We’re thrilled to announce this year’s CAAMbassadors for 2011-2012! Just in its second year, the CAAMbassador program proved a great success with its inaugural class, and it’s with much enthusiasm we present this year’s upcoming crew!
What is the CAAMbassador Program?
The CAAMbassador Program engages a small group of active folks in the Bay Area to represent the organization as year-round ambassadors. CAAMbassadors work on a project-basis, assisting with areas of outreach, research, distribution, guest relations, and events. Individuals are encouraged to use their geographical, professional and social networks to raise awareness about CAAM, attend relevant film and cultural events, and assist with CAAM event promotion and operations. For their services, CAAMbassadors receive a Festival Industry Pass and access to year-round membership screenings and events. They also receive the prestigious honor of being an official CAAMbassador, given a special role as a community leader and the opportunity to attend interesting events.
Shwetika Baijal is a 2009 graduate of the University Professors’ Program at Boston University where she created her own undergraduate degree program doing interdisciplinary research investigating the psychological and socio-cultural impact of globalization on identity politics in urban middle class Indian youth. She hopes to continue that research in academia, but in the meanwhile she is exploring her personal interests in film, digital media, and food, and hopes to continue collaborating with CAAM to engage Bay Area youth by developing programming at local schools and colleges. She also prays for the second coming of Napoleon Dynamite.
Roger Chung is a part-time faculty member in both the Ethnic Studies Department at Laney College of Oakland and the Asian American Studies Department at City College of San Francisco. He earned his MA and MPH at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was also awarded a free t-shirt for correctly identifying Dustin Nguyen’s 21 Jump Street character’s name at a special screening of Justin Lin’s Finishing the Game in San Francisco, CA.
Vivian Yi Huang is Campaign and Organizing Director for Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). APEN organizes API community members to advance an environmental, social, and economic justice agenda. Prior to working at APEN, Vivian spent seven years advocating for statewide policy, legislation, and budget funding for immigrants, communities of color, migrant farmworkers, and women. She was Director of Legislative Advocacy at Asian Americans for Civil Rights & Equality (the Sacramento office of Chinese for Affirmative Action, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and Asian Law Caucus) as well as Deputy Director of Policy at the California Primary Care Association (the statewide organization representing community health clinics). Vivian also worked on federal policy as a Presidential Management Fellow.
Being a free spirit, Vivian is often seeking out fun adventures, whether it is traveling to new parts of the globe, exploring other worlds through literature and film, eating the latest food truck concoctions, or dancing the night away. Some of her experiences have involved getting left behind at the Laos-China border, eating the leg of a fried tarantula, seeing a man walk his pet duck on a leash, and building a children’s play structure out of logs. She has also spent some time living abroad in Mexico, South Korea, and China.
Rinchen Lama, Advertising & Content Producer for Premier Retail Networks in San Francisco. A graduate of SF State with a BA in Broadcast Media, Rinchen Lama is a second generation Nepalese Tibetan American who has lived in and loved the San Francisco Bay Area her entire life. In 2005, she produced the documentary short Salao do Encontro, about an organization dedicated to providing hope to children and families living in the Brazilian town of Belo Horizonte. Currently working in Advertising, Rinchen is also a prolific blogger and contributor to Workshop SF, a local D.I.Y. craft group. Recently, she has been collaborating with her sister on a feature film that examines the dynamics of hetero- and homosexual lifestyles and relationships and explores the struggles of growing up Asian American.
Mike Hoa Nguyen graduated from U.C. Berkeley where he Majored in American Studies and Minored in Asian American Studies. His interest in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) films came when he took an Asian American Studies film class where a CAAM employee (Taro Goto) spoke at his class. Since then, he has not missed a SFIAAFF. In his professional life, Mike is Congressman Mike Honda’s Deputy District Director, where he covers a large variety of policy areas. Mike also serves on the City of San Jose’s Library Commission and is a founding member of the Bay Area Asian Pacific American Legislative Staffers (BAAPALS).
Jason Nou“I always thought my only talent was storytelling, so I decided to pursue film. I earned my degree from UC Santa Cruz where I also learned that I was Asian American! This led to new connections with the broader Asian Pacific American communities. I currently work at Stanford University. On the side, I make short films and I enjoy supporting the arts and APA events. I am also the Outreach Coordinator for Nakayoshi, a young professionals group. It’s truly an honor to be working with CAAM in this capacity and I look forward to future engagements with the community. ”
Terry Park is a Korean American activist and doctoral candidate in the Cultural Studies Graduate Group at UC Davis. He has taught courses in Asian American media, history, and theater at UC Davis, Hunter College, and San Quentin State Prison. As a former performance artist, his off-Broadway solo show, 38th Parallels, premiered in New York City with the Pan Asian Repertory Theater. He currently serves on the advisory board of EarSay, a nonprofit arts organization based in Queens that highlights the stories of immigrants and new refugees. In the Bay Area, he is active with HOBAK (Hella Organized Bay Area Koreans). Terry grew up mostly in Utah which he realizes is kind of weird, and is a die-hard Utah Jazz fan.
Nisha Thapa is the founder and the president of Sahayeta.org, which provides free primary health care services to uninsured Himalayan communities in the Bay Area. She is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and currently works at Alliance Medical Group and Alameda County Medical Center. She has been recognized by California Senate and California Congressional district for her outstanding work at Davis Street Family Resource Center. She is one of the key members for U.S Nepali Disaster Preparedness Task Force. Nisha is dedicated to working in public health arena locally and globally.
Want more info on CAAMbassadors? Contact christine [at] caamedia [dot] org