The People Behind PAACH



Peter Van Do

Director | 

(he/him/his) Peter Van Do is the Director for the Pan-Asian American Community House (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 students, faculty, staff, alumni, allies, 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). 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 is pursuing a Master’s of Arts Degree in Asian Studies from Cornell University. 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 an advisor for 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. He is also an Community Advisory Board Member of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (AACCGP), and Board Member of the Indochinese American Council where building community around education and advancement creates opportunities for disadvantaged  and immigrant children, youth, and adults in North 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 |

(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.

Chandani Battle

Intern |

(she/her/hers) I’m a Bay Area native and current junior 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.

Jarek Azim

Intern |

(he/him/his) I am a junior from Harrisburg, PA in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in International Relations and East Asian Languages and Civilizations. I am also involved with Penn AAPI Politics, 7|8, IRUSA, and APALI.  During my time as a PAACH Intern, I hope to to unify the various communities in the Asian/Asian American community through sharing experiences and creating bonds. I hope to bridge the gaps in myown polarizing identities and is excited to be friends with anyone who might be going through similar situations As a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I enjoy working with his friends in bettering the conditions for this community. I hope to further integrate the Asian community with the LGBTQ+ community in the future. One of my favorite characteristics of PAACH is how comforting the space is, and how it allows for wholesome conversations. To me, PAACH truly feels like the ideal space for the conversations you wouldn’t otherwise have in class! In my free time, I enjoy studying languages through entertainment and playing video games. Feel free to stop by and play video games with me at PAACH!

Kaitlyn Kong

Intern |

(she/her/hers) I’m a sophomore in the School of Nursing from Honolulu, Hawaii. Outside of the PAACH Intern Program I am also a PEER mentee and a member of Penn Lions. I appreciate how PAACH has enabled me to engage more with my identity, culture, and other members of Penn’s community who are interested in doing the same. Throughout my experience at Penn I hope to continue growing with PAACH and actively serve the communities that continually provide a home for me to return to.

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.