MEET THE 2014 FALL INTERNS
Eugene Lau first encountered Asian American studies in college. Having gained a burgeoning interest in the intersection of culture and race, he decided upon majoring in Asian American studies in order to discover more about himself and the community around him. You can catch Eugene running around taking street photos, practicing the trumpet and learning how to cook. After graduation, Eugene plans to work a bit before pursuing a master’s degree in order to better promote youth advocacy, community art, and grassroots organizing.
Eugene will be interning at National ACE.
Gyeongpil Jang is a senior of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea and currently studying abroad at University of California, Irvine pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. On campus, he served as a board member of Mentors club where he helped foreign exchange students to adjust in new environment and culture. Regarding his interest in global business and finance, he is serving as an acting member of Business Students Association where he developed several business strategies with Korean global corporations but also studying abroad in America. Additionally, he has been an administrative assistant in the Yonsei University for Student Counseling Center. He also loves to share his time to play with young pediatric cancer patients who need friends in hospital. In the future, he intends to be a global business leader at a multi-national corporation and contribute himself to Korean community. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports, playing soccer, traveling everywhere and bonding with friends.
As an OCA Intern, he hopes to understand difficulties Asian-Americans have and to contribute himself to advocate the rights against those difficulties.
Gyeongpil will be interning at the OCA National center.
Patricia C. Sablan is a recent graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., where she earned her degree in Political Science and minored in the Japanese language. She was born and raised on the island of Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean located southeast of Japan and northeast of the Philippines. The child of a Chamorro father and a Filipino mother, she identifies as both Pacific Islander and Asian, and is very aware and concerned about the tendencies of the rest of the world to view the API community as a homogenous group without acknowledging their vast cultural differences. During her summers back home from college, she volunteered at the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She spent half of 2013 studying abroad at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, where she studied the Japanese language and foreign and public policy (among other things) with students from around the world and gained many new perspectives about cultures and governments spanning the globe.
Through this OCA internship, she hopes to bring a unique "Saipanese" perspective to the table and gain the experience and skills necessary to be able to make a difference in her community back home. In her free time, Patricia likes to draw, read, play video games, and go for walks in nice weather.
Patricia will be interning at the OCA National center.
Steven Chow recently graduated with degrees in Sociology and Political Science from the University of California, Irvine. He was deeply involved with the campus and surrounding communities through student government, Chinese Association, and the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Upon graduating, Steven worked at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) as an immigration policy intern where he made legislative advocacy visits and researched Southeast Asian deportation statistics. Steven also has experience working with political campaigns after working on campaigns in California and Washington, D.C. Steven is from Los Angeles, California and is of Cambodian and Chinese descent. His parents were Cambodian refugees that were resettled in the United States during the early 1980s when they both were children. Steven’s legacy in a refugee family has inspired him to be active in the API community and to be an advocate for social justice. His past experiences have forged a strong passion for academia, social science, and the progressive social justice movement. In the upcoming years, Steven plans on pursuing his Ph.D. and hopes to use his expertise to influence public policy. In his spare time, Steven enjoys playing tennis, watching sports, catching up on the news, discussing politics, and writing essays on his social and philosophical observations.
Steven will be interning at UPS.
Zaya Nyamaa is a recent graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. She received her degree in Global Affairs with a concentration in International Development. She also minored in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. In the past she served as an intern at the Embassy of Mongolia in Washington, DC where she was exposed to the basics of diplomacy and international relations. She is a member of GMU's Amnesty International. As a member of the Mongolian-American community she makes sure to stay involved and immersed in her community's activities through the Mongolian Cultural Center. Having come to the US as a child, she is passionate about protections for the immigrant and other minority populations of the United States.
Her future goals include working in the field of humanitarian work in developing countries. She hopes to be an advocate for improved human rights, education, healthcare, nutrition, and political participation for individuals of the developing world. She is especially interested in working in conflict areas where the resolution of conflict can be the key to improved conditions. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, reading, and going to concerts.
Zaya will be interning at Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Jason Kim is a senior at the University of California, San Diego pursuing a major in Political Science and a minor in Law and Society. Reflecting his interest in law, he has previously interned with Latham & Watkins LLP where he assisted in the hiring process of law school students and the San Diego District Attorney's office, where he worked as part of the Juvenile Department. In the future, Jason hopes to attend law school on the east coast and work as an attorney for a law firm possibly in international law so that he may combine his interest in law with his passion to help the international community. He hopes to see lawyer become as popular a profession as doctor or engineer within the Asian community.
Jason was born and raised in Saratoga, California and is a first generation Korean American student. He identifies as a Korean-American and his experience growing up in the Bay Area inspired him to be active in the Asian Pacific Islander community. In his spare time, Jason enjoys playing soccer, playing his saxophone, taking lots of road trips, and watching House of Cards.
Jason will be interning at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Pajouablai Monica Lee joins us from St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Minnesota this spring, where she received her bachelors of science in human resource development.
During college, Monica held multiple positions in various campus and community organizations, which sparked her interest and passion for developing young leaders. She served as Vice President of the Hmong Minnesota Student Association during her sophomore year to provide meaningful events and resources to enhance Hmong students’ college experience.
This summer she completed two years as the director of youth leaders, known as clan leaders for the Hmong Culture and Language Program at Concordia University. This summer, Monica was also a History Museum Fellow at the Minnesota Historical Society where she worked on the Diversity Profile Project to gauge diversity and inclusion levels within the society; and researched best practices and strategies to possibly improve these efforts within the society.
She is excited to learn more about how to effect change on issues like education, immigration and civil rights. In the future, she hopes to work on education policy and find opportunities with organizations that aim to help build leadership skills for at-risk youth. In her free time, she loves watching Bollywood films and TGIT shows on ABC. She also enjoys playing sports, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.
Monica will be interning at Dewey Square Group.
Theo Bickel is an aspiring community activist who prior to joining the OCA Fall intern team organized his peers and led a housing justice campaign in his college-town. Pacific Northwest-raised, he received his bachelors in Political Science and Sociology in the heart of Cascadia. Theo is fascinated in social movements and cross-national civil society cooperation.
Theo will be interning at Japanese American Citizens League(JACL)
Victor Phu is a 4th year undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Social Welfare and double minoring in Public Policy & Education. Victor serves as the Director of the West Coast Asian Pacific Islander Student Union (WCAPSU) that seeks to unite the universities located in the west coast to foster cross-campus collaboration, advocacy, and leadership development. He also served as the Associate Director of the Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment & Retention Center (REACH!), which works with local underserved Asian Pacific Islander youth and engages them in political activism, social consciousness and empowerment.
Victor was born in Stockton, California and raised on the east side of San Jose, CA. As a first generation Southeast Asian college student, he realized through his educational career that well-intended educational public policies that have created detrimental results for students of color such as No Child Left Behind, Prop 209 and Prop 13. Victor hopes to create a pipeline for underserved students to actively address these public policies because they are uniquely qualified based on their lived experiences. In the future, Victor hopes to become a policy analyst and stay connected with grassroots work. Victor enjoys traveling and express his creativity through graphic design, guitar and dancing.
Victor will be interning at National Education Association (NEA) and volunteering at OCA National.
Rebecca Wang is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She was born and raised in Mainland China before immigrating to the Washington DC metropolitan area at the age of ten. At university, Rebecca is pursuing her B.A in Economics, with a minor in Chinese. She is an affiliate of alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority Inc., the first and largest international Asian interest sorority, where she served on the executive board as Vice President. Rebecca is passionate about creating Asian awareness in the community through charity and advocacy. She has been in charge of many fundraising events for the sorority’s national philanthropy, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. With breast cancer being the leading cancer among women in the U. S, Rebecca is inspired to help women feel empowered. Her immigrant background and Asian ethnicity motivates her to promote cultural diversity, while encouraging the expression of the individual. Rebecca is also active in the American Chinese Economic & Cultural Exchange Association, an organization that represents Asian American entrepreneurs within the Washington DC area by building economic and political platforms. She is involved in the strategic dialogues focusing on financial growth between China and the United States. Rebecca has served as a translator during economic exchange conferences, helped establish sister cities and hosted various Asian American cultural events with support from the government and the Chinese Embassy.
Rebecca is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and studied French for five years through the International Baccalaureate Program. She believes in the significance of staying in touch with her roots while embracing different cultures. Rebecca loves to travel, to experience and to be creative. While she is deathly afraid of heights she is determined to challenge herself by skydiving one day. Her inspirational icons are Audrey Hepburn and Lana Del Rey. Rebecca continues to nurture her passion by actively serving the community and hopes to make a difference.
Rebecca will be volunteering at the OCA National Center in Washington DC.