NASPA API Knowledge Community Blog

2013 Nat'l Conference Pics


API KC Tips for a Great 2014 Annual Conference

Are you attending the NASPA Annual Conference for the first time? Or, are you a returner looking to freshen up on Conference Tips? This APIKC 2014 Annual Conference Tips sheet offers some great pieces of advice to make the most of your conference experience in Baltimore.

Shout out to our NGPS Liaisons, Sue Ann Huang and Kristen Wong, for putting together this awesome tip sheet.


2014 NASPA Conference API KC Scavenger Hunt

Experience the Asian Pacific Islanders Knowledge Community through social media during the 2014 NASPA Conference! This photo scavenger will be a way in which we can view how our community members are experiencing the 2014 NASPA Conference and the API KC. This will be a great way for us to showcase our KC to NASPA members attending the virtual conference too! The Leadership Team will be handing out scavenger hunt sheets! Clues will also be tweeted and Instagramed throughout the conference. We hope that you all participate in our Scavenger Hunt in addition to the NASPA Photo Scavenger Hunt!

Those who complete the scavenger hunt by 5PM on 3/18 will be entered into a raffle to win some API KC Swag! Winners will be announced at the end of the NASPA API KC Awards Reception on 3/18/14 from 5:30-7:30PM Hilton Key Ballroom (5).

Brought to you by your NASPA API KC Interactive Media Coordinators: Queena Hoang, Jacqueline Mac, & Cleda Wang

Please us the following social media platforms:

Twitter: @NASPA_APIKC       Instagram: NASPA_APIKC        Hashtag: #APIKC


SPOTLIGHT: Ricco Siasoco

riccoRicco Villanueva Siasoco is the Director of Undergraduate Affairs at Prep for Prep, a community-based organization in New York City. In this role he strategizes and implements a college retention program for more than 750 students of color at the nation’s most selective colleges and universities. Ricco is entering his third year at Prep, and finds his position rewarding for its combination of department strategy, operations and program management, and direct student advising.

Before joining Prep, Ricco was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the English department at Boston College for 10 years. In addition to teaching, he advised students of color at Boston College through several of BC’s summer bridge programs for first-generation college students. He also served as a faculty advisor to student organizations for LGBT students and Filipino American students on campus.

Ricco received his BS from Boston University and his MFA from Bennington College. Next year he will begin the Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his student affairs career, Ricco is working on a novel and recently received the NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship from The Center for Fiction.

Fun Facts about Ricco:

  • He grew up in Iowa but has also lived in Manila and Sydney.
  • He recently married his husband, Guy, who teaches Sanskrit at Columbia.
  • His short stories and social justice blog are at

SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Dina Maramba

ImageDina C. Maramba is Associate Professor of Student Affairs Administration and affiliate faculty for Asian and Asian American Studies at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. Dr. Maramba earned her PhD in Higher Education at Claremont Graduate University, her M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Colorado State University and her B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning at the University of California, San Diego.  Prior to her faculty position, she worked in higher education and student affairs administration for over ten years where she held director roles in residence life, Upward Bound and Trio Student Support Services. Her research focuses on equity, diversity and social justice issues within the context of higher education. Her interests include the influence of educational institutions and campus climates on the access and success among students of color, underserved and first generation college students; the educational experiences of Filipina/o American, and Asian American/Pacific Islander students. Her co-authored and co-edited books include The Other Students: Filipino Americans, Education and Power; Fostering Success of Ethnic and Racial Minorities in STEM: The Role of Minority Serving Institutions; The Misrepresented Minority: New Insights on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their Implications for Higher Education; and Charting New Realities: Asian Americans in Higher Education (forthcoming 2014). Having presented her research nationally and internationally, her work includes publications in the Journal of College Student Development, Journal of College Student Retention, Review of Higher Education and Educational Policy. 

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Relief Efforts – A Guide (by Mark Florido, APIKC Pegion 2 Rep)

Many of us, our students, and our colleagues have been affected by the devastating typhoon that swept across the Philippines. This brief guide is meant to aid individuals and schools determine the best course of action to assist with the recover and relief efforts taking place in the Philippines. This is not meant to be a comprehensive manual; there are many ways to get involved and to send aid.



After speaking to a number of relief work agencies both in the US and in the Philippines. At this point, monetary donations seem to be what will provide the most impact at this moment. Shipping costs may end up not being cost-efficient for both you and any organization you are donating to. Nonetheless, I’ve compiled a list of items that are priority need.

Parts of Region 2 have large Filipino and Filipino-American populations. As such, there are many Filipino and Filipino-American community organizations that have ties to the Philippines. It is best to do a quick google search for such organizations to see if they are collecting donations to send back to the Philippines. Also, many Filipino grocery stores may be raising funds or collecting donations as well.

Donations That Are Priority:

  • Medicine and First Aid Kits – Survivors are in desperate need of basic medications (think robitussin, Tylenol, benedryl) and medicine to treat basic wounds.
  • Candles and Matches – Electricity is down so lighting is non-existent. These can also be used to start fires necessary for warmth and cooking.
  • Flashlights – Again, electricity is down. There is high demand for solar powered or crank flashlights (those that don’t require batteries)
  • Batteries – It is reported that the area in which the typhoon hit can be without power for up to two months.

Donations That Are NOT Priority At This Moment:

  • Food that Requires Water – This includes rice, noodles and many instant foods. Also try to send canned goods that don’t require a can opener (can’s with the pop tops)
  • Clothes – This is simply not a high priority item.
  • Toys, Stuffed Animals, Games, etc. – While it may seem like a heartwarming gesture, these sorts of donations tend to clog up donation sorting and will probably not be handed out in the near future as they are non-essential items.

 NOTE: If you do choose to collect donatable items, please sort and clearly label your donations. This will help organizations distribute your donations.

Where To Send In-Kind Donations 

US Based: Your best bet is to donate to the American Red Cross. Some chapters of  the American Red Cross are accepting In-Kind donations in bulk. Contact your local chapter to see if this is the case.

Philippines Based: There are a number of organizations based in the Philippines that are accepting In-Kind donations. For the most part, you will need to organize (and pay for) shipment to these organizations yourself. Some organizations to check out:


The following is a small listing of charitable organizations that are asking for donations to help directly with disaster relief work.

National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)
What They Are Doing: At this time, NAFCON will assist in the direct transfer of MONETARY donations. Your donation will be sent directly to Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan or BALSA (People’s Cooperation for the People), a national grassroots relief and rehabilitation organization composed of broad church-based organizations, schools, disaster response NGOs, and individuals, working with victims of disasters in the Philippines

American Red Cross / Philippine Red Cross /
What They Are Doing: The Red Cross is using monetary donations to help with their family reunification system and their general disaster relief efforts, which includes sending food and medicine.

World Food Program
What They Are Doing: Working with our partners, WFP is mobilising quickly to reach those in need with High Energy Biscuits – helping ensure families and children have nutritious food in these first few days of the emergency. We need your help. For every $100 you give, WFP can provide 1,000 packs of biscuits.

What They Are Doing:  The UNICEF Branch in the Philippines is working is directing donations to helping provide drinkable water, medical supplies, food and shelter to survivors.

For additional charitable organizations, check out the following lists compiled by different news sources
New York Times
Huffington Post

For Those In The New York/New Jersey Area

There are large populations of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the New York/New Jersey area. As such, there are many community run fundraisers and relief work action that is happening. For a listing of some of these events, check out this facebook page that is continuously being updated with more events.


“A Year of Firsts: Insights for APIDA Graduate Students & New Professionals”

There’s a Chinese proverb that goes something like this…

“There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.”

As graduate students and new professionals within our field of Student Affairs, we will inevitably go through periods of transition during our educational and professional careers. In a matter of two years (for some), one can go from being an undergraduate student to a graduate student to a new professional. The path we each take to get to where we are now and where we would like to be is reflective of challenges endured and successes achieved. The intent of this article is to offer some valuable insight about these transitions and shared experiences from a few of our colleagues.

From time to time, we plan to feature fantastic individuals, who fall into the category of graduate student or new professional, as a way to create outlets for knowledge-sharing, community-building, and mutual empowerment. For this particular piece, we’d like to introduce Vinika Porwal, a recent graduate in her first Student Affairs position, and Justin Gomez, a new Student Affairs professional going into his second year. We’ve asked both of them to briefly describe their current roles and identify the three things they wish they knew.

From Graduate Student to New Professional: “Making the Switch”

Current Position: Organizational Development Specialist, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Graduate Education: M.Ed. in College Student Affairs, The Pennsylvania State University, 2013

My transition between graduate school and my first job in Student Affairs is an ongoing adventure. In the past few months, I completed my graduate school coursework, relocated to a new town, and entered the working world. As I learn the ins-and-outs of a new institution and a new home, here are three things I wish I had paid attention to from the start:

1. The Negotiation Process: It would have been helpful to practice negotiating the terms of an offer in advance of receiving one. In retrospect, I spent ample time editing my resume and practicing interview responses and hardly any time considering what might happen if I did indeed receive an offer. I know I would have felt more confident negotiating with my supervisor had I practiced doing so beforehand with a mentor or classmate.

2. The Importance of Networking: I wish I had been proactive about using my network to meet people in the area. I’m quickly learning that everyone knows someone. My friends and colleagues have been more than happy to introduce me to the people they know in Madison – I only wish I had started reaching out sooner.

3. The Housing Search: When choosing an apartment, I wish I had thoroughly researched what my commute might look like after-hours or on weekends, particularly because I’ll be staying late on campus to work with student organizations during the academic year. I realized that although the bus runs to-and-from my apartment frequently during rush hours, it only runs hourly in the evenings and on weekends. I hope you find these reflections helpful as you make the switch from student to professional!

From Year 1 to Year 2: “Hindsight”

Current Position: Student Government Coordinator, Associated Students of Sonoma State University
Graduate Education: M.A. in Educational Administration and Leadership, Student Affairs, University of the Pacific, 2012

After putting my first year under my belt as a new professional this summer, I found it very rewarding to look back on what I had accomplished in one short year. Being a new professional is as exciting as it is challenging. With just two extra letters after my name and a couple years worth of assistantships, I was now supervising dozens of student staffers, managing a budget with quite a few extra zeros and managing not one, but five different large scale programs. In hindsight, there a few things that I wish that I had learned in grad school prior to jumping head first into the world of a full time professional.

1. Bringing Theory into Practice: Not everyone uses theory to guide practice. In your time as a new professional, you will encounter people who have been in the field longer than some more recent theories have been in existence and you will be challenged to make them change their old ways for the betterment of the student experience.

2. The Art of Assessment: Assessment cultures are not common place and can be very hard to start. With that said, laying down the foundation for your department or office can be new and exciting to people who have never been exposed to the whole concept and you are suddenly the resident expert being straight out of grad school!

3. The Beauty of Free Time: New professionals who aren’t pursuing their Ed.D or Ph.D after their masters have no coursework waiting for them after a long day at the office! It’s incredible to have so much free time so take it as an incredible opportunity to find a new hobby, start a garden, read for fun, or maybe get involved in a professional organization of your choice! As they say, hindsight it always 20/20, but it’s when we look back on where we have been, it gives us a much better idea of how ready we are for what may be ahead.
Looking at the excerpts from Vinika and Justin, it is clear that going from a graduate student to your first few years as a new professional is a transition. Everyone’s experience is going to be a little different. As Justin mentioned, hindsight is always 20/20. Looking back at our job searches for our first full-time positions, there were questions we should have asked that we did not even know to ask. From the time you are in graduate school, make the most of your networking opportunities. Take the chance of submitting a program proposal and meet the people who come to your session. Think intentionally about what you are looking for in your first professional job. Remember, this is your first job, not your last. This position you end up in won’t be your last, so while it is important to find things about your job that you love, it does not need to be perfect.

Figure out what you can be flexible on and what are your non-negotiables in the position such as location, compensation, etc. Keep in mind that taking on a new job is not just a new position but potentially also a new set of colleagues, a new city to adjust to, a new set of weather patterns, etc. Once you get to that job, remember that being a new professional is different than being a graduate student. Don’t forget the great things you did and learned in graduate school, but also recognize that very rarely are people expecting or wanting the new professional to try to change the department within her/his first month. Learn the culture of your department and figure out how to best leverage your skills, knowledge, and voice. We hope some of this is helpful as some of you begin looking for that first full-time position or are entering a second or third year in the field. As Vinika touched upon the power of networking, we encourage you to talk to others about their experiences and apply the little nuggets of wisdom you gather from here and there to your own personal and professional transitions, perspectives, and hopes.


THIS SERIES IS DEVELOPED AND CREATED BY THE NASPA APIKC New Professionals and Graduate Student Liaisons Sue Ann Huang & Kristen Wong

How do we know if Asian American students feel like they belong on our campuses? by Michelle Samura, Ph.D. (Chapman University)

How do we know if Asian American students feel like they belong on our campuses? Existing research clearly indicate that belonging is one of the most important factors for college student success (e.g., Astin, 1993; Berger, 1997; Bowman, 2010; Braxton, 2000; Hausmann, Schofield, & Woods, 2007; Hurtado & Carter, 2007; Johnson et al., 2007; Maramba & Museus, 2012; Strayhorn, 2012; Tinto, 1993). What is less clear is how students, particularly Asian American students, experience and understand belonging on college campuses.

In a recent study, I examined the notion of “belonging” for Asian American college students (Samura, 2013). This was part of a broader study on how Asian American students navigate and negotiate campus spaces (Samura, 2010, 2011). I focused on one large public institution on the West Coast of the United States (i.e., “West University”). And I asked the following three questions:

  • Does being of a particular race, namely “Asian American,” significantly impact students’ sense of belonging?
  • Does being in a particular space, at a particular campus, (namely West University) significantly impact students’ sense of belonging?
  • Does being “Asian American” at West University significantly impact students’ sense of belonging?

 To answer these questions, I analyzed large-scale survey data on undergraduate students’ experiences across the “Coastal University System” (n=58,047), including West University (n=5,800). In this survey, students were asked the following question using a 6-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 6 = strongly agree): “Please rate your satisfaction with the following aspects of your University education: I feel that I belong at this campus.”

 I’d like to pause here… and ask you to think back to when you were an undergraduate student and consider how you would answer this question. What would your response capture? And what might it overlook? Large-scale surveys are by far the most commonly used method to examine and assess undergraduate students’ experiences. While valuable, surveys only offer a landscape view of what’s occurring. A snapshot, if you will. In an effort to get a more nuanced understanding of what may be going on, I incorporated additional methods: interviews and student-created photo journals. I conducted in-depth interviews with 18 students, and 19 students captured and shared their worlds through digital photography.

Here’s a brief overview of what I found.

 Let me begin with findings from the survey data. First, I found that race matters. The sense of belonging of Coastal University System students who identified themselves as Asian American was lower (M = 4.37) than that of Coastal University system students who identified themselves as not-Asian American (M = 4.57). Second, I found that space also matters. Students who attended West University reported higher sense of belonging (M = 4.71) than students at other Coastal University System campuses (M = 4.47). And third, I found that there was also a significant race by space interaction. In other words, the difference in sense of belonging between West University and other Coastal University System campuses was greater for not-Asian Americans than for Asian Americans.

This last finding regarding the combination of race and space (i.e., being Asian American at West University) raises a particularly interesting issue. I expected that the more Asian American students there are at a campus, the higher the sense of belonging for Asian American students at that particular campus. The survey data indicated, however, that Asian American students at West University report a slightly higher sense of belonging than Asian American students at other Coastal University System campuses even though West University has one of the smallest Asian American student populations among the Coastal University System campuses (approximately 16%). Taken alone, there is little indication as to why this may be the case and/or how students at West University are experiencing belonging.

The survey’s findings suggest the need for a more complex view of both the campus spaces and the concept of belonging. By putting the survey data in conversation with the interviews and photo journals, we are able to more closely examine not just whether or not students feel they belong at a campus, but also when, where, and with whom they feel like they belong as well as possible reasons for their varying levels of belonging.

Many students in my study, especially the photo journalers, highlighted various aspects of their physical appearance as a way of talking about how they experienced campus space – about their levels of comfort and feelings of belonging. Students frequently spoke of the difference they perceived and felt when their bodies met the norms and expectations of campus space. These norms and expectations of space became salient as students realized they didn’t fit the norms or meet these expectations. As a result, students would remain highly aware of their bodies in this space.

 (Note: In an effort to succinctly report my findings, I very briefly discuss only three of the emergent themes on how students experienced being Asian American on campus. I’m happy to discuss the findings further with readers who may be interested.)

 Example A: Being Watched

A number of students commented on feeling uncomfortable when walking around campus or to campus, especially when they are alone. Jennifer commented on how she thinks people “look at her weird” when she walks around campus. This sentiment was shared by a number of participants who commented about being highly aware of themselves when walking around campus as well as around the larger city within which the campus is located.

 What is both interesting and troubling about many of these stories is the fact that these students did not actually know the reasons why people may be looking at them. In fact, they only felt as though they were being watched, looked at, or judged. These students were then left to their own devices to determine the possible reasons for feeling and thinking this way. Often, their racial identities seemed to be the most plausible reason. These inner struggles, self-questioning, and attempts to make sense of these things were seen in the image taken by Katie (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Katie: “The Quad in front of the library.”

The picture was taken from across a small metal table on a day when the skies were bright blue. Sitting in the middle of the frame, there is a young woman with her elbows on the perforated tabletop while holding up a sandwich in both hands. Though she is facing the camera, her eyes are diverted to her right, and her lips are pursed as though she is chewing. In the background, people are walking past holding cups of coffee and soda bottles or sitting at other tables. Katie’s image is titled: “The Quad in front of the library,” and she offered the picture to describe when her racial identity is salient. It is, in fact, moments like these as she sat across from her thin, blond-haired roommate that she saw herself as different.

 “[This image] just embodied everything I feel when I’m out with my ‘blonde’ roommate,” explained Katie. She put quotation marks around “blonde” because, in another image, Katie took another picture of her roommate to discuss how her roommate is not a natural blond and spends hundreds of dollars each month touching up her roots. Katie shared that she was determined to capture this image because of its significance. She explained:

What I shot was what I saw. This is what I see everyday when I’m out with her. I feel she fits in, but I can’t. She’s not thinking about race when she’s on campus. I feel not American enough because my features are flat, I have olive skin and my hair is dark. Maybe it’s just me being paranoid or thinking that everyone is noticing me. But I feel like I wouldn’t feel this way for no reason.

 Example B: Layers of Difference

When students differed from the norm, they were frequently met with resistance. For some students, like Monk, the difference caused them to question themselves. Monk is a fourth generation Japanese-American and third generation Chinese-American heterosexual male. When he entered certain spaces, such as parties, his difference seemed to increase in salience. This is what he shared when asked about when, where, and with whom he thinks about his racial identity:

Umm, I guess at certain parties, I feel that it’s important… it makes me think about it… I would always have to tell them about being, you know, having a low tolerance for alcohol. That kind of thing. And it’s because I’m Asian. And I get and it is true. So, that’s just a fact. When it comes to get to talking to girls, I feel strangely like un-respected or something like that. And it’s strange. It’s like, I’m perfectly straight, and I’d be interested in having a girlfriend, but my desire for sex is not that high. And so, I don’t know. Just that whole thing makes me think about, you know, every factor that could possibly affect it and one of it would be being Asian so…whatever.

 For Monk, there were actually layers of difference that became highlighted in this space where significant alcohol consumption and high sex drive are the norm. He questioned his gender and sexuality but ended up including them all under the umbrella of his Asian American racial identity.

 Example C: Appearances

Another common theme among students in this study was a struggle with being highly aware of one’s body in the city in which the university is located, at West University, and in the neighboring college town. Many students, especially the photo journalers, highlighted various aspects of their physical appearance as a way of talking about their level of comfort in these spaces. Racial identification remains closely connected with students’ bodies. Race tends to become salient when students’ physical appearances differ from the norms of the space and even the norms of their own racial category.

 In fact, quite a few participants referred to their physical attributes and appearance to describe their relationship with West University space. When asked to capture an image that addressed where she is not comfortable, Victoria offered a self-portrait titled: “me tanning” (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Victoria: “me tanning.”

 The image shows Victoria, wearing a white bikini that exposes her bare midriff, reclined on a beach towel-lined poolside lounge chair. She is holding up a used paperback book to the bottom half of her face, covering her mouth and nose as well as her chest and neck. Facing the sun, she was looking at the camera with her eyes nearly shut. Along with this image, Victoria explained how she felt about being an Asian American girl in the college town: “I am extremely self conscious/body conscious which comes from being an Asian…girl. [This town] is a beach town, a beautiful people town. It has taken much time and self reflection to be more okay and less uncomfortable.”

 Both this image and her description seem to display a sense of simultaneous comfort and discomfort. The fact that she included a picture of herself in a bikini may indicate her increasing comfort with her body and/or her increasing level of comfort with being in [this college town]. And yet she still covered her chest and bottom-half of her face in a way that possibly indicates a lingering sense of uncertainty, perhaps even embarrassment.

 For many students in my study being Asian American in these campus spaces raised questions of “fit,” and in many cases, a lack of “fit.” In certain moments Asian American students felt as though they belonged. In other moments they felt different, judged, and out of place. Moreover, participants’ discussions and depictions of their belonging during college reveal that required ongoing efforts. For these students, belonging was not a state of being to attain. Rather, it was a process that involved remaking themselves, repositioning themselves, or remaking space in order to increase belonging.

 So what do these findings mean for student affairs professionals, administration, graduate and undergraduate students, researchers, and other members of the NASPA APIKC community?

 For now, I’ll offer my top three takeaways:

1) Gain more insight into the variety of Asian American college students’ experiences – Of course, we all know that all Asian American students are not the same, that there are significant differences within and between Asian ethnic groups, etc., etc., etc. But how much do we really know about their different experiences? And from whose perspectives are we gaining these insights? This leads me to my second point…

 2) Use a variety of approaches and methods to gain information about Asian American college students – Surveys remain valuable. But they offer only one perspective. For example, if I only used the large-scale survey data to examine students’ belonging, I could have simply concluded that Asian Americans students at West University, on the whole, feel like they belong. But, as the interviews and photo journals revealed, there’s so much more going on. And in order to more effectively address the needs of Asian American college students, we should be trying to get as clear of a picture as we can, with all the complexities and contradictions, of what students’ are experiencing.

 3) Connecting research, practice, and programs – It’s easy for researchers to do one-and-done studies. However, the longer that I work with students and student affairs professionals who are engaging with these issues on a day-to-day basis, I more deeply understand the importance of ongoing collaborations so that we all can better more effectively serve students. On this note, I welcome questions, suggestions, and further insight into the issues I’ve raised. Contact me if you’re interested in examining the development of belonging among students at your particular campus.

Works Cited

Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Berger, J. B. (1997). Students’ sense of community in residence halls, social integration, and first-year persistence. Journal of College Student Development, 38, 441-452.

Bowman, N. A. (2010). The development of psychological well-being among first-year college students. Journal of College Student Development, 51(2), 180-200.

Braxton, J. M., Milem, J. F., & Sullivan, A. S. (2000). The influence of active learning on the college student departure process: Toward a revision of Tinto’s theory. Journal of Higher Education, 569-590.

Hausmann, L. R. M., Schofield, J. W., & Woods, R. L. (2007). Sense of belonging as a predictor of intentions to persist among African American and White first-year college students. Research in Higher Education, 48, 803-839.

Hurtado, S., & Carter, D. F. (1997). Effects of college transition and perceptions of the campus racial climate on Latino college students’ sense of belonging. Sociology of Education, 324-345.

Johnson, D. R., Soldner, M., Leonard, J. B., Alvarez, P., Inkelas, K. K., Rowan-Kenyon, H. T., & Longerbeam, S. D. (2007). Examining sense of belonging among first-year undergraduates from different racial/ethnic groups. Journal of College Student Development, 48(5), 525-542.

Maramba, D. C., & Museus, S. D. (2012). Examining the Effects of Campus Climate, Ethnic Group Cohesion, and Cross-Cultural Interaction on Filipino American Students’ Sense of Belonging in College. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice, 14(4), 495-522.

Samura, M. (2010). Architecture of Diversity: Dilemmas of Race and Space for Asian American Students in Higher Education, PhD dissertation, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA.

Samura, M. (2011). Racial transformations in higher education: Emergent meanings of Asian American racial identities. In X. L. Rong & R. Endo (Eds.) Asian American Education: Identities, Racial Issues, and Languages. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.

Samura, M. (2013). Remaking Selves, Repositioning Selves, or Remaking Space: An Examination of Asian American College Students’ Processes of “Belonging.” Manuscript submitted for publication.

Strayhorn, T. L. (2012). College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success for All Students. Routledge.

Tinto, V. (1987). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago: IL: University of Chicago Press.

Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of attrition (2nd ed.).Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Samura_headshotDr. Michelle Samura joined the faculty of the College of Educational Studies in 2011. She primarily teaches in the Integrated Educational Studies (IES) Program and advises students in the community emphasis. Prior to joining Chapman, Dr. Samura served as the Academic Coordinator for the University of California Center for New Racial Studies and a Lecturer in UCSB’s Department of Asian American Studies. She also is a former public high school teacher and taught U.S. government, economics, and history in East Los Angeles.

Dr. Samura’s current research focuses on space and race, and she is engaged in two research projects. An extension of her dissertation research, the first project draws on archival research and visual methodology to offer an updated framework for thinking about and understanding what it means to be Asian American in the 21st Century, and to provide greater insight into the role of higher education in individual and collective racial transformations. Her second project draws on spatial approaches to examine university-community partnerships in Southern California. She currently is exploring the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of engaged scholarship, service-learning, and civic engagement approaches and mapping how various practices and programs under these banners are carried out.

Dr. Samura’s research and teaching have garnered a number of awards including selection as a semi-finalist for the 2011 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, recognition as one of the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity Emerging Diversity Scholars, and recipient of the University of California All Campus Consortium On Research for Diversity Dissertation Fellowship.

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