CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship

2011 Recipient

Sahar Khan (City College of New York)
Project: Islamic Studies Program

The idea to start an Islamic Studies Program began in 2010 with student petitions, the creation of a proposal, and meetings with faculty, students and administration at City College of New York. Due to the growth of City College’s student population of diverse backgrounds and recent controversial events in the United States, it has become a major concern to Asian Americans on campus to establish an academic minor that relates to the multiple regions and people with Islamic beliefs and practices. The Islamic Studies Program aims to develop a general introduction to the culture, language, literature, religion, history and philosophy of Muslim people worldwide. The Program seeks to provide students with a complete and correct perspective of Islam, its effect on world societies, and to explore varied expressions of Islam in our world. This would be the only academic program at CUNY whose focus is on Islam and its expression in Muslim society.

The Islamic Studies Program is currently pending approval by the City College Student Faculty Senate, and then by the CUNY Board of Trustees.

Sahar Khan is a recent graduate of City College of New York/CUNY, with a B.A. degree in Media Communications and Arts. Born in Dubai and raised in New York City, Ms. Khan is the recipient of the Skadden Arps Honors Program, Deans List, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Alan Berman Scholarship, STOCS Scholarship, and Certified Student Leader. She has served as a member of the University Student Senate, Women in Islam, Great American Minds, Muslim Student Organization, The City College of New York Student Empowerment & Engagement Development Series and Undergraduate Student Government.

Ms. Khan will be attending CUNY School of Professional Studies to continue her studies in Spring 2012.

2011 Recipient

Due to the impressive list of projects submitted for consideration for the 2011 CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship, the family of the late Dr. Thomas Tam has announced that they will be making an additional contribution to support the award of a $250 Honorable Mention Scholarship:

Seimi Kim (Brooklyn College)
Project: HOME

I was shocked when I first discovered the tension between second/third generation Asian Americans and first generation international Asian students, calling one another names like “Twinkie” or “FOB”. I wanted to narrow the gap between these groups, and I believed that I could start with by creating a movie to deepen and broaden the understanding about first generation Asian Americans. HOME is short fiction film that follows a young first generation Korean American girl’s experiences in New York City. The episodic and non-linear structure of HOME covers various issues faced by Asian Americans, such as the struggle with language barriers, cultural barriers, financial difficulties, laws that prohibit international students from working, conflicts with the second generation, and the struggles with conventional Asian thoughts about having a practical job.

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Seimi Kim is an undergraduate student at Brooklyn College/CUNY, majoring in Film Production. Born and raised in Korea, Ms. Kim moved to the United States in 2007 and enrolled at Brooklyn College in 2008. Before directing HOME, she directed a short documentary, His Passion for Theatre (2010), and a short fiction film, Goodbye My Friend (2008). She performed in three theatre productions, Nocturnal (2011)Ti-Jean and His Brothers (2010), and Agnes of God (2009). She thematically interested in diversity, feminism, and inter-culture issues.

Ms. Kim’s short film, HOME, won Best Fiction Film at the Asian American / Asian Research Institute’s 2011 CUNY Asian American Film Festival, and screened at the 34th Asian American International Film Festival.

Both 2011 Scholarship recipients will be honored at AAARI’s 10th Annual Banquet on November 17, 2011, at Jing Fong Restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown. We hope you will join us that evening to congratulate these fine students on their leadership and support of the Asian American community.







2017 | 2016 | 2015 |
2014 | 2013 | 2012 |
2011 | 2010 | 2009 |

Scholarship Committee
Brian Schwartz (Chair)
Hiroko Karan
Joyce Moy
Pearl Tam
Kyoko Toyama

William Tam


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