Annie Yang is a junior at Duke University, majoring in history and double minoring in sociology and global cultural studies. She is a member of the Asian American Studies Working Group, a political chair for Asian Students Association, and the treasurer for the Asian American Alliance. She is also a member of Duke’s People’s State of the University and was one of the lead organizers, editors, and designers of 2018-2019 Duke Disorientation Guide. Annie was also an East Coast Asian American Student Union National Board editorial intern. She spends most of her free time gushing over how cute her cat is, taking naps, and dreaming of revolution.
Dave is a current senior at North Carolina State University studying Environmental Sciences with a Focal Area in Renewable Energy Resources and Minor in Sustainable Energy. On his campus, Dave is actively involved with the APIDA community as the Community Liaison of ASIA (Asian Students in Alliance) and a chartering member of Lambda Phi Epsilon at North Carolina State University. With his role in ASIA, Dave hopes to one day encourage more dialogues on the Asian Identity and facilitate cross cultural discussion on topics that truly matter to communities of color. As a Brother of The Associate Chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon at North Carolina State University, one of Dave’s main purposes is to bring unity to the National APIDA Panhellenic Association (NAPA) Greeks around North Carolina. Additionally, another of Dave’s focus is to bring more dialogues on the integration of Asian and Greek Identities, in relation to Civic Leadership and Advocacy. Last but not least, identifying as Hmong American, Dave hopes that his involvement in TAASCON and the APIDA community would provide inspiration for other Southeast Asians to be more vocal on their own experiences and cultural heritage.
Lily is a junior at UNC Chapel Hill. Being an American Studies and Computer Science double major, she’s interested in exploring technology and its social implications. She’s also interested in creative nonfiction, politics, ethnic studies, and activism. At UNC, she is involved in the NC Fellows program, the AAPI Working Group at UNC Chapel Hill, and the Emerging Technologies Lab. She enjoys spending her free time scrolling through Twitter, reading profiles of famous people in The New Yorker, and watching Clickhole videos.
Patrick is a sophomore studying Electrical & Computer Engineering/Computer Science at Duke. Hailing from a strong Asian American community in Seattle, he is fascinated by AA relations in the South and seeks to expand his knowledge about advocacy efforts. He served as Finance Chair for TAASCON 2018 and is excited to make this year’s conference even more incredible. In his spare time, Patrick can be found rock climbing or watching a dangerous amount of TV.
Vishaal Pillai is a second year at NCSU majoring in accounting. As a proud Indian American, he is interested in asian activism and racial equality. He wants to see the asian community unite as one to better society. A future led by people from all different backgrounds with a common goal, to make a better world. When he’s not advocating for asian equality, he’s probably deep in a food coma after making another cookout run.
Carissa Tai is a sophomore at UNC studying Information Science and Cognitive Science. As an Asian-American who has lived in both the North and the South, she is interested in exploring the differences and the dynamics of what it means to be Asian-American in each of these regions. She is also interested in learning more about and bringing more light to the underrepresented groups within the AAPI community. She has been involved with organizations at UNC such as AASA (Asian American Students Association), AAPIWG (Asian American Pacific Islander Working Group), and aKDPhi. When she’s not doing work for these orgs, Carissa enjoys emptying her wallet through eating at AYCE (all you can eat) restaurants and buying sneakers on sale.
Caroline Buaron is a sophomore at NC State University double majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, along with Economics at the Poole College of Management. She is particularly interested in learning about the complexities of Asian history and how that has shaped cultures, identities, policies, and sociopolitical movements among Asian countries, and the effects that it has had on past and current global relations. On campus, she serves as President of Liberty in North Korea at NC State, which raises awareness and funds benefiting North Korean refugees. She is also Philanthropy Chair for the Filipino American Student Association at NC State and is deeply passionate about educating the student body and Raleigh community about Filipino culture. She loves watching Bon Appétit cooking videos, going to the NCMA, writing poetry, and line dancing to September by Earth, Wind & Fire.
Xueyang Li is a junior studying Biostatistics and Public Policy and minoring in Math. She is involved with the Social Neuroscience and Health Lab, and is interested in working with population level health data. Coming from a small Southeastern town, her interest in AAPI identities and issues since college has led to her serving on the UNC AASA executive board and with the AAPIWG. Some of her favorite activities include drawing, walking her dog, and watching Jeopardy!
Joy Lu is a sophomore studying biology with minors in global health and chemistry at Duke University. She is deeply interested in the intersections of identities and how they shape perceptions and ideas. Since coming to college, she has become more involved in Asian-American advocacy, which has allowed her to better understand how her own identity, her culture, and her sense of self. In her free time, Joy likes running, playing Avalon, and reading the New Yorker.
Kyle Lorenzo is a junior studying Biological Sciences and Psychology at NC State University with minors in Cognitive Sciences and International Studies. Born in Baguio, Philippines, he immigrated to the United States when he was nine months old. He is currently a research lab assistant on psychology projects related to immigrant bias and wants to do graduate school research on Filipino-Americans or minority identity in general. He is also interested in health equity and cross-cultural education in organizational settings. Especially as the United States experiences an ever-growing diversity and intergroup contact, he strives to shed light on AAPI narratives in the hope of amplifying the voices of the unheard. He has worked with the NCSU Counseling Center to facilitate NCSU’s first Asian-American Mental Health Panel, is the founding Internal Vice President of NCSU FASA (Filipino American Student Association), and works for the Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity facilitating workshops on diversity and inclusion. In his free time, Kyle enjoys playing tennis and foosball, dancing with his crew, guitar jam sessions, and late night Cookout hangouts with his friends.
Jane Yu is a first-year studying Chemistry at North Carolina State University. She was introduced to political activism by her father through books, movies and stories about his activism during his youth in Korea. As a Korean-American female living in North Carolina, she is particularly interested in the impacts of gender inequalities compounded with the unique space that the APIDA community occupies in the South. Jane enjoys drinking overpriced lattes at aesthetic coffee shops, scrolling through meme Twitter and planning the itinerary of her next vacation.
Justin is currently a senior at Duke University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education and Visual Media Studies. Raised in Durham, Justin has been in the Triangle for almost his entire life! He has been involved with the AAPI community at Duke since his first year on campus, and has helped with the Asian Students Association, ECAASU 2017, and gave his first workshop ever at TAASCON last year. In addition to these activities, Justin has been heavily involved with education equality through working with different non-profits both locally and nationwide. Justin’s hobbies include art, Magic the Gathering, and looking at nice clothes online.
Registration & HOspitality
Kate Chen is a sophomore studying Computer Science with a minor in Cultural Anthropology and a certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Duke. Coming from Bellevue, WA, a suburb of Seattle with a significant Asian community, Kate grew up surrounded by a strong sense of Asian American identity, and has worked to consolidate that within both the more conservative and Southern culture of North Carolina, as well as the relatively liberal social dynamic at Duke. Kate enjoys rock climbing, cooking, obsessing over dogs and hanging out with friends!
Van Nguyen is a senior at Duke University, double-majoring in Public Policy and Political Science with a minor in Education. Van cares deeply about transitioning political research and data-based solutions into effectual policy-making processes. As a research assistant for international affairs expert and political scientist, Dr. Tana Johnson, Van has also worked alongside Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, International Business-Government Counsellors, and Duke University’s Bass Connections. As a child of war refugees, Van’s independent research focuses on immigrant integration policy and how national governments can create more equitable institutions for native and non-native citizens. Ultimately, this is what led her to an interest in creating active and collaborative spaces for underrepresented communities. With TAASCON, she hopes to further inclusive Asian-American representation while increasing the community’s political and civic engagement.