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About Our Team

OurChinatown, a project started by Asian American Journalists Association’s Executive Leadership Program, is led by a unique multidisciplinary team, which includes experts in community development, online editorial and digital production.

Founding Members

Paul Cheung is AP’s Global Interactive Editor for its New York City headquarters. The interactive editor manages a global team of visual journalists who produce multimedia and information graphics for all formats, including print, online and mobile. Cheung is also an adjunct faculty member at Columbia Journalism School teaching visual journalism. Prior to joining the AP, Cheung was The Miami Herald’s Deputy Multimedia Presentation Editor. He managed MiamiHerald.com site redesign in 2009 and before joining the Miami Herald, Cheung was a Senior Graphics Editor at The Wall Street Journal. Cheung served on the board of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). He was the National AAJA convention co-chair in Miami 2007 and programming chair for the past three years. Cheung, a 2007 Newspaper Association of America Breakthrough fellow, graduated from New York University where he studied journalism, sociology, science and photography.

Cindy del Rosario Tapan is a freelance writer and editor. Previously, she was editorial manager at RecycleBank, an incentives program that encourages people to take positive green actions. Cindy has served as the managing editor for National Geographic’s Green Guide online, Parenting.com and the eco-conscious website Blue Egg. She began career at In Style and Oprah magazines, before being named program director for the launch of Martha Stewart Living Radio. She is the former president of the NY chapter of AAJA, and a 2005 graduate of the Executive Leadership Program.

Jeff Yang was founding publisher of aMagazine, Asian America’s most influential English-language media institution, and aOnline, one of the first Asian-American communities on the web. He now serves as Global VP of Iconoculture, where he oversees operations in Greater China, Japan and Korea. He is a former Vice President of the New York chapter of AAJA.




Michelle Jiang is currently an editorial intern at WomansDay.com and a contributor to the OurChinatown project. As a recent graduate from CUNY College of Staten Island, she is an internet-savvy aspiring journalist, covering multiple areas of interests from music and arts to cultural and local events in Greater New York.

After studying for a semester abroad in Rome, Italy, and months spent exploring the European continent, Michelle was bitten by the travel bug and has since been fevered with a passion for delving into diverse cultures around the world. Having lived in Brooklyn, NY her whole life, she is the product of a rich melting pot environment. If you have tales of your travels or tips to share with Michelle, email her at michelle@ourchinatown.org or friend her on Facebook.

Alex Peng has served his beloved community as a trailblazer in community-based journalism for many years. Since the 1980s, Mr. Peng has traversed and immersed his readers and listeners in the physical, historical and cultural landscapes of New York. He has also been specifically focused on the documentation of the history of the Chinatowns in North America.Mr. Peng’s career in journalism began during his high school years. While well-versed in print journalism, which he studied extensively in East Asia, he also studied broadcasting journalism in Japan, becoming one of the few Asian American journalists who then had the privilege of practicing both print and broadcasting journalism for his community.

Ren Hsieh is OurChinatown’s resident blogger on Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks. Through commentary and game recaps, he is documenting the Linsanity, but also providing up-to-the-minute coverage of Knicks games through OurChinatown’s live blog and Twitter feed. Ren is the executive director of The Dynasty Project, a nonprofit organization that initiates and supports innovative programs that enrich local Asian American communities through athletics. From 2006 to 2011, he wrote for Yao Central, the Houston Chronicle’s blog on all things Yao Ming. You can follow him on Twitter @TheRealRenHsieh or reach him at ren@ourchinatown.org.

Roque Ruiz-González is an Interactive Producer for the Associated Press. He graduated in late 2007 as a Graphic Designer from Miami International University of Art & Design, he quickly became one of the main designer for Miami Herald’s website redesign. Since then he has worked on many interactive online packages and infographics for South Florida’s leading newspaper blending successfully graphics, sound and video. At the same time his passion for music has taken his own Cloudberry Records to be one of the world’s most loved and known record labels in the indiepop genre, with more than a hundred releases. With his label he created a new concept relaunching the small 3″ CDs as a bona fide format for smaller labels as well as combining great aesthetics with the collaboration of many illustrators around the world. When he is not working on any of his thousands of projects he is probably traveling to the next music festival.

Pearly Huang is a freelance writer and editor based in NYC and a contributor to OurChinatown. She was born and raised in New York’s Chinatown so this project holds a special and deeply personal interest to her.

Pearly recently came from working with another hyper local community startup, Patch.com. Before Patch, Pearly was an editorial intern at Time Out New York, where she contributed to TONY’s online blog, “Last Minute Plan.” She also interned for the interactive department at SIRIUS XM Radio. Pearly also has on-air radio experience from ComRadio, Penn State’s student-run radio station.

When she’s not making or reading pop culture/viral meme tumblrs, Pearly loves to cook and is a self-proclaimed foodie. She loves going through Yelp pages for good eats and is a follower of way-too-many food blogs. Someday she’d love to go visit her mother’s motherland for an all-out eating adventure.

If you have any tips or suggestions for something you’d like to see covered about Chinatown, feel free to e-mail her at pearly@ourchinatown.org

Shirley N. Lew currently works with a start-up local government cable access channel as a producer and camera person at MTTN-TV in Manalapan, New Jersey. She is also the host of “School Talk”, a talk program with local school district administrators and teachers as guests. Last year, Shirley was appointed by her township to serve a three year term on the Cable Television Advisory Council. At Hunter College, Shirley studied media communications and political science. Upon graduating, she worked at CBS Television as a marketing assistant and as a weekend news desk assistant simultaneously. Before that, Shirley’s aspirations to become a reporter began when she was the newspaper editor and public address announcer in high school.

As a first generation Chinese-American and raised in Chinatown, Shirley is passionate about her hometown and how it has shaped her. She enjoys walking through her old neighborhood and reminiscing when she visits. When time allows, Shirley enjoys running and playing a competitive game of volleyball, otherwise she is a news junkie. Two of her favorite Chinatown treats are, “Bok Tong Go”, a white sweet spongy cake and “Hong Dow Bing,” red bean ice!


October 2015
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