Upon graduation, Sefa was hired by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center as an Academic and Organizational Advisor, as
well as an Instructor. The course that Sefa taught primarily was a service learning course titled, "Asian Pacific American
Leadership Development Project". Other courses that he's taught include "Pacific Islander Experience" and "Pacific Islander
Education + Retention". Currently, Sefa is the Associate Director of the Asian American Resource Center at Pomona College.
Sefa continues to work with students, and helps to develop leadership and accountability to issues of social justice and access
for marginalized communities.
In the community, Sefa has been active on the advisory boards of the Pacific Islander PIPELINE Project, NHPI (Native Hawaiian
and Pacific Islander) Alliance for Health, PICCN (Pacific Islander Cancer Control Network) Samoan Community Advisory Board,
and The AIGA (All Islands Getting Along) Foundation. Sefa is also a founding member of NPIEN (National Pacific Islander
Educators Network), as well as the UCLA PIER (Pacific Islander Education + Retention) Project. The PIER Project does
outreach and mentoring to Pacific Islander high school youth at Carson HS and Hawthorne HS in Los Angeles.
Sefa is the 8th of 9 kids, and the first to graduate from college. Sefa is married with 3 beautiful kids
Marina (6), Marcus (4), Malie (3), as well as the guardian for 5 other nephews and nieces Sitofa (20), Tita (19), Rosey (17),
Ben (16), and Armani (3).
Nicholas grew up in a multi-racial household on California's central coast. While attending the University of California
at Santa Barbara he became active in organizing for the recruitment and retention of under-represented students. After proudly
working to assist student of color activists as the Student of Color Campus Diversity Project Director for the United States
Student Association Foundation, Nicholas has returned to Santa Barbara, were he currently advocates for the consumer rights
of immigrant communities.
Jason Chan is the Program Officer for Scholar Development of the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program for the Asian
& Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF). He is responsible for developing and implementing programs and
initiatives in the areas of scholar and alumni relations, academic empowerment, and leadership development. Prior to APIASF,
Jason was pursuing a Masters of Education in College Student Personnel at the University of Maryland-College Park. During
this graduate studies, he also worked extensively with the undergraduate population, serving as an advisor to members of the
University Student Judiciary, the Asian American Student Union, and several other student organizations. In addition, he facilitated
numerous diversity-related programs and leadership trainings, and co-taught an undergraduate course on leadership within the
context of the Asian Pacific American experience. Prior to graduate school, Jason worked at City Year, a national non-profit
community service organization, first as an AmeriCorps volunteer and later as a full-time staff member. During his time there,
he taught diversity curricula to Boston public school students, performed physical service projects throughout the city, supervised
a team of ten full-time volunteers, and developed new systems and processes that enhanced City Year's recruitment and admissions
functions. Jason has presented workshops for various college student conferences, including the East Coast Asian American
Student Union (ECAASU) conference, the National Asian American Student Conference (NAASCon), and the American Association
of University Women (AAUW)'s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. Jason received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
and in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a member of ACPA: College Student Educators
International and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).
Yoojin Janice Lee
Yoojin Janice Lee has fourteen years of leadership, social justice and community building experience.
As a consultant, she offers training and coaching on leadership development for social change, building healthy teams and
community organizing. She was formerly Executive Director & Lead Organizer of the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project,
where she worked in partnership with low-income youth from communities of color and immigrant communities to gain justice
in their schools and neighborhoods. She also worked at Call to Renewal, a national coalition of churches working to
overcome poverty and was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in New York City. She holds a Master's in Public Policy from
Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and graduated from Smith College, where she was student government president.
Born in Pusan, Korea, she grew up in northern New Jersey and Queens, NY. For the last eight years, has made her home
in the Boston-area, where she is part of the Cambridge Community Fellowship Church and worships with an Episcopalian monastic
community. Yoojin loves nature, running, and reading, is a growing photographer/visual artist, and joyfully talks to
Jeanette is the fourth generation to be born outside of China - and the first to be born in the US. While she originates
from Queens, NY, her parents and grandparents are from Trinidad & Tobago.
Jeanette's work centers on Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) youth, combating domestic violence and empowering
the Asian American community. She is currently serves as the Vice Chair of APIAVote, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization
that encourages and promotes civic participation of AAPIs in the electoral and public policy processes at the national, state
and local levels. She is a founding board member of APIAVote, and helps drive its communications, organizational goals
and strategy. She was first inspired to work with APIAVote national campaign on youth civic involvement with over 2,000
students in 2004. She works with the Asian American Action Fund Young Professionals (AAA Fund), a DC-based Political Action
Committee, and non profits such as the New York Asian Women Center and OCA. Jeanette served as the Deputy Director
of APIA Outreach and a consultant for the Women's Outreach 2004 Kerry/Edwards campaign.
As an undergraduate, Jeanette chartered Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority at the University of Rochester. She served for five
years on its National Board, and is currently advisor to its national board and chapter at the University of Pennsylvania.
She spearheaded the establishment of the National APIA Pan Hellenic Association (also known as NAPA and formerly known
as the APIAVote Greek Alliance), linking 13 Greek-lettered societies. She currently serves as an advisor.
Jeanette graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is employed
as a Product Manager at Wellpoint. Giles Li
Giles Li is a Chinese American performer and educator from Boston. In 2002, he founded the Boston Progress Arts Collective,
an organization promoting the use of arts as a tool for education and organizing in Boston's Asian American communities. He
also serves as Arts Coordinator for the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. He also serves on the board of the Asian American
Resource Workshop and is involved with many other community groups both locally and nationally, including the APIA Spoken
Word & Poetry Summit, the Coalition for Asian Pacific American Youth, and the Chinese Progressive Association.
is a nationally-recognized spoken word performer with almost a decade's worth of experience , having shared the stage with
legendary performers like Louis Reyes Rivera, Willie Perdomo, and Pharoahe Monch, as well as with activists and community
leaders, such as Mel King, Helen Zia, and The Honorable Norman Mineta. Giles is currently a part of the API spoken word and
hip hop revue "Beats Rhymes and Rice" with Bao Phi and Kiwi. Please visit gilesli.com for more information.
Dharma Naik is the Coordinator for Asian Pacific American Student Involvement and Advocacy at the University of Maryland,
College Park. Through this capacity Dharma works with over 30 APIA Greek and non-Greek student organizations.
Born and raised in England, Dharma has significant experience working in Admissions, Student Life, and Multicultural Involvement
and with teaching at both public and private universities. Dharma graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park
[B.A., Sociology; Certificate in Asian American Studies; M.A., Counseling and Personnel Services (CSP)]. Most recently, Dharma
coordinated special programs/events and visitor services for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Maryland. Her academic
research interests include student involvement and racial identity development of APIA, specifically South Asian American
Bindi Patel currently works at the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs, at New York University, as the newest
Program Administrator focusing primarily on programming related to student success. Her work is focused on a campus-wide
mentoring programming for first and second year students, the commuter student population, programs that geared towards academic
retention and she also advises the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar Chapter at NYU. Most recently she was with the
Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and the Gates Millennium Scholars Program/APIA developing the scholarship
application and review process, alumni programs, and outreach strategies. Bindi graduated from Michigan State University
with degrees in International Relations and Supply Chain Management.
Brian Redondo is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. During his undergraduate years, he worked on
a variety of students of color issues including advocating for increased resources to campus cultural centers and the implementation
of a diversity requirement to the curriculum. He also spear-headed a voter registration drive among Asian American students
and a campus letter-writing campaign for Filipino WWII veterans' equity. In his senior year, he co-chaired the East
Coast Asian American Student Union 2005 Conference "Impact: Our Own Making." He is currently work at the Asian American
Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).
Yen Ling Shek
Yen Ling Shek is the Coordinator of the Multicultural Leadership Center at California State University - Fullerton. At
Fullerton, she is responsible for diversity trainings, multicultural leadership development, cultural programming, and advising.
Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Yen Ling is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she advocated for student
affairs professionals to work with the Asian Pacific American and Latino community, worked in coalition with other progressive
organizations, and started the Asian/Asian Pacific American Alumni Network (AAPAAN) and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
After doing event planning and communications work for Leadership Washington, she moved to Philadelphia to work at the University
of Pennsylvania's Greenfield Intercultural Center and Pan-Asian American Community House doing programming, leadership development,
mentoring, and student advising. Yen Ling then left for the University of Maryland, College Park to get her master's
in College Student Personnel and taught social justice issues, conducted dialogues on women of color/white women, worked in
academic affairs, and planned social justice programs. Her thesis was on "The Relationships of Racial Identity and Gender-Role
Conflict on Self-Esteem of Asian American Undergraduate Men."
Yen Ling has served on the board and been active in community organizations focused on Chinatown youth, APA women's health,
and at-risk youth. She has led workshops on organizational development, coalition building, student activism, leadership skills,
and diversity for the Naitonal Young Leaders Conference, East Coast Asian American Student Union, and National Asian American
Student Conference. She currently serves on the boards of AAPAAN at UVA and the Asian Pacific American Network of College
Student Educators International.
Nick Sakurai is in his fourth year as an APIA U facilitator and consultant. When not training for OCA, Nick works full-time
at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally Resource Center at American University and is also completing a masters
degree in International Training and Education. Prior to his current job, Nick spent two years working at the United States
Student Association (USSA) Foundation as the Director of the LGBT Student Empowerment Project, representing LGBT college student
interests in national coalitions on immigration, hate crimes, marriage, and transgender issues. During his tenure, Nick organized
the first ever LGBT Student of Color National Summit, a unique gathering drawing 50 students from across the country. Prior
to working for USSA, he did extensive work as a student activist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC),
where he co-founded an LGBT student of color organization and organized several educational panels of APIA LGBT students.
While earning his B.A. at UIUC, Nick also worked to secure funding to hire two new full-time professionals in the campus LGBT
office and helped build a multi-campus network that successfully fought for domestic partner health care benefits in the University
of Illinois system.
Connie Rose Tingson- Gatuz
In her seventh year working with APIA U, Connie Rose serves as the APIA U Lead Facilitator. Connie is the Director
for the Center for Personalized Instruction and Project Director for the federally funded Student Support Services TRiO program
at Madonna University. She currently serves as Principle Investigator of a research project for APIA U funded by State
Farm Insurance. She is also a Doctoral Candidate in the Higher Education Administration Program at Michigan State University.
She earned her Bachelors degree in Political Science and her Masters degree in College and University Administration.
While at the University of Michigan she served as Assistant Director in the Office of New Student Programs, directed a university-wide
mentorship program, and advised various Asian American student organizations including an API first-year mentoring program
and the pan APIA council on campus. While at Michigan State, she created and developed APIA serving initiatives such
as Mentoring Asian Americans with Promise, Asian Caucus of East, and the Philippine American Student Society. Connie
has served as a Reader for four years for the Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS) Program, consulted with Organization of Chinese
Americans (OCA) on various APIA scholarships, served as the Midwest Association for Filipino Americans (MAFA) organizing committee
Advisor for three years and served on the Board of Advisors for the Midwest Asian American Student Union (MAASU). Over the
last fifteen years, she has served as a trainer and facilitator on leadership development, mentorship, and program organization.