Asian American Studies



Since 2009, we have decided to keep track of our activities and events. If you have pictures and comments of things to add of past events, please let our webmaster know. This page has three main links. The first is a selective timeline, the second has a list of links to photo galleries; and the third has a list of past events. 

AAS Selected Timeline

  • 1981 - First proposals for AAS courses.
  • Beginning in 1986, Introduction to Asian Americans, was taught in the Anthropology Department by Dr. Laura Uba.
  • 1988 - CSUN professors approach student groups about the concept of AAS and invite them to a meeting to talk about it in a group. Concept of having an organized student network to support the department was born. The Asian Pacific Students Alliance was founded (APSA) with about 12 APA student groups as members and Gary Mayeda elected as it's first president.
  • 1989 - First Asian Pacific American Cultural Awareness Week was sponsored by APSA to promote culture, diversity, Asian American Cuisine, and fun.  Student leaders including Gary Mayeda, Sindy Saito, and faculty members Drs. Michael Ego, Warren Furumoto, George Uba, Laura Uba, Gordon Nakagawa, and Tim Dagodag drafted a position paper and worked to create curriculum for a new program in Asian American Studies 

  • 1990 - Former Academic Affairs Vice President, Bob Suzuki, creates the Asian American Studies Department at CSUN, the second only in the nation having departmental status.  Carolyn Okazaki was hired as Counselor at the University Counseling Services, and retained as a permanent position as the result of student activism.  Dr. Kenyon Chan becomes the first Chair of the Department.
  • 1991 - Barbara Miyagawa is hired as Asian American Studies Department Secretary, the first full time staff.
  • 1992 - AAS minor is established.
  • 1994 - First tenure-track faculty is hired, Professor Timothy Fong.  Asian American Studies Activities Center opens after students raise money for renovations.
  • 1995 - AAS Department joined Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) Bridge Transitional Programs by offering classes for EOP freshmen at the invitation of EOP Director Jose Luis Vargas.
  • 1996 - Dr. Teresa Williams-León joins the faculty.
  • 1997 - Dr. James Sobredo joins the faculty.  B.A. Major/Double Major curriculum is offered.  One of the first AAS departments/programs to offer courses on biracial-multiracial studies and Asian American sexuality.
  • 1998 - Dr. George Uba serves as interim Chair.
  • 1999 - First graduates from CSUN with a major in Asian American Studies.
  • 2000 - Dr. Enrique de la Cruz joins the department as Chair; Professor Allan Aquino and Professor Maria Turnmeyer join the department; APSA is reborn as the Asian American Studies Student Association (AASSA).
  • 2001 - Dr. Gina Masequesmay joins the faculty in January.  Dr. Steven Ropp and Dr. Edith Chen join the department in Fall.
  • 2002 - Dr. Eunai Shrake and Dr. Ayanna Yonemura (with a joint position in Urban Studies) join the department.
  • 2003 - Dr. Vivian Tseng joins the department; Dr. Gordon Nakagawa serves as interim Chair.
  • 2004 - Dr. Teresa Williams-Leon becomes Chair.
  • 2006 - 23 majors graduate with a BA degree in Asian American Studies.
  • 2007 - Dr. Gina Masequesmay serves as interim Chair in January.  Dr. Tracy Buenavista joins the department in Fall.
  • 2008- Dr. Sandra Stanley becomes interim Chair.
  • 2011 - Dr. Tomo Hattori and Dr. Clement Lai join the department.
  • 2012 - Dr. Gina Masequesmay becomes Chair.
  • 2013 - Dr. Khanum Shaikh joins the department in a joint position with GWS.
  • 2014 - The Asian House is renamed the Glenn Omatsu House in honor of Professor Omatsu's work and donation.
  • 2016 - On April 23, the AAS department celebrated its landmark 25th anniversary with the department's founders, faculty, alumni, students, campus officials and community members.
  • 2016 - Dr. Eunai Shrake serves as interim chair.
  • 2017 - Dr. Gina Masequesmay returns from her sabbatical and resumes the Chair position
  • 2018 - Dr. Eunai Shrake becomes Chair
  • 2019 Spring - Dr. Teresa Williams Leon serves as interim Chair
  • 2019 - Dr. Eunai Shrake returns from her sabbatical and resumes the Chair position.
  • 2020 - Dr. Laura Uba retires.
  • 2021 - Dr. Christina Ayala-Alcantar from Chicano Studies becomes AAS Chair in the Fall. Dr. Simmy Makhijani joins the faculty in Fall.


Photo Archives

Each list item below is a link to a gallery at the Picasa Google website. Each gallery has a list of photos to view. Please note that once you enter the Picasa website, it may no longer be ADA compliant.