I am a freelance journalist who enterprises human feature stories from conception to publication. A majority of my work explores international, underreported stories on culture, race, religion, politics, entrepreneurship, slave castles, dance, chocolate, human hair, extensions and human rights. I have filed numerous articles about the African diasporan community for NBC NEWS, NBCBLK, Afroelle Magazine, The Root, xoNecole, The Grio, Essence and other online news outlets. I’m also an educator who holds two valid teaching certifications in English Language Arts and Radio/TV Broadcasting. My journalism work also extends into my small ecommerce business Akosua’s Closet-a boutique shop featuring African sourced jewelry and home decor.
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)- New York, NY
Master of Arts, Communication Arts (Broadcast Journalism) 2010
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Communication Arts (TV, Radio, Film), 2003
Educator-TV/Video Production & Media Matters- Wellesley High School, Wellesley, MA 9/2016-Present
Teach basic through advanced video techniques and composition using HD handycams tripods. Guide students through production process as they write, shoot and produce stories for assignments. Using Adobe Premiere, students learn how to edit and produce video based stories and projects. Teach control room operations. Select projects for spring film festival. Teach foundations of American journalism.
International Freelance Journalist 11/2013-Present
Pitch, interview & write online articles for NBC NEWS/NBCBLK, The Root, Afroelle Magazine Essence and others. Has filed numerous reports from the United States, Ghana, Senegal, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, and Cambodia. Works with editors to develop stories. Contributed extensively to Lonely Planet Global Chocolate Tour book.
UMASS Boston Upward Bound Program Teacher, Boston, MA 6/2016-8/2016
Summer School Instructor who taught English Language Arts, the College Essay (using the ‘Common App’ prompts), and Digital Journalism to low income and/or first generation Boston high school students.
Media Aide/Curriculum Connections Teacher, Shrewsbury, MA 1/2016-6/2016
Assist Media Specialist with daily operations of the Media Center at Sherwood Middle School. Advise students on book selections. Teach curriculum connections to 5th graders, which includes research, writing and drawing of global architecture.
News Reporter (TV), Charter Communications/TV3, Worcester, MA 7/2014-8/2015
General assignment ‘one woman band’ reporter who enterprised, researched, pitched, field produced, shot, edited, reported and anchored local news stories affecting the Central Massachusetts community for Worcester News Tonight. Skilled digital journalist and anchor who gathered interviews, b-roll, natural sound, other elements as a ‘one-woman band’ and edited packages using AVID on a tight deadline.
Editorial Desk Assistant, NBCUniversal NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams/Lester Holt,
New York City, NY
4/2012-4/2013 Played a role in providing editorial and administrative support to senior staff, producers and correspondent. Assisted in story development through Internet research, phone calls, and conducted pre-interviews. Developed original story ideas. Gathered visual elements for segment production. Control room production assistant using iNews to build rundown. Wrote supplementary articles for Nightly News website.
NBCUniversal East Coast Page Program, New York City, NY 1/2012-3/2012
Lead studio tours through the sets of NBC shows and booked tickets. Acted as a liaison between the network and the public.
Broadcast Journalist, ETV Ghana Accra, Ghana 1/2011-7/2011
On-air broadcast journalist who reported on news in Greater Accra which aired daily on Prime News. Reported on both hard news and feature stories about Greater Accra, which aired nightly on Prime News.
English Teacher, City of Worcester, Massachusetts 10/2003-6/2009
Planned hands-on lessons, developed strategies, prepared assignments and implemented high quality English Language Arts Curriculum according to frameworks, standards, rules and regulations of the Worcester Public Schools.
National Association of Black Journalists
Southern New England Association of Black Journalists
Y.W.C.A. of Central MA, Girls Inc.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Grantee, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting , 2019 “If This Hair Could Talk”
Book Feature: “From Jamestown to Jamestown Letters to an African Child” by Kojo Yankhah, 2019
Distinguished Alumni & Friends of the Worcester Public Schools Achievement Award for International Journalism, 2016 Key to the City of Worcester, 2016
Audio Autobiography accepted into The Schlesinger Library, History of Women in America at Harvard University, 2015
Book Feature: “In Her Shoes: A Compilation of Inspiring Stories from the First Decade of the Worcester Women’s Oral History Project”
Institute for Global Leadership Life Service Award, 2014
WORK SAMPLES & REEL www.ericaayisi.com
Microsoft Office Suite, AVID Newscutter, Adobe Premiere Pro, Canon Xixia, HF R800 Camcorder, JVC Compact Professional Camcorder