CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship

Application Deadline
Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Thomas Tam Scholarship is funded by an endowment established by the City University of New York in recognition of Dr. Thomas Tam's contributions as a former member of the CUNY Board of Trustees, founding Executive Director of the Asian American / Asian Research Institute, and leadership in the Asian American community. The Scholarship awards $1,000 to an individual qualified undergraduate student that is currently enrolled at any of the twenty-one colleges within CUNY, Asian or non-Asian, who has demonstrated creativity in the communication of the concerns of the Asian American community in areas such as health, education, culture, media and advocacy.

The 2016 CUNY Thomas Tam recipient will be honored at AAARI’s 15th annual gala in Fall 2016.

2016 Recipient

Kevin Park (Hunter College) 
Project: Campaigning for an Asian American Studies Major at Hunter College/CUNY

Mr. Park's project, calls for college administrators to establish an Asian American Studies Major/Department, and to create hiring lines for five full-time Asian American Studies faculty. “Asian American history, which is essentially just another aspect of American history, provides everyone with a better understanding of how intertwined the contributions and experiences of the APA community are in the context of U.S. history and its lasting impacts on the U.S. today.” Mr. Park’s campaign seeks to expand and stabilize the current Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College, to increase visibility for the CUNY Asian American community, and to ensure that CUNY students will have access to an indispensible interdisciplinary education that fill a critical gap in academia.

2016 Honorable Mention

Francesco Asano (Brooklyn College)

Project: Animal Advocacy or Cultural Imperialism? Asian Animal Rights Advocacy and Racialization

 

From the Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt, Dog Festivals in Yulin, to the San Francisco Chinatown live market, Asian communities have been a prime target for animal rights advocacy, with campaigns often xenophobic, culturally imperialist and racially charged inventions in these communities. These inventions fail to acknowledge the existence of animal rights advocacy in these communities, as well as the genealogical necessities which animated these animal practices, such as post-World War II and nuclear warfare-induced poverty, socioeconomic disarray and structural racism.” Through his summer research in Japan, Mr. Asano will publish a paper analyzing the racial/cultural dynamics of animal rights activism, and serve as a bridge-builder of animal rights between the Asian and Asian American community.

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Application Guidelines

Application Form
Requires: Adobe Reader

All currently enrolled CUNY undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the Thomas Tam Scholarship.

Display of communication of the concerns of the Asian American community can be in the form of written reports, film, video, new media techniques, and the development of performances or materials in the arts and sciences.

The following are the issues to be addressed in your application for the Tam Scholarship. Please be sure to cover all of the points in your application.

  1. Please describe your project in detail, be sure to tell us about the issue of concern to the Asian American community that the project is designed to address.

  2. Please explain how your project demonstrates creativity in communicating the concerns of Asian Americans.

  3. What are the objectives or goals of the project, i.e. what do you want to accomplish, or what impact or effect will it have? How will you know that it has been successful?

  4. How was the project implemented, or if in progress or a future project, please describe how it will be implemented?

  5. Is the project completed, is it in progress or is it a future project?

Biography

Dr. Thomas Tam was born on April 15, 1946 in Fujian, China, during the Chinese Civil War. He spent his childhood in Hong Kong where his parents had to rebuild their home from the ground up. Dr. Tam and his family immigrated to New York in 1964. He received BA in physics from City College of New York (1968), M.A. in film-making from Montclair State University (1978), M.P.H. from Columbia University School of Public Health (1980); and Ph.D. in SocioMedical Sciences from Columbia University (1983).  He is Chairman of the Asian American Higher Education Council, and Executive Director of Asian American/Asian Research Institute, as well as the President of Oishi Movies, Inc. which produced a feature: Sunrise on Mulberry Street.

After graduating from City College of New York, Tam developed an active interest in community improvement in Chinatown, when he initiated a ten-day health fair which screened two thousand five hundred residents, leading to the establishment of Chinatown Health Clinic, now known as the Charles B. Wang Health Center. Tam’s career in community health continued when he became administrators of various City-wide health agencies. He taught at Columbia University, Herbert Lehman College, and St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

In 1989, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York as the first Chinese American member. Dr. Tam worked with a group of faculty members to establish the Asian American Higher Education Council, an organization which addresses critical issues concerning higher education in the Asian American community. Under Tam’s leadership, this organization has successfully organized numerous conferences and the creation of the Asian American / Asian Research Institute (AAARI), where he served as Executive Director from 2001 to 2006.

In addition to his contribution to the fields of community health and higher education, Dr. Tam also has an abiding interest in movie making, an avocation which he has nurtured since college. He has produced many short movies which have been exhibited at various institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art. Tam has also founded the Asian American Film Festival in 1972, which became Asian Cine Vision, an organization with international recognition for showcasing movies from Asian/Asian American artists. Dr. Tam is a recent convert to Buddhism and has completed a documentary video, En Route to Lhasa.

Dr. Tam is survived by his wife Margaret, his daughter Anika, and step-children Emily and Victor.

 

 

 


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Scholarship Committee
Russell Leong
Joyce Moy
Pearl Tam

Coordinator
William Tam

 

 
  
 
Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2016

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