Staff

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Kusum Soin

Office Coordinator | kusums@upenn.edu

Kusum was born in India and is the oldest child in her family. She graduated from a three-year architecture college in 1972 and then worked as an interior designer and architectural assistant for fifteen years. From 1980 to 1990 she lived in Kuwait and then came to the United States with her husband and two daughters. Her husband, Devinder S. Soin, is a landscape architect. They experienced life during the Iraq-Kuwait War in the early 90s. Her family moved to the United States because her husband decided to go to graduate school at Penn after pondering over the decision for 18 years. He completed his Master's degree in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design. Kusum's eldest daughter, Komal Soin, and youngest daughter, Ketki Soin, completed their undergraduate from Penn and medical school at Jefferson. Komal is currently working as a family doctor in Honolulu. Ketki is doing her fellowship in cornea surgery in Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. Her son Gaugin Soin is now attending law school at Villanova University. Kusum enjoys cooking exotic food. Kusum's entire family loves to travel. They have visited over seventeen countries. One day they would like to add China and Indonesia to their list. Kusum is excited to continue her passion in supporting students and the PAACH community at large. Kusum retired on May 10, 2019 after over 18 years of service to PAACH and the Penn community.


Interns

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Olivia Zha

Graphic Design & Marketing Assistant(2018-2019)

olz@sas.upenn.edu

Olivia is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is born and raised in the suburbs near Dallas, Texas. Olivia is currently in the process of applying to clubs, but she is interested in international relations and business-related organizations! In her free time, she enjoys painting and meeting new people. Olivia also loves watching kdramas and cdramas, drinking milk, karaoking with friends, and traveling to foreign countries.


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Ann Wang

Graphic Design & Marketing Assistant (2018-2019)

aannwang@wharton.upenn.edu

Ann is a freshman in Wharton from Buffalo, New York. Since she enjoys making connections both between various ideas and with people, she's planning to concentrate in Marketing and Business Analytics. When she's not drawing, listening to music, or writing, you can find her having meaningful conversations, staying organizaed, golfing, playing 8ball on iMessage, and working out.


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Jashee Yang

Campus Relations and Programming Assistant (2018-2019)

jasheey@sas.upenn.edu

Jashee (pronounced Josh-ee) is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences from the Bay Area in California. She's undecided, but is currently planning on majoring in International Relations and minoring in East Asian Area Studies or Asian American Studies. Outside of PAACH, she's also involved in CSA and ALPS. She loves (needs) to do lists, boba and food in general, and listens to a lot of kpop. She also loves getting to know people, so please talk to her!

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Mohammad Samroz

Campus Relations and Programming Assistant (2018-2019)

msamroz@sas.upenn.edu

Mohammad ('Mo') is a sophomore from Elmont, NY in the College on the pre med track studying Health and Societies and South Asia Studies. When it comes to the Asian-American community, he is passionate about a wide range of issues including income inequality, mental health, and anti-blackness along with creating a welcoming space for Asian-Americans here at Penn through PAACH. Outside of PAACH, he is involved with Moelis Access Science and Global Brigades. In his free time, you can usually find him watching hockey highlights, binging Netflix, and/or scrolling through Twitter. Mohammad is incredibly excited to be a part of the PAACH family this year and is looking forward to making an impact. Don't be afraid to stop by and say hi!

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Winnie Chen

Graduate School of Education Counseling Intern (2016-2017)

cwinnie@gse.upenn.edu

Winnie is a first year graduate student in the Counseling and Mental Health Services program. She is an international student from Taiwan who has also lived in the US, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and South Korea. Winnie completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at National Taiwan University, and she was an active member of the marketing and acamdeic departments of the school's Model UN Society. She was also a member of the Student Council's Department of Foreign Affairs and the Psychology Students' Association's Department of Activites. Winnie has also worked as a teacher, a translator and an interpreter. Outside of work, she is a big fan of photography and videography. She also loves to meet new people, learn new languages, and watch tear-jerking movies with happy endings.

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Aliya Chen

Graphic Design & Marketing Assistant (2016-2017)

chenali@seas.upenn.edu

Aliya is from Sacramento, California and is a freshman in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She plants to major in Digital Media Design. Outside of PAACH, she is part of the Graphics Ministry at Grace Covenant Church and is also the Co-External Director for Penn's first Dance Marathon. Aliya enjoys running, baking, reading, and watching movies.

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Kamaljot Gill

Campus Relation and Programming Assitant (2016-2017)

kamaljot@sas.upenn.edu

Kamaljot is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a proud Californian from Hayward (The Heart of the Bay), California. He is big on  boba, Hawaiian shirts, chillin', and photography. Currently, he is part of PEER, Penn Synapse, the IAA, and PennCAP. He loves Disney movies and has an unhealthy obsession with Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. His favorite song is "Let's Do It Again" by J Boog. He is proud of his first generation status and looks foward to his years at Penn.

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Sunny Roy

Programming Assistant (2016-2017)

saroy@sas.upenn.edu

Sunny is a sophomore in the College planning on majoring in BBB and Healthcare Management. She is from Cleveland, OH and is very proud of her city. Outside of PAACH, Sunny is involved  with PENNaach, the Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club (WUHC), GlobeMed, and she is a proud Chi-O. She loves to eat delicious food and wants to travel as much as she possible can. Her favorite hobby is binge-watching Netflix, so hit her up for TV show recs.

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Emily Zhao

Graphic Design & Marketing Assistant (2016-2017)

emizhao@wharton.upenn.edu

Emily is a freshman in the Wharton School, planning to concentrate in environmental policy and management and finance with a minor in computer science. She is from Austin, Texas and has lived there all her life. Outside of PAACH, Emily is involved in the Wharton Undergraduate Finance Club as part of the marketing committee. She also engages in sustainable development organizations and other businee-related clubs. Emily enjoys Youtube, Buzzfeed, power-lifting, and exploring new places and foods with others.

Board of Advisors

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Fariha Khan, Ph.D. (Board Chair)
Associate Director, Asian American Studies Program
University of Pennsylvania


fariha@sas.upenn.edu

Fariha Khan is the Associate Director of the Asian American Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania where she also teaches courses on South Asians in the U.S, Asian American Communities, as well as Muslim Identity in America. She received a Master's degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Yale University and a PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research focuses on South Asian American Muslims and the Bangladeshi American community.

I look forward to sharing my experiences over many years at Penn with PAACH constituents.


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Lovika Kalra
Student at Penn Dental
School Of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania


lkalra@dental.upenn.edu

I am currently a fourth year Penn Dental student, and a proud '14 Georgetown University alum. As the president of the Hindu Students Association at Georgetown, I assisted in developing interfaith programming on campus and to raise awareness on the South Asian culture in the community. I am so excited to have found a home in PAACH and I hope to illuminate all its meaningful contributions to the graduate schools. I look forward to integrating the undergraduate and graduate communities through my role on the Board of Advisors and to continue to encourage the safe space philosophy that PAACH promotes.


Hoa Duong Piyaka, C'01
Program Officer, Southeast Asia
The Fund for Global Human Rights


Hoa Duong Piyaka (aka Hoa Tu Duong), graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2001 with a double major in Urban Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE). She was one of the student founders of the Pan Asian American Community House (2000) and the first Asia Pacific Women's Leadership Initiative (2000-2001), Chair of the Asia Pacific Student Coalition (1999-2000), and Vice Chair of Community Affairs for APSC (1998-1999). During her senior year at Penn, Hoa was voted by the Class of 2001 and members of the Urban Studies faculty, respectively, to receive the R. Jean Brownlee Senior Honor Award and the Commitment to Social Change in the City Award. Hoa obtained her Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in International Political Economy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government where she received a full-tuition Presidential Scholarship and Public Interest Fellowship in 2008. She has extensive experience in the development, education, health, and human rights sectors in Southeast Asia - she currently works as an independent consultant and regional funding/strategic investment advisor.



Jamille Nagtalon-Ramos, C'03

Advanced Senior Lecturer and Associate Director                                 Women's Health Practioner Program at the School of Nursing


nagtalon@nursing.upenn.edu

Jamille is an Advanced Senior Lecturer and the Associate Director of the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Program at the School of Nursing. As a lecturer and clinical instructor at Penn for the past 11 years, her roles have allowed her to educate undergraduate nursing students and graduate student nurse practitioners and midwives in the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Program. As a Board Certified Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, she helped develop the Hospitalist Obstetric Nurse Practitioner role at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania upon graduation from Penn in 2003, and where she still currently practices one day a week. She is proud to be the faculty advisor of the Asian Pacific American Nursing Student Association (APANSA). She is currently a doctoral student in the Executive Doctorate Program in Higher Education Management at the Graduate School of Education at Penn researching the educational goals and professional aspirations of Filipino nurses in the U.S.


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Virgilio Aquino, CFA, C'07, WG'12


Assistant Investment Manager
North American Equities
Aberdeen Asset Management


virgilio.aquino@gmail.com

I have been deeply enmeshed within the PAACH community through various capacities for a good part of 10 years ever since arriving on campus as a freshman in 2003 and returning again in 2010 as a graduate student.  As an undergraduate, I frequented PAACH for the amalgam of resources they provided, which included not only the basic academic necessities, but also the venue for mingling with other APAs on campus, and more importantly, for receiving parental-like guidance from Kusum while away from home.  My interest in participating on the PAACH Board stems from my commitment to further its mission--that PAACH not only continue to provide the same resources I enjoyed as a young college student, but to also become a more prominent contributor to the broader network of resources that Penn offers to all constituents of the University's community.

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Natasha Menon C'20

namenon@sas.upenn.edu

I am a freshman studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in the College of Arts & Sciences. I was introduced to PAACH through the Asian Pacific American Leadership Initiative and the South Asian community on campus. I am incredibly excited to delve deeper into the PAACH community, and I view my role on the Board of Advisors as the best way to achieve that goal. I look forward to helping PAACH grow throughout my four years at Penn and giving back to a community that has been so welcoming and supportive.


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Juliann Zheng C'19

juliannz@wharton.upenn.edu

I'm a Junior in Wharton studying Operations & Marketing and OIDD. Ever since coming to Penn, I have received love and support from the PAACH community. I've been introduced to so many amazing people and organizations through PAACH and I see PAACH as a place to help me understand my API identity, a safe space, somewhere to meet new people, and last but not least, a home. Along with all the amazing people on board, I hope to help PAACH continue to grow and bring to others the same comfort that PAACH has given me.