Meet the Staff for VOICES 2017


VOICES has selected its 2017 faculty staff for the upcoming AAJA National Convention in Philadelphia, July 26-29. 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 careers 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 2017:




Maya Sugarman, VOICES Director

Maya is a visual journalist for NPR station KPCC in Los Angeles. She’s previously worked at 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, VOICES Director

Jessie is a product designer at Flatiron Health working on improving cancer treatments by accelerating oncology research. Previously, she’s worked at the Washington Post. She is a proud Cal alumna and was a Voices student in Detroit in 2011.








Brian Nguyen is an editor at The Tylt, an early stage venture from Advance Digital. Before this he was a visuals resident at the Chicago Tribune where he worked in various capacities as a photographer, assignment editor and video editor. 









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. 









Hannah Bae is a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist, illustrator and digital media strategist who is currently exploring her obsession with Korean food on, the site she runs with her husband, Adam Oelsner. She is the vice president and mentorship coordinator of AAJA's New York chapter 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 The Tennessean. 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.









Kris Vera-Phillips is an Emmy Award-winning journalist at KPBS San Diego where she manages Evening Edition, a nightly television news program 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.







Myra Iqbal, 26, is photojournalist from Islamabad, Pakistan. She has a BFA in Photography from the Savannah College in Art and Design and is currently enrolled in the M.S. Journalism program at Columbia University in New York City. Myra has worked with the Express Tribune and been published in the New York Times among other publications. She uses her lens to see, educate and inspire.









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.









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.







Scott.jpgScott Pham is the news applications developer for the Center for Investigative Reporting. He creates interactive data visualizations for the web and finds stories in data. Previously, he was the digital editor for the NBC Bay Area Investigative Team. At NBC he created data visualizations, started a data blog called Frame Shift and worked on Peabody winning stories. Before NBC, he worked at numerous places in the public radio system, reporting for broadcast and innovating online. At KBIA public radio in Columbia, Missouri, he served as Content Director and led the station to a national Murrow Award for best website. At KBIA he also founded the Missouri Drone Journalism Program in collaboration with the University of Missouri. The Program produced some of the very first drone-enabled journalism in the U.S. 








Wendy Lee is a tech reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. She previously worked for NPR affiliate station 89.3 FM KPCC in Southern California, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Tennessean in Nashville.