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Proud to announce the 2022-2023 cohort of the AAC Fellows, who will engage our campus in large and small critical conversations about their research and art. Christina Lai, Ina Liu & Dr. April Manalang, we look forward to learning from you!



Christina Lai

From Plantation, Florida, Christina Lai finds passion in all fields of music teaching and collaboration. Seeking to bring diverse repertoire to audiences in local communities, Christina has collaborated with her chamber ensembles to focus on supporting works written by female composers. Through collaborations with composers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Missy Mazzoli, and Liliya Ugay, Christina has brought their music to parts across the state of Florida. She has taught for Western Kentucky University, Florida State University, University of North Florida, Aspen Music Festival and School’s Passes and Lessons Scholarship Program, DC Strings Workshop, Good Sam Arts, and UNC’s Musical Empowerment. Christina is also a co-founder and Executive Director of Chamber Music Festanza, a unique chamber music intensive designed with fluidity between rehearsal and coachings and emphases on building comradery and artistry.


Ina Liu

Ina Liu is a self-taught artist specializing in graphic design and multimedia visual arts. Passionate about leveraging art for advocacy and equity, she has worked on key projects with various social justice organizations such as the National Association of Asian American Professionals and the National Virus Hepatitis Roundtable. She was the selected winner for the World Health Organization design competition and helped design public awareness campaigns for reducing COVID-19 transmission.


Dr. Aprilfaye Manalang

Aprilfaye Manalang is an Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Norfolk State University, a Historically Black College/University in Virginia. She trained in the Social Sciences (University of Chicago, MA) and the Humanities (Bowling Green State University, PhD) and ranked as a top 10 finalist for the National Hiett Prize in the Humanities, an “annual award aimed at identifying candidates who are in the early stages of careers devoted to the humanities and whose work shows extraordinary promise and has a significant public component related to contemporary culture.” A Georg-Bollenbeck (University of Siegen) and Virginia Humanities fellow, Manalang secured the internationally competitive Early Career Award from the John Templeton Foundation for her ongoing project “Minority Millennials and the Rise of ‘Religious Nones: A Comparative Analysis:’”


Most recently, the Religion, Race, and Democracy Project, University of Virginia, appointed her as a fellow for her current project, “Catholicism and Filipino Americans: Why and How it Matters in the Age of COVID and Anti-Asian Hate.” In 2019, Manalang won the Teaching Faculty Excellence Award, which “recognizes a member of the Teaching Faculty that has advanced the university’s mission through outstanding teaching, research, and community service.” Her research interests include: Immigration; Postcolonialism, Transnationalism; Diaspora; Sociology of Religion; Citizenship; Race/Ethnicity.​