Meet UWCOMM’s 2020 Olympia Reporters

The UW Department of Communication is thrilled to welcome three community-driven and ambitious student journalists to the 2020 Olympia Legislative Reporting Program cohort. The program immerses students in paid, full-time reporting jobs each winter quarter with news outlets covering the Washington State Legislature.

Students cherish the opportunity to work alongside professional journalists covering government for readers around the state and region. They write one to two pieces a week, sit in the same newsroom with other reporters, and network directly with sources and lawmakers.

Learn more about this year’s cohort and their assignments below:



Shauna Sowersby is a senior, and a double major in political science and journalism. She is a returning program participant and worked for the Tacoma News Tribune as part of last year’s cohort; she thrives in the “fully immersive, fast-paced environment” of Olympia. Sowersby is already a freelance reporter with Crosscut, and will cover stories about housing affordability and landlord-tenant issues.


Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Olympia Bureau (WNPA)

Leona Vaughn is a senior planning to graduate in the spring of 2020. She writes for The Daily and The Seattle Globalist, exploring topics related to public and mental health and wellness. Vaughn is looking forward to the opportunity to “learn about politics, take on new challenges, and explore a new city.”


The Seattle Times

Claudia Yaw is a journalism major with a minor in Law, Societies, and Justice. She is a junior, and currently serves as a News Editor at The Daily. Yaw is interested in community journalism, and “wants to demystify the state legislature” through her writing.

Communication students, faculty, alumni, and other friends of the Department are encouraged to follow the students’ progress via the UW Olympia Reporters Facebook page, which will feature articles published by each student throughout their time in Olympia.