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Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

September 1, 2014

Second Annual Rising SEAs Conference Inspires High School Students

2014 Rising SEAS Conference

The 2014 Rising SEAS Conference participantsOMA&D Recruitment & Outreach

Thirty high school students from the Seattle area attended the second annual Rising SEAs Conference, Aug. 23. Hosted by the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity’s (OMA&D) Recruitment and Outreach team, the event was aimed to encourage and foster the leadership of underrepresented Southeast Asians and other Asian Americans.

Robert Yuong, math teacher at Tacoma’s Henry Foss High School and the 2008 KCTS 9 Golden Apple Award recipient, served as the keynote speaker. Not only is Yuong one of the state’s top educators, he overcame significant adversity just to be where he is today. At the age of 10, he escaped from his home country of Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975. He ended up in a Thai refugee camp and eventually came to Tacoma. Yuong shared his inspirational story and credited his own teachers for helping him succeed.

The conference also featured welcome remarks from UW Vice President for Minority Affairs and Vice Provost for Diversity Sheila Edwards Lange. Workshops included an overview of Southeast Asian history in the United States from American Ethnic Studies professor Connie So, as well as a presentation about the UW’s No Longer Invisible Project from OMA&D Academic Counselor Linda Ando and Undergraduate Academic Affairs Senior Academic Advisor Chanira Sperry.

Additional OMA&D staff members providing event support were Toka Valu and Tey Thach from the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center.