Alumni Testimonials

How does enrolling as an Asian American Studies (AAST) minor or taking our classes help you after graduation? Graduates say their experience with AAST helped deepen their understanding of the issues facing the Asian American Pacific Islander community, broadened their perspective of today’s global society, and played a crucial role in shaping their career path.
Phil Mok ‘10, Community Outreach Liaison to NY State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky
B.A., Government and Politics, with minors in Asian American Studies and Korean
“Taking AAST courses and deciding to take on the minor definitely affected my life in a big way. I gained knowledge about the many issues facing the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, which I use in my current position as a Community Outreach Liaison to New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who represents a large Asian American constituency in New York City. The Asian American Studies program has helped me with my professional career, and would even go as far as to say it inspired me to get more involved with the AAPI community and pursue my current position.”
Helen Jeon ‘09, M.A. Candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University
B.A., English Language & Literature, with a minor in Asian American Studies
“I became an AAST minor because I wanted to be better equipped to help the Korean American community and the Asian American community at large. The program provided unique opportunities to meet people with similar passions in and out of the classroom, and the classes enlarged my capacity to think, dream, and act. And the program helped me to pursue my dreams in South Korea and New York City.”
Amara Tek ‘12, Program Coordinator at Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project
B.A., Communication, with a minor in Asian American Studies
“As an Asian American Studies minor, I was given the opportunity to learn about the many trials and tribulations that Asian Americans have faced throughout history, but more importantly, continue to face today. The lessons learned throughout the various Asian American Studies courses allowed me to view society with a completely different perspective. After completing the minor, I continue to apply the skills and networks gained from Asian American Studies in my career as a Program Coordinator for a local Asian/Pacific Island nonprofit organization in order to make a difference within the Asian American community.”
Gina “Jitter” Garcia ’12, Marketing and Events Executive, The Wall Street Journal
B.A., Communication, with a minor in Asian American Studies
“By declaring the Asian American Studies minor, I was able to better understand my identity as an Asian American and a Filipina American. The opportunity to study the Asian American experience through pop culture, biographies, literature, and history has helped shape my perspective in general. This deeper understanding of my own identity allowed me to have a greater impact in the Filipino community, and the larger community around me.”
Vinay Sharma ’13, J.D. Candidate at Washington College of Law, American University
B.A., Government and Politics, with a minor in Asian American Studies
“My courses in Asian American Studies have, certainly, prepared me for a successful career in the legal field. In addition to distinguishing me from the thousands of law school applicants, the AAST minor has developed my reading comprehension, writing, analytical, and rhetorical skills, which are essential for excelling in law school. Though other majors offer opportunities to sharpen these skills, few academic programs at the University of Maryland offer hands-on training with distinguished faculty like AAST does.”
Angelina She ’13, M.D. Candidate at University of Maryland School of Medicine
B.S., Neurobiology/Physiology, B.A., in English Language and Literature, with a minor in Asian American Studies
“Being part of the AAST program inspired me to become a lifelong advocate for the Asian American community. I am grateful to the program for helping me become more knowledgeable about the vast array of Asian American cultures and experiences. As a future physician, I am confident that what I have learned from AAST will aid me in better serving and caring for patients in an increasingly multicultural society.”