DIVERSITY STATEMENT

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DIVERSITY STATEMENT

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Students at SJSU Paseo Prototyping challenge.

At this early stage in my career, I am fortunate to have taught in a range of academic settings where I can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. I seek to empower students to push against dominant narratives and recognize the importance of resistance in their daily lives. 
As a graduate student and teaching associate, my time at San Jose State University exposed me to a very diverse community of international students and people of color with various backgrounds at a large public institution. In addition, I had friends and students from underrepresented minority groups, indigent, immigrants, LGBTQA, disabled, and older students returning to school. These interactions reminded me of the importance of attention and presence in teaching and listening carefully and openly to the diverse voices I encountered.  I am also proud to say I was the first non-native English speaker to teach a class in my Department as a teaching associate during my time at SJSU. This challenge has taught me that the classroom is an ideal environment for cross-cultural exchange between students and teachers. My students supported this commitment to dialogue, and I found them keen to learn from a nonwestern perspective.
Moreover, as a faculty member at Santa Clara University (SCU), I have been able to push for the institutional commitment to affirm campus diversity in a smaller population private school. I encourage my students to expand their worldview by listening to each other's stories. I also emphasize that they identify what makes them unique and use it as a tool in their art practice. One of the themes I assign to my students every semester is to create a project with the techniques they learned to define themselves culturally, socially, or historically. The outcome is always fascinating as they reveal stories about their experiences, challenges, struggles, and accomplishments. Beyond the classroom, I actively contribute to the institutional investment in diversity as well. For example, I am part of the LGBTQ Faculty Allies and Women of Color (WOC) Network at SCU. To learn more about being an ally specifically to my LGBTQA students, I took the Safe Space workshop organized by the Multicultural Learning Office at SCU. As a member of the WOC network at SCU, we get together every semester to empower and support each other to address challenges we have as women of color faculty and organize events and campaigns. I have maintained my passion for diversity and inclusion by participating in webinars, workshops, and boot camps. In Fall 2019, My participation in the NCFDD Bootcamp introduced me to a network of educators all over the U.S. who share the value of inclusion in academic environments. Concurrent to the "Black Lives Matter" uprisings in 2020, I also registered for the "Speak out" webinar to improve inequity and diversity on campus.

Assisting students in Digital Imaging class at Santa Clara University.

Online session with students in the Digital Imaging course at Santa Clara University.

In addition, my own experiences as an immigrant woman have enabled me to recognize the challenges faced by other minorities in many ways. Because I used to be an international student, I can easily relate to those faced with the anxieties living in an unfamiliar environment. I also realized that having a different background or ideology is not simply a barrier but also a great source of inspiration for storytellers. That is the notion that I apply to my research as well. Through these various experiences in higher education, I have been able to drive for institutional commitment to demonstrate campus and classroom diversity. I believe academia must embrace diversity through an inclusive approach that welcomes and embraces different socioeconomic, ethnic, and gender groups. As an immigrant educator and artist, I am confident that I can make meaningful contributions to your students.
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