Student Spotlight: Class of 2023

2023 Asian American Studies minors standing on balcony
Class of 2023 Asian American Studies Minors and Faculty Josh Baldo Photography

Asian American Studies Resource Center Employees

Robin Kim – Food Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Sooyeon Kim – Food Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Asian American Studies Minors


Anthony Chen – Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences
Becky Han – Information Science, College of Arts and Sciences
Amanda Yingqi He – Information Science, College of Arts and Sciences
Alyssa Kamath* – Government and Migration Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
Alexandria Haejin Kim** – Government, College of Arts and Sciences
Ki Hwan Kwon – Government, College of Arts and Sciences
Charlotte Yi-Lan Lee – Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
Jerry Miao – Computer Science, College of Arts and Sciences
Pearl E. Ngai – Industrial and Labor Relations, Industrial and Labor Relations School
Kazuma Coyle Maeshiro Parkinson – Statistical Science, College of Arts and Sciences
Alexa Winifred Siok Hee Wong – Biology & Society, College of Arts and Sciences
Madison S. Woo – Finance, Nolan School of Hotel Administration, SC Johnson College of Business


Winniebell Xinyu Zong*** – Creative Writing, College of Arts and Sciences

* College Scholar
** Clyde A. Duniway and Sherman-Bennett Prizes, Government
*** David L. Picket '84 Summer Fellowship in Creative Writing

Selections from Minor Student Bios and Reflections

a person with long hair smiling
Alyssa Kamath '23

“The AAS minor has provided me with an academic framework to better grapple with my own Desi identity. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn about the rich history of Asian Americans in the U.S., racial solidarity, and grassroot resistance against colonial power structures. I know that the perspectives and concepts I have come across in my Asian American studies classes will continue to inform how I see and interact with the world around me.”

Alyssa Kamath (Government and Migration Studies, College of Arts and Sciences) graduated through the College Scholar Program. Alyssa is very interested in migrant justice advocacy and hopes to become more involved in movement and community organizing after graduation. She loves reading about abolitionist theories and practices and spends most of her free time with her chosen family here on campus. 


a person with long hair smiling
Robin Kim '23

“I’ve worked at the AASP as an administrative assistant for three years. During my time here, I’ve met beautiful people, created connections stronger than Toe’s toes, and felt the love of a community that I will remember for a lifetime. During my freshman year, Eunnuri (as a senior) introduced me to the job—outlining all the things that she loved about the AASP and Alexis Boyce (the world’s best manager and boss). I was HOOKED and was lucky enough to land a job. Little did I know ... I am grateful for all the time I’ve spent on the fourth floor of Rockefeller Hall. Thank you for the amazing food, the conversations that have broken my sense of reality, but most importantly, thank you for letting me be me. Thank you for embracing the madness. Thank you for providing such a welcoming atmosphere. I will miss each and every one of you.”

Robin Kim (Food Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) graduated with a business minor. She is motivated by food and interested in how novel technologies can be used to create tasty and nutritious products! She will be working in product development for Campbell’s Soup Company’s snack division. Outside of absolutely killing it in the food industry, Robin enjoys playing basketball and laying horizontally.


a person with long hair smiling
Charlotte Lee '23

“I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to take courses with and interact with the Asian American Studies Program. I have met the most amazing people here, from fellow undergrad students to professors, and I’ve gained so much knowledge and perspective from all of them. I’m an engineer, but I can say without a doubt that my favorite courses that I’ve taken during my four years at Cornell have been AAS courses. Minoring in Asian American studies has been incredibly enriching and fulfilling, and I can’t wait to take with me all that I’ve learned in the AAS minor as I navigate the next phase of my life. Thank you, AASP!” 

Charlotte Yi-Lan Lee (Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering) is from South Setauket, NY. In addition to the Asian American studies minor, she graduated with a minor in biomedical engineering. On campus, Charlotte was involved in the Society of Women Engineers and Engineering Peer Advising and is also an avid rock climber and runner! She will be entering a PhD program in Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University.


a person with glasses smiling in front of high rise buildings
Kazuma Parkinson '23

“Pursuing the AAS Minor has been a highlight of my Cornell experience. I am thankful for the classes I took with Dr. Chang, Dr. Hu Pegues, and Dr. Munasinghe. They brought passion and deep knowledge to the classroom, encouraging me to think critically by applying more historical and contextual perspectives. I enjoyed attending events like the AASP 35th Anniversary, which gave me a greater appreciation for the importance of Asian American studies. Thanks to AASP, I have become more interested in my own identity and becoming involved in and being an advocate for Japanese American and Asian American communities.” 

Kazuma Coyle Maeshiro Parkinson (Statistical Science, College of Arts and Sciences) graduated with minors in Asian American studies, American studies, and inequality studies. He is from Pittsburgh, PA and is passionate about social determinants of health. He will teach English in Japan for five weeks before he moves to Washington D.C. to work as a government & public services analyst at Deloitte. Kazuma likes to play tennis and is looking forward to exploring new hobbies. He plans on increasing his involvement with the Japanese American Citizens League when in the D.C. area. 


a person gazing into the distance with water in the background
Winniebell Xinyu Zong '23

“I have studied in the US for 9 years in 3 institutions. It was only in AASP that I found Asian American literature courses taught by Asian American faculty. I was parched, not realizing the expanse of my education’s lack. When I first took a course with Dr. Juliana Hu Pegues, it was as if I was under a new sky. I had never studied AA literature in a room full of faces like me. I did not feel the need to justify myself. I dove into the beauty of lyricism and history and felt a part of me and my scholarship emerge, now that it was safe and seen.”

Born and raised in Zibo, China, Winniebell Xinyu Zong (Creative Writing, College of Arts and Sciences) is a poet and chapbook editor at Newfound Press. Her recent poems have appeared in POETRYswamp pinkThe Southern Review, and CHERRY MOON: Emerging Voices from the Asian Diaspora, among others. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New PoetsBest of Net, and AWP’s Intro Journals Project, Zong was the 2020 poetry winner of Columbia Journal’s “Womxn’s History Month Special Issue,” a semi-finalist for the 2022 92NY Discovery Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the Palette Poetry 2022 Emerging Poets Prize. She is proud to be one of the first recipients of the AASP graduate minor at Cornell and will defend her MFA thesis in poetry this summer. Winniebell has been awarded the David L. Picket ’84 Summer Fellowship in Creative Writing.

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