Terry Park: Guest Speaker, October 18th

Flyer for October 18 Terry Park TalkTuesday, October 18th

Performer and Educator Terry Park will deliver a lecture titled: “Speaking Myself Into Existence: Storytelling, Social Justice, and AA/PI Studies” in the Asian American Cultural Center from 6:00-7:30pm

Park will discuss his work as an oral historian and how he uses storytelling as an act of regenerative liberation. He will also provide insight into Asian American/Pacific Islander oral history projects & the relationships between AAPI storytelling and K-12 curriculum work.

Spotlight on Three Asian-American Women in Connecticut


Lucy is the host of one of WNPR’s popular talk shows, Where we Live. The show spotlights the stories of Connecticut residents and more recently in 2020 received an award from the Alliance for Women in Media, for a conversation she had with a Connecticut mom and her transgender son. The show also earned two national rewards in 2018, from the Public Media Journalists Association. As well as hosting Where we Live, Nalpathanchil hosts the weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse.

During her time in Connecticut since moving here in 2006, Nalpathanchil has focused mostly on immigration, including New Haven’s ID card program that was considered controversial, in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, and the series titled Becoming American, which tells the stories of immigrants and the citizenship process.


From 2015 to 2021, Min Jung Kim served as the 6th director of the New Britain Museum of American Art. During her time there, she brought over 25 years of experience in art to the museum field. During this time, she created frameworks that expanded the definition of American Art, and created alliances on both regional and national levels.

Currently, Min Jung Kim is serving as the Barbara B. Taylor Director at the St. Louis Art Museum. In the museum’s 142-year history, she is the first woman to be appointed to this position, and the 11th person overall. She has a Master’s degree in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, with a specialization of Contemporary Art.


Carolyn Kuan is the current Music Director for the Hartford Symphony, and has been the director since 2011. She’s recognized as an extraordinarily versatile conductor and had successful associations with orchestras, opera companies, ballet companies, and festivals on the worldwide scale. As her time as a conductor, Kuan has bridged the gaps between cultural and social issues in her work raising awareness of conversation and the environment through her performances. Before joining the Hartford Symphony, Kuan was also the Associate Conductor at the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Artist-in-Residence at the New York City Ballet, and even the Assistant Conductor for the Baltimore Opera Company.

Kuan is also the first woman to receive the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship Award in 2003. She was also the very first winner of the Taki Concordia Fellowship, and has received additional rewards from the Women’s Philharmonic, Conductors Guild, and the Susan W. Rose Fund for Music. She graduated cum laude from Smith College and received a Master of Music from the University of Illinois, as well as a Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory.


Have more people you’d want to be featured? Please let us know!

Call for Applications: Nom and Boulieng Vorasane Scholarship

Announcing a new call for applications for the Nom and Boulieng Vorasane Scholarship


Please read about our inaugural winners of the Nom and Boulieng Vorasane Scholarship, Lynna Vo and Georgia Mikan.

Lynna is a Sophmore in Human Development and Family Sciences with an Early Childhood Development Specialization applying to the School of Education.

Georgia is a Junior in the Pre-Teaching Elementary Education program in the School of Education specializing in teaching History and Geography in Social Studies.

These two students demonstrated great promise in their ability to contribute to Connecticut communities through education. Their passion and life experience fulfills the aspirations of Khamla Vorasane of BouNam Bakery to train the next generation of Connecticut teachers in Asian American Studies. They also fulfills the mission-driven work of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute to teach anti-racism and serve the Connecticut public.

We know that for Asian American Studies to succeed in Connecticut schools it has to be grounded in the lived experiences of people here. This is why we were so inspired with Lynna and Georgia’s stories and their career goals in education. Lynna shared her challenges and reflections on experiencing the differences between attending diverse, urban and underfunded schools as well as rural, white, and wealthy schools as an Asian American of recent immigrants. Georgia shared her personal journey to seek out Asian American histories and take charge of her own education when her schools ignored the topic nor did they address broader histories of U.S. racism. To support Lynna and Georgia on the their journey they are taking Asian American Studies courses and will be working with the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute’s Advanced Pedagogy Curriculum Lab.

The Asian and Asian American Studies Institute is accepting applications until September 23, 2022 for the Nom and Boulieng Vorasane Scholarship.


The scholarship awards recipients $1,000 and frontline integration in the AAASI Advanced Pedagogy Curriculum Lab.


The AAASI Advanced Pedagogy Curriculum Lab is a collaborative consisting of:

  • UConn students and faculty
  • A state-wide network of Connecticut public school teachers, staff, and students
  • Associated with the Connecticut Council for Social Studies.
  • Associated with the Connecticut’s State Department of Education
  • In partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center


UConn students who have demonstrated interest in careers in public school education.



Students must submit a letter of application, no longer than two single-spaced typed pages, in addition to an informal transcript of completed coursework. The letter must contain the following information:

  • Full Name
  • NetID
  • Declared Degree Programs
  • Completed/Enrolled/Planned AAASI coursework (UConn Course Catalog LINK)
  • Essay describing how you will serve Connecticut communities through work in education


Email your application to AAASI Director, Professor Jason Oliver Chang, at jason.o.chang@uconn.edu by September 23, 2023

Introducing Cynthia Gao

Cynthia Yuan Gao is a PhD Candidate in American Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Her dissertation concerns the influence of revolutionary Asia on radical movements in the United States from the 1960s to the end of the Cold War. The dissertation examines three radical groups – the socialist feminist Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, the Hawaiian land rights group Kokua Hawai’i, and the Third Worldist Marxist-Leninist League of Revolutionary Struggle – in order to track how the shifting signpost of Asia as revolutionary vanguard indexed political questions of theory, strategy, and historical conjuncture. She received her B.A. in Comparative Ethnic Studies from Columbia University in 2012.


We’ll be supporting her upcoming research here in the institute, so stay tuned!

Alumni Spotlight: Allison Zhang

My name is Allison Zhang, and I am about to graduate from the University of Connecticut with a double major in Psychological Sciences and Human Development & Family Sciences. I am very excited to say that I am starting my Masters in Social Work at Columbia University this fall. This next step is truly a dream come true. I will be on the Advanced Clinical Track with a specialization in youth, children, and families. My end goal is to become a therapist that specializes in offering services that understands and prioritizes variations and issues within cultural identities. My time in Dr. Chang’s Asian American studies course helped me realize how important this distinction was for my future studies and career. Myself and countless others can attest to the struggles and difficulties that come with being first generation Asian-Americans, many of which can manifest into serious mental health issues. I know through personal experience how frustrating it can be when mental health professionals fail to recognize the cultural implications that are prevalent in our mental health, as one simply cannot separate our culture from our health. Approaching these problems with a one-size-fits all Western perspective can often be shortsighted, and has the potential to be extremely dangerous. With this in mind, I hope that one day I can begin to work through the many traumas that the Asian-American community has collectively accumulated, as well as care for the individual needs of any patient that I encounter. By centering cultural experiences in my services, I hope to be a source of positive change for not only my community, but for the social work field as a whole. I am very grateful to Dr. Chang for his support and guidance through my journey, as it was his course that helped me realize the magnitude of the Asian-American experience and the power it can hold.