After sweeping several journalism awards throughout high school, Ascha Lee continued her success in journalism through college.
Skyline High School 2014 graduate Ascha Lee said she first became interested in journalism when, as a junior at Skyline, she started writing and reporting for Skyline’s T-Bird Times student newspaper in January 2013.
Now, Lee’s an engagement assistant at Wichita’s National Public Radio Station 89.1 KMUW, where she works part time in the newsroom as well.
Lee took top honors during her high school career and continued to excel in college. She graduated this spring from Wichita State University’s Elliott School of Communication and was honored as the Outstanding Journalism Graduate of 2018. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications.
At Skyline, Lee’s budding interest in journalism was nurtured by instructor Judy Hampel who oversees both the T-Bird Times and the school yearbook “The Thunderbird.”
Hampel named Lee as editor of the T-Bird Times in August 2013 after Lee won first place in the statewide Kansas Press Association News Writing Contest in May of Lee’s junior year.
Accolades kept piling on and during her graduation month of May 2014, Lee was named Kansas High School Journalist of the Year in the 1A/2/A Division.
“Since my time at Skyline, starting in 2001, Ascha is the only student from Skyline to be named Journalist of the Year,” Hampel said.
“Ascha was a really great writer and, as a teacher, it was effortless to work with her,” Hampel said.
The Skyline instructor said that Lee took her journalistic assignments for the T-Bird Times very seriously because she wanted writing to be her career.
“She was the type of student to dig into a story and she wasn’t afraid to ask uncomfortable questions, even to the administration,” Hampel said.
Another highlight for Lee during her senior year at Skyline was when she and news-staff peers traveled to Boston, Mass. for the National High School Journalism Convention where Lee was presented with an honorable mention award for newswriting.
Lee started her college career at Pratt Community College before transferring to WSU as a sophomore.
At WSU, Lee won merit awards for pieces she entered in audio production and advertising copy-writing. She has worked intermittently for WSU’s student newspaper, The Sunflower, since 2015 and she participated in the Flint Hills Media Project as a multimedia journalist in the summer of 2017.
Lee was also a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, where she served as Administrative Vice President throughout 2017.
After college, Lee began working as engagement assistant at KMUW.
“I run the front desk, help plan and strategize community events, interact with listeners and do just a little bit of everything,” she said.
When she’s not behind the front office desk or in the KMUW newsroom where she’s an intern, Lee said enjoys road trips, tweeting, gardening and taking ‘Netflix-induced’ snoozes with her cat, Louie.
Lee has also produced an independent documentary and has posted the link to a short clip relating to it on her Facebook page.
She’s celebrating her 23rd birthday this week. Lee’s father, Nathan Lee, ranches in the Coats area, where her grandmother, Judy Lee, also lives.