AAJA Announces 2019 Award Winners

The 2019 AAJA National Journalism, Membership and Special Awards were announced on Saturday, August 3 at the 30th Annual Gala Scholarship & Awards Banquet during this year’s national convention in Atlanta. Congratulations to this year’s winners!





Written Journalism 


Sarah Zhang

“China Is Genetically Engineering Monkeys With Brain Disorders”






Not Awarded















Sarah Burke, Sophie Kazis, Fran Tirado and the Broadly team

“Queerly Beloved”







Gabriel Kramer

“Cleveland Barbershop Offers Free Blood Pressure Screenings”




Student Journalism


Students in the Southwest Borderlands Initiative class at Arizona State University

“Puerto Rico: Restless and Resilient”




Written Journalism


Julie Shaw

“He survived Cambodia’s killing fields, only to be shot in West Philly by man with an AK-47”






Nydia Han








Jessica Terrell, April Estrellon and Emily Dugdale

“The Blood Calls”






John Hill, Emily Dugdale, April Estrellon, Ku’u Kauanoe, Patti Epler and Jessica Terrell

“Black Market Babies”


Student Journalism


Ariel Tu

“The culture of silence: ​Filipino women hesitate to say #MeToo when no one says me”








Member of the Year


Frank Bi

AAJA-New York


Lori Matsukawa


President of the Year


Hannah Bae

AAJA-New York




Chapter of the Year







ELP Outstanding Leadership Award


Emma Carew Grovum

AAJA-New York






Member of the Year

2018 Kris Vera-Phillips and Leezel Tanglao

2017 Paul Cheung

2016 Shawn Nicole Wong

2015 Pamela Wu

2014 Bobby Calvan

2013 Richard Lui

2012 Julie Tam, Bobby Calvan, Jam Sardar

2011 Frank Witsil

2010 Lisa Chung and Craig Gima

2009 Cynthia Wang

2008 Paul Cheung and Ivette Yee

2007 George Kiriyama

2006 Neal Justin

2005 Randall Yip

2004 Keith Kamisugi

2003 Pradnya Joshi

2002 Sandy Louey

2001 Amy Wang

2000 Anthony Ramirez

1999 Aki Soga

1998 Michael and Alix Quan

1997 Dalton Tanonaka

1996 Kimberly Moy

President of the Year

2018 Ashley Dunn (Los Angeles)

2017 Liberty Zabala (San Diego)

2016 Anjana Schroeder (Michigan)

2015 Mai Hoang (Seattle)

2014 Ramy Inocencio (Asia)

2013 Sandy Louey (Sacramento) and Jocelyn “Joz” Wang (Los Angeles)

2012 Julie Shaw (Philadelphia)

2011 Sanjay Bhatt (Seattle)

2010 Ryan O. Kim (San Francisco/Bay Area)

2009 Vino Wong (Atlanta)

2008 Victoria Lim (Florida)

2007 Lorene Yue (Chicago)

2006 Henry Fuhrmann and Rachanee Srisavasdi (Los Angeles)

2005 Murali Balaji (Philadelphia)

2004 Ted Shen, posthumously (Chicago)

2003 Anh Do (Los Angeles)

2002 Cheryl Tan (Washington, D.C.)

2001 Denise L. Poon (Los Angeles)

2000 Lee Ann Kim (San Diego)

1999 Mi Young Hwang (Chicago)

1998 Bonnie Lee (San Francisco Bay Area)

1997 Nancy Yoshihara (Los Angeles)

1996 Esther Wu (Texas)

Chapter of the Year

2018 Philadelphia

2017 San Diego

2016 Asia

2015 Seattle

2014 New York

2013 Asia

2012 Asia

2011 Minnesota

2010 Sacramento

2009 New England

2008 Seattle

2007 Los Angeles

2006 Sacramento

2005 Seattle

2004 San Diego and Washington, D.C.

2003 Texas

2002 San Francisco Bay Area

2001 New York

2000 Atlanta

1999 New England

1998 Florida

1997 Minnesota

1996 Hawai’i






Sharon Chan, Vice President of Philanthropy, The New York Times



This award honors an Asian American or Pacific Islander who has demonstrated courage and commitment to the principles of journalism over the course of a life’s work.


Sharon Pian Chan is Vice President of Philanthopy at the New York Times. Previously, she was the Vice Present of Innovation, Product & Development at The Seattle Times. She previously worked as a deputy managing editor, opinion editor and a digital producer. She spent most of her journalism career as a reporter, covering beats ranging from City Hall to Microsoft and interviewing everyone from Christina Aguilera to Steve Ballmer.

Chan is passionate about diversity in journalism and amplifying underrepresented voices and stories in the news. She has served as national president of the Asian American Journalists Association, as vice president for UNITY: Journalists for Diversity and Seattle chapter president for AAJA.

She received her B.A. from Pomona College and her Executive M.B.A. from MIT in 2017. She lives in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood with her husband Danny O’Neil, a radio host at 710 ESPN Seattle, and a wrinkly dog.


Previous Recipients
2018 Yasutsune Hirashiki
2017 Nick Ut
2016 Lonnie Wong
2015 Ti-Hua Chang
2014 Not Awarded
2013 Yuen Ying Chan
2012 Curtiss Kim
2011 Nick Ut
2010 Annie Nakao
2009 Dinah Eng
2008 Dith Pran
2007 Sam Chu Lin
2006 Duong Phuc and Vu Thanh Thuy
2005 Lori Matsukawa
2004 Lloyd LaCuesta
2003 Tritia Totoya and William Hosokawa
2002 Not Awarded
2001 Yen Ngoc Do
2000 Larry Nakatsuka
1999 Henry Moritsugu
1998 Stanford Chen
1997 K. Connie Kang
1996 David Louie
1995 Dorothy Ing Russell
1994 Willie Kee
1993 Ken Kashiwahara
1992 Morgan Li Kung Jin
1991 Not Awarded
1990 William Woo
1989 James Omura




NBC Asian America



This award honors an individual or corporation that has made strides in promoting and demonstrating diversity in the news media industry. The Leadership in Diversity Award winner is selected by the AAJA National Board.


NBC News Digital’s diversity verticals came into existence following the newsroom’s recognition that coverage of diverse communities deserves an elevated and deeper look at the stories that matter. NBC Asian America, NBC BLK, NBC Latino and NBC Out all cover their respective communities with original reporting, comprehensive analysis, and a diverse set of editors, reporters and contributors. 

Since its creation in 2014, NBC Asian America is the country’s largest English-language national news resource dedicated to covering Asian American and Pacific Islander news, features, perspectives and more. With the launch of “NBC Asian America Presents…” in 2016, NBC Asian America has grown into a robust multimedia platform for the AAPI community by the AAPI community. Most recently, they launched a special series for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – #WriteOurStories, celebrating and highlighting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ contributions to American history.

Too often, history books had left out this community’s stories and contributions. NBC Asian America aims to collect and record those histories to highlight the ways Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders helped build and shape this country. 

Recent stories included a four-part series on the Chinese transcontinental railroad workers who helped connect the country, a look at Asian American and Pacific Islander trailblazers in professional sports, how surfing evolved from a Polynesian pastime to an international and Olympic sport, how various groups are fighting to change school curricula and the whole of Wikipedia to include more of these stories and much more.

In the past three years, the NBC Asian America team has received more than 25 awards and honors and has become a go-to news source for the AAPI community and beyond.






For questions about the AAJA awards, please contact Daniel Garcia at danielg@aaja.org.

You Might Also Like

Published by


hi! Hi hi hi!