Kaia Sherry ’21, MSt ’23
Kaia Sherry graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA in 2021 with a degree in English and a minor in French. Her area of study focuses on affect theory and Victorian-era ephemera. In her time at UCLA, she was an avid participant in UCLA’s poetry circles, writing and performing original work at various readings hosted by the English department. Much of her portfolio, which won the May Merrill Miller Award, is inspired by her experience teaching English in Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto. She also uses her work to contend with questions of her shifting cultural identity, inspired by the redolence of her Cambodian household. Kaia’s commitment to writing about facets of the Asian-American experience extends to her work in journalism. Working as a staff reporter and later editor at the Daily Bruin, Kaia won numerous accolades for her long-term piece on ‘subtle asian traits,’ examining the fluidity of Asian American identity in a digital space. She was also an active member of United Khmer Students, UCLA’s sole Cambodian student organization – although she can’t dance, Kaia happily participated in three annual Culture Nights to celebrate Cambodian culture through song and dance.
Kaia previously worked at Radley College in the United Kingdom as a Cook Fellow. Her role focused on curriculum extension and academic development, working closely with students to ensure critical benchmarks were met. She recently completed her masters in English at Oxford University and has relocated to London.
In addition to the Norma J. Ehrlich scholarship, Kaia is the recipient of the Clara Rusk Hastings scholarship and May Merrill Miller Award. Her honors include Dean’s Honors List, Best A&E Writer 2018-2019, Best Lifestyle Writer 2018-2019, Best A&E Story in the California College Media Association Awards, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, and Pacemaker Finalist. Kaia is incredibly honored to have received the Norma J. Ehrlich scholarship, as she would not have been able to attend UCLA without such generous financial support. More meaningfully, the scholarship has also provided an empowered community of women who exemplify what it means to be an Ehrlich scholar. Kaia, having received mentorship from earlier scholars, is proud to be considered among this cohort of high-achieving and supportive women.