UPAAN Student Leadership Award

Presented as part of the James Brister Society Student Leadership Awards, the prestigious UPAAN Student Leadership Award recognizes a student of Asian Pacific American heritage who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing diversity and achieving excellence at the University of Pennsylvania.

The award recipient will be expected to attend the JBS’ Annual Student and Faculty Leadership Awards Reception and will be recognized during the 2014 Graduation Commencement Ceremony.

If you know of or are considered an APA student leader on campus, please submit a nomination online by 12PM Monday, March 10th:

  • Self-nominations are preferred.
  • Please submit a resume to upaan@upaan.org with the subject line: UPAAN Student Leadership Award Nomination
  • There is an optional faculty reference that is not required.

Note:
The online nomination will simultaneously apply to both the James Brister Society Award as well as the UPAAN Leadership Award. While the JBS Award requires a faculty reference, the UPAAN award does not and applicants may pass over the instructions of #8 of the submission form. Feel free to send inquires to upaan@upaan.org.

Please take the opportunity to recognize the deserving leaders that have made a positive difference in your college experience; it truly only happens once in a lifetime.



Student Leadership Award Winners

Paulo Bautista

Paulo Bautista

2014

Michelle Leong

Michelle Leong

2013

Nicky Singh

Nicky Singh

2012

Rohan Grover

Rohan Grover

2011

Carlin Yuen

Carlin Yuen

2010

Ben Alisuag

Ben Alisuag

2009

Jun-Li

Jun Li

2008

Elaine Khoong

Elaine Khoong

2007

Wesley Nakamura

Wesley Nakamura

2006

Gizelle Gopez

Gizelle Gopez

2005

Julia Lee

Julia Lee

2004

Christine Choi

Christine Choi

2003

Jennifer Kwon

Jennifer Kwon

2002

Elaine Eng

Elaine Eng

2001

Thomas Peng

Thomas Peng

2000

Paulo Bautista

Paulo Bautista

2014

  • While at Penn, Paulo was involved in many different activities, including but not limited to: Penn Philippine Association (PPA), Asian Pacific American Heritage Week (APAHW), Collective for Asian Pacific Events (CAPE), Freaks of the Beat, and the Oracle Senior Honor Society. His work on campus primarily centered around developing programming to celebrate cultural diversity while also posing questions to promote identity exploration. These included organizing the first ever Filipino American Heritage Month Celebration on campus; leading the 21st annual APAHW celebration; founding CAPE to provide an education forum for event planning; planning professional dance workshops collaborations; coordinating the inaugural city-wide Philadelphia APA Youth Summit; leading the first Penn delegation to ECAASU in three years; and mobilizing the Penn community to fundraise for the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. Furthermore, he has been heavily involved in the Pan-Asian American Community House, having been involved in all of its undergraduate programs in one form or another.
  • In addition to his programming efforts in the APA community, Paulo also contributed his other talents to helping his peers. He choreographed for four cultural shows (and chaired one), mentored underclassmen, and under the banner of his self-run videography company (Ninjaboi Productions) helped create a digital archive of Penn’s performing arts community through video and YouTube channel curation. He also organized Rhythmic Damage, Freaks of the Beat’s annual event, the largest of its kind in the Greater Philadelphia area. Post graduation, he is pursuing a career in the technology industry, inspired by the ways in which community, technology, and business can come together to elicit social good through new media and digital content.
Michelle Leong

Michelle Leong

2013

  • Michelle was involved with the Asian Pacific Student Coalition, Promoting Enriching Experiences and Relationships (PAACH’s freshman mentoring program), alpha Kappa Delta Phi, Oracle, and Sphinx. She expanded APSC’s mental health initiatives into a campus-wide week-long series of events — Mental Wellness Week — with the goal of decreasing the stigma of discussing mental health issues, generating dialogue across the greater Penn community, and creating a support network in partnership with CAPS, PAACH, and other resource centers across campus.
  • She also advocated for stronger support and improved resources from the University for students who are targeted and discriminated against based on their identity, from instances of assault to microaggressions in the classroom; increased dialogue regarding APA identity and APA political issues among leaders of the different APA-interest organizations and PEER; and invited Philadelphia community organizers to share their work with Penn students and opportunities to become involved.
Nicky Singh

Nicky Singh

2012

  • Nicky Singh served as Chair of the Asian Pacific Student Coalition, President of Sangam, and founder and President of Global Water Brigades. He also played active roles in ECAASU 2010, Penn Masti, PEER, and the West Philadelphia Tutoring Program. As Chair of the Asian Pacific Student Coalition, he spearheaded efforts to expand mental wellness awareness, bring speakers to campus to encourage diverse career choices in the Asian American community, and increase mentorship by creating the Lunch With a Senior initiative. He led initiatives to increase cohesion among APSC constitute groups as well as cohesion between APSC and other minority coalitions on campus.
  • After graduating, he taught high school math and college readiness for two years as a Teach for America Houston Corps Member. He now attends medical school at the Penn Perelman School of Medicine.
Rohan Grover

Rohan Grover

2011

  • Rohan Grover, W’11, is a progressive analyst and organizer based in Washington, DC. At Penn, he served as Chair of the Asian Pacific Student Coalition, Associate Director of the 2010 East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) Conference, and Co-Chair of the Tangible Change Committee. On campus he worked on improving faculty diversity through recruitment and retention, increasing student participation in the 2010 Census, partnering with CAPS on mental health programming, growing ethnic studies programs, and cultivating leadership across the community.
  • Today, he lives in Washington, DC, where he is a senior analyst at Upworthy, a mission-driven startup that elevates meaningful digital content, and a founding partner at The Brain Trust, a digital consulting firm that empowers Asian American and Pacific Islander advocacy through online organizing.
Carlin Yuen

Carlin Yuen

2010

 

  • Carlin is a designer, developer, and a dreamer. At Penn, he dabbled in many aspects of the student community and served on the boards of a number of student organizations, including the Chinese Students’ Association (CSA), Asian Pacific American Heritage Week (APAHW), the Engineering Student Activity Council (ESAC), Wharton Business Technology Conference (WBTC), Seniors for the Penn Fund, and the Senior Class Board.
  • Carlin’s major contributions came with co-founding the Penn Lions Dance Troupe, and leading the Bid Team and Conference Team for the 2010 East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) Conference at Penn, which still stands as the most well-attended of the ECAASU conferences to date [04/2014]. Outside of the leadership, Carlin was also an involved member of the Penn Taiwanese Society (PTS) Cultural Shows, the Penn Club Water Polo Team, and the Oracle Senior Honor Society.
  • Carlin’s efforts and initiatives were mainly directed at improving event programming, building and refreshing organization marketing and branding online and offline, and developing more organized and sustainable processes for organizations. Today, his mission still stands: to use design and technology to beautify, simplify, and optimize our lives, to make our world a better place.
Ben Alisuag

Ben Alisuag

2009

  • Ben Alisuag (C’09) was involved with all of the staple PAACH organizations at Penn. Most notably, as Chairman of the Asian Pacific Student Coalition, he led a national campaign to increase funding for the Asian American Studies program in 2009. In addition, he served as an APALI Facilitator, Director of the Excelano Project, and Seer of his Oracle class. Though heavily involved in the APA community, Ben was most notoriously known for his liberal use of bursar.
Jun-Li

Jun Li

2008

Jun was an active part of the Penn APA community from the start. Of the many things she was active in, the following were here main contributions:

  • APSC Exec Board 2005-2007, Chair 2007
  • APALI Spring 2005
  • Oracle Senior Honor Society 2008
  • Sphinx Senior Honor Society 2008
Elaine Khoong

Elaine Khoong

2007

  • Elaine Khoong (W ’07, SEAS ’07) is currently an internal medicine resident physician at the University of California – San Francisco campus. At Penn, she was involved with a number of activities including being a Rodin College House RA, student coordinator / founder of the Global Biomedical Service Program, Penn Program for Public Service Summer Intern, volunteer EMT, tutor for the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, Undergraduate Assembly, and co-founder of after school science programs run by the Weiss Tech House.
  • Most relevant to the Pan-Asian community at Penn, Elaine also participated in APALI, chaired PEER, and of course was constantly camped out at PAACH as a work-study student. During her time as co-chair of PEER, PEER held its first retreat and began its commitment to community service.
Wesley Nakamura

Wesley Nakamura

2006

Bio Pending!

Gizelle Gopez

Gizelle Gopez

2005

  • Gizelle Gopez, C’05, is a champion for children’s health and human rights. Her current work focuses on the intersection of health (specifically child health and infectious diseases), international security, and the development of rising economies. At Penn, Gizelle served as Co-President of the Penn Philippine Association (PPA) from 2004 to 2005, leading the Brown Ribbon Campaign to raise awareness among the student body about the inequity of Filipino World War II veterans not receiving full veteran benefits despite their significant contributions during the war. The campaign received over 200 Penn signatures for petitions that were sent to Pennsylvania and New Jersey representatives for the passage of H.R. 677. Under her leadership the organization had grown into one of the most active and diverse student clubs in the APA community. She also served as Quad-Chair for PPA’s Annual Barrio Fiesta, with the show having had the highest number of attendees for the festival.
  • Outside of PPA, Gizelle also was selected to Co-Chair the PEER Mentoring Program for two years helping to design its structure and programming when Ajay Nair founded the initiative in 2003. In 2002, she served as the Vice-Chair of Communications for the Asian Pacific American Coalition. Gizelle also served on the boards of the Pan-Asian American Community House and the Asian American Studies Undergraduate Advisory Board. Outside of APA activities at Penn, Gizelle was a tutor for the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project. She is also a recipient of the PAACH Senior Leadership Award and is a member of the Sphinx and Oracle Senior Societies. 
Julia Lee

Julia Lee

2004

Bio Pending!

Christine Choi

Christine Choi

2003

Bio Pending!

Jennifer Kwon

Jennifer Kwon

2002

Bio Pending!

Elaine Eng

Elaine Eng

2001

Bio Pending!

Thomas Peng

Thomas Peng

2000

Bio Pending!

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