Evening Lecture Series

2008 - 2009 Biographies

Joseph Aranha who is originally from India and now lives in the US has been researching this monk for the past twenty five years and is now working on the final manuscript of a book, establishing beyond any doubt that Bodhidharma existed. His lecture will cover both the religious and and martial art expertise of this monk. Aranha was an investigator, and also a journalist and photographer by profession. He is presently Senior Editor for South Asian Insider.  


Henry Chang is a New Yorker, a native son of Chinatown. His 2006 debut novel, CHINATOWN BEAT, garnered praise from The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and The New York Times among others. CHINATOWN BEAT was selected Best Debut Mystery by the Florida Sun-Sentinel and was honored on several Best of 2006 lists. Henry Chang is a graduate of CCNY and was honored by its Asian Alumni Group as ‘Distinguished Asian Role Model of the Year 2007’. He has been a lighting consultant and a security director in New York City and continues to live in the Chinatown area.


Young Cheong is an Editor, producer, director, education coordinator for New Media and Digital technology and adjunct assistant professor at Brooklyn College.

Unique design and creative production are prominent in his work. His research interests lies in the area of diversity and social impact. As a natural born South Korean he is still involved with his native land and is currently associated with the SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) and has produced segments in the U.S. for the show, "Global VJ Express", which is aired nationally in South Korea.

Mr. Cheong is an Apple certified trainer for Final Cut Pro.  His expertise in editing is one of many valuable assets he possesses.  His approach to the skill of editing has benefited both undergraduate and graduate students attending Brooklyn College.  His persona is such that students are both well trained and comfortable under his tutelage.

In addition to all of his teaching and training skills, Mr. Cheong is an award-winning producer and editor. Some of his most noted praise has come from editing and producing videos such as CUNY's Human Resources' introductory video for new staff members. For the 48 hour film Festival in New York he produced and directed, First Day, which won awards for Best Actor, Best Lighting and Best Editing. Young Cheong is regarded as an exceptional videographer and is a consummate professional in all his endeavors.


Nehru E. Cherukupalli (a.k.a. C.E. Nehru) is Professor of Geology at Brooklyn College, CUNY. He hails from South India, had his schooling in Madras, India, and earned a Ph.D. in geology from Madras University. He also has a Master’s degree from Columbia University, New York. He has been teaching at Brooklyn College, City University of New York for over four decades and has been the past Chairman of the Geology Department. He served as the Interim Executive Director of the Asian American/Asian Research Institute of CUNY during 2006-2007. He has field experience in many places in India and in the United States and Canada. He has worked in mining operations in copper and iron ore mines in India. He has also worked on Moon rocks and he works on Meteorites and is a Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He has considerable experience in teaching all levels of students at Brooklyn College and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


Irene Chung, PhD, LCSW,  is a clinical social worker who has worked in the mental health field, predominantly with Asian Americans, for over twenty years. She is currently Associate Professor at the Hunter College School of Social Work and maintains a private practice in Manhattan.


Alvin Eng is the editor/compiler of the play anthology/oral history, TOKENS? THE NYC ASIAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE ON STAGE, that includes his play, “The Last Hand Laundry in Chinatown.” His plays and poetry have also been published in numerous anthologies and journals. Honors include grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU. He is a proud Flushing, Queens native who currently lives in Manhattan, and was named after the Chipmunk cartoon character. URL: www.alvineng.com


Winnie Tam Hung is a PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis. Her dissertation research focuses on Fuzhounese youth, neoliberalism, and the restructuring of New York City Chinatown. Her project, Chinatown Rim: Chinese Subjectivities and the Cultural Politics of an Ethnic Space, is situated at the intersection of Asian American Studies, the politics of racial and class formation in the United States, and the relationship between immigration and the organization of urban spaces. Hung was recently awarded an American Dissertation Fellowship from the American Association of University Women for 2008-2009.


Philip Kasinitz is Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center and Hunter College of the City University of New York. He currently chairs the Ph.D. Program in Sociology at the Graduate Center and is a former President of the Eastern Sociological Society. Prior to coming to CUNY he taught at Williams College and was a visiting professor at Princeton. His book Caribbean New York: Black Immigrants and the Politics of Race (Cornell University Press, 1992) won the Thomas and Znaniecki Award from the International Migration Section of the ASA. He is the editor of Metropolis: Center and Symbol of Our Time (New York University Press, 1995), co-editor (with Josh DeWind and Charles Hirschman) of Handbook on International Migration (Russell Sage Foundation, 1999), and (with Mollenkopf and Waters) Becoming New Yorkers: Ethnographies of The New Second Generation (Russell AgeFoundation 2004), which received an honorable mention for the 2005 Robert Park Award. His most recent book, Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age (with Waters, Mollenkopf and Jennifer Holdaway) was published by the Harvard University Press in April 2008. He has been a member of the Social Science Research Council’s Committee on International Migration and the historical advisory board of the new museum of American Immigration on Ellis Island. Professor Kasinitz received his B.A. from Boston University on 1979 and his Ph.D. from the Sociology Department of New York University in 1987.


Peter Kwong is on the faculty of the Hunter College Urban Affairs and Planning Department. He writes extensively on Chinese Americans, labor, and immigration issues. His commentaries on Chinese politics are syndicated worldwide and appear regularly in The Nation and The International Herald Tribune.  Kwong is a recipient of Hunter’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship.


Jennifer 8 Lee is a metropolitan reporter at The New York Times, where she has worked for many years. She harbors a deep obsession for Chinese food, the product of which is The Fortune Cookie Chronicles (Twelve, 2008), which explores how Chinese food is all-American.

At the Times, she has written about poverty, the environment, crime, politics, and technology. She has been called, by NPR, a “conceptual scoop artist.” One of her better known articles is on the Man Dates, and also on the fastest growing baby name in the history of America.

She was born and raised in New York City, attending Hunter College Elementary School and Hunter College High School for a total of 14 years. She majored in applied math and economics at Harvard, where she also angsted a lot about The Harvard Crimson, a fabulous start-up magazine called Diversity & Distinction, and the Asian American Association. After college, she fled to China and spent a year at Beijing University studying international relations.


Joann Faung Jean Lee, Ph.D. is author of  Asian Americans in the Twenty-First Century (New Press, 2008). This marks her third book of oral histories on Asians in America. She has written and lectured extensively on the Asian American experience and Asians and media. 

She has been a journalism educator for over two decades. She is currently Professor and Chairperson of the Communication Department at William Paterson University.  She has served as Dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno.  At Queens College, City University of New York, she established and directed the journalism program and created the T.W. Wang Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Chinese American Issues, a national journalism award sponsored by the World Journal. She was also a faculty member of the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University.

As a journalist, Dr. Lee was the first Asian American reporter hired by CNN, as well as its first New York Correspondent, covering Wall Street, the United Nations, and the court system.  She was also the first Asian American television reporter to be hired for ABC and CBS local affiliate stations in Sacramento, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Her other books include Asian American Actors (McFarland, 2000), and  Asian Americans (New Press, 1992).


Cheryl Littman is the Assistant Dean for Institutional Research at The City University of New York.  She's worked in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment for more than seven years, first as a manager/analyst and then as Director of IR for the Central Office. Her responsibilities include developing quantitative analyses for decision support at the Central Office, developing and administering the CUNY Student Experience Survey, managing the process of annual federal and state reporting, responding to requests for quantitative information about CUNY's student body and various other tasks related to collecting, managing, organizing and reporting on data.  Dr. Littman's educational background is in measurement, evaluation and applied statistical analysis.  She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, an M.S. in science education from LIU/C.W. Post and a B.S. in biology from Cornell University.  She has experience conducting research and analysis for K-12 as well as higher education systems.


Keming Liu is the Technical Writing Coordinator in the Department of English at Medgar Evers College, CUNY. The daughter of a former KMT general, Dr. Liu was born in mainland China and came to the U.S. to pursue her advanced studies, which includes an Ed.D. in Applied Linguistics from Teachers' College, Columbia University and M.A. in TESOL and Computer Technology. Dr. Liu's past presentations at AAARI include Off the Wall: New of Creativity and Language (2003), and Passing: A Thematic Approach to Asian American Literary Analysis (2002).


Edward Ma, is a NY/NJ certified Psychotherapist, Member of Manhattan Community Board 2, and  former New York City Human Rights Commissioner. Mr. Ma received his diploma in Psychotherapy from New York Medical College, and MSW from the University of Connecticut. He serves on the board of the Chinese American Planning Council (CPC), and provides consultation for the Chinese Community Social Result Services and Health Council, which is organized by 40 agency members, including Bellevue, Downtown, and Gouverneur Hospitals.

In the promotion of community advocacy, with the support of friends, Mr. Ma founded Asian American Community Consultation Association in 1995, functioning in an enabling facilitating role to assist Asian American community and their leaders in building access to mainstream resources for empowerment, justice and democracy. Workshops, lecture, and interview by television and newspaper are regularly given as public education on mental health, parent-child relationships, prevention of family violence, child/elderly abuse, etc. Testimonies have also been made in public hearings, letter writings and lobbying for legislation.

Mr. Ma also assisted in founding the Committee of  Bridging  the Gap No answer Between ACS and Asian American Community in the prevention of children remove from family tragedy due to alleged abuse.

Mr. Ma has made presentations at conferences by the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama in San Francisco in 2006, and New York City in 2007. His topic, Diversity and Group Coalition for Peace and Democracy, is about how Chinatown in the process of rebuilding through sharing, participating, volunteering and hearing for prosperity, justice, democracy, and mainstream.

Recently, Mr. Ma received special training in advocacy (by Coalition of Asian American for Children and Families), and How to Run Public Office in New York City (by The League of Women Voters). His philosophy is learning, growing, sharing and healing.


John Mollenkopf is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology and Director of the Center for Urban Research at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  He has authored or edited fifteen books on urban politics and policy and the role of race, ethnicity, and immigration in urban America, most recently Bringing Outsiders In:  Transatlantic Perspectives on Immigrant Political Incorporation (co-edited with Jennifer Hochschild, forthcoming from Cornell University Press).  With Philip Kasinitz, Mary Waters, and Jennifer Holdaway, he recently completed Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age (Harvard University Press, 2008), a study of educational attainment, labor market outcomes, and political and civic involvement among second generation immigrant and native minority young adults in metropolitan New York.  His current research focuses on the impact of immigration on racial and ethnic empowerment in New York and Los Angeles and the comparative politics of immigrant political incorporation.

Mollenkopf serves on the selection committees for the “Worlds in Motion” PhD Fellowship of the Zeit Foundation in Hamburg, Germany and the “New Americans Fellowship” of the Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation.  He is also a consultant to a study of the reasons for and barriers to naturalization being conducted by the Citizenship and Immigration Services division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Services.  He received his PhD from Harvard and BA from Carleton College.


Rosalind Morris is Professor of Anthropology and Associate Director of the Center for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, where she has also served as Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.  Her work focuses on questions of representation and translation in modernity, the politics of the mass media, the problem of the subject and the history of social theory.  She is the author of In the Place of Origins: Modernity and its Mediums in Northern Thailand (2000), and The Camera and its Histories in East and Southeast Asia (forthcoming, February 2009).


Kathy Napoli is currently the Administrative Assistant in the Department of Television and Radio at Brooklyn College.  She has thirty-eight years of professional experience, fifteen of which are exclusively in the area of academia.

Ms. Napoli has previously worked at Crossland Savings Bank, and New York Life Insurance Company. She was also the CSTEP Administrator with the Research Foundation under the auspice of the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Ms. Napoli was instrumental in helping to organize the Center for the Study of World Television's International Symposium in April, 1999 and the Brooklyn College Arts Council Gala in May 2001. She was actively involved in the initial organizatoin of PIMA (Performance and Interactive Media Arts) at Brooklyn College. Ms. Napoli was honored as the BC Employee of the Month in June 2002. Ms. Napoli is currently a member of the Brooklyn College Strategic Planning Steering Committee; the annual Brooklyn College Appreciation Day Committee; the annual Commencement Committee; and the Middle States Working Group 3 Committee. She works extensively with the Chair of the Department of Television and Radio. 

Ms. Napoli has been actively involved with the graduate students at Brooklyn College and is the graduate student club advisor for the Graduate Student Organization in the TV/Radio department. She has been given awards by the Student Life department for her work with the annual commencement exercises and by the students of WBCR the Brooklyn College Radio Station and by the students of the Television Club.

Her most recent accomplishment has been her participation in Young Cheong's documentary, A World Within.

Ms. Napoli has been married for thirty years and is the mother of two sons. She enjoys writing, dancing and learning something new each and every day.


Jacqueline M. Newman is Professor Emeritus of Queens College, the City University of New York, and editor of Flavor and Fortune, a magazine dedicated to the Science and Art of Chinese Cuisine, available by subscription at www.flavorandfortune.com. She has also been the Chairperson of the Department of Family, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, and before that, the Department of Home Economics at Queens College.

Dr. Newman is currently consultant to various food companies, journals, restaurants and related facilities; and writes a monthly column for Asian Restaurant News. Her most recent books include Chinese-American Foods, Customs and Culture, Melting Pot: An Annotated Biography and Guide to Food and Nutrition Information for Ethnic Groups in America, Second Edition, and her latest, Cooking from China’s Fujian Province.


Gene Park teaches courses on East Asian politics and political economy. He is currently completing a research project on the politics of government finance in Japan.  His research interests include the comparative political economy of East Asian states and advanced industrial democracies.  His work has appeared in the journals Governance and Asian Survey, and he co-authored an article for the edited volume, The State after Statism (Harvard University Press).  Gene received his Ph.D. in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley in 2007.  He is also he recipient of a Fulbright scholarship.  He has been a visiting scholar at the Japanese Ministry of Finance and a Research Fellow at Stanford Universityıs Asia-Pacific Research Center.


Rick Repetti is Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Department of History, Philosophy & Political Science at Kingsborough Community College in the City University of New York.  Dr. Repetti received his Ph.D in philosophy at the CUNY Graduate School (May 2005) for his dissertation on the relationship between reflective consciousness and autonomy, "The Metacausal Theory of Autonomy". His primary philosophical interest is in meditation and other contemplative practices, and issues related to these, such as philosophy of mind and ethics.

Dr. Repetti facilitates the Contemplative Practices Faculty Interest Group at Kingsborough, and is a founding member of the CUNY Contemplatives, a group of CUNY faculty interested in integrating contemplative practices into the classroom.  

Dr. Repetti is a meditation and yoga practitioner for over 35 years, has studied with many renowned meditation and yoga teachers, and for the past decade has been conducting meditation and yoga classes at Natural Balance Massage & Wellness Center, in Marine Park, Brooklyn.  He also completed two years of post-graduate training at the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training in NYC, and sees clients for philosophical counseling.  Rick is also a marathon runner, a student of mixed martial arts, and a 4th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate.


Zohra Saed teaches Asian and Middle Eastern American Literature and Film at Hunter College.  She is in the midst of her PhD Studies at The CUNY Graduate Center.  Zohra received her MFA in Poetry at Brooklyn College where she studied with Julie Agoos and Ron Padgett. In 2007, she joined the cast of Ping Chong's Undesirable Elements, an ongoing series of life history theater work.  She has edited an anthology of Afghan American Literature along with Lida Abdul and Sahar Muradi (forthcoming 2009). Zohra is co-founding editor of Up-Set Press, an independent literary press: www.upsetpress.org


Frank H. Shih, a former social worker and community advocate in New York City, received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research.  He has interests in multiculturalism and pluralism and has written about the experiences of Asian and Asian American students and presented on diversity and conflict resolution issues.  Dr. Shih’s research focuses on transnationalism and globalization and its particular impact on international education.  He is the author of Re-shaping the Chinese Diaspora: International Education and Foreign Students from the People’s Republic of China (In, Education Landscapes in the 21st Century: Cross-cultural Challenges and Multi-disciplinary Perspectives.  Bruce Swaffield and Iris Guske, eds., London, UK, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008).

Dr. Shih is currently on leave from CUNY School of Law where he is the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.  Prior to his present position, he was the Director of the Center for Academic Advising at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he received the 1992 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service. 

As an active volunteer in the community, he serves on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Long Island and AAARI.  He is also a member of the Advisory Councils of Nassau Suffolk Law Services, Inc. and Literacy Suffolk, Inc.


Christine Wade, MPH joined the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment as Deputy Director last spring.  She is an epidemiologist and prior to coming to CUNY worked on multi-disciplinary projects in healthcare with a focus on multi-cultural populations at Columbia University's College of Physician and Surgeons.  She conducted an NIH-funded population-based study of health care choices of Chinese women living in the United States which was published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health in 2007.


Ming Xia is a professor of political science at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York. In addition to his duties at CSI, Professor Ming Xia is a visiting professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University; guest research fellow at the Center for Elections and People's Congress System at Fudan University and guest professor at Jishou University (Hunan, China).


Mingmei Yip was born in China, received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and held faculty appointments at the Chinese University and Baptist University in Hong Kong. She’s published five books in Chinese, written several columns for seven major Hong Kong newspapers, and has appeared on over forty TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and the U.S. She immigrated to the United States in 1992, where she now lives in New York City. Peach Blossom Pavilion is her first novel, her other book in English is Chinese Children's Favorite Stories of which she both wrote and illustrated. Visit her at:   www.mingmeiyip.com



Search AAARI.info


Lecture Archive

Fall 2016 - Spring 2017

Fall 2015 - Spring 2016

Fall 2014 - Spring 2015

Fall 2013 - Spring 2014

Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

Fall 2011 - Spring 2012

Fall 2010 - Spring 2011

Fall 2009 - Spring 2010

Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

Fall 2007 - Spring 2008


Fall 2006 - Spring 2007

Fall 2005 - Spring 2006

Fall 2004 - Spring 2005

Fall 2003 - Spring 2004

Fall 2002 - Spring 2003

Fall 2001 - Spring 2002


Asian American / Asian Research Institute İ 2016

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
Fax: 212-869-0181 | E-mail: