A Summer of Accolades and Advocacy For Universal Uclick’s Aisha Sultan
(August 28, 2015) Kansas City, Mo. – It’s a good thing Aisha Sultan isn’t a school kid anymore. Her “What I Did This Summer” essay would be a doozy.
“I touched a hand-written Torah scroll last used before the Holocaust,” said Sultan. “I toured the Pentagon with a 19-year-old member of the Army’s Old Guard. I watched as journalists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Iraq entered a church for the first time as we joined worshippers at the National Cathedral in D.C.”
And all that was just in the first leg of her summer travels. Good luck topping that, classmates.
Sultan, a veteran journalist and syndicated columnist with Universal Uclick, is currently globetrotting as part of the East-West Center’s prestigious Senior Journalists Seminar (SJS). It's a three-week travel and study program that brings together journalists from all over the globe to discuss the role of religion in the public sphere.
She is one of just 17 journalists selected for this year’s SJS, only five of them American. Together, they’re being immersed in the cultures and religions of Malaysia, Pakistan and the U.S.
The trip might seem out of step for the writer of “Parents Talk Back,” a popular parenting column syndicated by Universal Uclick that also runs in Sultan’s hometown paper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But Sultan sees a logical connection.
“When I applied, I was intrigued by this idea of bridging gaps,” she said. “I write about families in America, a subject as diverse as our country, yet striking in the common desires parents have for their children.”
The SJS experience caps off a summer full of accolades and advocacy for Sultan. A seasoned reporter, she was recently honored – twice – for her coverage of last year’s unrest in Ferguson, Missouri: once by the Asian American Journalists Association (2015 Written Journalism Award, General Excellence Category) and again by the Society for Features Journalism (first place, General Commentary Portfolio category).
On top of all that, Sultan has the satisfaction of having recently helped her St. Louis community. She spent four months shadowing teachers at the University City Children’s Center, a preschool that focuses on kids’ emotional and social development, then wrote a long-form piece about the school for the Post-Dispatch.
After the story ran, an anonymous reader donated $100,000 to the school. Executive director Steve Zwolak was stunned.
“If we want to change society, we must change the way young children are being taught,” said Zwolak. “This money will help fund a movement.”
Not a bad summer’s work.
“Parents Talk Back” is available online at uexpress.com/parents-talk-back.
Julie Halper, Universal Uclick
About Universal Uclick
Universal Uclick is the largest independent content syndicate in the world and a leading digital entertainment provider of humor, comic strips, political cartoons and other content for print, Web and mobile devices. Universal Uclick provides editorial development, licensing and other distribution services for iconic brands such as Doonesbury, Dear Abby, Miss Manners and some of the most significant comics in history, including Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Peanuts, Dilbert, For Better or For Worse, Cathy and Ziggy. Recent standout successes include Lio, Cul de Sac, Pearls Before Swine, Get Fuzzy, Big Nate and The Argyle Sweater. A full comic catalog can be found at GoComics.com or via its mobile/tablet app on multiple platforms. For more information on Universal Uclick, visit UniversalUclick.com. To stay informed about news pertaining to Universal Uclick, its content and creators, follow the company’s Twitter handle @UniversalUclick.