Welcome to our 2019-2020 APASA Interns!

Welcome to our 2019-2020 APASA Interns!

This past Saturday, APASA had its first outing as a complete executive board + interns! We all took the metro out to Santa Monica for a few fun icebreakers, a chance to learn more about one another, and some GOOD FOOD :)

reTreat of Champions 2019

reTreat of Champions 2019

Historically, APASA’s Tournament of Champions event was a field day that let the member organizations get to know each other better through friendly competition. This year, however, my co-chair Kimberly Phung and I decided we wanted to promote more intentional interaction (as well as to avoid the LA heat), and structured TOC as a reTreat of Champions!

APA Leaders 2019: Matt Weisbly

APA Leaders 2019: Matt Weisbly

APASA is excited to announce one of our APA leaders, Matt Weisbly! Matt has been involved in USC Nikkei Student Union, MixedSC, and APASS.

Read more about Matt and his impact on the APA community in his interview below!

Dispelling the Asian Minority Myth

Dispelling the Asian Minority Myth

Because of the large scale scope and influence news sources had on society, it can be said that the portrayal of the ‘model minority’ became accepted by the general population. However, it is because of the historical impact of this myth that society’s view of an entire diverse demographic is severely flawed.

Intern Spotlight: Sarah Johnson

Intern Spotlight: Sarah Johnson

Name: Sarah Kimiko Johnson

Class: Freshmen

Major: Psychology

Minor: Consumer Behavior and Marketing

Hometown: Pasadena, CA

Ethnicity: Japanese and white

I joined APASA to have the opportunity to impact and directly connect with the APA community at USC. There are so many diverse cultures within the APA community and APASA allows APAs to bring all of our backgrounds and stories to one collective space. APASA also provides a platform for meaningful discussion of APA events and issues, which we then can apply to the USC community. Through APASA, I can share my perspective on APA issues as a Japanese-American and as a hapa. I am excited to continue to connect with, influence, and impact the APA community at USC.

Aside from APASA, I am involved with Intervarsity, which is a Christian fellowship group. I am a member of the women's’ club basketball team and we play other colleges in the area and I am also a member of Nikkei club. Lastly, I tutor fifth graders twice a week at Vermont Elementary through JEP. I want to declare a double minor in Consumer Behavior and either Marketing or Business to combine with my psychology major.

Some other things I love are: my family, especially my brother and 3 young cousins, my friends, boba, shopping, baking, Disney and TSUM TSUMS!


Impostor Syndrome, as experienced by a Female Student of Color

Impostor Syndrome, as experienced by a Female Student of Color

Since my sophomore year, I have had impostor syndrome, a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud (Wiki). I often suffered in silence and never told a soul about my feelings, as I didn’t want to risk anyone confirming my suspicions. Looking at the situation retrospectively, I think I also didn’t want to admit to myself that I couldn’t be the student I envisioned myself to be. I was stuck in an unfortunate situation in which my racial and gender identity simultaneously imposed the Model Minority myth and impostorism on me.

Cultural Art Expo 2018

Cultural Art Expo 2018

Recently, APASA along with nine other assemblies and committees successfully hosted Cultural Art Expo: Strength in Struggle. From embroidery to reusable bag decorating, students and art connoisseurs alike lined up to appreciate work from artists and performers of color. Not to mention, there was a beautiful layout of vegan food, Dulce donuts, and mocktails courtesy of our very own APASA e-boarders.

Intern Spotlight: Lily Perry

Intern Spotlight: Lily Perry

Name: Lily Perry

Year: Freshman

Major: Computer Science

Hometown: Kailua, Hawai’i

Ethnicity/Nationality: Chinese and white

Why I joined APASA: I joined APASA because I wanted to make a difference in a USC community that I care about and learn more about the ways being Asian shapes the American experience in mainland USA. I have grown to realize that many people have different experiences as Asian Americans depending on the communities where they come from. I went to a high school with 60% Asian, 8% Pacific Islander, and 15% mixed race demographics, so growing up, I never thought of people from APA backgrounds as minorities. Coming to USC, I realized that most APA students come from hometown communities very different from my own and that causes others to view their APA heritage in a different way from me. APASA educates students about APA issues and accurate APA representation to help fight APA stereotypes and share APA culture throughout the USC community. APASA helps me learn about the ways other APA students view their APA heritage and how their hometowns and outside communities have shaped that image.


Hobbies: hiking; reading sci-fi, dystopia, and mystery novels; finding new places to eat good food; shopping with friends; Netflix

Other Involvement: Volunteer Center (Special Events Intern), Hawai’i Club (E-Boarder), Klein Institute for Undergraduate Engineering Life (Freshman Officer), Society of Women Engineers (Ambassador)

Fun fact: I was expelled from preschool before the end of the first day.

APASA Night Market 2018

APASA Night Market 2018

Lights, strung out from one end of the McCarthy Quad to the other, bathed me in their warm glow as I hurried in carrying a box full of walkie-talkies and prize mugs. The quad was in shadow in the wake of the sun’s descent — now was the frantic hour we had to set up before Night Market began, and we had much to do. The tents were bare, the sponsors yet to arrive, and we had to tape up posters, set up booths, and bring out all the food and drinks we needed.

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You didn’t have to see the food coming in — you could smell it, flavors steaming out from beneath the heavy foil lids of the containers they were enclosed in. Beneath the canopy of one of our main tents, we had a delicious range of cuisines represented: the savory heartiness of Hawaiian food, the aromatic and richly spiced layers of Indian food, the aromatic wok-grilled intricacies of Thai food, and off to the side, Poke — its light and delicate fusions of flavor offering a welcome contrast to the rest of the night’s selection. After set-up was done, I got to snatch a plate full of everything pretty early on, and dug into that as the people started filtering in.

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With the rising hubbub in the plaza as more and more people started coming in, and the performances introduced by our distinguished MCs Gabriel Chen and Aaron Ly began, I could start to feel the night market magic I had experienced before in the crowded streets of Taiwan, infused with a new and profound sense of diversity that made the experience feel like something truly USC. Manning the check-in booth for the rest of the night, I saw the faces of people of all different kinds, each as eager as the next to tap into cultures familiar and unfamiliar. I think it’s safe to assume that they found what they were looking for. With performances ranging from Bhangra to Taiko, activities from Filipino tinikling to origami to good old ring toss, and a whole TON of boba, how could you possibly not?

Intern Spotlight: Bethany Lum

Intern Spotlight: Bethany Lum

Name: Bethany Lum

Year: Freshman

Major: Biological Sciences

Hometown: Fresno, CA (14 years), Honolulu, HI (4 years)

Ethnicity/Nationality: Chinese American

Why you joined APASA: To learn more about the APA community and develop my professional skills


I am currently a member of Hawaii club and Intervarsity. I am also a youth advisor at Faith UMC in Torrance. I declared a minor in East Asian Area Studies and hope to study abroad in Japan for a Maymester in 2020. I’m a musical theater kid at heart and LOVE Broadway showtunes! Other things I love: family & friends, movies, travelling, ice cream, and Disneyland!! (Best ice cream: Circus Animal flavor from Thrifty’s)