Steering Committee

Dennis Arguelles, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans

Dennis Arguelles is the Director of Program Development for Search To Involve Pilipino Americans.  He is the former President and Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) and previously served as the Assistant Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.  He co-edited The New Face of Asian Pacific America: Numbers, Diversity and Change in the 21st Century and co-authored Beyond Asian American Poverty, one of the first studies to examine poverty in Asian and Pacific Islander. He received his B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA.

Edith Chen, PhD, California State University, Northridge

Edith Chen is a second generation Chinese American originally from Texas, and professor of Asian American Studies at CSUN. Trained as a sociologist, her emerging teaching and research interests include Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, immigration, and health, with a focus on type II diabetes and obesity. She is currently involved in the CSUN  Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) faculty collective which seeks to address health disparities through research, teaching, and training.  She has been involved in research projects that have examined the assimilation, integration, and well-being of Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans and Cambodian Americans on the continental U.S., and the multi-ethnic Asian and Native Hawaiian population in Hawai’i.  She co-edited with Grace Yoo, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today (Greenwood Press, 2010). Previous to her appointment at CSUN, she taught at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa in Women’s Studies and Kapiolani Community College.

Heng Lam Foong, MS: Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute

Heng Lam Foong is a Malaysian Chinese American female. Prior to program directing for Occidental College Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Ms. Foong represented Los Angeles County of Public Health Department in Healthy Eating Active Communities, managed the Healthy Parks Healthy Communities program at the Trust for Public Land, and spent 12 years as an advocate for culturally and linguistically appropriate health services for diverse communities. Ms. Foong has served on multiple boards and task forces and currently volunteers her time as a Master Gardener with the UC Cooperative Extension Los Angeles County’s Common Ground Program.

Mike Murase, Little Tokyo Service Center, CDC

Mike Murase is a Japanese American male. Mr. Murase is the commissioner of the Venice Youth Council, board member of the Budokan of Los Angeles, and member of the Nikkei Committee for Civil Rights and Redress.

Ava Cato-Werhane, MPH, CHS: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Ava Cato-Werhane is a multi-ethnic female, with a mixture of African-Caribbean and Southeast Asian ancestry. Ms. Cato-Werhane was a member of the Los Angeles Collaborative for Healthy, Active Children, Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Diabetes Workgroup, steering committee member of the Children’s Planning Council in South Bay, and Co-Chair of the Healthy Births Learning Collaborative of SPA 8. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors for the Community Business Synergy Association and a member of the Southern California chapter of the Society of Public Health Educators.

May Wang, DrPH, RD: UCLA, School of Public Health

May Wang is a Singaporean Chinese American female. Prior to serving as Associate Professor in Residence at UCLA, Dr. Wang was Adjunct Assistant Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and Co-Director of the Center for Weight and Health. She is a nutritional epidemiologist whose research focuses on promoting optimal growth and development in early life so as to prevent nutrition-related chronic diseases later in life. She has led many studies in the U.S. and abroad in partnership with clinicians, educators, anthropologists, sociologists, social workers, and economists, including an epidemiologic study to examine the influence of the neighborhood food environment on obesity development in Berkeley, California.


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