Asian American and Pacific Islander Standing Committee

Asian American and Pacific Islander Standing Committee (AAPISC)

Background image: people from aapisc taking a group photo


The work of AAPISC is a comprehensive effort by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA and PI) undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty, and alumni to assess and provide recommendations on how to realize for members of our community the stated mission of the UC Berkeley Division of Equity & Inclusion “to create a campus where all Berkeley students, faculty, and staff feel respected, supported, and valued.”


The objectives of AAPISC shall include but not be limited to the following:

  • Improve the recruitment and retention rates of underrepresented AA and PI ethnic groups at both the undergraduate and graduate student levels;

  • Develop and strengthen existing social, personal, and academic support systems for AA and PI students;

  • Expand existing professional development and career enhancement opportunities and resources for AA and PI staff and faculty;

  • Increase the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of those occupying critical campus senior management positions; and

  • Ensure the continued growth and vitality of teaching and research efforts by and about AA and PI people and communities on campus.

Committee Leadership

  • Dania Matos - Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion, and AAPISC Executive Sponsor 

  • Lisa Hirai Tsuchitani - Continuing Lecturer, Department of Ethnic Studies and AAPISC Faculty Co-chair

  • Jocelyn Surla Banaria - Executive Director, Academic Senate, and AAPISC Staff Co-Chair

  • Marcia Gee Riley  - Director and Ombudsperson, Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees, and past AAPISC Staff Co-chair

2022 - 2023 Committee Undergraduate (U) and Graduate (G) Student Members

  • Tu Moua Carroz (G):  School of Education

  • Khoa Dao (G):  Haas School of Business

  • John Lam (U):  Political Science

  • Jaemin Lee (G):  Integrative Biology

  • Tran Nguyen (U):  Legal Studies Major with Minors in Public Policy and Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies

2021 - 2023 Committee Staff (S) and Faculty (F) Members

  • Marcia Gee Riley (S):  Director and Ombudsperson, Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees * (2019-2022 AAPISC Staff Co-Chair)

  • Angel Halafihi (S):  Assistant Director, Pacific Islander Initiative, Asian Pacific American Student Development

  • SanSan Kwan (F): Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies

  • Melissa Kwon (S):  Interim Director, PATH to Care Center

  • Tanisha Muquit (S):  Basic Needs Coordinator, University Village Albany, Residential Life

  • Thomas M. Philip (F):  Graduate School of Education

2022- 2024 Committee Staff (S) and Faculty (F) Members

  • Alfred Alipio Jocson (S):  Information Systems Analyst, Financial Planning & Analysis

  • Carolyn Chee (S): Thermal Aerospace Engineer, Space Science Laboratory

  • Michael Bryann Gaetos (S):  Assistant Director / AA and PI Community Liaison, Office of Undergraduate Admissions

  • Srijani Ghosh (F):  Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

  • Philip Gotanda (F):  Theater Dance and Performance Studies

  • Lisa Hirai Tsuchitani (F):  Department of Ethnic Studies * (2019-2023 AAPISC Faculty Co-Chair) 

  • Cathy Kodama (S):   Director of Health Promotion, University Health Services

  • Malcolm Quon (S):  Senior Institutional Research Analyst, Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Planning

  • Robert Rhew (F):  Geography & Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

 Roster of Past Committee Members

2023 AAPISC Advisory Board * 

*All AAPISC Advisory Board members are either alumni or past/current affiliates of UC Berkeley.

Jeff Chang: A former ASUC senator, Jeff is a renowned social historian, organizer, and author whose work in politics, music, arts, and activism has had a profound cultural impact on the fight for racial justice. 

Oscar Dubón A faculty member in the Department of Engineering, Oscar was the first executive sponsor of AAPISC as former Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion.

Janice Koyama Appointed by former Chancellor Ira Heyman as co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Asian American Affairs, Janice is the former associate university librarian for public services at UCLA and the former head of Moffitt Library at UC Berkeley.

Sunny Lee A founding member of AAPISC, Sunny serves as the Dean of Students at UC Berkeley. 

Lynn Nakada Lynn has extensive fund development and student affairs experience as the former Associate Director of Development and Assistant Director of Housing Services during her 40+-year tenure on campus. 

Mike Hoa Nguyen A graduate of the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program, Mike is assistant professor of education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development who specializes in research on AANAPISI institutions. 

Michael Omi An emeritus professor of the Department of Ethnic Studies, Michael is a sociologist, writer, scholar and educator whose theories on racial formation have had a profound impact on the study of race in the U.S. and internationally.

Tarlochan Rakhra: A former youth engagement and policy intern for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) for the Obama Administration, Tar has served as the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA) Co-Chair at Berkeley Law, as well as the Law Student Co-Chair for the Asian American Bar Association (AABA) of the Greater Bay Area.

Jere Takahashi Jere is the inaugural director of the Asian Pacific American Student Development Office (APASD) and an emeritus lecturer of the Department of Ethnic Studies.

Mark Tanouye Chair of the 2001 report to former Chancellor Robert Berdahl entitled, Visibility and Marginality: Asian Americans at UC Berkeley, Mark is a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. 

Nkauj Iab Yang A graduate of the Department of Ethnic Studies, Nkauj Iab Yang serves as the inaugural Executive Director of the California Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA).


What is the UC Berkeley Asian American and Pacific Islander Standing Committee (AAPISC)?

On May 31st, 2018, upon the request of a coalition of Asian American Pacific Islander students, staff, and faculty representing the Asian Pacific American Student Development Office (APASD), the Asian Pacific American Systemwide Alliance (APASA), and the Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies Program (AAADS), then Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubón agreed to serve as the executive sponsor of an inaugural advisory body dedicated to raising greater awareness about and developing strategic solutions to address the diversity and complexity of needs and interests of AA and PI undergraduate and graduate student, staff, and faculty members on campus. 

A year later on May 8th, 2019, the Division of Equity & Inclusion hosted the first meeting of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Standing Committee (AAPISC).

What is the purpose of AAPISC?

AAPISC advocates for increased visibility and understanding of the rich and complex experiences and needs of AA and PI communities on the UC Berkeley campus.  When measured only by aggregate enrollment, retention, and graduation rates, AA and PI undergraduate students appear to be among the most academically successful on our campus.  These numbers, however, render both marginal and invisible the diverse and critical issues and needs of not only AA and PI undergraduate and graduate students on campus, but also AA and PI staff and faculty -- including the prevalence of mental health issues within the AA and PI student population, the lack of AA and PI representation in senior management, and the disproportionate number of AA and PI faculty in comparison to the student body at large. 

How is AAPISC structured?

AAPISC is governed by a standing committee of 10-15 undergraduate and graduate student, staff, and faculty members who serve as an oversight committee to its subcommittees.  

How do I get involved with AAPISC?

Members of the AAPISC Standing Committee are recruited by an “open call” nomination and self-nomination process to the campus community via the Division of Equity & Inclusion in the spring semester.