Page 1

S N A P ! S H A R P s N E W s A LT E R NAT I V E s P E R S P E C T I V E

Vol. 11 No. 2

Published by the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center, UC Santa Cruz

Spring 2010

D I V E R S I T Y AT R I S K : N e w U C A d m i s s i o n P o l i c y By Lloyd Alaban

A new admissions policy set by the Regents of the University of California (UC) could undermine future Asian American enrollment at the University’s nine undergraduate campuses. Instituted in response to a record number of UC applicants this past fall and the state of California’s current budget crisis, the policy, which is claiming to expand the pool of eligible applicants in the name of fairness and increased diversity, may reduce future enrollment among Asian Americans and other minority applicants. This has caused an uproar among Asian American activists, parents, and lawmakers. The policy, unanimously approved by the Regents in February 2009, strives for “fairness and [elimination] of barriers that seem unnecessary” according to UC President Mark Yudof. These barriers eliminated by the new policy include scrapping the SAT Subject Tests as a requirement for admission, requiring applicants to complete a majority of UC approved courses by the end of their junior year of high school, rather than the former policy which simply required students to complete these courses upon graduation. The statewide guaranteed admission for the top 12.5% of applicants will also be reduced to the top 9%.

These changes, the Regents claim, will expand the pool of potential UC applicants in excess of 30,000 and will guarantee more high-achieving students the opportunity to attend the University by encouraging competition among students in their respective schools. The elimination of the SAT Subject Tests will dispose of what Regents believe is an inconsistent and outdated means of predicting college success, as UC currently remains the only major university in the nation to require such tests. The policy boasts an increase of diversity among the student body of UC campuses as a result of expanding the pool of applicants. However, members of the Asian American community are crying foul, claiming the new policy will actually reduce minority enrollment. According to the writers at, these policies will greatly expand the pool of potential applicants; they do not expand the pool of guaranteed admissions, making the claims of increased diversity among UC candidates a moot point. Asian American professors, most notably Ling-chi Wang of the University of California, Berkeley, point to the reduction of the statewide guaranteed admissions pool from 12.5% to 9% as evidence of this.

In this Issue . . . > 10 Year Celebration Reflection pg. 2 > New Role Models: 2010 Winter Olympics pg. 4 > Faculty Spotlight pg. 5 > UCSC AA/PI Community Amidst Budget Cuts pg. 6 > Family, Culture, ‘Model Minority’ Myth Muffles pg. 7

Photo Credit: San Jose Mercury News

According to them, many underprivileged and low-income minorities are bundled in this percentile, with the guarantee policy their only shot of getting into the University. By reducing the number of guarantees handed out, many of these students will lose out on an opportunity once ensured to them. Continued on page 14 . . .

> Heritage Month Calander pg. 8-9 > Alum Spotlight pg. 10 > Study Abroad pg.11 > Christy Anh-Thu Trinh-Malarney Student Award pg. 12 > Cultural Showcases pg. 15

Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter


Celebrating 10 Years A Reflection

AA/PIRC Founders, Staff, and Interns - Past and Present

By Alice Lei The AA/PIRC 10 Year Celebration aspired to commemorate its dedication towards cultivating community inspired leadership while providing a lively space for alumni, staff and faculty to reconnect to the AA/PI community that they collectively help build. As a fundraiser event, the 10 Year Celebration also aimed to establish AA/PIRC’s Endowment Fund that would potentially maintain annual programs, such as Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month and the Year End Ceremony, during times of economic hardship. In addition to meeting its goals successfully, 10 Year was simply an unforgettable night filled with laughter and joy. After enjoying lovely performances by the Somei Yoshino Taiko and Jazz Musician Francis Wong, alumni rejoiced in their reunion with former friends and classmates. Spring 2010

Photo Credit: Ryan Chia

10 Year was simply an unforgettable night filled with laughter and joy

Alumni who have not seen one another in years exchanged warm hugs and kisses as they reminisced together about their mutual experiences with AA/PIRC. Staff and faculty continued to show their committed support towards the AA/PI community and students were simply happy to participate in an amazing and eye opening event. Not only did students have a chance to meet alumni through social networking, they also had the opportunity to share common interests, concerns about post graduate life and discuss about interesting career options. During these uncertain times of economic hardship, students were able to walk 2

away from this event feeling inspired to continue pursuing their goals with confidence. AA/PIRC has a legacy of producing talented leaders by teaching them valuable skills that they can proudly take with them as they step into the real world. Although AA/PIRC originated with humble beginnings, the founders envisioned an innovative resource center designed to provide students the opportunity to become successive leaders. Today, AA/PIRC provides and enhances opportunities for developing leadership, building a stronger sense of community on campus, and linking students to community service opportunities. The 10 Year Celebration honored the valuable contributions of alumni and recognized the diligent efforts of current students who continue to promote AA/PIRC’s legacy.


Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

ASIAN AMERICAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER RESOURCE CENTER INTERNSHIPS for 2010 - 2011 5 Unit Internship: 12-15 hours per week; 8-10 pages critical reflection paper each quarter. 2 Unit Internship: 5-7 hours per week; 4-6 pages critical reflection paper. Program or Project Coordination 5 Unit Interns coordinate programs/projects, 2 Unit Interns assist. Program include the Asian American/Pacific Islander Year End Ceremony, Heritage Month events and small-scale events such as panel discussions, receptions, film screenings, field trips, etc. Projects include coordinating and editing the quarterly newsletter, designing and maintaining the AA/PIRC website, designing and distributing publicity materials, and developing the scholarship/internship database. Interns will gain valuable organizing skills by task lists and timelines, developing budget proposals, writing press releases, facilitating meetings, communicating with campus units and off-campus guests, and working in a team. General Administration and Representation of the AA/PIRC Interns represent AA/PIRC at various campus functions such as student organization meetings, OPERS Fair, Alumni Weekend, and other orientation and outreach programs. Interns also facilitate program/project-planning meetings with staff and faculty; they emcee events, and communicate with faculty and staff. Interns also provide clerical and administrative support to the AA/PIRC staff, including answering telephones, and providing information on programs and events relating to the AA/PIRC, communicate with staff, students, faculty, and community members; draft memorandums and correspondence. • • • • • •

Qualifications Strong oral, written, and interpersonal skills sufficient to interact with a diverse staff and students. Basic typing and computer skills. Ability to work under pressure with multiple ongoing projects, varying deadlines, and numerous interruptions. Ability to work collectively in a teamwork environment. Must be responsible, reliable, resourceful, and have initiative. Preferred Qualifications: Experience with, and knowledge of, Asian and Pacific Islander issues and student organizations; experience with, and knowledge of, campus support services and co- curricular activities. Review of Applications for Fall 2010 will begin Tuesday, June 1, 2010. Email or send your cover letter and resume to Nancy Kim, Director AA/PIRC 339 Bay Tree Building 1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064 831-459-3790 In your cover letter, please explainyour interest in working on a specific project/program (if any) and why you want to intern at AA/PIRC.

Spring 2010



Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada New Role Models for Future Generations


By Elisa Torate

he 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, ended with the United States obtaining 37 medals – making the U.S. number one in the medal count. Many athletes stood out and several records were broken. Apolo Ohno, won his 8th Olympic medal giving him the title of most decorated short track racer, J.R. Celski made his Olympic debut alongside his role model Ohno, young ice skater Mirai Nagasu took the silver medal home. Julie Chu, the first Asian American female ice hockey athlete, won her 3rd Olympic medal. What all U.S. these athletes have in common is they are of Asian descent; paving another possible path for future generations of Asian Americans. The idea that Asian Americans only excel and succeed best in academia is a limiting perception. This perception may sway people to believe that they belong in one path or another. However, many Asian Americans decided to step out of the box and enter non-traditional fields such as professional athletes. More and more Asian Americans are becoming involved in professional athletics, and this is neither limiting it only to competing in the Olympics. According to The Los Angeles Times, many ice rinks across the nation are seeing an increase in Asian American skaters. Some coaches claim that Asian Americans have a smaller body frame, which is more ideal for professional skating. However, what is not noted is that young Asian Americans are drawn to ice skating in order to become the next Michelle Kwan or Kristi Yamaguchi. Having role models that are of Asian American descent is very empowering for young Asian Americans. In fact, there were 23 Asian Americans that competed in the Vancouver games. Ice skating has been a Russian dominated sport for quite some time. However, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, representing China, broke the 48-year winning streak of Russia to grab the gold in pairs competition. Spring 2010

Photo Credit:

Current Asian American athletes are paving a way for future generations to enter non-traditional career paths, or even non-traditional Asian American sports.

Although, these two athletes are not representing the United States, they are of Asian descent, which could also inspire other Asians or Asian Americans to pursue breaking stereotype and reaching their goals. Leading a young team, Apolo Ohno, who is of mixed heritage of Japanese and Caucasian descent, made his 3rd Olympic appearance in short-track speed skating. Ohno has taken the recognition he has gained as an Olympic athlete to inspire youths to pursue their dreams. In fact, one athlete who looked up to Ohno, got the opportunity to skate with him. At only eighteen-years, J.R.Celski has become a speed skating prodigy; some are saying he could be the next Apolo Ohno. J.R. Celski is of Filipino and Polish descent, and this is very empowering for Filipinos in particular considering that the Philippines do not have a team to represent them in the Winter Olympic Games. Overall, Ohno and Celski are amazing athletes that many young people can look up to. 4

Hockey may not seem like the typical sport that Asian Americans would typically be involved in, in fact, it might even be perceived as a “male dominated” sport. However, Julie Chu broke this stereotype. She is the first female hockey player of Asian American descent to compete for the United States, and at the Vancouver games, the United States’ women’s hockey team won silver, making Chu a three-time Olympic medalist. The importance of having role models that people can relate to is likely one of the main reasons why more Asian Americans are pursing athletics. Current Asian American athletes are paving a way for future generations to enter non-traditional career paths, or even non-traditional Asian American sports. It is empowering to see and know that Asian Americans are given the opportunity to represent the United States, and a much needed push for diversity.


Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

Faculty Spotlight: Christine Hong On the Students’ Side By Jane Lee


Photo Credit: UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship

ssistant Professor Christine Hong joined UCSC’s faculty in fall 2009 in the Literature department. With a University of California background, Christine comes to Santa Cruz with a passion for student advocacy and a motivation to break down institutional barriers for students of color in public higher education. She is deeply invested in pushing for an understanding of Asian American and diversity issues, leading to real change in access and curriculum. A second-generation Korean American from Southern California, Christine had many experiences that shaped her life and scholarship. Her most prominent memory was witnessing the L.A. riots in 1992. Despite the dusk-to-dawn curfew, countless Angelenos took to the street for three days, and the federal government eventually called in National Guard troops. As Korean mom-and-pop stores burned down in South Central, the LAPD, as Christine observed, closely guarded Beverly Hills. She recalled that “the resonance of war was everywhere for Korean immigrants and their call for peace was profoundly historically layered,” a realization that led her to conclude that the demand for racial justice was far more complex than the media’s over-simplified portrayal of the “Black-Korean conflict.” She did not consider it a coincidence that Korean immigrants used the language of war to describe what was happening. The Korean American community included war veterans who fought under Lyndon John-

Spring 2010

son’s coalitional “More Flags” banner in Vietnam and who left South Korea during the era of martial law; many of the older generation lived through the Korean War and 35 prior years of oppressive colonial rule. In the wake of the riots, Christine came together with Korean immigrants and participated in a march for peace in Koreatown. This sparked Christine’s interest in becoming a Korea peace activist in grassroots transnational justice movements. After receiving her B.A. degree in English with a specialization in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, Christine lived for a fouryear period from the mid-to-late nineties in South Korea where she saw firsthand a range of on-the-ground struggles for decolonization and justice. In a decade that ended with the IMF restructuration of the South Korean economy, elderly “comfort women” survivors conscripted into Japanese military sexual slavery during the Pacific War protested every Wednesday outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul and student activists demonstrated against the ongoing U.S. military presence. Christine’s time in Korea was instrumental in consolidating her intellectual interests in Asian American studies, postcolonial studies, and critical Asian studies. Christine continued her activism at UC Berkeley, where she wrote her PhD dissertation on Afro-Asian human rights literature and the Pax Americana in the Pacific Rim as well as completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the humanities. During her time at Cal, Christine served as a volunteer instructor with the San Quentin Prison University Project. She also co-founded a studentservice organization, Asian Pacific Islander Education and Languages NOW! (APIEL NOW!), which promotes API


diversity in the UC curriculum and educational policies. In 2008, activists from APIEL NOW! succeeded in reversing budget cuts that would have eliminated or severely disabled Asian language education at UC Berkeley. APIEL NOW! is currently working with community-based affirmative action organizations in raising awareness and mobilizing to repeal the new UC admissions policy scheduled to go into effect in 2012. Since coming to UCSC, Christine has taken on additional responsibilities supporting students. UCSC does not have an Asian American Studies program, and Santa Cruz is the only UC campus without an Ethnic Studies minor, major, or program. Because of these limitations, students have taken on the responsibility of teaching Ethnic Studies courses. Christine is the faculty advisor for the studentdirected seminars, Pilipino Historical Dialogue (PHD) and Asian American/Pacific Islander Perspectives (AA/PIP). PHD fosters dialogue on Filipino history, and AA/ PIP was initiated by students from Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance to introduce students to topics in Asian American Studies. In addition to sponsoring students, Christine helped organize a forum on privatization and racism at the UC as well as partnered with the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center to organize the Heritage Month education forum on the new UC admissions policy. With a strong personal commitment, Prof. Hong has tirelessly advocated for students of color on a local level with a global perspective. Christine’s research interests include Asian American literature and cultural criticism; African American literature and black freedom studies; and Korean diasporic cultural production.


Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

UNCERTAIN FUTURE OF THE UCSC AA/PI COMMUNITY AMIDST BUDGET CUTS By Carmen Chan Recent budget cuts are greatly affecting Asian American/Pacific Islander (AA/PI) students at UCSC. Student fees nearly doubled from five years ago. This past winter quarter, an increase of $500 in midyear fees took effect in addition to the $1,000 increase in spring quarter tuition. In the fall, tuition will reach a 32% high increase. The effects of these budget cuts on the AA/PI community in the UC system as a whole, and specifically at UCSC are great and cannot be ignored. Whether you’re in the language program, affiliated with a campus organization, part of a resource center, or simply focused on receiving a degree, all students are feeling the pinch more than ever. Not solely in academics, but in the resources students have come to utilize and depend on as well. Vital tools in promoting UCSC to AA/ PI communities such as outreach and retention programs and resource centers are undergoing restructuring processes and student organizations are receiving less funding for events. Having less funding reduces the number of events AA/PI organizations can put on. These events are often put on to increase cultural awareness and understanding. Without the funding, many student organizations are trying to find more ways to raise the money needed to put on and sustain their programs. Outreach and retention services are also striving to find more innovative ways to keep programs running. The cuts and hikes undoubtedly affect the student body as a whole, but specifically AA/PI students, whose numbers are significantly lower at UCSC than other UC campuses. This proves to be a devastating punch and a greater setback towards ethnic and cultural diversity. Student initiated outreach and retention programs aimed at promoting higher education to students of AA/ PI descent by bringing them up to UCSC must find alternative ways and sources to continue the programs. These programs include: A Step Forward (ASF), Motiva-

Spring 2010

tion Conference (MC), and Inspiration for Scholars of Higher Education (ISHE) outreach programs and Community Unified Student Network (CUSN), Kuya Ate Mentorship Program (KAMP) retention programs. Without dedicated individuals and the financial support from the UC, maintaining these programs will also prove to become a huge hurdle for these organizations. Services aimed at providing resources and retaining AA/PI students are also feeling the economic crunch. Currently student resource centers, such as the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center (AA/PIRC) are proposed to undergo a restructuring process that could end up in a loss of much staff power needed to provide resources for students. With some of the resource centers now without a program coordinator or full-time director, the future of these resources are uncertain. Resources are not the only component of the UCSC curriculum being affected. Language programs are being cut. The number of Japanese and Chinese courses, each consisting of about twenty five students, have been reduced from three classes to two each quarter. These language courses are important in not only helping students learn new and native languages, but are also prerequisite courses for those in other majors who are looking to study abroad. In addition, these language classes also teach students about the cultures of the languages as well, allowing many AA/PI students to claim and reclaim their heritage while allowing all students to learn about new heritages, both resulting in a more diverse learning education and experience at the University. UC Santa Cruz is currently the only UC campus lacking an Ethnic Studies program. AA/PI students must seek alternative forms to obtain an education about their heritage. Students have taken the initiative to create student-led courses on Asian American Pacific Islander cultures. The Asian/Pacific Islander Stu-


Photo Credit: Krystle Pasco

dent Alliance (APISA) created the Asian American/Pacific Islander Perspectives (AA/PIP) course. In addition, the Filipino Student Association created the Pilipino Historical Dialogue course. These courses are important, not only because they teach AA/PI heritage to AA/PI students, but also because they provide safe and intimate learning environments for students to discover and reclaim their cultures. Darrow Wong, AA/PIP Co-Coordinator describes the course as, “[a] rare space [s] where we can discuss specific community issues.” Although AAPI students seem to be the immediate beneficiaries of these courses, the greater UCSC community also benefits from an opportunity to participate in such a modern alternative to classroom learning. However, such valuable educational experiences are now in jeopardy due to of the fiscal crisis. The question of the sustainability of these programs still looms over the heads of the organizers. The loss of such valuable and innovative pedagogical tools will certainly prove to be a huge setback in attracting future AA/PI students to attend UC Santa Cruz. The front page headline in the spring 2006 issue of SNAP written by Natalie Chan, “AA/PI Studies is Alive at UCSC” provided an optimistic outlook on the issue. Times have changed within the past four years and a future of AA/PI studies at UCSC now seems further away than ever. Nevertheless, on the optimistic side, times of crisis and uncertainty can give way to greatness and innovation in the way it fuses the human mind and collective spirit together. “We should not rely solely on literature, history or the administration to reignite or continue action for creating change” stated Chan. As an AA/PI community, change is possible and can be obtained with through creative intellect and a united spirit.


Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

Family, Culture, ‘Model Minority’ Myth Muffles Asian Pacific Islander Students’ Cry for Help There is an underrepresented population of Asian American/Pacific Islanders (AA/PI) with mental health issues. This is due to the perception that asking for aid shows weakness. Research has shown that only 17% of Asian American students attending college went to health care professionals seeking help for mental health problems. Asian American/Pacific Islander students are disproportionately the largest group committing suicide. At Cornell University, of twenty-one students that committed suicide since 1996, thirteen have been Asian, while representing only 14% of the student body. According to the Cornell University Chronicle, Eells, the dean of students at Cornell, stated “The stereotype for Asian and AsianAmerican students is that they are academic machines.” Some students may feel the need to uphold this idea and might perceive seeking help as a sign of weakness; a chink in the armor. Male and female Asian-American/Pacific Islander students alike are faced with different sets of problems which stem from similar places. While male students are under pressure to traverse a predetermined track in tra-

By Jason Hong

ditional careers such as medicine, engineering, and business, female students are under pressure to succeed in school while also being “perfect” wives, mothers, and daughters. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Asian and Pacific Islanders aged 15 to 24 in 2000, while it was third for youths in general. Also, the Department of Health and Human Services statistics show that Asian American females of the same age group have the highest rates of suicide in comparison with all other ethnic groups. Those with family conflicts are shown to be three times higher at risk for suicide. Unlike other groups where depression or monetary problems can be the keys in determining suicidal thoughts or actions, the statistics on family problems is a clue to the great importance of family in Asian societies. The “model minority” stereotype plays a great factor as well. Family expectations to maintain straight A’s may make students receiving B’s or lower, and sometimes even A- students feel depressed over feelings of inadequacy. Especially evident in families of recent immigrants, the sacrifices of the

first generation adds pressure on the next generation of children. They feel the need to succeed partly because of the guilt they feel over the fact that their parents gave up their lives in their mother-country to raise them in America. The issue is conflated when the lack of ability to approach parents and family leads to a lack of attention to students’ needs for assistance with their mental health issues. When trying to figure out their problems on their own, adding pressure to an already difficult situation, this can end up spiraling downwards into depression and feelings of shame, and in extreme cases, suicide. The top three mental health disorders suffered by Asian American/Pacific Islanders are depression, schizophrenia, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The way to start effectively addressing this situation is to recognize that this is an important issue within the AA/PI community and that many people are suffering alone. This could be the start to erase the stigma on mental disorders and people can start getting the help they need.

Photo Credit: Military Health Systems

To get help for yourself or a loved one: UCSC Counseling and Psychological Services Students facing depression or contemplating suicide can call: (831)459-2628 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Student Health Center, East Wing, 2nd floor 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) 1-800-784-2433 (SUICIDE) National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Slugs A student run group at UCSC to raise awareness and provide support for students with Asian LifeNet Hotline mental health issues or questions 1-877-990-8585 Help is provided 24 hours a day. Languages offered include: Cantonese, Mandarin, Myrna Zelaya, NAMI Slugs Primary Representative Japanese, Korean, and Fujanese If you or a friend are in a suicide crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Jason Hong, NAMI Slugs Authorized Representative

Spring 2010



Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

Spring 2010



Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

Spring 2010



Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter Kenji Treanor was born and raised in Marin County, north of San Francisco, where he attended public schools. He came to the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1995 and graduated in 1999 from Oakes College with a B.A. in American Studies. Kenji’s experience at UCSC was not unlike what many students are going through today. He attended classes, while at the same time trying to find a place within the campus community. He joined student organizations such as the Japanese American Student Alliance (JASA), and the Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance (APISA) to help connect with other individuals like him. Kenji’s time in Santa Cruz was shaped in part by the passage of Proposition 209. Prop 209 signaled the end of affirmative action policies within our public education systems in California. In response to this, students, faculty and staff who were committed to maintaining diversity in higher education sought, through a variety of ways, to ensure that UCSC remained an open and supportive community for students of color. One important goal that students identified immediately post-209 was the creation of what other diverse students on campus had, but what the Asian American Pacific Islander (AA/PI) community was missing – a resource center. Kenji, along with a small group of individuals ranging from students to faculty and staff, came together to write a charter for the center that we know today as the Asian American Pacific Islander Resource Center (AA/PIRC). Their goals for the center would change as the needs of the population’s demands shifted, but ultimately, as Kenji said, their hope for the center was to be an important intersection for those on campus desiring for a healthy AA/PI community. Given this beginning, it is no surprise that the AA/ PIRC has always strived to respond to the needs expressed by students’ voices. It is also no wonder with this motivation towards serving and bringing change to those around him that Kenji has gone on to work in the nonprofit sector and with

Spring 2010

Photo Credit: Kenji Treanor

Kenji Treanor Alumni Spotlight By Olivia Leung

community-based organizations, as many current UCSC students wish to do as well After graduation, Kenji participated in the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program (JET). This program not only allowed him to learn more about his heritage, and to hone his Japanese language skills, but also provided him the chance to give back and aid those in rural villages in Japan. Additionally, it gave him a kind of momentum he wanted after graduation as well. Kenji knew one needed to throw oneself out into the world, beyond one’s comfort zone, in order to immerse oneself in learning beyond the realm of academia. As he said, “to see the world and come into the world that was bigger than what [I had] known before.” Of course it was not without his parents’ support and without the knowledge he gained through his four years in Santa Cruz. When Kenji returned to Marin, he went onto Craigslist and found a position with the Youth Leadership Institute. There he worked at providing community-based grants to projects which helped bring young and old alike together to address key community issues. His experience at YLI instilled in him a deeper understanding of how all types of philanthropy – giving time, talent, knowledge or money – can catalyze connections between people around goals of social change. After leaving YLI and working for the


San Rafael City Schools and San Francisco State University, Kenji became a part of an amazing philanthropic organization with significant resources to help improve the lives of all Californians the James Irvine Foundation. At Irvine, he was able to continue to his dreams of supporting young people’s development and growth by helping to direct funding to schools, community-based organizations, universities, advocacy groups and others who are dedicated to improving the quality of education and preparing low-income youth for success. In addition to his jobs, Kenji with several others co-founded a nonprofit organization called Next Generation Scholars that specifically serves the community where he grew up. Next Generations Scholars provides comprehensive support for low-income students, immigrant students, and students of color in Marin who have hopes to advance to higher education and beyond. Next Generation Scholars is not just about making sure students are academically successful, but personally, emotionally, and mentally ready to assume leadership and act as agents of change for equity and justice – for themselves and their family, on the college campuses they attend, and ultimately as college graduates out in their community. Kenji Treanor is one of the many alumni who have shaped and left a mark in the AAPI community at UCSC. He not only continues to work in the Bay Area serving his community through Next Generation Scholars and the James Irvine Foundation, but strives to connect to those around him and all “good folks” he encounters. Through this interview, he offered me a piece of advice that others had given to him: “You have to show up. Ninety percent of life is about showing up. Show up and you can make things happen.” For More Information on Kenji Treanor:


Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter


Nancy Vang second from right.

“Thailand, Chan Choop Maak!”

tudying abroad was one of the best experiences I’ve had. I spent a semester during fall of 2009 studying at the Thammasat University. In addition, I also had the opportunity to travel around the beautiful country of Thailand. I learned about the rich culture, and learned how to speak Thai as well. I also gained international friendships with other students studying abroad. Most importantly, I feel this experience has helped me grow as a person; it allowed me to gain consciousness of my surroundings and identity. What was most important to me was that I was able to meet family members, learn about some family history, and become immersed in my culture.

I chose to study in Thailand, mainly to explore the country where my parents met. My family may be from Thailand, but we are not Thai. My family is Hmong, and Hmong people don’t have a country: we are an ethnic group that lives all over the world. The majority of Hmong people reside in Southeast Asia. Both of my parents were born in the mountains of Laos but they had to migrate with their families to Thailand due to the Secret War. The Secret War started at the same time as the Vietnam War, in 1961, and was created to stop communism in Laos and Thailand. The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in allegiance with Thailand to stop communism in North Vietnam, and recruited Hmong people, to help the US fight. When US pulled out of the Secret War in 1975, the Pathet Lao Red Party considered Hmong people as traitors of Laos and started to kill off my people. Thus, many Hmong people sought refuge in Thailand to survive. Spring 2010

Photo Credit: Nancy Vang

By Nancy Vang My parents were still young during this time and they migrated to Thailand with their families. After several years settling in Thailand, my parents met during Hmong New Year at one of the refugee camps and got married. My parents were married for about two years before they came to the US and have not the chance to go back Thailand or Laos. This was an incentive for me to travel abroad to Thailand – to study and live in the land where my parents met. When I first arrived in Thailand, it was a culture shock. The way of life is very different in comparison to the life in United States. Driving on the streets of Thailand was much more difficult. There are no rules or strict speed limits, which is a great factor to the constant bad traffic. At stores, there are no lines, and people cut you off all the time, which is normal in Thailand. There is even a concept called, “Thai time,” and which means Thai people are always late. What really surprised me is that professors would come in late to class but there were no complaints because it was socially accepted by the Thai culture. As students, these cultural acceptances came in handy but it was also frustrating at times too. I was a part of the Thai Studies Program, which consisted of courses that teach you about the Thai culture and/or how to speak Thai. The majority of my courses were about Thai culture. I learned a lot about the Thai government, its history, the current issues in Thailand, and the different ethnic groups that exist in Thailand. In addition, I took a “Beginning Thai” course so I learned a bit of Thai during my stay or more like enough to get me around. As a student in Thailand, I felt very empowered by the Arjans, which is how professors are addressed in Thailand. Many Ajarns at the University criticized the Thai government and studied outside of the standardized Thai education. In our 11

learning environment, the Ajarns would challenge our ideas and teach us to think critically of the Thai culture. I was very grateful for this because they taught us how to think unbiasedly, which gave me great insight on different perspectives. I feel much more conscious of the issues that affect my own community because of the knowledge I gained. One of the most important aspects of my journey was meeting my maternal side of the family. The majority of my mother’s family currently resides in Banrongsan, a small village in Phayao, located at the northern mountains in Thailand. Most of the population of the small village consisted of family. We are associated with the Hmong-Xiong clan. During my stay, my relatives made me feel very welcome; just like I was at home. In fact, my stay with them was an experience of what it is like to live in a real Hmong community. I spoke Hmong the entire time I was with them and ate deliciously fresh home-made Hmong food. Most importantly since Hmong people do not have a home country to go to, I felt that Thailand was a place I could also call home. It is my home away from home. Overall, my study aboard program was great. I was educated by the Arjans who have allowed me broaden my perspectives. Meeting my family and learning more about Hmong culture was the most memorable aspect of my trip. However, the cherry on top of this amazing experience was making friends with people from all over the world. Studying in Thailand was an unforgettable experience and I strongly encourage other students who are thinking about traveling aboard to study to go. It will give you a different perspective on things and I guarantee you will learn so much educationalwise as well as culturally. It’s an experience you will never forget! SNAP!

Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

Christy Anh-Thu Trinh-Malarney Student Awards Past Recipients and Where They Are Now By Judy Tran

Linda Pham, B.A. Sociology Merrill College, Class of 2005

Linda is currently a graduate student at San Jose State University, pursuing a masters degree in Public Health with the focus on cancer control prevention and access to health services. She is involved in various organizations and community building and hopes to develop forums regarding Asian American/Pacific Islanders in leadership and public health. The Christy Trinh-Malarney Student Award sealed her dedication to improving the lives of Vietnamese in the U.S. and abroad ever since the end of her tenure at UCSC, because it gave her the opportunity to volunteer in Vietnam after graduation. She worked with locals in Vietnam to learn more about Vietnamese culture. Says Linda, “the opportunity helped me understand who I am, and how I can make a difference working with Vietnamese Americans and Asian American/Pacific Islanders. I am truly grateful for this award and thank the Trinh-Malarney family.”

Ngoc Nguyen, B.A. Art Merrill College, Class of 2006

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Ngoc was accepted to the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics & Cosmetology (SFIEC) and began pursuing his passion of hairdressing. He completed the program in one year, and moved to New York City to become an apprentice for some of New York’s top salons. He is currently attending an intensive two-year program with Vidal Sassoon to become a stylist, in which afterward, he will be able to become a hairdresser taking clients. The Christy Anh-Thu Trinh-Malarney Award is of importantance to Ngoc because it reminds him of the importance of helping others and giving back. “I’m a part of steering a that helps plan events and discussions for young AA/PI men dealing with being gay/queer. Our groups help these young men explore what it means to be be gay/queer and AA/PI, and also builds social bonds between members.” In addition Ngoc is a part of the Vietnamese Cultural Exchange group in New York City. As Ngoc stated, “Receiving the award helped me pursue something else I wanted to do and am passionate about.”

Tran Nguyen, B.A. Psychology College Ten, Class of 2007

After UC Santa Cruz, Tran went straight to graduate school at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) for two years and received a Masters of Science in Counseling, with a dual option in Pupil Personnel Services Credential and Marriage and Family Therapy. She is currently working at LinamoodBell Learning Processes as a clinician. She works one-on-one with students facilitating their reading and language. Tran is currently planing to begin graduate work in a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) Clinical Psychology program with an emphasis on Multicultural Community Counseling. Her interest is in mental health access for Southeast Asians and psychosocial issues such as acculturation, assimilation, and refugee experiences. Says Tran, “the Christy Anh-Thu Trinh Malarney award is important to me because it reminds me of how important it is to support higher education for underrepresented populations such as Vietnamese Americans and other Southeast Asians.”

Thanh Nguyen, B.A. Psychology Oakes College, Class of 2009

Thanh is currently a graduate student at San Francisco State University (SFSU) working on an M.A. in Special Education with an emphasis in Moderate/Severe Special Education. For her creative project, she is creating an informative website about Autism Spectrum Disorder for Vietnamese families. Thanh’s goal is to inform the Vietnamese community about the disorder, and to create a support group so people won’t feel alone. Thanh hopes to finish her M.A and continue with education in the future. This award was important to her because it gave her the resources and confidence to continue pursuing her hopes and dreams for the future.

Spring 2010



Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

CHRISTY ANH-THU TRINH-MALARNEY STUDENT AWARD University of California, Santa Cruz APPLICATION INFORMATION GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The Christy Anh-Thu Trinh-Malarney Student Award seeks to reward the achievements of a UC Santa Cruz graduating senior, who in his or her undergraduate years have combined academic excellence with a commitment to increasing the understanding or improving the welfare of people of Vietnamese heritage in the United States, Vietnam, and abroad. The prize particularly seeks to recognize those whose UC Santa Cruz education will provide a foundation for a career that will continue to further serve the goal of improving the lives of people of Vietnamese heritage or enhancing the public awareness of their society, culture and history in all communities worldwide where people of Vietnamese heritage live. ELIGIBILITY a. This is a one-time award that will be awarded only to graduating seniors, enrolled at UCSC, who have an established academic and extracurricular record. b. There is no requirement for recipients to be, either fully or in part, of Vietnamese heritage. c. Participants in the UCSC Vietnamese Student Association, whose membership is open to all students regardless of ethnicity, may be given special consideration for their active or leadership role. d. There will be no need-based considerations in evaluating student applications. FUNDING Funding in the amount of $1,000 will be given to the recipient. NOTIFICATION OF AWARDS Award will be presented at the Asian American/Pacific Islander Year-End Ceremony in June. APPLICATION GUIDELINES The major criteria for evaluation of applications include: a. Academic excellence. b. Demonstrated commitment to increasing the understanding or improving the welfare of people of Vietnamese heritage in the United States, Vietnam, and abroad. c. Plans to continue their commitment to educational achievement and to Vietnam and the Vietnamese in their careers. To be considered, each applicant must submit 1 copy of a complete application, which includes: a. Application cover page b. Transcripts and evaluations of all college work, up to date. These may be unofficial copies. c. Curriculum vitae (academic resumĂŠ) d. Detailed essay (400-500 words), describing your experience increasing the understanding or improving the welfare of people of Vietnamese heritage, and how your experience will affect your future goals. e. A letter of recommendation from an appropriate UC Santa Cruz faculty. DEADLINE The Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center (AA/PIRC) must receive all application materials no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 28, 2010. Incomplete applications will not be considered. AA/PIRC is located on the third floor of the Bay Tree Building. Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center 339 Bay Tree Building 1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064 831-459-5349

Spring 2010



Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter Continued from page 1 . . .

The expansion of the applicant pool by more than 30,000 applicants may significantly diversify the applicant pool, but will reject applicants at a much higher rate, including eligible Asian American students, claim Asian American activists. This signals a change in the current policy that guarantees all qualified UC students a spot for admission to at least one UC. “It’s like affirmative action for whites. I think it’s extremely unfair to Asian Americans on the one hand and underrepresented minorities on the other” says Wang. On the topic of the new policy and diversity, President Yudof in a November 19, 2008 speech to the Board of Regents assured the new policy will contribute “encouraging numbers in the pool, not revolutionary numbers.” The amending of the UC approved courses requirement, according to Yudof, is not a “racially impacted/non-racially impacted school issue,” but is instead a move to narrow the socioeconomic gap between richer and poorer applicants. This, he believes, will make the applicant process more accessible to a wider

range of students, and presumably a wider range of minority students who are grouped in this demographic as well. The Regents maintain that the primary purpose of the new changes is to promote competition. By eliminating the UC course requirement, they claim, students will be encouraged to take more honors classes earlier in their high school careers, which will reduce desperation acts by high school students to take less challenging courses in an attempt to balloon their UC grade point average. Their studies maintain that any reduction in diversity among the student body is very likely, but not its intention. Additionally they claim that the change in admission guarantees will not have a markedly different effect, as historically “a small percentage of students” have accepted admission upon acquiring a guarantee. A study conducted by the Regents with these claims in place estimated the reduction of minorities of the student body by less than five percent— the African-American student body would stay at a constant 3%, Latinos

would reduce from 19% to 18%, and Asian Americans from 35% to 33%. But studies conducted by Wang beg to differ. Based on a simulation that took data from the UC freshman class of 2007, Wang estimates that the AfricanAmerican undergraduate population would drop off by 27%, Latinos by 3%, and Asian Americans by nearly 12%. The University of California has long been the preeminent institution of higher learning in the United States, with eight of its nine undergraduate campuses ranking in the top 100 national universities, and six in the top fifty, including the nation’s top two public universities—the University of California, Berkeley and UCLA respectively--according to U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. At seven of these campuses, Asian Americans form a plurality of the student body with upwards of forty percent at the Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, San Diego, and UCLA campuses. The policy is to take effect in the fall of 2012.

For more information and disability related needs contact AA/PIRC at 831.459.5349.

Spring 2010



Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter

Cultural Showcases H m o n g

Photo Credit: Thai Thao

a t

H e a r t

The Hmong Student Association (HSA) hosted their second annual cultural show Hmong at Heart on March 5, 2010. The show will focused on the cultural aspect of the Hmong people emphasizing clashes between traditional and Western ideas. It focused on six individuals who have their own struggles ranging from religion, music, interracial relationships, and etc. about growing up Hmong in a different surrounding. The show is a skit, intertwined with dances from the HSA dance group, with performances by Nag Tshiab, Fourth Dimension, Proto J and a fashion show, which showcased many Hmong artifacts.

Journey Through India

The Indian Student Organization held its annual Journey Through India Cultural Show on April 17, 2010 at Main Stage Theatre. There were various dances from all over India that range from classical all the way to modern popular culture. Some of the acts featured were: Bhangra, Giddha, Fusion, Bharatanatyam, Dhol performance, and the Fashion Show. Each of these dances and acts spanned from North India to West India, and went all the way down to South India. This brought a wide array of Indian culture to stage through the various art forms of dance.

Photo Credit: Archana Chatkara

7 Wonders of Vietnam The Vietnamese Student Association proudly presented its fourth Annual Cultural Charity Show: The 7 Wonders of Vietnam. The Cultural Show consisted of: great food, amazing dances, a skit, and much more! VSA represented seven wonders that Vietnam has to offer. This event is took place on April 17, 2010 at the Porter Dining Hall. VSA is held this event to raise money for The Blind Vietnamese Children Foundation.

Photo Credit: Thanh Nguyen

Pilipino Cultural Celebration

The Filipino Student Association (FSA) hosted its 19th Pilipino Cultural Celebration entitled Alamat. It comprised of the collaborative efforts of some of FSA’s aspects – the spoken word aspect, Alay; the ballroom aspect, Kasama; the hip-hop dance aspect, Haluan; the a cappella aspect, Isang Himig; the traPhoto Credit: Ryan Chia ditional folk dance aspect, Pagkakaisa Dance Troupe; the acting aspect, People Power; and the Tech Crew. This year’s theme is Filipino mythology and folklore. The Pilipino Cultural Celebration took place on April 24 and April 25 at the Mainstage Theater.

Word on the Street: What is Your Favorite Gross Food? “Pig ears and intestine.” - Trang Dao, Third year, College Ten

“Balut eggs and cow testicles” -Mai Nguyen, Third year, Oakes College

“Ice cream with French fries” - Tiffany Le, Second year, Merrill College

“Broccoli with ketchup” - Ada Yan, Third year, Cowell College

“Hot cheetos with cream cheese.” - Alex Vera, First year, Porter College

Spring 2010

“Escargo and blood pizza. Blood Pizza has duck blood and jelly in it” - Crystal Dinh, Second year, Porter College “Dining hall food” - Kevin Thai, Second year, College Eight

“Sea cucumber. It’s an animal that lives in the ocean.” - Cameron Mayse, Fourth year, College Ten 15


Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Newsletter Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center is located at the Bay Tree Building 3rd Floor.

SNAP! Staff Advisors Copy Editors


Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center University of California, Santa Cruz 339 Bay Tree Building 1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064 Phone: (831) 459-5349 Fax: (831) 459-2469


Nancy I. Kim Ka Yee Chiu Elisa Torate Jane Lee Lloyd Alaban Carmen Chan Jason Hong Jane Lee Alice Lei Olivia Leung Alan Sonoda Elisa Torate Judy Tran Nancy Vang

2010 Spring  

2010 Spring SNAP

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you