Executive Board 2020-21

Peter Wang: Chair, ’21

Hey all! I am a senior from Sid Richardson College majoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and on the pre-med track. My hometown of Pearland, Texas is a stone’s throw away, and I was lucky enough to grow up among a diversity of people. Even so, I struggled with self-identity throughout my formative years, but APASA has allowed me to explore and embrace my Asian American identity while also celebrating our unique and diverse experiences. I hope to continue to listen to and highlight the perspectives and experiences of the Rice community. Bridging my interest in healthcare and Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) topics, I hope to raise awareness on the unique APIA challenges in healthcare and health issues that are pertinent to the APIA community. When I am not busy, I love to play ultimate frisbee, boulder, and skateboard (but I’m really bad at it).

Laura Goon: Internal Vice Chair, ’21

Hi everyone! I’m Laura, a senior from New York at Martel, majoring in Computer Science. Growing up, I was surrounded mostly by Asians and Asian Americans. I’m very fortunate to have been able to grow up with a relatively strong Asian identity. However, staying mostly inside this kind of bubble, I had not really ever thought about issues within or surrounding the Asian American community before I entered college. I’ve met and learned a lot from people with much more varying experiences and backgrounds (than I was initially exposed to) during my time at college and in APASA. I’m really excited to see how APASA as a community and platform can help elevate the important issues surrounding the Asian Pacific American community that need to be talked about! In my free time, I enjoy baking and finding new ice cream shops to try!

Aaron Pathak: External Vice Chair, ’22

Hey all! I’m Aaron, a junior from Jones majoring in Social Policy Analysis from Dallas, Texas. I grew up in a super white community – Highland Park – and never really considered my heritage or how it played a part in my life before coming to Rice. While I experienced the perpetual discrimination against Asian Americans in my hometown, joining APASA allowed me to connect with like-minded individuals who were also here to celebrate Asian culture and fight against the both implicit and explicit biases we face. Other than working on SOPA and APASA, you can also find me busy as the Jones Chief Justice, as well as the Vice President of the Baker Institute Student forum.

Keziah Chow: Co-Publicity Chair, ’22

Hi I’m Keziah! I’m a junior at Lovett majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Biochemistry from Austin, TX. Growing up in a primarily Asian community, I was pretty much taught to avoid sociopolitical topics that would create conflict, such as discrimination, whether it be directed at Asians or other races. Given my background, I think it’s really important to educate and inform our community about topics and experiences affecting Asian Americans, and I want to help spearhead actionable opportunities that would encourage unity in our diverse community through APASA. In my free time, I enjoy playing sports, working out, drinking boba, and trying new restaurants.

Celine Nguyen: Co-Publicity Chair, ‘23

Hi guys! I’m a sophomore from Duncan majoring in Psychology and Biochemistry and Cell Biology on the pre-med track from Austin, TX. Growing up in a neighborhood that was not diverse, I didn’t feel that connected with my Asian heritage. Joining APASA helped me connect with other passionate people who want to advocate for and celebrate the diverse experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. I also learned about socio political topics that are not often discussed. I’m especially passionate about dismantling the model minority myth (I am co-leading an ASB about it!) and its impacts on mental health. In the future, I hope to continue to learn about and raise awareness of the unique challenges AAPIs face in healthcare and when addressing mental health in our communities. Outside of APASA, you can find me watching Studio Ghibli movies or Survivor or trying new restaurants. 

Jenny She: Co-Publicity Chair, ’24

Hello! I’m Jenny, a freshman at Duncan majoring in Kinesiology from Bloomfield Hills, MI. I got involved with APASA because I saw that the organization provided a space to talk about different Asian American issues and stimulated productive dialogue within the student body. Through APASA, I hope to promote unity in our community by helping to increase awareness of the historical, cultural, and sociopolitical experiences of Asian Americans. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, running, listening to podcasts, baking, and spending time with friends and family.

Mabel Tang: Secretary, ’23

Hi everyone! I’m Mabel, a sophomore from Hanszen majoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology with a minor in Medical Humanities on the pre-med track from Irvine, California. I’ve always lived in an environment that was mostly Asian, so I wasn’t really aware of the persisting structures that enable and perpetuate discrimination against Asian-Americans in the United States. However, because I was taught to be complacent in the face of these issues, I now want to educate others about, advocate for, and celebrate the diverse heritage and experience of Asian America. I’m especially interested in dismantling the model minority myth and empowering Asian students, raising awareness of the diversity of the Asian-American experience, and educating others about the history, struggles, and victories of the Asian-American community. In my free time, you can find me at a coffee or boba shop, watching Studio Ghibli films, baking, or “studying” in the Hanszen common or Chaus!

Ethan Pham: Co-Treasurer, ‘24

Hey everyone! My name’s Ethan, and I’m a freshman from Baker majoring in either Biochemistry or Computer Science on a pre-med track. I’m from College Station, Texas, a relatively small college town about two hours north from here. I grew up in a community with a very small Asian population, and I never was able to connect with my Asian heritage as much as I had liked to. Traveling to Houston on the weekends to visit my relatives opened my eyes to the vast culture of Asian Americans, as well as the issues we face here. As a member of APASA, I’m excited to both celebrate our heritage and discuss these issues in hopes of bringing more awareness to the general population. You can usually find me studying in Baker Commons, and I love to play tennis, eat Thai food, and run in my free time! 

Ridhi Rukumanna Gari: Co-Treasurer, ‘24

Hey guys! I’m Ridhi, a freshman at Hanszen from Dallas, Texas. I’m currently undecided and on the pre-med track. My highschool, although large, wasn’t very diverse, In fact, Southlake was known as a bubble because many of its residents aren’t exposed to those with different backgrounds. In fact, One of the reasons I chose Rice was for its diversity and support for minorities/multicultural students!! I struggled with balancing with being Asian and American, and now I want to celebrate my (and my classmates’) heritage and unique experiences.  I’m especially excited to bring some South Asian representation and perspective to APASA! In my free time, I do Bollywood dance (go riyaaz and bhangra!!) and practice my ping pong skills in Hanszen upper commons!  

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