Danielle Cervantes Stephens, M.A.

Adjunct Professor of Multimedia Journalism

An alumna of PLNU, Danielle Cervantes Stephens had intended to go into academia before she was lured into the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of journalism as a college sophomore in 1996. After more than 20 years in the industry as a research librarian and then investigative reporter specializing in data journalism, Danielle offers a unique perspective to her students. Danielle currently is an investigative reporter and data editor for San Diego investigative nonprofit InquireFirst. Danielle is a sixth-generation San Diegan who loves to spend time with her husband and Chihuahua-mix dogs. She is obsessed with coffee, naps, and data.


  • B.A. Literature, Point Loma Nazarene University
  • B.A. Political Science, Point Loma Nazarene University
  • M.A. French, San Diego State University 

Courses Taught

  • Yearbook Workshop – WRI 2017
  • Newspaper Workshop – WRI 2015
  • Introduction to Journalism – WRI 2050
  • Computer-Assisted Reporting – WRI 3013
  • Editing – WRI 3045
  • Literature & Culture –  LIT 2000
  • Elementary French I - FRE 1001

Experience in Field

  • InquireFirst: Investigative Reporter, Data Editor
  • iNewsource: Investigator Reporter, Data Journalist
  • Esquire: Investigator
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune (2005 – 2011): Senior Reporter, Data Specialist
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune (2000 – 2005): Senior Librarian
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune (1996 – 2000): Library/Research Intern

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Founding Member: Bayside Church of the Nazarene
  • Communications Director: Heavenly Trumpet Ministries
  • Member, Investigative Reporters & Editors / National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting
  • Member, Society for Professional Journalist

Awards and Honors

Danielle’s diverse work has won local and state awards and triggered state and federal criminal investigations. In 2006, the Union-Tribune submitted her individual work for Pulitzer Prizes in Investigative and Explanatory Reporting, and she contributed research to the newspaper’s staff’s win that year in National Affairs Reporting. She also was named a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her work investigating the city of San Diego’s public land management. In 2017 and 2015, Danielle’s students took first and second place in Media Shift’s annual national hackathon for student journalists.