Rhew appointed faculty co-lead of AAPISC

(July 1, 2023) Dr. Robert Rhew has been appointed as faculty co-chair of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Standing Committee (AAPISC)

AAPISC is an advisory committee to the Chancellor, composed of students, staff and faculty, that works to increase the visibility and understanding of the diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities on the UC Berkeley campus. AAPISC operates under the executive sponsorship of the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion. “The charge of AAPISC is to raise greater awareness about and develop strategic solutions to address AAPI undergraduate and graduate student, staff, and faculty issues and needs on campus.”

AAPISC was founded in 2019 by Dr. Lisa Hirai Tsuchitani, who served as the first faculty co-chair of AAPISC, along with staff co-chair Marcia Gee Riley. Dr. Rhew joins the recently appointed staff co-chair Jocelyn Banaria in being the second team of co-chairs for AAPISC, picking up the important mission that Lisa and Marcia initiated and advanced during the critical first years, along with AAPISC members. In Spring 2021, AAPISC published “Twenty Years Later: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at UC Berkeley”, which showed that the challenges faced by AAPI communities at UC Berkeley have not significantly changed over the past 20 years, as many of the same issues were raised in the 2001 report “Visibility and Marginality, Asian Americans at Berkeley: A report to Chancellor Berdahl.”

This year’s goals for AAPISC include: improving the recruitment and retention rates of underrepresented AA and PI ethnic groups at undergraduate and graduate levels; disaggregating how data are reported for AAPI, as there is a wide variance of experiences between the many diverse groups within AAPI; rectifying the salary inequity for Asian American Senate Faculty, which has persisted and grown over the last 13 years, while every other study group (women; URM)has achieved equity or better; rectifying the signficant underrepresentation of AAPI staff in manager and supervisory roles, in which AAPI staff have persistently had the lowest parity among the 4 largest race/ethnic groups at UC Berkeley; raising attention for the lack of AAPI in Senior Management positions (currently zero at UC Berkeley, the lowest among all of the UCs); and raising awareness to combat implicit bias against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at all levels of the university.

Caption: AAPISC logo designed by Dara Sengchanthavong (2020), former AAPISC student representative, who writes “From the three motifs in the logo–water, hands, and a blooming flower–I hoped to represent generations of knowledge, growth, and guidance. The wave in the background is the generations before us, the hand being current generations and guidance and the plumeria flower in the middle representing endless potential and new beginnings–whether that be in direct actions or uplifting the next generation of organizers and community leaders.”

Robert Rhew
Robert Rhew
Associate Professor

Professor Rhew is the Principal Investigator of the UC Berkeley Atmospheric Biogeochemistry Lab