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Northern California Chapter 2010 Planning Meeting Notes

Dear AAAYA NorCal Members, Happy New Year and Happy Year of the Tiger!  We had a great first year in 2009 as a formal AAAYA chapter and we plan to keep our momentum for 2010.

On January 14th, we had a chapter planning meeting in San Francisco to chart a calendar of events and programs for 2010.  We have an ambitious agenda and volunteers have already stepped up for specific events.  However, we need help.  The leadership philosophy for our chapter has been “officer light, volunteer heavy” to allow individuals to volunteer to organize an individual event or program without having a long-term commitment.  This worked well last year and we would like to continue this leadership style.  If you are interested in serving as an officer or in coordinating any of the proposed events or programs listed below in the notes, please let me know at

Looking forward to another great year, Harry Chang ‘84

AAAYA NorCal Planning Meeting of January 14, 2010 Notes

A Strong List of Events for the Forthcoming Year

In attendance at the planning meeting: Harry Chang, George Chen, Lotus Yee Fong, Linda Hwee, Shannon King, Ruth Kwon, Christen Lee, Robert Lee, Wayne Lew, Julie Wong.  Via conference call: Scott Bowker, Kameka Dempsey, Grant Din, Vincent Law, Jimmy Lu

2010 Calendar and Event Ideas

Presentation at the Commonwealth Club by Professor Marvin Chun on the human brain was announced and planned for January 21st with an early event reception for AAAYA and Yale Club of Silicon Valley members.

To see the additional ideas for the remainder of the year, select the read more…  link

Angel Island – The Immigration Station is celebrating its centennial in 2010.  We, AAAYA NorCal, would very much would like to have an event there, as Angel Island plays a significant role in Asian American history.  Grant Din will spearhead this event.  The event can be a standalone event or be part of the Yale Day of Service on May 15th.  If it is to be a standalone event, we would want to organize another event to be part of the Day of Service.

Panel discussion on architecture and development in China – Lotus Fong will coordinate this event.  Idea is to invite architects and developers to discuss some prominent projects in China.  Fei Tsen (Wayne Lew’s wife) has connections with SOM and other architectural firms in San Francisco. Billy Lee ’53, a retired architect with connections in China, could also help and perhaps serve as moderator.

Reception in March for Bay Area externs – Five externs have already been confirmed, with potential for three more.  Harry Chang will contact Homayra Ziad for the list of the externs and their contact information.  Ruth Kwon has volunteered to coordinate this event.

Reception in April for new admits – This will be coordinated with the local ASC’s.  Ruth Kwon has also volunteered to coordinate this event.

New admit calling program (April) – We will plan the calling program earlier this year.  Last year, we received the necessary contact information very close (perhaps too close) to the decision deadline.  The goal is to increase the yield for AA admits.  Shannon King has volunteered to help coordinate this program.  Volunteers are still needed to make calls.

Summer event for alumni, students, and new admits – The picnic in Palo Alto was well received last year, with over 80 attendees, including 10 new admits and their families.  For this year, it does not have to be a picnic, but could be a similar, active event.  Consensus was to hold it around the same time (mid July) and to keep this date in future years, as well, so people can plan their calendars around this event.  Coordinator and volunteers are needed.

Pre-Frosh networking luncheon – Shannon King headed a no-host lunch last summer for pre-frosh and younger alumni.  This is an opportunity for the pre-frosh to meet each other prior to leaving for New Haven, and for them to ask pertinent questions of recent graduates regarding their transition to college.  Shannon has agreed to coordinate this event again.  A few recent grads will be needed to attend the lunch – to be held sometime in August.

Cultural events – Last year, we had two cultural events: a docent-led tour of an exhibit at the Chinese Cultural Center and a viewing (plus moderated panel discussion) of “Yellow Face,” a play by David Henry Hwang.  We would like to have one or two cultural events this year.  Julie Wong has volunteered to be the point person for cultural event planning.  Julie agreed to organize a group outing to see Shen Yun Performing Arts during the next December holiday season.  Shen Yun is a revue of classical Chinese dance and music.  We could still use more ideas, as well as volunteers, for cultural events.

Events to “tag on” to Yale-related events – For example, last year, the Yale men’s basketball team played Stanford in Palo Alto.  It would have been a fun event to organize a group outing to see the game and perhaps to meet with the team afterward.  Also, we have many NorCal Yale graduates in the arts.  We can organize events to support a play, a concert, book reading, etc.  Ideas are welcome.

Sake tasting – This was an event idea discussed with Kristina Yee after the meeting.

Event with Donna Ryu ’82 – This was an event idea discussed with Katharine Hsiao after the meeting.  Donna has been a Professor at Hastings College of Law, and was recently appointed Federal Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California.  She is the first Asian American woman to be appointed to this position in the Northern District.  Donna has agreed to do an event later this year.  Ideas and volunteers are needed.

Program Ideas

Mentor program for new admits – Some students entering Yale (especially if they’re the first ones in their families to attend college) could benefit from additional resources or guidance on the transition to college and living far from home.  This is envisioned as a one-on-one mentoring program hooking up recent grads with new students.  Christen Lee will research this program idea.

Mentor program for new alumni – It can be daunting to move to a new city and to start a job and career.  This program is envisioned as a longer-term one-on-one mentorship to help new grads adjust to life after college and to provide career guidance.  It is not meant to be a networking program to find jobs.  Volunteers needed to plan and coordinate this program.  We envision that this should be coordinated with Saveena Dhall, Assistant Dean and Director of the Asian American Cultural Center.

Chapter Governance

We currently have a President (Harry Chang), At-Large Vice President (Ruth Kwon), and a Vice President of Marketing & Communications (shared position – Wayne Lew and Scott Bowker).  Our philosophy has been “officer light, volunteer heavy” and we hope to keep it this way.  The officers should provide guidance and serve as overall coordinators to ensure things are getting done.  They are not expected to do all of the day-to-day work of planning and executing the events.  The events and programs are planned and executed by one or more volunteers.  Through this governing structure, we have strategic oversight and continuity provided by a small team of officers, supported by volunteers who can help without being encumbered by a longer term commitment.

The consensus view:

· Keep the current governance structure

· Continue to have the VP of Marketing & Communications be a shared position, as this position requires more regular work.

· Two-year terms for the four positions, with two officers rotating off each year to ensure continuity.  At-Large Vice President would be President in the second year.  One of the two VP’s of Marketing & Communications would rotate off each year.

On behalf of AAAYA NorCal, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all the effort put in by many of you who have volunteered during the past year to ensure the success of all our NorCal events.  By all accounts, getting involved has been enjoyable and fun.  I would encourage all AAAYA NorCal members, especially those who have not had a chance to participate, to pitch in and help make this year’s planned (and soon to-be-planned) events rewarding and enjoyable.

Respectfully submitted,

Harry Chang

President, AAAYA NorCal

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