Mai is a business reporter for the Yakima Herald-Republic in Yakima, Wash. She covers a variety of topics from retail and restaurants to economic development.
She currently serves as president of AAJA Seattle.
As I write this, I am eagerly awaiting the birth of my first child. This will be a quite an exciting and hectic time for my husband and I . As part of this transition, I will be on maternity leave through Labor Day. During this period, I will be delegating many of my duties to the members of my board and limiting my workload with the chapter.
This note will detail how to best reach the chapter during this time and a rundown of some great events our chapter has planned for this summer.
If you need to reach the chapter, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please address the email to Chapter Secretary Samantha Pak. She will coordinate any necessary response and action.
Here’s what on tap for AAJA Seattle for the next few months:
AAJA Seattle’s next Dim Sum Saturday event is June 27 at New Hong Kong Restaurant, 900 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98104. This is a fun and casual way to catch up with fellow members and hear what is happening with our chapter.
The chapter is planning our Chefs Showcase event, which will be on August 10. We are bringing back the event for a second year after a successful launch last year. We certainly hope you will join us. More importantly, this kind of event requires a lot of hands, and we are also seeking volunteers. Please contact vice president of events Natasha Chen at email@example.com for details or if you’re interested in volunteering.
The AAJA National Convention in San Francisco will be held August 12-15 at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. Our chapter will be well represented though a variety of roles at the convention. You can check out the full schedule here and register here. The pre-convention member rate of $325 ($150 for students) ) is good until the end of the month.
Our annual chapter picnic is planned for August 29 at Lincoln Park in West Seattle. This is a great time to catch up with members, enjoy delicious food and the nice water views. Join us!
Our 30th Anniversary activities will continue. Check the 30th Anniversary page for the latest. In the meanwhile, please save the date for our anniversary gala: November 14, 2015.
Finally, want a chance to win free tickets to either the Chefs Showcase or the 30th Anniversary Gala? AAJA Seattle will be giving away two tickets for each event for a member who renews or joins AAJA before the end of this month, June 30.
I want to send a huge thank you to my board for their support while I go through this major life transition. I also want to emphasize that because of their effort, the chapter will be in good hands. While my workload will be limited, I hope to be present at chapter events (possibly with the new baby), so I hope to see you all there!
It’s that time of year again! Join AAJA Seattle and the Seattle Association of Black Journalists on Friday for a celebration of our scholarship winners!
During the reception, we will recognize the winner of the NorthwestJournalists of Color & Patricia Fisher Endowed scholarships. We will also reveal the winner of the Founders’Scholarship, which provides funds for a student to attend the 2015 AAJA National Convention in San Francisco.
Northwest Journalists of Color recipients
Ashley Walls – University of Washington
Brady Hitoshi Wakayama – Washington State University
Bailey Williams – Central Washington University
Mohamed Adan – Seattle Central College
Patricia Fisher Endowed Scholarship recipients
Ashley Walls – University of Washington
Merdie Nzanga – American University
AAJA Seattle Founders Scholarshp
Brady Hitoshi Yakayama – Washington State University
The reception will also feature a keynote speech from Seattle-based broadcast journalist Tonya Mosley and a meet-and-greet with our scholarship recipients!
Can’t make it? You can still support NJC by making a donation today for next year’s scholarships.
Details: 2015 NJC SCHOLARSHIP RECEPTION
KIRO 7 News
2807 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
Friday, June 5th 6:30 PM
FREE Light drinks and food will be served
In 2015, AAJA Seattle has reached 30 years as a chapter. Over the last three decades, AAJA Seattle has organized dozens of programs and provided dozens of scholarships toward fulfilling the organization’s three-prong mission of increasing Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists and news managers, ensuring fair coverage of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and encouraging young AAPIs to enter the industry.
AAJA Seattle has planned a number of events and other features to celebrate this special milestone.
The celebration starts now with AAJA Seattle’s 30th Anniversary video series. Every month during the remainder of this year, the chapter will post video interviews with key members of the chapter.
For the first segment, Natasha Chen, AAJA Seattle vice president of events and KIRO 7 reporter, interview chapter co-founder and KING 5 anchor Lori Matsukawa. Lori talks about the early meetings of the chapter, how the chapter impacted the local journalism industry and the formation of the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship.
AAJA Seattle hit the road in March and April for a series of student pizza nights. The chapter held the events as part of its efforts efforts to promote the Northwest Journalist of Color and Founders scholarship programs.
Applications for this year’s scholarships is on Sunday, May 3. Apply today!
During the event, which was organized by chapter board members, students learned about the scholarship program, got tips from scholarship alumni and, of course, enjoyed some hot pizza!
Here are a few highlights from each of our student pizza nights.
Mountlake Terrace High School
Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship alumnus Peter Sessum chats with students at at the AAJA Seattle pizza night at Mountlake Terrace High School.
AAJA Seattle secretary Samantha Pak organized a pizza night at Mountlake Terrace High School, where she is an alumna and also serves as a co-adviser for the school newspaper, on March 24. Students met with with Kat Chow, a 2010 and 2010 Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winner who now works for National Public Radio in Washington D.C, over a Google Hangout. For some of the students, it was a reunion as she met with several of them during a national high student journalism conference in Washington D.C. late last year. Peter Sessum, a four-time scholarship winner, attended the event, sharing his experiences in both journalism and the military and providing plenty of advice.
University of Washington
University of Washington students getting information about scholarships from AAJA Seattle and the Western Washington SPJ Pro Chapter.
AAJA Seattle — with the lead of National Board representative Venice Buhain — co-hosted a scholarship pizza party with UW’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on March 30 to talk about scholarships from both organizations. It was a great opportunity to talk about the different scholarships and to offer tips and advice on students’ applications.
Poster promoting Western Washington University pizza night.
Western Washington University
Sarah Wallace, AAJA Seattle treasurer and Bellingham-based freelance writer and instructor, organized the April 13 pizza night at WesternWashington University. Students and journalism faculty heard from Carol Kaesuk Yoon, a New York Times science writer, and Rhys Logan, a Native American Western Washington University journalism school graduate who now works in social media for the university. Sarah led a Google Hangout with former NJC scholarship recipient Peter Sessum, who is now of the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs. Sarah also showed links to work by former NJC scholarship recipient Gina Cole of the Seattle Times (and a Western Washington University graduate).
Sarah also recalled her first day on the job at a major metropolitan newspaper back in the 1990s. She recalled how a group of photographers covering a local convention of Asian businesspeople made fun and mocked their accents throughout the day. When Sarah approached an editor at the end of her shift, the editor scoffed at her concerns. The next day, he thought better and emailed that he was utterly wrong and apologized.
Central Washington University
2014 Northwest Journalist of Color winner Bailey Williams and AAJA Seattle president Mai Hoang.
Chapter president Mai Hoang visited Central Washington University on April 23 for pizza and a session on internships. The event included a Q&A with 2014 Northwest Journalists of Scholarship winner Bailey Williams, who is studying broadcast journalism at the university in Ellensburg, Wash. Scholarship alumni Gina Cole (2011), Kat Chow (2010 and 2011) and Julia Martinez (2014) also helped Mai with her scholarship and internship presentation.
Thank you to all students who were able to join us for this year’s student pizza nights! In the meanwhile, if you are a student (or a student advisor) please fill out the form below to give us feedback on what you would like to see in future student journalism programming.
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AAJA Seattle members at the Northwest Journalist of Color reception. From Left: Tiffany Wan, Samantha Pak, Caroline Li, Chris Casquejo, Mai Hoang, Peter Sessum, Thanh Tan, Lori Matsukawa and Venice Buhain. Photo courtesy of Lori Matsukawa.
Dear AAJA Seattle members,
I am honored to have served as AAJA Seattle president in 2014. For me, it was a year where I really could fully embrace my role. In 2013, I was transitioning in the role and learning the ropes. This year, I feel I had the opportunity to move the chapter forward.
Our chapter, through our events, reached a wide variety of people this year. We got a lot done and I’m proud of all the hard work that our board and members put in.
In March, we held a media access workshop for nonprofit organizations at The Seattle Times. The workshop was funded through a generous grant from the Kellogg Foundation. Venice Buhain, longtime AAJA Seattle member, coordinated the event, which attracted more than 70 people.
In May, AAJA Seattle awarded four college students with college scholarships through our Northwest Journalists of Color program. We held a reception at The Seattle Times with our longtime partner, the Seattle Association of Black Journalists. Our chapter also awarded a scholarship for Nicole Gaddie, a graduate of Seattle University, to attend the 2015 National Convention, which proved to be a valuable experience. This year’s program was coordinated by Caroline Li, AAJA Seattle’s vice president of programs.
Also in May, AAJA Seattle founder Lori Matsukawa was recognized for her service and work in journalism when the Northwest Chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences inducted her into its prestigious Silver Circle. AAJA members from around the world pooled in money for a program ad to congratulate Lori.
In June, a team of AAJA Seattle members raised more than $1,000 for Walk For Rice, the annual fundraiser for the Asian Counseling and Referral Service. Funds went toward the organization’s food bank, which provides cultural-specific foods to people in need. The AAJA Seattle team was Janet Tu, Tiffany Wan, Chris Casquejo, Mai Hoang and Samantha Pak
In August, Venice Buhain, Thanh Tan, and Mai Hoang organized the chapter’s first Chefs Showcase. The event attracted more than 120 professionals to the beautiful Columbia Tower Club. There, attendees enjoyed delicious food and watch demonstrations from some of Seattle’s top chefs. The event also raised thousands of dollars for the chapter.
Also in August, longtime AAJA Seattle support and Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen received the Leadership in Diversity Award from the national AAJA organization.
Also in August, with the encouragement (and generous match) of long-time member Danny O’Neil, AAJA Seattle members raised $1,000 for Power of One. which funded many of AAJA national programs. AAJA Seattle’s efforts also helped AAJA reached a national goal of $15,000.
In December, AAJA Seattle teamed up with the Western Washington SPJ Chapter to hold our annual Holiday Scoop event. Caroline Li worked with SPJ board member (and former AAJA Seattle board member) Athima Chansanchai on the event. The event served as a fundraiser for SPJ and AAJA Seattle’s scholarship programs.
The success of many of these events were possible thanks to our generous sponsors. I can not thank these companies and organizations enough for their ongoing support. So here’s another thank you to the following for their support in 2014: Kellogg Foundation, KING 5, Columbia Tower Club, PR BusinessWire, The Seattle Times, Tack Local, The Seattle Globalist, Davis Wright and Tremaine.
Now it’s time to say thank you to our departing board members and welcome our incoming board members. I think most of us will agree that Sanjay Bhatt is due for a break! Sanjay, a reporter for The Seattle Times, has served on the AAJA board for the last eight years, first as chapter president and most recently as our National Board representative. I could probably fill several blog entries on all the great things Sanjay did while he served on our board. We will miss him, but we are happy about his new pursuits including raising a beautiful baby girl with wife Pooja and heading up the new Investigative Reporters and Editors group in Seattle.
Caroline Li has served on the AAJA Seattle board since 2010, first as Vice President of Events and more recently as Vice President of Programs. Caroline is passionate about journalism and that showed in her efforts organizing various programs for our chapter, such as our Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship program. Li is stepping down from the position to focus on a very busy schedule that includes managing several music artists and her job as community manager for Tack Local, a media technology startup. Li plans to continue to help out when she can, which we’re grateful for!
Tiffany Wan served as our Vice President of Events for the last two years. Tiffany is a former Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winner and she has given back in a large way through her work with AAJA Seattle. She worked tirelessly to pull off several big events including our Lunar New Year banquet and auction, chapter picnic and the Northwest Journalists of Color reception.
While we’re sad to say goodbye to some great people, I’m excited to work with some new folks who will serve on our board this year.
Our new National Board representative actually is no stranger to AAJA Seattle. Venice Buhain, editor for The Seattle Globalist and a reporter with TVW, served on the AAJA Seattle board from 2008-2011 as secretary. Though she was not on the board for a few years, she has continue to be active with the chapter. In 2014, she was the lead coordinator of our monthly Dim Sum Saturday event. She also did the heavy lifting on our media access workshop and chef’s showcase event.
Natasha Chen brings some fresh new blood to the board as our new Vice President of Events. Natasha came to Seattle in 2013 to work as a reporter for KIRO-TV. When she’s not working, she’s a party organizing extraordinaire and awesome cupcake baker, which essentially makes her perfect for this job! And she’s already hit the ground running planning our upcoming Lunar New Year banquet.
Sarah Wallace will serve as chapter treasurer for a new two-year term after being appointed to the position in 2014. Sarah currently works as a freelance reporter and editor in the Bellingham area. Sarah has been an active member of AAJA for many years and have helped out in various capacities before joining in the board.
Samantha Pak will continue as chapter secretary in 2015, serving the second-year of her term. She joined the board in 2012. Sammi is great at making sure members are updated on everything from upcoming events to job opportunities and always lends a helping hand when needed.
Now it’s time to look forward. 2015 is not only a new year, but also the 30th anniversary of AAJA Seattle!
I will continue to serve as president through this year and would love your feedback on how AAJA Seattle can best serve you. In addition, if you are interested in helping out with the chapter in any way, we want to hear from you.
And here’s one opportunity: AAJA Seattle is seeking a new Vice President of Programs. This is a key position for our chapter. Duties including coordinating our marquee scholarship program, the Northwest Journalists of Color. The person in this position has the opportunity to develop programs that reach our diverse chapter base.
Now here’s what’s coming up for the first part of this year
If you haven’t already, please renew your AAJA membership! We’ll be making calls to remind you, but if you want to go ahead and renew, head over to the AAJA members page.
AAJA and SPJ will be welcoming the new Seattle-based group of the Investigative Reporters and Editors in a fun mixer on Jan. 21.
On Jan. 31, we’ll be holding our first Dim Sum Saturday of the year. This is a casual and fun event. If you are new to the chapter or AAJA, this is a great way to get acquainted with fellow members. More details are here.
AAJA Seattle will hold its annual Lunar New Year banquet and silent auction on Feb. 21 at China Harbor Restaurant in Seattle. More details are coming. We hope you can join us. If you are interested in helping out with either the banquet or the auction, please contact Natasha (for the banquet) or me (for the silent auction).
The AAJA Seattle board will hold a retreat the next day, Feb. 22. If you have anything you would like us to consider during the retreat, please let us know.
I’m looking forward to a great year and I hope to see many of you at AAJA Seattle events throughout the year. Again, please feel to contact me at 509-834-0272 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to give your thoughts or feedback!