CQS 25th Anniversary Tribute: Katie Oyan


Katie Oyan (Summer 1997 and Spring 2000)
West Desk Editor
The Associated Press, Phoenix

My most meaningful professional accomplishment? That’s a tough one. Is it cheating if I say being a Chips Quinn Scholar? I’m sure it sounds like I’m just trying to win points with John Quinn. (And hey, he’s amazing. Would that be so wrong?) But I can say without question that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for him and the CQS program.

I wouldn’t have landed not one but two newsroom internships, where I first put my valuable Chipster training to work. (I still regularly hear the voice of the late Dick Thien, my career coach, in my head telling me to use short, declarative sentences.)

I wouldn’t have gotten my first two full-time newspaper jobs, where I worked my first beats and tried my hand at copy editing.

I wouldn’t have made the contacts that then led to a job at The Associated Press in Helena, Mont., which led to a job at the AP in Denver.

I wouldn’t have then transferred to the AP’s western regional hub in Phoenix, where I met my husband.

And I wouldn’t have experienced so many other meaningful accomplishments along the way, like working on some of the country’s top stories, training other AP editors, helping shape how my region delivers breaking news and now working on some exciting in-depth projects.

Some of the stories I’ve played a part in as an AP editor:
– The San Bernardino terror attack
– The Colorado movie theater shootings
– The legalization of marijuana and gay marriage
– The Oregon wildlife refuge standoff
– And so many more, including wildfires, mudslides, earthquakes, elections, protests, deaths and births.

None of this would’ve been possible without the training and encouragement I received and the people I met as a Chips Quinn Scholar. And I’m happy to say I’m just one of many.

On the program’s 25th anniversary, I’d just like to say thank you to the entire CQS family. You have a huge fan in me.



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