AAJA Partners with Columbia Journalism School to Offer Student Scholarships

columbiaAAJA is partnering with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism to provide scholarships to five AAJA student members to be able to attend the 2017 AAJA National Convention in Philadelphia, July 26 – 29. Each scholarship winner will be awarded $750 from this Columbia grant.

The Columbia Journalism School Student Fellowship expands the university’s and AAJA’s mutual goal of providing future journalists the ability to attend the national convention to network with fellow students, professionals and employers; receive training by participating in convention workshops, panels and speaking events; and learn about trends in journalism that will better prepare them for successful careers.

The scholarships will help offset registration, travel, lodging and meal costs for students during the convention week. Selected students may also be invited to meet with Columbia Journalism School representatives and to attend Columbia-sponsored events during the convention.


  1. Applicants must be committed to AAJA’s mission
  2. Applicants must be current 2017 AAJA student members (subject to verification)
  3. Applicants must demonstrate a dedication to journalism and a strong interest in pursuing journalism as a career
  4. Applicants must be currently enrolled full-time (12 credit hours or more) in undergraduate or graduate school and either taking or planning to take courses in journalism or media studies
  5. Currently enrolled Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism students are not eligible to apply

The deadline to apply has passed. Students may apply for both this opportunity and to VOICES. However, students who are selected as participants for VOICES will no longer be eligible for a Columbia Journalism School fellowship. Please email justins@oldsite.aaja.org with questions.

The application deadline has passed.

Columbia Journalism School Student Scholarship 2016 Recipients


Nuran Alteir is an engineering student at Golden West College who hopes to use her science degree to focus on niche reporting. “The Columbia Journalism School Student Fellowship made it possible for me to go to the AAJA Convention without worrying about finances. I met amazing people who I know will prove to be invaluable friends and resources in the future,” Nuran says. She is currently a freelance reporter and photographer for the Times Community News.




Lauren Day is currently a student at the University of Southern California focusing on broadcast and digital journalism. She recently completed an internship as a college associate with Fox News Channel. Lauren says she would not have been able to attend the AAJA convention in Las Vegas without the financial help of the Columbia Journalism Scholarship. “The convention was an incredible experience. Not only did I learn a lot in the workshops, but it was extremely valuable for networking. I made so many career connections and received critiques on my reel […] The convention helped me make connections that I believe will lead to a job after graduation,” Lauren says. She is currently an executive producer and reporter for USC’s Annenberg Media.


Earl Jordan Lalata is currently a student at San Francisco State University majoring EarlJordanLin journalism. “The Columbia Fellowship allowed me to attend a convention where Asian Americans and allies gathered to support one another […] Being a part of the convention gave me more confidence to produce my own narrative of reporting on LGBT in Asia. I was able to meet journalists who are passionate about what they do, which reassures me that choosing journalism as a career is the best choice for me,” Earl says. His future goal is to become an international reporter in Asia and plans on looking into opportunities for reporting international affairs in Asian countries.


JaclynLeeJaclyn Lee is a student at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill studying broadcast journalism. She is currently a news production assistant for WRAL and works on her campus television station, Carolina Week, as an anchor and reporter. “One of the large reasons I’ve been able to achieve what I have is due to huge support and mentoring from the AAJA community. This grant allowed me to continue building relationships and receive feedback on my current work. I’ve greatly appreciated the opportunity to attend seminars that further help grow my journalistic abilities,” Jaclyn says. She hopes to pursue a career in television broadcast reporting to tell stories that can better improve the community she serves.



Pallavi Somusetty is a student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism studying documentary production. She is currently a self-employed documentary cinematographer who produces her own films. “The fellowship helped me to network and navigate amongst esteemed AAPI professionals immediately after graduation […] I also took away a lot from some of the workshops – they inspired me to strengthen my professional female relationships, to explore VR in depth and to think more about how to handle conflict reporting,” Pallavi says. Her thesis film Escaping Agra was a Cine Golden Eagle Finalist for Student Documentary in 2016 and premiered at the SF International Film Festival.



  1. Application information will only be used internally by AAJA to promote student opportunities and for program evaluation and planning. In the application form, please indicate whether you would like to be notified of further student opportunities from AAJA, including scholarships, grants and additional journalism training.
  2. AAJA does not share applicant information with third parties except for appropriate Columbia University representatives.