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Conference Staff

Sophia Cheng, Graduate Student, UCLA Asian American Studies
Melany De La Cruz-Viesca. Assistant Director, UCLA Asian American Studies Center
Shirley Hune, Professor, UW Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Hyeok Kim, Executive Director, InterIm Community Development Association, Seattle, WA
Emily Le, Graduate Student, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
C. Aujean Lee, Graduate Student, UIUC Department of Urban Planning
Trevor Lee, Lecturer, CUNY Hunter College
Paul M. Ong, Professor, UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs and Asian American Studies
David T. Takeuchi, Professor, UW School of Social Work and Department of Sociology
Linda Trinh Vo, Associate Professor, UC Irvine Asian American Studies
Carolyn Wong, Research Associate, UMass Boston Institute of Asian American Studies
Kendee Yanmaguchi, Director of Policy, Legislative Affairs and External Relations, Washington State Attorney General’s Office

Subcommittees:

Committee Coordinator: Paul Ong
Program Planning Committee Chair: David Takeuchi
Logisitcs: Emily Le
PR and Web Site: Sophia Cheng and Trevor Lee
Student Session Coordinator: Aujean Lee
Committee Member Bios:

Sophia Cheng is a MA candidate in Asian American Studies at UCLA. Prior to graduate school, she worked in education and youth organizing at the Los Angeles Unified School District, Asian Pacific American Legal Center and Southeast Asian Community Alliance. While in graduate school, she worked as a researcher for the Food Chain Workers Alliance and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. Her research is on the intersection of economic and environmental justice in urban redevelopment, focusing on ethnic enclaves in Los Angeles.

Melany De La Cruz-Viesca is the Assistant Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and the Managing Editor of AAPI NEXUS. She also serves as the Director of the UCLA-National CAPACD Community Development Census Information Center and is a member of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development’s Experts of Color Network. She holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from UCLA and a Bachelor’s in Ethnic Studies and Urban Studies and Planning from UC San Diego.

Shirley Hune is Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of Washington. She has published extensively in Asian American history, Asian American and Pacific Islander education, critical race and gender studies, international migrant workers’ human rights and the global politics of developing countries. Previously, she served for fifteen years as Professor of Urban Planning and Associate Dean of the Graduate Division at UCLA. She was the Guest Editor of Forging the Future: The Role of New Research, Data, & Policies for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, aapi nexus, v. 9 No. 1 & 2 (Fall 2011).

Hyeok Kim is Executive Director of InterIm Community Development Association, a nonprofit community development agency that works to preserve and revitalize Seattle’s Chinatown/International District, and which advocates on behalf of low- and moderate-wage residents and small businesses. Ms. Kim previously worked for the Washington State Legislature, first as a Legislative Assistant to State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and then as a policy analyst for the House Democratic Caucus. Ms. Kim is a 2010 Marshall Memorial Fellow, as well as a 2010- 2011 Fellow with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children & Family Fellowship program.

Emily Le is a doctoral candidate at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her research interests include Asian American students' experience on study abroad, diversity issues in study abroad and higher education, internationalization of higher education, and higher education in Asia. Her dissertation examines the impact of study abroad on Asian American identity development.

C. Aujean Lee is a Master's student in the UIUC Department of Urban Planning with a concentration in Community Development for Social Justice. She received her B.A. in Asian American Studies and Psychology from UCLA. She has also served on the boards of the Japanese American Citizens League-San Fernando Valley Chapter and the K. W. Lee Center for Leadership. She worked at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center as the Co-Managing Editor of AAPI Nexus Journal and at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center as a Research Analyst.

Trevor Lee is an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College and as a research fellow for the Asian American/Asian Research Institute at CUNY. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in English at the City University of New York Graduate Center, and holds a B.S. in Education from Baylor University and an M.A. in English from Rutgers University, Camden. His research focuses on Asian American and Pacific Island literature(s), post-colonial studies, and queer diasporas. His working dissertation looks at ways in which early 20th century Asian American writers actively engaged with intersecting issues of immigrant citizenship/exclusion, global feminisms, and queer identities.

Paul M. Ong is Professor at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Asian American Studies, and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Washington and a doctorate in economics from UC Berkeley. He has conducted research on immigration, civic and political participation, economic status of minorities, welfare-to-work, health workers, spatial inequality, and environmental justice.

David T. Takeuchi is Professor in the School of Social Work and the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. His research focuses on investigating the social, structural, and cultural contexts that are associated with different health outcomes, especially among racial and ethnic minorities. He received the Legacy Award from the Family Research Consortium, the Innovations Award from the National Center on Health and Health Disparities, and the University of Washington 2011 Marsha Landolt Distinguished Mentor Award. In 2012, he was elected into the Washington State Academy of Sciences and the Sociological Research Association.

Linda Trinh Vo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Mobilizing an Asian American Community and co-editor with Rick Bonus of Intersections and Divergences: Contemporary Asian American Communities and is a series editor for the Asian American Culture and History series published by Temple University Press which includes over sixty books. She is President-Elect of the Association for Asian American Studies.

Carolyn Wong is a Research Associate at the Institute of Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton College. Her research focuses on the integration of Asian American immigrants and refugees as U.S. citizens. She is the author of Lobbying for Inclusion (Stanford Univ. Press 2006), and is currently researching the civic values and political participation of Hmong Americans. Recently she has extended her research into health disparities affecting Asian Americans.

Kendee Yamaguchi is the Director of Policy, Legislative Affairs and External Relations of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. She is former executive director of the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. Yamaguchi worked in the Clinton White House as a director in the Office of Management and Administration and also served in the Office of Public Liaison. She earned her law degree from Seattle University School of Law. During law school, Yamaguchi earned numerous honors and scholarships from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Loren Miller Bar Association, Puget Sound Minority Clerkship and the Access to Justice Institute.
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