Carolina Cuellar

Carolina Cuellar reports on immigration and communities in the Rio Grande Valley for Texas Public Radio, which is based in San Antonio. Cuellar is a bilingual reporter who grew up in Stockton, California after she and her family emigrated from Colombia. A scientist-turned-journalist, she worked on the science desk at KQED, public TV and radio stations serving Northern California, and has written about dog DNA criminal forensics and the largest fire in Santa Cruz County history, the CZU Lightning Complex wildfire that started in August 2020. Her work has appeared in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, The Mercury News, and science sites such as Eos and Mongabay. Cuellar, a first-generation college graduate, holds a master’s degree in science communication and a bachelor’s in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She was a researcher in a virology lab and at a genomics company, with a focus on protein engineering, before pursuing a career in journalism.

Maria Mendez

María Méndez reports for Texas Public Radio from the border city of Laredo where she covers business issues from an area that is now the nation’s top trade hub. She knows Texas well. Mendez has reported on the state’s diverse communities and tumultuous politics through internships at the Austin American-Statesman, The Texas Tribune and The Dallas Morning News. She also participated in NPR’s Next Generation Radio program while studying at the University of Texas at Austin. At UT, she wrote for The Daily Texan and helped launch diversity initiatives, including two collaborative series on undocumented and first-generation college students. One of her stories for these series won an award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She has spent the last year reporting for The Dallas Morning News as a summer breaking news intern and then as a fellow in the paper’s capital bureau in Austin. She is a native of Guanajuato in Central Mexico.

Texas Public Radio

Texas Public Radio operates seven public radio stations, serving a wide swath of South Central Texas. Our aggregated service area consists of 22 counties covering 20,000 square miles. Two of our stations (KSTX, 24/7 news and information, and KPAC, 24/7 classical music) serve the San Antonio area. The other five stations provide service to the Hill Country, the Highland Lakes, Snyder, Del Rio and Gonzales. These are our Tex-Net stations.