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Meet the 2014 Interns
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KEVIN BAUTISTA is a rising senior at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minors in History and Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies. At Michigan, he has served as the secretary of the Filipino American Student Association during the 2013-2014 academic year and is currently the administrative chair on the expansion committee for a pre-law and public policy fraternity on campus. Additionally, he has been a research assistant in both the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and Department of Political Science. 

Kevin was born and raised in Saipan, the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth in the Western Pacific. For him, growing up in a relatively unknown US territory gave him a unique upbringing and strong foundation for how he sees the world. He characterizes himself as being both an Asian American and a Pacific Islander and attributes his passion for a career in public service to his close-knit community in the Northern Marianas. He is particularly interested in advocating for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community at the national level, particularly in issues like immigration and xenophobia. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys playing basketball, jamming on the ukulele, and long walks on the beach.

Kevin will be interning at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).


EMILY CHONG is a rising senior at Vanderbilt University, pursuing majors in Political Science and Psychology, along with a minor in Corporate Strategy. Reflecting her interest in civic service, she has served as the Director-General of Secretariat for Vanderbilt’s Model United Nations Conference, Site Leader for Alternative Spring Break, and Director of Philanthropy for the Vanderbilt International Relations Association. Along with those activities, she is very fortunate to be able to stay in touch with her Asian heritage as the Co-Cultural Vice President of the Asian American Student Association. Emily is extremely excited to run ANYF in the upcoming year, one of the largest multicultural shows at Vanderbilt. Additionally, she is an active member of Phi Sigma Pi and Mortar Board, an honors fraternity and honors service organization, respectively.

In the future, Emily Hopes to work as an attorney for a federal agency, combining her interest in law and passion for making a difference in the community. In the past, she has worked as a legal assistant for the Ferrara Law Firm and programs intern for the Roosevelt Institute | Rediscovering Government initiative. Beyond her extra-curricular and professional pursuits, Emily also enjoys exploring new things, dancing ballet, and going on adventures!

Emily will be interning at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Click here to watch Emily's Intern Spotlight Video!


TIFFANY CHOU is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.  Her passion for animals, people, and world travel led her to earn a degree in Environmental Policy and Spanish.  On campus she served as the Co-President of Chinese Students Association, a Residential Adviser, an Uncle Joe's Peer Counselor, and was also a member of Lock & Chain Sophomore Honorary and the Burning Kumquat Student-Run Organic Farm.  She also participated in the Association of Latin American Students' annual Carnaval Celebration as a co-choreographer for the belly dance production.  Over the past few summers, Tiffany has participated as a Staff Member of the Taiwanese American Foundation summer conference mentoring junior high-age Taiwanese youth, studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador, and backpacked across the Rocky Mountains.  

In her free time, Tiffany enjoys numerous craft hobbies including sewing, drawing, photography, making jewelry, painting, crocheting, and bookbinding.  She is a firm believer that a unique sense of style is an important form of personal branding.  Currently she is teaching herself how to play the guitar and learning how to be a vegetarian chef extraordinaire.  In the future, she hopes to find a career that can handle all of her creative energy.

In the meantime, Tiffany will be interning at the OCA National Center.


TERI CHUNG is a Korean American and a recent graduate from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Political Science as well as a double minor in Asian American Studies and Sociology. As an undergraduate, she was involved in numerous organizations. She served as the Vice President, Cultural Chair, Community Service Chair and Philanthropy Chair of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority Inc., in addition to serving as the President for the Intercultural Greek Council and the Event Coordinator of the Pan Asian Council. During the summer of 2012, she interned with Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) in Washington DC, where she worked with the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA) in order to mobilize the Youth Vote Campaign through APIA fraternities and sororities in the United States. Also, she served as the Co-Team Lead for the NAPA Dream Team in which she worked with regional coordinators and NAPA leadership in order to increase civic engagement on college campuses nationwide. In the fall, Teri will be attending law school where she will be pursuing a J.D. degree and a career in public interest law. During her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball, cooking and baking and going to explore new places with her friends and family.

Teri will be interning at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).


DANIEL HODDINOTT Daniel Hoddinott is a rising senior at Rutgers University, majoring in Human Resource Management and Labor Studies and Employment Relations. He identifies as a first generation Korean American adoptee and hopes to return to South Korea someday.

On campus, Daniel is a former senior intern at the Asian American Cultural Center, Social Chair and Asian Student Council Representative for the Vietnamese Student Association, and an active member of Queer and Asian. In addition Daniel is currently serving on the East Coast Asian American Student Union National Board as an advocacy coordinator. For the past year, Daniel has helped organize the first ever AAPI Mental Health Summit at UMASS-Boston and co-organized the first ever AAPI Adoption Forum at UPENN for ECAASU. Daniel has had many great mentors through Yale’s Korean American Student Association, Rutgers’ University Asian American Cultural Center, and ECAASU whom have all helped shape his Asian American identity.  

During his free time, Daniel enjoys playing soccer, tennis, hiking, traveling, and eating. He is very excited to be interning in DC this summer and looks forward to getting to know the other interns!

Daniel will be interning at the OCA National Center.

Click here to watch Daniel's Intern Spotlight video!


MELERELINI IOANE was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She is currently an undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach. She is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Asian American Studies. She is a Pacific Islander from the island of Samoa. As Melerelini grew up, she found a passion of helping others especially her Asian Pacific Islander community. Melerelini is one of the founding class for the first Pacific Islander Sorority, PELE: The sorority of Oceania. She is involved with various Pacific Islander events promoting higher education towards Pacific Islanders to register and be involved within the community. At CSULB, Melerelini is a part of Pacific Islander Association (PIA). She educates Pacific Islander youth about the history of the different cultures and importance of what their ancestors did for them to be here today.  She is currently working at the Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach helping middle school students to get into rigorous magnet programs.

Melerelini promotes going green because of the climate change which is affecting different islands that are sinking due to global warming. She has started a garden club and has planted in low income areas to promote healthy eating, going green and being able to educate students the importance of recycling. Because the numbers of Asian Pacific Islanders are growing throughout the Los Angeles area, she one day hopes to open a API Resource Center in the Los Angeles area to help Asian Pacific Islanders.  

Melerelini will be interning at the OCA National Center.

JENNIFER KAO is a rising sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an intended-Business Administration major and Public Policy minor. On campus, she is a news reporter for CalTV, Cal's online television station. This past spring, she also served as the Public Relations Chair of EthiCAL Apparel, a student-run, nonprofit business that designs and prints custom apparel to alleviate global poverty. Outside of Cal, she founded the TechBridge Initiative, a student-run organization working to bridge the digital divide for foster youth in her community. These experiences have opened up her perspective on a diversity of issues and made her realize the importance of collaboration and vision in achieving a common cause.

Jennifer first got involved in OCA as a freshman in high school when she participated in her local branch, OCA-San Mateo's Speak and Lead with Pride program for youth. She presented her winning speech at the 2010 OCA National Convention and was inspired by the community leaders she met and OCA's 2010 summer interns. She is thrilled to be furthering her involvement with OCA as a 2014 summer intern and looks forward to learning and contributing as much as she can.

Jennifer will be interning at the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).


JENNY LU is a student at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Political Science and Media Studies. This year, she is currently an intern for the Asian Pacific Student Development office at UC Berkeley and co-chaired the 24th annual Asian Pacific Islander Issues Conference (APIICON). She is also the story editor and a writer for hardboiled: the only Asian Pacific American newsmagazine on campus. She is active in organizing programming that caters to the API community and educational equity.
Jenny also has experience working in the California State Legislature as well as grassroots campaigning for electoral politics.

Jenny was born and raised in Oakland, California and is a first generation college student. She identifies as Southeast Asian Chinese and resonates deeply with the second-generation refugee immigrant experience. Jenny’s background and experience growing up in the Bay Area inspired her to be active in the API community. She is passionate about working with low income, refugee, and multicultural communities to alleviate the struggles of families and community members. Her dream is to be able to work on policies that support low-income multicultural communities to provide safe homes, affordable healthcare, and opportunities to higher education. When she’s not busy studying or working, she likes to paint and watch Adventure Time.

Jenny will be interning at the OCA National Center.


ENG GIN MOE is a rising junior at Georgetown University, pursuing a degree in Science, Technology and International Affairs, concentrating in Business, Growth and Development with a concentration in Asian Studies. She has done previous work engaging the APA community as the Entertainment Co-Chair of the 2014 ECAASU Conference staff. On campus, she serves as Campus Outreach Director for the organization Women of Color and Director of Outreach for the student government organization, the Georgetown University Student Association. In the latter role, she chairs the Multicultural Council, an initiative that aims to empower all racial minority communities and provide a direct and constant line of communication to the student administration. In the future, she hopes to become a lawyer and eventually return to her native country of Myanmar to help local businesses prosper and navigate working with foreign companies. 

Eng Gin will be interning at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Click here to watch Eng Gin's Intern Spotlight video!

 FAE MONTGOMERY  is a rising sophomore at Swarthmore College. She is a prospective English and Studio Arts double major, but is currently exploring the many possibilities that a liberal arts college offers. Being of mixed ethnic descent, she cares deeply for issues that minorities face, especially within her local Vietnamese community. Her past internships aimed to improve the lives of fellow minorities have included working at the Business Development Assistance Group, a non-profit geared towards helping small minority businesses and AASuccess, a nonprofit dedicated to helping minority students achieve personal, academic, and professional success. She currently works as the Executive Associate and writer at AASuccess and its partner, Business Culture and Language Centre. In her free time, Fae enjoys reading, writing, painting, dancing, acting, and traveling.

Fae will be interning at Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote (APIA Vote).


ROTHANA OUN is a senior at Georgia State University-Atlanta, majoring in Literature & Creative Writing w/minors in Japanese and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. He identifies as a Queer-Asian-Feminist-Boi(as-in-body-modified)-Writer-Artist-Poet-Cub. As a second-generation Asian/American and first-generation college-student, whose family immigrated to America as refugees of the Cambodian-Genocide, he’s grown conscious of his socio-economic, gendered, and educational privilege and seeks to spend that privilege in a constructive and inclusive manner, especially through his intersections of activism/social-justice, academia, and art.

At university, he has served as Vice-President of The Poetry Society, where he has co-coordinated poetry-workshops, readings, & spoken-performances. Currently, he is Co-President of The Progressive Student Alliance, a left-of-center activist-organization, and also serves as President of The Asian Studies Club, where he helps to promote cultural, artistic, & scholarly activities related to Asia and Asian/Americans.

As an activist, he has protested in demonstrations such as the S.O.A.WATCH, the March for Equality, and the 2013 Summer Dream Graduation/Wedding in D.C. This coming September, he will attend The Center for Media Justice & Southerners on New Ground’s CultureSHIFT Regional Academy, an intensive set of workshops focused on building cultural-strategies and collaboration in the creative & effective use of media-communications.   

He believes that integrated-media and artistic-expression can be a powerful means of healing, play, and politicality, and hopes to work with Queer/API/underserved/& marginalized-communities through providing inclusive/intersectional approaches to knowledge-making and greater access to intermedia-literacies, artistic/political-expression, and queer-performativity.

Rothana will be interning at the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA).


LYRIS RAMOS is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley where she majored in Legal Studies and minored in Public Policy. She is interested in learning about issues impacting the APA and other communities of color, but she is most passionate about human rights, immigration reform, and restorative justice work in the U.S. criminal justice system. She is eager to pursue a post-grad career grounded in public policy and/or civil rights advocacy and legislation in order to determine her role as a citizen, a thinker, and an activist. She also hopes to attend law school and become a public interest attorney in the future. She was actively involved in multiple programs and multicultural organizations at Cal including the Associated Students of the University of California Student Legal Clinic (SLC) and Renters’ Legal Assistance (RLA), Residential and Student Service Programs (RSSP), Pilipino American Alliance (PAA), and the Retention Component for the Pilipino Academic Student Services (PASS). She was a student participant at the San Quentin Prison Restorative Justice Roundtable in Fall 2013 and a spring program participant at the UC Berkeley Public Service Center’s "Alternative Breaks” immigration trip to Arizona in March 2014. She enjoys spontaneous trips with family and friends, edible excursions, city explorations, panoramic views, good reads, traveling, networking, and watching Netflix in her spare time.

Lyris will be interning at the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD).

Click here to watch Lyris' Intern Spotlight video!


MITHIN THOMAS is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently pursuing a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology as well as a minor in Asian American Studies (ASAM). During his time at Penn, Mithin has been involved with Penn Masti, a South Asian Fusion Co-Ed Dance Troupe, the Asian Pacific Student Coalition (APSC), an umbrella organization that serves as the voice for all Asian and Pacific Islander (API) students on campus, and the Sigma Chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon, Fraternity Inc., an Asian-interest fraternity.

On campus, Mithin has been most passionate about addressing the unspoken divide between different ethnic communities, especially one that exists between South Asians, East Asians, Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders. Having lived in the city of Brotherly Love for the past eleven years, Mithin has a lot of pride for the city, its cultural heritage, and its urban atmosphere. Born to Indian parents in Saudi Arabia, Mithin has also had the opportunity to live in three different countries (Saudi Arabia, India, and Canada) before coming to the United States.

In the future, Mithin hopes to attend medical school to specialize in neurosurgery. He is also considering continuing studies in Anthropology by traveling and doing research in different urban environments. In his spare time, Mithin likes to choreograph to the latest hip-hop and RnB songs, spontaneously dance Bhangra, mix music for his team, hack video game consoles and other electronic gadgets, and make comic books.

Mithin will be interning at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Click here to watch Mithin's Intern Spotlight video!

 is a rising junior studying Political Science and Economics at New York University. She has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations over the years such as Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV and AIDS (APICHA), the Chinese-American Planning Council, the Summer Leadership Initiative through the Chinatown Youth Initiatives, and many more. On her campus, she is part of A/P/A BRIDGE, a student organization dedicated to advocacy of AAPI issues through education -- the student group leads workshops to raise awareness on community-based issues. This semester, Tina was a workshop coordinator for NYCAASC, the largest free, student-run conference on the east coast, dedicated to addressing issues pertinent to Asian/Pacific/Americans on local, national, and global scales. Tina is dedicated to community organizing, providing service to the underprivileged, and creating a program of leadership amongst the youth. 

Tina will be interning at the D.C. Mayor's Office.

JENNIFER TRAN is a fourth-year Government and Sociology major at the University of Texas at Austin. She is passionate about social justice and has been heavily involved in the Multicultural Engagement Center on campus. Within the center, she has served as the Director of Operations for the Asian Desi Pacific Islander American Collective as well as the chair of the Asian American Leadership Council. In response to the Fisher v. Texas case, she and several other student leaders coordinated the We Support UT campaign to mobilize support for the university and equal opportunity in education. Their efforts garnered national attention and had the support of civil rights organizations AALDEF, MALDEF, and NAACP LDF.

Jennifer has also been heavily involved in The Project, Austin's largest student-run service event, helping to organize the 15th anniversary of the event as the co-chair of outreach efforts. She has also enjoyed being a peer mentor, and has been a cluster facilitator for LeaderShape-Texas as well as a mentor for the Leadership Education and Progress program. She has interned at the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, and YStrategy, a political consulting firm.

In the future, she intends to continue advocating for social justice and creating space for marginalized communities to mobilize and participate in the political process. She is excited about interning at OCA and looking forward to developing her skills as an advocate and community organizer. Jennifer enjoys reading, exploring, catching up on "Scandal”, and spending time with friends. 

Jennifer will be interning at the White house Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Click here to watch Jennifer's Intern Spotlight video!


My name is PHENG KONG VANG. I am Hmong. I was born in the refugee camp in Thailand and was raised in California. I am a transfer student to California State University of Sacramento from Sacramento City College. I graduated from Sacramento City with three Associates of Arts in Political Science, International Studies, and Social Science. I’m currently a senior at Sacramento State College pursing my Bachelor of Arts in Government with a concentration in International Relations. I love volunteering my time to help community and school organizations. I’m a proud member of the OCA chapter in Sacramento, Hmong University Student Associations and CSU APPI Ambassador at Sacramento State, Hmong Opportunities Program for Education at Sacramento City College, and Hmong Student Union at UC Davis. I’m very dedicated to my work and value a good relationship with all the people I had met. I’m passionate, determined, and confident with the work in the APPI community. I live by my quote, "When you find what you desire most, that is what you will become.” 

I will be interning at the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC).

Click here to watch Kong's Intern Spotlight video!


JAE YANG is a rising sophomore at Pima Community College pursing an Associate of Arts before transferring to a University to major in Economics with a concentration in Economic History. While being a full time student, he currently serves on OCA Tucson’s executive board as Secretary and has completed a Spring Fellowship with a local Organizing For Action Chapter.

On campus, Jae was the Vice President for Asian Pacific American Student Affairs and Secretary of the Alpha Beta Chi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He has recently attended the Asian Americans Advancing Justice Youth Leadership Summit as well as the Japanese American Citizens League/OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. After growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, these experiences have cultivated his passion for racial and social justice. In his free time, he enjoys researching and contributing to his economics professor’s work, and spending time with his family and friends.

Jae will be interning at the OCA National Center.

 VERONICA ZAMANI proudly hails from the San Francisco Bay Area and is a soon-to-be third year at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is majoring in Political Science and double minoring with Public Policy and Education Studies. Veronica is a first generation college student and citizen, her parents emigrating from Iran and the islands of Tonga. Her involvement on campus includes being the youth conference coordinator and first year admit weekend coordinator for the small yet fierce Pacific Islands’ Student Association, which has strong connections within the PI community. She also works as a peer advisor for the student-initiated outreach project, Pacific Islander Education and Retention, which seeks to tutor and peer advise Pacific Islander high school youth in the greater Los Angeles area as a means for higher graduation and college matriculation rates of PI students. She is passionate about education, specifically increasing the quality of support and resources provided to those of historically underrepresented backgrounds. She also has interest in the ramifications of gaping income inequality as it pertains to educational access from pre-K through to university level schooling.

In the future, Veronica hopes to become a policy analyst and lobbyist advocating for social justice issues in her areas of interest, but she is open to any and all public sector work that aligns with her passions for equity. In her free time, Veronica enjoys indulging in wholesome television, movies, and books or when she’s feeling more active, playing volleyball and exploring new places.

Veronica will be interning at the National Education Association (NEA).

Click here to watch Veronica's Intern Spotlight video!






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