The Stanford Chen Internship Fund Grant supports college students needing help to bridge some of the costs that might otherwise keep them from taking an internship and expanding their journalism skills in an internship. AAJA awards one or more news internship grant(s) of $1,750 to current college juniors, seniors and graduate students. The grants are for print, online, broadcast or photography interns at any size media outlets (though applicants interning at small- to medium-size outlets will be given priority). The 2017 application deadline was April 2, 2017.
The Application Deadline Has Passed
ABOUT STANFORD CHEN
Stanford Chen was a California-born city boy who was introduced to journalism by working on his high school newspaper at Oakland Tech. After graduating with a journalism degree from Indiana University, Chen’s professional career began at The Bellingham, Wash., Herald. From there he moved to the Daily Journal of Commerce, a business publication in Portland, OR, as its editor before landing at The Oregonian, Oregon’s largest metropolitan daily. Chen could do anything journalistically, and he frequently was ahead of trends: At The Herald he wrote an environmental column, long before the environment became front-page news; he also was the paper’s sports editor, copy editor and photographer. At The Oregonian, he started as a part-time copy editor and soon was hired full-time, doing night page makeup. It left his days free to pursue photography, which is when he collaborated with a colleague on Rage Against the Dying Light, a book documenting the life and struggle of gillnetters on the lower Columbia River. Chen later then became deputy editor of the Forum editorial section before returning to his real love, reporting. He remained a reporter even after he was stricken with cancer. He died in 1999 at the age of 51.
HIS VISION AND AAJA SERVICE
Chen helped found the Portland AAJA chapter in 1985, and he spent many hours doing AAJA work, both at local and national levels. Thanks to AAJA, he tapped into a part of himself that none of his full-time jobs were able to fulfill. Newsroom diversity was his particular passion.
Chen was a mentor to countless young journalists during his career, on the job and through AAJA. He befriended many an intern or a new hire at The Oregonian, offering a hearty welcome and sincere words of support. To those of color, he was candid with answers to questions about diversity in the newsroom and city. Chen reached out to student journalists at AAJA’s national conventions, always ready to answer questions or share advice. He lived his beliefs about diversity and helping the next generation of journalists.
Chen was awarded AAJA’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1998 Chicago national convention. Here, in part, is how he was introduced:
As a longtime newspaper writer, reporter and editor, he’s been a role model, a journalistic lion. His perseverance, achievements and advocacy have stood tall, underscored by a tireless fight for greater diversity in the newsroom and in journalism education. He’s been a tireless supporter of AAJA, performing virtually every function, from stuffing envelopes to serving as AAJA National Vice President for Print. As an instructor and co-director of the reporting program in the Institute for Journalism Education (based at the University of California, Berkeley), and which later became the Maynard Institute, and AAJA’s own Voices, he has helped others learn to become better at the craft that we all practice. As a voice and conscience in our own industry he’s been an ardent leader in pushing all of us forward. And his book, Counting on Each Other: A History of the Asian American Journalists Association from 1981 to 1996, stands as a testament to his numerous contributions. As a person, he is simply unmatched.”
Accepting the award, Chen said: “AAJA has been like a family to me. The mission of journalism has helped me and, in turn, I feel the need to give back as much as I can to keep the mission going, keeping diversity alive and making sure the industry does, too.”
More of Stanford Chen’s photos can be viewed here, courtesy of the University of Washington library.
2016 GRANT RECIPIENTS
Ericka Guevarra is a student at San Francisco State University focusing on a major in international relations and a minor in journalism. She recently completed an internship in Washington D.C. with NPR’s Code Switch. “The Stanford Chen internship grant allowed me to move to Washington, D.C, from California without having to worry so much about how I was going to pay for it. The grant allowed me to focus instead on my internship rather than on how I was going to finance my cross-country trip and two month stay […] I was able to focus entirely on becoming a better journalist, rather than on external monetary factors”, Ericka says. She currently works as an on-call interactive producer for KQED and hopes to one day be a public radio reporter who covers the intersections of race, ethnicity and identity. Read two of her stories for NPR here and here.
Mohammed Kloub is currently a journalism student at the University of Washington. He has recently returned from Amman, Jordan where he was a reporting intern with The Jordan Times. Mohammed says his internship in Jordan helped him learn more about journalism in an international context. “The grant helped fund my needs while doing a journalism internship abroad […] Having my basic needs more easily met definitely helped me focus on my work more, and the skills I gained in my internship will be very useful for my future in journalism,” Mohammed says. Upon his graduation, he hopes to go into music journalism and feature writing while continuing to explore further opportunities in news reporting. Mohammed is currently the editor-in-chief for The Daily of the University of Washington. Read two of his stories for The Jordan Times here and here.
2015 GRANT RECIPIENTS
Jelisa Chatman graduated from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She majored in broadcasting with a concentration in radio and television programming and can currently be seen at WKU PBS where she works as an audio operator and segment producer. She also has a part-time job on Christian Family Radio where she serves as their on-air talent. Jelisa says that without the Stanford Chen Internship Grant none of this would be possible. She says that the grant really helped her to come out of her shell and make connections which led to many new and unique opportunities.
Daniel Kim attends Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He was a reporting intern this past summer at the Walla Walla Union Bulletin and is now the web content editor for The Pioneer on campus. Daniel attributes the Stanford Chen Internship Grant with helping him to stay in Walla Walla over the summer and land his first real reporting job. He got to see and experience the journalism world in a professional setting and learned many new and invaluable skills. Daniel also states the advice and lessons that he has learned using the grant will stay with him for life.
Atoosa Moinzadeh recently graduated from the University of Washington and can now be seen working freelance at VICE News. Over this past summer, she worked as an editorial intern at Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. By using the Stanford Chen Internship Grant, Atoosa was able to learn things that she had never been exposed to before such as how to fact check and proofread copy. She says these were key contributing factors in her ability to get a job at VICE. She hopes to keep the momentum going and land a full-time position at VICE and also work on different photo and reporting collaborations.
Jieqian Zhang graduated from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in May 2016. During the summer she worked for ChinaFile Asia Society where she was a data/visual intern. Now you can find her working for Google News Lab performing freelance data reporting and visualization. Without the Stanford Chen Internship Grant, Jieqian says that moving to New York and interning with ChinaFile would not have been possible. With ChinaFile, she learned many new and interesting things and was able to ignite her passion for data reporting. With her newfound passion, she hopes to one day work for The Wall Street Journal or The Los Angeles Times as a data reporter.
Jeanny Rhee graduated from the University of Washington in 2015 with a bachelors in journalism and a minor in nutrition sciences. Since the beginning of this year through the summer, she worked as an editorial intern at the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine as well as freelance writing for publications in and around the greater Seattle area. The Stanford Chen Internship Grant not only aided her to continue pursuing her passion in writing and reporting, but also helped her to focus on school and later land a front page cover story in a non-profit publication discussing food insecurity and racial disparities in King County, Washington. She received the Deborah Kaplan Award in Human Personality Profile and the Pioneer News Group Excellence in Journalism Award in 2015 from the University of Washington, and was identified as as UW’s strongest recent journalism graduates. She is currently working as the content marketing manager at Giso in Bellevue, Washington and freelancing.
2014 GRANT RECIPIENTS
Brian Nguyen worked at The Sacramento Bee as a multimedia intern during the summer of 2014 where he gained real-world journalism experience under the editors and photographers on staff. “Thanks to the grant, I was able to spend a summer working and learning with some of the best in the industry,” Brian said. “I still keep in touch with them and plan to do so for the rest of my life.” He graduated from the University of California, Davis in June 2015.
Janelle Cabuco interned at Health24 in Cape Town, South Africa during the summer of 2014 where she says the biggest tool she learned was creating news that appeals to a non-American audience. “[The Stanford Chen Internship Grant] truly allowed me to immerse myself in my stories,” she said. “I was able to travel to rural areas and villages outside of Cape Town, and I was able to immerse myself in [another] culture, and I was able to view firsthand their practices and beliefs.” Janelle reports being the first journalist to update the Western Cape on its polio vaccine shortage, and landed an interview with the CEO of the local polio vaccine distributor. “The grant allowed me to not only travel and live in Africa, but it helped me accept tasks that I may not have otherwise been able to.” She plans to graduate from the University of Southern California in May 2015. Read two of her stories here and here.
Marisch Perera worked as a news intern for WCBS-TV in New York during the summer of 2014 where she gained a valuable mentorship under the supervision of her field producer. “Because of her guidance and expertise, I became more knowledgeable of the television news industry,” says Marisch. She created her first demo reel that included standups and news packages that she wrote, produced and reported on herself. “The grant set my mind at ease knowing that I can cover the cost of meals and transportation, and even professional attire. This allowed me to focus on the more important aspect of an internship, which is to learn.” She hopes to mentor other student journalists in the future, and graduated from Pace University in May 2015. View some of her clips.
Nicole Gaddie worked as a problem solvers intern at KOMO 4 News in Seattle during the summer of 2014 where she gained the understanding of how investigative journalism works, honing her editing skills and accompanying reporters in the field from whom she learned about their histories and careers. “The fast-paced work environment gave me a true representation of what it’s like to work in broadcast,” Nicole says. “Without having to worry about finances, I was able to dedicate myself wholly to the internship. I wouldn’t have had the same experience at KOMO without the grant.” Nicole graduated from Seattle University in 2014.
HOW TO APPLY
Eligibility and Rules
Applicants have a serious interest in pursuing journalism as a career.
Applicants must have already secured a 2017 summer internship before applying for the internship grant. The stipend is to be used towards living expenses and/or transportation during your internship. Accepted applicants will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging this.
AAJA student membership is strongly encouraged for all applicants, but not required to apply. Those selected to receive grants will be required to sign up for AAJA student membership.
Please email Justin Seiter at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. The 2017 application can be found here – the deadline to apply is April 2, 2017.
Application information will only be used internally by AAJA to promote student opportunities and for program evaluation and planning. In the application form, please indicate whether you would like to be notified of further student opportunities from AAJA, including scholarships, grants and additional journalism training.
AAJA does not share applicant information with third parties.