A Voice for the Voiceless: Q+A with Yomara Lopez '12

Antonia Gentile
December 11, 2023
Pace University's Communications and Media Studies alum Yomara Lopez

Yomara Lopez

Class of 2012

Bachelor of Arts in Communications

Yomara Lopez is a bilingual and investigative reporter, most recently for NBC Universal Telemundo in California, and three-time Emmy award winning journalist.

Please tell us more about your role and how your work is meaningful to you.

My role is to bring to light issues and concerns that are affecting the Latino community. The relationship and trust I’ve built with my viewers has allowed me to tell their stories and help them report crimes they were previously afraid to even speak about. Most importantly, my investigations have helped authorities reopen various cases of wage theft and human trafficking. One of my most recent investigations in San Jose, California, led the mayor of the city to propose an ordinance to prohibit homeless living next to schools. Investigative journalism is about affecting change with stories, and that’s why my work is so meaningful to me. If I’m not making a difference, I’m not doing something right.

Please tell us more about your Emmy wins and your role(s) leading up to them.

I won my first Emmy with Univision Sacramento in June of 2019 for my coverage of Camp Fire, the deadliest fire in the history of California. As part of this experience, I spent months in Paradise, a city that was wiped out by the fire, speaking to survivors and those who lost everything. This year, I won two Emmys with Telemundo in the Bay Area: one for best daily news report story for my coverage on a rat infestation problem in one of the biggest homeless encampments in Santa Clara County, and another for an educational piece on inmates getting a second chance in education through a college credit program at Elmwood Jail in Milpitas.

Why did you choose to major in the Bachelor of Arts in Communications?

Ever since I was a little girl, I enjoyed writing and was always curious about things that were happening in my community, and as I got older, I realized that journalism was a way that I could help those in need.

How has your degree prepared you for your career? How did you get started in your career?

The cinematography and video production classes taken at Pace helped me become a better multimedia journalist (MMJ), which means being able to shoot, write, and edit my own stories. My first job in the industry was behind the camera as an associate producer for the early morning shows on Telemundo 51 in Miami. From there, I obtained a job as a producer/reporter for an international channel called Hola TV, followed by work as an MMJ at Telemundo Oklahoma. I was also an MMJ at Telemundo Austin and Univision Sacramento.

Investigative journalism is about affecting change with stories, and that’s why my work is so meaningful to me. If I’m not making a difference, I’m not doing something right.

Why did you choose to attend Pace? Did you have any internships as a student?

I liked the program that Pace offered in communications, as well as access to internship opportunities for students (I always wanted to live in New York, so that was also a plus).

I had several internships through Pace, which included Telemundo Sports in Miami, CBS Newspath in New York City, and Telemundo in New Jersey. My internships were so helpful because they showed me what it was like to work in the industry and helped me decide that I wanted to be a reporter. Through my internship with CBS, I was offered a per diem position with 48 Hours to help translate information about illegal adoptions in Guatemala. It was then that I realized I wanted to be an investigative reporter.

Are there any challenges you have faced that you overcame and are proud of?

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and at 11, moved to Miami, Florida. Coming to the United States without speaking the English language was difficult, and I dealt with a lot of bullying growing up because of my accent. As I got older, I realized that my accent was part of my identity and I started to embrace it. I never thought I would be working as a bilingual reporter for Telemundo and NBC in the Bay Area and with the investigative unit team, but here I am living my dream. I never gave up and always believed in myself.

What advice would you give to our students, as they navigate their college life?

Take advantage of as many internships as possible, as they will provide you with a sense of what you want to do professionally. Most importantly, don’t give up on your dreams. There will always be hard days, but be persistent, stay focused, and believe in yourself. You’ll get there.

More from Pace


Students in the Communications and Digital Media graduate program were selected to present their timely, culturally relevant research projects at the prestigious New York State Communication Association Conference this fall. Two groups received awards for the conferences’ best graduate papers.


An Emmy-Award winning alumna’s career in sports broadcasting was built on a foundation beyond the classroom, including PaceDocs, internships, and support from the larger Pace community.


Thanks to a new designation provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, Pace’s innovative drone program is flying high. Read how Professor Kate Fink, PhD, is exploring drone usage, regulations, and preparing Pace students for the FAA's Commercial Drone Pilot License exam.