Introduction and Founding

Essay by Som Mongtin

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Association supports Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander faculty and staff by sustaining a visible and supportive AAPI community, engaging in professional and social networking, and supporting leadership and career development and advancement.


Members of the AAPI FSA at Szechuan House for the fall 2017 semester social.

How it started

The idea of an Asian American and Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Association (AAPI FSA) was initiated in 2013 at the LGBT Student Services Center's Lavender Graduation Reception. During the program, an Asian American student identified Som Mongtin as a person who made a significant impact on her time at Iowa State. After hearing similar testimonials from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students at various events, Associate Provost for Faculty Dr. Dawn Bratsch-Prince approached Som and said, “You’ve supported a lot of students at Iowa State. How are you being supported?”

It took a year for Som to reflect on the question. Finally, in July 2014, Som reached out to Dr. Bratsch-Prince to Dr. Bratsch-Prince then invited Som to the Faculty and Staff Association Council Meeting on July 9, 2014 where she learned about the various purposes of the different faculty and staff associations. 


Flyer promoting the AAPI FSA's first social.

First social

Som recognized the need for a community of Asian American faculty and staff to gather, converse, and connect. She worked with the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and nicci port, Chair of the Faculty and Staff Affinity Groups, to host a social gathering to gauge interest in a new FSA.

Light refreshments were served at the first AAPI FSA Social on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 in the Gold Room of the Memorial Union. The social was an informal gathering that included a discussion on what faculty and staff were looking for in an Association. Major  themes included: socials, professional development, advocacy, and community. The identified themes helped shape the first leadership team and their responsibilities.

First leadership team

The first leadership team consisted of:

Introduction and Founding