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Ailsa Chang is a Congressional reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.
Since joining NPR in September 2012, Chang has covered the first major gun control legislation to reach Capitol Hill in two decades, recovery efforts after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy and a multitude of law enforcement issues, including reforms by the overstretched and underfunded police department in Camden, NJ.
Chang spent six years as a lawyer before becoming a journalist. Prior to coming to NPR, Chang was an investigative reporter at NPR member station WNYC from 2009 to 2012 in New York City where she covered criminal justice and other legal issues.
Chang has received numerous national awards for her investigative reporting. In 2012, she was honored with the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her two-part investigative series on the New York City Police Department's "stop-and-frisk" policy and allegations of unlawful marijuana arrests by officers. The reports also earned honors from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.
She was also the recipient of the Daniel Schorr Journalism Award, a National Headliner Award, and an honor from Investigative Reporters and Editors for her investigation on how Detroit's broken public defender system leaves lawyers with insufficient resources to effectively represent their clients.
In 2011, the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association named Chang as the winner of the Art Athens Award for General Excellence in Individual Reporting for radio.
Chang graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University where she received her bachelor's degree. She earned a law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School and has two masters degrees, one in media law from Oxford University where she was a Fulbright Scholar and one in journalism from Columbia University.
She also served as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in the chambers of Judge John T. Noonan, Jr.
Chang was a Kroc fellow at NPR from 2008 to 2009. She has also been a reporter and producer for NPR member station KQED in San Francisco.
Chang grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I was born in New York City and raised outside of Detroit. I graduated from Michigan State University in 2007 with an Honor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism and then took a reporting job in southern Illinois. I worked there for about five months before taking over as the News and Sports Director at two stations in central Minnesota. After two-and-a-half years in the frigid cold, I accepted the position at WBAA in June of 2010. I have really enjoyed my time working in the West Lafayette area. I love being out in the community covering a wide range of events from school board and city council meetings to elections and football and basketball games.
When I am not working, I am usually watching some kind of sports game, most likely the Pistons, Lions, or Tigers. I also work as a volunteer for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Lafayette which has been an outstanding experience.
I look forward to many more years to come at WBAA and in the West Lafayette community.