scenes of an event, human interest stories are always some of my favorites to read and write, so I’m very excited to concoct fun article ideas and dive into that experience as an editor next year.”

Fang wants to propose new ideas for articles that other editors in the past have not come up with. Her goal is to clearly communicate to students at UHS all the relevant and interesting topics at school, but she also looks forward to seeing articles from her writers that she can have a good laugh at or learn from.

“I’m definitely excited to explore the article styles and creative thought that come with journalism with everyone next year,” Fang said. “But most of all, I’m looking forward to being a part of that diverse yet close-knit family that can somehow always make you feel at home whenever you walk into the room.”

Sabrina Bahrun, Opinion Editor

“I want[ed] to become an editor to have a bigger impact on the Sword & Shield and help next year’s writers with their articles,” Bahrun said.

Bahrun likes the Opinion Section because it allows writers to express their opinions and interests openly. Bahrun has been an Opinion Writer this 2022-2023 school year, and she has developed a keen interest in writing for the section. As a result, Bahrun applied to be one of the Opinion Section Editors for the coming year.

“As an editor, I hope to help revise and publish articles with relevant topics that our student body will have opinions on and enjoy reading,” Bahrun said. “I would love to see the same passion [I have] for this section in future writers.”

Bahrun wants to make journalism a fun experience for future writers and increase their interest in the field while also inspiring them with her article ideas.  

“I am really excited to have some of my ideas shown throughout the magazine and to read some new opinions [from my writers],” Bahrun said. 

Leyah Eagar, Opinion Editor

Eager is finishing her first year as a staff writer for the Opinion Section and will continue staying in the section as an editor in the upcoming year. Eager’s motive for becoming an editor next year is to continue doing what she truly loves doing, expressing her opinions. 

“I wanted to become an Opinion Editor so I could help other students who are passionate about journalism and enjoy mixing their own opinions with current topics,” Eagar said.

Being an Opinion Editor allows her to connect with her interests, as she enjoys commenting and writing about topics that express her opinions, whether in class or outside of school. 

“My goals next year as an editor include helping students navigate finding their viewpoint on certain topics as well as encouraging them to write about topics that they are passionate about,” Eager said.

Eager strives to be an engaged upperclassman to help guide incoming and continuing writers throughout their journalism careers. 

“I am super excited to see what future writers will want to write about and what [topics] they enjoy in general,” Eager said.

Jonathan Szeto, A&E Editor

When considering an editorship position, Szeto chose to pursue the A&E Section because he has been writing for the section throughout the current school year and wanted to expand on his interest.

“I discovered a passion for journalism when writing for the A&E section . . . and I wanted to pursue a different aspect of journalism with a unique type of responsibility, so I decided to try for an editor position,” Szeto said.

As one of the A&E Editors for next year, Szeto strives to help future A&E writers while improving his writing skills in different sections.

“I’ve grown to really like the variety that comes with Arts and Entertainment,” Szeto said. “I hope to help writers achieve the same fulfilling experience I did as a section writer. I also hope to improve my own writing ability.” 

Szeto has a new future in S&S to look forward to next year and hopes he can bring the same enthusiasm to younger writers too.

“I’m excited about being able to see my peers’ writing styles and the topics they want to write about next year while I am their editor,” Szeto said.

Vincent Tsai, Sports Editor

Tsai has been involved with journalism since 9th grade and is currently a writer for the Features Section. Tsai has found journalism to be a rewarding experience, and a great way to connect with new faces. 

“I went to a middle school that was rather uncommon among UHS students, so I didn’t know many people,” Tsai said. “However, during my first year of journalism class, I met some new people that I am now friends with and will be working with to manage next year’s paper.”

Tsai originally wanted to write for the Sports Section, but he chose to write for the Features Section after having his interest piqued by the presentations introducing each section at the beginning of the year. Even as a Features Staff Writer, Tsai has had the chance to channel his passion for sports through articles highlighting unique sports events, such as the Boys Soccer’s trip to the SoFi Stadium. He now finds himself as the incoming Sports Editor for the 2023-2024 school year.

“I chose the Sports Section to edit because I love sports and [play] two different ones at school,” Tsai said. “I also want to take a bigger role in managing and publishing articles on both the website and magazine.”

As one of the next Sports Section Editors, bringing publicity to all sports is one of Tsai’s biggest goals for this upcoming year. Tsai will suggest article ideas and assign sports games to cover, and he plans to utilize his role to publicize all sports at UHS equally.

“One thing I strive to do next school year is bring attention to sports that deserve to be highlighted for their accomplishments,” Tsai said. “Sports like football get significantly more publicity in the school paper as opposed to tennis, even though our tennis team at school is insane.”

For the time being, Tsai is the singular Sports Editor for next year’s editing staff, but journalism teacher and supervisor Mrs. Stephens is in search of another editor to fill the position.

“I can’t wait to work with my writers and editors to come up with article ideas for them to write about and possibly get published in the magazine,” Tsai said. “The feeling of seeing your own article in the magazine is a whole new feeling, and I want my writers to experience it too by guiding them with writing tips and article ideas.”

Roshana Akhtari, P&G Editor

Akhtari will be returning to the P&G editorship role that she currently holds next year. 

“I wanted to become an editor because I wanted to be able to be more involved and contribute more to Sword & Shield,” Akhtari said. “Ever since I was little, I wanted to be like Rory Gilmore, who was [the] Editor of the Stars Hollow Gazette. So, I chose to become a P&G Editor so I could help grow my section!”

While the “Gilmore Girls” TV show first sparked Akhtari’s interest in journalism, her journey specifically in photography and graphic design began in middle school.

“I took an elective class (Intro to Digital Media and Art), at random . . . and [I] was hooked!” Akhtari said. “I love being able to capture moments in a single photo and having people be amazed at my photography. Additionally, creating graphics is a very relaxing job, and they are very cute and colorful!”

That single elective class in middle school deeply influenced Akhtari’s experience in high school, as she is now committed to being an editor for the second year in a row.

“My goal as an editor is to help my photographers become photographers,” Akhtari said. “Whenever someone starts at P&G, usually they have never used a camera. I love seeing how their pictures progress over time and how they each have their own unique vision.”

Karolyn Maeda, Lead Creative Designer

Maeda is currently one of two Creative Designers and will be taking on the role of Lead Creative Designer next school year, alongside Creative Designer Liu. 

“I wanted to be an editor because I wanted to be more involved in journalism and have a creative outlet to experiment with graphic design while contributing to Sword & Shield,” Maeda said.

Maeda’s role as a Creative Designer is to make the magazine as visually appealing to students as possible to draw in new readers. Current Creative Designer Farah Hamza is a graduating senior, so Maeda will be assuming the leadership role in the department and teaching her peer techniques and strategies for designing the magazine.

Maeda wants to continue as a Creative Designer so she can be involved in the creative process of working on and designing the school’s magazines. She intends to extend the layout of the magazine beyond text and images and include innovative and engaging visual components. 

“As one of the Creative Designers for next year, I hope to create more interactive and creative layouts that encapsulate and effectively communicate the articles written by our S&S staff,” Maeda said. “One of my other goals is to work to create a more cohesive magazine for the UHS community to enjoy.”

D’artagnan Osier, Podcast Content Manager

“I wanted to become an editor to be able to hone the skills I had gathered over the course of interacting with guests and to transfer those skills onto new hosts to be able to build a legacy for the podcast as something really memorable,” Osier said.

Osier developed a close connection with the podcast staff after working as part of the managing team this year, and he realized how much of a positive impact the section has had on his high school life. The section has now grown more important to Osier, and he is excited to keep working on it as the new content manager starting next school year.

“I want to be able to develop many more engaging shows, build a community for the podcast hosts and build a better name for the Podcast Section in general,” Osier said.

Having hosted four podcasts this year, Osier hopes to continue his work in journalism and expand on the podcasting section next year. He has many ideas already cooked up and is ready for their launch next year.

“I’m excited to be on the leading end of journalism and to really help build each issue of Sword & Shield through mine and other editors’ expertise and cooperation,” Osier said.

Ryan Noorizadeh, Podcast Editing Manager

Before his current role as a co-host of “Crossroad Conversations,” Noorizadeh was a Staff Writer for A&E.  

“I chose to host a podcast this year as a junior and immediately fell in love with the format,” Noorizadeh said. “I think it’s really awesome that UHS helps us run and produce them.”

In the year since leaping to join the podcast team, Noorizadeh has written and hosted four episodes and hopes to give back to the journalism program with the experience he now has. 

“I’ve been in journalism for all of high school now, and I wanted to pay it forward by helping other people get their work out there like I did when I was younger and less self-confident, which is exactly what my fantastic editors for the past two years, [alumni] Faraaz Aziz from Arts & Entertainment and [senior] Pranay Gonuguntla from Podcasts, did for me,” Noorizadeh said.

Noorizadeh has found a new passion and is excited to lead the podcasting team with Osier next year, as Gonuguntla is leaving S&S this year and going away to college.

“Journalism is a beautiful thing in its potential to channel self-expression,” Noorizadeh said. “It’s really as much of an art as it is a conveyor of information, and that tension is what makes it unique.”


Editors’ Note: Additional editing staff include sophomore Nazanin Ghiassi, who will be an A&E Editor, and junior Alexandra Suttner, who will serve as the Publicity Coordinator.