Japanese garden at SIU Carbondale

May 16, 2022

SIU hosting virtual symposium May 25 in recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale will be celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a special symposium at 4 p.m. May 25. Everyone is invited to tune in for “Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ Contributions and Challenges in American Society.”

YT-Lee-sm.jpg Yueh-Ting Lee, SIU Faculty Senate president and professor of psychology and philosophy, will serve as the coordinator and facilitator for Zoom symposium, which will feature five speakers from around the country addressing diverse topics. Lee has published more than 110 refereed journal articles and 11 scholarly books focusing on stereotypes, categorical thinking and beliefs, groups, identities and human relations. Science News featured his research on stereotypes and categorical thinking. Prior to coming to SIU, Lee served as chair of the ethnic studies department and taught Asian American classes for several years at Minnesota State University. He also held positions as dean of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences at Minot State University in North Dakota and at the University of Toledo before arrival at SIU, initially as dean of the graduate school from 2015 to 2019.

Email to participate

The panelists will address a variety of topics of interest to everyone. To register for the free Zoom presentation, send an email to facultysenate@siu.edu. You will receive an email including the link for the Zoom presentation, along with the meeting ID and passcode.

The symposium is slated to last about an hour. Since time is somewhat limited, in order to allow audience participation, Lee invites anyone with specific questions for any of the guest speakers to email the questions to him in advance at leey@siu.edu.

The entire presentation will also be posted online afterward on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUcN-ROFduA.

Leader of national Asian American educational foundation will kick off presentations

SB_Woo-sm.jpgShien-Biau “S.B.” Woo, president of the 80-20 National Asian American Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to provide equal educational and workplace opportunities for Asian Americans, and the former lieutenant governor of Delaware, will be the first speaker for the afternoon. He will highlight the political and public contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States as well as the challenges they face.

A life-size picture of Woo, along with his biography, is displayed in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Through the 80-20 group, Woo organizes Asian Pacific Americans (APA) into a swing-bloc vote for presidential elections, bringing together both major political parties to consider the interests of the APA community. The Who’s Who in America listee and retired physics professor is the founding president of the faculty collective bargaining unit at the University of Delaware, and he served as its chief negotiator and spokesperson. He later became a member of the university’s board of trustees and upon his retirement, the University Senate passed its first written tribute to an employee praising Woo for his integrity and “setting a performance standard of the highest quality.” Woo earned his doctorate in physics at Washington University in St. Louis.

Additional speakers

The symposium will feature four additional speakers, each sharing for about 8-10 minutes on diverse and informative topics. The presenters include:

  • Joseph-Smith-sm.jpg Joseph Smith, an assistant professor at SIU with a joint appointment in the School of Africana and Multicultural Studies and the School of History and Philosophy. He will address the impact of the U.S.- China relations on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Americans in general. His research and teaching interests include Black male studies, Africana philosophy, Foucault studies, prison studies and the emergence of the Breton-Woods Institute, World Trade Organization, bilateral and regional trade agreements. He earned his doctorate in philosophy at SIU.
  • Honggang_Yang_Dean-sm.jpgHonggang Yang, emeritus dean and professor of interdisciplinary studies at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will discuss the myriad contributions and the impact Asian Americans have had on American higher education. Yang is a senior advisory editor of Peace and Conflict Studies and co-founder of Nova’s Inclusion and Diversity Council and co-founder and former president of the Council of Chinese American Deans and Presidents. He formerly served as a research associate and internship coordinator for the Conflict Resolution Program at the Carter Presidential Center of Emory University and chaired the Individualized Master of Arts Program in Conflict Resolution at the McGregor School of Antioch University. He holds a doctorate in applied anthropology from the University of South Florida.
  • HyoJeong-Lee-sm.jpgHyo-Jeong Lee, a doctoral student in mass communication and media arts at SIU, will share the rewards and challenges of being a Korean student studying in the United States. Lee is interested in the cinematic representations of memory, trauma, history, indexicality (the phenomenon of a sign pointing to some object in the context in which it occurs) and being a spectator (spectatorship) in digital media. She studies the role of cinema in creating cultural memories of political conflicts.
  • Jyotsna-Kapur-sm.jpg Jyotsna Kapur, director of the University Honors Program and professor of cinema and media studies at SIU will note the cultural contributions Asians and Asian Americans make to American society. Kapur, who also has a cross-appointment with sociology, has diverse research and teaching interests, including Marxist-feminist theory of media arts and culture; the politics of labor, class, race and sexuality in neoliberalism; contemporary Indian media culture; history and theory of the documentary idea, especially its redefinitions in contemporary practices and digital culture, Third Cinema; and global children’s media culture. She completed her doctorate in radio/TV film at Northwestern University.

Collaborative presentation

The symposium is a presentation of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Student Multicultural Resource Center, in collaboration with other units across campus.

For more information, email leey@siu.edu or call 618-453-1186.