The Asian American Journalists Association is proud to announce our 2023 scholarship, internship, grant and fellowship winners. This year’s recipients were chosen from a competitive selection of highly qualified candidates who have demonstrated passion and expertise in different areas of journalism. AAJA annually offers up to $20,000 in scholarships and grants to journalism students. Thank you to our judges and sponsors.
This scholarship is co-sponsored by the WHCA and the Asian American Journalists Association.
WINNER: Juhi Doshi
Juhi Doshi is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Documentary, with a minor in Political Science, at Chapman University. She pitched and produced her own story for CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell, covered the California state legislature for POLITICO, and reported on higher education for CalMatters. She also had the opportunity to intern for A Starting Point and led her university’s newspaper as Managing Editor. Juhi currently interns for NBC Los Angeles in the political unit where she reports on state and national politics. She has a passion for covering politics and works to highlight systemic inequities by giving those affected a voice. Whether it be questioning high-ranking government officials at press conferences, producing her own story that landed on one of the most-watched primetime newscasts in the nation, or spotlighting stories that affect underrepresented communities for top media outlets, the stories Juhi produces aim to hold those in power accountable and humanize the issues of today.
WINNER: Ruby Arora
Ruby Arora is an Arizona State University graduate student, receiving a Master of Arts in Sports Journalism as a Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism Fellow and covering stories on NFL, NBA, and WNBA players. In addition, Arora has had the pleasure of researching and analyzing race coverage on behalf of The Guardian (the United Kingdom) and has conducted interviews for The Wall Street Journal. She also holds a Master of Science in Sports Management from the University of Indianapolis, where she also received a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing, minoring in legal studies and communications while interning for the Indiana Pacers and ProPharma. Arora is fluent in several languages and hopes to impact sports’ global agenda that drives America forward by connecting the sports world to the quotidian world.
WINNERS: Rika Kojima and Christina Huang
Rika Kojima is majoring in journalism at Medill, Northwestern University, with a specialization in social justice. Her area of interest is videography and photojournalism for sports. Her passion is to tell compelling stories of people dedicated to combat sports through a social justice lens.
Her recent video project in Puerto Rico features thriving female boxers overcoming prejudice to be successful in a place where boxing is a pride sport. She is currently filming a documentary about former world boxing champions who are teaching boxing to kids in order to protect them from gun violence, drugs, and crimes in Chicago.
Her love for combat sports comes from her experience in learning martial arts since childhood. She practiced Kendo from elementary school to university and Kyokushin full-contact karate in her adulthood. She holds 2nd dan in Kendo and a black belt in karate. She also trained in Thai boxing in Thailand for five years.
She was born and raised in Kamakura, Japan, a small coastal town near Tokyo. She majored in History at the University of Kent at Canterbury in the UK. She has a wealth of business and managerial experience in British and American academic publishing houses.
Christina Huang is a rising senior at the University of Texas at Austin studying public health with a sports media minor. She plans on pursuing sports journalism full time after graduation. Christina, who originally came to UT as a pre-med student, initially discovered her love for sports journalism after joining the Daily Texan, UT’s student paper. She reported on women’s soccer and men’s basketball for the Texan and served as sports editor. She’s covered two NCAA Men’s March Madness tournaments, the Red River Rivalry and the Alamo Bowl. Christina also has bylines in the Dallas Morning News, the Lexington Herald-Leader and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. After graduation, she hopes to become a college basketball beat reporter. She will be interning at Yahoo! Sports this summer in Los Angeles through the Sports Journalism Institute. Outside of journalism, Christina is a member of the Beta Alpha chapter of the Alpha Xi Delta women’s fraternity.
Learn more about Christina here: X
WINNER: Senji Torrey
Senji Torrey is a freshman pursuing an Associate’s in Communications at West Valley College. Without a newspaper at his current institution, Torrey has jump started his sports journalism career by freelancing for New SV Media, where he writes about high school sports for various local papers in the Bay Area. Torrey also picked up an internship at West Coast Preps, where he writes game recaps and feature-length pieces about high school sports and athletes.
Still green to the professional journalism world, Torrey has leaned on his three years of experience at El Gato, Los Gatos High School’s student-run newspaper. While there he served as the sports, media production, and public relations editor and wrote over 100 sports articles ranging from high school matches to the pay disparity between the men’s and women’s U.S. national soccer teams to the Olympic Games held in 2021.
To expedite his sports journalism endeavors, Torrey has committed to both graduating and obtaining his associate’s degree from his community college institution by the end of his first year. He plans to transfer to a four-year college in the fall, where he hopes to integrate his Japanese-American perspective into the various campus publications.
WINNER: Landon Hong
Landon Hong grew up in Marietta, GA, about 20 minutes outside of Atlanta. Currently he is a junior at North Carolina State University, and with AAJA’s help, is interning at ESPN. In his free time he likes to explore, fish, play basketball, and watch the Green Bay Packers.
WINNER: Ryan Chien
Ryan Chien is a graduating senior with honors at the University of California, Berkeley double majoring in media studies and environmental policy. He is currently pursuing a career in sports media with a focus on play-by-play broadcasting and social media production. In his junior year, Ryan served as the sports editor, gameday editor, and social media manager for The Daily Californian newspaper. He is also KALX 90.7 FM’s sports director and lead play-by-play broadcaster. He commentates for Cal sports, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and volleyball.
Ryan has covered events such as Super Bowl LVII, the 2022 NFL Draft, and the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, as well as games for the San Jose Earthquakes, San Jose Sharks, and Angel City FC. He has worked alongside and interviewed athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Mookie Betts. In college, Ryan has worked four different sports internships. From 2021 to 2023, he served as the lead play-by-play basketball commentator for the Capitol Hoops Summer League, a Turner Sports production intern for Inside The NBA, NBA-TV, MLB on TBS, and NHL on TNT, and a digital editorial intern for NCAA.com.
Ryan hopes to continue play-by-play broadcasting while staying active in digital sports media. Some of his closest mentors include Director of B/R Social Content Varoon Bose, WBD Sports Senior Associate Director Salim Sobers, and WBD Sports VP of Talent Relations Ben Spitalnick. He also takes inspiration under the tutelage of broadcasters Stephen Nelson, Tommy Tran, and Ian Eagle. Ryan is a proud member of the AAJA Sports Task Force and thanks his family and friends for supporting him every step of the way. He can be reached on Instagram @ryan_chien27 or TikTok @ryanchienmedia.
WINNER: Yoori Han
Yoori Han is a recent graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She recently completed her internship with ABC News, Good Morning America, in New York. Han had the opportunity to work alongside producers on taped segments for the morning show – covering all stories from musicals to investigations. She previously interned at ABC15 in Arizona on the producer’s desk covering local issues for the morning show. She also completed a fellowship for Gray TV in Washington D.C. where she interviewed a senator and covered stories surrounding Roe. v. Wade. Ultimately, she hopes to return to GMA and continue producing packages for the No. 1 morning show in America.
Learn more about Yoori here: X
SPRING/SUMMER 2023 INTERNS: Aorui Pi and Gordon Shi
Aorui Pi is a news producer based in Los Angeles and a recent journalism graduate from the University of Southern California. With living experience abroad and a keen interest in reporting international stories, Aorui brings a global perspective to her work.
Having developed a passion for news production and multimedia journalism, Aorui has focused her attention on covering human-interest stories. During her undergraduate time at Syracuse University, she co-founded a Mandarin media platform and gained valuable experience by working at local TV stations, refining her skills in writing, editing and video production.
Aorui is determined to further develop her skills as a news producer and multimedia journalist. She aspires to be a foreign correspondent based in Asia, leveraging her living experience abroad and deep interest in reporting diverse global stories.
Gordon Shi is a fourth-year student studying English, Chinese, and Asian Pacific American studies at the University of Virginia. He has always gravitated towards racial justice advocacy, and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he joined his school’s Asian Student Union and served in various leadership roles. This past year, Gordon served as one of two executive conference directors for the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) annual conference, conceiving and developing the theme “Reconnection and Reflection” in the spirit of empowering Asian and Asian American communities.
Learn more about Gordon here: Instagram
WINNER: Emi Tuyetnhi Tran and Valida Pau
NBC News Diversity Verticals Fellow, New York, NY
Emi Tuyetnhi Tran, the first-born daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, is an editorial intern at NBC News covering news for NBC’s diversity verticals — NBC BLK, NBC Asian America, NBC OUT, and NBC Latino. She is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying philosophy, and is immensely proud to be an AAJA VOICES fellow and the Executive Editor at The Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn’s oldest student-run, independent newspaper. Before that, Emi interned with THE CITY, a nonprofit newsroom based in New York City, and was a news editor and reporter for the DP.
CNBC News Desk Fellow, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Valida Pau is an undergraduate student at Wellesley College studying History and Economics. She was originally from San Francisco but grew up in Hong Kong. Growing up in one of the world’s leading financial centers, she is fascinated by how business, finance, and economics can shape institutions and individuals. Valida hopes to follow the money and work as a financial journalist after graduation. She is currently an Assignment Desk Intern at CNBC. She previously served as the Digital Managing Editor at The Wellesley News, wrote international features at Initium Media, and reported on the crypto industry at Forkast.News.
WINNER: Puneet Bsanti
Puneet Bsanti is a recent graduate from Washington State University with her bachelors in multimedia journalism and English. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Puneet will stay in Washington to pursue a summer internship with the Bellingham Herald. She was a news editor for WSU’s newspaper, The Daily Evergreen and was a 2022 reporting intern for AsAmNews. Puneet has published stories with the Tacoma News Tribune, the Spokesman-Review and FaVS News. She is passionate about reporting on underrepresented groups and hopes to continue to shed light on those communities.
WINNER: Ethan Huang
Ethan Huang is a journalism student at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He has experience across multiple journalistic mediums and beats, having worked in print, radio and TV. At USC, he is the editor of elevASIAN, Annenberg Media’s Asian American vertical, has worked with Annenberg Radio News as a host and producer, and has anchored with Annenberg TV News. He is also a frequent writer with the Arts, Culture and Entertainment desk.
Outside of USC, he interns with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a journalist for their Sea Level Change Team, writing articles about new research for their portal. He is also currently a reporting intern with the Southern California News Group in an opportunity provided by AAJA-LA, where he writes for papers such as Pasadena Star-News and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Ethan previously worked with global media company Eastern Standard Times as a video production intern. His passion for journalism comes down to a love of storytelling. Whether it be international, local, about the arts or the Asian American community, Ethan hopes to use his skills to tell stories that are often overlooked and untold. When he is not in the newsroom, he plays the bass clarinet and writes film reviews.
WINNERS: Megan Ryan, Esther Gim and Shweta Gulati
Megan Ryan is an assistant editor in the business department of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, leading a team of five reporters and helping to produce the section’s digital and print product. Earlier this year, she made the transition from being a sports journalist, covering teams like the Minnesota Twins, Gophers football and Minnesota United FC. Prior to her time at the Star Tribune, she was also a sports reporter at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporting on high school and college sports, including Penn State football. She also interned at the Dallas Morning News as a sports reporter and at a small paper in New York’s Westchester County as a Dow Jones News Fund sports copy editor. Ryan graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014 with degrees in journalism, management and global studies.
In her career so far, she has strived to embody the values of diversity, equity and inclusion both through her writing and within her newsroom. Growing up as a half-Japanese, half-Irish girl in mostly white Minnesota and then working as a young woman in sports with majority older white men, Ryan learned how hard it can be to find one’s place. So at the Star Tribune, she works on three internal committees that aim to improve the paper’s hiring practices, internship program and training opportunities. She also created and runs the paper’s virtual internship and early career fair. Heading into its third year, the fair grants about 75 young journalists from around the world a chance to speak one-on-one with a Star Tribune journalist as well as knowledge on how to put together the strongest application.
Ryan is a proud member of the 2023 Executive Leadership Program and an honored recipient of the Dinah Eng Leadership Fellowship Grant.
Esther Gim (she/her) is managing editor at Rewire News Group, a nonprofit media organization and the only national publication exclusively dedicated to reporting on reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice. She is the Communications Director for AAJA’s New York chapter and is also a former governing board member. She also participated in AAJA’s ELP program, is on the awards judging committee, and was on the original planning committee for AAJA’s Story Slam.
Learn more about Esther here: X
Shweta Gulati (she/her) is a visual storyteller currently based in Washington DC. She works as a video producer and editor on the immersive experiences team at National Geographic, creating video-led editorial stories for various platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and the Nat Geo website.
Shweta holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science in Multimedia, Photography, and Design from Syracuse University. Prior to joining NatGeo, she served as a fellow for the non-profit Accountability Lab in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she oversaw the visual and social strategy of the lab.
Her work has received numerous accolades, including awards from The Society of Publication Designers, NPPA Best of Photojournalism awards, and a Pictures of the Year International award for short doc “Class of 2020 says Goodbye.”
WINNERS: Hope Jane Saena and Kanani Cortez
Hope Jane Saena (she/her/hers) is an incoming freshman at Santa Clara University, pursuing a degree in environmental studies and journalism. She is dedicated to shining a light upon voices of color and has done so through her work with Climate Resilient Communities. Deeply rooted in her Samoan heritage, Saena is proud to share her experiences as a Pacific Islander.
Kanani Cortez (she/her/hers) is a Chamoru-Salvadoran journalist in Portland, OR. She has covered a range of topics, from the impact of COVID-19 on Pacific Islander communities to the removal of Native American mascots and more. Cortez is the editorial producer at Street Roots, where she manages the publication’s social media, digital publishing and newspaper design. She is a graduate of Portland Community College. Cortez is now pursuing graphic design at Portland State University this fall, hoping to use graphic design to bolster and broaden her journalism practice.
Thank you to the 2023 Scholarship Judging Committee Members:
AAJA gives thanks to the following members for their time and effort serving on the Scholarship and Internship Grant Judging Committee:
Lloyd Alaban, Maya Blackmun, Sandeep Chandok, Howard Chen, Allen Cheng, Angelica Relente Cheng, Meghan Coyle, Dinah Eng, Raymund Flandez, Beimeng Fu, Sierra M. Galanza Galanza, Kyle Goon, Eric He, Anita Hofschneider, Marcel Honore, Pranav Iyer, Nader Issa, Mark Kim, Melissa Y. Kim, Aditi Kinkhabwala, James Koh, Waliya Lari, Lori Matsukawa, Joann Ng, Stephen Nelson, Jason Omori, Ashish Shroff, Michele Steele, Linh Ta, Tommy Tran, Patrick A. Truby, Alysha Tsuji, Nicole Yang, Michael Yam, Al Young and Lily Zhao.
Thank you to our sponsors and donors
AAJA appreciates the scholarship donors for their continuous legacy in inspiring a new generation of journalists. Thank you to our generous supporters and donors Cynthia Chennault, Dinah Eng, Beth K. Erickson, Joe Grimm, Michael Kim, Lloyd LaCuesta, Martha Shirk, Don Yee and Al Young. A special thanks to Kathy Black and Alisha Cowan-Vieria at ABC, Bleacher Report, Carolyn Hwang at ESPN, Steven Thomma at the White House Correspondents Association, Tara Morgan at NBC Universal and the Indigenous Journalists Association for supporting AAJA’s scholarship opportunities.
About AAJA’s Scholarships
AAJA annually offers financial support to journalism students through scholarships and internship grants to help offset the costs of education, internships, living expenses and other professional development opportunities. These scholarships are made possible by supporters such as AAJA members, allies and generous donors. Learn more here.