External Relations

Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative

The goal of the CSU Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Initiative is to improve college access and graduation achievement for Asian American and Pacific Islander students from underserved communities.

Journey to Success Program

Rose Gaw, CSULA Staff member at AAPI Journey to Success

In 2011, the Initiative began hosting several college fairs for AAPI families named "Journey to Success." The events held at CSU campuses, provide families, students, community and religious leaders with information about college preparation, planning and financial aid. In the spring of 2015, events were held at Cal State Northridge, Fresno State and Cal Poly Pomona.

Learn more about the Journey to Success program »

Student Ambassadors

The CSU AAPI Initiative trains Student Ambassadors throughout the CSU.  Ambassadors are CSU students that play an important role as liaisons and resources to the AAPI community.  They also assist in planning and implementing Journey to Success events throughout the CSU.  Here are their stories:

Targeted Communities

The CSU AAPI initiative targets the following communities, which, based on CSU data from the Early Assessment Test, need additional assistance to improve their levels of high school graduation and college access.

  • Samoan
  • Tongan
  • Marshallese
  • Hawaiian
  • Cambodian
  • Hmong
  • Laotian
  • Fijian
  • Underserved Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, Thai

The Initiative History

The first step began in October 2010 when the CSU convened Asian and Pacific Islander community leaders to discuss approaches to community engagement and the potential for collaborative interactions between the CSU and community organizations. View a summary of the meeting /externalrelations/news/AsianCommunityLeadersDiscussStrategies.shtml

The initiative is led by a steering committee appointed by CSU campus presidents. The steering committee advices the Chancellor's Office on Asian American & Pacific Islander issues, provides direction to the CSU AAPI Initiative's programs on campus, and develops long-term strategies designed to result in increases in the number of students who go and succeed in college. Video about the CSU AAPI Initiative »

AAPI Higher Education Conference

The inaugural Asian American and Pacific Islander Conference was presented jointly by The College Board and the California State University. See photo gallery.


CSU AAPI Initiative - Steering Committee


Imelda Simos-Valdez
Director, Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP

Channel Islands

Dr. Ginger Reyes
Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management

Dominguez Hills

Dr. Mitch Maki
Vice Provost, Academic Affairs

East Bay

Jennifer Aure
Director, College of Business Student Service Center


Dr. Joy J. Goto
Associate Professor, College of Science and Mathematics


Dr. Brian Tsukimura
Professor, College of Science and Mathematics


Frances Teves
Senior Director, University Advancement


Radha Webley
Associate Vice President, Retention and Inclusive Student Success

Long Beach

Dr. Simon Kim
Professor, Educational Psychology

Long Beach

Dr. Maryann Takemoto
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs

Los Angeles

Dr. Nancy Wada-McKee
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs

Monterey Bay

Jihan Ejan
Student Success Coordinator


Juana Valdivia (Interim)
Student Outreach and Recruitment


Thavery Lay-Bounpraseuth
Coordinator, Asian and Pacific Islander Student Center


Dr. Tim Fong
Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies


Dr. Chao Vang
Career Counselor and Experiential Learning Coordinator

San Bernardino

Grace King
Registrar of Students

San Francisco

Alvin N. Alvarez
Dean, College of Health & Social Sciences

San José

Carolyn Guel
Associate Director, Financial Aid

San José

Dr. David Lo
Psychiatrist, Counseling and Psychological Services

Initiative Leader

Dr. Leroy Morishita,
President, CSU East Bay

Staff Lead

Maryann Jackmon, Senior Director, External Relations
CSU Chancellorís Office

Staff Support

Marisela Cervantes, Director, Community Partnerships
External Relations, CSU Chancellorís Office