Audrey Chan (BA, Asian Area Studies)

Audrey is a second generation Chinese American born and raised on unceded Kumeyaay land (San Diego, California). She is graduating with a BA in Asian Area Studies and a minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration studies. Audrey aims to further utilize the knowledge obtained from ACAM in order to strengthen her own understanding of what “Asianness” and “Asian American” means to her. This summer, Audrey looks forward to basking in the southern California sun with her dog, eating copious amounts of salmon sashimi and tacos, and finally getting around to her overdue list of Goodread books.

Why were you drawn to the ACAM program? 

Entering into the ACAM program was a serendipitous occurrence that began with me reading the course code incorrectly. However, I was quickly drawn in by the program’s wide range of courses/themes and the welcoming environment provided by both faculty and students alike. ACAM also provided a safe space that encouraged us to draw on our own personal experiences and to continue our dialogue both in and outside the classroom. Declaring ACAM as my minor also served as an extension to my Asian Areas Studies major; however, I felt that my department (Asian Studies) was largely East Asian centric. The expansiveness of ACAM’s interdisciplinary courses provided a more fulfilling and three dimensional academic experience. 

How has ACAM impacted you or the people around you? 

Growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood and being one of the few Asian students throughout my school years, I really struggled to come to terms with my Asian American identity. ACAM provided an outlet for me to unpack some of my racial trauma and internalized racism as well as the language to discuss the feelings and thoughts that I often struggled to articulate. I especially want to thank Dr. Danielle Wong (ENGL 371 and ACAM 320D) for constantly pushing and challenging my intellectual boundaries while also making me feel “seen”, both in terms of my personhood and academic work.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your first year self?

What you have to say is worth listening to, so take pride and ownership in the work you produce.