What’s next for the program?

In considering future plans, the program is taking inspiration from the early days when faculty and community members first advocated for degree offerings. Just as the original founders saw the need for education and representation of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, current program leaders know there are still other communities whose history in the U.S. mostly goes unnoticed. One of those communities is Arab Americans.

“There’s a lack of a place to learn about Arab Americans and their experiences, a lack of studies to learn about their own culture and history in the United States,” said Leong.

Expanding online courses is another future step for the program, making educational opportunities widely accessible to provide a greater understanding of these issues.

“We would love to offer more courses online,” said Leong. “Because we don’t just focus on a particular interest — we think there is a need to learn more about this history and ways of thinking.”

The program also hopes to provide internships for students to serve and work with local organizations.

“We are putting our resources directly into student programming through internships, redesigning courses for online and on-campus students and scholarships,” Associate Professor Karen Kuo said.

The APAS 25 for 25 Campaign is helping the Asian Pacific American Studies program reach these new goals and continue its research and engagement throughout Arizona and beyond.

“We love to see people involved, whether partnering with us or taking our courses to understand the Asian American Pacific Islander community better,” Kuo said.

Stephen Perez

Marketing and Communications Coordinator, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences