Liz Hornyak: On this week’s episode, Eastern Michigan University’s Women’s Resource Center hosts its annual Women of Excellence ceremony, students organize a vigil to honor victims of anti-Asian violence, and EMU’s Center for Digital Engagement is offering 48 paid internships for current and graduating students. I am your host, Liz Hornyak, and this is the Eastern Echo Podcast.
On Monday, April 12, EMU’s Women’s Resource Center hosted its annual Women’s of Excellence Ceremony. This year’s theme was “Women Becoming Whole: Physical, Spiritual, and Mental Wellness. The keynote speaker this year was Dr. Joneigh S. Khalden, the Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan, and the current Chief Deputy Director for health in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Khalden received the Community Impact Award.
The following three EMU staff members won Women of Excellence awards: Rhonda Vanderzwag, the Director of Basketball Operations, Jenney Clark, a Lab Coordinator at the Disability Resource Center, and Allison Boone Green, a full time lecturer in the College of Education.
Eight students also received the Women Of Excellence Scholarship. The recipients were Hailee Hall, Mikaela Trowbridge, Tiffany Chen, Rachel Neil, Kari Klavon, Simone Brown, Katie Lane-Waters and Heather Bower.
On Friday, April 16, Student Government, EMU’s Southeast Asian Student Association, and Kapamilya Club hosted a candlelight vigil to honor victims of anti-Asian violence. The vigil, which took place on the lawn in front of King Hall, follows the mass shootings that occurred in Atlanta on March 16 where six Asian women were killed. According to a report released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 149% in 2020 in America's major cities.
At the vigil, students got to share their own experiences of discrimination, and expressed the importance of having allies, and educating their communities about anti-Asian discrimination.
Emily Tran, who serves as the secretary of SEASA, continually worries for her family’s safety.
Tran: I think, most of all, I‘m just scared for myself and my family. I think that’s definitely the biggest thing, and I feel fortunate enough that I [appear] more white than Asian. So sometimes I feel fortunate about that, but I know that’s not something that other people don’t have the privilege of being thankful for.
Hornyak: Jeffrey Hoang, a Student Senator, expressed that as an Asian-American himself, Hoang felt called to stand in solidarity with the community.
Hoang: Honestly, as an Asian-American, I feel like sometimes we try to hide our identities, or try to assimilate, and I feel like that’s kind of what I’ve kind of done most of my life. So seeing all these attacks has really made me focus on who I am, and how I should be more involved in my community and care for them.
Hornyak: Justin Arriola, president of Kapamilya Club, hopes that the national wave of demonstrations against anti-Asian hate can help start conversations about anti-AAPI discrimination.
Arriola: I feel like prior to these few months, no one has really spoken about Asian racism, because they just feel like it never really happens. But it happens all the time. I experienced it just recently. It’s everywhere.
Hornyak: The Center for Digital Engagement is offering 48 internships to current students and alumni. The remote internship program will be from mid June - mid August and lasts nine weeks. Interns will work in groups of two with Ann Arbor SPARK’s high tech incubator The position pays $15.51 an hour.
“70 % of students, or interns go on to work in either digital marketing or for a high-tech company, so it gives you an immediate entry into working for different kinds of companies in Southwest Michigan,” said Bud Gibson, a professor of integrated marketing here at EMU and the Director of the Center for Digital Engagement.
To apply for this internship program, you can go to digitalsummer.clinic/apply-now and for more information about the internship program and the Center for Digital Engagement you can visit digitalsummer.clinic. The deadline to apply is April 30.
As always, thank you for listening. This episode was reported by Catherine Lietz, Ronia Cabansag, and Megan Forystek; scripted by Jasmine Boyd, and produced by Ethan Myers. I am your host, Liz Hornyak and this is the Eastern Echo Podcast.