2008 Recipients

Congratulations to the 2008 AAWA Scholarship and AAWA Recognition Award Recipients. These recipients were honored at our annual banquet on May 2, 2008 at the Wyndham Hotel in San Jose, California.

2008 AAWA Scholarship Award Recipients

Lindsay Gervacio

Lindsay Gervacio is a second year graduate student pursuing a dual master’s degree program in Asian American Studies and Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. Native to the Bay Area, Lindsay received her bachelor’s degree at Stanford University where she pursued a major in Human Biology with a focus in child health policy as well as minor in Asian American Studies.

While her involvement in the Stanford Asian American community strengthened her commitment to community service, her prior work experience at the California State Legislature has deepened her interests in the provision of access to quality health care for underserved populations. Lindsay’s primary research interests include the delivery of culturally competent health care practices as it pertains to addressing health disparities among Asian Americans. Specifically, for her master’s thesis project, Lindsay intends to explore the social support experience of Filipina American breast cancer survivors.

Cindy Ju

Cindy Ju is a senior at Lynbrook High School. She is a Scholar Athlete and a four-year CCS qualifying Varsity Cross Country runner who enjoys outrunning the boys in her PE class. She likes taking road trips with her family and loves taking pictures of scenery. Cindy is a graduating valedictorian of her class. She is currently the Co-Chair of the South Bay March of Dimes Leadership Council, Lynbrook Key Club vice president, and Lynbrook California Scholarship Federation president.

This past year under her leadership as president, the California Scholarship Federation was able to triple its membership, reaching over 100 members to date. She feels that the integration of community service into her lifestyle is one of the most rewarding aspects about her life. Cindy describes, “Community service was able to help me realize the power I had as an individual to make a difference in my community.”

Cindy would like to dedicate this award to her Uncle David who has inspired her to always take risks. She is also grateful to her parents who keep her closely tied to her Asian roots. Cindy will be attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania this fall.

Alina Wong

Alina Wong, a senior at Monta Vista High School, loves to spend her time scavenging for haw delicacies-including haw flakes, haw jelly, haw juice-but other than that, she devotes many of her weekends to the Jade Ribbon Youth Council of the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University, trying to spread the awareness of hepatitis B (HBV), which infects 1 in 10 Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Besides jollying with her ALC family, Alina plays in the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra as a double bassist and occasionally plays for weddings or gatherings with her string quartet.

She is a part of the Camp International three-summer program and completely, exuberantly obsessed about volunteering at the 2008 Beijing Olympics this coming summer, working with native Chinese students to improve cultural ties. Alina will be attending the UCLA School of Nursing in the fall of 2008.

Eunice Yang

Eunice Yang graduated summa cum laude from U.C. Davis majoring in Sociology of Law and Political Science and minored in English. Currently, she is a law student at U.C. Hastings College where she is interning with the gang homicide unit of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. Last summer she interned for Honorable Erica Yew Santa Clara County. This summer Eunice will be working at Minami Tamaki LLP in San Francisco.

Eunice served as board member of the Asian Pacific American Law Student’s Association and will be serving as a board member of the Korean American Bar Association next year. Eunice enjoys training for marathons, swimming, and playing the cello.

Within the next decade, Eunice aspires to serve as a public figure in politics where she can use her legal background and personal experience to serve as a voice for the APA community, particularity young APA females. A special mentor, Judge Erica Yew, taught Eunice the importance of giving back to the community and she has set the bar high. Eunice would like to serve as a role model for the next generation of APA students and encourage them to find empowerment through education, social network, and change.

2008 AAWA Recognition Award Recipients

Huy Ngoc Trinh

A Gastroenterologist, Dr. Trinh has an extensive background in education and community service ranging from being the Founder, President, and CEO of Premier Care Medical Group and serving the Board of Directors for American Cancer Society. He has been extensively active in Research to test and treat different Hepatitis strains, his publications based on findings relates to several different subjects with the virus, also specifically how it affects Asian Americans. He has been accredited for contributing to several abstracts about Hepatitis strains, observations of treatments, and their affects and possible solutions.

Annually, over the past 12 years, Dr. Trinh utilizes his expertise knowledge to spread awareness and teach others through free community Annual Health Fairs, Physician Continuing Medical Education Seminars & Workshops, radio interviews & talk shows, and the Song Manh Magazine (Live Strong), of which he is the Editor-In-Chief.

Dean Belle Wei, PhD

Dr. Wei is a trailblazer for her dedication to education and social change. As a UC Berkeley and Harvard graduate, and Professor at SJSU, she ascended the working ladder and became the Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1998. She is also the first female dean of the College of Engineering in SJSU, and she became the Don Beall Dean of Engineering-the first dean in the college to hold the honor of an endowed deanship. Dean Wei has doubled the college’s research grants to nearly $5 million each year and has raised almost $20 million for College of Engineering initiatives in 2007.

Dr. Wei’s array of leadership experience includes:

  • Leading special initiatives to increase the number of engineering students from underrepresented minority groups
  • Speaking before Congress on the “Innovation Agenda” aimed to make the U.S. advance its technological and economic leadership
  • Serving on the boards of Monte Jade and Vision New America

In the words of her colleagues, “We strongly believe that Dr. Wei’s vision, commitment, efforts and contribution to society should be recognized as a role model for Asian women in the U.S.”

Renee Hsia, M.D

Dr. Hsia currently serves as the Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medicine at UC San Francisco where she focuses on seeking emergency care to vulnerable populations. A little more out of reach, she has also traveled to less-fortunate countries to provide assistance to the people there, as well. Her international clinical work journeys as far as: Senafe, Eritrea, where she staffed a temporary border hospital, the Shandong Province of China where she was a Medical Director of Operation Sunrise, and Rwanda, where she assisted the Health Project Manager of the International Rescue Committee.

Dr. Hsia is a Princeton University and Harvard Medical School alumna; she has performed extensive research from topics related to AIDS and youth mental and physical disorders. Dr. Renee is fluent in almost 5 languages, English, Mandarin, Cantonese, French and Spanish. She is certified by the:

  • American Heart Association for Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • American College of Surgeons for Advanced Trauma Life Support
  • Medical Board of California as Physician and Surgeon

Ping Lee, M.S., R.N.

She has an important role at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) as a clinic nurse manager. This is not just a job for Lee-it is her passion. She is a mentor, motivator and educator for the other AACI physicians and staff, according to her supervisors.

While working selflessly to provide the public with exceptional medical care, she takes the time to pursue educational opportunities. Though originally educated in Taiwan where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, her span of learning has not been a short one. She obtained her Master Degree in Public Administration, in 2004.

The California Nurses Association Region 10 Educator Award has recognized her efforts. She frequently outreaches at community health fairs where she utilizes her knowledge of languages to create a bridge between the community, and her specialty in science. Ms. Lee is known among her colleagues as an inspiration and as an avid line dancer.

According to her supervisors, “Ping is an unsung [heroine] who tirelessly provides health care to those who are most in need. We thank Ping for her excellence and inspiration…”

Nga Pham, M.D.

Dr. Pham graduated from Saigon Medicine School in Vietnam. His interests in tumor pathology and hematology manifested and shortly after, he became a professor at the Saigon Medical and Dental School. He then moved to Denmark to specialize in Pathology. Then, as a postgraduate fellow in the Department of Endocrinology Stanford Medical School, he expanded his knowledge of molecular biology.

That is just the brink of his hard work leading to his successes, and currently, he launched a private practice, working as a general practioner in San José. Alongside his career, he has a weekly talk show about medical education, directed towards the Vietnamese community in Santa Clara County. Dr. Pham yearns to spread knowledge of preventative practices, as well as illnesses and treatments. He encourages open and honest dialogues to increase the awareness of medicine.

His friend says, Dr. Pham, “Having only been here in the United States for about ten years, Dr. Pham became the symbol of an American dream for achieving an influential and successful career and a beautiful family.”

It is clear that Dr. Pham is a prime example of someone who established goals in life, and stayed committed to making his dreams a reality.

Dr. Nam Tran, M.P.H.

Dr. Tran is a Health Education Specialist with the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System, Department of Public Health, and Tobacco Prevention & Education Program. Since 1990, he has been with Santa Clara County in several public-health posts and has written numerous health-related materials in Vietnamese.

Using humor and patient role-playing, he has a great impact in the community through his series of How-To videos, publications, workshops, radio interviews, talk shows, etc., such as “Stop Smoking,” “Protect your health,” “Deliver easily and pleasantly” (for pregnant women), “Growing up Drug Free”-just to name a few.

Connecting to the community, he has presented numerous educational classes, workshops, for health care professionals as well as the community at large related to alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, teen’s sexuality, transmitted diseases, the basic elements for happiness of married couples, and many more…