AAJA Announces the Executive Leadership Program Class of 2016


The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is proud to announce the following members who will be participating in the 21st Executive Leadership Program taking place on March 30 – April 3, 2016 at the City University of New York (CUNY).

To date, more than 500 journalists and media professionals have completed the program since its inception in 1995. The program is open to professional journalists who are interested in moving ahead in the workplace and developing the skills to achieve goals, professional and personal.

This year, AAJA has opened the application to all journalists. In past years, the esteemed program was only offered to AAJA members. The change reflects one aspect of AAJA’s mission to advance minority journalists as news managers and media executives and play a vital role in the diversification of news rooms across the country.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded AAJA with $230,000 in 2015 to redesign ELP. The Knight funding allows for a two-year restructuring of the program to develop leaders in digital journalism and improve diversity in newsrooms. In opening the program to journalists outside of its membership, AAJA will create an inclusive environment for journalists of all backgrounds.

Please join me in welcoming our 21st ELP Class!


Stan Choe

Stan is a reporter at the Associated Press (AP), where he has been working for nearly 10 years. Prior to his work with AP, he worked at the Charlotte Observer and the Myrtle Beach Sun News to cover a range of business and local-government beats.
Stan received a degree in Philosophy from Princeton University and is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism with a concentration in newspapers.


Lance Davis

Lance serves as the social media and newsletter editor for Bankrate, previously spending two years working on their copy desk. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Journalism. Lance was awarded a Dow Jones News Fund sports copy editing internship and interned on the copy desk for Cox Media Group.


Allyson Escobar

Allyson is an avid tea-drinker, blogger, creative writer and professional journalist. She studied English and Journalism at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and is passionate about telling stories, creating community, and exploring the world beyond her backyard. With skills in news reporting, conducting interviews, and keeping up to date with today’s social trends, Allyson believes she is highly motivated, service-oriented, and well versed in digital media and culture.


Caroline Farhat

Caroline is the social media manager for Bankrate.com. Prior to her experience with Bankrate, Caroline worked at a public relations agency in the Boston area where she helped clients manage their PR and social media marketing efforts. Her advice on social media has been published by PR Daily. Caroline received a degree in Communications and Media Studies from Northeastern University.


Heather Chin

Heather J. Chin has worked for six years as a reporter and editor covering neighborhoods across Brooklyn and, briefly, Philadelphia. She is currently editor of Fort Greene Focus and has been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Parenting Magazine, Weight Watchers Magazine, New York Press, Chelsea Clinton News, Brooklyn Home Reporter, and Brooklyn Spectator. In an earlier life, Heather worked in publishing, managing freelancers, editing and trafficking content and art for workbooks in middle school math, science, and history.


Arelis Hernandez

Arelis is a politics reporter for the Washington Post covering local government and politics. Previously, she worked with the Orlando Sentinel where she covered breaking news and homicide. She won a national writing award stemming from the newspaper’s coverage of Trayvon Martin’s death. She has also worked at Diverse Issues in Higher Education, the Baltimore Sun, and the Associated Press. Arelis is a 2009 graduate of the University of Maryland and AAJA’s JCamp in 2004.


Dorothy Hernandez

Dorothy is a Chicago native who serves as the managing editor of Hour Detroit magazine. An alumni of the University of Illinois’ print journalism program and the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, she has worked as a copy editor at the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye edition and The Detroit News and holds professional working experience with AmeriCorps. Dorothy currently serves as the board secretary for AAJA Michigan.


Karen Ho

Karen is a business reporter, writer, and photographer based in Toronto, Canada. Her work has been published in the Financial Post, Toronto Life, The Walrus, and many other publications. Recently, she was the business editor at Northern News Services Ltd., based in the sub-Arctic city of Yellowknife. Karen has been a proud member of AAJA since 2013.


Sean Lim

Sean is a media freelancer based in Seoul, South Korea. He is currently an editor with KBS World News Today, host for KBS World Radio and contributor to TBS eFM. Sean anchored the main evening news program, “Prime Time News” for Arirang TV, Korea’s main English-language broadcast station. At Arirang, he also hosted the morning TV show “Arirang Today” along with the late-night political interview program “After 10”. Prior to moving to Korea, Sean worked in Hollywood and the Silicon Valley for a top-tier talent agency and boutique high tech PR firm. He also spent four years running a non-profit theater company in San Francisco. Sean is a graduate of Stanford University where he earned his BA in International Relations and MA in Sociology.


Daniel Schultz

Daniel Schultz is a civic hacker and creative technologist from Pennsylvania. Specifically, he is a Knight News Challenge winner, a recent graduate from the MIT Media Lab, a not-so-recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and a 2012 Knight-Mozilla Fellow. He works with startups, governments, nonprofits, and established corporations to help them use technology to innovate openly and effectively. Dan is currently a Senior Creative Technologist at the Internet Archive, where he is the lead architect behind their Political Ad Archive.


Shino Soma

Shino is an art director and designer with an enthusiasm for aesthetically pleasing design that is conceptually strong, efficient, and clear. She has had experience working with various forms of media such as film, installation, animation, print, and digital design with clients ranging from NBCUniversal, Oxygen Network, InStyle Magazine, MTV Networks, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


Padmananda Rama

Padmananda is an award-winning DC-based journalist. She currently creates compelling videos for Associated Press (AP) clients worldwide. Her work has been featured by a number of news outlets, including CNN and NPR. Prior to the AP, she was a digital editor for NPR during the 2012 presidential election. A multi-platform journalist, she has reported for television, digital print and radio. Padmananda enjoys covering politics as well as her personal passion, food.


Amy B Wang

Amy is a reporter at The Arizona Republic, where she has covered a variety of topics ranging from local, county, and state government to education and business since 2009. Currently, she is a member of the paper’s Storytelling team, focusing on longer-form projects with a narrative bent. Amy is also actively involved with the Republic‘s diversity initiatives and serves as president of the Arizona AAJA chapter. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Yale University.


Annabel Church

Annabel is a Digital Data Journalist, using her programming and data skills to doing unique storytelling and building journalism tools. In 2013 she was a Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellow at ZeitOnline, and previously worked building tools for journalism at the Guardian. She now lives and works in Berlin as a freelancer. She helps to build a community at the intersection between Journalism and technology by co-organising Hacks and Hackers in Berlin.