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AAAS Newsletter (Spring 2016)

Greetings from the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS):


Hanbok Portrait 1 by Ishmawyil Claiborne, AS Grad Student

AAAS enjoyed a productive and creative 2015/16 academic year with many successes and challenges as our student enrollments continued to increase. We sponsored or organized a number of intellectually stimulating interdisciplinary events for the CSULB community. In fact, the Asian American Studies program was honored by Long Beach City Mayor Robert Garcia for the film screening and panel discussion, with director Cory Shiozaki and writer Richard Imamura, of “The Manzanar Fishing Club” as part of the Feb. 18 Day of Remembrance, commem-orating the Japanese American internment during World War II.

This newsletter highlights our new minor programs and innovative initiatives, the accomplishments of our faculty and Asian Studies MA students, and the awardees of our 2016 Spring Awards Reception.

New Minors

Our two new minors —Japanese Language and Culture, and Chinese Language and Culture—have attracted over seventy new students into these Asian Language programs. The new minor in Korean Language and Culture starts Fall 2016. And the first minor in Cambodian Language and Culture in the United States has passed the College of Liberal Arts curriculum committee. It should launch in Fall 2017. These minors provide an Asian language option for students with majors in science, business or engineering, thus making them  more competitive on the current job market.   We have also added a second year of language courses in Filipino to further support our Southern California Southeast AAPI communities.


Sato Academy Chinese language students with Principal Mona Merlo (left)

 New Innovative Programs

This year AAAS launched or participated in three new innovative programs in partnership with the University of California through the State’s cross-enrollment mandate or the Long Beach Unified School System. The first of these programs is the UCB-UCLA Khmer Language Consortium, which we joined in 2015. Through this we participated in a cross-enrollment program with UCB enables our Cambodian American students to participate in a synchronous teleconferenced course in Intensive Intermediate Khmer. This was a two-semester sequence for ten upper division units. Our students were reading Cambodia’s first modern  novel Sophat by the end of the second semester.

Our second new venture is Asian American Studies’ participation in the Ethnic Studies Program with the Long Beach Unified School District.   The ethnic studies departments or programs—Africana Studies, Chicano/a and Latino/a Studies, American Indian Studies, and Asian American Studies—joined forces to develop a textbook for a CSULB course to be taught on Saturdays in LBUSD high schools. This is an ongoing program with great potential, making a positive impact on our Long Beach community and jump starting college careers  by providing high school students with transferable college units.

Finally, we began teaching our Chinese language courses (CHIN 101 and 102) at the new Sato Academy for Math and Science, which opened Fall 2015. This is a CAMS high school, located on the former Hill Middle School campus, close to CSULB. We were surprised at the student interest in Chinese. Nearly half of the student body (150 students) elected to take Chinese language courses from us.   We hope to develop a certificate in Chinese language competency to reward these highly motivated high school students. We are working with the Confucius Institute to facilitate an opportunity for some of these students and their parents to spend three weeks in China during a summer study abroad experience in 2017.

New MA Program in Asian Studies

Liangyu and

AS grad student and master musician of classical Chinese instruments  Liangyu (right) with her student Rose

Our new MA program in Asian Studies has launched with a marvelous cohort of diverse students both local and international. This accelerated program is demanding since its core courses focus on understanding Asia as an integrated region and global economic power. Students with options in Chinese or Japanese language pedagogy in our Asian Studies MA become experts in Asia along with developing skills as Asian language instructors. Two of these students—Tomo Murakami and Liangyu Zhang-Moran— have already presented academic papers at regional conferences.   Our MA students have many talents. Liangyu is an accomplished musician of classical Chinese instruments.

And our entering graduate student, Ishmawiyl Claiborne, who grew up in China, is an artist currently working on a series of Korean women (Hanbok Portrait 1). Pingying Chiang has received a summer internship at the Flagship Chinese Language Program, University of Mississippi, and Hui Cheng has received a summer internship at Shanghai International Studies University.

We have reinstated our graduate student program, the Asian Studies Graduate Society. Their first project will be to assist the Confucius Institute in a 10-week Chinese Calligraphy and Culture workshop open to all students on campus during Fall 2016 at the Multicultural Center.

Faculty Scholarly Activities

Asian and Asian American Studies. Dr. Truc HaMai was awarded the national recognition of 2015 Dissertation of the Year by the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC). Additionally, her research was nominated for the 2015 Mildred Garcia Award for Exemplary Scholarship with the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE).  She delivered a keynote at the Equity Summit for the Community College League of California, acted as discussant for the Council on Ethnic Participation, and most recently, presented her research on Asian Pacific American faculty supporting AAPI students who not fit the Model Minority Myth.

Professor Barbara W. Kim’s co-authored book with Grace J. Yoo, Caring across Generation: The Linked Lives of Korean American Families (NYU Press, 2014) received the 2015 Asian America Book Award from the American Sociological Association, Section on Asia and Asian America. She  also authored one book chapter and co-authored two articles in 2015. “Adult Children of Korean Immigrants: Maintaining Language and Negotiating Ethnic Identities through Generations,” co-authored with Grace J. Yoo, was published in the KAERA Research Forum. “The Los Angeles Korean Community and Festival,” co-authored with Jung-Sun Park, was published in 한민족공동체, 제22호 (The Korean Community, No. 22) by the Overseas Koreans Research Institute. She was invited to contribute a book chapter, “Ambassadors in the Heartland: Asian American Racial and Regional Identities in the Midwest,” in Asian Americans in Michigan: Voices from the Midwest, edited by Sook Wilkinson and Victor Jew (Wayne State University Press, 2015) which received the 2015 Book Award from the Historical Society of Michigan.

Asian Studies. Professor Teri Yamada published Modern Literature of Cambodia: Transnational Voices of Transformation, Vol 2 of the Nou Hach Literary Association’s Translation Series.   She gave two invited papers on the implications of casino capitalism and integrated resort development for the workshop Beyond the State’s Reach: Casino Spaces as Enclaves of Development or Lawlessness at the Center for Khmer Studies in Phnom Penh and for the conference “Making Southeast Asian Culture: From Region to World” at UC Berkeley, and the invited paper “‘Asian Eats’: Comparing the effectiveness of flipped, active learning, and online learning instruction practices,” for OEB: Online Education Berlin, Berlin, Germany.  Additionally, she was interviewed for CSULB’s Public T.V. program Talking Points, titled “Life and Times in Contemporary Cambodia.


Chinese Studies faculty and awardee Zoe Megginson

Chinese Studies.  Assistant Professor, Haiping Wu published her co-authored article “Plural NP + Dou  () Expressions in Mandarin: An Interactional Linguistic Approach” as a chapter in the book “Interactive Linguistics and Chinese Studies” (Vol. 1) by Beijing World Publishing Corporation (世界图书出版公司). Two more articles are in press: (1) the paper “Modified Resayings of Reported Speech in Mandarin Conversation” has been accepted by a refereed journal Chinese Language and Discourse, and will be included in one of the issues this year; (2) the article entitled “Patterns of Plural NP+dou() Expressions in Conversational Discourse and Their Pedagogical Implications” has been selected to be included in the special volume “Integrating Chinese Linguistic Research and Language Learning and Teaching” as part of the Studies in Chinese Language and Discourse (SCLD) series, which is expected to be published by John Benjamins in the second half of 2016. She presented her research “Reported speech in natural conversation and its application in second language teaching” at the 2015 ACTFL Annual Convention conference at San Diego. She also reviewed articles for the Journal of Pragmatics and for the special volume Integrating Chinese Linguistic Research and Language Learning and Teaching.

Japanese Program


Japanese program faculty and distinguished students

Professor Masako Douglas published her article “Japanese Language Education of the Earlier Generations: From 1885 to World War II,” in Heritage Languages Historical Profiles, National Heritage Language Resource Center ( She gave two refereed presentations and one keynote presentation, and conducted four workshops in Japanese language curriculum and Japanese as a heritage language.

Associate Professor  Kiyomi Chinen gave two refereed presentations at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) with her colleagues and conducted four workshops related to Japanese-language teaching in several regions in the U.S.

Professor Hiroko C. Kataoka published “Bakkuwaado dezain ni motozuku nihongo shidoo: Karikyuramu to kurasu katsudoo,” in Proceedings of the NINJAL International Symposium, “Genba wo sasaeru nihongo kyooiku kenkyuu,” National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics ).She also gave two refereed presentations and two keynote presentations, and conducted six workshops in Japanese language pedagogy and Japanese as a heritage language, varying one day to six days in length.

Spring Awards Reception (April 25)

Around 150 parents, students, faculty, distinguished guests and friends of AAAS attended this year’s Spring Awards Reception at the Anatol Center at CSULB. We were entertained by MA student Liangyu, master musician of classical Chinese instruments, and her student Rose. We would like to acknowledge all of our outstanding students who received recognition at this event and our graduating class of 2016.

2016 Scholarship Recipients

Best Paper in Asian Studies: Tomo Murakami and Guillermo Garcia

Lloyd T. Inui Prize: Rosa Nguyen and Jordan Rodriguez

Best Paper in in Asian American Studies: Yushin Cho

ASAM Alum Award: Jarius Ramos and Eve Ishii

San-Pao Li Scholarship: Zoe Wynn Megginson and Sarah Katherine Musnicky

Taiwan Essay Contest: Lucita Villarreal

Atsuko Hayashi Scholarship:  Ian Anthony Fludd

Franklin Cole Scholarship: Edward Miller and Ye Kuang


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AAAS Newsletter: Summer 2015, Study Abroad Update (focus on Cambodia)


Summer Abroad Study in Shanghai, CSULB students with Prof. Ai and Shanghai International Studies University faculty and staff

AAAS undergrads traveled throughout Asia this summer  to study the languages and cultures of Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia, and Vietnam.  One of the highlights of our summer study abroad programs was a three-week public health education mission to Cambodia (June 17-July 8), which incorporated  some cultural and business components.


Route through Cambodia with home base in Phnom Penh

Students in temple (Kompong Cham)

A/ST 490  was a joint effort with MESH  (Medical Experience Through Service in Healthcare), a student organization at UCLA, and Cambodian-American students from CSU Long Beach. Nine students from UCLA and CSULB joined with seven students (pre-med, dentistry, pharmacology) from several universities in Phnom Penh— under the supervision of two advisers, a dentist and psychiatrist—to deliver health education presentations and some services to several thousand Cambodians, mostly rural farmers and plantation workers, through seven provinces of Cambodia. Home base was Phnom Penh.

Families are responsible for patient food and care.

Part of the learning process for AST 490 required students to visit various public and private hospitals and clinics to see the range of service provision in medical facilities regarding sanitation and patient care.  Conditions varied dramatically throughout the country. In some hospitals, patients were situated in corridors or on the floor, often in crowded or unsanitary conditions. The pubic hospitals we visited were seriously understaffed, often without adequately trained nurses, modern surgical or dental equipment.

patient in stairwell: few doctors, little space

Patient in stairwell: few doctors, little space

no space for mother and new born

Only space on floor for mother and new born

As students

Students' teaching

Students’ teaching “hand washing” to crowd

Getting reading glasses

Getting reading glasses


Many children with serious tooth decay

Many children with serious tooth decay

Over 1,000 toothbrushes distribued

Over 1,000 toothbrushes distributed


A very meaningful aspect of this program for students was the cultural exchange between U.S. and Cambodian students. They worked together on various projects, translation, and presentations over this three-week period. It was an effective way to develop a deeper cross-cultural experience through shared interests based on age  and educational interests. All participants agreed it was a transformative experience.  The American students in the course produced a handbook of short presentations on disease prevention and public health, now being translated by their Cambodian counterparts in Phnom Penh.

Working together: Cambodian and American Students

Working together: Cambodian and American Students

Congratulations to these students for their professionalism and compassion

Congratulations to our global students


Special recognition to Instructor Teri Tan for her logistical power on this trip and for all the donations she received from various companies and medical doctors, including the LN-4 hand donations.

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AAAS Newsletter (Fall 2014/Spring 2015)

AAAS Department Highlights                                        LionDance

On  March  10, AAAS sponsored a campus Lion Dance to bring “good fortune” and attention to the importance of funding summer, study abroad programs to Asia and elsewhere ( Lions dance through campus).

The CSULB Confucius Institute was established this year.  AAAS will take a lead role in the development of its community outreach plans.  We hope to work with History Department’s Tim Keirn to develop training in Chinese culture  for K-12 instructors while utilizing resources from the Confucius Institute. We are also excited about two new Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) partnerships: from Fall 2015, we will be offering our Chinese language courses for college credit to high school students in the new Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science; and the Asian American Studies program faculty will begin teaching college-credit, ethnic studies courses on Saturdays for LBUSD high school students as part of the CSULB ethnic studies consortium.

lion.walkThe Department has two new minors: Chinese language and culture (18 units); Japanese language and culture (18-26 units). The M.A. in Asian Studies has been restructured as a cutting edge masters degree in Asian Studies, with a focus on language competency (Chinese or Japanese)  and content knowledge of the history and significance of Asia and globalization.  It also has two options: Chinese Studies Option ( a choice of Chinese Language and Culture or Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language); and an Option in Japanese Language and Pedagogy.

Faculty Highlights

Haiping.WuIntroducing Haiping Wu
Newly appointed Assistant Professor in Chinese Studies, Haiping Wu  received her Ph.D. in Asian Languages and Cultures (Chinese linguistics) from UCLA in 2014.  During this past academic year, she taught Chinese language in the University of Mississippi’s  Chinese Language Flagship Program. Her research focus is on the analysis of reported speech in everyday Mandarin conversation from a conversation analytic perspective. Haiping’s research shows the ways in which reported speech functions to generate an inter-subjectivity between participants, making a unique contribution to the field of discourse functional linguistics.

    • Chinese Studies, Prof. Ruixi Ai — Received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in Chinese Studies. He was the invited speaker for “The Art of Teaching Chinese Linguistics (i.e. Chinese Language and Culture) to undergraduates at North American Colleges: A Special Panel/Workshop at the 27th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics,” held at UCLA, April 3-5, 2015.
    • Japanese, Prof. Masako Douglas — developed Unit 7 in  “Monty’s Bridge to Tomorrow,” a Japanese online textbook for intermediate to advanced levels, as a part of JET Memorial Project: Montgomery Dickson Memorial, Montgomery Dixon Center for University of Alaska, Anchorage. Hiroko Kataoka & Eiko Ushida (Eds.).  ( She gave three invited presentations on Japanese language education and a number of workshops.
    • appreciation
    • Japanese, Prof. Hiroko Kataoka —published “Differentiated instruction in Japanese Language Classes,” in  Proceedings of the National Symposium on Japanese Language Education (2012). She co-edited with Eiko Ushida, “Monty’s Bridge to Tomorrow,” a Japanese online textbook for intermediate to advanced levels, as a part of JET Memorial Project: Montgomery Dickson Memorial (Montgomery Dixon Center for University of Alaska, Anchorage). She gave several invited presentations and conducted four workshops in Japanese language curriculum development and standards.
    • Japanese, Prof. Kiyomi Chinen—Received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in Japanese. She published the chapter “Community” in “Monty’s Bridge to Tomorrow.” Montgomery Dixon Center for University of Alaska, Anchorage. She gave a conference paper in Sydney, Australia, on Japanese Heritage Language.
    • Japanese program faculty brought together students from Osaka University and CSULB for cultural exchange through the Kakehashi Project

      Japanese program faculty brought together students from Osaka City University and CSULB for cultural exchange through the Kakehashi Project

  • Asian Studies and Japanese, Dr. Sam Coleman is revamping material for the Japanese Language, Culture and Communication course in response to dramatic changes worldwide in access to information, social media and translation technology.  He is also conducting background research on his next project, psychological trauma among Japanese-American combat veterans of three generations. Coleman is also the PTSD Working Group Coordinator Veterans for Peace, and has a Masters in Social Work  at CSULB.  In spring semester, he  co-organized the popular event with author Dr. Laura Miller, “Unmentionable in Japan! Taboo Words, Blurred Representations, and Other Unseemly Topics.”
  • Asian American Studies,  Prof. Dean Toji —In Fall 2015 he will launch ESP 392 “Environmental Science & Policy” (Climate Action and Sustainability at CSULB), a service learning, capstone course in which students work with staff, faculty and community partners.  ESP 392 was developed with a “Campus as a Living Lab” grant from the Chancellor’s Office. He continues to work as principal organizer of the Environmental Justice Committee for A3PCON (Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council) and serves on CSULB’s Sustainability Task Force.
  • Asian American Studies, Prof. Barbara Kim—Published with Grace Yoo Caring across Generations: The Linked Lives of Korean American Families Caring(NYU Press, 2014) and helped to organize the panel discussion “Unpacking the ‘Achievement Gap’: Latinos, Asian Americans and Inequalities in Education” featuring Professors Robert  Teranishi and Gilda Ochoa.
  • Asian Studies, Prof. Teri Yamada—continued her work in Cambodia with the NGO Nou Hach Literary Association, which sponsored a Fulbright student, creative writer Colin Hodgins, this year in Phnom Penh. Prof. Yamada presented two conference papers on the economic and social consequences of the monumental building projects currently underway in Phnom Penh.  She continues to work on the second volume of English translations of Cambodian literature and essays titled Transnational Cambodia.
Student Highlights

Congratulations to the class of 2015!

2015 Student Awards

Chin.Studies. SanPaoLi

Steven Yang

Steven Yang

Grace Kim

Grace Kim


Sarah Musnicky

Sungmi Yoo

Sungmi Yoo

Abrielle Johnson

Abrielle Johnson

Jung Won Lee

Jung Won Lee


Iryka Smeke

Iryka Smeke

Kelly Pheng

Kelly Pheng



other appreciations