2020-2021 Mentors

Abi Ilavarasan (she/her)

Abi Ilavarasan

I am a Senior studying Sociology with a minor in Biology. My hobbies include cooking, baking, watching TV shows (Ramy is really good). I am a CLA Student Ambassador and a random fact about me is that I was a locust in the school play in third grade. Memories!!!

Anna Singhathip (she/her)


My name is Anna and I'm a third year in CLA! I'm studying biology, society, and the environment with a public health minor. I love to read, trying new restaurants, and currently online shopping due to covid. A fun fact about me, I love making playlists on Spotify! Also, I'm the intern for the commuter success program. I can't wait to work with everyone in aspire!

Cindy Li (she/her)

Cindy Li

I am a rising sophomore planning to double major in finance and management information systems. I like to watch Chinese and Korean dramas and listen to kpop. I am also on the finance committee for the MAASU conference.

Fuechai Vang (he/him)


Heyooo! I am a 3rd-year majoring in Accounting in the Carlson School of Management! This year I am the Treasurer for the Asian-American Student Union (ASU), as well as the Finance Coordinator for the Midwest Asian American Students Union (MAASU). I love sports, anime, playing games, and getting to know others!

Helen Yu (she/her)

Helen Yu

Hi! I'm a second year majoring in Psychology with minors in neuroscience and art. I enjoy photography, painting, and watching Netflix shows. Outside of ASPIRE I'm a co-head coordinator for MAASU's registration committee and was an MCAE kickoff leader this year. A fun fact about me is that I was adopted from China and I'm always super excited to meet other adoptees!

Jalena Ngep (she/her)

Jalena Ngep

Hello! My name is Jalena Ngep, I use the pronouns she/her/hers, and I am a sophomore looking towards majoring in Medical Laboratory Sciences or Biology, Society, and Environment. A few communities I'm involved with on campus include being a community member of VSAM and being the Secretary for CSAM. A little fun fact with that is that I am half-Vietnamese and half-Khmer! Besides doing anything with nature (hiking to new waterfalls, travelling through my /parents'/ bucket list, playing outdoor tennis, etc.), I enjoy learning the art of being a beauty technician and am always excited to practice basic manis on anyone interested:D

Kyle Hoang (he/they)

Kyle Hoang

I am a second year coming into this fall! i am currently undecided on major but i want to minor in Chinese and Sustainability Studies. i am ALL about karaoke or playing Mahjong!!! my favorite song at the moment is 容易受傷的女人 (Fragile Womxn) by the QUEEN Wong Faye!! I am also involved with Asian-American Student Union as their Fundraising Director!

Maria Xiong (she/her)

Maria Xiong

I am a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Family Social Science. I am involved with a transnational feminist organization and enjoy conversations about social issues and mental health. Although broke, I love traveling and eating foods from different cultures. I went to school in Hawaii for a semester (ask me how!) and found out I love cliff diving, sushi with poke, and snorkeling. Lastly, a fun fact is I've visited the town Hanapepe where Lilo and Stitch was set in.

Michael Lee (he/him)

Michael Lee

Hi! I’m Michael Lee and I’m very excited to meeting you! I’m a 2nd year majoring in Business and Marketing Education with a minor in Management. I’m an open book, I can talk a lot, I watch anime and love to be outside, let’s get along!

Nplai Dej Xiong (she/her)

Nplai Dej Xiong

Hello! I am a upcoming third year majoring in Biology, Society, and Environments with an emphasis in medicine. I use she,her,hers pronouns. I love to watch kdramas. I also love to play volleyball and all types of sports out there! Fun fact is that this is my second year of being a mentor for ASPIRE! I was a member of the Tsev Hmoob LLC during 2018-2019. I am also currently a general member for HMSA.

Quynh Van (she/her)


Hi everyone, I’m Quynh! I’m a book-loving, camera-holding senior studying journalism and film with a minor in creative writing. When I’m not reading, I like to write, rock climb, and spend time with my friends and family (preferably when there’s food involved).

Tam Chau Duong (she/her)

Tam Chau Duong

Hello, everyone! My name is Tam Chau Duong, but you can call me Tam and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a second year pursuing a concentration in Sociology and a secondary in Public Health. Outside of ASPIRE, I am a student ambassador for CLA. I enjoy bullet journaling, collecting stationary, and walking nature trails. I am grateful to be a part of ASPIRE and ecstatic to learn and grow with all the mentees and mentors.

Triniti Thao (she/her)


Hi all! My name is Triniti and I'm a fourth-year majoring in Linguistics with minors in SLHS and TESOL, and am part of the DirecTrack to Teaching program. My future plans revolve around teaching English to speakers of other languages but for the past three years I've worked with primarily elementary age students in both bilingual and monolingual classrooms. A couple fun facts about me: I spend way too much time on TikTok and I love baking but dread the clean up afterwards.

Alina Xiong (she/her)

Alina Xiong

Hello!! I am a Sophmore in the College of Design, but I've also done PSEO at the U of M for two years and my major is Graphic Design. Some organizations I'm currently involved in are Genesys Works, College Possible, and Wallin. On my downtime, I like to draw, write, read, watch YouTube videos and Anime, as well as listening and dancing to some music (K-pop~). A little fun fact about me is that I've been to Japan! The food and snacks that I ate there were awe-mazing. All in all, that's me! I'm always down for a good conversation, so if y'all ever want to talk about anything or just hang out, let me know!

Asha Suvarna (she/her)


hi! My name is Asha and I am a junior studying Mechanical Engineering & minoring in Public Health. A fun fact - I LOVE Patrick Star & used to hide stickers of Patrick around the MechE building! I am very involved on campus and am currently involved with multicultural groups, ASU and MAASU, as well as two engineering groups. I really enjoy going to events on campus, and trying/learning new things, so I look forward to doing that with my future mentee :)

Elaine Lee (she/her)


Cynthia Moua (she/her)

Cynthia Moua

Hello! My name is Cynthia Moua, and I am a first-generation Hmong-American college student majoring in Business & Marketing Education, with a minor in product design. In the future, I hope to find a career in higher education. One of my favorite hobbies (that I continue to work on) is my art, and a fun fact about me is that I love learning new languages! (I've learned Chinese, Japanese and French).

Heng Leam (he/him)

Heng Leam

Hello!? My name is Heng Leam and I am a Sophmore majoring in Computer Science. Some fun facts about me are I was born in Cambodia, currently interning at CHS Inc. as an RPA/Power BI Analyst, once a while trying photography (also haven't taken a photo of me in a while), coding, anime, K-Dramas, and talking about philosophical questions. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Irene Deng (she/her)

Irene Deng

2nd year
Mechanical Engineering
Kpop, Minecraft, Avatar: the Last Airbender
Co-program Director at Spectrum (Community for APIDA LGBT+ people and allies)

Jason To (he/him)

Jason To

I'm a fourth year Linguistics major with a minor in Racial Justice in Urban Schooling. I'm also a part of DirecTrack to Teaching, a teaching exploration program, in hopes to become a teacher someday soon! I'm also the program's TA, feel free to ask me any questions if you're curious to learn more! I also love going for walks, cooking, baking, and just chilling. A random fact about me is that I love trying new snacks!

Lili Braatz (she/her)

Lili Braatz

Hello! My name is Lili, and I'm a third-year double majoring in Spanish and Global Studies (Human Rights and East Asia concentrations) with a Political Science minor. I enjoy baking, eating, reading, sleeping, listening to music, and biking. I'm so excited that this will be my 3rd year participating in ASPIRE, my 2nd as a mentor! I work at the Humphrey School of Affairs, a UMN grad public policy school. I'm open if anyone ever wants to talk about public policy, politics, social justice things, and anything else. I'll also be a family leader for MAASU's fall conference. A random fact, during high school, I was one of those people where if I could walk somewhere, I walked instead of drove or biked.

Melody Tran (she/her)

Melody Tran

Hi! My name is Melody and I am a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. I enjoy trying new foods, learning new languages, watching movies and tv shows. Fun fact, I like going on early morning runs and seeing the sunrise.

Mimi Dang (she/her)

Mimi Dang

Hello everyone, I'm going to be a senior majoring in History and this will be my second year at the U. I work in Wilson library and I hope to become a librarian. I really enjoy drawing and painting (and I'm always looking for people to do it with), and I really enjoy cooking and baking for my friends and family. I've been getting into K-Dramas lately and a fun fact about me is that I'm hoping to re-learn Vietnamese this year.

Susan Lee (she/her)

Susan Lee

Hey! I'm Susan Lee my pronouns are She/Her and I will be an upcoming Sophomore. I still haven't decided on a major because I am an indecisive person. However, I am thinking about majoring in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. A random fact about me is that my hair use to be over two feet long. This upcoming year I will be part of Aspire as a mentor and DAY (Dear Asian Youth) as a creative director.

Yangtso Tenzin (she/her)


Aye yo it’s ya girl Yangtso. I’m a Tibetan American junior majoring in Biochemistry w/ a minor in Public Health. I really enjoy reading webtoons, running, and catching up on politics. I’m on the BIOC and CBSStudent Boards. Fun fact about me is that I really enjoy camping and want to visit as many national parks as possible.

Amanda Son (she/her)

Amanda Son

Hi! My name is Amanda and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a second year majoring in bioproducts and biosystems engineering. I enjoy listening to Kpop, baking, and playing video games. I have been learning a lot about skincare this summer and I like singing (not that I am good at it). Can’t wait to meet everyone in the ASPIRE community!

Bella Ou (she/her)

Bella Ou

I am a fourth year majoring in Sociology and minoring in Biology and Statistics. I love knitting, being outside, and playing games. A fun fact about me is that I once fainted at a concert.

Elizabeth Vue (she/her)

Elizabeth Vue

Hello! This is technically going to be my 4th year since I did PSEO, but I'm just a sophomore majoring in Biology, Society, and Environment. I have been cooking a lot since quarantine but my pic can tell you I'm better at eating. A sad fun fact about me is that I've been saving my first bath bomb for over a year for the perfect time and place to use it. I just looked it up though; bath bombs usually expire after 6 months...

Haruka Yukioka (they/them)

Haruka Yukioka

Haruka (they/them/theirs) is a fourth year student studying Instrumental Music Education with minors in Asian American Studies and Racial Justice in Urban Schools. They identify as a queer + disabled second generation Japanese-American, and bring those identities with them into their work. Haruka currently serves as the Outreach Manager for the Queer Student Cultural Center, and is also involved with the Disability Resource Center and Rothenberger Institute. They emphasize inclusivity and accessibility in their work, and look forward to continuing to cultivate a safe and accepting space at APARC! 

Jack Pham (he/him)

Jack Pham

Hi, my name is Jack and I'm a rising Junior studying Business & Marketing Education with a minor in IT Infrastructure. I'm involved on campus with organizations like Pi Delta Psi and MAASU. Fun fact about me is that I can burp on command :)

Korina Lee (she/her)

Korina Lee

Hello, my name is Korina Lee (she/her/hers). I am currently a second year planning in majoring in Family Social Science and maybe minoring in Japanese. My hobbies are binge watching anime and kdramas, listening to music, writing and reading. I love traveling (my picture was taken at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea). My next destination is Japan! A fun fact about me is almost everything I have is either blue or black because they're my favorite colors.

Mai Yang (she/her)

Mai Yang

I am a 4th year majoring in Elementary Education, minoring in Racial Justice in Urban Schooling. I enjoy playing board games and card games with friends and family.
My favorite drink is H2O and I can't cook but strangely enough, I can make a mean red curry. I am ASU's 2020-21 ASU Ambassador and a sister of Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority Inc. Follow me on instagram @maaaaai.yaaaaang

Melynda Yang (she/her)

Melynda Yang

Hi! My name is Melynda Yang and I am a second year majoring in Sociology and minoring in Youth Studies. I am VIIVNCAUS’s multimedia director, a Hmong Womxn’s Group student org within the university. Some hobbies I enjoy are photography, anything artsy & creative, anime, thrifting, and I’m a foodie!

Nancy Vo (she/her)

Nancy Vo

My name is Nancy, and I’m a 4th year majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in Racial Justice in Urban Schooling. I’m involved with the Elementary Education Student Association. I enjoy playing tennis, cooking/eating foods, and going to the gym. One fun fact about me is that my middle name is the letter “N”.

Ratinaqu Hach (she/her)

Ratinaqu Hach

Hello! My name is Ratinaqu. I am a fifth year majoring in Health Services Management and minoring in Public Health. I love hanging out with friends and family, traveling, and shopping online. I’m very excited to be a part of ASPIRE program and can’t wait to meet everyone!

Trang Mai (she/her)

Trang Mai

Hi! I am a Vietnamese American, and I was born and raised in Wisconsin. This year I am a sophomore majoring in Nursing at the U. Fun fact about me is that I have been apart of the Buddhist Youth Association since I was six and now I am in training to become a leader of the BYA this year. Some of my passions and interests are editing videos, doing anything art, watching movies (or kdramas), and being active! Join me to attempt taking photos, to eat some yummy food, or to watch something with some boom chick a pop popcorn!

Yeemeng Yang (he/him)

Yeemeng Yang

My name is Yeemeng and I use pronouns like He/Him/His. I am a third year majoring in Psychology and minoring in Computer Science, and I am also a Community Advisor (CA) at Comstock Hall this year. I really enjoy music and some sports, but I also like games, animes, and dramas.