The Asian American / Asian Research Institute (AAARI) of the City University of New York (CUNY) selected Ms. Kamelia Kilawan as the recipient of the 2013 CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship. The Scholarship, in honor of the late Dr. Thomas Tam and administered by AAARI, awards $1,000 annually to a single qualified undergraduate student currently enrolled at CUNY, Asian or non-Asian, who has demonstrated creativity in the communication of the concerns of the Asian American community in areas such as Health, Education and Culture.
A student of Journalism and Religious Studies at Baruch College, Ms. Kilawan’s project, Does Kali Devotion Empower Urban Women in Hindu Diaspora?, uses writing, video, and photography to compile the stories of healing and empowerment of Indo-Caribbean women in Kali temples. Kali is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment. Indo-Caribbeans – can be casted “double immigrants,” with Indian and Caribbean roots from Trinidad, Suriname, and Guyana. In New York City, the number of Indo-Caribbeans remains unclear. Under this lens, Kamelia will visit Kali temples in Queens shedding light on a marginal religion empowering a small ethnic minority of women. As an Indo-Caribbean woman herself, she hopes that this project will amplify the voices and concerns of Indo-Caribbean women using Kali temples to adapt to a new world. (Culture Kamelia: http://is.gd/7PFrpb)
Honorable mention scholarships of $250 each, made possible by the Tam family, will also be awarded to the following students:
Yang Lu (Hunter College) – A Nursing student at the Hunter College – Bellevue School of Nursing, Ms. Yang Lu’s project, Health-Related Social Services’ Application for Chinese Immigrants in New York City, seeks to help Chinese immigrants effectively obtain information about how to apply for critical health-related social services in New York City, especially those whose first language is not English and have no access to the Internet at home.
Sittha Siriprakaisak (NYC College of Technology) – As a student in Architectural Technology at NYC College of Technology, Mr. Sittha Siriprakaisak participated in a design studio that studied the urban fabric of Manhattan’s Chinatown. For his studio project, The First Step to Redevelop Chinatown, Sittha researched and designed solutions for several sites in Chinatown to address the needs for open space and quality housing.
All 2013 CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship recipients will be honored at AAARI’s 12th Annual Gala on November 21, 2013.