Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus welcomes new chair

April 6, 2020
  • AACRAO Leadership and Governance
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  • Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus
headshot of tricia ryan

AACRAO’s Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus is switching leadership--Christopher Huang, currently a Registrar at Wheaton College, will be stepping down after two years of leading the Caucus. Tricia Ryan, Director of Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations at San Jose State University will be taking his place. 

Ryan has been a part of the API Caucus since AACRAO’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, originally looking for a group to connect with and share in advancing the concerns of API students around the country. Ryan felt it time to assume a leadership position at AACRAO--with leadership, comes its own lessons. When leading you have to ask yourself, how do you want to lead? 

A lot of that for Ryan meant coming back home to her own Filipina roots, something she is already exploring with her Doctor of Education dissertation on Filipinx leadership epistemologies. She is finding that despite huge amounts of API students, especially in her home state of California, there is sparse representation in leadership.

Further complicating matters, the term “Asian and Pacific Islander” in fact encompasses a huge and diverse population; there are around 40 ethnic subgroups encompassed with that one term.

So where and how do institutions begin to address the needs of API students? Ryan believes it starts with continual learning about Asian and Pacific Islander concerns as an approach in practicing anti-oppressive education.

“Due to the model minority stereotype, it’s easy to assume that there’s no need for support or attention for API students,” she says ruefully.

This assumption can make it difficult to push API issues to the forefront of campus priorities. In joining the Caucus two years ago, Ryan hoped to collaborate with other higher ed professionals who felt the same, and advance their own projects with mutual support. 

Her goals for the Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus? Crafting a mission for the next year, and driving engagement. You can join anytime by visiting the website just in time for May--Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. 


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