2017 Patricia Fisher Scholars

2017 Patricia Fisher Scholars

The Seattle Association of Black Journalists congratulates our 2017 Patricia Fisher scholars Merdie Nzanga, Kari Heru, Jaden Young and Rahwa Hailemariam.

Merdie Nzanga is a junior at Howard University where she writes for The Hilltop student newspaper. Merdie is also a 2017 White House Correspondents' Association scholar.

Kari Heru is a senior at Seattle's Cleveland High and will enter Temple University as a freshman in the fall.

Jaden Young of Spokane is a freshman at Dartmouth College and writes for The Dartmouth student newspaper.

Rahwa Hailemariam writes for the Western Front and co-hosts the Western Window student TV show at Western Washington University.

Please RSVP to join us, AAJA Seattle and Northwest Journalists of Color as we honor our scholars and their families at a reception Thursday, May 11, 2017 at Seattle's KIRO-7 TV.


Seattle Foundation/Patricia Fisher Endowed Scholarship

We offer this scholarship to honor Patricia, her support of young people and her contributions to the community.

The scholarship program is open to African-American students with a serious career interest in print, photo or broadcast journalism. Awards will be made based on scholastic achievement, financial need, and commitment to journalism and to minorities.

About Patricia Fisher

Patricia Fisher was much more than an award-winning journalist.  She brought new levels of sensitivity and perspective to the editorial pages of The Seattle Times and distinguished herself as a tireless, eloquent fighter in the areas of education and social justice.

A Tacoma native, Pat was a graduate of Clover Park High School whose strong ties to the Pacific Northwest led her to attend the University of Washington.  She graduated in 1968 with a major in journalism and a minor in English. Her outstanding academic performance earned her a teaching position in the University of Washington English Department, where she taught from 1968-1975.

Pat’s acumen for teaching and love of young people blossomed as she became a positive, aggressive force throughout the area.  That was especially true in neighborhoods, where there were too few role models and even fewer professionals willing to donate precious time and energy.

Her demanding academic and community responsibilities did not prevent Pat from exploring her love of journalism. Summers spent working at The Seattle Times became stints of part-time employment and ultimately a full-time position as a general assignment reporter in 1975.

Pat wrote for The Seattle Times business and features departments before accepting a position on the newspaper’s editorial board as the first woman and first African-American editorial writer and columnist. Increased regional visibility brought new demands, but she continued to volunteer her time, to encourage young people and to serve as a role model.

She was a founding member of the Black Journalists Association of Seattle (now known as the Seattle Association of Black Journalists), The Northwest Journalists of Color, and a former regional director for the National Association of Black Journalists. She was also an active member of The Links Inc. and Jack and Jill of America.

Pat was named 1986 Journalist of the Year by the Alliance for Children Youth and Families. She was honored by the Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Competition for business reporting and column writing. She also received special recognition from the Women of Vision, Power and Potential for her leadership and her coverage of political strife in South Africa.

Pat’s travels to Africa had a profound effect on her life and shaped much of her commentary until multiple   sclerosis forced her early retirement in 1989.

Patricia Fisher died on February 12, 2006 at age 59. Later that year she was inducted into the University of Washington School of Communications Hall of Fame.