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Reunited, Ysais shares professional experiences with former interns

In summer 2023, David Ysais ’79 got to revisit a life-changing time and pay a little something forward.

Ysais reunited in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with fellow members of the first class of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Minority Internship Program. Not only did they reconnect, laughing and chatting in a way that seemed to melt away the 44 years between visits, but they also had a chance to mentor the 2023 interns.

“It was an incredible get-together,” says Ysais, who spent years trying to assemble such a reunion. “Seeing everybody in person ignited a closer relationship with them.”

For Ysais and his fellow interns nine remain from the original 11 the summer of ’79 doesn’t feel far off, unless he thinks about how he learned he was selected for the prestigious program (by telegram) and how different Las Cruces was then population about 45,000.

At NMSU, he worked at the Round Up and learned from so many, particularly Professor Charles Eberhardt, who worked at NMSU in the late 70s after a distinguished career.

“He was really hands-on, a great mentor,” Ysais says.

His career took off thanks in part to a notice tacked to a bulletin board inside the Round Up. It was from the DJNF, a nonprofit aimed at cultivating newsroom talent, and described the first-ever minority internship program for college journalists nationwide.

“I wasn’t sure if I had the talent to be selected,” Ysais says. “But after some encouragement from my NMSU colleagues, I went ahead and applied.”

Ysais and that first group of interns spent three weeks together in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, all preparing for their summer internships at different major newspapers. They bonded, talking about everything: journalism, discrimination, hopes, fears and dreams.

“The discussions were deep, the emotions and the tears were real,” Ysais says.

After that summer, Ysais went back to his native Southern California. He built an award-winning career at CBS Radio in Los Angeles and later worked in public relations for an area community college. But he always remembered the summer of ’79 and his history-making friends.

Ysais recently retired. Between visits with his young grandchildren, he was focused on the reunion. Finally, it came to fruition. 

“A wealth of accomplishments, awards and community contributions from all nine of us, and we were together again,” Ysais says.

“I was so blessed to be part of this group.”



David Ysais (top row, third from left) reunited with fellow members of the first Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Minority Internship Program class in summer 2023. Ysais calls the experience an incredible chance to reconnect and bond with his fellow former interns.