June 2018

Programs & EventsPE

APIASF Higher Education Sum mit 

On June 20-21, we hosted our 9th Annual Higher Education Summit: Institutionalizing Support for Asian & Pacific Islander American  Students at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. The summit highlighted how the acceleration of student success, mobilization of communities and resources, and advancement of institutional c apacity contribute to broad-scale, meaningful change for  APIA students. Nearly 200 higher education administrators, policymakers, Scholars, and higher education advocates attended the two-day event, while our Facebook livestream had nearly 1,000 views.

We were pleased that Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) - Representatives Jud y Chu, Colleen Hanabusa, Mark Takano, Jimmy Gomez, and (fmr.) Congressman Mike Honda, plus staff repr esenting Congressman Bobby Scott - joined us and reinforced key federal priorities that impact educational opportun ities for APIA s tudents.
APIASF President & Executive Director Noël Harmon congratulates retiring President & Executive Director Neil Horikoshi. Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus providing remarks. 

Scholars Program 
APIASF hosted 11 Scholars selected from a highly competitive pool for their expertise and experience in education and the APIA community. During the summit, AANAPISI Scholar Thy Doan, GMS Scholars Ryan Lee, Anna Le, Halee Vang, chee ia yang, Willa Kurland, Pooja Patel, and Cynthia Tseng, plus APIASF Scholars Francis Cheng, Hank Sze, and Nam Nguyen, learned about the successes and challenges of AANAPISIs, engaged with professionals in their field, connected with their fellow Scholars, and acquired the tools and knowledge necessary to create sustainable change on their campuses and workspaces. Additionally, for the first time, APIASF collaborated with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus's Education Task Force to cohost a briefing and discussion titled "Education Policy through the APIA Lens" which was attended by Scholars and congressional education policy staffers.

Nearly 50 AANAPISI stakeholders represented by AANAPISI college presidents and program administrators, researchers, policymakers, and community advocates convened to learn best practices about mentoring, how disaggregated data can be better used to inform programs, and creating culturally responsive partnerships on campus. Attendees also collaborated and built on last year's strategic plan for AANAPISI capacity building in the areas of advocacy, research, and public awareness.

Higher Education Summit
The second day of the summit featured three plenary panel discussions and six concurrent sessions on the themes of creating institutional buy in, leveraging data to better support APIA students, and sustaining the impact of programs to support APIA students.  Breaking down the model minority myth, strategies for supporting Pacific Islander students, and best practices from advocates representing other communities of color and low-income students were key highlights.   

Farewell to Neil Horikoshi
Our summit reception was a surprise retirement party for APIASF President and Executive Director, Neil Horikoshi, who is retiring this month after a decade of leading our organization. It was a fitting farewell, as the first summit was organized under Neil's leadership.  Thank you to the CAPAC Members of Congress, community partners, and supporters who celebrated with us! 

Unveiling our New Name
At the end of the summit, we had a surprise we've been waiting all year to announce -- we are changing our name to APIA Scholars, to better reflect the Scholars that we serve.  This summer and fall, we will be transitioning from our current name and logo to our new ones, as well as launching a new website and updated social media content.  

The creation and selection of our new name and logo was an inclusive, collaborative process that incorporated the input of many stakeholders -- from Scholars, community members, long-time supporters, and AANAPISI partners.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen!
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Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program HighlightsGMS

"From Volunteer Service to Education" 
On May 31, 2018, GMS hosted the first-ever webinar dedicated to volunteerism. GMS Scholars, Cha Lee (GMS Class of 2013, AmeriCorps); Louis To (GMS Class of 2008, AmeriCorps NCCC and VISTA); and Cynthia Tseng (GMS Class of 2006, Teach for America) joined GMS-APIASF Director, Helen Beaudreau (Peace Corps Georgia and Philippines) to discuss the impact of volunteer service on their graduate school degree pursuits and career experiences.
GMS Scholar Highlight

Aurelia Mandani (second from the right) is pictured with Dr. Carla Hayden (center), the Librarian of Congress.

Aurelia Mandani
GMS Class of 2010
PhD Candidate in Computer Science and Information Systems
University of Colorado at Denver

Aurelia Mandani was recently selected by the American Library Association (ALA) as one of 50 Class of 2018 Emerging Leaders. Emerging Leaders are regarded as the future of the library field. Mandani also presented four times at the ALA 2018 Annual Conference , including  a presentation on "Cultural Competence & Collaborate Conversations: A Path to Providing Equitable Services for Multicultural Patrons."

"GMS supported me every step of the way, which eventually led me to pursue a career in the information sciences/librarianship.  During my undergraduate career, I had different mentors from GMS that helped keep me on track, and even at a time when my grades were not the best - GMS made sure to do their best to support me and my education."
"I NEVER saw myself as a woman of color in librarianship or in technology, but here I am. I am doing both because of the support that GMS provided, the wonderful scholars who are part of the GMS family, and my family who have encouraged me to continue to push forward and pave the way for future generations and youth from my community."

APIASF Scholar Highlight ScholarHighlight

TerrillJames Kaneali'i Williams
2017 APIASF / MUFG Union Bank Scholar
double major in Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies
University of California, San Diego

"Higher education is important to me because my mother was very influential in instilling the value of education in me. Due to opportunities for higher education not being made available to her in Hawai'i because she is a Kanaka Maoli woman, she enlisted in the United States Navy. Because of her being unable to receive her education, she made sure that I had her support in my educational journey. This academic school year was a great mixture of financial instability because of increasing costs of tuition and students' fees, my mother's separation and divorce, and rapidly changing housing situations which made it much more challenging to fully focus on my academics because of working multiple jobs and commuting long distances all the while being a full-time student."

"I am in my senior year at the University of California, San Diego as an Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies double-major, predominantly focusing on law and human resources, and minoring in Education Studies. In the context of the University of California, San Diego, there is a large disparity in the demographics of Pacific Islander students present at the University where there are less than sixty self-identified Pacific Islander students out of a 33,300+ student population."

"I would like to thank APIASF/MUFG Union Bank Scholarship for this opportunity as it will help me in continuing to be academically successful. As a first generation Pacific Islander student, this scholarship is truly critical as it helps to make higher education a reality for students of Pacific Island descent. Once I complete my undergraduate education, I plan to pursue graduate school and will be looking into the following universities as potential avenues: University of California, Irvine (UCI), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Berkeley (UCB), University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM), and the University of Hawai'i at Hilo (UHH)."

Thank you, Southwest Airlines!
Since 2007, Southwest Airlines has been a dedicated national partner to APIASF, helping us serve our community all across the nation. As the official airline of APIASF, Southwest Airlines has provided nearly $300,000 worth of support. From Scholar travel to raffle prizes, we are so grateful for the reach (and altitude!) that Southwest gives us.
Thank you, Southwest Airlines, for your commitment to APIASF and the Scholars we serve!    

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