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50 Young Asian American Stars in Politics

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This is a list of young Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) who are making a difference in politics and public service in this great country. Indeed, these stars shine brightly, and their potentials are boundless. Quite likely, some of them will be the kingmaker or the queenmaker in the future, helping elect the president of the United States. In …

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Hongtao Li Continues Conquest of the Art World

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By Lily Chen   Hongtao Li, an exceptionally gifted artist born in Dalian, China who has made America his second home, continues to gain both critical and commercial acclaim from experts and art lovers all over the world.   More and more, these have resulted in international art collectors – individuals, museums and other prestigious institutions – placing great value …

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Bill Lo’s Crystal Steel Wins Contract for $1.2B MGM National Harbor Project

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By Jennie L. Ilustre   Crystal Steel Fabricators, Inc., an Asian American-owned Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), landed a major contract last May, besting five other bidding companies and joining dozens of sub-contractors for the $1.2 billion-MGM National Harbor project. The Baltimore Sun quoted Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as saying that the resort complex in Prince George’s County is “one of …

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40 Influential Asian Americans in Washington

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By Jennie L. Ilustre   If you live in Washington, D.C., think of it as having the best seat in the house. It is, after all, the nation’s capital. The media and political types here and across the globe refer to it simply as Washington, with the general understanding that it is different from the other splendid state in the …

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Hongtao Li’s Art: Celebrating Balance, Harmony

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By Jennie L. Ilustre   Hongtao Li is one of those people who transcends time and place. His art graces museums and art galleries all over the world. He is the first Chinese artist to have his works showcased in Musee de Louvre in Paris. Political VIPs and Hollywood celebrities, as well as the general public, have a collection of …

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Profile: Rosemary Tran Lauer

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  By Catalina Calachan WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rosemary Tran Lauer exemplifies the tenacity and courage that permeate the immigrant community. Born and raised in Vietnam, she journeyed to America in the midst of the Vietnam War. Her transition was not easy, as she came to the United States with two young children and no one to help her look after …

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A Conversation With MacArthur Fellow Writer Yiyun Li

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By Vanessa Wang Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and came to America in 1996 to pursue a PhD in immunology. But instead of completing the PhD program, she discovered her love for writing and joined the prestigious Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop. “English is not my first language, but it is my first writing language,” Li tells us. “It was partly …

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Indian American Author Monica Bhide’s Short Stories Climb Best Seller List

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By Vanessa Wang Monica Bhide always wanted to be a fiction writer, but instead she became an engineer and later wrote three successful Indian cookbooks. She quickly became one of Mashable’s top ten food writers on Twitter. This October, she finally publishes her first short story collection, The Devil In Us, a book that brings us back and forth between …

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Muriel Hom, OCA 2014 Trailblazer Awardee

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By Jennie L. Ilustre One word describes Muriel Hom, recipient of the Organization of Chinese Americans’ 2014 Trailblazer Award at its gala night on November 2: Unique. Opera Internationals’ Producer Director Hom is Baldwin Artist, pianist and coach. She has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and on PBS Television. An international artist, she has also performed …

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3 Japanese Win Nobel Prize for Inventing LED Used in Smartphones, Other Energy Devices

Nobel Laureate in Physics Professor Shuji Nakamura
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By Jennie L. Ilustre University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Professor Shuji Nakamura, who shares this year’s prestigious Nobel Prize for Physics with two Japanese researchers, has an inspiring message for Asian Americans. “I encourage higher education and hard work in order to achieve the American Dream and thrive,” Nakamura, 60, said in an interview days after the announcement of …

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Alice Guo, Making an Impact with Speaking Academy

Photo shows Alice Guo, Founder and CEO of Impact Speaking Academy (center), with some of her students.

Alice Guo, Making an Impact with Speaking Academy By Jennie L. Ilustre Everyone has a turning point in life. Something, an event or perhaps a decision, dramatically changes things. For Alice Guo, Founder and CEO of Impact Speaking Academy, her turning point came “when my aunt in China nudged me to leave my comfort zone and come to America with …

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Profile: Coco Zhang-Miske

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Coco Zhang-Miske is petite and has the willowy figure of a model. She’s got porcelain skin and delicately wrought features. Her long hair flows down her shoulders and her makeup is impeccable. She’s not what you think of when you think of an electrical engineer. That’s because engineering is Miske’s second career – her first one being a professional dancer. …

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Laugh and Think: Youtube Star Anna Akana Talks About Her Creative Process

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By Jenny Chen Anna Akana’s sister died at 13 years old. Kristina Akana was a victim of bullying at her California school and eventually took her life. This event has influenced much of Anna Akana’s work as a writer, actress, and short film producer. The Youtube star, who’s makeup video spoof “How To Put On Your Face,” has garnered 1.7 …

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Veteran Making Dreams Come True As He Fights His Last Battle

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By Jennie L. Ilustre Next month, the nation will once again honor its heroes on Memorial Day:  the living as well as those who, tragically, never returned. Jesse Mallares Baltazar, a retired major of the United States Air Force (USAF), will once again wear his crisply starched uniform, with its medals and ribbons from three wars, as he heads for …

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Vijai Nathan: Funny Girl Breaking Down Barriers

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Award winning DC based comedian talks to Asian Fortune about playing tooth decay in a school play and the challenges of being a female comedian. By Suchi Rudra With three solos shows to her name—Woman on Top, McGoddess and Good Girls Don’t. But Indian Girls Do—and far-flung comedy festival appearances from Trinidad to England to South Africa, funny girlVijai Nathan …

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Michael Lin, Making a Difference as a National Leader

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By Jennie L. Ilustre Photos by Gino Wang When Dr. Michael Lin, biomedical scientist and national Asian American leader, received the Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award from Montgomery County recently, typically he shifted the spotlight on others. He acknowledged the three ladies seated in front: Daphne Kwok, Ginny Gong and his wife Ellen. He was the National President …

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Elizabeth Thaihuong Nguyen From DC Represents Wyoming in Beauty Pageant

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By Mary Tablante Elizabeth “Liz” Thaihuong Nguyen first got started competing in pageants because of a dare from her little brother. “I wanted to see what would happen,” she said. “I feel that pageantry has given people a voice to do great things. You become a face and voice for an organization and have a lot of freedom to talk …

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Alice Guo, Making an Impact with Speaking Academy

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By Jennie L. Ilustre Everyone has a turning point in life. Something, an event or perhaps a decision, dramatically changes things. For Alice Guo, Founder and CEO of Impact Speaking Academy, her turning point came “when my aunt in China nudged me to leave my comfort zone and come to America with two bags of dreams.” She taught at a …

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Young But Innovative: Justin Tran

One of fifteen illustrations created in a self-initiated personal project about neighborhoods in Richmond

By Jenny Chen Justin Tran is just a rising junior but he’s already making waves in the Richmond art community Justin Tran is obsessed with lines. He can tell you what kind of line work Foxtrot creator Bill Amend uses or analyze the line work of Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson. That’s because line work is what drives most …

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Culture for Kids: Author Sana Sood talks about her book on Diwali

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  By Jenny Chen Local Author Sana Sood wrote the book Diwali: A Cultural Adventure in 2013 and it went on to get rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.com. We talked to Sana about her process and what diversity means in children’s literature. Asian Fortune: How did you get the idea to write this book? Sana: I wrote this book …

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Breaking Boundaries: Nguyen Nguyen

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By Amanda Andrei Graphic novelist Nguyen Nguyen doesn’t limit himself to paper and pen – he uses music and animation as well. A multimedia graphic novel seems to be a paradox. In a medium dominated by the various ways you can shape a book—everything from tiny, hand-inked folded paper to massive cut and build your own stories—how can you infuse …

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Representing Asian Americans Through Spoken Word: George Yamazawa Jr8

Photo Credit: Aaron Yeung

By Mary Tablante Nationally Recognized Slam Poet George Yamazawa Jr. talks about his journey to doing poetry full-time Spoken word artist George “G” Yamazawa, Jr., never had an Asian American role model growing up, so he decided to become one himself. Yamazawa is the youngest poet to become a National Poetry Slam Finalist, won the 2012 Kollaboration DC talent competition …

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CEO Hai Tran Triumphs Through Determination and a Mother’s Love

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By Jennie L. Ilustre The next time you ride in an airplane, whether for business or for pleasure, think of this as a matter of inspiration and well-placed pride: That a company, owned by an Asian American who triumphed against life’s adversities, helps improve safety and efficiency within the nation’s air traffic management system with its cutting-edge products and services. “We help …

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Success Begets Success, as Group Keeps ‘Giving Back’

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By Jennie L. Ilustre Asian American Success (AASuccess) Founder and Executive Coach Dave Nguyen and his team of leaders, students and volunteers are known for always giving back to the community, and to society-at-large as well. Is it any wonder that they go from success to success? Grant givers, community and corporate partners keep beating a path to their door, …

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