The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
One thing that I’ve discovered that no leader can be without is a vision.
Who are you?
Yes, I go by Chuey, like Chewbacca. I’m a proud buckeye, going to THE Ohio State University, majoring in environmental science and minoring in art. I was born and raised in Ohio, and growing up the Midwest has really shaped my identity as an Asian American, and more specifically, a Taiwanese American. In being part of a smaller Taiwanese community in Columbus, there has always been a touch of fighting spirit in me to make sure that Taiwan is recognized. I bring fire, passion, and excitement to everything I do, be it my student organization, my job, or my hobbies. With my strengths, I hope to help the world become a better, more sustainable place.
Tell us about your organization / project, your role, and its impact?
The Taiwanese American Student Association (TASA) at Ohio State is a relatively new student organization, and with over 1,000 other student organizations on campus, it can be difficult to make your voice heard and to make a difference. But I think we have done just that. With the friendly Taiwanese spirit, we have made TASA an organization that Taiwanese Americans and friends can feel at home. With a wide variety of activities, from bubble tea nights that remind you of hot sticky evenings in Taiwan, to serious discussions on Asian American issues of the day, we explore what it really means to be Taiwanese American. We sprouted from a baby student organization to one of the most well-known and active Asian American organizations in under three years. We even got a little national attention for it. We won the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association’s Best New TASA award, as well as the bid to host the ITASA Midwest Regional Conference for 2013. It will be the first conference ever to be held in Ohio, and we are extremely excited to be drawing students from all over the Midwest to celebrate what it means to be Taiwanese American!
Where do you find your inspiration and motivation as a student leader?
One thing that I’ve discovered that no leader can be without is a vision. Without a clear idea of what you are reaching for, there is no achieving it. With every project, every event, every meeting, I make sure that not only I know what I am striving for, but my whole team is on the same page as well. I firmly believe that if you are going to do something, it should be clear why it is important.
What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?
One of my dreams is to see the Taiwanese American community in the Midwest grow. I come from a city that has a Taiwanese community, but it is a little isolated, like an island. I want to see the archipelago of communities link together to form a stronger, cohesive presence and enter the wider discussion with other Taiwanese American communities. When Columbus has a close link not only to Cleveland, but to Chicago and Pittsburgh and Madison and everything in between, that’s when we have a stronger voice.