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Dear all, 

Congratulations to the Class of 2024! We wish all our graduates the very best and hope you will stay in touch. This was the first class of Carolina students who experienced having an Asian American Center all four years of their college education. 

Despite the joy of Commencement, the beginning and end of this academic year were difficult and painful for our campus. We hope that you will continue to come speak with us, hold conversation and build community on the lawn. We are also working hard on how to take up many pressing questions in our programming next year.  

This year, we continued to build the AAC’s infrastructure behind the scenes while also working to expand our campus offerings. We piloted a student grant program and were honored to fund such an impressive array of work from Danny Paul Allen, Malak Dridi, Ethan Kim, Sophie Tô, Carson Watlington, and Joanna Yeh. To share their work, we hosted the AAC’s first Arts & Research Showcase in April, also featuring Honors thesis students Bashi Hariharan and Ning Soong and graduate student Leah Woehr. We held our first collaborative event with student organization Kasama, a screening of a Filipinx health disparities webinar with commentary from Gillings professor Dr. Minzhi Xing. Student work from Southern Mix, the oral history project that we co-lead, is circulating around campus and the state in our first physical exhibit, and we expanded our NC community engagement by hosting local communities at our events and taking our spring Fellow, political scientist Dr. Janelle Wong, to speak at a Cary high school. 

We also bade a fond farewell at the end of last summer to Dr. Krupal Amin, the AAC’s first associate director, who’s gone on to well-deserved new opportunities at the Graduate School, and welcomed Dr. Kevin Kim to the role in January. He has hit the ground running, and we are delighted to have him on the team! 

As we look forward to next year, in addition to programming around needs and interests, we’re currently strategizing how to expand our support for Southern Mix, which has been enduringly popular with students and the community. UNC students, we hear your wishes for more ways to engage with the AAC, and we’ll be working this summer to solicit your feedback on new student structures and projects at the AAC—please share your thoughts so we can find the most impactful new pathways! We look forward to another year of growth for the Asian American Center next year as we come up on—unbelievably—our fifth anniversary. 

Best wishes, 

Heidi Kim