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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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About the Author

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Teri Yamada is Professor of Asian Studies and Chair of the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at CSU Long Beach.

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