Kimberly Cortez selected as editor-in-chief for 2024-2025 academic year

By Noah Carandanis | April 12, 2024 11:00am
The newly selected 2024-25 Beacon Editor-In-Chief Kimberly Cortez.
Media Credit: Ryan Reynolds / The Beacon

President Robert Kelly has selected Kimberly Cortez as editor-in-chief of The Beacon for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Cortez, a junior social work major, began working as a reporter for The Beacon in the fall semester of her freshman year. She returned her sophomore year, joining the editorial board as community engagement editor. This year, she took on her current role of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) editor.

“I was just looking for a way to get involved on campus, like so many other Beaconites,” Cortez said. “Very early on it was apparent to me that this was something I wanted to do… I cared about the stories I was telling and I was just so hungry to be a part of journalism.”

Since then, her journalism experience has flourished both inside and outside of The Beacon’s newsroom. The New York Times selected her to be among 19 student journalists who participate in The Times Corps. In this program, she is mentored by New York Times’ journalist Mike Baker.

Cortez has also been selected to participate in the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. This summer, she will be reporting for Street Roots, a Portland-based newspaper that focuses on social justice.

“After my fall semester I was like, ‘I want to do this all four years,’” Cortez said. “I want to become editor-in-chief.”

A driving factor behind Cortez’s passion for journalism are her parents.

“My parents are one of the biggest reasons why I want to become a journalist,” Cortez said. “I think about people like them, who are immigrants, and their stories get lost.”

Kate Cuadrado, current editor-in-chief, is confident that Cortez’s commitment to journalism and the power of storytelling will be apparent in her leadership of The Beacon.

“She’s an extremely talented journalist and a dedicated editor,” Cuadrado said. “I feel very comfortable passing The Beacon baton to Kimberly … I know that she’s very capable of this new role.”

Using her experience as DEI editor, Cortez hopes to expand the section next year as editor-in-chief.

“I think that there’s this idea that DEI is a thing that we’re supposed to do to be good,” Cortez said. “But the DEI section is where there’s so many stories to be told, and so I see it [being] as big of a section as news.”

The editor-in-chief, consulted by the Student Media Advisor, is tasked with hiring The Beacon staff for the upcoming year. Cortez recognizes the challenges the campus community is facing and wants The Beacon to help be a part of solutions.

“I don’t think right now that our campus is in a place where we have that sense of community, but I would like to bring that back,” Cortez said. “I think that starts with students wanting to see other students succeed, and so I want to build a team of people that care about the stories being told at this school.”

Since Cortez’s first semester as a reporter, Nancy Copic, The Beacon’s advisor and assistant director of student media, could tell Cortez had a natural curiosity and talent for journalism.

“She really cares about people,” Copic said. “I think the University of Portland is going to be really fortunate to have her as editor-in-chief of The Beacon.”

Cortez’s work as editor-in-chief will continue to serve the UP community through her dedication to highlighting people’s stories

“If people want change at this university we have to start listening to … what other people have to say [and] what their stories are,” Cortez said. “We have to be open to changing our minds when we read those stories.”

Noah Carandanis is the Living Editor for The Beacon. He can be reached at