Congrats to our 2014 Northwest Journalists of Color Scholars!





Julia Martinez is the first in her family to attend college. She plans to major with a degree in print journalism and minors in economics and advertising. She is currently on staff at Central’s Pulse Magazine and plans to be on staff this fall at the university’s weekly publication, The Observer, where she served two quarters on news and online staff. She is also the president for the Society of Professional Journalists chapter at Central and the vice president for the Feminist Club on campus. Before coming to Central, Martinez spent three years on staff at the Alutant, EHS’s bi-weekly news magazine.

Julia likes to cover stories involving women’s rights, immigration issues and world news and has a knack for investigative reporting.



UntitledMichaela Vue is a senior at Decatur High School in Federal Way and a Running Start student at Highline Community College in Des Moines.

She will be graduating with an AA and an emphasis in Journalism this June.

Western Washington University will be her new home next fall where she plans on getting her bachelors in Journalism and said, “I want to thank this association for helping me get one step closer to my dreams.”





Bailey Williams is a high school senior graduating in June 2014 with a Associate of Arts degree from Highline Community College with an emphasis in journalism.

She plans to transfer to Central Washington University in the fall to pursue a major in broadcast journalism.

She has worked on the Thunderword newspaper at Highline for a year. She said, ”I hope to one day star in my own talk show and give back to my community. With the help of this scholarship I can focus on my schoolwork and less on the financial burden of college. I would like to thank the NJC for awarding me this scholarship and supporting my journalism dreams.”


hollyHolly Buchanan is a 21 year old photojournalist who has been active in journalism writing since she was 16 years old.

She was Editor and Chief of Pierce College’s Newspaper and currently writes for The Pen, a faculty online newsletter for Pierce College.

She is enrolled at the University of Washington Tacoma, where she will study this fall. She is part Japanese and lives with her 82 year old Japanese grandmother.







nicoleNicole Horiuchi Gaddie is one week shy of graduating from Seattle University with a degree in journalism and minor in theater.

Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Gaddie fell in love with the Pacific Northwest when she moved to Seattle for college and has stayed ever since. She previously interned at The Seattle Times, KCTS9, The Tacoma News Tribune, 710 ESPN and The Seattle Channel.

While at Seattle University Gaddie played on the women’s golf team and served as student body president her junior year. Gaddie says she is interested in all types of journalism and is eager to explore the changes taking place within the field.





ashlyAshley Walls is entering her junior year at the University of Washington (UW), majoring in journalism and minoring in women’s studies. She writes for two on-campus papers and volunteers weekly at the local food bank. She works at the UW’s advising office and has also worked at The Seattle Times as a news assistant.

This summer, Ashley will be attending the National Association of Black Journalist’s annual convention in Boston. She will also be studying abroad in Tahiti. Upon graduation, she plans on pursuing a MBA or attending law school. Ultimately, Ashley would like to pursue a career in sports journalism, features reporting, or public relations. Growing up, she always had a knack for writing and found it incredibly enjoyable. She felt it was creative, challenging, and left her with endless possibilities. Everyone has an incredible story to share, and as a journalist she feels that she has the incredible opportunity to do just that.



kaylaKayla Rae Ortiz is a senior at Issaquah High School and a Running Start student at Bellevue College. She is the teen vice president of the Seattle chapter of Jack & Jill of America, as well as the founder and CEO of Kayla’s Corner, a non-profit organization focused on providing books & supplies to underprivileged schools.

Kayla is an active participant in the community and received the Humanitarian Award for Literacy from Mt. Zion Baptist Church for her work. She also participates in a number of extracurricular activities and currently works as a gymnastics coach at Emerald City Gymnastics Academy.

Kayla will attend Spelman College in the fall, where her focus will be in journalism and English with a science minor. After college, Kayla plans to attend medical school to become a doctor and would like to be a medical correspondent. She wants to use her skills to set-up clinics and treat patients in impoverished areas around the world. In her spare time, Kayla enjoys singing, listening to music, travelling, writing and practicing hot yoga.



merdieMerdie Nzanga grew up in Shoreline, Washington and graduated from Shorecrest High School in 2012. She currently attends Shoreline Community College. She has always had a passion for telling stories. Her goal is a career in international journalism. She wants to cover human interest stories around the globe, highlighting Africa. When people hear about Africa in the news, they often hear about the negative aspects. Thus, Merdie wants to be the journalist providing balanced reporting, including the positive news stories coming out of Africa that have not yet been shared with the world.

This fall she will attend American University in Washington, D.C. She believes our nation’s capital is the best city in the country to study journalism because of its array of international media bureaus and embassies. Washington, D.C. presents opportunities to engage with key players in national and international news. Merdie is delighted to be one of this year’s Patricia Fisher scholarship recipients.




Thank you to our keynote speaker, Lori Matsukawa of KING5 News.

Lori Matsukawa currently co-anchors KING 5 News weeknights at 10 on KONG TV 6/16 and KING 5 News at 11 on KING 5. She co-founded AAJA Seattle in 1981. Matsukawa was hired at KING 5 in 1983 as a reporter and co-anchor for the show “Top Story.” From 1984 to 1990 she also co-hosted “Celebrate the Differences,” a weekly KING 5 minority affairs program.

Lori reported from Tokyo on the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC and Salt Lake City. Other major stories include Governor Gary Locke’s first mission to China in 1997. She filed live reports for NBC affiliates during the 50th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

In 2005, Lori was given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) for mentoring aspiring journalists and she was inducted into the University of Washington Communication Department’s Alumni Hall of Fame. UNITY: Journalists of Color cited Lori Matsukawa as a “pioneering Asian American broadcast journalist” in its first list of the top journalists of color in the country for the past century. In 2014, Lori was inducted into the Silver Circle for lifetime achievement by the Northwest Chapter of NATAS, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.



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About Caroline Li

Caroline Li is our AAJA webmaster and former VP of Programs and Scholarship Chair. She currently works at Tack, a startup technology company that combines traditional and social media advertising. Follow her @TheCarolineLi View all posts by Caroline Li →
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