Josephine M. Kim, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC has a dual faculty appointment in the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and in Prevention Science and Practice/CAS in Counseling programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Massachusetts and a National Certified Counselor whose clinical skills and experiences span many contexts including residential facilities, hospitals, community agencies, and public and private schools. She has provided expert consultation on multicultural, mental health, and educational issues to various media sources in Asia and in the U.S. and is USA Today's collegiate case study expert on school violence. She is an associated faculty member at the Center for Cross-Cultural Student Emotional Wellness at Massachusetts General Hospital and is a former resident fellow in the Administrative Fellowship Program through the Office of the Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity and Equity at Harvard University. She is the keynote speaker at numerous parent, teacher, counselor, and youth conferences in Asia and in the U.S. and is the author of three best-sellers in Korea: The secret to children’s self-esteem (for parents), Self-esteem in the classroom (for teachers), and The father effect (for fathers).
Jannis Jizhou Chen
PhD Candidate East Asian Languages and Civilizations Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS)
Since leaving China at seventeen, Jannis has lived, studied and worked in Singapore, Germany, and America. His multi-nodal transcontinental experience has made his “Chinese” identity both precarious and multivalent. He identifies himself strongly with the Pan-Asian community that adopts an inclusive approach to identity, based on acceptance, hospitality and internationalism. Although Jannis refuses to be pinned down by national or cultural categories, in his experience of traversing different geo-cultural terrains, he often finds his fluid identity being questioned and challenged. However, it is always in literature where he repeatedly finds solace and salvation, care and catharsis, and enlightenment and enchantment. This directly contributes to his role as a Sinophone literary scholar who examines modern and contemporary Chinese literature that deals with diaspora, immigration, and identity. He currently runs a student affinity group—Action for Students and Scholars of Asian Heritage (ASSAH)—that provides peer support under the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. He is a published writer in Chinese language.
DrPH Candidate Public Health Leadership & Practice Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Jenny is a doctoral student in public health leadership and practice at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). Her doctoral thesis focuses on understanding the social, emotional, and identity development experiences of Chinese international students in the US, with the aim of designing better programs and services at universities. She is also a member of The Genki Spark, a Boston-based Asian women's arts and advocacy group that uses Japanese taiko drumming, personal stories, and creativity to build community and advocate respect for all. Jenny grew up in Hsinchu, Taiwan and Vancouver, Canada, and received her BA from Princeton University. In the past, she has worked in Beijing, China on HIV epidemiology research and tobacco control policy and advocacy. She believes in the power of using both science and art, facts and narratives, and theories and practice, for healing, understanding, and justice.
Ed.M Candidate Prevention Science and Practice Harvard Graduate School of Education
Yawei grew up in China before moving to Cambridge to pursue an Ed.M. in Prevention Science and Practice (Childhood counseling—adjustment track) at HGSE this year. She attended Renmin University of China for undergrad, where she received training on peer counseling under the collaboration between her university and the Stanford University “Bridge” Peer Counseling Center. For the past two years, she provided free peer counseling services to undergrad and graduate students schoolwide. Her current academic interests include destigmatizing mental health and counseling in China, social and emotional learning, and how Chinese parents’ parenting practices influence children. Her professional goal is to promote counseling and social-emotional learning in China’ public elementary schools with a focus on emotional awareness and expression. Yawei is very excited to work with this year’s Let’s Talk! team
Ed.M. Candidate Education Policy & Management Harvard Graduate School of Education
Amy is a proud daughter of Chinese heritage parents who arrived in the US in the 1980s as refugees from Southeast Asia. Although Amy's parents hail from Savannakhet, Laos and Bangkok, Thailand, Amy grew up in Milford, Connecticut within a predominantly white suburban community. Amy has developed curriculum and facilitated workshops related to Asian American feminism and confronting anti-blackness in API communities with Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW), a Boston-based API community organization. She currently serves on AARW's board of directors. For the past three years, she advised middle school students in Boston while facilitating summer and academic year out-of-school time programming. As an educator, Amy sought out institutions that prioritized educational equity for structurally marginalized populations. She currently serves as a co-chair of HGSE's Pan-Asian Coalition for Education. In her free time, she enjoys discussing racial identity, drinking beer, making pizza dough from scratch, and watching everyone's Instagram stories.
Leaving her home state, Michigan, Yooyeon decided to earn her B.A. in Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. She graduated in 2018 before moving to Boston and joined this wonderful dedicated group of people working hard to give Asian Pacific Islander community a safe space to explore and share their unique experiences. In June, she will be joining the Teach For America in New Jersey where she will be teaching elementary school students. Her professional goal is to go to medical school and become a physician that can fight inequity against minorities and provide healthcare to those that need it the most.
Esther Hwi-Young Kim, Ed.M.
Ed. M Prevention Science and Practice CAS Candidate - Counseling Harvard Graduate School of Education
Esther Hwi-Young Kim is a 2nd-generation Korean American woman, born and raised in Hanover, MA. At Tufts University, she majored in American Studies and Child Development. As a senior, Esther crafted her family oral history as a way to learn about her family members’ life journeys and explore how migration, systems of oppression, and trauma have shaped her familial dynamics and identity. Esther is currently in the Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Upon graduating, she's excited to provide culturally-relevant counseling for adolescents and families.
Ed.M. Candidate Learning & Teaching, Instructional Leadership Strand Harvard Graduate School of Education
Woojin grew up in Northern Virginia (NoVA), earned his B.A. at Johns Hopkins University, and taught Latin in Houston, TX prior to his arrival at Cambridge, MA. He works as the Diversity & Inclusion Intern at the HGSE Office of Student Affairs, organizing events, mobilizing affinity groups, and laughing at jokes with the staff. He hopes to continue doing diversity, equity, and inclusion work in K-12 settings with an emphasis on implementing ethnic studies in education. In his spare time, Woojin enjoys running, eating ice cream, bonding with friends, and consuming and critiquing popular culture.
Rachel Sun Kwon
Ed.M Candidate Mind, Brain, & Education Harvard Graduate School of Education
Rachel is a 2.5 generation Korean American born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee (go Vols!). She recently graduated from Wellesley College in 2017 with a degree in Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences. Her areas of research during her time at Wellesley included human computer interaction (with a focus on accessibility) and decision-making. She spent a year post-graduation working as a Americorps fellow at Match Charter High School in Boston. Growing up in TN, she did not have many AAPI friends or mentors to help her realize the importance of the intersection of cultural identity and mental health. Through Let's Talk, she hopes to learn more about AAPI mental health from her fellow organizers and attendees.
Ed.M Candidate International Education Policy Harvard Graduate School of Education
Before coming to HGSE, Eunbi was a native English teacher in Jeju, South Korea and a special education teacher in New York City, both at public elementary schools. From her experience in growing up in a Korean immigrant community in New York City where there was a lack of mental health awareness and inclusivity, she became interested in how to increase access to services through an increased sense of awareness to members in her community. Her experience in Jeju, Korea, was also an indicator of the taboo that surrounds mental health in Korea as well. She is also interested in disability and mental health advocacy in religious institutions and communities as well.
Marina Lee, ED.M.
Executive Director, Cogita Education Initiatives
Marina was born in Seoul and raised in Philadelphia. From an early age, Marina volunteered to assist new immigrant families with their transition to the U.S. and students with adaptation to the American school system. She was awarded a National Youth Service Award (one of 11 given yearly) by President Clinton. A serial entrepreneur, Marina has founded educational enterprises around the world, based in Seoul, Boston, Beijing, and Bogota. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Cogita Education Initiatives and sits on the board of the Independent Educational Consultant Association Global Committee. She is a frequent contributor to professional organizations on best practices for supporting international students, a speaker on educational leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education, a judge for China Thinks Big, and a guest speaker at Columbia Teacher's College, Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations, Northfield Mount Hermon, Winsor School, and in China an innovative holistic educational company called IDEAS. She is currently working on a book on mental health, immigration, international students, and loves international gourmet cooking and outdoor adventure activities.
Shirley Li, Ed.M.
Ed. M Prevention Science and Practice CAS Candidate Harvard Graduate School of Education
Shirley Li is a native New Yorker - born and raised in Queens. She has been in Boston for the past seven years, four of which were spent at Wellesley College, two as a Teaching Fellow with Americorps and Citizen Schools, and last year as an Ed.M. Prevention Science Practice student at HGSE with a concentration on school counseling. Shirley is Chinese American and primarily grew up in a combination of Chinese and American culture, which has been complex and quite confusing. As a child, mental health and well-being was never prioritized by her parents, and therefore, Shirley struggled to express her emotions with a positive outlet. Furthermore, Shirley strongly advocates for students and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, which has also been suppressed by her parents. Shirley encourages all API folks and other people of color to be their true selves. She is currently working on a grant with Boston Public Schools to create more welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ middle schools students. In her work as a future counselor, Shirley works with students to acknowledge the existence of mental illness and the importance of practicing self care.
Cindy is a doctoral student at Teachers College Columbia University in the department of Organization and Leadership. She was born and raised in Beijing, China. She spent a year in Omaha Nebraska as a foreign exchange student at age fifteen. Cindy has over 10 years of experiences in international education and the cultural exchange field, and 7 years of experiences in designing and delivering leadership programs for students, teachers, principals, and professionals in China. She has delivered over 30 social-emotional learning related workshops to over 7000 high school students. Furthermore, Cindy founded a year long intercultural immersion program for foreign exchange students and college freshmen to accelerate their academic and social life in the U.S. Cindy holds a M.A. degree in Adult Learning and Leadership from Columbia University, and a B.A. degree in Adult and Organizational Development from Temple University.
Ed.M Candidate Technology, Innovation, & Education Harvard Graduate School of Education
Drew Ochengco is a first-generation Filipinx-American biomolecular engineer and educator. Born in Torrance, CA and having studied in Santa Cruz, CA, they have gained a deep passion for increasing equitable access to STEM education across California public schools. Drew is committed to teaching STEM interdisciplinarily – to include the humanities *and humanity*. They have been a practicing elementary, middle, high school, and university educator and recently co-founded APIQTS: Asian Pacific Islander Queer and Trans Students.
Ed.M Candidate Prevention Science and Practice, Research Strand Harvard Graduate School of Education
Kristen Jiin Park was born and raised in Southern California and studied Asian American Studies and Psychology at Pitzer College. During her four years at Pitzer College, she served as an Admissions Diversity Intern and Asian American Students program coordinator. She was able to work on promoting equity and inclusion on campus, as well as, throughout the institution’s admissions processes. Kristen was awarded the Margo-Okazawa Fellowship and Peter Kiang Thesis Award for her research on Asian American women’s experiences with eating disorders and mental health. After graduating from college, Kristen moved to Busan, South Korea on a Fulbright Fellowship. Kristen is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in Prevention Science and Practice, with an emphasis quantitative research at Harvard Graduate School of Education. After graduating HGSE, Kristen hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology to teach, practice, and research culturally competent mental health preventions and interventions for ethnic and racial minority communities.