Scholars to Know This AAPI Heritage Month

May 1, 2022

Meet Graduate Center faculty, students, and alumni who study and celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage.

AAPI Awareness Month Listicle
Clockwise from left: Audrey Chen, Kevin Nadal, Nayma Qayum, and Han Chen

During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are celebrating our scholars who are breaking barriers, addressing anti-Asian violence, sharing histories both personal and universal, and helping others to understand the complex relationships between the U.S. and countries in Asia. 


Tastes Like War: Grace M. Cho in Conversation with Patricia Clough

Alumna Grace M. Cho (Ph.D. ’05, Sociology), a professor at the College of Staten Island, shares insights at a May 25 online book talk on her acclaimed memoir, Tastes Like War, about a daughter’s search through intimate and global history to better understand her mother’s past. 


Kevin Nadal (Photo credit: Cara Metzger)
Kevin Nadal (Photo credit: Cara Metzger)

When Kevin Nadal (GC/John Jay, Psychology) was named a distinguished professor in January, he became the first Asian American and second person of color at John Jay College to hold the title. 


Audrey Chen Music Student
Audrey Chen (Photo courtesy of Chen)

Music doctoral student and cellist Audrey Chen, who won a $90,000 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship, explains how her Taiwanese heritage affects her music.  


Celina Su Headshot
Celina Su (Photo courtesy of Su)

Professor Celina Su (GC/Brooklyn, Psychology, Urban Education/Political Science) wrote about anti-Asian violence in New York City and a possible solution with “budget justice” instead of expanded policing.   


Nayma Qayum and the cover of her book, "Village Ties: Women, NGOs, and Informal Institutions in Rural Bangladesh"

Alumna Nayma Qayum (Ph.D. ’14, Political Science) examines ways that mobilization programs can help women in her book, Village Ties: Women, NGOs, and Informal Institutions in Rural Bangladesh


Han Chen (Photo credit: Raymond Huang)
Han Chen (Photo credit: Raymond Huang)

Acclaimed pianist and Music doctoral student Han Chen, an immigrant from Taiwan, started a video interview and performance series to explore the migration stories of other composers.  


Helen Koh in front of Nam June Paik’s Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii. (Photo courtesy of Koh)
Helen Koh in front of Nam June Paik’s “Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii." (Photo courtesy of Koh)

Helen Koh, director of institutional giving and strategic initiatives and the founding director of Art Science Connect, is writing a biography of pioneering video artist and Fluxus founder Nam June Paik


Image from the book, The A to Z of Conflict (2019) by Abdul Halik Azeez et al. Courtesy Raking Leaves and the artists.
Image from the book "The A to Z of Conflict" (2019) by Abdul Halik Azeez et al. Courtesy of Raking Leaves and the artists.

The James Gallery with the Center for Humanities hosts a talk on May 5 on “Art, Architecture and Postcolonial Nation-Building in Sri Lanka” with Tariq Jazeel, of the University College London, and Sharmini Pereira, chief curator of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka. 


The International Horizons podcast created a playlist of its episodes on Asian regional dynamics and politics, including interviews on China, India, Japan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, and more.


The Graduate Center, CUNY · China and the U.S.: Frenemies or Just Foes?

Professor Ming Xia (GC/College of Staten Island, Political Science) talks to The Thought Project podcast about China and U.S. relations at a time of growing Chinese economic power and influence.