KSU Asian Studies Program Receives White House Recognition


KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 27, 2012)On Friday, March 16, 2012, the Obama Administration hosted its first Southeast Regional Action Summit with the Asian American Pacific Islanders community in Atlanta. KSU's Asian Studies Program, housed in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department (ISD) at Kennesaw State University (KSU), received recognition for its "Leadership and Commitment" by the Atlanta Host Committee for the "White House Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Southeast Regional Action Summit" at a reception held on the evening of March 15.

With the support of Dean Richard Vengroff and his office in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), KSU's Asian Studies Program boasts a number of influential academic and community outreach programs involving faculty members from six colleges across campus. Its "Symposium on ASIA-USA Partnership Opportunities (SAUPO)" has been recognized by journalists, business people and government officials alike as the "largest Asia Business Conference" in southern USA.

Professor Tony Grooms, the Interim Chair of ISD, Dr. May Gao, KSU Asian Studies Coordinator, and Mr. Viren Mayani, a KSU Asian Studies Affiliated faculty, attended the invitation only White House reception in Atlanta on March 15. At this reception, Ms. Kiran Ahuja, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on AAPI, showed her appreciation for the influence and contribution of the KSU Asian Studies Program, and indicated that she will help to identify speakers for SAUPO 2013. Kiran has been a long-term friend of the KSU Asian Studies Program. The SAUPO 2011 keynote speaker, Mr. Patrick Santillo from the Department of Commerce, was secured on her initiative. (Ms. Kiran Ahuja

The state of Georgia now boasts more than 300,000 AAPIs. The state also hosts the headquarters of many Asian multinational corporations that have strong connections to the Asian Studies Program. These include: Kia Motors (Korea), Huawei (China), LS Cable & System of America (Korea), SANY (China), YKK Corporation America (Japan), Infosys Limited (India), TOTO USA (Japan), Avion Systems (India).

Dr. Gao, KSU's Asian Studies Coordinator, said that the Asian Studies Program would "continue to expand its academic and community outreach efforts to benefit faculty, staff, students, and members of the larger community".


Caption for the picture: KSU ISD Asian Studies Program Receives Recognition from the White House AAPI Initiative (From Left to Right):

  • Prof. Tony Grooms, Interim Chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department
  • Dr. May Gao, KSU Asian Studies Coordinator & Associate Professor of Communication
  • Ms. Kiran Ahuja, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
  • Mr. Viren Mayani, Interim Associate Director of KSU Auxiliary Services