About Us

The Pan-Asian American Community House is a hub of academic, personal, and professional growth for University of Pennsylvania students interested in Asian American culture and the Asian American Diaspora. Through advising, leadership development, advocacy, social and cultural programming we expand student access to the University’s resources.

  • As a center with an educational mission, PAACH works with its academic partner, Penn’s Asian American Studies (ASAM) Program, to provide co-curricular events focusing on Asian American research, culture, history, politics and social issues.
  • As a community center, PAACH develops and implements innovative programs for leadership development and community service in close collaboration with student and community groups.
  • In addition to advocacy for students (undergraduate, graduate and professional), PAACH also strives to partner and collaborate with Asian American and Pacific Islander alumni, staff, and faculty.

The center is open to all members of the University of Pennsylvania and the surrounding community who have an interest in issues relevant to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Contact Us

3601 Locust Walk, Suite G22
ARCH Building
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6224 

Hours
Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Our Team

Cindy Au Kramer stands outdoors on Penn's campus
Cindy Au-Kramer (she/her/hers)
Finance, Operations, & Program Coordinator

After completing her BS in Accounting/Geography (SUNY Albany) and MBA (NYU Stern School of Business), Cindy has worked in finance for over 15 years, as a CPA, Investment Bank Controller, Big Four systems implementation consultant and more recently as a healthcare system finance professional. Last year, she took a honest look at what she really wanted out of life and what kind of impact she wanted to make – to join the Penn community and to help students access campus services. She reached out to AppleOne, a temp agency, and was matched with PAACH!!! Now, Cindy supports students and provides financial and operational support for PAACH’s many initiatives/programs. In her spare time, Cindy indulges her love of book art by teaching bookbinding in the local community, builds online communities, and creates fun experiences for her tween/teen children.

Summer Interns

Image from iOS
Yan Chen (she/her/hers)
Intern

Hi, I'm a second-year-graduate student at the Graduate School of Education here at Penn, nice to meet you. I'm also on Penn Equestrian team, big on acrylic painting and would go crazy for double smoked sandwiches.

Chang Go stands outside on Locust Walk
Chang Gao (she/her/hers)
Intern

Hi, my name is Chang Gao, a graduate student at the Graduate School of Education. I am doing a double major in Intercultural Communication and International Education development and have strong interests in gender equality, Asian American rights, and civic engagement. In my free time, I like to read, watch shows, and try different foods. I am working as a summer intern at the PAACH center, and I look forward to building connections with you!

Kundan Roy outdoors in front of city lights
Kundan Roy (he/him/his)
Intern

Hey, my name is Kundan and I’m an intern at PAACH. I recently just graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors in Marketing. I'll soon start my full time job at Thomas Jefferson University as a Grants Administrator. I love basketball, music, and photography. I am happy to connect with anyone in need of advice or that just wants to talk.

Academic Year Interns

Kristie To outdoors by the ocean
Kristie To (she/her/hers)
Intern

Kristie To is 16 years old and is a junior at Northwood High School in Irvine, California. She is very grateful to be serving PAACH as an intern where her work is specifically focused in developing marketing strategies for the team and advancing the Asian Americans Unfiltered podcast. In her free time, she enjoys working on her nonprofit organization, Hearts Against Hate, playing piano and percussion, and pursuing her passions of youth empowerment, advocacy, and advancing racial equality!

Kaitlyn Francisco
Kaitlyn Francisco (she/her/hers)
Intern

I am a sophomore from New Jersey in the School of Nursing, aiming to be a pediatric oncology nurse with the end goal of becoming a nurse practitioner! During my time as a PAACH intern, I want to support Asian-Americans in their fight against racism and the model minority myth. I hope to make PAACH a safe and comforting space for all to spend time in. Feel free to stop by and chat with me (or challenge me to a game of Super Smash Bros – up to you)!

Jessica Sui
Jessica Sui (she/her/hers)
Intern

I am a junior studying Mechanical Engineering from Winnipeg, Canada. Aside from being a PAACH intern, I am also involved in Spice Collective, which means I am very passionate about my Asian identity and how it intersects with other aspects of myself. Even though I am studying engineering, I am also very interested in learning about history, anthropology, social impact, education, and more! I love PAACH as a space to de-stress, grab some snacks, and find community; I hope everyone has a chance to come visit and chat with us at some point!

Sakshi Lende outdoors
Sakshi Lende (she/her/hers)
Intern

Hi! I’m a first year student from New Jersey studying Mechanical Engineering in SEAS. I love meeting and collaborating with new people, and I’m interested in learning more about different cultures and backgrounds. In my free time, I enjoy reading and listening to music. I’m excited to be part of this community, and I look forward to seeing everyone at PAACH!

Board of Advisors

Dr. Ann Tiao
Dr. Ann Tiao Lecturer, Graduate School of Education University of Pennsylvania
I have been teaching at Penn GSE for over 11 years and recently taught Diversity in Higher Education and Contemporary Issues in Higher Education. Over my career, I have worked in numerous fields including high tech, engineering, statistics, and higher education. Currently, I’m the Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Education at Rowan University in South Jersey. As a second generation Asian American, I have studied and researched issues concerning AAPIs in higher education. Students affiliated with PAACH really helped me while I was gathering data for my dissertation. I’m delighted to have an opportunity to give back to PAACH and to support its mission by joining the Advisory Board.
Deven M. Patel, Ph.D.
Deven M. Patel, Ph.D. Asst. Professor, South Asia Studies University of Pennsylvania
As a professor of South Asia Studies who works on South Asian cultures in history, I am also committed to forging links with contemporary South Asians and contemporary South Asian-Americans with my work. I have also taught Asian history and religion (covering the cultures of China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia) and so I have a deep interest in working with students whose heritage is linked with these places. I hope to serve PAACH by providing support to students and alumni in terms of an academic perspective to Asian cultures’ connections with contemporary America.
Rashmi Kumar, Ed.D
Rashmi Kumar, Ed.D. STEM Learning Instructor Weingarten Learning Resources Center Lecturer, Graduate School of Education University of Pennsylvania
I specialize in STEM Learning and research learning environments anchored in emerging technologies. Currently, I am working on identifying the tools, technologies, and strategies that generate measurable impact in different fields of science, technology, and engineering across individual learning styles. I am excited to join the advisory board of PAACH and hope to further its organizational goals by solidifying participation and success of Asian American students, particularly in STEM fields; supporting group initiatives with Penn colleagues and external networks; and raising attention to the contributions and efforts of PAACH.
Eugena Oh, C’03
Eugena Oh, C’03 Interim Executive Director “I Have A Dream” Foundation
Eugena joined the “I Have A Dream” Foundation (IHDF) in November 2011 and currently serves as Interim Executive Director. IHDF’s mission is to provide long-term support to help children living in under-resourced communities achieve their full potential by promoting personal empowerment, postsecondary success, and financial support for postsecondary education. Eugena also serves as IHDF’s Legal Counsel. Prior to joining “I Have A Dream,” Eugena practiced commercial and products liability law, and served in development, strategy, and operations roles within several non-profit organizations, including Teach For America – New York City, Rock The Vote, and Washington State Court Appointed Special Advocates. Eugena received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and her J.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Outside of work, Eugena serves as a Board Member of the Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA), and is an active alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, serving on the Board of Advisers for PAACH (Pan-Asian American Community House) and on the alumni applicant interview committee.
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Michael Mariano, W’00, MUSA’09 Senior Economist & Director of Geospatial Analytics Oxford Economics / Tourism Economics
I was a member of the original student coalition that helped start PAACH in 2000 and served on the PAACH Advisory Board as a grad student in 2007. I am serving on the current Board of Advisors because I believe it is a pivotal and exciting time for PAACH and hope that the Board of Advisors can help bring PAACH to whole new levels. I hope to be able to draw upon my past experience with non-profits, past involvement with Upenn (as an undergrad, grad student, and as an alum working on alumni programming & fundraising), professional experience, and alumni networking to bring a unique perspective to the Board of Advisors.
Min Derry
Min Derry Learning Instructor, Weingarten Learning Resources Center
Min Derry is a graduate from the School District of Philadelphia. She was born in South Korea, spent her entire childhood in Brazil, and completed high school in Philadelphia as an ESOL student and immigrant. She is presently a doctoral candidate in the Reading, Writing and Literacy Program of the Literacy, Culture and International Education Division at Penn’s Graduate School of Education. Her research interests include critical literacy, practitioner research, culturally responsive pedagogy and intersectional research methodology. She has served as teaching assistant for the GSE courses: Multicultural Issues in Education, Advanced Fieldwork Seminar: Practitioner Research, and Assessing Language and Learning Differences. For her research fellowship, she serves as a Learning Fellow at the Office of Learning Resources of the Weingarten Learning Resources Center. As Learning Instructor, she works collaboratively and in co-inquiry with Penn students, including undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, professional and executive students. She provides individualized, in-person and online walk-in sessions, consultations, and facilitates a variety of academic wellness workshops across disciplines. Min is a parent to two young children.

History

In the fall of 1999, an ad hoc committee of the 1999-2000 Asian Pacific Student Coalition board launched a campus-wide campaign for a Pan-Asian American resource center. The SPEAKOUT! Rally was organized to gain support and publicity for this initiative. Petitions were also circulated to push for the creation of this resource center.

On November 15th, 1999 a large group of students demanded a meeting with then President, Dr. Judith Rodin. A declaration from APSC and constituent groups, campus groups, and coalitions was presented for the need of the APA resource center.

A preliminary PAACH proposal was submitted to the University President on November 24. In February, student, staff, and faculty supporters met with the President to discuss the implementation of the proposal. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Office of the President committed to the establishment of the Pan Asian American Community House at Penn.

The Grand Opening of PAACH was on November 11th, 2000 – only a year after the SPEAKOUT! Rally, and PAACH signature programs soon followed.

  • Planning for the Asian Pacific American Leadership Initiative started in the spring of 2001, with the first class assembled for Fall 2001.
  • The Promoting Enriching Experiences & Relationships (PEER) Mentoring Program was developed in 2002 to meet the needs of incoming APIA students.
  • The first Conference for Achievement Through Asian Pacific Undergraduate Leadership Training (CATAPULT) retreat was organized as a collaborative project between PAACH and the Asian Pacific Student Coalition in April 2003.
  • The Asian Students Promoting Identity, Reflection, and Education (ASPIRE) high school outreach program, formerly Asian Pacific Americans Tackling Identity Through Education (APA-TITE), began as an informal collaboration between PAACH and Central Philadelphia High School. The program was refocused in 2008 to be more student-driven and led.
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, established in 1993, celebrated its 20th heritage week in 2012 with the theme “20/20 Vision”.
  • The Asian American Mentoring Program (AAMP) was started in 2012 to provide opportunities for graduate students to engage with the undergraduate community. AAMP has produced programs such as the South Asian Men’s Circle, South Asian Women’s Circle, and the Chinese Student Support Network.

In an effort to strengthen its ties with the graduate student community, PAACH developed the Asian American Mentoring Program (AAMP) in 2012. As a result of this program, PAACH piloted the South Asian Men’s Circle, the South Asian Women’s Circle, and the Chinese Student Support Network (CSSN).

The ARCH Building began a complete 18-month long renovation in May 2012 thanks to an anonymous donation. During the renovation period, all three ARCH cultural resource centers were relocated to Houston Hall, with collaborative programming supported by funding from the President’s Office. PAACH, Makuu, and La Casa Latina moved back into new ARCH spaces in December 2013.