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.
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.
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:
Serve as liaisons between the AAPI FSA and the FSA Council.
Som Mongtin, Assistant Director, Margaret Sloss Women's Center
Harrison W. Inefuku, Digital Repository Coordinator, University Library
Social Action Chair
Work with University Administration to determine appropriate courses of action to address identified concerns of the AAPI FSA constituency.
Der Vang, Multicultural Liaison Officer, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Events/Social Networking Chair
Coordinates events designed to cultivate social networks.
Patti Poblete, Assistant Director, Writing and Media Center
Professional Development Chair
Provides programs and/or resources to support AAPI faculty and staff in promoting lifelong learning.
Manali Sheth, Assistant Professor, School of Education