SAPAAC Board Elections 2018

Candidate Statements

Read through the statements below and click here to vote for your candidates!

VOTING FOR SAPAAC BOARD ELECTIONS 2018 IS CLOSED. 

Fel Anthony Amistad (1982 BA Human Biology)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

I am a passionate alum of Stanford and wish to remain involved in our community. I was active with the SAPAAC as well as Asian American Student Club for many years. I was involved with both political and social events on and off campus. I also intent to stay involved in activities that impact our lives. I was a fundraiser and Human Biology alum contributor and a coordinator for the Reunion Events on campus for campus events. As a state commissioner and board member appointed to oversee the Engineering, Geologist, and Surveyor professions, I am involved in Consumer Protection. In addition, I am committed to ensuring that all citizens get the respect they deserve whenever they consume goods and services. As its current Vice President, I represent over 130,000 engineer professionals in the State of California. I will apply my leadership experience and skills to the SAPAAC Board of Directors.

List any other volunteer or extracurricular commitments you anticipate continuing to fulfill during the Board term 2018 - 2020.

I will be a volunteer for the Chamber of Commerce and local community groups. I will remain a State Commissioner for the Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.

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John Chang (1993 BA Human Biology)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

The Asian American community has always been a vital part of my life. Growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey, I was fortunate to participate in strong Asian American youth groups which helped foster an understanding and appreciation of my heritage and gave me experiences which were uniquely Asian American. My involvement with Asian American activities continued once I enrolled at Stanford. I was a volunteer with the Big Sib / Little Sib program and the Teahouse; served as co-publicity chair and co-chair of the Undergraduate Chinese American Association (UCAA); and was one of the founders of the Taiwan Club (currently known as the Taiwanese Cultural Society). After Stanford, I established a chapter of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) at my medical school and served one term as the social issues chair on the national APAMSA Board. Since graduating from medical school, much of my time and energy has been devoted to developing my career and raising my family, so the opportunities for involvement in the Asian American community have been more limited. However, I have maintained a connection to my ethnicity by participating in the annual Taiwanese American Conference / East Coast (TAC/EC), a multi-generational camp celebrating Taiwanese culture and the Taiwanese American experience.

Now that my children are older and more independent, I am eager to once again contribute in a more significant way to the Asian American community and to Stanford. The Stanford community remains dear to my heart, and I have been an active participant in the Alumni Interview Program since its inception as a Pilot Program in the New York City area. I look forward to any opportunities to further strengthen the SAPAAC community. In particular, I would love to see growth in a mentorship database / program that graduating Stanford students or SAPAAC members at any level of higher education or training could draw upon. In addition, as a physician, I am naturally drawn to health care issues and believe SAPAAC can be a strong advocate for Asian American health issues and greater statistical representation of Asian Americans in health and science literature.

Thank you for taking the time to read my statement! The Stanford and Asian American communities have been extremely meaningful in my life, and I look forward now to an opportunity to serve and give back to them.

List any other volunteer or extracurricular commitments you anticipate continuing to fulfill during the Board term 2018 - 2020.

In the next two years, I anticipate continuing to participate as a volunteer in the Stanford Alumni Interview Program and possibly as a volunteer baseball coach.

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Paul Choi (1987 BS Biology)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

I want to join the board to get more involved specifically with fellow Asian Americans and Stanford. I was a SAPAAC board member for the 2011-2012 period. Throughout the past 5 years I have been a Stanford OVAL volunteer and became Vermont Chapter Chair for Stanford OVAL managing alumni interviews in the state. I have also served as a mentor through Stanford's mentorship program 2010-2014. As an Asian American and a child of immigrants, I want to be more involved in promoting and supporting, especially in the current political environment, people of all colors and feel I would be most effective where I have a shared experience.

List any other volunteer or extracurricular commitments you anticipate continuing to fulfill during the Board term 2018 - 2020.

I anticipate I will continue as Vermont Chair for the Stanford OVAL during this time. I will be involved in local volunteer activities around conservation and food banks through our local church and clean up efforts. We recently moved here to Vermont from the west coast and am in the midst of seeking out volunteer activities. SAPAAC is at the top of my list.

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Mo-Yun Fong (1995 BS Chemical Eng; 1996 MA Education)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

I would be honored and humbled to serve SAPAAC's board because I believe in the mission of SAPAAC and have been active in the community for a couple of decades. As an Taiwanese immigrant, I have experienced the power of inclusion to transform lives and bring people together and also on the flip side what biases can do to divide us. During undergrad, I was part of A3C, Taiwanese Club, president of the Society of Women Engineers, and volunteered with the HAAS' center's Volunteers in Asia to build bridges. I continue to stay connected and help mentor students because these groups give students a way to reconnect with their heritage. I remain plugged in through programs like the Stanford Summer Engineering Academy which seeks to retain under-represented students, the Stanford GSE in the work of the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and Dean's office, and as project leader for Beyond the Farm.

Now at Google, I am an active member of the Asian Senior Executive Committee comprised of directors and VPs to elevate the Asian community, led our CS Education efforts within Google's diversity group, and am an advisor to employee resource groups such as the Asian Googler Network and TOPPA. Outside of Google, I have spoken at a variety of conferences including COMPASS organized by Leap.ai.

There are three main areas we can focus on to help build momentum to "promote and support the educational, professional, and social interest of Stanford Asian Pacific American (APA) alumni and the Stanford community" which include 1) raising the profile and improving the perception of Asians in organizations and in media, 2) providing strong career development opportunities, and 3) building alliances that will foster mutual understanding and achieve equity. For the first pillar, I have experience with harnessing the media to inspire under-represented groups to become future technologist and computer scientists. My work at Google in CS Education has opened doors to networks across Hollywood and the press including Gold House, YouTube, producers and showrunners who are passionate about accurate portrayals of underrepresented groups. As Geena Davis would say, "If you can see it, you can be it. As part of having strong Asian role models in leadership positions, the goal of the second pillar is to ensure that we all have access to career development opportunities and access to the information about the path to success. I've worked with Audrey Lee, co-author of "Through the Bamboo Ceiling" and VP of Hyun & Associates, Jeanny Chai, founder of Bamboomyth.com, and over 100 Googlers as a Career Guru to further their own professional growth. Lastly, we need to create alliance with others who share similar struggles including immigration issues, extreme poverty, and unconscious biases. Only by working together can we bring collective change and peace.

Stanford were formative years for me. Being a part of SAPAAC will allow me to give back with even greater impact and also connect with others who are passionate about cultural awareness, elevating the Asian community, and have some fun together!

List any other volunteer or extracurricular commitments you anticipate continuing to fulfill during the Board term 2018 - 2020.

I will continue to volunteer in a variety of capacities including the following:
- Google Asian Senior Executive Committee - active member

- Google employee resource groups such as Asian Google Network and TOPPA

- Advisory Board Member of 100kin10.org. 100Kin10 is a national network committed to solving one of our country’s most pressing challenges – giving kids a great STEM education – by adding 100,000 more, excellent STEM teachers to America’s classrooms by 2021.

- Advisory Board Member of National Girls Collaborative Project (https://ngcproject.org/) The vision of the NGCP is to bring together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

- Advisory Board, Global Fluency Institute, globalfluency.org Developing global fluency is a lifelong journey. Anchored in research from Harvard University, the Asia Society, and other internationally acclaimed resources, The Global Fluency Institute provides individuals with the KNOWLEDGE, tools, skills, and mindset to function successfully in an interconnected, culturally diverse world.

- Speaking engagements as they arise in not only Asian forums but also in the industries that I've been a part of including payments, education, and technology. In my current position at Google as a director in Google Technical Solutions working with our largest partners in Search and Google Assistant, I can apply not only technical but also people solutions to the challenges we face as Asian Americans.

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Marushka Hirshon (2014 BS Science, Technology, & Society-Environment & Sustainability)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

Ia orana!

As a French Polynesian with experience in Pacific Islander advocacy, I believe that I can add a unique perspective to SAPAAC’s Board of Directors.

At Stanford, I was the co-chair and financial officer of the Stanford American Indian Organization. I planned campus-wide cultural gatherings, community round-table discussions, speaker series and quarterly “Sib” bonding events. The outcome of these efforts was an increase in non-member email signups, participation at events and campus awareness. I was honored to receive a Stanford Award of Excellence in 2014 for leadership and community involvement.

After graduation, I worked in the offices of Undergraduate Admission and Student Affairs. As a Stanford admission counselor on the diversity outreach and external relations team, I had the privilege of reading 1,000+ student applications and participating in the selection and yield of admitted students. As the Asian Pacific Islander liaison, I focused on creating partnerships with community based organizations in order to identify and empower high achieving students from those communities to apply to Stanford.

I am now working full-time on a nonprofit focused on empowering Pacific Islander Americans through a business accelerator and college access program. I believe that my experience working with Pacific Islanders both within and outside of Stanford will bring a welcomed nuance to SAPAAC’s mission.

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Solina Kwan (1992 BA History & Economics)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

I am and have historically been a vocal/effective advocate for Stanford Asian-Pacific-Americans. I am running for re-election to the board having served as a co-chair for our Issues & Advocacy committee. My Lyon’s Award noted my success as the first ever undergraduate-women-of-color to serve as ASSU Senate Chair– a position I achieved only by cultivating the support of API, other communities of color, and graduates/undergrad senators alike. I am an active alumna – I am a lifetime member of SAPAAC, Cap & Gown, SAA, and Stanford Associates. Professionally, I co-founded SICN –Stanford-Independent-Consulting-Network. I have a track record of making a difference for causes I believe in  I am a daughter-sister-mother, consultant, musician’s wife – a dynamic, passionate, and dedicated team player. GO CARD!!!

List any other volunteer or extracurricular commitments you anticipate continuing to fulfill during the Board term 2018 - 2020.

Just the usual juggling of the multiple professional and personal balls... but in this day & age I believe we each need to create time to make a difference. I thank you for the opportunity to represent you!

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Lan Le (2010 BA Human Biology)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

I aim to help SAPAAC continue building its membership in the Pacific Northwest, as our Seattle board member will be terming out next summer. I also have an interest in using technology to help SAPAAC further its mission of keeping members connected to each other and to issues affecting APAs.

Some of my contributions to the Stanford community during my undergraduate years include: serving on the A3C staff for 4 years; helping organize workshops for Listen to the Silence; co-leading the Asian American issues ASB; and giving poster presentations about my research with Vietnamese immigrant communities.

Post-graduation, I have been a mentor with the A3C AIM program; advised graduate design students at UCLA; helped fellow alumni and colleagues with transitions into non-traditional careers; and have provided pro bono design services to non-profits and public benefit corporations in the healthcare space.

List any other volunteer or extracurricular commitments you anticipate continuing to fulfill during the Board term 2018 - 2020.

Other commitments include:
+ co-editor of an e-newsletter on mental health issues and solutions (a few hours a week)
+ advisor to a healthcare startup (a few hours a week)

I will be able to comfortably manage the above with my SAPAAC responsibilities.

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Clara Luu (2016 BA Human Biology)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

“China? Nah, I don’t think I’d ever want to go there.”

“Why do you say that?”

“It’s just so…polluted. Smoggy. Too many people…”

My name is Clara Luu and I was born and raised in San Jose, CA in an immigrant Chinese- and-Vietnamese -American family. The previous conversation took place during my first year at Stanford, between myself and a classmate who called Hong Kong home. Looking back on this, I realize that simplified media representations and a lifetime of subtle anti-Asian sentiment had informed my ignorant, negative opinions on not wanting to visit China. That night, the conversation awkwardly ended, but I started on a learning journey.

This journey began in the classroom, through courses in CSRE, but soon progressed into my personal life as well. Working with Jeff Chang at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA) opened my eyes up to the stereotypes and huge vacuum of diverse Asian-American voice and image in art, culture, and entertainment.

After graduation, I spent a year living in Bradenton, Florida. The demographic and cultural difference between Bradenton and the Bay Area could not be more different, and my Asian-American identity came more into focus. I promised myself that if I ever moved back to the Bay Area, I would get involved in Asian-American communities, continue learning and engaging with Asian-American issues, and be intentional about appreciating Asian-American-ness. And then I drove 45 minutes away in 90 degree weather and 100% humidity for a decent bowl of pho (I was so happy when I moved back to the Bay!).

Until coming to Stanford, I had very little knowledge of the Chinese Exclusion Act or Executive Order 9066, of global anti-Asian immigration sentiment like the White Australia Policy, of orientalism, of the white-washing of Asian stories and art, of cultural appropriation of Asian fashion….the list goes on. I spent most of my life thinking that being of Asian heritage was at best neutral, and at worst, that I was just part of a huge group of polluters.

I would like to join the SAPAAC Board because until I came and got involved with different communities at Stanford, I lived a life where I did not consider my Asian-American heritage as beautiful and as a source of strength. I did not see Asian-America as dynamic, diverse, and deserving of more visibility, more space to grow, and more representation. I would like to involve myself in this community so that I can continue learning, and contribute my skills and energy towards furthering future Asian-American empowerment and activism. As a candidate for the board, I bring earnestness, energy, and integrity. I am quite young and still figuring out my strengths and what role I want to take in all this. But I know that I am glad to be present in this space, and if chosen, I will learn and contribute to my fullest ability. Thank you for considering me.

List any other volunteer or extracurricular commitments you anticipate continuing to fulfill during the Board term 2018 - 2020.

I hope to be accepted and assist with AATP's productions.
I also am a student of beginner hula at a local halau.

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Emily Song (2013 BS Product Design)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

I would love to serve Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni through the board of directors by helping to organize entertainment and cultural events. I hope to utilize the professional network I have built in Los Angeles through my work in the entertainment and sports industries to create unique events for LA based alums.

Currently, I work at Creative Artists Agency, the largest talent agency in Hollywood. My work focuses on China-US cross-border deals in sports, music, TV and social media. I help create opportunities for Asian actors, directors, musicians and athletes to grow their business and influence in the American market, in addition to representing Western celebrities in Asia. Earlier this month, NBA player Dwyane Wade announced his lifetime deal with Li-Ning, a Chinese sports manufacturing company, during his annual China Tour. As the only Chinese person on Dwyane's American negotiating team, I helped communicate with the Chinese negotiators at Li-Ning, and I saw firsthand that entertainment and sports can bring people together, no matter their country of origin, race or language.

Because I am an advocate for cross-border communication between Asia and the US as an executive, I can create a better community for Stanford Alumni in LA as a volunteer. I plan to organize entertainment and cultural events for area alumni and facilitate conversations about Asian Pacific American issues for Stanford alums. Events I plan on hosting include movie screenings, sports outings, theatrical excursions, and speaker panels.

I have ample experience coordinating events for Stanford. I organized Cardinal Young Alumni theater outings in San Francisco, when I was working on Broadway musicals at Shorenstein Hays Nederlander Theaters. I built a communications channel for our Stanford Alumni events planners to speak directly to Group Sales at SHN Theaters. At Stanford, I ran "Splash!", the largest educational program on campus, where we worked with 1,500 students aged 10 to 18. The participants took classes taught by Stanford students on the Stanford campus over the course of a weekend. I look forward to continuing my volunteering by helping Stanford Alumni through SAPAAC in Los Angeles.

Having spoken with current SAPAAC Board members, I know that Board members enjoy serving on the Board and rely on each other for support. As much as I am eager to begin planning events for Alumni in the Los Angeles area, I am equally excited to get to know the other Board Members, if I am lucky enough to be chosen to represent the LA alumni community on the Board.

List any other volunteer or extracurricular commitments you anticipate continuing to fulfill during the Board term 2018 - 2020.

Occasionally, I will be organizing events for Stanford in Entertainment and Harvardwood, and I join Reading to Kids on a monthly basis when my schedule allows. I also take swing dance classes once a week to further the love of dance I cultivated as a member of Swingtime at Stanford- perhaps I will organize an alumni dance in LA!

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Jacob Wang (1972 BA Psychology)

Why do you want to join SAPAAC’s Board of Directors? What past volunteer involvement and leadership experience do you have with Asian American issues and/or organizations in the Stanford or greater community?

I wish to return to Board since the time I was founding board member. I was member of the planning committee that started SAPAAC. This participation is part of my long history of involvement with Asian American issues on campus and in the greater community. During my student years, I also help found AASA and was co-chair person during my senior year. During this period of time I organized and participated in the startup of the John Okada House, Asian American Studies, and The Teahouse. My organizing experience at Stanford was the foundation for my career providing providing institutions to support young children and their families. I helped start a community based child development center and then worked for the San Francisco Unified School District with my last position being the Executive Director the Child Development Department. While at SFUSD, I was also on the union board of the United Administrators of San Francisco and served a term as Board President. Most of my career I have been a collaborative leader guided by beliefs in equity, the greater good and innovation.

List any other volunteer or extracurricular commitments you anticipate continuing to fulfill during the Board term 2016 - 2018.

Presently I am semi-retired, instructing at City College of San Francisco and doing some mentoring consulting work. I would like to devote my spare time with SAPAAC board to implement its goals. When I attend the latest summit I was impressed with diversity of attendance with significant representation of all generations of alumni(ae). I was also amazed at the diversity of career paths. Another interesting observation from the summit was I met people who I new professionally but didn't know they were Stanford alumni(ae).

I would like to work with the board to set up pathways for alumni(ae) to have meaningful interactions on career paths and support of Asian American students and faculty on campus. I also believe that Stanford is a good platform to advocate for diversity and altruism on the local and national level. I believe that the united voice of a group can have significant impact on institutions leading to innovative change. I still stay in contact with a significant group of fellow graduated from around the country who I could reach out to support SAPAAC issues. I would like to return to the Stanford community and provide direction for the legacy started during my student years.

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