Meet the Team

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Kong Her (he/him)
Director of APARC
B.A. in Art and M.A. in Leadership in Student Affairs
[email protected]

Kong grew up on the Eastside of St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his B.A. in Art from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and completed his M.A. in Leadership in Student Affairs from the University of St. Thomas.  He has served and supported students to thrive in their education journey for over 16 years. He works collaboratively to guide students in their own personal development to achieve their goals and be grounded leaders. In his free time, Kong enjoys spending time with his young family and exploring northern Minnesota.

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Tev Lee (he/him)
Associate Director of APARC
B.A. in Communication and M.S.Ed in Student Affairs and Administration in Higher Education
[email protected]

Tevelung (Tev) Lee serves as the Associate Director of APARC. He earned his B.A. in Communication from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay and further pursued his M.A.Ed. in Student Affairs and Administration in Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. He is a proud first-generation college graduate, TRIO Alum (#TRIOworks), and Hmoob Wisconsinite. Understanding the intricacies that come with growth and life-long learning, he strives to serve as a resource and work to expand the support necessary to provide aid to students navigating their unique college journey. Tev is an aspiring artist at heart and a home goods enthusiast.


Kassandra Chhay (she/her)
Graduate Assistant (GA)
5th Year Ph.D. in Culture and Teaching

Kassandra is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Culture and Teaching program. She was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She received her BA in Anthropology with a minor in Political Science and a Certificate in Peace and Social Justice Studies from California State University, Long Beach. She then completed her MA in Sociocultural Anthropology with a Certificate in Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University. Kassandra has been with APARC since 2020 and is excited to continue supporting students in their college journey and working on APARC's Thrive initiative program, which focuses on preparing students for life after college. Kassandra enjoys baking, practicing yoga, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.


Ngan Nguyen (she/her)
Graduate Assistant (GA)
2nd Year Ph.D. in Culture & Teaching

Ngan was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Minnesota when she was eight years old. She graduated from Macalester College with a BA in American Studies and Educational Studies. She went on to receive a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in History/Social Studies at Brown University. Ngan taught social studies through an ethnic studies lens at Brooklyn Center Community Schools (BCCS) for three years. She is currently the Deputy Director of Programs and Curricula at the Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE) where she is working to pilot the Youth Leaders program in RI at BCCS. 

Her research interest is in ethnic studies, the Southeast Asian American youth political education, and social consciousness development in relation to Black Liberation. In her free time, Ngan enjoys cooking, running, hanging out with family, watching Asian dramas, and playing Animal Crossing.

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Syra Yang (she/her)
Graduate Assistant (GA)
2nd Year Doctoral in Culture and Teaching in Curriculum and Instruction

Syra Yang was born in Syracuse, NY. Raised on the east coast. Identify as a Southeast Asian Hmong female. Bilingual in Hmong and English.


Tenzin Chokyi (she/her)
Student Leads - Communication and Content Coordinator
Sophomore, Major: Marketing/Human Resource (HR)

Tenzin was born here in Minneapolis but raised in Karnataka, India throughout the first half of her life. She identifies as a Tibetan-American and is bilingual in both Tibetan and English. Tenzin is pursuing a BA in Marketing and/or Human Resource (HR) at the Carlson School of Management (CSOM). In her role as a Communication and Content Coordinator, she strives to connect her identity with her job and aspires to assist other AAPI students like herself whether it is outside of school or related to school. One fun fact about Tenzin is that she has a fraternal twin sister who is one minute older than her and also goes to Carlson School. Her hobbies include hanging out with friends, especially going out for picnics, thrifting, Gorshey (Tibetan circle dance), and listening to music.

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Michaela Sy (she/her)
Program Coordinator - Intersectional Identities Dialogue (IID) 
Senior, Major: Business and Marketing Education,  Minors: Interdisciplinary Design, Sustainability Studies, Sales

Michaela, born and raised in Hawaii, moved to Minnesota in 2020 for college to pursue a BS in Business and Marketing Education. The combination of her majors, minors, and certifications brings all of her passions and interests together into her education. As a proud Asian American who is Japanese, Filipino, and Chinese, Michaela strives to connect with the AAPI community at the University of Minnesota. Outside of school and work, Michaela loves to travel the world and eat every delicious food possible.


Laichia vang (she/they)
Program Coordinator - Intersectional Identities Dialogue (IID) 
Sophomore, Major: BIS Political Science, Sociology, and Racial Justice in Urban Schooling

Laichia is a Hmong American facilitator, storyteller, and lifelong student. Born and raised in St. Paul, they are passionate about youth empowerment, education equity, and language revitalization. She is also a foodie, protein powder fiend, amateur home cook, and meme lover. Come say hi!

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Mimi Dang (she/her)
Program Coordinator - Intersectional Identities Dialogue (IID)
Junior, Major: Finance and History

Mimi was born and grew up in Minnesota. She identifies as Chinese-Vietnamese American. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and painting. She lives with her two cats, fiancé, and brother in Minneapolis. Her favorite thing about APARC is meeting new people :)


Anh Dinh (she/her)
Program Coordinator - ASPIRE
Senior, Major: Developmental Psychology and Communication Studies

Anh was born in Saigon, Vietnam. She moved to the US when she was 12 and has now lived here for almost a decade. She is fluent in Vietnamese and English. Because of her background, she is interested in the field of mental health and bringing more representation for Southeast Asians and Asian immigrants in the field. In her daily life, she prefers cats, takes a lot of naps, and really likes good food and drinks.


Jadyn Roder (she/her)
Program Coordinator - ASPIRE
Junior, Major: Biomedical Engineering, Minor: Statistics

Jadyn is a junior studying Biomedical Engineering and minoring in Statistics. She was born in South Korea, adopted at 6 months old, and grew up in northwestern Iowa. Jadyn hopes to pursue a career in neural engineering or patent law when she graduates. Outside of work and school, she enjoys reading, crocheting, sleeping, fishing, Legos, and exploring the Twin Cities with her friends.


Khai Hoang (he/they)
Program Coordinator - ASPIRE
Senior, Major: Psychology, Minor: Asian American Studies

Khai is a senior studying Psychology and minoring in Asian American Studies. He enjoys binging Netflix or TikTok, playing the ukulele, and video games like Roblox, Among Us, or COD. He also loves going to beaches/lakes, playing volleyball, exploring new aesthetic places in urban cities that are good enough to make a TikTok, and ranting about how capitalism puts a strain on BIPOC's mental health. Khai is quite involved on campus and participates with President Emerging Scholars, Asian American Student Union, and ASPIRE. He loves meeting new people and learning about them (especially their astrology sign!!) He is hoping to get into knitting, journaling, and reading Asian American literature more often.


Keng Xiong (he/him)
Program Coordinator - ASPIRE
Senior, Major: English and BIS in Creative Writing, Leadership, and Asian American Studies; Minor in Racial Justice in Urban Schooling and a Certificate in Editing and Publishing

Keng is a fourth-year pursuing a BA in English and a BIS in Creative Writing, Leadership, and Asian American Studies. He was born and raised in Minnesota and is Hmong American. He is passionate about centering and uplifting marginalized (student) voices, stories, and experiences. He has been involved with the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE), the Hmong Minnesota Student Association (HMSA), Leadership Minor, and Lambda Phi Epsilon. Outside of academia, he spends time reading and writing poetry, playing volleyball, binging movies/shows, and weather-watching.


Peter Nguyen (he/they)
Program Coordinator - ASPIRE
Senior, Major: Computer Science

Peter is a Vietnamese-American, first-generation, 4th year student from Wisconsin. In his free time, he enjoys taking naps, eating food, and listening to music while commuting. Peter enjoys connecting with his friends (and family back home) through board games, card games, and video games. In the near future, he hopes to graduate and be able to travel around the world and experience different countries and cultures. In the far future, he hopes to return to school for further education and move into the education sector.


Samyu Shankar (she/her)
Program Coordinator - ASPIRE
Senior, Major: Biology and Human Physiology, Minor: Public Health

Samyu is a senior at the University of Minnesota who identifies as an Indian-American woman. She is passionate about singing in her free time and is currently a part of 2 A-cappella groups (on accident but still very fun). Samyu would like to pursue a medical career, and is particularly fascinated by gynecology! She loves the APARC room and the friends that she has met through ASPIRE and other POC spaces at the U!