Bank of America Women's Leadership SeriesVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Houston’s Leading News Anchors
This program has taken place. Find the event recap here »
Thursday, May 18, 2023
6 p.m. Reception
7 p.m. Program
The Houston media landscape is home to many notable women news anchors who are breaking barriers and leading the way, setting new standards of journalistic excellence. In addition to reporting on local, national, and international stories, these trailblazing journalists contribute to the diversity of Houston's media, and their work inspires and empowers the next generation of women seeking careers in journalism and the media.
Asia Society Texas is proud to welcome women who have made significant achievements as journalists to discuss their careers as well as the joys and challenges that come with being female journalists and news anchors of color.
Join us in conversation with Shern-Min Chow, Melanie Lawson, Pooja Lodhia, and Rekha Muddaraj as they share their career inspirations, memorable events and interviews; the stories that are nearest to their hearts; and their advice to the next generation of leaders in journalism.
About the Speakers
Shern-Min Chow anchors KHOU 11 News at Noon weekdays, fills in on other newscasts, and reports. She joined the station in 1996. She began her career in journalism as a stringer for Newsweek and has worked at KTRK-TV and anchored at KPRC-TV in Houston, as well as KENS-TV in San Antonio. Chow's awards include the Houston Press Club Award for "Best Series," the Texas Associated Press Award for "Best Spot Newscast-Producer," and an Emmy for the documentary Hong Kong Under the Dragon.
Shern-Min speaks often to civic groups, schools, churches and other organizations. Over the years, she has made close to 1,000 community appearances. She is currently on the advisory boards of the Asia Society and the Chinese Community center. She has previously served on the boards of SpringSpirit Baseball, the Bo & Stacey Porter Self Foundation, the YWCA, The Houston Ballet, the Chinese Community Center, and The Bayou City Medical Center.
A history graduate from Yale University, Shern-Min speaks conversational Mandarin and Shang Hai dialects of Chinese. She has also studied Spanish, French and German. Shern-Min and her husband have two sons. They are students at Rice University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
ABC’s award-winning journalist Melanie Lawson currently serves as co-anchor of Live at 5, and Channel 13's midday show, Eyewitness News at 11am. Melanie has covered virtually every city, state, and national election during her career. She has traveled to Cuba, Panama, and Africa, among other places. She has won numerous awards for her reporting, including an Emmy for her coverage of President Clinton's visit to South Africa, the only local reporter in the nation to make that trip. Melanie has interviewed a wide range of notables, including three U.S. Presidents, Henry Kissinger, the Dalai Lama, poet Maya Angelou, Grammy Award winners Destiny's Child, and former heavyweight champion boxer George Foreman, among many others. She received her undergraduate degree in Politics from Princeton University, and a joint degree in Law and Journalism from Columbia University. She is admitted to both the Texas and New York State Bars.
Pooja Lodhia joined KTRK and the ABC13 Eyewitness News team as a general assignments reporter in the spring of 2012. Before making her leap to Houston, she reported at Eatel News Magazine in Baton Rouge; WLUC in Marquette, Michigan; and WFTX in Fort Myers, Florida. Some of her most memorable stories include covering final space shuttle launch in Cape Canaveral, Hurricane Isaac in New Orleans, and a moose on the loose in Michigan. She truly believes that every person has a story worth telling, and she's honored to be able to do so. Pooja was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and has family here in Houston. She has degrees in English Literature and Journalism and a minor in Modern Dance from Emory University in Atlanta.
Rekha Muddaraj is an Anchor/Reporter at KHOU 11 News in Houston, Texas specializing in health/medical reporting. Rekha Muddaraj joined KHOU 11 News in 2012. She currently anchors the 4 p.m. weekday news. Prior to her move to Houston, Rekha worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor at KFMB-TV (CBS) in San Diego for five years, where she won an Emmy for her breaking news coverage of the 2007 Southern California wildfires. Rekha also worked as a reporter at KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, KS. She covered news in four states including Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. She holds two degrees from Arizona State University: a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication (from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism) and a B.S. in Political Science.
About the Moderator
Ginger Koto Vaughn is a Lecturer in Communication at Rice Business. She teaches in the MBA program and leads diversity and intercultural communication workshops. She helped launch Rice’s Activate Engineering Communication Program in 2019 for engineering master’s students. She also teaches entrepreneurial communication and has served as a pitch coach for Texas Medical Center Innovation (TMCI) and UTSW. She mentors Japanese American emerging leaders for the US-Japan Council and guest lectures on diversity issues at Stanford’s Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) and the East-West Center.
Prior to joining Rice, Ginger was a business journalist and media producer in Tokyo, Japan where she worked for NHK World broadcasting for over a decade. She also held faculty appointments at Hosei University and Akita International University’s (AIU) graduate program in communication. After getting her MBA from Waseda University, she worked in finance for JP Morgan Chase and BNP Paribas as an exotic swaps analyst.
Asia Society hosts today's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect Asia Society views.
About the Women's Leadership Series
The Women's Leadership Series (WLS) celebrates influential, diverse women making a substantive impact in both the business and culture arenas, locally and globally.
Bank of America Women's Leadership Series Highlights Inspiring Careers, Journeys of Four Remarkable Asian American Women in Law
Bank of America Women's Leadership Series Launches Eighth Year with Program Highlighting Houston Philanthropists
Huma Abedin Reflects on Muslim American Identity, Public Service Career in Asia Society Texas' Women's Leadership Series and Muslim Series Program
Acclaimed Food Reporter Priya Kirshna Discusses Career in Journalism, Cookbook Writing in Bank of America Women's Leadership Series
Bank of America Women's Leadership Series: Asian American Leaders Standing Up for Racial Justice
Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series Spotlights Trailblazing Women Breaking Barriers in Space Exploration
Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series Emphasizes Roles of Corporations, Government in Climate Change Solutions
Sixth Year of Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series Opens with Stirring Discussion on Black and Asian Solidarity
Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series Concludes Fifth Year, Highlights Houston Nonprofits, NYC Chef Feeding the Community During COVID-19
Asia Society Welcomes Journalist Ann Curry for Bank of America Women's Leadership Series
Asia Society Launches the 2019–2020 Bank of America Women's Leadership Series with Former PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi
Asia Society Concludes 2018-2019 Bank of America Women's Leadership Series Season with Focus on Women in Entertainment
Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series Spotlights Local Energy Executives, Importance of STEM Education
Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series Kicks Off 2018-2019 Season with Celebrated Female Asian Chefs
Asia Society Concludes 2017-2018 Women's Leadership Series with Women in Fashion Evening
Technology Trailblazers on the Business of Innovation
Third Year of Women’s Leadership Series Begins with Medical Innovators
Former UK First Lady Leads Dialogue on Women’s Education
Women's Leadership Panel Addresses Female Representation in the C-Suite
Former Secretary of Labor Credits "Strong Families, Education, and Hard Work" for Success
Local Leaders Share Personal and Professional Successes at Inaugural Women's Leadership Program
The Women's Leadership Series Steering committee is co-chaired by Theresa Chang and Niloufar Molavi. Members include Dr. Dina Alsowayel, Dr. Anne Chao, Kathy Goossen, Dr. Ellen Gritz, Richa Himani, Brigitte Kalai, Mandy Kao, Shirley Kwan, Sultana Mangalji, Vani Rao, Sue Sim, Y. Ping Sun, and Rita Touma.
Anne and Albert Chao
Nancy C. Allen
The Honorable Theresa W. Chang and Dr. Peter Chang
Kathy and Marty Goossen
Mandy and William Kao
Dr. Peter and Shirley Kwan
Sue and Randy Sim
Leigh and Reggie Smith
Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron
Sahana and Kishore Sundararajan
About APAH Month at Asia Society Texas
Beginning in 2021, Asia Society Texas has celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with the Houston community and beyond through a curated calendar for 31 ways to celebrate over the 31 days of May. Spotlighting the traditions, talents, and contributions of Asians and Asian Americans, the calendar highlights the month's key Asia Society programming, providing a platform to showcase local artists, performers, educators, and leaders who contribute to the vibrant, multicultural tapestry of Houston while also featuring staff recommendations for our favorite music, books, movies, and more by Asian and Asian American creatives.
At Asia Society Texas, APAH Month is an opportunity to celebrate and honor Asians and Asian Americans and to uplift their stories to a broader audience as part of our goal to inspire our larger community to better understand one another through culture, conversation, and connection. For information about sponsoring APAH Month and other projects like this one, please contact Saleena Jafry at SJafry@asiasociety.org or 713.496.9939.
Sponsors of APAH Month at Asia Society Texas
Asian American Bar Association of Houston
The Heimbinder Family Foundation
Past APAH Month Calendars
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX 77004