Vol 35 | No 1 | Fall 16
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Special Visitors to the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive (OC&SEAA) Center

ImageIn its first year open to the public, the Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive (OC&SEAA) Center has hosted a wide variety of groups and individuals. Sometimes the groups come from neighboring college campuses while other times they travel a great distance to visit with us.

In March, we hosted a unique group from California State University, Fullerton, the "Little Saigon Study Away" class taught by professor Tu-Uyen Nguyen. A fun fact is that professor Nguyen is an Anteater whose story is captured through our UCI Stories Project. She brought 16 undergraduate students and CSUF's Director for Strategic Initiatives and University Projects, Dr. Mary Ann Villarreal, to tour the OC&SEAA Center as one of their site visits during their weeklong stay in Little Saigon in Westminster, California. The class is part of a new initiative aimed at low-income and first generation students, providing experiences that can heighten their awareness of cultural diversity. The Southeast Asian Archive is a repository that documents Little Saigon and Vietnamese American experiences as a key emphasis. A visit to the OC&SEAA Center provided students with a deeper understanding of the community's formation. One student, Quinn Tran, expressed her appreciation, "I was so touched by the variety of beautiful documents and artwork saved. It made me reevaluate the way I examine my community."

Then in late April, we hosted a much larger group that traveled from California's Central Valley. Fifty Hmong American students from Fresno City College toured the OC&SEAA Center and interfaced with our collections, including artifacts left in transit by Hmong and Iu Mien refugees in the 1980s. Working collaboratively with the UCI Southeast Asian Student Association, we provided a showcase of archival materials and an orientation to our collections. The Fresno students then had an opportunity to hear from current UCI Southeast Asian-American students about their experiences.

For more information on the OC&SEAA Center visit ocseaa.lib.uci.edu/ or contact Thuy Vo Dang, Archivist for the Southeast Asian Archive and Regional History at tvodang@uci.edu.