Interim Staff Additions for the Asian American Cultural Center

Burgwell Howard, Dean of Student Engagement

October 16, 2017

Dear members of the Yale community,

I am delighted to announce that Karen Wu, associate director for Human Resources at Yale, has agreed to serve as interim associate director of the Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) effective immediately. Ms. Wu will provide additional leadership for the Center and staff until Joliana Yee, the new, full-time director, joins the Yale community in early 2018. 

A graduate of Cornell University (B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations), Karen obtained her J.D. from New York Law School. She joined Yale in 2011 in the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs. Karen is a member of the Asian Network at Yale (ANY) and serves on the career development committee. She is excited about this new role, which allows her to utilize her interests in supporting Yale’s Asian student community and creating connections between students and staff at Yale.  Karen and her family live in Milford and she describes herself as a “foodie”.  She is also fluent in Cantonese. Karen will retain her current position, and will provide guidance for the Center on a part-time basis over the next several months. Sheraz Iqbal, assistant director of the AACC, will continue to be principally responsible for the daily operations and work with student groups. 

Given the role that many university staff play in the lives of students at Yale, I am excited by the opportunity and connections Karen can bring to the AACC community. As a veteran university administrator, familiar with navigating Yale and its systems Karen will provide guidance for the students and professional staff of the center while providing support for the student experience. This step will also ensure that the AACC community will have two professional staff available to manage the affairs of the Center and to work with students, as is the case with each of the other cultural centers on campus.

I also want to take this opportunity to once again thank our interim co-directors, Courtney Sato and LiLi Johnson, for their tremendous work over the last few months and during the past year. They provided strong continuity and leadership during this time of transition and I am deeply grateful to them for their service and commitment to the Asian community at Yale. 

This is an important time for the AACC and I am thankful to Karen Wu for her willingness to join our team during this transition. I look forward to continued positive contributions from the students (undergraduate and graduate) and staff who make up this wonderful university resource. 

Thank you for your patience and interest.

Burgwell Howard
Associate Vice President, Student Life
Senior Associate Dean, Yale College