All posts filed under: leadership

Affirmative Action: Separating Lao America from Asian America

This is part one on a series about how data effects Education and Affirmative Action. My fellow Lao Americans, it’s time. It’s time we make our grand exit from the rest of Asian America. Not exactly in a physical sense, and not exactly with hostility, but definitively, and with all deliberate speed. By “leave” I mean it’s time we demand to be represented separately from other Asian American groups across social platforms. Why? Because Asian America is sharply divided along ethnic lines, in both social experiences and access to resources – and this division is working against Lao Americans and other Southeast Asian Americans in favor of other groups. The Great Divide The Asian American division involves many aspects; Southeast Asia Americans are stigmatized by other Asian Americans for having a) darker skin, b) higher poverty rates, c) more “unskilled refugees” in the community, d) a perceived affinity for gang violence, and e) a bunch of other things. Each of these topics is important (and deserves its own blog post), but the main divide that I …

Dean Kouanchao Begins Her Journey At Mendocino College

This July, Dr. Ketmani Kouanchao, a frequent contributor to Little Laos on the Prairie, began her new position as Dean of Student Services at Mendocino College. This made her one of the few Lao Americans in the world to hold such a position at an educational institution. On Sunday, October 5th, Minneapolis City Councilman Jacob Frey will issue a proclamation recognizing it as Ketmani Kouanchao Day in the 3rd Ward, where she grew up with her family. As a dean, Dr. Kouanchao is in charge of several departments on her campus such as Financial Aid, CalWorks, and Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, managing a staff of almost forty people. About to mark 42 years, Mendocino College serves almost 4,000 students daily. Ukiah has 15,000 residents and was once named California’s best small town, and considered the sixth best in the entire US. It’s still known for its arts, vineyards and picturesque surroundings. Kouanchao holds a doctorate in Community College Leadership from CSU-Fullerton and received an Honor An Educator scholarship in 2013 for her studies. She was recently recognized …