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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Meet the Spring 2007 Wildcat Opinions Desk

    Meet the spring 2007 Wildcat columnists, 16 students who will entertain you, challenge you and seek to make sense of a world that rarely makes sense. Don’t be afraid to let us know what you think. Send in letters to the editor, and check out the online commentary at

    Damion LeeNatali is a senior majoring in political science and history. Mistaken for a visiting high school student on more than one occasion, he is best known for shattering a bowling ball at Lucky Strikes and for his entirely unreasonable fear of goldfish. Hailing from Denver, he is confused by the fact that girls in the desert wear Ugg boots with mini-skirts. He looks forward to his last semester at the UA as the opinions editor.

    Shane Ham is a first-year law student who spent a decade stoking his quasi-pathological “”problem with authority”” as a policy wonk/political hack in Washington, D.C. His professional efforts earned him a large and diverse group of enemies, including mortgage brokers, junk mailers, U.S. and Canadian motor-vehicle agencies and several Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee. Ham is married to a brilliant science writer and sets an extremely bad example for his adorable 2-year-old daughter. His columns will appear Wednesdays.

    Lila Burgos is an international studies junior. She was born in Panama and raised in Tucson. She likes adventures that include road trips across the U.S. and international travel. She loves to get into heated, late-night political and philosophical debates at Grill. Frustrating situations bring out her Spanish, while festive ones bring out her opera. Take her to a party, and she will embarrass you via her awesomely bad dancing. Her columns will appear Wednesdays.

    Joyanna Jones is a journalism senior who was chased by Vietnamese police, evaded capture and smuggled “”something”” out of Ho Chi Minh City, all during summer break, before joining the cheerleading squad at her high school. Since then, things have relatively settled down. Now, she drives a black GT mustang with pink stripes and is very lucky she hasn’t gotten a speeding ticket yet, or crashed. Joyanna is happily married, has a puppy named Fozzie and enjoys conspiracy theories and controversy. Her columns will appear Fridays.

    Quintin Cushner is a first-year law student who is better-looking in person than in photographs. Before enrolling in law school, he covered the Michael Jackson trial for a small newspaper. Writing about the fallen superstar afforded the young man a steady paycheck and the opportunity to live on the central coast of California, where the wine is quite good. Cushner, upon learning that Fox had cancelled “”The O.C.,”” needed a moment to compose himself. He wishes Rupert Murdoch would reconsider. His columns will appear Mondays.

    Kara Karlson is a journalism senior who expects to finally graduate this semester after taking a few detours during her college career to assist Republican candidates. On these political road trips in her beat-up but invincible Bonneville, Kara has learned that people can survive on pizza alone and that despite their general rabidity, hippies purr like kittens if you stroke their Marxist inclinations. Her columns will appear Mondays.

    Justyn Dillingham is a junior majoring in political science and history. He likes cherry limeade, snow, driving around in the middle of the night and anything that could be called “”brisk.”” He is a small-R republican (not to be confused with an actual Republican) in the tradition of Thomas Jefferson. Everything you need to know about what he believes is contained in Abraham Lincoln’s statement: “”Allow all the governed an equal voice in the government and that and that alone is self-government.”” His columns will appear Fridays.

    Taylor Kessinger is proud to be a bigger elitist than you. A sophomore majoring in physics, mathematics and philosophy, he enjoys nihilism and esoteric black metal, as well as deliberate misuse of the word “”esoteric.”” He plays Zerg, because that is how he rolls. He hopes to live in Sweden and to have a theory named after him someday so he can torment fellow physics students from beyond the grave. His columns will appear Fridays.

    Allison Dumka relishes making lists, sewing clothes and watching “”Project Runway.”” She can usually be seen at Epic CafǸ, where she engages in witty banter with local hipsters and drinks her daily four cups of coffee. Her reading list includes Haruki Murakami, Milan Kundera, Sylvia Plath, Diane Di Prima and Henry Miller. She is a senior majoring in political science and women’s studies and cooks vegetarian banquets for friends. Despite local folklore, she is kind to others. Her columns will appear Wednesdays.

    Lillie Kilburn is a psychology sophomore starting her second semester of writing for the Wildcat. Having moved to the U.S. from Britain when she was 14, she often finds herself comparing life in her two home countries. As a psychology major, she usually views issues through a social lens rather than a political one. In England, she took the train to school, which has led her to wish that the U.S. would improve and extend its rail network. Her columns will appear Mondays.

    Sam Feldman is a gay, Jewish, admitted liberal from Phoenix. He works full time for a charter high school in north Tucson, volunteers sporadically for political causes and finds time to drink like Paris Hilton on a bender. Sam desperately wants to attend law school and hopes he can pass the bar, even though he has a hard time passing any bars and not going inside. He desperately loves his dog, Rian Seacrest-Feldman, even though he lives with Sam’s parents now. His columns will return for a second semester on Mondays.

    David Francis is entering his second semester on the opinions desk. A pre-business sophomore, he writes on a wide range of topics, from global issues to news that exclusively affects UA students. He approaches national issues from a politically conservative perspective, while his campus-oriented columns have touched on topics such as tuition and fiscal responsibility at the administrative level. He hopes to keep readers both informed and entertained. His columns will appear Tuesdays.

    Jessica Wertz is a senior majoring in psychology and family studies and human development. She has been a resident assistant for three years and an Arizona Ambassador, and is a proud former member of Chain Gang Junior Honorary. She is best known around campus for her bend-and-snap dance moves, her distinctive laugh and her paint-by-number artistic skills. After graduation, she plans on getting her doctorate in clinical psychology and eventually becoming an psychologist of adolescents. Her columns will appear Fridays.

    Matt Stone is a senior majoring in international studies and economics. Returning for his fifth term at the opinions desk, Stone will graduate in May and pursue graduate school in the United Kingdom. He takes his column topics seriously because he recognizes, in the words of historian Jacques Barzun, that “”when nothing is revered, irreverence ceases to indicate critical thought.”” Stone further urges you to read the blog on global affairs that he co-authors at His columns will appear Tuesdays.

    Stan Molever is a senior studying philosophy, political science and Spanish who is returning for a second semester on the opinions desk. He has pledged to use every column as an opportunity to petition Ron Howard to utilize his Opie powers to bring back “”Arrested Development.”” When not writing columns, Stan can be found in Bear Down Gym practicing his super-sweet mid-range jumper in preparation for the 2007 NBA Draft. His columns will appear Thursdays.

    Chelsea Jo Simpson is a sophomore majoring in journalism and Spanish. She is an overly involved individual from Cave Creek. Simpson is an avid scrapbooker with a small-car fetish. She’s the Daily Wildcat’s token greek, and her best friend is her day-planner, Franklin. Simpson can be seen around campus on her pink and brown beach-cruiser, for which she should probably have training wheels. Wave if you see her. Her columns will appear Thursdays.

    Jared Pflum is a senior majoring in religious studies. Pflum, who hates to be referred to by his last name, hails from Indiana and can now often be spotted around Tucson in his station wagon blaring Madonna music. He spends much of his time memorizing useless facts of Roman history and wishing Tolstoy were still alive. Pflum has no idea what he wants to do after graduation. His column will appear Wednesdays.

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