Katie Lam • President
Katie is a junior in Barnard College majoring in Sociology. Katie hails from Los Angeles, California. On campus, Katie works with members of various identity-based community members from both official and unofficially recognized organizations in order to advance identity-based concerns that Columbia/Barnard often fails to address. Katie was exposed to Asian American issues in high school but had no outlets available to express her thoughts on various issues. Thanks to joining the Asian American Alliance, Katie now has a better understanding of community organizing and the need for a powerful, loud, and impactful Asian American presence both on and off campus. In addition to time as a member of AAA, Katie is an Athena Leadership Scholar and a Speaking Fellow. Katie loves ramen, fat cats, and lifting.
Anna Chen • Vice President External
Anna is a junior in Columbia College majoring in Biology. She was born in Vienna, Austria, but grew up near Toronto, Canada and is very proud of her Canadian heritage. In the coming year, she’s excited to work with AAA to continue fostering meaningful dialogue around Asian American issues on campus. On campus, Anna is also involved in Camp Kesem, the Global Recruitment Committee, and lab research. In her spare time, Anna enjoys scrolling through Dogspotting on Facebook (Ask her about her semi-famous Dogspotting moment!), eating cookies in NYC cafes (PSA: go try Levain’s chocolate chip & walnut cookies), and watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Brandon Chin • Vice President Internal
Brandon is a junior in Columbia College double majoring in Biology and Human Rights. Raised in a primarily white Boston suburb, he was barely in touch with the Asian part of his Asian American identity. Upon transferring to a boarding school, Brandon learned more about Asian culture through a more diverse community but still felt that he lacked an understanding of what it means to be Asian American. Through joining AAA, he has been able to explore his identity and learn about the issues that face the APIA community. He is most interested in learning about the intersectionality of being both APIA and LGBT. His favorite part about AAA is the community; he has made some of his best friends through the club! He is an avid food-instagrammer and is extremely sarcastic. Be his friend!!!!
Yuanxia Lee • Secretary
Yuanxia (ShaSha) is a junior in Columbia College concentrating in Computer Science. She is from Slidell, Louisiana where the mosquitoes never die, alligators are food, and Asians are few. After joining AAA, ShaSha has found an amazing group of peers that constantly inspire her and are always teaching her something new. Coming up, she’s super excited to continue working in AAA in creating thoughtful discussions surrounding APIA issues. Outside of AAA, she is a fledgling member of the ski club and Columbia Space Iniative. She enjoys (among a variety of things) anime, food, odd quirks, random classes, soccer, and she loves to make new friends!
Jenny Li • Treasurer
Jenny Li is a junior in CC double majoring in Linguistics and Financial Economics. She was born in Jinan, China but is a Canadian citizen (hooray Toronto!) and has lived in Louisville, Kentucky and Houston, Texas. She became interested in APIA issues after experiencing how different concentrations of Asian Americans in the respective communities she grew up in influenced how she perceived her own identity. She’s on the Parliamentary Debate Team, Journal of Politics & Society, and CORE Impulse. Her joys in life include podcasts, her semi-foodie identity, disproportionately adorable animals, and spontaneous adventure suggestions. Oh and puns too. Definitely puns.
Tina Wu • cultureSHOCK Director
Tina is a sophomore at Barnard College majoring in Sociology. She was born in Beijing, China but grew up on Long Island, where APIA issues were definitely not widely discussed (or really discussed at all). AAA has provided a space to both explore new boundaries and challenge old ones, and Tina is thrilled to be a part of it. She is also a member of Amnesty International and Barnard Babysitting. In her free time, she enjoys eating hazelnut gelato, spending time with friends, and receiving emails from clubs that she accidentally joined at the beginning of freshman year.
Aaron Smithson • Political Chair
Aaron is a sophomore in Columbia College majoring in Urban Studies and the History & Theory of Architecture. He is originally from New York City. Admittedly, Aaron joined the Asian American Alliance because someone told him to do so. More importantly, he stayed because AAA not only provides a venue for the discussion of APIA-specific issues, but also allows Asian-Americans to add their oft-ignored political voice to a range of broader conversations concerning all people of color. On campus, Aaron also works with the Architecture Society, the Barnard/Columbia chapter of Design for America, and the Center for Justice at the School of Social Work. He loves to run, look at buildings, and run while looking at buildings. He also has friends and enjoys their company.
Kelsey Smith • Service Chair
Kelsey is a sophomore at Barnard College studying the color purple. She spends most of her time contemplating if electricity outlets have feelings.
Kevin Chu • Executive Committee Member
AAA became the outlet that Kevin never had in high school for his interest in APIA and LGBTQ issues. As a sophomore studying Computer Science in Columbia College, Kevin considers his work with AAA, in addition to his time with CORE (Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs) and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, as an essential part of his college education. Kevin is a podcast junkie, design geek, and hobbyist photographer/videographer. He is head over heels for all things tech and entrepreneurship.
Kundan Guha • Executive Committee Member
Kundan is a sophomore in Columbia College studying Water. His favorite pastimes are slowly dipping his hands into pots of loose sediment and cracking crème brûlée with a teaspoon.
Madie Lee • Executive Committee Member
Madie is a junior in Columbia College, probably majoring in Political Science and Human Rights. Having grown up in the ratch city of Philadelphia, she found New York pretty easy to adjust to. She has been passionate about APIA issues since high school, and is appreciative of the unique space AAA provides within Columbia. Outside of class, she is a major procrastinator, so if you’re ever looking for a study buddy at 4AM, there is a 90% chance she will also be awake. Finally, food is also a major/ the best part of her life, and she will always be down for spontaneous food adventures.
Ellen Guo • Outreach Chair
Ellen is a junior in Columbia College studying Mathematics. She essentially grew up in the shadow of New York City, having been born on Long Island and raised in northern New Jersey. Ellen has been interested in Asian American issues since middle school but, growing up in a predominately white town, struggled to find a like-minded community until joining AAA, where she’s found a group of people with both shared experiences and diverse viewpoints. Outside of AAA, Ellen does ballet, modern, and contemporary dance and is a sister of Gamma Phi Beta. She is always looking for new yoga and/or concert buddies.
Andrew Tieu • Technology Chair
Andrew is a junior in SEAS studying biomedical engineering on a premed track with a minor in computer science. Born and raised in Philadelphia, it took a long time before Andrew realized that New Yorkers did not use Philly terminology such as “jawn” and “drawlin”. Andrew joined AAA to increase awareness of Asian American issues and to increase the political voice of the APIA community. He likes his stuffed animals more than most of his friends and has unusually frequent and loud flatulence.
Jaipreet Sethi • APIA Dialogue Director
Jaipreet is a junior at Barnard College and is majoring in Political Economy and minoring in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. She was born and raised in northern New Jersey. Jaipreet is interested in how AAA as an organization can further strengthen and unite APIA communities in all of its similarities and differences. Jaipreet is also this year’s CU Sewa co-president and the South Asian Millennials Conference co-director. Additionally, she is a peer-educator at Well Woman and a Community Educator with Barnard Student Life. Jaipreet also really likes crafting and art so if you’re looking to craft while discussing intersectional feminism, hit her up!
Anna Fu • Senior Advisor
Anna is a senior at Columbia College studying chemistry and economics. She grew up in Upstate New York, but is thrilled to be in the City. Anna is interested in science research, especially in materials science and other interesting applications of chemistry, and is currently on the Parliamentary Debate Team as well as the Columbia Science Review. Outside of school, Anna loves to eat, travel, and attend cultural events.
Kathleen Fan • Senior Advisor
Kathleen is senior in SEAS majoring in biomedical engineering and specializing in premed. She is originally from sunny San Diego, but does enjoy the New York snow from time to time. Having grown up without truly understanding many important Asian American issues, Kathleen is really glad to have joined AAA. Outside of AAA, Kathleen is a part of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and gives campus tours as a member of the Undergraduate Recruitment Society (URC). You can often find Kathleen binge-watching a T.V. show (she finished six seasons of Gossip Girl in three weeks), listening to EDM music, or eating Nutella straight from the jar.
Jack Chen • Senior Advisor
Jack is a senior in CC studying Economics and Political Science. He joined AAA for its great community, and really appreciates having not only learned a lot about issues facing the Asian-American community, but also made a lot of AAAwesome friends. In addition to AAA, he is a Columbia tour guide, coordinated ISOP and is the alumni chair of the business fraternity AKPsi. In his free time, he enjoys travel, board games and photography.