APAN Award Winners Announced!

Dear APAN Community,

Please help us extend congratulations to the 2017 APAN Award Winners! The contribution of these individuals and programs to the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American  community within Student Affairs and Higher Education is truly appreciated.   Below are this year’s winners along with excerpts/summaries from their nominators.

Dr. Daniello Balón Mentoring Award Winner

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Joy Stuewe Hoffman, Director of Diversity Initiatives & Resource Centers at Cal State Fullerton

“Joy is an amazing resource of support and mentor to many APIDAs and colleagues of color in the field. Over the past number of months, Joy has taken it upon herself to shepherd and encourage transracial adoptees in student affairs, a sub-group of professionals in the field, who have been mobilizing to unpack their own experiences as people of color raised in White families while also advancing the conversation about how student affairs educators can better serve this largely invisibilized student population. Additionally, Joy’s dissertation research was some of the first on Asian American (specifically Korean American) transracial adoptees in college.”

Outstanding Program/Initiative Winner

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Northeastern University Asian American Center- Explor(Asian) Retreat,

Aaron Parayno, Assistant Director

Kristine Din, Senior Assistant Director

Delia Cheung Hom, Director

The idea to create Explor(Asian) emerged from a need that was observed from the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) student community.  It became apparent that exploring the intersection of race and gender was a topic that not only stemmed from curiosity, but from the struggle to exist with multiple fluid identities. Explor(Asian) is a two day, one night retreat that is facilitated by Asian American Center (AAC) staff.  Some topics that are explored at the retreat include: 1) APIDA history, its gendered nature, and its continued influence on the current generation on the APIDA community, 2) examining gendered cultural expectations, 3) exploring the stereotypes specific to APIDA women, men, and gender nonconforming persons (i.e the hypersexualization of APIDA women), and 4) how to become empowered through racial, ethnic, and gender identities.  All these topics and more are explored via small and large group dialogues, interactive activities, affinity group discussions, and time for personal reflection.  Following the completion of the retreat, the experiences of the participants are assessed with surveys and follow up focus groups.  


This retreat was a truly impactful experience for both the student participants and the staff facilitators.  The depth of the conversations, and the connections that were built through the experience, have continued to have an impact within our community at Northeastern.

Outstanding Graduate Student Winner

Varaxy Yi, Research Associate, Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Project; University of Denver

“Varaxy’s work as a scholar, educator, and practitioner is groundbreaking for the field of higher education. She is an emerging higher education scholar who is dedicated to serving her communities, including doctoral students of color, refugee first-generation students, and most importantly her Cambodian and Southeast Asian community. At the University of Denver, Varaxy served as a graduate fellow for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion/Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE). She was instrumental in developing and coordinating the inaugural Roger Salters Doctoral Summer Institute, providing graduate students from historically marginalized populations with the opportunity to connect with peers, faculty, staff, and community leaders in order to successfully navigate their doctoral programs and ignite their writing. Varaxy also coordinated the Pioneer Pathways Program (P3), which included a week-long orientation and ongoing workshops for first-generation DU students. She also taught workshops to undergraduate students on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and prepared institutional reports to inform senior level administration on efforts to build a more diverse and inclusive institution. As a research associate with the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Project at Indiana University, she continues to work with college campuses to cultivate more inclusive environments.”

Awards will be presented at the APAN Open Business Meeting during the 2017 ACPA Annual Conference in Columbus, OH and further details will be released in January.  .

On behalf of the APAN Leadership Team within the Coalition for Multicultural Affairs, we thank everyone who submitted nominations and congratulate all of this year’s award nominees.

2016-17 APAN Awards Selection Committee

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