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Asian and Asian Pacific American Alumni Network

2021 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Jim Ryan, UVA President, addresses the AAPAAN community

Lily West, President & CEO of the UVA Alumni Association, shares her thoughts on the AAPAAN community and Heritage Month

AAPAAN Scholarship Reception

Saturday, May 1st, 2021, 5–6 PM

A celebration of the recipients of this year’s AAPAAN, Jack T. Chen, and Yee Family American Dream scholarships.

Asians and Asian Americans in Politics Fireside Chat

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021, 6–7 PM
Join us for a conversation with Chris Lu (Teresa A. Sullivan Practitioner Senior Fellow, UVA Miller Center & Former Deputy Secretary of Labor).

Chris Lu is a senior fellow in presidential studies at the Miller Center. From 2014 to 2017, Lu served as the deputy secretary of labor, having been confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. Lu was only the second Asian American in history to be the deputy secretary of a cabinet agency. From 2009 to 2013, Lu was the White House cabinet secretary and assistant to the president, serving as President Obama’s primary liaison to the federal departments and agencies. During the first term of the Obama Administration, Lu co-chaired the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Prior to his service in the executive branch, Lu worked for then-Senator Obama, first as the legislative director, and then as the acting chief of staff. During the 2008 presidential primaries, Lu was tasked by Senator Obama to begin planning for a possible presidential transition.

Watch “Asians and Asian Americans in Politics Fireside Chat”

AAPAAN presents: Perspectives on Mental Health Panel

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021, 7–8 PM

Join us for a conversation that features Olivia Jeffers (Owner, Karma Yoga, SEAS ’13) & Dr. Alyssa T. Poblete (Licensed Clinical Psychologist, GCAS ’11).

Olivia Jeffers is the owner of Karma Yoga studio in Falls Church City, Virginia. She graduated in 2013 from the University of Virginia with a civil and environmental engineering degree, with a minor in business. In 2019, Olivia and her family opened Karma Yoga – a place that allows for Eastern practices to mix with the Western world. Olivia’s family practiced acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine before the Cultural Revolution, and these influences can be seen in their work today. Olivia speaks intermediate Chinese, and has a strong interest in the practical applications of mental and physical wellness practices.

Dr. Alyssa Poblete is a licensed clinical psychologist currently working in a group private practice in Northern Virginia. Dr. Poblete identifies as a first-generation Filipina American, and is the first generation in her family to attend college in the United States. Dr. Poblete graduated from the University of Virginia in 2011, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Comparative Literature. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a project coordinator for a large, federally-funded research study on adolescent girls’ depression and non-suicidal self-injury at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Poblete earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The George Washington University. Her graduate research focused on co-parenting and parental self-efficacy in ethnically diverse families, as well as mental health help-seeking in Asian/Asian American university students. Dr. Poblete has experience working with children and adults in a variety of settings in the D.C. area, including community mental health, university counseling, and medical research centers. Dr. Poblete specializes in individual therapy working with adolescents and adults experiencing concerns related to anxiety, depression, grief, identity, and relationships.

Watch “AAPAAN presents: Perspectives on Mental Health Panel”

AAPAAN presents: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UVA

Thursday, May 20th, 2021, 6–7 PM

Join us for a discussion with Kevin McDonald (Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships at UVA)

Kevin McDonald is the University of Virginia’s (UVA) vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He joined UVA after serving as the chief diversity officer and vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity, and equity at the University of Missouri System and the University of Missouri–Columbia.

Prior to the University of Missouri System and its flagship campus, McDonald held positions at several other universities, including as vice president and associate provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Rochester Institute of Technology; vice president for equity and inclusion at Virginia Tech, as associate director for compliance and conflict resolution at Johns Hopkins University; and campus compliance officer at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to his work in higher education, McDonald worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and for Network Solutions, Inc. McDonald holds a law degree from The Ohio State University and a doctoral degree in higher education leadership from the University of Rochester. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Watch “AAPAAN presents: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UVA”

Closing Ceremony- The Movie Movement – A Discussion on Minari

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021, 7–8 PM

AAPAAN is delighted to host UVA Dean Shilpa Dave and alum Steven Kung in an interactive discussion of Asian and Asian Americans in film and TV, focusing on Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe winning 2020 film Minari. We encourage you to watch Minari in advance of our event, Not sure where to watch? Click on the link here for options:


Shilpa Davé , Ph.D., University of Virginia Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Assistant Professor, Media Studies and American Studies

Steven J. Kung, B.A., Foreign Affairs, Writer / Director of Fresh Off the Boat, Dear White People, A Leading Man

Watching the closing ceremony