Esther Lee is a junior studying Nutritional Biochemistry at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health with a minor in Medicine, Literature, and Culture. As a daughter of immigrant parents, she is interested in racial/social inequalities and health disparities within minority groups. She believes that the Asian-American identity is a working history and contained issue that needs to be broken down, analyzed, and understood by others. She has served in spaces such as the Annual Minority Health Conference, Immigrant and Family Health nonprofit organization, and Scholars’ Latino Initiative. If not wondering about how all of the roads were created, Esther enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, pranking friends, skiing, and cooing over chubby babies.
Helen Yang is a Chinese American third-year undergraduate student at Duke University, pursuing a double major in Linguistics and Political Science alongside a minor in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. As a strong advocate for interdisciplinary education, she explores academic intersections as a way to explore herself. As someone raised in Duluth, GA, she is particularly passionate about two things: the incredible food available in her hometown suburb and the narrative of being Asian American in the South. She is also deeply interested in exploring discourses on affordable housing/gentrification, sexual assault/harassment, education equity/policy, media socialization, and the ways in which the digital age affects political theory and behavior. She is currently involved in Duke’s International Association, Duke’s Asian American Studies Working Group, the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU), Story Lab, as well as slam poetry collectives and debate team. In her free time, she enjoys embroidery, stocking up on snacks, and psychoanalyzing television characters.
Olivia is a junior at NC State University double majoring in Foreign Languages and Literatures (Mandarin Chinese) and Political Science (International Politics). At NC State, Olivia is a member of the University Scholars Program, Caldwell Fellows, Adopted Student Union and tutors student athletes for the ASPSA. Olivia joined TAASCON with the hope to help advocate for the AAPI community as well as help facilitate important dialogue regarding Asian American adoptees.
Lily is a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill. Being an American Studies and Computer Science double major, she’s interested in exploring technology and its cultural, social, and economic implications. She’s also interested in creative nonfiction, politics, ethnic studies, and activism. At UNC, she is involved in the NC Fellows program, Carolina Advocates for Gender Equity, the AAPI Working Group at UNC Chapel Hill, and the Southern Oral History Program. She enjoys spending her free time scrolling through Twitter, reading profiles of famous people in The New Yorker, and watching Clickhole videos.
Annie is a second-generation Chinese American from Long Island, New York. She is a sophomore at Duke University who is considering majoring in history and global cultural studies but is trying to remain undecided for as long as possible. Annie is involved with the Asian American Studies Working Group, is a writer for a social justice and identity blog called The Other, is an editorial intern for the East Coast Asian American Student Union, and is an assistant director for Common Ground, a retreat centered on issues of identity. When Annie is not sleeping, working, or procrastinating, she can probably be found trying to woo the campus cats with treats.
Patrick is a Chinese American freshman at Duke from Seattle, Washington. He plans on studying Biomedical Engineering along with Computer Science, is a member of his school’s Taiwanese American Student Association, and will live in Fusion, an Asian-interest SLG, next year. Growing up in a primarily Asian American community, he seeks to learn more about how Asian American issues can be placed in the national conversation over race and immigration. In his spare time, Patrick typically rock climbs, plays racquetball, or watches a dangerous amount of TV.
Caroline is a Chinese American junior studying Political Science, International Comparative Studies, and Markets and Management at Duke University. Coming from Wisconsin, she discovered her passion for Asian American advocacy and activism when she transitioned into a diverse community in college. She was Hospitality and Registration Co-Chair for TAASCON 2016 and served as the Finance Chair of the 2017 ECAASU Conference last year. At Duke University, Caroline is involved in Duke Chinese Dance and Asian Students Association.
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 Technologies. On his campus, Dave is actively involved with the APIDA community as the Social Media Chair 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 President of the Associate Chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon at North Carolina State University for the 2018 Calendar year, 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.
Katherine is a Chinese American sophomore at Duke University from Chapel Hill, NC. She is pursuing a major in Biology and minors in Medical Sociology and Computer Science. On campus, she is active in Asian American spaces through Duke Asian Students Association and the Asian American Studies Working Group (AASWG) and especially loves unpacking and understanding the Asian American identity, particularly with regards to how it intersects with other aspects of our identities. Through TAASCON 2018, she hopes to be able to encourage and empower more students to reflect on and reclaim their own identities and histories, Asian American and otherwise.
Hospitality & Registration Chairs
Kate is a freshman at Duke University from Seattle, WA. Her parents immigrated from China in 1990 to pursue careers in computer engineering, and Kate has followed in these footsteps to double major in computer science and psychology. On campus she is also involved in Design for America and enjoys exploring ways she can further develop her programming experience.
Tyler is a first-generation Chinese-American from Old Lyme, CT. At Duke University, he is a sophomore studying mathematics and on the pre-health track. On campus, he owes much to the Asian American community, and is involved with Duke Asian Students Association and the Asian American Studies Working Group (AASWG). He is back for his second year of TAASCON because he believes that the community formed in AAPI spaces is important for education, action, and belonging: speaking from personal experience. He dabbles in some creative writing and goes to the gym from time to time.
Justin is a graduating senior at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina studying Political Science with a concentration in Law and Justice and Law and Theory. He identifies as a Hmong American Male and aspires to help the AAPI community navigate the legal system. Justin hopes to become an immigration attorney to give a voice to the voiceless and to defend those who really need the law, and those who need the law to protect them. On his campus, Justin is actively involved in his fraternity, Lambda Phi Epsilon, as a charter member and serving as president for nearly three years. Through Lambda Phi Epsilon, Justin seeks to provide a sense of identity for Asian American men on campus and to help them develop to their fullest potential whether it’s socially, academically, or professionally. In addition, Justin is one of the founding members of Asian Students In Alliance (ASIA) which seeks to advocate for Asian American representation on campus through the Multicultural Student Affairs Office. Justin has also served as the social chair of the Hmong Students Association at NC State prior to his study abroad journey in South Korea at the University of Seoul. While in South Korea, Justin had the opportunity to assist with North Korean refugee resettlement. It is from this experience that he is inspired to help immigrants maneuver the legal system. He has interned with OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates and Legacies of War to advocate for his Asian and Hmong American community. Currently, Justin is applying to law schools. He believes that as Asian Americans, we should use our success to empower, mobilize and give back to the community that shaped us.
Amy is a first-generation Chinese-American from Naperville, IL, a suburb of Chicago. She is a freshman at Duke University interested in studying chemistry on the premed track. Outside of class, Amy is involved in Asian American Studies Working Group, Globemed, Asian Intervarsity, and is part of the worship team at her local church, Journey Community Church. In high school, Amy was very involved with the Asian cultural group on campus, but had not really considered her identity specifically as an Asian American until coming to Duke, and having the opportunity to take Asian American Narratives, a freshman writing course at Duke. In this course, and through Asian American Studies Working Group, she has learned much more about the history of Asian Americans in America and is eager to participate in Asian American activism.