The UCLA Asian American Studies Center (AASC), the Graduate School of Education & Information Sciences (GSE&IS), and the Institute of American Cultures (IAC) will welcome Professor Robert Teranishi to UCLA as the new Morgan & Helen Chu Endowed Chair in Asian American Studies on Monday, Oct. 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Sequoia Room of the UCLA Faculty Center.

Following congratulatory remarks and acknowledgements, Teranishi will present a short lecture, followed by Q&A. His topic will be “Education Policy in the Context of the Changing Face of America: The Relevance of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community.”

Robert Teranishi
Robert Teranishi

What the education community does in the near future to expand opportunity and reduce barriers will determine the nation’s long term prosperity and its ability to compete in the global arena. The pursuit of a more equitable system of education is not only an essential component of the democratic mission of education, but a necessary one considering that we are in the midst of the most rapid demographic change in our nation’s history.

Teranishi will discuss his research on the educational mobility of the fastest-growing U.S. population – Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – and the reasons why this community must be at the forefront of our nation’s education policy priorities.

Teranishi comes to UCLA as the inaugural holder of the Chu Endowed Chair, a professor of education in GSE&IS, and the co-director of the Institute for Immigrant Children, Youth, and Families.

Formerly a faculty member at New York University, Teranishi received his B.A. from UC Santa Cruz in sociology and his M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA in higher education and organizational change. His research examines the causes and consequences of the stratification of college opportunities, with a particular interest on the impact of higher education practice and policy on the mobility of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities.

“It is an honor and privilege to be the inaugural Morgan and Helen Chu Professor at UCLA,” stated Teranishi. “I am eager to arrive and get engaged with faculty and students in Asian American studies and the broader campus community around my interests in improving the educational experiences and outcomes of Asian American and Pacific Islander students.”

The Chus are both UCLA alumni and longtime and generous supporters of AASC. A leading intellectual property attorney, Morgan Chu is a recipient of the UCLA Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the university. He received a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from UCLA, a M.S.L. from Yale, and a J.D. from Harvard, and has been named one of the “Top Ten Trial Lawyers” in the nation. Helen Chu served for many years as elementary school teacher and along with her husband was among the founders of AASC.

“It is wonderful news that such an accomplished scholar as Professor Teranishi will be joining the UCLA faculty and the Center,” commented Morgan and Helen Chu, “and we are excited that the Chu Endowed Chair will support his program of research in Asian American studies.”

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