Underwood to lead group of colleges, universities serving Asian American, Pacific Islander students


Sapian Tribune
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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MANGILAO, Guam-The University of Guam President Robert Underwood, Ed.D., has been named vice chairman of the board of directors for the Asian Pacific Islander American Association of Colleges and Universities, which was launched yesterday to help address the complex set of social realities facing students in the underrepresented and underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Underwood will help lead the new national umbrella organization and advocate on behalf of all Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions-minority-serving institutions designated by Congress that have at least a 10 percent enrollment of AAPI students and have a significant number of AAPI students who are Pell Grant eligible, among other criteria-to better serve the unique needs of the nearly 1.2 million AAPI students attending these institutions across the nation.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., APIACU supports AANAPISIs in a manner similar to that which the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education serve Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, respectively.

The mission of APIACU has four objectives: (1) To promote the development of member colleges and universities; (2) to improve the quality of postsecondary educational opportunities and access thereto for AAPI students; (3) to meet the needs of business, industry, and government through the development and sharing of resources, information, and expertise; and (4) to support and lobby for the success of AANAPISIs through the development of programmatic activities of AANAPISIs.

“The University of Guam serves a student population that is over 90 percent Asian and Pacific Islander. This new organization brings national focus to the unique population we serve and allows us to collaborate with other institutions across the country to develop ways to enhance educational experiences and provide additional opportunities to our students,” said Underwood.

Serving along with Underwood on the APIACU board of directors are chair Mark Mitsui, president of North Seattle Community College; and co-vice chair Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., president of Seton Hall University. Together they will work with APIACU president and CEO Ruby G. Moy to lead the organization.

The idea to develop APIACU was presented last year during the first annual higher education summit held by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund-the nation’s largest nonprofit organization devoted solely to providing college scholarships for AAPI students-in which the group gave its endorsement to create a national organization of this kind.

APIACU was announced during the 2011 APIASF College Completion Forum: Strengthening Institutions that Serve Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. (UOG)

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