Asian American Journalists Association proudly celebrated their 25th Annual Scholarship and Gala with keynote speakers Pulitzer Prize award winning journalist José Antonio Vargas and Presidential Advisory Council Commissioner and actor Maulik Pancholy.
José Antonio Vargas spoke of his dilemma of his recent detainment at the Texas border as an undocumented immigrant and coming out of the closet as a gay man to his grandmother. He is a highly acclaimed and controversial journalist and documentary film writer, producing visual and editorial commentary impacting AIDS and immigration policies in the U.S. Vargas’ national and international appearances include Nightline, The O’Reilly Factor and The Colbert Report.
Maulik Pancholy’s accolades include the popular roles he portrayed as Jonathan in the award winning comedy tv show 30 Rock and Showtime’s award winning Weeds as Sanjay. His recent appointment as Commissioner on the President’s Advisory Council of the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders brings to focus the social disparities and stereotypes AAPI still encounter and address the issue of bullying in new social media.
AAJA also launched their inaugural Media Institute Fellows Program led by renowned media experts Pamela Wu, Emmy nominated former news anchor & television host; and Ellen Lee, freelance journalist and former staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. Distinguished speakers included Jan Yanehiro, Emmy award winning national broadcast journalist and author; Sharon Pian Chan, associate opinions and digital editor of the Seattle Times; Cefann Kim, general assignment, live newscast reporter, broadcast journalism NYC; and Chris Nguyen, anchor and breaking news reporter, Sacramento CA. The Media Institute Fellows Program was sponsored by Gannett, General Motors, and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Renowned Ivy League Cornell University’s 12th president, David J. Skorton, M.D. visited the Cornell Alumni Club in Rochester New York to discourse upon the school’s numerous accolades and progressive academic goals for the 21st century. Most recently, Cornell NYC TECH campus was established to integrate a multidisciplinary approach combining education and research distinguished by academic excellence with commercial success and serving the sustainable global society-at-large. The uniqueness of Cornell’s entrepreneurial culture utilizes the best of NYC’s resources, business & technology and global access.
Skorton holds concurrent faculty appointments as professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and in Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering on Cornell’s Ithaca campus. He is also past chair of the Business-Higher Education Forum, an independent, nonprofit organization of industry CEOs, leaders of colleges and universities, and foundation executives; life member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and member of the board of directors of the Association of American Medical Colleges. A Master of the American College of Cardiology, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
A seasoned administrator, board-certified cardiologist, biomedical researcher, jazz musician, and advocate for the arts and humanities, President Skorton strives to make Cornell University a global model of excellence combining academic distinction and public service. He remarked emphatically to Mary Ho, Cornell alumna and President of China Frontier, that Cornell trains future leaders for the world.