San Francisco State University

Outstanding Education Program

Questions and Answers

Provide a detailed description of the educational program and the population it served. Details MUST include: date of event/time-period, number of participants, program purpose (goals, objectives, etc.), use of resources (finances, community support, etc.), marketing techniques and evaluation processes.

Date: March 3 at 5pm-9pm 

Participants: 100+ 

Program purpose: To celebrate the opening of the DVAN (Diasporic Vietnamese Artist Network) center at SFSU. “DVAN @ SFSU” is to work more systematically with students to organize grass-root events in SF and Oakland every semester, as to make the Bay Area the hub of diasporic Vietnamese stories, poetry, and other cultural productions. We will create social change for our community and society at large. With this project, DVAN will receive support from SFSU, and we will, in turn, renew our commitment to exemplify how scholarship, teaching, and community engagement go hand-in-hand. In panel attendance were Thi Bui, Lan Duong, Julie Thi Underhill, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Aimee Phan, Danny Thanh Nguyen, and Viet Thanh Nguyen. 

Use of resources: Many of our funds were financed by the school and the Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies Department as it was a very big moment for our campus. We used this money for food for our participants, decoration that was used to highlight Vietnamese artists’ works, and flyers to promote the event. With our campus community, we posted the flyers and used our instagram to get the word out. We also asked all Asian American and Ethnic studies professors to promote the event in their classes for their students to get extra credit. We also were able to promote this event through DVAN who has a huge following thanks to the lineup of artists and their long- commitment to their vision. 

Marketing techniques: We fully utilized our online presence by promoting it through weekly posts and instagram stories. We also sent out newsletters to our members. We kept a close relationship with professors to ensure maximum amplification. With DVAN, we created numerous flyers for them to use to promote the event as well. 

Evaluation process: Afterwards, we were able to hear from the audience how they liked the event. We also saw posts on Facebook and Instagram and read those to get 

any advice.

How did this educational program serve the campus and/or community? What motivated the organization to host the educational program?

This program serves the community and campus as it is in line with the mission of Ethnic Studies. Pelaud (our advisor) has consistently tried to make what we teach in the classroom relevant to the community. Her students have played an essential role in making DVAN what it is today. They’ve served as volunteers, interns, and leaders in organizing public events, created youth art programs in the Tenderloin, worked as managing editors for diaCRITICS as well as collaborated on other publications. Students have become educators by producing video interviews of Vietnamese American writers and artists, and have written essays for diaCRITICS. Some students have become leaders in the community and have used their experience to strengthen their applications for graduate school. Others like Danny Thanh Nguyen have moved on to become writers themselves. From this process of applying theory into practice, we have produced scholarship that is taught in classrooms nationwide. This creates a space of opportunity and resource for students looking to follow this path. We hosted this event as our advisor is the co-director of DVAN and she needed our help as we were able to work closely and more efficiently with the school. We also were excited as it was our first big event and we wanted to gain this experience. We want to support the Vietnamese artist community as much as possible and were eager to do this. 

How did the organization overcome any challenges that arose while planning and implementing the educational program? What was the outcome of the program in terms of goals met, successes, and failures?

Our challenges were mostly due to inexperience and we had to learn along the way. We asked our peers for help, our advisors for direction, and each other for guidance. We communicated as much as we could with all three parties to ensure that the event went smoothly. 

The program was a huge success as it was a massive turnout! We made sure to keep everything running on the backend while the audience enjoyed the discussion on the stage. We worked with the sound and lighting crew as well as the artists to make sure we kept things in a timely manner. Our only issue was that because of all the people that showed up, it was difficult to clear everyone out while cleaning up. This will always be a problem but we hope to be more efficient about it in the future. 

What specific topics did this program address? What questions did it answer? How do you evaluate its success, both qualitatively and quantitatively?

This program addressed numerous issues as it was a more free flowing panel discussion. We talk about femininity, masculinity, sexuality, trauma, and alienation. Through our artists’ stories, they explained their experience and how they overcame their obstacles. Through their art, they offered their wisdom and comfort. They answered many life question such as how do we go on? and where do we go from here? 

It was fairly successful however we ran out of time for Q&A where the audience could have interacted with the artists and had specific questions answered. That was our only downside. However, in all, it was both qualitative and quantitative as we had a large pool of experiences and outlooks. They are also all very well spoken and educated which gave their words have a heavier and more firm weight. 

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