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Director of PAACH: Ajay Nair

Ajay Nair

Dr. Ajay T. Nair, has been named director of the Pan-Asian American Community House (PAACH) and assistant director of the Asian American Studies Program. He will explore issues relevant to the Asian American experience, and cultivate an appreciation and understanding of diverse Asian cultures represented at Penn.

"I have a wonderful opportunity to bridge student life with academics," Dr. Nair said. "Penn is at the cutting edge. Not many institutions can boast of having an Asian Pacific American community center that welcomes community members of all backgrounds to celebrate the diversity and richness of Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences."

Dr. Nair is pleased with the way that PAACH is integrated into the academic life of the campus. "The PAACH is unique in that it has an academic partner, Penn's Asian American Studies Program, to provide co-curricular events focusing on Asian American research, culture, history, politics and social issues. We are one of the few institutions in the country implementing such an innovative model."

Dr. Nair's responsibilities include identifying and developing strategies to increase Penn's efforts to advise students on academic and professional issues; strengthening the Asian American Studies Program; organizing conferences, symposia and other public events on topics of political, social and cultural importance for Asian American communities; and providing resource and research materials on Asian American political, cultural and community concerns. He will also be responsible for helping to recruit and retain students, expanding alumni relations, and increasing Penn's local and national linkages with Asian American communities and organizations.

"We are proud to welcome someone with Dr. Nair's leadership experience and extensive involvement in Asian American community affairs into this position," said Dr. Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, VPUL.

Prior to joining Penn, Dr. Nair was the assistant dean of students at the University of Virginia. He has also been a counselor in the Multicultural Resource Center at Penn State where he received his B.S. and his Ph.D. in workforce education and development. His master of human services degree is from Lincoln University.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 11, November 5, 2002