Meet the Staff for Voices 2018

Voices has selected its 2018 staff for the upcoming AAJA National Convention in Houston, TX from August 6-11. These journalists will volunteer their time to mentor, edit and coach Voices student participants in the months prior to the convention, as well as alongside the students on site. The mission of Voices is to advance career development for AAJA student journalists, as well as develop leadership and management talent for mid-career professional journalists.

AAJA is proud to announce the staff for Voices 2018:

Maya_Jessie.jpgVoices Program Directors, Maya Sugarman and Jessie Tseng

Maya Sugarman is a video editor for The Lily / Washington Post. She’s previously worked as a visual journalist for NPR station KPCC in Los Angeles, the Antelope Valley Press, Los Angeles Daily News, and Orange County Register. Maya went to UCLA and was a Voices student in Detroit in 2011.

Jessie Tseng is taking a break from media right now and is currently a senior product designer at Flatiron Health where she spends her time researching and designing products that increase the availability of effective cancer treatments and improve the survival and quality of life through clinical trials. Previously, she worked at the Washington Post. She is a proud Cal alumna and was a Voices student in Detroit in 2011. 



Hannah Bae is a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist, illustrator and digital media strategist who runs a food illustration site called with her husband, Adam Oelsner. She is the president of AAJA’s New York chapter, a co-lead of AAJA’s national mentoring program, and a graduate of AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program. 





Jill Cowan covers the economy and demographics for the Dallas Morning News. Before that, she wrote about issues ranging from historical preservation to environmental law in a fast-growing Nashville suburb for TheTennessean. She’s also covered courts for the Los Angeles Times, written about Orange County for the Times and its community newspapers, and reported on all manner of Central Valley weirdness for The Bakersfield Californian.





Alyssa Jeong Perry is an audio reporter and producer. Currently, she is a reporter at KPCC on the health team. Previously she was a reporter and producer at KQED. She’s won two AAJA awards in 2016 and 2017 on US immigration. Alyssa is also a graduate of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.  






Rong-Gong Lin II is a metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times and has written about municipal corruption, earthquake safety, public health, transportation and local government. He was a member of the reporting team covering the San Bernardino shootings that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news. A San Francisco area native, he graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004 and joined the paper as a member of the Minority Editorial Training Program.





Phil Marcelo is an enterprise reporter for the Associated Press based in Boston. He tends to write about casino gambling, law enforcement, counterterrorism, immigration, race and anything weird and interesting in Massachusetts. He previously worked at the Providence Journal in Rhode Island as a political reporter. He was a first-time VOICES mentor last year.





Brian Nguyen is the Manager of Media Production and Emerging Platforms at The Tylt, an early stage media venture from Advance Digital. Previously, he was a photo editing/visuals resident at The Chicago Tribune, and a forever intern at The Sacramento Bee.






Scott Pham is a data reporter for the BuzzFeed News investigations team. Previously he was a news applications developer for the Center for Investigation Reporting. He got his start in public radio before becoming interested in investigative news. His work centers on using documents, data visualization and code to find trends and stories on everything from diversity, to public health, infrastructure to national security. 





Samira Sadeque is a New York-based Bangladeshi journalist and poet. She recently graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and covers immigration, mental health, and gender rights. In Bangladesh, she covered the 2013 factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 workers, the country’s LGBT community, as well as the country’s ethnic minorities. Her work has appeared in NBC, Quartz, The Washington Post’s The Lily magazine, and Al Jazeera among other publications. She is a 2016 ICFJ Fellow and 2016 Panos South Asia migrant labor reporting fellow. 




Frank Shyong is a reporter at the Los Angeles Times who writes about Asian neighborhoods, Chinese immigration and other topics. He was raised in Tennessee and studied economics at UCLA. His work has appeared in the Orange County Register, the Taipei Times and Entertainment Weekly. 






Millie Tran is Global Growth Editor at The New York Times. Most recently, she was Director of Global Adaptation at BuzzFeed, leading a team to share the best of BuzzFeed across languages, platforms, and formats. She was also a founding member of the team that launched the award-winning BuzzFeed News app, as well as the creator of the BuzzFeed News newsletter. Millie’s experience spans editorial, product, and strategy at a variety of organizations such as the American Press Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, and National Journal — but always rooted in journalism with an obsession on connecting audiences with great editorial content and products.




Kris Vera-Phillips is an Emmy Award-winning journalist at KPBS San Diego where she manages Evening Edition and Roundtable on San Diego’s PBS station. Beyond the newsroom, Kris serves as a board member for the San Diego chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association and she helped raise awareness about public media and the need for diversity in newsrooms as a Next Generation Leadership fellow. Before public media, Kris produced news shows for CBS and NBC in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press Television-Radio Association.

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