The People Behind PAACH

PAACH Staff

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Peter Van Do

Director | pvan@upenn.edu

Peter Van Do is the Director for the Pan-Asian American Community House (resource center) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn).  As a UniversityAdministrator, he works with a community of Asian American and Pacific Islander undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni, allies, and local community members to discuss overall community development solutions while overseeing programs and initiatives that expands, empowers, and educates issues concerning identity, race, and racism at Penn.  He specializes in:Community Outreach; Organizational and Program Development; Event Planning; and Student Affairs (Mentorship, Diversity Training, Strategic Planning, Leadershipand Team Building, Fundraising). He has worked in higher education for about 10 years at institutions like Harvard, Cornell, and now, Penn.

Peter has a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in History (minor in Asian American Studies) atthe University of Maryland, has a Master's of Arts Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, and is pursuing a Master's of Arts Degree in Asian Studies from Cornell University.  Peter's primary research areas include the modern colonial history of Vietnam, Vietnam War/South Vietnamese veteran experience, and Vietnamese American immigration story. Other intellectual interests follow the topic of race, class, gender, social citizenship, psychological oppression, and popular culture.  Peter has taught in Asian American Studies at Temple University.  Peter will also begin teaching in Asian American Studies at Penn in Spring 2017.


In his spare time, he dedicates time to help non-profit organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area. He serves on a Tri-Chair of the Asian Mosaic Fund Giving Circle, a diverse group of multi-generational donors committed to advancing the well-beings of the Greater Philadelphia Asian Community. He is also an Advisory Board Member of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia.



Peter was born and raised in Connecticut, and is a descendent of Vietnamese refugee "boat people." Peter enjoys dining out, festivals, karaoke, traveling, and making positive and meaningful connections.


Viraj Patel

Viraj Patel

Associate Director | pviraj@upenn.edu

Viraj Patel is a social justice advocate, educator, and dialogue facilitator as well as an active blogger, consultant, and engaged community member. Born and raised in Downers Grove, IL. Viraj completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in English with a minor in Asian American Studies where her two senior theses focused on ethnic identity development of South Asian American students in competitive performance groups and media narratives around so-called "honor" killings in the United States, respectively. As an undergraduate student, she was involved with the Indian Students Association, multicultural intergroup dialogue programs, AAPI coalition-building organizations, and interned for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and OCA National, an organization committed to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans. She then earned her Master of Education at the University of Vermont, where her comprehensive exam thesis focused on the intersections of horizontal oppression and allyship around race and went on to work in student affairs at Georgetown and The George Washington University. Viraj has also served on a Board for the DC Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum as well as the Board of Directors for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership. In her free time, Viraj is probably watching the latest Bollywood movie, dancing, running, checking out an exhibit at a museum, or reading at a coffee shop.

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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. 


Annie Batsaikhan

Graphic Design & Marketing Assistant | bannie@sas.upenn.edu

Annie is junior from Aurora, Colorado. She is currently planning to major in Communications and minor in Consumer Psychology. She loves to spend her free time either watching reality TV shows or exploring center city. Annie is an active advocate for social issues such as immigration and mental health. She is involved in Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children, Penn Fashion Collective and is a proud member of SK. One day she hopes that the app Vine will make a comeback. 

Mokyoung Kim

Graphic Design & Marketing Assistant  | mgkim@nursing.upenn.edu

Mokyoung is a freshman from Maryland and is currently studying in the School of Nursing. She is passionate about health care issues and hopes to supplement her Nursing curriculum with studies in health care policy. Outside of her academics, she is involved with the Full Measure Christian A Capella group and Renewal College Fellowship. In her free time, she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee with friends, hiking on wooded trails, and traveling to new places. She also loves exploring new cultures and trying out exotic foods.


Bing Liang

Office Assistant | bing13@sas.upenn.edu

Bing is a freshman from New York City and is thinking about pursuing a potential degree in biology, or at least something in STEM. Outside of the classroom, she interested in different forms of social activism and community service towards minority and low-income groups. On her free time she likes to sketch and play guitar. She also enjoy boxing, running and exploring different neighborhoods. Lastly, Bing loves watching korean drama and Netflix.



Mohammad Rouf

Campus Relation and Programming Assistant | mrouf@sas.upenn.edu

Mohammad is a freshman in the College. He is studying biology and wants to study under the pre-dental track. He is a Bengali-American practicing Muslim who has been living in west Philadelphia since he was 8. He likes to spend time with his family especially his sister, learn about different cultures, eat spicy food, listen to music and sleep. He started to learn a dance called Bhangra, which is a south Asian styled dancing. He is very curious and passionate to meet new people and learn about their culture and backgrounds.