The People Behind PAACH

PAACH Professional Staff & Interns

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Peter Van Do

Director | pvan@upenn.edu 

(he/him/his) Peter Van Do is the Director for the Pan-Asian American Community House (cultural & resource center) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). As a University Administrator, he works with a community of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) undergraduate and graduate/professional students, faculty, staff, alumni, partners, and local community members to discuss overall community development solutions while overseeing programs and initiatives that expands, empowers, and educates issues concerning identity, race, and racism at Penn. He specializes in the following: Community Outreach; Organizational and Program Development; Event Planning; and Student Affairs (Mentorship, Diversity Training, Strategic Planning, Leadership and Team Building, Fundraising, etc.). He has worked in higher education for over 15 years at institutions like Harvard, Cornell, and now, Penn. Peter has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in History (minor in Asian American Studies) at the University of Maryland, has a Master’s of Arts Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, and has studied at SUNY-Binghamton, Harvard, Cornell, and Penn. Peter’s primary research areas include the Vietnam War/South Vietnamese veteran experience, and Vietnamese American immigration story. Other intellectual interests follow the topic of race, class, gender, social citizenship, psychological oppression, and popular culture. Peter has taught in Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University. In his spare time, he dedicates time to help non-profit organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area. He serves as a Planning Committee Member of the East Coast Higher Education Network of Centers/Advisors that directly support Asian & Asian American College Students, an Advisor of the Asian Mosaic Fund (AMF) Giving Circle, a diverse group of multi-generational donors committed to advancing the well-being of the Greater Philadelphia Asian American Community, an Advisory Board Member of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (AACCGP), a Board Member of the Indochinese American Council (IAC) where building community around education and advancement creates opportunities for disadvantaged  and immigrant children, youth, and adults in North Philadelphia, a Board Member of Tempesta di Mara, the premier Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra, and a Commissioner of the Jenkintown Borough Planning Commission. In Philadelphia, Peter has been named Philadelphia’s Business Journal Class of 2019 Forty Under Forty, and has been recognized for his leadership by Penn, 6abc News, and the Pan-Asian Association of Greater Philadelphia. Peter was born and raised in Connecticut, and is a descendent of Vietnamese refugee “boat people.” Peter enjoys dining out, festivals, karaoke, traveling, and making positive and meaningful connections.

Hitomi Yoshida

Program Coordinator | hyoshida@upenn.edu

(she/her/hers) Hitomi has worked in higher education and qualitative research since 1995. Before joining PAACH, Hitomi was the Diversity Programs Manager for the Penn Museum, and the Associate Director for the Intergenerational Center at Temple University. Hitomi is a Penn alum with an M.S. Ed. from Penn’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) and she is experienced in facilitating collaborative learning and community engagement. In her spare time, Hitomi likes to attend community-based art events, and cheer for her sons’ dance performances and lacrosse games, and raise her little doggie, Charlie. Hitomi appreciate the open and genuine dialogues facilitated in the PAACH communities.

Cindy Au-Kramer

Temporary Finance & Operations Coordinator |

(she/her/hers) After completing her BS in Accounting/Geography (SUNY Albany) and MBA (NYU Stern School of Business), Cindy has worked in finance for over 15 years, as a CPA, Investment Bank Controller, Big Four systems implementation consultant and more recently as a healthcare system finance professional.

Last year, she took a honest look at what she really wanted out of life and what kind of impact she wanted to make – to join the Penn community and to help students access campus services. She reached out to AppleOne, a temp agency, and was matched with PAACH!!!  Now, Cindy supports students and provides financial and operational support for PAACH’s many initiatives/programs.

In her spare time, Cindy indulges her love of book art by teaching bookbinding in the local community, builds online communities, and creates fun experiences for her tween/teen children.

 

Chandani Battle

Intern | battle22@wharton.upenn.edu

(she/her/hers) I’m a Bay Area native and current Senior at the Wharton School concentrating in Management and Social Impact. I deeply care about people and social issues and love that I have been able to find a space to build community and follow my passion as a leader and community member of PAACH. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions PAACH related or not and stop by to say hi!

Jarek Azim

Intern | jazim@sas.upenn.edu

(he/him/his) I am a senior from Harrisburg, PA in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in International Relations and East Asian Languages and Civilizations. I love learning about other people’s experiences and creating bonds. When improving the community, I think it is very important to create comfortable and vulnerable relationships with people, especially those who need a person to relax with. To me, PAACH truly feels like the ideal space for the wholesome conversations you wouldn’t otherwise have in class! Feel free to ask me any questions, or just even chat and play video games with me at PAACH!

Kaitlyn Francisco

Intern | kafranc@nursing.upenn.edu

(she/her/hers) I am a sophomore from New Jersey in the School of Nursing, aiming to be a pediatric oncology nurse with the end goal of becoming a nurse practitioner! During my time as a PAACH intern, I want to support Asian-Americans in their fight against racism and the model minority myth. I hope to make PAACH a safe and comforting space for all to spend time in. Feel free to stop by and chat with me (or challenge me to a game of Super Smash Bros – up to you)!

Jessica Sui

Intern | jesssui@seas.upenn.edu

(she/her/hers) I am a junior studying Mechanical Engineering from Winnipeg, Canada. Aside from being a PAACH intern, I am also involved in Spice Collective, which means I am very passionate about my Asian identity and how it intersects with other aspects of myself. Even though I am studying engineering, I am also very interested in learning about history, anthropology, social impact, education, and more! I love PAACH as a space to de-stress, grab some snacks, and find community; I hope everyone has a chance to come visit and chat with us at some point!

Sakshi Lende

Intern | saklen13@seas.upenn.edu

(she/her/hers) Hi! I’m a freshman from New Jersey studying Mechanical Engineering in SEAS. I love meeting and collaborating with new people, and I’m interested in learning more about different cultures and backgrounds. In my free time, I enjoy reading and listening to music. I’m excited to be part of this community, and I look forward to seeing everyone at PAACH!

Raisis a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is originally from Bangladesh, but moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico when she was nine years old. She is currently planning on majoring in International Relations. Outside of PAACH, Raisa is involved with the Community Outreach and Engagement committee of the International Affairs Association; ACTION, which tutors elementary school kids in Spanish; and ASAP, which is an after school music program for kids. Her passions include foreign languages, learning about different cultures, singing, and dancing.