Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Grant Will Fund New Program

April 26, 2024
SSU AANHPI team at the inaugural luncheon on April 10

SSU AANHPI team at the inaugural luncheon on April 10

A one-time grant of $325,000, submitted through the CSU's Chancellor's Office, was awarded to SSU  in February for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Student Achievement Program.

Khou Yang Vigil, M.S., Director of Equity & Access Programs, and Dr. Lauren Morimoto led efforts to write the grant and develop the vision for SSU's future AANHPI Student Achievement Program (ASAP). 

Yang-Vigil said the accomplishment "was a testament to the collaborative spirit across divisions throughout the university." 

Dedicated Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) faculty, staff, and administrators, including Alvin Nguyen, M.A., Dr. Charlene Tung, Christina Thao, M.A., Dr. Katherine Lee, Dr. Kevin Nguyen, as well as the Office of the President (including the HUB Cultural Center) and Office of Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA), all played significant roles.

"Although the call was for a one-time grant, I know there will be continued AANHPI funding and opportunity for campuses to apply since the state legislature passed an ongoing $8 million in the Education Code for funding to the CSU system," Yang-Vigil said.

An additional $30,000 was awarded in the fall for an Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) grant. Lee led the group in developing the grant proposal, which is focused on APIDA faculty and staff professional development.

Yang-Vigil said that although the university does not have a specific AANHPI Center, the AANHPI team is working to have one authorized with institutional support from university leadership to assist with increasing a sense of belonging for students who are first-generation, Pell-eligible, and from historically underserved communities.

SSU currently has 308 Asian American-identifying students (6.42 percent), and 28 Pacific Islander/Hawaiian-identifying students (0.58 percent), of the total enrolled student population. 

Members of ASAP's planning committee agreed at the inaugural AANHPI luncheon on April 10 that with institutional investment from SSU administration and the university, ASAP will be able to grow the enrollment of AANHPI students and build and sustain a lasting program, ensuring student success and retention over the long term.

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated from mid-April to early May. Yang-Vigil said students can participate in celebrations before finals begin, and the award "is perfect timing."

"This funding is always about student success," President Mike Lee said.

Photo above:  SSU AANHIP team at the inaugural luncheon on April 10. (l-r) Seated: Provost Karen Moranski, President Mike Lee, Chief of Staff/Vice President Jerlena Griffin-Desta. Standing: Vice President Gerald Jones, Equity & Access Programs Director Khou Yang-Vigil, DEI Programs and Initiatives Manager Tramaine Austin-Dillon, Assistant Professor Kevin Nguyen, Student Success & Retention Director Alvin Nguyen, Professor Charlene Tung, Assistant Professor Katherine Lee, and Science & Tech Advisor and MESA Lead Christina Thao.

--Krista Sherer, Strategic Communications


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Krista Sherer