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Assistant News Editor Victoria Li appointed as 2022-2023 editor in chief

Victoria Li (pictured) in front of Kerckhoff Hall. Li, an assistant News editor, was appointed editor in chief of the Daily Bruin for the 2022-2023 academic year Monday. She serves as editor of the science and health News beat. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)

By Yifan Gu

April 9, 2022 3:42 p.m.

This post was updated April 9 at 5:41 p.m.

The ASUCLA Communications Board appointed Victoria Li, an assistant News editor, as editor in chief of the Daily Bruin for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Li, a third-year human biology and society student, has been a News contributor at the Daily Bruin since fall 2020 and an Illustrations and Design contributor since fall 2021. She currently serves as the 2021-2022 science and health editor.

Li received the Daily Bruin staff endorsement in the annual staffwide editor in chief hearing Saturday. The Communications Board, which consists of student appointees, university faculty and alumni representatives, and other at-large members, appointed Li to the role in a hearing Monday. The board said it admired Li’s focus on diversity and cooperation and believed that she would effectively include student voices in her work.

Originally from San Diego, Li has had an aptitude for writing since she was a child, said Li’s mother Ying Qu. When Li was in the first grade, her teacher told Qu that her daughter could already do fourth-grade work in reading and writing, she said.

Li has also had a longtime interest in drawing, taking lessons since the age of three, Qu said. Li won the Gold Key for excellence in visual arts in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2018 and traveled to Carnegie Hall in New York to receive the award, Qu added.

“(The Daily Bruin) is a good experience for her,” Qu said. “She finds out who she is, and she has more confidence as a person. She really enjoys what she is doing. This is really important.”

In high school, she enjoyed her many science classes and was the editor in chief of her high school science magazine, Li said. She added that she currently hopes to continue to pursue her studies and become a physician working in medicine and public health in the future.

When the COVID-19 pandemic locked down the United States in 2020, Li was a first-year, and medical science opportunities such as volunteering at hospitals were canceled, she said. She added that she did not feel that simply staying home for online classes was the best use of her time and looked for new opportunities.

“When I saw that the Daily Bruin was receiving applications for interns, … I just thought, ‘I think this would be a great opportunity,’” Li said. “I knew I still really enjoyed writing. … I saw that they had a news section and within News, they had a science and health beat, and I thought that was the perfect combination of all my interests.”

After joining the Daily Bruin, Li began contributing articles, many of which focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. Li was enthusiastic about interviewing public health professionals for her articles, Qu said.

Anushka Chakrabarti, a third-year mathematics/economics student and current News editor at the Daily Bruin, was the assistant editor for science and health when Li became a News contributor.

“She was by far my funniest contributor. I thought she was very active in science and health, had great ideas,” Chakrabarti said. “When editor applications rolled around, I highly encouraged her to apply because I knew that she had the skill set to succeed as the science and health editor and she also had the passion to do so.”

Chakrabarti added that she admires Li’s ability to build community in the sections in which she works. Li has been active in hosting social events and has established relationships throughout the newspaper, Chakrabarti said.

(Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)
Victoria Li (pictured) on the Kerckhoff Hall patio. Daily Bruin staff described Li as a capable and personable writer and editor. Li said she hopes to focus on the paper’s role as a service for the campus community. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)

Noah Danesh, a fourth-year psychology student and News staffer at the Daily Bruin, has worked with Li often on the science and health beat. Danesh said he has seen Li handle difficult situations with grace.

Danesh added that for the long-term stories he has worked on with Li, she focused on letting the stories tell the truths themselves.

“I think that Victoria will take the Daily Bruin to somewhere where it is more inclusive … and somewhere where people know they can get the answers that they need,” Danesh said.

Christine Tran, a fourth-year political science student, is the national news and higher education editor. As a transfer student who came to UCLA during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said that she did not have many chances to socialize, but Li was one of the first assistant News editors to converse with her casually outside of work.

Tran added that Li has been a joy to work with professionally and personally and could steer the Daily Bruin with more consideration and compassion.

“She very much has a strong vision for this paper, and I love her ideology of having more collaborative efforts in the office,” Tran said.

Looking at Li’s future time as editor in chief, Qu said she believes her daughter will have the right voice and devote all her effort to the paper and community.

Li said she hopes to focus the paper on serving the campus community.

“We can really do a lot more to cement the fact that we are a newspaper for the UCLA community first and foremost,” Li said. “That means informing them about things that matter, not just to the student body but also staff and faculty.”

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