Meet the Staff
Manabu Taketani is the Program Administrator at the AAARCC. Manabu holds a BA in both History and the Japanese language from Calvin College, and an MA in Higher Education and Student Development from Taylor University. Manabu comes to Purdue University from Taylor where he served as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Intercultural Programs for two years, working as the Advisor for the student organization ASIA (Asian Society for Intercultural Awareness) as well as facilitating student leadership trainings and campus wide events, promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment.
Additionally, Manabu is experienced in teaching within the classroom setting, including undergraduate first year seminars and an interdisciplinary class focused on “Conversations on Race.” Manabu has also led professional development seminars for graduate level students on the progression of the Asian American identity.
Broadly speaking, Manabu’s academic research interests include experiences of Asian American and Asian students and scholars, the promotion and facilitation of student learning, and the history of magic and of higher education. As Program Administrator of the AAARCC, Manabu looks forward to combining his academic, professional, and personal experiences to weave the Asian and Asian American experience into the fabric of Purdue University’s campus life.
Taejung (Esther) Ma
(Speaks Korean and Mandarin)
Taejung Ma is currently pursuing her PhD degree in Literacy and Language Education at Purdue. She arrived to the U.S. for her undergraduate study and received education in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. She earned her BA in English with honors and MA in TESOL (Teachers of English to speakers of other languages). Experiencing culture shock and recognizing cultural differences gave Taejung opportunities to seek ways to promote diversity. As an undergraduate, she held the student assistant position at International House and designed various Korean events. While studying her master’s degree, she coordinated a presentation that addressed academic and cultural challenges/issues that international students in her university encountered for faculty and administrators. As a PhD student at Purdue, Taejung is currently serving as graduate assistant for the AAARCC, and she desires to make a positive contribution to the campus community.
Taejung’s research interests include: culturally-responsive pedagogy, multicultural education, immigrant populations’ identity, and ESL instruction. For her master’s thesis, she investigated the relationship between second language acquisition and mother tongue attrition. She is specifically interested in examining immigrants’ identity. As a first year PhD student, she is taking various courses to build sound theoretical backgrounds for her research. Beyond her academic interests, she enjoys participating in the Bible study, watching musicals, and traveling to other countries.
I-Ting (Yvonne) Chen
(Speaks Mandarin and Taiwanese)
Yvonne is a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering, with minors of chemistry and forensic science. She is an international student form Taiwan, and wishes to work on 3D bio-printing and making medical devices in the future.
On campus, Yvonne a member of Timmy Global Health and she will be going to Ecuador for a medical brigade during this year’s spring break. She is also a UR Global peer educator and Boiler Gold Rush Team Leader. She loves to interact and make friends with different people, and also guide people around to help them feel like Purdue is a second home. Yvonne is passionate about helping people out by giving them some everything from life advice to campus directions, especially those who are new or looking for resources to get involved. In her spare time, Yvonne is learning the art of popping with Purdue’s Dance All Out Club. She loves to take on new challenges like dancing, which she had never done before coming to Purdue. Yvonne enjoys the AAARCC’s respectful atmosphere, where people are incredibly nice and always willing to refer students to whatever resources they may need.