In my current role as an AsAmNews Freelance Staff Writer, and previous summer 2022 reporting intern, I write about any issues concerning the Asian American Pacific Islander communities. I’ve also reported for The Times-Delphic, Drake University’s student newspaper. I am currently the Managing Editor, I have previously been the Sports Editor and staff writer.

Click on the title of each article to view notable pieces from Lia’s portfolio. To find the rest of her portfolio from AsAmNews click here. To find the rest of her portfolio from The Times-Delphic click here.


DACA recipients face unclear future

Recent court rulings against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation, have left many feeling uncertain about their future.

DACA recipient Diana (Woojung) Park first found out she was an undocumented immigrant after starting to apply for scholarships for her high school. She says her family kept her in the dark because they wanted to protect her and didn’t want her to think she was “less than anyone else.”

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An Adoptee’s Journey Home and the TikTok Followers Coming with Her

A soft-spoken voice talks over a short video of someone making a Korean rolled omelet dish with the soothing tones of a piano in the background. At less than a minute long, the video has the makings of a viral TikTok. It is only after listening closely to the words being spoken that one realizes the deeper meaning of the video. 

Eun ‘Emily’ Ae Koh, a transracial Korean adoptee, uses her Tik Tok videos to document her often complicated feelings about being adopted and her journey to connect with her heritage. 

Koh shows a vulnerability and honesty that is often hard to find in today’s fast-moving world, where these kinds of feelings can go unheard. As she processes her own personal experiences as an adoptee, she takes her viewers, often fellow adoptees, with her. 

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Through the lens of Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita first started taking photographs after college. On a trip to Japan to learn more about his Japanese heritage, he found himself taking pictures of the trip to show his friends and family back home. 

“I got really hooked into the photography and just became a photo enthusiast to the point of total immersion; eat, sleep and drink photography,” Yamashita said in an interview with AsAmNews.

He joined a camera club in Japan to practice his Japanese and to meet people, and while there he was able to meet professional photographers and eventually joined a photo agency. Yamashita then spent several years traveling around Asia taking photos and building his portfolio.

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The Times-Delphic

The Importance of Drake’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic

The first thing Kristine Bunch did after being released from prison was to go to a nearby park, take off her shoes and walk barefoot on the grass for the first time in 17 years.

Recalling this day almost seven years ago, her voice, which had been soft-spoken up until this point, gained a certain amount of joy revealing the impact that day had on her. 

After being wrongfully convicted of setting a fire that took her three-year-old son’s life in 1995, Bunch underwent many hardships that most could not withstand.

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The two national parks you should visit this summer

Hello, I’m back for some unsolicited hiking advice, which I know you all wanted. This week I am going to talk about two of my favorite parks to go hiking and camping in and just general information about them.

Zion National Park was the first national park I went to when I was a freshman in high school and it changed my life. Zion has everything you’d want in a national park, spectacular views with hikes for all skill levels and the ability to get back to civilization if needed. I would recommend going in late spring to early summer, if you want to avoid the heat of the middle of summer. The weather itself is somewhat temperamental, so I would definitely check the forecast everyday. 

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Photo Courtesy of Lia Reichmann