Aleesha Hsu (BAS, Civil Engineering)

Aleesha 亦芝 Hsu (she/elle) is a second-generation Tamil, Cantonese, and Baba Nyonya Canadian born and mostly raised on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh land. Aleesha is a recent Civil Engineering graduate with a minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies. She is currently enjoying some down time with her bike and her dog before starting a job in California this summer. 

What is a favourite memory or story you have from ACAM? 

Honestly, Al Yoshizawa’s 2020 end of the year MTV-cribs style house tour was pretty great. 

Why did you declare a minor in ACAM? What drew you to the program? 

Coming to UBC I started to finally explore my Asian Canadian identity and an ACAM minor seemed like a logical pursuit. I had also already accidentally completed a couple ACAM qualifying courses seeking a break from my engineering curriculum. I came into ACAM looking for a community outside of engineering, and seeking some answers regarding how someone with my multi-ethnic and assimilated identity can begin to reconnect with cultural elements from my family’s histories. While ACAM didn’t really reveal to me any of these identity-related answers, the department did provide a warm, supportive, and empathetic learning community that I was not getting in my major coursework. 

What connections and ideas were you able to foster through ACAM? 

In addition to expanding the tools with which I can interact with and think critically about the world around me, my time in ACAM courses gifted me some great friends. The department is full of brilliant professors, staff, and student, who also happen to be great humans. 

Name an ACAM faculty whose class had a significant impact on you and share why. 

Dr. Thobani’s class was really refreshing for me. During my time in ACAM I struggled with finding classes that did not feel dominated by East Asian and/or mixed white + East Asian people’s voices and history. In addition to successfully protecting space for South and South-East Asian folks, Dr. Thobani is just so dang smart sitting in her classroom was incredible.