Hyphen College Tour: University of Maryland, You're Next!

April 5, 2011

University of Maryland, College Park, Hyphen's coming to you next Tuesday as part of our college tour!

Hyphen has partnered up with I.W. Group and McDonald’s in an effort to inform and empower campuses with its unique perspective on Asian American arts, culture and politics. With style, of course. Next Tuesday, I will be heading out to UMD (again) to mingle with the students. Can't believe it has been a year since I last saw you, but it's about time that I get my Pot Belly fill again.

Here's my tentative schedule:

April 12, 2011
12:00-2:00 PM: Lunch bag session, open to all students
3:30-4:45 PM: Guest Speaker in Gem Daus’ class, Asian American Health. Discussion on Asian Americans and dieting.
TBD: Dinner with AAST staff & faculty
April 13, 2011
12:00-1:15 PM: Guest Speaker in Kozue Tsunoda’s class, Education and Counseling Issues. The topic(s) of discussion are currently being finalized.
TBD: Meeting with AAST staff to discuss the possibilities of future collaboration between AAST and Hyphen magazine.
3:30-4:45 PM: Guest Speaker in Dr. Shinagawa’s class, Asian Americans in DC. General discussion about experiences as publisher of Hyphen.

I will update as the details get more finalized. I imagine that I'll be hanging out at the Asian American Studies office quite a lot so please stop by and say hi.

Now the important part: A contest!

This is specifically for the UMD students that I'll be seeing this coming Tuesday & Wednesday: Tell us what makes you Hyphen.

Let us know by submitting a comment. The best response will win a $50 McDonald's Arch Card and a fancy sweatshirt. If your response is not picked, don't fret. We'll have little giveaways waiting for you when we see you.

Poems, pictures, and any other creative responses are also welcome.

If you're interested in learning more about the Hyphen College Tour and bringing Hyphen to your campus, please contact our speaking engagement coordinator, Bena Li, at bena.li[at]hyphenmagazine[dot]com.


Lisa Lee


Lisa Lee works in User Operations at Facebook, and has more than five years of nonprofit experience in marketing and communications for multicultural arts and cultural organizations.



I believe that I am Hyphen because my culture and identity are not limited to just one ethnicity or title. I was born in the United States but my Heritage is from the Philippines. Because my dad was the youngest in his family, all his siblings, and by default all my cousins and their children are all order than me and have mixed children. We now have Filipino, Korean, Latino, Black, and Caucasian relatives. Our family is a kaleidoscope of cultures and backgrounds which helped me realize that I cannot be limited to only one culture. Looking back at all the things I did last week, I realize that my typical day involves driving to dance practice for the Filipino Cultural Association while listening to Korean Pop music, and brushing up on my Spanish at the restaurant where I ate Japanese food with my half Filipino half Black goddaughter. Furthermore, I look at my schedule and all the things I am involved in at the University of Maryland and realize that the greatness of being here is that even though I am still considered "American" I am also part of a larger community; I am not just one thing, but all things. None of it was planned, it all just happened, I was instantly hyphenated.
I guess I could say all my interests make me hyphen. I am all Chinese but what I like to learn and study and enjoy steps beyond the boundaries of Chinese culture. I like to listen to all sorts of music from many different places including China, Japan, Ireland, Eastern Europe and Latin America. I like to learn history from all sorts of places and I feel like the history I have learned and studied and researched is encompasses more than what an average student would know. I prefer to learn about Asian history but I also like to learn about European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern History. I like to cook and experiment with dishes from all sorts of places. While I am more familiar with Chinese cuisine, I like to experiment with Italian and Japanese foods and sometimes even create fusions of them, though I think I am a better baker than chef. So a lot of what I like to learn and enjoy doesn't deal with just my Chinese Heritage, it encompasses so much more and its all a part of who I am.
I am Chinese hyphen American. If you asked me 5 years ago, the hyphen there is a manifestation of my reluctance to accept the label: Asian American. For the longest time, I have always identified myself as Chinese and have looked upon my Taiwanese friend more than once with surprise, whenever she planted herself in the American camp. It is the U.S. team she roots for at the Olympics, whereas I couldn’t help but feel betrayed whenever I see a Chinese coach coach the American gymnastics and diving team. If you ask me today, I would still put the hyphen there. But today, the hyphen represents a bridge. By virtue of existing, I bridge the two countries and the two cultures. I am the sum total of my environmental influences – the American culture that surrounds me always, my parents who not only have instilled in me the Asian work ethic but also taught me the importance of networking, my friends, who I realize are straddling two cultures just like me. We’ve bonded over white people’s seeming inability to tell us apart, yet, put us in front of a Korean pop band and we would have a hard time telling the members apart. In college, I’ve actively sought out the larger Asian American community – I have joined the Asian American Student Union (AASU), as well as elected to take a survey course in Asian American History with Professor Julie Park. The times in my past when I’ve had to reconcile the two cultures, I realize now, are part of the Asian American experience, and I have come to embrace it. I am part of an emerging and vibrant group, 15.5 million* strong and counting. *http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/story-hyphen
Being in the know about APA issues!
Sorry!! Ignore my previous post, I just figured out what "hyphen" means. Hyphen - used to break single words into parts, or to join ordinarily separate words into single words. Dark eyes, black hair, yellow skin, speaks Chinese, loves to eat rice. From these characteristics, to most people, I would be considered Chinese. Loves pizza, hamburgers, listening to rock and roll, reading Shakesphere, speaks English and believes in the American dream. From these characteristics, to most people, I would be considered American. However, I am neither. But what I am is a hybrid of these two separate spheres, linked together by a powerful hyphen. And by this hyphen it fuses these two cultures, Thus making me, Chinese-American.