CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship

2013 Recipient

Kamelia Kilawan (Baruch College) 
Project: Does Kali Devotion Empower Urban Women in Hindu Diaspora?

A student of Journalism and Religious Studies at Baruch College, Kamelia Kilawan's project uses writing, video, and photography to compile the stories of healing and empowerment of Indo-Caribbean women in Kali temples. Kali is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment. Indo-Caribbeans - can be casted as “double immigrants,” with Indian and Caribbean roots from Trinidad, Suriname, and Guyana. In New York City, the number of Indo-Caribbeans remains unclear. Under this lens, Kamelia will visit Kali temples in Queens shedding light on a marginal religion empowering a small ethnic minority of women. As an Indo-Caribbean woman herself, she hopes that this project will amplify the voices and concerns of Indo-Caribbean women using Kali temples to adapt to a new world.

Culture Kamelia:

2013 Honorable Mention Recipients

Yang Lu (Hunter College)
Project: Health-Related Social Services' Application for Chinese Immigrants in New York City

A Nursing student at the Hunter College - Bellevue School of Nursing, Yang Lu's project seeks to help Chinese immigrants effectively obtain information about how to apply for critical health-related social services in New York City, especially those whose first language is not English and have no access to the Internet at home. Yang identified the major difficulties experienced by Chinese immigrants when applying for the following critical services: Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance program (SNAP), Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Early Intervention. She also designed a template for a bilingual brochure, which upon completion, can be distributed in places such hospitals and libraries to provide information on the five services she covered. A multi-lingual website is also planned for providing program information, answering questions, and for people to share their experiences.


Sittha Siriprakaisak (NYC College of Technology)
Project: The First Step to Redevelop Chinatown

As a student in Architectural Technology at NYC College of Technology, Sittha Siriprakaisak participated in a design studio that studied the urban fabric of Manhattan's Chinatown. For his studio project, Sittha researched and designed solutions for several sites in Chinatown to address the needs for open space and quality housing. Sittha's project for redesign concentrated on the the area of Walker/Canal/Baxter Streets, where an information kiosk is currently located, due to its central location and meeting spot for locals and tourists. His proposal for improvements include pedestrian walkways for the side streets, a waterfall wall to reduce noise pollution from vehicular traffic and be an area for people to relax, and the creation of a structure that represents Chinatown to serve as a recognizable focal point for visitors to the area.







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

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

William Tam


Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2018

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