The Reporting China Maymester Abroad Program is a four-week program, through the University of Texas College of Communication, that takes place immediately following the spring semester.

Fred Badlissi is a graduate student studying journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a dual-major BA in Political Science and Arabic from UCLA, and extensively studied the Middle East prior to his interest in journalism. He has interned for the Texas Observer and Amnesty International Canada, and is his generation’s premiere authority on Texas barbecue and craft root beer.


Joshua Barajas is the video editor for ChinaInFocus. He is a senior in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated in May 2011 and hopes to pursue his interests in video journalism. He has a passion for seeking out and creating multimedia stories.



Ryland Barton is a graduate student at the University of Texas focusing in radio journalism. His work has been featured in the Texas Observer, KUT Radio, and ReportingTexas.com. After growing up in Kentucky, he graduated from the University of Chicago in 2009 with a degree in English. He still returns to the bluegrass state in his free time where he nurses his passion for Shakespeare and Ultimate Frisbee.


Lara Berendt is the copy editor for ChinaInFocus. She is an undergraduate multimedia journalism senior, graduating after the China Maymester, with professional interests ranging from business, politics and foreign relations to food, fashion and culture. She plans to remain in Austin after graduation, and ultimately hopes to create multimedia content for news and nonprofit organizations.


Claire Cardona is the content editor for ChinaInFocus. She is a print journalism senior and the former managing editor of The Daily Texan. Originally from Singapore, she lived in New Orleans for 10 years before moving to Austin to attend the University of Texas at Austin.


Lizzie Chen is the photo editor for ChinaInFocus. She is a first year graduate student pursuing an MA in Journalism with a concentration in photojournalism. She specializes in documentary work and implementing multimedia into modern storytelling. Her work focuses on marginalized and under reported communities, and she has a particular interest in Asian immigrants.


Alex Endress is currently a senior at the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Houston, Texas, the 21-year-old Journalism student recently finished his first year with The Daily Texan. Alex is also a member of Phi Gamma Delta, a social fraternity, and the Undergraduate Studies Council. In his spare time, Alex enjoys a range of outdoor activities like golf, tennis, and skiing the Rocky Mountains.


Ngan Ho is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She currently works for The Daily Texan as a multimedia reporter. She brings a variety of experiences from news internships and her work with student media. Her interests are traveling, culture, and language.


James Jeffrey is from the United Kingdom and is currently a graduate Journalism student specializing in writing. Previous travels have never taken him to China before; only the Chinatowns of western cities visited. He grew up hearing stories of Hong Kong from family members and reading tales of Shanghai in novels and history books.


Emily Mitis is a third-year Journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin where she is actively involved in Texas Student Television and KVRX Radio Austin. She plans on one day working professionally as a foreign correspondent or participating in other forms of international reporting. Her interests include music, gymnastics, graffiti, food, painting, and international travel.


Doyin Oyeniyi was born in Nigeria, but moved to the U.S. with her family when she was five and has spent most of her life in Texas. She’s a senior at the University of Texas at Austin where she studies multimedia journalism. She’s blogged for UT’s Longhorn Confidential program and served as a college mobilizer for Posterous.


Nimshi Perera graduated in May 2011 with a Bachelors in Government. She hopes to attend graduate school with a focus in health care administration. A native of Sri Lanka, she came to America in 1990 and has lived in Texas for 13 years. She enjoys traveling and has also been to England and Russia.


Lena Price is a multimedia journalism senior who has spent more hours in The Daily Texan basement than she cares to remember. She’s worked as a news reporter, sports writer and editor. Last summer, Lena interned at a community newspaper in her hometown of Lewisville, Texas. The trip to China will be her first outside the U.S.


Jessica Schwartz is a second year pre-Journalism student with intentions to move onto multimedia journalism. Originally from Southern California, Jessica has embraced life as a longhorn by becoming involved with her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, working at the office of admissions as a student ambassador, and attending Texas sporting events.


Jasmin Sun is currently a Journalism and Economics senior at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a true Texan—born and raised in Houston, Texas—but she rarely speaks English at home. She only speaks Mandarin Chinese with her parents, occasionally with bits of Taiwanese thrown in. Though limited, she hopes this skill will come in handy while interviewing people in China.


Andrea Zarate is a Multimedia Journalism and Women’s and Gender Studies double major at the University of Texas at Austin. She currently holds an internship position as a feature writer at Latinita’s Magazine, an online non-profit website written for young Latinas. Andrea is an active member in La Colectiva Femenil, a feminist student organization for women of color.


Avery Holton is a second-year PhD student in the School of Journalism and serves as the managing editor for ChinaInFocus. He brings more than 11 years of professional reporting experience including work with local and national publications such as the Austin American-Statesman, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, and Time Magazine. He is currently studying digital and health communications at UT.


Professor Tracy Dahlby spent 13 years living in Asia, where he was Tokyo bureau chief for The Washington Post and Newsweek, respectively. During his career he has covered events in Japan, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia; worked as managing editor of Newsweek International in New York; and has written on Asia for National Geographic magazine.