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About Us

Mission Statement

The SDSU APIDA Center facilitates the academic and personal success of APIDA-identified students by providing relevant and accessible programming, resources, and services that will identify and address barriers to academic achievement, community-building, on- and off-campus partnerships, and advocacy for the inclusion of APIDA people’s unique histories, cultures, and perspectives in campus programs and curriculum. We also aim to enable the success of APIDA students through the promotion of academic engagement and retention efforts. At our core, the APIDA Center strives to increase the voice and visibility of APIDA students, faculty, and staff.

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Center Staff

dr loh profile pic

Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan

Director of the APIDA Center

 
Office: APIDA Center Room 210A

Dr. Loh-Hagan OfficeDr. Virginia Loh-Hagan is the inaugural Director of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Center at San Diego State University. She opened the APIDA Center during the pandemic on June 1, 2020. She strives to establish an inclusive and supportive community for APIDA-identified students, faculty, and staff. She is also the Founder and Chair of the SDSU APIDA Employee Resource Group. Previously, she served as a faculty member in SDSU’s College of Education where she directed the Liberal Studies program, coordinated several international travel abroad programs, led teaching credential programs, coordinated clinical practice and EdTPA efforts, and taught various courses in education and literacy. Prior to working at SDSU, she was a K-8 classroom teacher, community college reading instructor, and program chair for an online university. She is the 2016 recipient of California Reading Association’s Marcus Foster Memorial Award for outstanding achievement in reading. She has a B.A. in English and a Masters in Elementary Education (K-8) and Special Education, specializing in Learning Disabilities (K-12), from the University of Virginia. Upon graduation, she received the "Outstanding Woman Scholar in Education" award. She earned her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Literacy from SDSU-USD in May 2008; her dissertation—for which she received a ChLA Beiter Graduate Student Research Grant award from the Children’s Literature Association and for which she has published peer-reviewed articles and conducted presentations—was a qualitative study on the cultural authenticity of Asian-American children's literature. She has authored over 350 children's books and has several academic publications about using multicultural children and young adult literature. Most of her books and research address APIDA themes. She is serving on various book award committees and is the Cover Editor and Book Nook columnist for "The California Reader," the premiere professional journal for the California Reading Association. She is also serving as the Co-Executive Director and Director of Curriculum Development for The Asian American Education Project; she is committed to ensuring APIDA histories and narratives are taught in K-12 and beyond. Her hobbies include reading, crafting, gaming (tabletop board games), playing piano, and binge-watching shows.

 
Name

Mr. Matthew H Garcia

Associate Director of the APIDA Center

Contact
Office: APIDA Center Room 210G

Mr. Matthew H Garcia is the APIDA Center's inaugural Associate Director. He started working at the APIDA Center on April 11, 2022. Matt is originally from Santa Maria, a small town on the Central Coast of California. He attended California State University, Long Beach where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication Studies and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with a Specialization in Student Affairs from San Diego State University. Matt has extensive management and programming experiences. He has worked at SDSU for over seven years serving in various positions starting in Student Organizations & Activities before transitioning to the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life where he most recently served as the Interim Director. (Fun Fact: SDSU has the fourth largest fraternity and sorority community in California.) Matt identifies as a member of the APIDA community as he was raised by family members who immigrated from the Philippines, including his father. Besides identifying as Filipinx, he also identifies as a member of the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities. Matt is in charge of the APIDA Center's advising initiatives and supports programming and outreach efforts. In his free time, he enjoys exploring new restaurants and activities in San Diego. 

Student Staff

Gi Gonzales

Gi Gonzales

Graduate Assistant
Office
APIDA Center, Room 210K
Alexa Lawrence

Alexa Lawrence

Lead Student Assistant
Contact
Office
• APIDA Center, Room 210K