Dr. Kelly Fong, a continuing lecturer for the UCLA Asian American Studies Department, is the 2021-2022 recipient of the C. Doris and Toshio Hoshide Distinguished Teaching Prize in Asian American Studies at UCLA.

Students and colleagues alike spoke of her dedication to bridging research with community as well as the care and attention she gave to her students. One of her colleagues stated, “I have always been a big fan of Kelly’s teaching philosophy, one that always centers the agency and knowledge of students in any effort to effect critical political and social change.”

Kelly Fong

Over the past nine years, Fong has taught various classes at UCLA that cover a range of topics and methodologies in Asian American studies, including AAS10/10W: History of Asian Americans; AAS40: Asian American Movement; AAS 103: Social Science Research Methods; and General Education Cluster 20B: Interracial Dynamics in U.S. Society and Culture, to name a few. She has also mentored over 20 students as a faculty advisor for undergraduate research projects.

The long-term and transformative impact of her teaching and mentorship was clear in the praise given to her by her students. One nominated Fong because of “her dedication to using her classes as a space for uplifting and empowering the next generation of Asian American scholars.” Another one of her students expressed that “[t]he most important things Dr. Fong taught me are that there is great power in empowering others, there is great strength in healing, and there is great love in community.”

The engaging nature of Fong’s teaching even extended to remote learning. She taught many large classes during the pandemic, which required extraordinary work and dedication. A colleague lauded her student-oriented pandemic pedagogy, which she had detailed in an article featured in Amerasia Journal issue 46:3. As another demonstration of her inclusive mentoring approach, the article was co-written with her graduate teaching assistants and it shared “strategies for a student-oriented virtual classroom that fosters engagement through relatability, accessibility, and compassion.”

Fong said, “As a lecturer, my presence at UCLA is grounded in teaching and mentoring students and it is these students that have kept me returning to the classroom each year despite the precarity of being contingent faculty. It is an honor to introduce students to the world of Asian American studies and to see where they will take this knowledge with them in the future to build a better world.”

Fong is a Bruin alum, Class of 2013, with a doctorate in archaeology with a graduate concentration in Asian American studies. She was recently featured in an episode of “Take Out with Lisa Ling,” where she spoke about Chinese Americans in the Sacramento Delta, and her next project explores Chinese American foodways through community cookbooks. She currently serves as the co-editor/co-director for the AAPI Multimedia Textbook for the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

“We are honored to award this well-deserved recognition to Dr. Kelly Fong for her extraordinary contributions and impact as a teacher, mentor, and advocate for Asian American Studies and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities,” said Karen Umemoto, Helen and Morgan Chu Endowed Director’s Chair of the Asian American Studies Center.

The late C. Doris Hoshide, Class of 1934, of Rockville, Md. established the teaching prize to annually recognize an outstanding professor in Asian American Studies. She and her late husband were longtime supporters of Asian American Studies at UCLA. The Hoshide Prize includes a $1,000 award. This is the first year that the prize has been opened to nominations of lecturers and adjunct faculty.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.