Winnie Ha (BA, History)

Winnie Ha is a history major and ACAM minor from Elk Grove, California, and transferred to UBC from Cosumnes River College in Sacramento in 2020. While she was at UBC, she played clarinet for the Thunderbird Marching Band, wrote for the sports section of the Ubyssey, was a part of Dance Horizons, and was involved with the Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity. Outside of school, she volunteered as a mentor for Learning Buddies Vancouver in spring 2021 and as a media intern for the Surrey Eagles Junior A hockey team during the 2021-2022 school year.

Why were you drawn to the ACAM program?

I was drawn to ACAM from the day I found out that the program existed at UBC (before I even started college), probably in part because I’m Chinese American and I’ve been interested in Canadian history for as long as I can remember. I decided to make the minor switch after taking HIST 485 with Dr. Yu, partly because I related to these stories that we were talking about, even though I grew up down the coast.

What is your favourite/funniest memory from ACAM?

My favorite memory from ACAM would probably be working on my project for ACAM 390 during summer 2021. We stayed up until late at night on Discord calls trying to figure out how to edit a podcast, and while we went off topic way too many times, we formed such a special bond that we met up several times throughout the past year, even long after the class ended.

How has ACAM impacted you or the people around you?

ACAM has impacted me in more ways than I could try to include in a paragraph. Before coming to UBC, I remember that I was really insecure about my Asian American identity and at some times felt isolated because of it. Learning about other Asian North American experiences has really helped me learn to take pride in my identity and know that I’m not alone, in a way. It’s also taught me that a lot of my negative experiences have been societal and that I shouldn’t necessarily be ashamed of them. I’ll be headed to Minnesota in about a week and will be spending the majority of my next few years somewhere in the eastern half of the United States, but I know that I’ll still carry this pride with me even when I’m a minority again.

ACAM has also given me the opportunity to learn more about my family’s migration background and the contexts of it: my family’s history is quite the mouthful and involves six countries in the past three generations (seven, if you include me being in Canada), and it was kind of cool to learn how American involvement in foreign conflicts (specifically, World War II and the Vietnam War) actually led to my parents (who are both of Chinese descent) meeting in Germany in the 1990s.

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

My advice for my first year self would be to stop trying to impress other people, especially at the expense of yourself. Take the classes that you actually want to take, join the activities that you want to be a part of. Don’t be somebody who you’re not.

What are you most looking forward to in the future?

In my future, I’m looking forward to being a social media intern with an amateur baseball team in Rochester, Minnesota, for the summer, and then heading off to law school in the fall, with the intention of one day becoming a sports attorney! In the future in general, I’m looking forward to a more accepting, understanding, and eco-friendly world.