2022 AAPAAN Scholarship Recipients

Isabel Carino

Isabel Carino HeadshotI am deeply honored and thankful to be the first repeat recipient of the AAPAAN Scholarship! I am currently a third-year majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Health and Wellbeing. I was born in Biñan, Laguna, Philippines and moved to Northern Virginia when I was 2 years old.

It wasn’t until I got to UVA and joined the Organization of Young Filipino Americans (OYFA) that I really began to appreciate my culture and be more in touch with my Filipino roots — I have been able to explore my identity on what it means to be Filipino-American at a PWI. This past year, I had served as one of the Scholarship chairs of OYFA, where I promoted academic and professional excellence within the organization as well as strengthen our relationships with alumni. In addition to OYFA, I served as the Social Media Manager for The Cavalier Daily this past year. My goal was to amplify the voices of UVA students, especially students of color, as well as share important University news on social media. I am proud to have played a role in sharing The Cavalier Daily’s impactful stories to the UVA and broader Charlottesville communities.

I am extremely grateful to the Asian and Asian Pacific American Alumni Network, the Scholarship Committee, and the scholarship donors for their continued support in my academic and personal endeavors.


Sanjeev Kumar

Sanjeev Kumar HeadshotI am incredibly humbled to receive the 2022 AAPAAN Scholarship! I am a third-year student pursuing a double major in Commerce and American Studies with a minor in Data Science. I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, but I have always had a strong connection to my Indian roots through my parents and the South Asian community in my area. I took it for granted until I came to UVA where I was able to dive deeper into what it meant to be Asian American and to explore my heritage.

This past year, I served as the president of the Asian Student Union, where I advocated on behalf of the Asian and Asian American community for more resources and support from University administration. I coordinated with the Asian Leaders Council and other Asian organizations on grounds to push for an Asian American Student Center, increased Asian American faculty on grounds, and increased funding for Multicultural Student Services.

Alongside with ASU, I co-founded and currently serve as the captain of Virginia Ke Aashiq, UVA’s competitive and inclusive Bollywood fusion dance team. I built a team of twenty dancers where we compete across the nation while celebrating our South Asian heritage at a predominately white institution.

I am so thankful to the Asian and Asian Pacific American Alumni Network for their support in my academic and personal endeavors. This award will allow me to continue efforts in building a strong Asian American community for current and future students at the University!


Emily Nguyen

Emily Nguyen HeadshotI am extremely grateful to be a recipient of the Jack T. Chen Memorial Award. This scholarship means so much to me as both an Asian American college student and a UVA School of Nursing student. As a child, I always believed that I would have to shoulder the costs of a secondary education on my own. Furthermore, with my major being the most expensive at UVA, expenses are constantly on my mind. As my second year approaches and I start clinicals, knowing that my comfort can be a priority makes me eternally appreciative of the Asian and Asian American Pacific American Alumni Network.

My passions revolve around giving back to communities that have supported me in my endeavors. As a co-founder of two non-profit organizations, the group focused on raising money by combining culture and volunteering. By cooking Vietnamese meals and tutoring peers, we hope to foster a brighter future for those in need. Additionally, at UVA, I hold multiple positions in leadership where I commit myself to the betterment of my nursing community and the nearby Charlottesville neighborhood.

This scholarship will greatly improve my chances of successfully accomplishing my goals as a future registered nurse. During my time at UVA, I hope to continue doing research, collaborating with my peers, and devoting my best efforts in every part of my academic life.


Hayly Nguyen

Hayly Nguyen HeadshotAs a Vietnamese American first year at UVA, I am so honored and grateful to be a recipient of the Yee Family American Dream Scholarship. This scholarship was established to empower Asian and Asian Pacific American students to create their own American dream. For me, my American dream is to become a physician to help patients in low-income, remote areas who don’t have sufficient access to healthcare. I developed this dream with the values my family has instilled in me: hard work and compassion for others.

I learned about these values from my mother’s stories of immigrating to the United States. With no knowledge of the language or American cultural customs, she worked tirelessly to acquire an education while juggling numerous jobs to support her family. Hearing all these stories of perseverance and resilience, I learned that to fulfill my American Dream, I must make the most of my opportunities that my family worked so painfully to give me.

At UVA, I plan to major in Neuroscience and have involved myself in various clubs and positions. I joined the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) to embrace my culture and Vietnamese American identity. I also became a research assistant at the Connelly Lab to learn more about how research is conducted and positively impacts individuals. I want to share my experiences with other Asian and Asian Pacific American students to foster a welcoming community of members who support each other to succeed.


2021 AAPAAN Scholarship Recipients

Anjali Patel

Anjali PatelFirst off, I’d like to say that I am honored to have been a recipient for the AAPAAN scholarship, it means so much. I am a current third year majoring in Biology and South Asian Studies on a pre-dental track. I would love to also possibly teach South Asian courses in the future at other schools.

This scholarship will help me in helping my parents with the burden of college tuition. Coming from an Asian background, we all probably get that stereotype where people think we are all “well off,” or in the upper middle class at least, but we all know that’s not true. My family has always been in the lower middle class and in their 20 years here, language has been a huge barrier for us. Being the first generation and oldest sibling in America, I see how much they struggle and work every day for mine and my brother’s education.

I am also thankful for this scholarship because it makes me feel so blessed to have been part of all the South Asian cultural/religious clubs and associations here at UVA. No matter what part of South Asia or what religion the organization practices, I make sure I am a part of it and have even reached executive/council positions in many of them. I have been raised to embrace culture and ethnicity, been raised to keep roots and native languages in the blood, and been raised to teach others to do the same. Back home, I used to teach language and scripture studies every week at the temple, and when I got here, I immediately got involved with the South Asian communities here. All of them have shaped my experience here at UVA, and made me feel so welcome and loved. I have made lifelong friends in these organizations and am so grateful that minorities like us stand so strong, proud, and have a voice at UVA.


Isabel Carino

Isabel CarinoI am extremely honored and thankful to receive the 2021 AAPAAN Scholarship. I am a second-year majoring in Cognitive Science with a concentration in Cognitive Psychology. Born in Biñan, Laguna, Philippines, then moving to Northern Virginia when I was two years old, I have always had a strong connection to my Philippine roots. However, it wasn’t until I got to UVA when I really began to appreciate my Filipino culture and explore what it means to be Filipino-American.

This past year, I served as one of the Community chairs for the Organization of Young Filipino Americans (OYFA), where I strived to connect OYFA with the UVA, Charlottesville, and Philippine communities. My co-chair and I held several fundraisers and donation drives to foster a sense of unity within our organization by having an overarching goal – using our platform to support underprivileged communities.

In addition to OYFA, I have also aimed to contribute to the University community through my involvement with The Cavalier Daily, the UVA Democracy Initiative, and Asian Pacific American Leadership Training Institute (APALTI).

I am immensely grateful to the Asian and Asian Pacific American Alumni Network, the Scholarship Committee, and the scholarship donors for their support in my academic and personal endeavors. This award will certainly empower me and other APIDA students to continue our efforts in giving back to our community.


Seoyeon Heo

Seoyeon HeoI would like to express my gratitude to the Asian and Asian Pacific American Alumni Network at the University of Virginia for the honor of being chosen as a recipient of the 2021 AAPAAN Scholarship. To me, receiving this scholarship means more than just financial assistance. It is hope that I can bring a positive change to Asian and Asian Pacific American students at UVA through my leadership and community service and is an opportunity to become a greater asset to those in need in our communities.

I am studying economics with a concentration in international economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Starting next fall, I will begin my master’s study in public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy to research and analyze economics policy to solve problems that can transform many communities. I later want to use my education to create a more financially just and ethical society in our communities, including my own: the Asian and Asian Pacific American community.


Steven Jiang

Steven JiangI am extremely honored and grateful to be the recipient of the Yee Family American Dream Scholarship! I am a second-year student at the McIntire School of Commerce pursuing a double major in Commerce (Accounting & Finance Concentrations) and Archaeology. Coming into UVA as a first-generation low-income (FGLI) APIDA student, I have strived to create a lasting impact for both FGLI and APIDA students. Growing up, finances were always the main talk of my family and I have sought out the American Dream in the hopes of being the first person in my family to attend college. Bringing my background and experiences to the University has pushed me to take on various roles within the community such as Co-chair of the Prospective/Alumni Relations committee and Treasurer for the Asian Student Union as well as Program Director for CASH. Working with both students and low-income families has taught me that I have the potential to create initiatives lasting beyond my time at UVA; I hope to establish a non-profit organization aimed towards providing low-income families with the support, mentorship, and resources to be financially independent. To have received the Yee Family American Dream Scholarship, I will always be appreciative for the wonderful support of the APIDA community and will continue my efforts towards helping underprivileged APIDA students and community members.


2020 AAPAAN Scholarship Recipients

Valerie Young – AAPAAN Scholarship

Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Computer Science, Media Studies

I am extremely honored to receive the AAPAAN Scholarship for 2020! Currently, I am a third-year College student pursuing a double major in Computer Science and Media Studies. I have served as the President of the Asian Student Union and the Vice President of the Korean Student Association for this past school year, and I’ve also spent this year working on an independent study with Professor Sylvia Chong and ASU Vice President Kirtana Pathak on the 2020 Asian/Asian American Student Survey. Coming into UVA, I noticed that although Asians make up the largest minority population, the University does not devote many resources to our community. With this census-like survey, we hope to gather disaggregated data in order to give the University an updated portrait of our community. I’m excited to be able to share the results of this survey at the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) Conference this April! My hope is that the University recognizes the diversity of students in the Asian Pacific American Islander (APIDA) community, and this award will definitely motivate me to continue contributing to our community in the future.


Suraj Patel – Yee Family American Dream Scholarship

Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Psychology, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

I am deeply honored and immensely grateful to be the recipient of the Yee Family American Dream Scholarship. It will help me achieve my dreams of pursuing doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology by easing much of my family and I’s financial burdens. I hope to one day be a licensed therapist as well as suicide researcher to help those from underrepresented minority communities who were born without the same resources as many others. I am so grateful for this scholarship because it so perfectly exemplifies my desires in life to achieve my own American Dream for my family and myself. Growing up, financial burdens were no stranger to me and I still face the struggles of my low-income background today. Seeing what my own family went through and what other communities, within and outside the Asian community, go through today, I want to be able to do what I can to provide resources to other disadvantaged families like my own, especially those without access to mental health services. Additionally, I hope to continue my current work with political advocacy and charity to help provide for those in need. I hope to also give back to my parents all the resources, time, and love they have dedicated to me through success in my own career and education. I will always be grateful for the AAPAAN network, donors, and scholarship committee for providing me aid in pursuing my goals.


Andrea Dilao – Jack T. Chen Scholarship

Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Global Development Studies, Economics

I am honored and grateful to be this year’s recipient of the Jack T. Chen Scholarship. Born in Batangas City, Philippines but raised in Falls Church, Virginia, I seek to challenge notions of race and identity, especially as they relate to the Filipino-American experience. As a third year double majoring in Global Development Studies and Economics, I am interested in Asian development and security issues and how they intersect with histories of colonization and Western capitalism.

Currently the Vice President of the Organization of Young Filipino Americans (OYFA), I advocate for the awareness of Filipino-American culture and organize the work of our diverse leadership team. As a facilitator for the Asian Pacific American Leadership Training Institute (APALTI), I help to develop a curriculum that gives underclassmen the tools and vocabulary necessary to share their APIDA experiences, and create a space for exploring the politics of identity.

To be the recipient of the Jack T. Chen scholarship is a high honor, and I am eternally thankful for the generosity of the Chen family and the efforts of AAPAAN to empower APIDA students as we work to better our communities.


Kelly Sun – AAPAAN Scholarship

Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Commerce (Finance and Management Concentrations)

I am a third-year student at the McIntire School of Commerce pursuing a double major in Commerce (Finance & Management Concentrations) and Economics, with a minor in Statistics.  I am honored to have received the 2020 AAPAAN Scholarship.

As the President of the Sigma Chapter of alpha Kappa Delta Phi, an Asian-interest sorority on Grounds, I aim to foster a community that places an emphasis on Asian American awareness. I have had the immense privilege of meeting many incredible and inspirational individuals within the APA community, which has strongly shaped my experiences within college. I hope to give back to the APA community through professional and academic guidance during my time in college and beyond.


2019 AAPAAN Scholarship Recipients

Jingjing (Nicki) Xu – Yee Family American Dream Scholarship

Graduation Year: 2020
Major: Commerce (Marketing and Management concentration, Business Analytics and Entrepreneurship track)

I am a third-year student studying Marketing and Management in the McIntire School of Commerce. Studying in United States since fourteen without speaking fluent English, I become who I am through my determination, action, and patience. I am extremely honored to receive the Yee Family American Dream Scholarship, and this award will always motivate me to continue contributing to the community. In the long term, I hope to help underprivileged APA students and communities via my own efforts.


Winston (Yizhou) Tang – Jack T. Chen Scholarship

Graduation year: 2020 (undergraduate) 2021 (master)
Major: Government, minor in Architecture

I am humbled and honored to be the recipient of the Jack T. Chen Scholarship. Currently a third year student, I am passionate about student self-governance and serving my peers. Having been president of my first year dorm and Vice President of the Architecture School Student Council, I recognize the importance of collective value and team cooperation. And as an Asian student, I cherish my culture heritage and mutual understanding with others in the AAPA community.

In the next two years, I will be part of the Accelerated Master of Public Policy program at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. It is my sincere hope that ultimately, I will be able to bring positive impact to today’s increasing globalized world through innovative and effective institutional approach, such as policy change and political reform. Without doubt, the Jack T. Chen Scholarship is a high honor and invaluable recognition that encourages me to strengthen my love for and commitment in both the AAPA community and the world that we live in.


Yi Fan Lim – AAPAAN Scholarship

Graduation year: 2020
Major: Commerce (Finance) and Computer Science

I am a third-year student at the McIntire School of Commerce pursuing a double major in Commerce (Finance) and Computer Science. Coming to Charlottesville from Singapore, I witnessed firsthand the negative impacts the University has on local residents. One of the most visible impacts was on the homeless who were displaced due to skyrocketing rental prices. I aim to help address problems the homeless face through volunteer work and partnership programs. With the AAPAAN Scholarship, I will be able to divert more of my attention from worrying about financial needs to creating an impact larger than myself.


2018 AAPAAN Scholarship Recipients

Pingxuan Cao – AAPAAN Scholarship

Graduation year: 2020
Major: Financial Mathematics, Finance and Accounting

I am extremely honored to be the recipient of the 2018 AAPAAN Scholarship. I am currently a second-year student studying financial mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. I also plan to study Finance and Accounting at the McIntire School of Commerce. I come from China and desire to work in the financial service industry after graduation. This scholarship inspires me to keep striving hard to give back to the APA community and to create a positive impact on younger students. In the long-term, I will be determined in pursuing my goals and continuing to contribute to the APA community that not only shapes me to be passionate about helping others, but also grants me wonderful opportunities to become a more respectful and loving person.


Linjiang (Hannah) Han – Yee Family American Dream Scholarship

Graduation Year: 2019
Major: Accounting and Finance
I am a third-year student studying Accounting and Finance in the McIntire School of Commerce. Following graduation, I hope to work in the accounting industry and specifically in forensic accounting.

I am incredibly honored to receive the Yee Family American Dream Scholarship. As an immigrant, I have always sought new experiences in different cultures and diversity, which has led to my involvement in UVA’s A/APA community. I am very grateful for both the network’s and the Yee Family’s support for A/APA students’ endeavors at UVA and beyond graduation.


Hahna Cho: Jack T. Chen Scholar

Graduation Year: 2019
Major: History and Political and Social Thought; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor.

I am overjoyed and incredibly humbled to be this year’s recipient of the Jack T. Chen Scholarship. As a personal and professional goal, I aspire to promote social advocacy and political engagement within the AAPA community. Furthermore, I hope to encourage fellow Asian-American women to grapple with but also embrace their multifaceted identities as a means to pursue their goals. I am eternally grateful for the generosity of the Chen family and for the many efforts of the AAPAAN to encourage intellectual growth for AAPA students.

2017 AAPAAN Scholarship Recipients

Shambhawi Thakur: Jack T. Chen Scholar

Graduation Year: 2018
Major:  Spanish with Pre-Med Track

Shambhawi Thakur - webI am highly honored to be the recipient of Jack T. Chen Scholarship. I am a Spanish major and am aiming to become a successful doctor. Being a part of the APA community has fostered my determination and hard-work to achieve my goals. I am also extremely grateful for the opportunities I have had to be involved with the APA community as I am really passionate about helping others. I hope to continue my contributions throughout the upcoming future.


Yulin Ge: Yee Family American Dream Scholar

Graduation Year: 2018
Intended Major: Commerce (Finance and Accounting) & Statistics

Yulin Ge - webI am a third year student studying Finance and Accounting in the McIntire School of Commerce, also double majoring in Statistics. I came from Shanghai and always like to challenge my own boundaries. I hope to work in the Financial Service industry in the US after graduation. In the long-term, I want to use my business skills to make social impact in China, potentially through an educational startup.

I am more than honored to receive the Yee Family American Dream Scholarship. My cultural identity has always reminded me to be a respectful and caring person and also be persistent in achieving my goals. This award from AAPAAN definitely encourages me to keep taking initiatives to serve the need of my community and mentor younger students from A/APA background.


2016 AAPAAN Scholarship Recipients

Bryan Chen: Yee Family American Dream Scholar

Graduation Year: 2018
Intended Major: Commerce (Finance Concentration) & Computer Science; Intended Economics Minor

bryan-chen_for-aapaan-webI am extremely honored to be a recipient of the Yee Family American Dream Scholarship of 2016 and thankful that this award encourages me to continue to give back to the APA community. I am currently a third year Computer Science major. My goals are to work in the tech industry after graduation and, hopefully in the long term, to make a social impact and establish a business aiding underprivileged APA students and communities.


Shan Shan: Jack T. Chen Scholar

Graduation Year: 2017
Major: Politics (Foreign Affairs) & Commerce (Finance and IT Concentration with Business Analytics track)

aapaan-scholars-2016It’s my great honor to receive the Jack T. Chen Memorial Scholarship. This award encourages me to keep on contributing to the APA community and creating a positive impact. After graduation, I hope to keep in close contact with the APA students at UVA and try my best to give them advice and guidance. Furthermore, I aspire to connect and help strengthen the alumni network, making our voice stronger and more influential to benefit the broader university community in the future.


2015 AAPAAN Scholarship Recipients

Tiffany Chong: Jack T. Chen Scholar

Graduation Year: 2018
Major: Pre-Commerce

I am extremely honored to be a recipient of the Jack T. Chen Memorial Scholarship. I am from Northern Virginia and hope to pursue a business-related field, potentially in the future working for a non-profit company. Regardless of what I end up doing in the future, I am forever grateful for all my positive experiences with the APA community. It has helped shape my work ethic, passion, and values. I have found a warm and welcoming home in UVa’s APA community, and I greatly hope to serve them well.


Yimeng (Blaire) Huang: Yee Family American Dream Scholar

Blaire HuangGraduation Year: 2016
Major: Commerce (Finance and IT Concentrations) & Political Philosophy, Policy, and

 


2014 Jack T. Chen Scholarship Recipients

Deepak De

Graduation Year: 2016
Major: Commerce

Deepak DeAfter being part of the APA community at UVA and studying abroad in Japan, I hope to bring more of my experiences into the UVA community and further understanding among people of different cultures. This scholarship inspires me to go further with the support of the new first year class by helping them transition into an amazing UVA experience.


Tae Yoon Seo

Graduation Year: 2016

Tae Yoon SeoMy name is Tae Yoon Seo and I am a Third Year Nursing student. I am hoping to work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the DC Metropolitan area after I graduate and become a midwife as my long-term profession. I love mothers and babies. I have a strong passion for photography and music. I am very thankful to be chosen as a recipient for the Jack T. Chen scholarship and hope to continue contributing to the AAPAAN community.


2013 Jack T. Chen Scholarship Recipients

Jason Liao

Graduation Year: 2014
Major: Chemistry with specialization in Biochemistry & American Chemical Society Certification
Future Plans:  Work and travel before attending medical school.

Jason Liao

It is an incredible honor to be recognized by the A/APA community. Not only has this award helped me to achieve my goals, but it has also encouraged me to expand my service to the A/APA community. I hope to live up to Jack Chen’s reputation as a scholarly and loving human being here at UVA and well after graduation.


Ruyin Liao

Graduation Year: 2014
Major: Commerce (Double concentrations in Finance and Marketing)

Ruyin Liao

I felt beyond honored to receive the Jack T. Chen Memorial Scholarship. The University provides limited financial aids to international students and the Scholarship supported me in a time of great needs. I am very thankful to have been so involved in the AAPA community at UVa, to have been given so many opportunities to learn about leadership, to garner friendship, to meet the supportive AAPAAN at the Signature Event, and to have more than enough reason to improve myself every day. I look forward to making my contribution to AAPAAN one day.


2012 Jack T. Chen Scholarship Recipients

Mika Nomura

Nationality: Japanese/Taiwanese
Graduation Year: 2013
Major: Psychology and Sociology

Mika Nomura

Future Plans: My current goal is to do both research and clinical work at a university after receiving a PhD in clinical psychology.

What this Award Means to Me: I am very excited to receive this honor and recognition for my contributions to the A/APA community. This award inspires me to continue to promote multiculturalism and pursue my academic career. I am forever grateful for the support my family, friends, and the UVa community has given me.


Xiaoyi (Sean) Yu

Hometown: Beijing, China
Year: 2015
Major: Pre-Commerce and Economics

Xiaoyi (Sean) Yu

Future Plans: Get into Commerce School, seek career in financial industry after graduation, and finally start a business for children education.

What this Award Means to Me: It’s my honor to receive this award. And it encourages me to continue to put my efforts in bringing more meaningful opportunities to the APA community and to help the APA students fit in the American culture here. With my Outreach position in Mainland Student Network and Head of Event position in Global Student Council, I will also organize more cultural communication events to raise the awareness of APA community in University of Virginia.


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