School of Interdisciplinary Studies Asian American StudiesCollege of Liberal Arts

Students Testimonies

Inna F. Cuntapay

Inna F. Cuntapay, Class of 2017 

Major: Political Science
Minor: Asian American Studies, Psychology

Current Status:

Immediately following graduation, Inna worked as an intern for Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly in Washington, DC. Currently, she is working full time as a campaign manager for a candidate running for a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives.

Statement:

Being a part of both the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors College allowed a lot of flexibility when it came to my curriculum. Originally, I enrolled in Introduction to Asian American Studies in order to fulfill my degree requirements. However, as the course progressed, I found myself engaging with the course material in ways that I had not in my other classes. Growing up in Indiana, it was never a priority to me to express my Asian American identity. After learning of the significance of ethnic studies and deciding to pursue an Asian American Studies minor, I felt my ‘in-between’ identity validated. As a Political Science major, when I had the opportunity to intern for the Indiana House Democratic Caucus, I directly felt the impact of the lack of Asian American voices in the legislative process. In the future, I hope to use the knowledge that I’ve gained through the Asian American Studies Program and integrate it with my Political Science background in order to champion for Asian American involvement in all facets of U.S. government.


Nadia Arzberger

Nadia Arzberger, Class of 2017 

Major: Anthropogy 
Minor: Asian American Studies; Forensic Science; Psychology

Current Status:

Currently I am a student but I plan on graduating and then going on to either teach English abroad or continue on further archaeology field schools around the world. 


Statement:

Being an Asian American this class has really helped me understand the complex history that Asian/Americans have had. It was refreshing to take these courses and to learn that I am not the only person who has gone through the struggle of living in America despite being considered the "more privileged" of the minorities. Taking ASAM has opened a new door of opportunity to pursue a variety of interests and potentially a job in the future.


William Leu

William Leu, Class of 2012

Major: Sociology
Minor: Asian American Studies

Current Status:

Commercial Property Manager for S3 Property Management, Inc.; Co-Program Director for the Taiwanese American Foundation Summer Conference Juniors Program; Disciple of Kate Agathon


Statement:

I teeter on the edge of hyperbole, but I cannot gloss over the fact that the ASAM studies program profoundly changed my life for the better. It was because of ASAM studies that I became involved with the Asian American student organizations at Purdue, that I was able to have an opportunity to serve with the Taiwanese American Foundation outside of college, and make some of the most endearing friendships that I count on to this day. Prof. Agathon and Prof. Aparajita were amazing instructors inside and outside of the classroom who provided creative assignments and facilitated engaging dialogues that moonlighted as essential identity shaping vehicles of personal change. I will gladly throw down bills and coin (and at this point in my life, mostly coin) to the Purdue donation solicitation phone jockeys in order to support the ASAM program.


Jacklin Nguyen, Class of 2012

Major: Visual Communications Design
Minor: Psychology & Asian American Studies

Current Status:

Current Status: Business Analyst, government contractor in the metro Washington DC area; member of the Board of Directors for the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of the Midwest.

Statement:

Taking ASAM classes allowed me to learn more on the textbook side about the struggles of Asian Americans in the US and where the issues initially stemmed from in terms of historical events and the immigration of Asians to the United States over the course of the centuries. Being involved with many Asian-interest student organizations during my college career, taking what I learned from the ASAM classes helped me bring knowledge and factual information to my peers and share my experiences combining them with what we studied.


James Shan, Class of 2012

Major: Political Science
Minor: Asian American Studies

Current Status:

Advanced Product Specialist at Hearsay Social.

Statement:

Growing up Asian in America, there is this overarching Asian American identity that covers such a broad gamut of people. For better or worse, we, as Asian Americans, are seen as a unified entity despite the numerous ethnic groups that differ from each other so greatly within this broader entity. Taking ASAM courses had made me aware of the issues that my 'race' faces in American society, as well as helped me better connect with my ancestry and 'race'. Being able to hear from other Asian Americans and their thoughts and experiences is something that truly helps me feel connected in the world, as there is very limited Asian American exposure in mainstream media. ASAM was one of the biggest shapers of my political and cultural identity in school. It helps me put words and coherent thoughts to many of the feelings that I had felt for a long time. It gave me context for these feelings and made me feel more connected to the greater American society.

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