David Chih, Director
Dr. David Chih is the founding director of the UIUC Asian American Cultural Center which opened in 2005. For over 30 years, David has focused on issues of diversity and inclusion in higher education with particular emphasis on Asian American and international student communities. Since coming to UIUC in 1998, he has served as assistant dean of students for Asian Pacific American Affairs and as a clinical counselor in the Counseling Center. He also served as interim associate vice chancellor for student affairs and director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations which is comprised of UIUC’s eight cultural/resource centers. He has received the outstanding commitment in education award from the Illinois State Treasurer, UIUC Student Affairs outstanding staff award, and UIUC outstanding Asian American faculty-staff award. He received a PhD in counseling psychology and a BA in East Asian studies and psychology from Indiana University, an MS in psychology from Purdue University, and completed a doctoral internship in psychology at Michigan State University Counseling Center. David is a second-generation Chinese American born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana.
Jennifer Mendez, Associate Director
Jennifer earned a MA in higher education from the University of Michigan and a BA in East Asian languages and cultures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her international experience includes extensive travel to Asia and an exchange program at the National University of Singapore. In addition to mentorship and alumni engagement, Jennifer is passionate about capacity building efforts to recruit, retain, and successfully graduate students from diverse backgrounds. She is multilingual and identifies as a second generation, Latinx-Asian American.
Sang Lee, Assistant Director
Dr. Sang Lee earned three degrees from the University of Illinois, including her PhD in Regional Planning with a graduate minor in Asian American Studies in 2020. Her research interests include immigration, civic participation, and racial and ethnic diversity in US cities. Sang is a 1.5 generation Korean American, and her family moved to Champaign in the early 1980s. Previous to her graduate studies she has worked as a union and community organizer in Chicago, Champaign, and Madison, WI. She brings to the AACC a passion for community-building and years of experience as an educator on racial formation and Asian American issues.
Flordemia dela Vega Conrad, Office Manager
Flordemia has worked in the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR) since 2009 with La Casa Cultural Latina, Native American House, and Diversity & Social Justice Education. She earned a B.A. in mass communication from Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Philippines. She likes learning about the wide array of cultures and backgrounds of the students and staff with whom she works with. Flordemia likes to spend time with her family, friends and her beloved pet dog and also enjoys listening to variety of music, traveling, food tasting, cooking and gardening. Flordemia is a first-generation Filipina American who came to the US in 2003.