Dear AAARCC Community:
This newsletter comes at a time of great transitions for the Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center. It is with very mixed emotions that we announce the departures of Director Dr. Xavier Hernandez and Secretary Sydni Hair from the AAARCC and Purdue University. Dr. Hernandez’s last day will be this Friday, May 25th. Mrs. Hair will depart 2 weeks thereafter, on Friday, June 8th.
Conversely, it is with unbridled excitement that we announce the arrival of Manabu Taketani as the new Program Administrator of the AAARCC. Manabu is a recent graduate from the MA program in Higher Education and Student Development at Taylor University. He will begin at the AAARCC on Monday, June 11th.
Remarks from Xavier, Syd, and Manabu are below.
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Purdue University community for putting your trust in me as a mentor, advisor, colleague, and friend. As an educator, it is my passion to not only teach, but also to learn. This campus has taught me so much about the complex field of higher education administration and the ever-growing needs of Asian American and Asian students from around the world. I will take these lessons to heart in all of my future endeavors.
I am thankful to my colleagues in the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, who were always gracious with their time and energy, day or night, and always provided incredible insights at instances when I was trying to figure out which way was up. I will constantly aspire to pay it forward for the next generation of scholars and administrators who strive to make higher education a better place.
The students of the AAARCC helped to reaffirm my professional commitments to Purdue and the field of higher education as a whole. Whether you were in the AAARCC all day every day, or came to events whenever your busy schedules had the time, your desire to build a community on this campus has been admirable and inspirational. It is because of you that a one-room office has grown into a house, and more importantly, into a home during the 3 short years that the AAARCC has existed on this campus. In the future, it is my hope that you never forget that you have a very important voice in your communities, and very important friends in one another.
Lastly, thank you to the staff members of the AAARCC, past and present, who have supported the endeavors of this center and helped us grow to unprecedented heights. Victoria Loong, Ankita Krishnan, Sebastian Kenny, Hana Lee, Yvonne Chen, Taejung Ma, and Syd Hair – you have all left an indelible mark on a piece of Purdue’s history.
I wish you all nothing but the best in your future personal, academic, and professional endeavors. I sincerely hope that we see each other again in the future. Until then, please take care of yourselves and one another.
All my best,
Dr. Xavier Hernandez
It is with great sadness that I will be leaving the AAARCC and Purdue, June 8th 2018. I was here the first day the doors opened in May, 2015 at the Stewart Center. I don’t think my words can adequately express the deep love my heart has for the amazing students & staff that have become a part of my ohana(family) through the AAARCC!
When I was hired by Victoria Loong I felt like a dream had come true for me! Whenever I would take walks around campus my heart was filled with gratitude for being part of the Purdue family and the Diversity/Inclusion work that is happening at Purdue.
What an honor it was to play a small part with the Hawaii/Polynesian Cultural Club and to be able to share my passion for Polynesian culture with the Greater Lafayette community! There are so many memories and so many people to thank, and so many students I won’t have a chance to say goodbye to in person.
Each of you, from the Library staff in Stewart to our awesome cleaning/maintenance crews/business office staff, students past and present (you know who you are), and two amazing Directors, Victoria & Dr. X, you have taught me so much! I look at my life like a garden, with each person I meet, a seed gets planted and takes root in my heart!
My heart is heavy, but filled with anticipation for my next adventure! I get the opportunity to serve as a CDFI Development Specialist for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall, Idaho. My husband and I will also be pastoring a small church in Pocatello, Idaho.
I believe that in moving forward we create bridges with our past, which will be crossed again. Until that time, Aloha ‘Oe!
“Don’t spend your life collecting other peoples postcards” – Syd
I am very excited to begin working at Purdue University as the Program Administrator at the Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center (AAARCC). Growing up as an Asian American in the Midwest and having attended predominantly white institutions for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I recognize the value a space such as the AAARCC provides to the students and the broader campus community.
Before obtaining my Master’s in Higher Education and Student Development at Taylor University, I graduated with an undergraduate degree in history and Japanese language from Calvin College. My passion for history and Asian culture is rooted in my interest in the narratives that shape the present. In my free time, I enjoy reading both fiction and nonfiction works of literature and watching movies and television shows. In addition to reading books and watching movies and shows, I also enjoy cooking diverse array of cuisines.
At Purdue University, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the stories that make up the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community. Continuing the great tradition of student affairs professionals across the country, I hope to promote a sense of belonging and provide support for students, staff, and faculty who identify with the mission, goals, and values of the AAARCC.
Announcements about Xavier and Syd’s replacements will be made in the upcoming weeks. Please stay tuned to the AAARCC’s newsletter and social media for updates.
The AAARCC will remain open throughout the Summer from 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday. We hope that you can stop by the AAARCC sometime during these hours to welcome Manabu to our campus community and wish Xavier and Syd well upon their departures!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the AAARCC, please email AAARCC@purdue.edu.