May 04, 2023

As the academic year comes to a close, Yung-Yung Chang, director of Asian Studies, reflected on her first year at The Catholic University of America and how the interest in studying Asian cultures has grown on campus. 

When the academic year began, 14 students were enrolled in the minor program in Asian Studies. By the end of the spring semester, eight more announced their intention to pursue a minor, said Chang, who is a clinical instructor of beginner and intermediate Mandarin Chinese. 

As the program grows, it has hosted many cultural events, inviting students, faculty, and local communities to participate. In the past year, these events included a scavenger hunt, cultural food events, oil-paper umbrella making, a Chinese New Year party, a calligraphy night, a global fest, and more.

“Our cultural events are successful and provide students’ friends and family an opportunity to take a moment to witness the students' accomplishments,” said Chang. 

In celebration of May being Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the program is hosting tables from May 10-17 in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center to welcome the local community. There will be different daily themes, including Asian American and Pacific Island history and culture trivia, origami and coloring activities, Asian American Heritage and Asian Catholics book displays, a “Name the Asian Country” Challenge, and tea tasting.

“It will be family and child-friendly for the local community to join and celebrate together,” said Chang.

Under Chang’s direction, the program hosted its first cultural showcase last December and students participated in a Chinese speech contest in April. Chang’s next goal is to expand both by collaborating with high schools, universities, and colleges in the Washington metropolitan area. 

“The events will draw more students, create a sense of community, and establish the reputation for our Chinese and Asian Studies programs,” she said.

For more information about the events happening in May, contact Chang at