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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

February 12, 2013

Written by Leighton Vila

Remembering Senator Daniel Inouye

Today, I’m taking some time to write about the late Senator Daniel Inouye: Medal of Honor Winner, President pro tempore, Hawaiian Statesman, and Asian American Icon.  As an American of Asian descent, born and raised in Hawaii, Senator Inouye has been a familiar name, and his death was very personal to myself, and my family, and my state.

The late Senator Daniel Inouye

For those who aren’t familiar, Senator Inouye was born before WWII.  After Pearl Harbor, he joined the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team where his gallantry on the battle field took a back seat to his courageous leadership.  (Forbes has a much better account of the heoric Daniel Inouye than I could muster, check it out here.)  After the War, Inouye returned to Hawaii earned a degree from the University of Hawaii in Political Science.  He then wen onto George Washington University to earn his law degree.  He was elected to the Territorial House of in 1957, and became Hawaii’s first congressman upon statehood in 1959.  Since then, Inouye had moved up the ranks to become the highest ranking Asian American in the history of the United States.  This is only part of what I remember when I think of Senator Inouye.

Placing Sentaor Inouye into the Asian American experience is an all encompassing effort.  He was born to poor Japanese immigrants in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He worked and lived in territorial Hawaii, and survived both the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the Anti-Japanese Racism that ensued.  He fought together, with his Japanese brothers, in a racialized war and created bonds that have improved life in Hawaii—alas, the link between Senator Inouye and Senator John A. Burns is another blog entry.

When I was first learning about Senator Inouye, I remember a distinct feeling… a feeling of ethnic pride.  Prior to “the story of Dan Inouye,” I thought American War heroes looked like Duke (G.I. Joe), Captain Miller (Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan) or George Washington.  Put simply, I though American war heroes were white men and  “the Story of Dan Inouye” challenged that myth.

The purpose of a leader is to provide space, either physical, economical, or psychological.  Senator Inouye, for me, provided a psychological space where the Asian American man could kick some but and be the hero.  His story showcased that an Asian American can fight for America, be a statesman, and go toe to toe with an unjust president.

The death of Senator Daniel Inouye is sad, but it provides an opportunity for the 21st century Asian American leader to “step up.”

The nation is facing new and different challenges.  As we graduate from college, the economy seems nevertheless daunting.  As our families join us from over seas, the process of immigration becomes more and more flawed.  As we talk with our unemployed family and friends, we see the brokenness of the welfare system, and witness the frustration of good people without good choices.

As time progresses, and the giants like Senator Inouye retire to a much deserved rest, there is an excitement surrounding the future of American leaders.  Recently, a survey has shown that the Republican party has declined among Asian Americans.  On the Democrat side, President Obama has seen a drop among his Asian American staffers, and outgoing cabinet secretary Christopher Lu says that it is time for “new blood” to step up to the challenge of leading.

It is time for us be the change.


March 10, 2011

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #39

Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other related opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellowship, Ithaca College

The School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College announces a Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellowship for 2011-12. The fellowship supports promising scholars who are committed to diversity in the academy in order to better prepare them for tenure track appointments within liberal arts or comprehensive colleges/universities.

Applications are welcome in the following areas: Anthropology, Communication Studies, Education, English, History, Religion, and Sociology. The school also houses a number of interdisciplinary minors that may be of interest to candidates: African Diaspora Studies, Jewish Studies, Latino/a Studies, Latin American Studies, Muslim Cultures, Native American Studies, and Women’s Studies. Fellows who successfully obtain the Ph.D. and show an exemplary record of teaching and scholarship and engagement in academic service throughout their fellowship, may be considered as candidates for tenure-eligible appointments anticipated to begin in the fall of 2012.

Terms of fellowship: Fellowship is anticipated for the academic year (August 16, 2011 to May 31, 2012) and is non-renewable. The fellow will receive a $30,000 stipend, $3,000 in travel/professional development support, office space, health benefits, and access to Ithaca College and Cornell University libraries. The fellow will teach one course in the fall semester and one course in the spring semester and be invited to speak about her/his dissertation research in relevant classes and at special events at Ithaca College.

Enrollment in an accredited program leading to a Ph.D. degree at a U.S. educational institution, evidence of superior academic achievement, and commitment to a career in teaching at the college or university level required. Candidates must also be authorized to work in the United States.

Prior to August 15, 2011, the fellow must be advanced to candidacy at his or her home institution with an approved dissertation proposal. Preference will be given to those candidates in the final writing stages of their dissertation. Candidates from underrepresented groups whose exclusion from membership in the American professoriate has been longstanding are strongly encouraged to apply.

Successful candidates will show evidence of superior academic achievement, a high degree of promise of continuing achievement as scholars and teachers, a capacity to respond in pedagogically productive ways to the learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds, sustained personal engagement with communities that are underrepresented in the academy and an ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college and university level, and a likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship.

Ithaca College is located in Ithaca, New York, a city of about 30,000 people in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Ithaca is rated by Kiplinger’s as one of the top 10 places to live in the U.S. Ithaca is approximately a 1.5 hour drive from Syracuse, a 2 hour drive from Rochester, a 4 hour drive from Buffalo and a 5 hour drive from New York City.

Interested individuals should apply online at www.icjobs.org, and submit a C.V./Resume, a cover letter, a list of references and a transcript. Questions about the online application should be directed to the Office of Human Resources at (607)274-8000. Screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Assistant Director, Asian American Cultural Center, Univ. of IL

Assistant Director, Asian American Cultural Center
Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) promotes cross-cultural understanding of Asian American and Asian international experiences, and provides educational and cultural support for Asians and Asian Americans in our university community. The campus has a vibrant Asian community with approximately 5000 Asian American students, 5000 Asian international students, and 1000 Asian American faculty/staff. The campus recently was named one of the top ten universities for Asian American college students.

Nature of Position:
The Assistant Director is a full-time academic professional staff member in the Asian American Cultural Center, a unit of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations, a department of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Primary responsibilities include developing and coordinating programs and activities of the center, advising student organizations, and assisting in supervising student employees and volunteers. Programs of the center are primarily oriented toward college students, but also serve faculty-staff, alumni, and community members.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and coordinate programming of the center
  • Collaborate with campus units and student organizations on programming
  • Provide advising and leadership development to student organizations
  • Coordinate alumni network and faculty-staff network
  • Coordinate resource collection, artist showcase
  • Evening and weekend hours as needed
  • Assist in the supervision of student staff
  • Perform other duties and additional responsibilities as assigned
  • The assistant director reports to the director of the center

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience with coordinating cultural, social, and/or educational programs
  • Two years experience, as a professional or as a student, with Asian American organizations
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree, preferably in higher education administration, student affairs administration, or counseling
  • Professional experience advising students and/or student organizations
  • Experience in student affairs or in Asian American community development
  • Coursework in Asian and/or Asian American studies

Appointment Type:
Permanent full time, twelve month, 100% academic professional appointment. Salary commensurate with experience.

For full consideration, please create your candidate profile at http://jobs.illinois.edu and upload a letter of application, resume, and three references by March 25, 2011. All requested information must be submitted online for your application to be considered. For further information, please contact Misty Oakley, moakley@illinois.edu or 217-333-1300.

Summer Internship, Organization of Chinese Americans

The Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) is currently seeking full-time undergraduates and recent graduates for the 2011 Summer Internship Program in Washington DC. Online Applications are due by Monday, April 4th at 11:30pm EST.

OCA Summer Internship Program
Purpose: To cultivate future leadership for the Asian Pacific American (APA) community by providing opportunities to work in the public sector and learn about issues affecting the APAs. Based in the nation’s capital, interns will build relationships, engage in weekly discussions on APA issues, go on legislative visits and participate in OCA’s National Convention in New York on Aug. 4-7. All are welcome to apply. Students of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, and Southeast Asian descent are highly encouraged to apply.

Deadline: All materials must be received by Monday, April 4th at 11:30 pm EST.
Stipend: $2,500 for 10 weeks of full time work

Requirements:

  • Full-time undergraduate student (Minimum age of 18. Seniors are eligible)
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Demonstrated interest in APA issues
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Commitment to work 10 weeks in Washington DC within the period of June 6 – August 19

Completed Application Package includes:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Résumé
  • Unofficial academic transcript
  • Exactly two letters of reference
  • One-page essay (12 pt, single-spaced, 500 words maximum) addressing the following: How will OCA’s summer internship benefit you and your community?

Procedure:

  1. Submit entire application package by deadline
  2. Applications will be reviewed by a committee
  3. Personal or telephone interview will be scheduled
  4. Accepted interns will be notified by April 29th. A firm commitment will be required at that time to secure placement

Online, early and complete application submission is highly encouraged. For more information, please refer to our Internship FAQ page or email internship@ocanational.org. Please no phone calls.

Modern Asian Studies Journal: Indian and Pakistan

We are delighted to announce the publication of the latest special issue of Modern Asian Studies, “From Subjects to Citizens: Society and the Everyday State in India and Pakistan, 1947-1970.” The special issue explores the shift from colonial rule to independence in India and Pakistan, with the aim of unravelling the explicit meanings and relevance of “independence” for the new citizens of India and Pakistan during the two decades after 1947.

To access this special issue free of charge simply register online and enter the offer code: MAS211. If you are already registered with Cambridge Journals online please click here to activate this offer.

Congressional Scholarship: Japanese American Citizens League

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is now accepting applications for the 2011 JACL Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship. The 2010 Masaoka Fellow is Mike Misha Tsukerman, who is serving in the office of Senator Daniel K. Inouye. National JACL President, David Kawamoto, said: “We encourage young members of the JACL who are college graduates to apply for this Fellowship which offers a unique experience in the nation’s capital.”

The Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship Fund was established in 1988 to honor Mike M. Masaoka for a lifetime of public service to the JACL and the nation. Masaoka was the JACL’s national secretary, field executive, national legislative director of the JACL’s Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the JACL Washington, D.C. Representative. He worked tirelessly to advance the cause of Japanese Americans during difficult times.

The Fund was set up by good friends of Mike Masaoka. Dr. H. Tom Tamaki of Philadelphia administered the program for the JACL for twenty years since its inception. The JACL Washington, D.C. office now administers the program. JACL Masaoka Fellows are placed in the Washington D.C. Congressional offices of members of the United States Senate or the House of Representatives for a period of six to eight months. The major purpose of the Masaoka Fellowship is to develop leaders for public service. They are expected to be future leaders of the JACL.

Floyd Mori, National Executive Director of the JACL, stated: “The Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship is a flagship program of the JACL. We are grateful to those who had the foresight to set up such a fund and program to develop young leaders. This is a great opportunity to work in the office of a member of Congress.”

Information and application materials are on the website. Applications should be submitted to the JACL Washington, D.C. office via email to: policy@jacl.org. The deadline has been extended to May 2, 2011. The announcement of the selected Fellow is expected to be made by June 15.


October 17, 2008

Written by C.N.

Asian American Candidate Websites

I’ve received several emails seeking to publicize the candidacy of various Asian American political candidates around the country, so I’ve decided to group them all together in this post.

As always, these links are provided for informational purposes only and do not necessarily imply my endorsement of the candidate and/or his/her beliefs and policies.

Ed Chau (California)
www.edchau.com

Hank Eng (Colorado)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMls9vWuAlA

Sue Chan (California)
www.suechanforfremont.com