Team Members

Tram Le, M.A. Co-Director/Co-Curator
Tram Le previously served as the Interim Director of the Center for Asian Pacific American Students at Pitzer College and worked as the Community Bridges Program Manager for the Ford Theatres/Ford Theatre Foundation. She received her B.S. in Business Administration-Marketing from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and has an M.A. from the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her master’s thesis, “Finding Home,” investigates the journey of first-generation Vietnamese in Orange County through oral history and performance art. She co-founded Club O’ Noodles, a pioneering Vietnamese American theatre troupe, and as a Board Member of the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA), she has curated multi-art exhibitions. In 2003, she was the founding Co-Director of the biennial Vietnamese International Film Festival (ViFF), now the annual Viet Film Fest, which has been hosted at UC Irvine and UCLA and showcases films from around the world.

Dr. Linda Trinh Vo is a Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine and is affiliated with the Department of Sociology; Department of Planning, Policy & Design; and Department Gender & Sexuality Studies. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego and was a University of California, Berkeley Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow and UC Irvine Chancellor’s Fellow. She is the author of Mobilizing an Asian American Community and the co-editor of three books: Labor Versus Empire: Race, Gender, and Migration; Asian American Women: The “Frontiers” Reader; and Contemporary Asian American Communities: Intersections and Divergences. Recently, she co-authored Vietnamese in Orange County and co-edited Keywords for Asian American Studies. She is a Series Editor Emeritus for the Asian American History and Culture series at Temple University Press which includes over 70 books and is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement. Dr. Võ is Co-Chair of the Community Advisory Council for Asian Americans Advancing Justice and was President of the national Association for Asian American Studies (2014-16). She is an Ambassador of the UCI Libraries Southeast Asian Archive and is on the Advisory Board of the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association, Diasporic Vietnamese Arts Network, and Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation, as well as being involved with the  VietFilmFest (formerly Vietnamese International Film Festival).

JustinJustin Sikora, Ph.D. Historic Resource Specialist, OC Parks
Dr. Justin Sikora is a Historic Resource Specialist with OC Parks who works on the interpretation, exhibit development, event planning, and volunteer management within the historical operations group. Born and raised in the Chicago area, he received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tennessee in French and history. Justin then lived in Europe for a decade where he received his Master of Arts in World Heritage Studies from the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany, and his doctorate in public history and museum studies from the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University in England. Interpretation and visitor interactions with information presented at historic sites were the themes of both his graduate theses. Over the past 15 years, he has worked and volunteered with a diverse array of museums, historic homes, living history sites, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions in the United States and Europe.

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Emily McEwen, Ph.D., Historic Resource Specialist, OC Parks
Dr. Emily McEwen is a Historic Resource Specialist with OC Parks based at Heritage Hill and Arden Modjeska.  Emily holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Public History from the University of California, Riverside, and a B.A. in History and French from Whittier College.  While completing her graduate studies, Emily worked as Curator of History at the Mission Inn Foundation & Museum, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Riverside’s National Historic Landmark Mission Inn Hotel.  During her four years with the Mission Inn Foundation, she researched and designed the museum’s temporary exhibitions, planned monthly public programs, and headed the organization’s community outreach initiatives.  The Mission Inn was also the focus of Emily’s doctoral dissertation, “Southern California’s Unique Museum-Hotel: Consuming the Past and Preserving History at Riverside’s Mission Inn, 1903-2010.”  In addition to her time at the Mission Inn, Emily has worked as a researcher and museum consultant for exhibitions at The Huntington Library and the Riverside Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties.  Her interest in public history was first sparked by many summers interning at the Cowlitz County Historical Museum near her hometown of Longview, Washington.

Bradley Flynt, Historic Resource Specialist, OC Parks

JamesJames Dinh, M.L.A. & M.P.H., Art & Exhibition Director
Southern California artist James Dinh has a Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) from the School of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. With a strong focus on cultural landscapes and ecological design, his work spans public art, graphic design, and numerous other projects. He is a board member of the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) and enjoys volunteering to bring art to the community. His undergraduate degree in biology from UC Irvine has proven an invaluable asset in his everyday work, as it has provided a firm scientific foundation upon which his creative work can be built. James was recently awarded the public art commission to build a memorial dedicated to Orange County’s Vietnamese community:
– Asian Garden Mall to get statue symbolizing Vietnamese-American success since fall of Saigon
– Phước Lộc Thọ sắp có tượng nói về lịch sử người Mỹ gốc Việt

Thuy Vo Dang, Ph.D., Archivist
Dr. Thuy Vo Dang is Archivist for the Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive Center in the University of California, Irvine Libraries. She is the inaugural Project Director (now titled “Associate Director”) for Viet Stories and Postdoctoral Fellow in UC Irvine’s Department of Asian American Studies. Thuy was previously an Institute of American Cultures Postdoctoral Fellow for UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center. She holds a B.A. in Asian American Studies and English from Scripps College and M.A. and Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego, where she specialized in race and ethnicity, oral history, cultural studies, immigration and refugee studies, community studies, and Asian American studies. She has taught at UCI, UCLA, UCSD, and Loyola Marymount University, and is a member of the Association for Asian American Studies, the Society of American Archivists, and the Southwest Oral History Association. She has served on a number of community non-profit boards, including Horizon Cross-Cultural Center and the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association. Thuy received the APALC Image Award for OC: http://advancingjustice-la.org/get-involved/events/2015-orange-county-luncheon

LucenaLucena Lau Valle, M.S., Education and Public Program Specialist
Lucena Lau Valle is currently a Ph.D. student in the program in Culture and Theory in the School of Humanities at UC Irvine, and received a M.S. in the History of Art and Design from Pratt Institute. Her research examines the intersection of ethnicity, community, economy, and place making in Los Angeles, and was a recipient of the 2014 Latino Museum Studies Fellowship at the Smithsonian Latino Center in Washington D.C. She has a background in museum studies, and was formerly a museum educator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Lucena received the Irvin R. Lai Memorial Scholarship from the Chinese American Historical Society of Southern California for her dissertation research and the H.OT. teaching fellowship as well: http://www.humanities.uci.edu/commons/slide_det.php?id=169

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Kasey Ning, Financial Manager
Kasey Ning is the former Management Services Officer for the Department of Asian American Studies, the Program in African American Studies, and the Department of Gender & Sexualities Studies at UC Irvine. She received her B.A. degrees in International Studies and French from UC Irvine.

 

 

 

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Lisa Le, Community Outreach & Communications Coordinator
After graduating with a B.A. degree in International Studies and a minor in Management from the University of California, Irvine, Lisa Le began organizing a monthly open mic series, Common Ground, at the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA). Her interest in empowering youth through artistic expression and exploring the diverse stories of Vietnamese diaspora continues to guide her work within the community, from events such as the annual VietFilmFest to SoCal Viet Gathering’s Little Sai Gon Political Tour.

 

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Chelsea Trinh, Programs & Social Media Coordinator
Chelsea Trinh graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Sociology in June 2015. She served as Co-Vice President of the Art History Undergraduate Association at UCI, and co-curator of the 2015 Student Art Show “Altered Perceptions.” Chelsea has interned in a number of museums, including the Bowers Museum of Cultural Arts in Santa Ana and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, & Botanical Gardens in San Marino, and currently works at The Broad. She is grateful for the opportunity to work on this exhibit and excited for the chance to further explore her own family history. Chelsea Trinh also received a Chancellor’s award for the 2014-2015 school year: http://www.alumni.uci.edu/chancellors_award.php

1398422_10152288369069325_181403355_oBenjamin To, Videographer
Benjamin To is a Southern California based writer, director, and producer who founded the BAND WITH NO NAME Film Company. His work has been featured in numerous publications, such as The Huffington PostNBC News, and the Los Angeles Times, for creating artistic discussions about race relations, diversity in media, and gender equality. Benjamin recently received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the California State University, Fullerton. He continues to create content that raises awareness and sparks dialogue about the Asian American experience, as well as other communities of color, to provide a platform for their voices to be heard. For more information about his work, please visit:
http://thebandwithnonamefilms.weebly.com/