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Research Projects and Grants

With support from the University and various foundations, the AASC provides various academic and professional programs aimed at promoting student success and engaging students in community-based research projects intended to document the ethno-histories, unique languages, cultures, socio/political, economic, educational organizations, and immigration experiences of the Asian and Asian Americans in Houston, and through out the United States.

Multicultural Success Initiative Grant

The AASC received the Multicultural Success Initiative (MSI) grant from the Office of the Provost to improve academic outcomes of minority students, increase university community engagement, engage in and disseminate scholarly research and provide professional development through varied on-campus and off-campus activities. The grant expands mentorship, research projects and community engagement activities to support all students and local residents interested in Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander issues in higher education.

MSI Related Projects

  • MSI Mentoring Program: Beginning in the Fall 2020 semester, 11 doctoral students were awarded scholarships to work with 22 UH undergraduate students to overcome the challenges and difficult time during the pandemic. Doctoral student mentors meet regularly with undergraduate mentees, providing much needed socio/emotional, academic, and financial support during the challenging pandemic situation.
    Congratulations to the doctoral and undergraduate students for the MSI scholarship award. Read more about how the mentoring program is helping UH students thrive. 
  • Cross-Institutional Collaborative Webinar: AASC personnel Yali Zou and Gayle Curtis, along with UH doctoral students, are working with UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center Director Robert Teranishi and UCLA doctoral students to co-organize a webinar series on student experiences during COVID-19 pandemic and current issues of Asian American/Pacific Islander students in higher education.  
  • Community Events: The MSI grant helps to support AASC’s continued collaboration with community organizations. Recent community events co-organized and co-hosted by AASC include:  Asian Pacific American Heritage Association (APAHA) Annual Gala (May 2020), Chinese Community Center’s 2020 Restoring Hope Virtual Concert Event (December 5, 2020), and the Celebration of the Chinese and Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival.

Below are photos of mentors and mentees





MSI Related Research

  • Study on the impact of the MSI mentoring program on student achievement during the pandemic  — Researchers Gayle Curtis, Amy Murdock, Yali Zou.
  • Research into Asian / Asian American student issues emerging from the pandemic — Researchers: Gayle Curtis, Kerri Ademosu, Yali Zou.
  • Investigation into the discrimination against Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) during COVID 19 — Researchers: Yali Zou, Gayle Curtis, Robert Teranishi (UCLA). Collaborating with UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Director Robert Teranishi, this research investigates AAPI issues and the implications for education policy.
  • Understanding the racialized experiences of Asian American students — Researchers: Rosa Nam, Abbey Bachman, and Kristian Lenderman under the supervision of Yali Zou.
  • Issues of discrimination and racism again Asian Americans during the pandemic in the community — Researchers: Yali Zou, Gayle Curtis, Mei Preimsberger.

AASC Book and Article Projects

  • Transformational University Leadership in the 21st Century. (2021). Emerald Publishing. Hilary Coulson, Yali Zou,  Frank Fernandez.
  • Navigational leadership: Lessons for administrators in the global higher education era. Yali Zou, Hilary Coulson, Frank Fernandez.
  • Sharing credit with an open heart: An intersectional study of university leadership. Higher Education., Hilary Coulson, Frank Fernandez, Yali Zou.
  • Leading in the eye of a storm: A case study of crisis management and disaster resilience. Studies in Higher Education. Frank Fernandez, Hilary Coulson, Yali Zou.
  • Houston Chinatowns’ Origins and Its Transformation. Zen Zheng, Yali Zou.
  • Family literacy practices in Asian- and Latino families: A comparative look. Editors: Jorge Gonzalez, Yali Zou, Jeff Liew, Gayle Curtis.
  • They’re going to forget about their mother tongue: Influence of Chinese beliefs in child home language and literacy development. Journal of Early Childhood literacy. Jorge Gonzalez, Jeff Liew, Yali Zou, Gayle Curtis, Danny Li.

AASC Research Projects

  • History and Issues of Houston’s Chinese Community Researchers: Zen (Tong) Zheng, Yali Zou.
  • The New American Dream Researchers: Yali Zou, Gayle Curtis, Gerald Bourdeau (doctor student), Amy Murdock (doctoral student) and Stephanie Perez (doctoral student).
  • Asian American Family Literacy Study Researchers: Jorge Gonzalez, Yali Zou, Jeffrey Liew (TAMU), Gayle Curtis, & Danny Li (TAMU).
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Asian American Family Home Literacy Practices Researchers: Yali Zou, Jorge Gonzalez, Gayle Curtis.