Asian-American/Asian Research Institute

"Bridging CUNY and the
Asian-American Community."




2004 - 2005 Lecture Series


Martha Bragin Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice a member of  the clinical and research faculty in social work at the International Program on Refugee Trauma, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Lecturer at NYU School of Social Work. She serves as a consultant to governments, international and nongovernmental organizations designing psychosocial programmes to mitigate the effects of war and violence on children and families around the world.


Shyamal K. Chakravarti is an Indologist of wide acclaim and an author specializing in Indian art, iconography, epigraphic studies and museology. Dr Chakravarti had his debut in the Indian Museum as a Curator and finally reached to the highest and much exalted position of Director for one of the oldest and biggest museum in Asia. He is the scholar in one of the world's oldest language, Sanskrit. His scholastic attainments covered UNESCO training in the museum method in Japan and management training from the Administrative Staff College of India. Dr. Chakravarti is the chairman of the Indian chapter for the Council of Museums, associated with UNESCO. He has received special honor from the Instituto Cultural Cabanas in Mexico for his outstanding contribution in the field of art, culture and social service and was awarded an honorary doctorate. He has also received several awards from the Indian Government for his contribution in museum science. Dr. Chakavarti served two years as the Director of Indian National Library.


Ti-Hua Chang has been a reporter with NBC news in New York since 1993. He has covered numerous stories, often traveling around the globe. In 1996, he won the prestigious Peabody Award for a series of reports he filed on accused drug-dealing murderers who escaped to the Dominican Republic. That government's extradition policies prevented U.S. police from arresting them. In March 1996, he was dispatched to Tel Aviv, Israel to report on the string of terror blasts overtaking the city. Chang spent a week in Bosnia, filing reports from the war-torn country as he traveled with an Americares Convoy throughout several combat-ravaged cities.

Some of Chang's investigative reports for include features on the New York City's takeover of the Fulton Fish Market and the surprisingly easy ways to order a gun through the mail. In January 1998, Chang filed a series of live reports from the White House on allegations that President Clinton had an affair with a White House intern and allegedly directed her to lie to an investigative panel.

Chang joined NBC from WNYC-TV, New York, where he was host of his own talk show, New York Hotline. Previously, he was a reporter at WCBS-TV and an investigative producer at ABC News. Among the stories Chang covered for ABC was a report from inside a Mexican jail that had been taken over by armed drug dealers and an investigative piece on the death of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. In his report, Chang discovered four new witnesses to the Evers murder, eventually leading to the re-opening of the famous case.

The recipient of many awards and honors, Chang has won three Emmys; the Philadelphia, Denver and Detroit Press Association awards; and, the Associated Press and United Press International awards. Very active in Asian-American community affairs, Chang was both a national and local New York Board member of the Asian-American Journalists Association. Chang also has been published in a number of magazines, including the Sunday New York Times and The Detroit News.

Chang is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.


Cynthia Chao received her B.A. in 1972 in English Literature at Fu-Jen University, Taiwan. She came to United State as a merchant in 1975 and has been residing in New York since then.  She is one of the founders of World Young Men Buddhist Association(WYMBA), a leading Buddhist organization in the Chinese community in New York City.   The WYMBA is well-known for its open-minded approach to Buddhism. It has sponsored talks and free discussions on many different Buddhist Schools.

Cynthia founded a Chinese Buddhist magazine, <<Wisdom Voice>>, and was its editor from 1986 to 2000.  She is also a translator of many Buddhism-related articles. "The Zen Teachings of Jesus,"  a book originally published in English, was translated by Cynthia into Chinese and was published in Taiwan in April 2004.  In recent years, Cynthia has been traveling to the "Roof of the World" to explore and document the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, and study the lifestyle on the plateau.

Cynthia returned from Qinghai in August 2004 and brought back documentary images about the lifestyle ofa group of teenager monks who live in a faraway village in the valley of Qinghai-Tibetan plateau wherethe Yellow River was originated."


Daryl Chin, is Associate Editor of PAJ: A Journal of Performance & Art.  He has contributed articles to M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory and Criticism (edited by Susan Bee and Mira Schor; Duke University Press, 2001), Asia in New York City: A Cultural Travel Guide (Asia Society & Avalon Travel Press, 2001), Tokens: The NYC Asian American Experience on Stage (edited by Alvin Eng; Asian American Writers Workshop & Temple University Press, 2001), among other anthologies. In a series of four lectures held at AAARI entitled “Asian American Cinema Workshop: The Moving Images of the Asian-American”, he examined some of the issues relating to the representation of Asian identity in American media.  Currently, he is completing a monograph on the video artist Shigeko Kubota.


Ronald K. Frank is coordinator of East Asian Studies Program at the History Department of Pace University in New York. Dr. Frank is a specialist on Japanese Legal History with a focus on the Sengoku and Meiji periods.


Kenneth J. Guest is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Baruch College, CUNY. He is the author of God in Chinatown: Religion and Survival in New York’s Evolving Immigrant Community.


Martha Haffey is an Associate Professor at the Hunter College School of Social Work and consultant to STISIP Widuri, a social work school in Jakarta.  She spent a year and a half (2002-2003)  in Indonesia as a Fulbright senior scholar, teaching social work and consulting on social work education. Her specialty area is clinical social work education. On the day the tsunami hit,  Prof. Haffey was  returning to Jakarta for the second time since her Fulbright to teach a course.  In addition to her teaching commitment, she was involved in the social work response to the tsunami.  Prof. Haffey is continuing to work with the social work organization in developing a social work resource center for post-disaster management.


Annie Han received her Doctoral degree in Mathematics Education with emphasis in Bilingual/Multicultural Education from Teachers College , Columbia University. In the Spring 1998 she joined BMCC’s mathematics department. Currently, Dr. Annie Yi Han is an associate professor of mathematics at BMCC/CUNY. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Transcultural Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University . She has been an Empire State Fellow (1988-1989), a Title VII Fellow (1991-1994) and a recipient of a Fulbright-Hays grant . (2003). This most recent Fulbright-Hays grant supported 12 mathematics professors and NYC public school math educators to study abroad for 4 weeks.

Dr. Han’s research interests are Mathematics and Language; mathematics teacher education; history of mathematics and mathematics education; and, the use of technology in the mathematics classroom.

Dr. Han is the founder and director of the BlueSky Asian-American Research Foundation. She has served as a volunteer principal for the BlueSky Chinese School for these past 7 years.


Kimiko Hahn is a professor in the English Department at Queens College/CUNY. Her most recent book of poems, The Artist's Daughter, was published by W.W. Norton in the fall of 2002. Mark Doty said of the collection, "Kimiko Hahn uses the extremes of human experience to examine the deep trouble and struggles of desire, the covert ties that bind together ordinary lovers, parents, and children. Rigorous intelligence, fierce anger, and finally a deep vulnerability inform these poems."

Kimiko is the author of five other collections of poetry: Mosquito and Ant (W.W. Norton); Volatile (Hanging Loose); The Unbearable Heart (Kaya), which was awarded an American Book Award; Earshot (Hanging Loose), which received The Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award; and Air Pocket (Hanging Loose). In 1995 she wrote ten portraits of women for the MTV special, "Ain't Nuthin' but a She-Thing," for which she also recorded the voice-overs. She has received fellowships from The National Endowment for Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund.

Kimiko is currently working on two projects: a film script inspired by the stills of a fashion photographer and a collection of poetry and prose, largely utilizing the classical Japanese forms, tanka and zuihitsu.


Soofia K. Hussain is a full professor of sociology at Nassau Community College , Garden City. She has a doctorate from Columbia University and specializes in the areas of family, gender roles, bureaucracy - besides, of course, migration. Dr. Hussain is the author of many published articles and has presented extensively at professional conventions.


Ravi Kalia is a professor of history at the City College of the City University of New York (CUNY). He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Hindu College, Delhi University, and Ph.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. Kalia is the author of Chandigarh: The Making of an Indian City and Bhubaneswar: From a Temple Town to a Capital City. His extensive publishing career includes articles in such journals as Technology and Science Journal, the Journal of Urban History, and Habitat International. Kalia lives in the Bronx.


Bhante Kondanna is a reverend from the Staten Island Buddhist Temple. He obtained an associate degree in Buddhist Philosophy in the University of Sri Lanka. Reverend Kondanna also has a Bachelor of Sciences in Social Work from York College as well as a Master's degree in Social Work from Fordham University.


Peter Kwong is Professor of Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College and Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Kwong is known for his work on Asian American and especially Chinese American labor concerns. Currently, he and his wife (Dusanka Miscevic) are completing a book entitled Chinese America: The Making of a History. Kwong’s previous books include Chinese Americans: An Immigrant Experience , Forbidden Workers: Chinese Illegal Immigrants and American Labor, The New Chinatown, and Chinatown, New York: Labor and Politics 1930-1950. Kwong a regular contributor to The Nation and The Village Voice, is a member of the Board of Directors of several organizations: Downtown Community TV; International Center for Migration, Ethnicity and Citizenship; and The New Press; and a member of the Board of Trustees of New York Foundation. As a video documentary film-maker, he is a recipient of the CINE Golden Eagle Award, for co-producing a PBS program on immigration. In 2000, Kwong was named by A. Magazine as a member of its “A. 100”—the 100 most influential Asian Americans of the past decade.


Joseph Lau is an internist and Professor of Medicine and Professor of Clinical Research at the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. He is the Director of one of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality designated Evidence-based Practice Center, and the Director of the Boston Branch of the US Cochrane Center. His research interest is in the areas of meta-analysis, evidence-based medicine and development of clinical practice guidelines. He is a co-founder of the Chinatown Health Clinic in New York City in 1971 and has served as a staff, volunteer physician, and as Chairperson of the Board of Directors.


Joseph Tse-Hei Lee is coordinator of East Asian Studies Program at the History Department of Pace University in New York. Dr. Lee is a specialist on Modern Chinese History and author of THE BIBLE AND THE GUN: CHRISTIANITY IN SOUTH CHINA, 1860-1900 (New York and London: Routledge, 2003). Link To Purchase Dr Lee's Book


Hung Jung Lee is Senior Translator and Programming Officer of the United Nation's Chinese Translation Service. Attended primary school in China; secondary school in Hong Kong. Obtained B.S. in chemistry from University of California, Berkeley. Pursued graduate studies in molecular biology at California Institute of Technology. Joined the United Nations as translator (primarily English to Chinese) in 1974. 


Shuming Lu received his B.A. in 1982 in English at Yangzhou University, and did his postgraduate work (1984-1986) at East China Normal University, Shanghai. He had taught at Yangzhou University for 6 years before pursuing his doctoral studies in intercultural communication at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Since 1997, Dr. Lu has been working as a professor of intercultural communication, deputy chair of the Speech Communication Department (since 2000), and director of the CUNY-BC China program at the City University of New York, Brooklyn College.

In the past five years, Professor Lu also served as Principal of Huaxia Chinese School in Edison, New Jersey (1998-2001), and as chair of the Board of Trustees of EverBright Chinese School, Edison New Jersey (2001-2004).

Dr. Lu’s research interests are ethnography of communication, intercultural communication, international communication, and Chinese culture and communication, with a particular focus on interactions between Chinese and Americans.

Dr. Lu is currently also serving as President of the Association of Chinese Professors of Social Sciences in the United States, and as vice President of the Association of Chinese Communication Studies, and as a Board member of the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Greater New York.


Yin Mei was born in China and started her professional career in traditional Chinese dance during the Cultural Revolution. Before coming to the United States to study modern dance on a grant from the Asian Cultural Council, she was a member of a leading Chinese dance company. Yin Mei now choreographs and performs her contemporary work worldwide, having forged a dance style employing Chinese energy direction and spatial principles as a means of creating dance within the rubric of Western dance-theater.

Yin Mei's most recent work, /Asunder, a multi-media, cross-cultural dance theater work created in collaboration with installation artist Cai Guo-Qiang and composer Robert Een, was produced by MAPP and premiered at Danspace Project in New York in May 2001. /Asunder toured to eleven U.S. cities throughout 2002 to critical and audience acclaim. In December 2002, Yin Mei presented a work-in-progress version of Nomad: The River at Danspace Project at St. Marks Church. Yin Mei's evening-length dance theater work, Empty Tradition/City of Peonies, premiered at the Asia Society in New York City in fall 1998 and was presented at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in August 1999. Conceived, choreographed and directed by Yin Mei, Empty Tradition/City of Peonies was the product of a year-long collaboration with Indonesian composer Tony Prabowo and prominent Chinese installation artist Xu Bing. Performers included dancers from Tibet and the U.S., a Buddhist martial artist, seven Indonesian musicians and a violist.

Yin Mei's choreography has been presented at New York venues including: Danspace Project, DTW, La Mama ETC., the Asia Society, the Japan Society, PACE Downtown Theater, the Mulberry Street Theater, Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church, the Queens College Theater, P.S. 1 and the Knitting Factory. Her work has been presented twice at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and at U.S. venues including Columbia College Dance Center ( Chicago), UCLA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of California at Santa Cruz, the Kohler Arts Center ( Wisconsin), University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona State University in Tempe, Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, University of Alaska and Bard College. Internationally, her work has been presented at Tokyo's Theater X, the Hong Kong Town Hall Theatre and the Jerusalem Museum, Chikamatsu Festival (Nagato, Japan), the BBB Festival (Potsdam, Germany), the Indonesian Dance Festival (Jakarta), the Korea International Dance Festival (Seoul) and the Contemporary Dance Festival of West Sumatra. She was one of ten international choreographers invited to participate in the 50th anniversary of the American Dance Festival.


Pyong Gap Min is Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. The areas of his research focus are immigration, ethnicity, ethnic business, women’s gender role, and immigrants’ religions, with a special focus on Asian Americans. He is the author of three books, including Caught in the Middle: Korean Communities in New York and Los Angeles (1996), the winner of two national book awards. He is the editor or co-editor of five books. They include The Second Generation: Ethnic Identity among Asian Americans (2002) and Mass Migration to the United States: Classical and Contemporary Periods (2002).


Sonali Mishra received her B.A. in English Literature at the University of Michigan, and M.S. in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

Sonali’s studies in dance include both theoretical and practical aspects, and has traveled to India on many occasions for further training and refinement, including a 14-month stay during 1999-2000. She recently returned from India where she spent three months undergoing intensive dance training with Sri Ramesh C. Jena and Srimati Aruna Mohanty.

Sonali has performed in many festivals and programs in the US, Canada, India and the UK. She has presented and participated in a number of workshops and lecture-demonstrations on Odissi dance to both Indian and non-Indian audiences. As a second-generation Indian-American artist, dance has been an integral component in developing her cultural identity. Her dual-culture heritage has allowed her to communicate effectively with her audience.

Sonali’s goal as an artist is to demonstrate the timelessness of India's classical traditions. Classical Indian dance has been widely appreciated by audiences all over the world not only for its beauty in presentation and movement, but also for their deep rooted spirituality.


Uday Naval is a retired professor of English and Linguistics, who obtained his Ph.D. at age 65, and has taught at the university level for forty years.

Dr. Naval has published and presented widely, and a book that he wrote on time and motion study was commended by the then Prime Minister Nehru of India in a personal letter to Dr. Naval.

Dr. Naval’s dissertation topic on intra-sentential code-switching presented a unique theory of Seed concepts. This theory  explains why speakers resist the use of certain foreign words when speaking in their native tongue.


Charles A. Riley II, Ph.D., associate professor, is the co-founder of WeMedia and the former editor-in-chief of WE magazine, a national bimonthly for the disability community. A former reporter for Fortune magazine and senior editor of Art & Auction magazine, he continues to cover the arts and business and serves as a consultant to the White House and the mayor of New York. He is the author of several books on business, policy and the arts, including Small Business, Big Politics, High-Access Home, The Arts and the World Economy, Tools of Historic Preservation, Color Codes, The Saints of Modern Art and Aristocracy and the Modern Imagination. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the Graduate Center of CUNY.


Parmatma Saran is former Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Baruch College, CUNY. He teaches courses both at the Graduate and Undergraduate level focusing on race relations, ethnicity, minority groups, new mmigrants, and India. His writing and research is on Asian communities in the United States and India. He is the author of four books and a large number of articles both in professional journals and magazines. Two of his books are on experiences of Asian Indians in the United States and are widely quoted in journals, magazines, and newspapers including the New York Times, Daily News, Time Magazine, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, National Geographic, India Today, India abroad, News India, India Monitor, and many others.


Harendra Sirisena is a native of Sri Lanka. He graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences in Economics and Mathematics from the College of Staten Island and obtained a Master's degree in Economics and International Affairs in Columbia University. Mr. Sirisena is also a Ph. D. candidate in Economics in the New School University. He is actively involved in relief work with the disaster victims in Sri Lanka.


Sung Ha Suh is a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor in Department of Counseling at John Jay College where she teaches a course on Short-Term Counseling and Crisis Intervention. Her academic and clinical interests are psychodynamic theories, character pathology, clinical assessment and cultural influence on personality development. Her research experience includes the study of immigrant families, Asian American women, children's moral and political development and the violence of disrespect among inner-city youth.


Thomas Tam is Chairman of Asian American Higher Education Council, and Executive Director of Asian American/Asian Research Institute, as well as the President of Oishi Movies, Inc. which produced a feature: Sunrise on Mulberry Street. He received his Ph.D. degree in SocioMedical Sciences with honors from Columbia University, and other degrees in Film-making, Public Health, and Physics from Montclair State University, Columbia, and City College of New York.


Lawrence Tan is a martial arts grand master, author and educator and founder of Tan Dao. Tan, who has a B.A. degree in comparative religion, develops innovative educational programs for health and wellness through martial arts. Tan will also demonstrate Shaolin animal kung fu.


Jeffrey Tao was born in Shanghai, grew up in Hong Kong and attended university in England, graduating in 1971 with a BA Degree from the University of Sussex.

He came to New York in 1972 when he began his career as conference interpreter, joining the Chinese Section of the United Nations Interpretation Service that year. In 1983, he attained the position of Senior Interpreter. In 1987, he received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from New York University.

As a simultaneous interpreter, Mr. Tao’s work runs the whole gamut of UN topics, from highly political and sensitive meetings of the Security Council, say, on Iraq and the Middle East, to many sessions of the Law of the Sea Conference, culminating in the signing of the Treaty, to specialized technical meetings on budgetary questions, weapons systems, the environment, trade law, statistics and international accounting. He has traveled extensively on UN assignment, e.g., to Rio de Janeiro for the UN Conference on the Environment and Development in 1992 and to the International Meeting on Small Island Developing States held in Mauritius in January 2005. He also worked at meetings at the level of Heads of State or Government during the 50 th Anniversary of the United Nations in 1995 and the Millennium Summit in 2000.


Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong is associate professor of Communications at the College of Staten Island. She has worked extensively on cinema practices in Hong Kong, grassroots media in the U.S. and film festivals worldwide. A co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture, she has recently completed a book on Global Hong Kong that will be published by Routledge in 2005.


Ming Xia is Associate Professor of Political Science at the College of Staten Island, the City University of New York. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Fudan University, China, and a Ph.D. degree from Temple University, USA. He once taught at Fudan University (1988-1991) and has served as a fellow at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the George Washington University (2003), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2004), and the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore (2004). He was the recipient of the Bernard Watson Best Dissertation Award from Temple University (1997) and the recipient of the Dolphin Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement from the College of Staten Island (2003). He is the author of The Dual Developmental State: Development Strategy and Institutional Arrangements for China’s Transition (Ashgate, 2000) and Toward a Network Mode of Governance: The Provincial People’s Congresses in China (Routledge, 2005).


Ying Zhu is Assistant Professor of Media Culture, at the College of Staten Island, CUNY.  Prof. Zhu has published articles in CineAction (1998), Asian/Pacific Journal (1998), Asian Culture Quarterly (2000), Consumption Markets and Culture (2002), Quarterly Review of Film & Video (2001), and the Journal of Communication (2002).  She is also the author of "Chinese Cinema During the Era of Reform: The Ingenuity of the System (Praeger, 2003)."


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